A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    I think the point was that nonevil societies don't have slave pits.
    There are examples from DnD which indicate that this may not be true - subject to how you define a 'slave pit'.

    Slaadi do have prison camps to hold innocent sentient after they are implanted with larval Slaadi to prevent there hosts from escaping and seeking a cure - and these are so bad that fiends handed over captive enemies to the Slaadi just because they knew how bad the process of spawning a slaadi was. Slaad are Chaotic Neutral rather then Evil in the most part.
    Another example would be Mulhorand which was not an evil society where the majority of its people were slaves (though with legal protections relating to treatment).
    Within the Order of the Stick we have slavers here and we see a Neutral character seemingly sympathise with them, even if Tarquin's team turned Neutral there is no particular reason that I see to think they would abolise slavery.
    Gygax once discussed Chaotic Good enslaving defeated foes at one point also.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    I would say that evil is parasitic of good, because a world wherein everyone behaves evilly wouldn't have a population to be evil for very long. The problem with "dog eats dog" is that you run out of dogs very quick.
    The issue with this is that it requires death to be the only outcome - a lawful evil society might have a lot of torture, rape, mutilation and death, and providing you are not the one being tortured, raped, mutilated or killed and providing that you understand the legal system that would lead you to those outcomes you might be perfectly content in the system as might most people who follow the law (the devils are not seeking refugee status in the heavens for instance).

    A society which is good wouldn't actually need charities as everyone would seek to help their fellows without needing it to be organised - or to put it in OotS terms 'there wouldn't be a need for paladins if the world was, like, fair'.

    Ultimately I think that the two are somewhat seperate from each other, in the absence of evil good people would still be good and in the absence of good evil people would still be evil - but both do interact to feed on each other when they meet.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Yes, indeed. And thus saying "they're not unhappy because it's an evil society, they're unhappy because they're in the slave pits" misses the point; it's equivalent to saying that it doesn't matter that an aspect of their evil society makes them unhappy, it'd only count if they were experiencing some kind of cosmic angst over knowledge that their society is An Evil Society.
    Im sorry, if the point is "evil people are unhappy if they're oppressed" then yes, I agree, but that's a vapid point. Of course the slaves in the slave pit are going to be u happy they're in the slave pit, but that wasn't the point of the question as I saw it. The point as I saw it was "are evil people unhappy in an evil society", and the answer is no, they cna be quite happy in an evil society so long as they're not the ones in the metaphorical slave pit. Which, as we see in Greysky City, is a very malleable thing. They're happy most of the time when they're bribing or mugging or killing. They're unhappy when they're being mugged or killed but hey, if you want to argue that a society where people aren't perfectly happy all the time is not a functional society then you would have quite the time finding a functional society.

    Greysky City is an evil society. It is a functional society. Ipso facto, evil societies can be functional. The people in Greysky City seem to have no desire to change things and instead just go with the flow of how their society is built.

    If you have some other point, I would be interested to hear it plainly stated.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    All right, I thought I had stated my point quite plainly, but here:

    My reaction to:
    [Greysky City] is [not a dysfunctional] society.
    is:

    Wut?

    Followed by: Huh. It's actually possible to believe that?

    And the same is the case for every evil society that had been depicted in the comic. And as far as I can tell, your argument to the contrary hinges on narrowing the definition of "functional" to "this handful of people are smiling." Your argument also seems to be a tautology: a society which exists, even if its population is visibly plummeting as multiple people are murdered in the strip you linked to show how functional it is, is by definition not a dysfunctional society, at which point "dysfunctional society" is not even a useful phrase as it could never be used to describe anything.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    The issue with this is that it requires death to be the only outcome - a lawful evil society might have a lot of torture, rape, mutilation and death, and providing you are not the one being tortured, raped, mutilated or killed and providing that you understand the legal system that would lead you to those outcomes you might be perfectly content in the system as might most people who follow the law (the devils are not seeking refugee status in the heavens for instance).
    A society is a group of people coming together to work as a group, distributing tasks like food production, tool creation and more specialized roles (like healing or record keeping). You can't have that level of cooperation if everybody is a selfish, cruel git who never looks out for anyone else. Evil behaviours aren't sustenable by themselves. They need good behaviours to rest upon.

