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  1. - Top - End - #541
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    I don't know, not to be caricatures made up for the sole purpose of the PCs having someone whom it's okay to kill indiscriminately?
    Then who do I kill indiscriminately?
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by wadledo View Post
    Then who do I kill indiscriminately?
    ...Anyone you want? If you want to be a Chaotic Evil mass-murderer yourself, more power to ya. Just don't pretend you're somehow the paragon of goodness and righteousness while you do so.

    And if you still want to play the detect-smite Paladin who runs around killing orcs because they're the epitome of all that's bad and wrong in the world and never deserve to live, you still can if you want to, you'll just have to ignore our fluff and insert your own. My problem is assuming that this is the default.
    Last edited by Craft (Cheese); 2012-11-09 at 06:48 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    ...Anyone you want? If you want to be a Chaotic Evil mass-murderer yourself, more power to ya. Just don't pretend you're somehow the paragon of goodness and righteousness while you do so.
    Actually plenty of mass-murdering CE baddies claim to be fighting for good.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    ...Anyone you want? If you want to be a Chaotic Evil mass-murderer yourself, more power to ya. Just don't pretend you're somehow the paragon of goodness and righteousness while you do so.
    You do realize that some people want to sit around and not worry about moral consequences, right?

    And that traditionally, D&D has at wide array of enemies whom are there for you to say "Hey, these guys are evil. Lets kill them."
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    ...Anyone you want? If you want to be a Chaotic Evil mass-murderer yourself, more power to ya. Just don't pretend you're somehow the paragon of goodness and righteousness while you do so.

    And if you still want to play the detect-smite Paladin who runs around killing orcs because they're the epitome of all that's bad and wrong in the world and never deserve to live, you still can if you want to, you'll just have to ignore our fluff and insert your own. My problem is assuming that this is the default.
    So you'd rather the default game essentially call out every player as horrible hypocrites who are literally the worst things in the setting because they're freebooters?

    Yeah see, your entire closing bit can be turned 180 degrees and used as a completely valid argument against that kind of crap. You want to play a depressing grey-on-gray world in which everything you do is morally ambiguous, you still can if you want to, you'll just have to ignore their fluff and insert your own. My problem is insisting that as the default.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by wadledo View Post
    And that traditionally, D&D has at wide array of enemies whom are there for you to say "Hey, these guys are evil. Lets kill them."
    Of course it has. I've been wondering if maybe they're moving away from that.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Would be about time. The rest of the genre has developed beyond that point long ago. No use in staying simplistic and immature with fluff out of tradition when the audience has already moved on.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Would be about time. The rest of the genre has developed beyond that point long ago. No use in staying simplistic and immature with fluff out of tradition when the audience has already moved on.
    You say that, but I personally like it when I get to not have intense philosophical debates about the morality of killing and junk.

    I.e. some people like simplistic and immature, why are you saying their choices are bad?
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    I think both should be modules, but then it's hard to say what the default system is...
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    I don't know, not to be caricatures made up for the sole purpose of the PCs having someone whom it's okay to kill indiscriminately?
    So, you want green-skinned humans?
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Why not just throw away mortal alignment?

    Outsiders are the ones that declare "good" & "evil" & such.

    Classes like Paladin & Cleric, get auras that declare good & evil tying them to the celestial idea of good & evil, it makes then adhere to an otherworldly concept that most mortals don't follow so closely.

    Idk I'm having trouble explaining what I mean... I'll try again later

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    @Anderlith:
    That seems to be what is happening in D&D Next, but the trouble is that the fluff descriptions can easily place a race in very "The normal member is an evil bastard who is going to murder your face." place.

    So while there are no Evil orcs, the average orc will do evil things.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by wadledo View Post
    @Anderlith:
    That seems to be what is happening in D&D Next, but the trouble is that the fluff descriptions can easily place a race in very "The normal member is an evil bastard who is going to murder your face." place.

    So while there are no Evil orcs, the average orc will do evil things.
    Well, there can still be evil orcs, just only the ones who are evil paladins or clerics of an especially evil god, or possibly some types of warlock.

    Basically, nothing is born evil, and only a rare few beings actually become Evil with a capital E, even if they do evil things.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by AgentPaper View Post
    Well, there can still be evil orcs, just only the ones who are evil paladins or clerics of an especially evil god, or possibly some types of warlock.

    Basically, nothing is born evil, and only a rare few beings actually become Evil with a capital E, even if they do evil things.