    That, by the way, is the uderlying logic between Kant's attempt to derive an objective good oit of pure logic: "An action is good if, should everyone do it all the time, it doesn't lead to it being impossible." (Paraphrased) In that view lying is evil because if everyone lied everytime no-one would believe anyone and there wouldn't be any point in lying. I don't entirely agree with him, but what he's saying makes sense. People lie because they know that people tell the truth sometimes. People plunder because they know they can barter the loot peacefully later some place else.

    When you say that a society is "evil", you don't mean that all the people in it act evilly 100% of the time, you mean that the evil that is perpetrated there is quantatively or qualitatively greater than in societies you call good, so much so that it outweighs (in your eyes) the good that exists within that society. But that good must exist, otherwise the society would have imploded already.

    All of our continued existences rely on a social network that only exists because people are willing to be good to one another (yes, I consider enlightened self interest to be good, fight me), including the existences of so-called "evil people". Evil actions are damaging to the very network of good actions that makes them possible in the same way that a parasite is damaging to the health of the very host that keeps it alive.

    Take Greysky City. Do you think it was always the way it was? Thieves' Guilds don't build cities, they take them over. We see a corrupt police officer, but his presence implies the (former?) existence of non-corrupt police. I put it to you that Greysky city, much like every crime-ridden city in real life did not start that way. It got worse one way or another and the people who live there, don't necessarily do so by choice but because the alternative seems worse to them (it's not like packing up and leaving is an easy ask), so for now, it can still pass for a functionning city, but if things keep getting worse, at some point it'll just collapse on itself.

    EDIT
    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    A society which is good wouldn't actually need charities as everyone would seek to help their fellows without needing it to be organised - or to put it in OotS terms 'there wouldn't be a need for paladins if the world was, like, fair'.
    I don't quite see what you're getting at. Charity does not require charities. A society that is healthy enough not to require charities is not more evil than a society that still requires them.

    Besides a society where everyone is good all the time would still required organization to manage help in the face of natural disasters and things like that. If you see someone in danger of drowing or trapped in a burning house, it's better to leave the rescuong to the people with the proper training and equipment, lest the fire brigade has one more person to rescue.
    Last edited by Fyraltari; 2022-09-28 at 09:14 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    All right, I thought I had stated my point quite plainly, but here:

    My reaction to:
    is:

    Wut?

    Followed by: Huh. It's actually possible to believe that?

    And the same is the case for every evil society that had been depicted in the comic. And as far as I can tell, your argument to the contrary hinges on narrowing the definition of "functional" to "this handful of people are smiling." Your argument also seems to be a tautology: a society which exists, even if its population is visibly plummeting as multiple people are murdered in the strip you linked to show how functional it is, is by definition not a dysfunctional society, at which point "dysfunctional society" is not even a useful phrase as it could never be used to describe anything.
    How do you define functional? It's a society that is clearly working. People live, work, and thrive in it. Its got government (as implied by the police force), commerce, residents, industry, etc etc. What about is not functional other than that you don't like the society?
    Last edited by Peelee; 2022-09-28 at 09:21 AM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    A society is a group of people coming together to work as a group, distributing tasks like food production, tool creation and more specialized roles (like healing or record keeping). You can't have that level of cooperation if everybody is a selfish, cruel git who never looks out for anyone else. Evil behaviours aren't sustenable by themselves. They need good behaviours to rest upon.
    The goal of the leader of the Nine Hells could be described as 'to capture more souls for the Nine Hells', those who work for the Nine Hells attempt to gain these souls for as it increases their personal power and authority - those souls are captured either by convincing people to embrace a lawful evil mindset while not dedicating themselves to an appropriate deity or by getting mortals to sign over their souls in contracts - and often killing/arranging for their deaths to get paid early.

    That is merely one example of an evil society which does not seem to require good behaviour to rest upon.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    The goal of the leader of the Nine Hells could be described as 'to capture more souls for the Nine Hells', those who work for the Nine Hells attempt to gain these souls for as it increases their personal power and authority - those souls are captured either by convincing people to embrace a lawful evil mindset while not dedicating themselves to an appropriate deity or by getting mortals to sign over their souls in contracts - and often killing/arranging for their deaths to get paid early.

    That is merely one example of an evil society which does not seem to require good behaviour to rest upon.
    Your example of an evil society that requires no good is a society made up of immortal beings with no need for food, medicine, water, clothes, education, houses, roads, libraries or any of the other myriad services a society provides.

    Hmmm.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Your example of an evil society that requires no good is a society made up of immortal beings with no need for food, medicine, water, clothes, education, houses, roads, libraries or any of the other myriad services a society provides.

    Hmmm.
    They need an influx of souls to create additional devils.

    But not really the point - an evil society can exist without needing any good as such good is not required for evil and as such evil is not dependant on good.

    You could have a perfectly fine setting with no good and where the forces of neutral battle the forces of evil, or even where the forces of evil battle themselves (a blood war game would not need any good pcs or npcs and could work fine).

    In a DnD setting Evil societies can exist and function and do so for a long time, and seperately Evil is not dependent on Good.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    They need an influx of souls to create additional devils.
    And?

    But not really the point - an evil society can exist without needing any good as such good is not required for evil and as such evil is not dependant on good.
    Do you have an argument to support that, or...?
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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    And?
    You said:
    A society is a group of people coming together to work as a group, distributing tasks like food production, tool creation and more specialized roles (like healing or record keeping). You can't have that level of cooperation if everybody is a selfish, cruel git who never looks out for anyone else. Evil behaviours aren't sustenable by themselves. They need good behaviours to rest upon.
    Devils work together as a group distributing important tasks, soul acquisition, record keeping, contract negotiations, etc - they have that level of cooperation even though (nearly) everyone is a selfish, cruel git who only looks out for themselves (and to the interests of those above them who would punish them for failing to do so).

    Do you have an argument to support that, or...?
    I think I have made the arguement in relation to devils, one could also make if relating to drow, or the domains of some demon lords etc.

    Do you have a counter arguement?
    Last edited by dancrilis; 2022-09-28 at 10:31 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Your example of an evil society that requires no good is a society made up of immortal beings with no need for food, medicine, water, clothes, education, houses, roads, libraries or any of the other myriad services a society provides.

    Hmmm.
    Or, they can force slaves to do it for them. Think about vampires herding humans for food, fun and work.
    All slaves have collectively less rights than a rock, they are abused and hunted for blood.
    To add misery, the most proactive slaves can force weaker slaves to do their chores, and the masters don't care.
    Ratting out is rewarded, bullism is a show of confidence and strength, and the vampires encourage raping as a reproductive stimolus.

    Is this society evil? Yes it is.
    Is it functional? Well, yes. People is feed, they have a shelter, and they are free to cry to sleep while their soul is crushed.
    You don't even need the masters to be vampires. Just very mean humans. Maybe, cannibals.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    How do you define functional? It's a society that is clearly working. People live, work, and thrive in it. Its got government (as implied by the police force), commerce, residents, industry, etc etc. What about is not functional other than that you don't like the society?
    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    A functional society is a society which functions for everybody. A society which functions for 1% of its population is dysfunctional
    , apparently, although that runs into the problem outlined here:
    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    a society which exists, even if its population is visibly plummeting as multiple people are murdered in the strip you linked to show how functional it is, is by definition not a dysfunctional society, at which point "dysfunctional society" is not even a useful phrase as it could never be used to describe anything.
    At any rate, the functionality of a society depends on what its function is, which, in turn, depends on what, exactly, we define as society. Obviously.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    A functional society is a society which functions for everybody. A society which functions for 1% of its population is dysfunctional.
    There is an abyss between "A functional society must work for all (100%)" and "A society working for 1% is dysfunctional".
    I mean, the first phrase makes most or real life country not a functional society. And possibly no society at all before 1900.
    The second one is more condivisible, but at that point one has to ask: is there a threshold for a society to work? Ancient Rome was estimed to have a 10-20% of enslaved population, and worked quite fine.

    (Note: being a slave in Rome was much better than many other civilization, but still slaves, so not an envyable condition)
    Last edited by Laurentio III; 2022-09-28 at 02:21 PM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurentio III View Post
    There is an abyss between "A functional society must work for all (100%)" and "A society working for 1% is dysfunctional".
    I mean, the first phrase makes most or real life country not a functional society. And possibly no society at all before 1900.
    The second one is more condivisible, but at that point one has to ask: is there a threshold for a society to work? Ancient Rome was estimed to have a 10-20% of enslaved population, and worked quite fine.

    (Note: being a slave in Rome was much better than many other civilization, but still slaves, so not an envyable condition)
    Being a free woman in Rome was likely much better than being a free woman in most other civilizations of the time. You had actual rights and could own property and could go out in public and attend plays and baths and.... Adult women are a very large demographic block, if Rome of the Republic and Early Empire was NOT functional based on the size and treatment of the bottom of the pyramid, then few if any societies, ever, have been functional.

    Given that modern societies still have crime and prisons, I'd say that a disaffected minority is universal to pretty much any society larger than a few hundred people.

    100% satisfied is probably impossible, and means no one is functional rendering the term largely meaningless.
    Only 1% satisfied and lasts more than a week is probably impossible, and thus clearly not functional.

    The functional vs. non-funtional line, if meaningfully existent, is somewhere between 99% satisfaction and 0% satisfaction. [Edited to add, this is largely in support of the quoted post.]

    As a citizen of a wide franchise republic, I'd tend to go with a straight majority of adults being happy with the civilization and it's organization being a minimal standard for functional (higher is much better, but at 50% you can get by for quite a while). I don't think we have any evidence that tEoB or Greysky does not have that level of support.

    In tEoB: People showed up to cheer for the gladiatorial event, and they didn't denounce or throw things at their leaders during the event. People competed (violently) for the chance to have a part in a parade to honor a general's son. They seem to mostly like their fairly horrible government, and to be fair, it may well be better than the alternatives that they've seen in that messed up continent.

    In Greysky the thieves guild was not, as far as we know, a part of the government, and part of why Haley leaves them alive is the claim that eliminating the theives guild would result in the MOBs moving in and that would be worse, so having grown up there and having personal reasons to dislike the guild, Haley is STILL willing to say it's better than the alternative, if that attitude is common, then so is some level of satisfaction with the current situation.

    TLDR: I think both the OotS (and real life) have plenty of examples of functional evil societies.
    Last edited by Doug Lampert; 2022-09-28 at 03:02 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    TLDR: I think both the OotS (and real life) have plenty of examples of functional evil societies.
    I'd add, high fantasy worlds have the potentiality for an even more unbalanced society still enduring. Maybe not working fine, but still not imploding like a modern dictatorship would with a crazy chief.
    A despotic wizard could easily (if of proper level) enslave a whole city/country/continent with magic.
    By using mindless golem/undead/costructs.
    By mass charming the masses with massive rituals.
    By putting a curse that kills whoever tries to rebel.
    Pact with devils. Mind control. Cursing the fields so that can't give crops unless he allows.

    There are parallels that could work in real world using technology, but we are at least ten years away from a working cyberpunk distopy.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurentio III View Post
    I'd add, high fantasy worlds have the potentiality for an even more unbalanced society still enduring. Maybe not working fine, but still not imploding like a modern dictatorship would with a crazy chief.
    Weiss and Hickman did the Dark Sword trilogy that presented what I thought was a dysfunctional society, but that might not have been their intention.
    Quote Originally Posted by Laurentio III View Post
    There are parallels that could work in real world using technology, but we are at least ten years away from a working cyberpunk distopy.
    I hope it stays at least ten years away for the next forty or fifty years ... (kind of like "nuclear fusion for energy production has been only 15 years away" since about the 1960's. )
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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    I see people just proved my point about worshiping certain ancient societies- the reality of slavery in Rome was far worse then many people seem to think, probably because of the Enlightenment whitewashing of it.
    As for evil societies I’d recommend the later riftwar books where part is set in a lower level plane of existence. By its nature it’s closer to the dark side so it’s naturally more evil - but they still have a concept of evil as seen by and acknowledging the need for healers. That role by its nature requires a degree of sympathy for the patient. There’s also the concept of parental attachment.
    Last edited by mjasghar; 2022-09-28 at 05:19 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by The MunchKING View Post
    Or more accurately why would an evil world not realize what malevolence is and just realize that's what they are doing? Why would a benevolent world recognize benevolence?
    Because evil is, fundamentally, an absence of good. Like how darkness is an absence of light, but not light of darkness. If there is no good to oppose, then there cannot be evil.

    Consider a universe that consists of a single photon, thus perfectly light. That universe can be considered aware that there is light, for light is something. If this universe were sentient, it would be able to recognize beings like itself, and differentiate itself from universes which consisted of singular protons, or electrons. They are all full, but filled differently.

    Now consider its inverse, a universe that consists of the absence of a single photon, thus perfectly dark. Except, how can there be an absence of something which does not and has never existed? If this universe were sentient, how could it recognize other beings like itself? How could it differentiate them from universes whose characteristic was the absence of a single electron? Or the absence of a proton? [pretend the particles are all the same size, I know they physically aren't]. All of them would be equally empty. This universe is therefore conceptually dependent on there first existing a universe where "light" is defined.

    This is the best way I can think to define it. Maybe it will convince you, maybe not, but any further and we're gonna start getting into weird philosophical questions.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    A Good society described as one that supports and encourages social behaviors deemed, by that society, to be beneficial to a majority, if not all, of its members, can exist without Evil. It is not required to contrast beneficial behavior with anything for it to be beneficial.

    An Evil society, described as one that enables some or most, or all of its members to engage in social behaviors detrimental to a majority or all of its members cannot exist without Good, because there must be some measure of beneficial activity for those dwelling in that society to survive.

    Example: a Good society feeds the hungry, an Evil society does not. The starvation of the population eliminates the Evil society. For an Evil society to function, it must have means of supporting the masses, no matter how unpleasant or limited in scope. A slaver will die if he allows those who make his bread to die.

    This was Fyraltari's point with the dog-eat-dog comment.

    Now, all real societies have landed somewhere in between, but fantasy societies can be used to explore the concept. Let's assume a society of wights, which do not require food, but like it anyway. They can exist in a fantasy world. But what's to stop them from eating each other until there is only 1?

    A mage mind-controlling a population or vampires herding humans are not really examples of societies. One cannot claim a collection of beings forced to remain in a place by force or threat of death and exploited for purposes harmful to themselves is a society. A society must be joined, participated in, and create the potential for growth to thrive. For that to occur, there must be some minimal level of behavior that is beneficial, or Good.

    Good societies can thrive without Evil. Evil societies cannot thrive without Good. Evil societies may exist only so long as there is Good to exploit.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    More to the point Evil societies always need some outside society to exploit - even the Drow who allegedly would be happy killing each other actually require other underdark races to raid as slaves.
    A Good society is in theory self sufficient without the need for outside threat or others to exploit.
    However fantasy and d&d need conflict so there’s always some in the Good society who aren’t Good and can be corrupted. Or with Human theoretically Good nations there’s usually an outside threat that keeps people true to the Good culture (enlightened self interest). There’s rarely the reverse - though more recently you get the sub leader who is tired of fighting and is usually the one to lead the retreat when the big bad boss dies.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by WanderingMist View Post
    Like how darkness is an absence of light, but not light of darkness. If there is no good to oppose, then there cannot be evil.
    Light could be defined by that which banishes darkness - but in the absence of light darkness exists, in the absence of darkness there is no shading etc so really it would just be a different darkness (if everything was absolutely bright one still would not be able to see).

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    One cannot claim a collection of beings forced to remain in a place by force or threat of death and exploited for purposes harmful to themselves is a society.
    Why?

    A society must be joined, participated in, and create the potential for growth to thrive.
    Why?

    Evil societies may exist only so long as there is Good to exploit.
    And yet in DnD the Nine Hells exist and seem to largely not have anything to do with good - more to do with Law frankly.

    Quote Originally Posted by mjasghar View Post
    More to the point Evil societies always need some outside society to exploit - even the Drow who allegedly would be happy killing each other actually require other underdark races to raid as slaves.
    All(most) underdark societies do this - Evil societies might need someone to victimise but they do not need that victim to not be evil.

  22. - Top - End - #382
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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    Why?


    Why?
    A society is by definition a composite organism. Its components work together toward the common goal of survival. Growth versus stagnation is a real issue because competition with other societies requires growth to keep pace with neighboring societies lest the neighbor out-compete for available resources.
    If society A is a steady-state, with unchanging numbers and technology and society B grows in population and technology, even without war or intent, it is a matter of time for A to be subsumed by B.

    Let's use half orcs as an example. Orc Village has 60 adults, and has a zero growth rate. Human Village has 60 adults and 10% growth rate. Year 1 ends with 60 orcs and 66 humans. Let's assume mating across the species boundary is happening, by whatever means, at a rate of 1 child in each village per year.

    By year 20 there are 60 orcs and 366 humans. But one of the orcs is half human! And over the next 60 years, the orcs have been completely replaced with half humans. In 120 years the orcs are 3/4 human, and in 180 years the orcs are 7/8 human. The orcs are gone, without having any need for a war to eliminate them. Meanwhile, the humans now number in the thousands, with a little, and diminishing, amount of orc DNA in their genome.

    [QUOTE=dancrilis;25593718]And yet in DnD the Nine Hells exist and seem to largely not have anything to do with good - more to do with Law frankly.[/QUOTE

    And the growth of The Nine Hells is accomplished through harvesting souls from another group of societies. They continue to exist because the Mortal Realms provide a fuel supply. Once the mortals all die they may steal from other planes for a few billion years, but eventually they will have to consume themselves or be consumed by others who are similarly being wiped out by starvation.

    In other words, their society exists only so long as Good exists to be robbed.

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    All(most) underdark societies do this - Evil societies might need someone to victimise but they do not need that victim to not be evil.
    But as we know, evil societies require victims. Victims don't have to be Good, but in order for there to be something for Evil to feed on, there must be some degree of beneficial activity going on. Who feeds baby drow? Baby drow don't require being loved to survive, but they must eat. Food which could be consumed by the strong must be given to the weak. This act is an act to benefit one at the theoretical cost of another. There must be at some level a taint of Good in any viable Evil society, or that society fails in one generation.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    I would say that evil is parasitic of good, because a world wherein everyone behaves evilly wouldn't have a population to be evil for very long. The problem with "dog eats dog" is that you run out of dogs very quick.
    That was why I wondered about various mirror universe episodes of Star Trek. They ran out of duplicates of the main universe star fleet officers people awful quick (except in the ds9 episodes where instead they ran out of ferengi duplicates). Barring sci-if cloning or some such it seemed that this level of dog eat dog would lead to population implosion before too long.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Y'all gone from "All petty details will be clearly relevant" to "His soapmaking hobby proves he's (nefarious/sensitive)" to "We live in a society and here how". These threads never fail to disappoint.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by LoneLizardT View Post
    Y'all gone from "All petty details will be clearly relevant" to "His soapmaking hobby proves he's (nefarious/sensitive)" to "We live in a society and here how". These threads never fail to disappoint.
    And Star Trek has been refered. It's gold.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    And the growth of The Nine Hells is accomplished through harvesting souls from another group of societies. They continue to exist because the Mortal Realms provide a fuel supply. Once the mortals all die they may steal from other planes for a few billion years, but eventually they will have to consume themselves or be consumed by others who are similarly being wiped out by starvation.

    In other words, their society exists only so long as Good exists to be robbed.
    If the mortal realm had no good people the devils would still prey on the neutral and the differently evil - they would be fine.


    Victims don't have to be Good, but in order for there to be something for Evil to feed on, there must be some degree of beneficial activity going on. Who feeds baby drow? Baby drow don't require being loved to survive, but they must eat. Food which could be consumed by the strong must be given to the weak. This act is an act to benefit one at the theoretical cost of another. There must be at some level a taint of Good in any viable Evil society, or that society fails in one generation.
    Who ensures that the Drow slaves have food? The Drow do - but not for good or noble reasons, feeding your slaves is pragmatic.
    Similarly feeding your children ensures that you can replace your soldiers, have more oversight of the slave pits etc.
    Short term costs for long term gains is fine for Evil to do.

    Further feeding yourself and your family is likely Neutral rather then Good.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    Further feeding yourself and your family is likely Neutral rather then Good.
    We are wrongly (my opinion) fixating on the act and not the motivation.
    No act is evil per se.
    Killing is bad? You kill for food, for defense, and for fun. Only one of this is "evil".
    Feedind is good? Yes, if you feed someone out of your resources. A waiter "feeds" you, but you have to pay for it, so it's neutral. And I can feed you the meat of your loved ones for evilz, and it's not exactly a caritatable act.

    Feeding a slave is not much different than feeding cattles. You don't want exausted, or diseased or worst dead slaves. Slaves must be feed for them to work. So it's just utilitaristic to have them adeguately feed. If you give them the bare minimum, it's kind of gratuitously evil. Otherwise, it's base lack on empathy, so vanilla evil.

    Almost any act can be evil or good, no matter even if it benefits the receiver, based on motivation. As a great philosopher (Big Ears of the webcomics "Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes") said, the difference between being good or evil is the willingness to help.

    Spoiler: From comics "Goblins"
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    Big Ears: (when asked how to tell apart Good and Evil-claiming-to-be-Good) The good will be quick to help others in need. They do this without hesitation, without first requiring proof that the need is genuine. But before they condemn the accused, before they bring harm to others, no matter how justified it may seem, they hesitate. They demand proof. Evil will often believe they're fighting for good, but when others are in need, they'll become reluctant, withholding compassion until they see proof of that need.
    And yet, Evil is quick to condemn, vilify and attack others. For Evil, proof isn't needed to bring harm. Only hatred, and a mantra that they fight for peace and righteousness.
    Last edited by Laurentio III; 2022-09-29 at 05:36 AM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Because you can point to one comically stupid guy who is happy to be able to murder people and get paid for it? I mean, even going by only him and the two other people he interacts with, he's outvoted 2-1 unless his brother and his wife both want(ed) to be murdered. (Saying "they're unhappy because they're in the slave pits, not because it's an evil society" misses the point*: How many people are unhappy because they're in the slave pits in nonevil societies?) And thinking about the other characters in Greysky City, I'd say the society is utterly dysfunctional for everybody depicted, from the murder fence who gets murdered to Formerly-Known-As-Eagle-Eyed-Pete.

    *Even if I agreed that the Vector Legion, Bozzok, or any other characters in positions of maximum power in evil societies were depicted as happy rather than with a brittle outer layer of cheer or calm hiding an ocean of paranoia, rage, or other negative emotions, which I would not. A functional society is a society which functions for everybody. A society which functions for 1% of its population is dysfunctional.
    By that standard there are zero functional societies in either literature or real life...

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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Can't talk about real life; no-politics rule. In literature, the Federation on Star Trek sometimes qualifies (how it's presented varies with author), and the Culture (Iain M. Banks) always does.
    Spoiler
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1268 - The Discussion Thread

    Alignment as morality has been a terrible idea ever since Gygax wrote it, and considering his opinions on what acts can be Lawful Good and other Extremely Fun subjects, i dont think its entirely healthy to use it as a crutch for discussions.
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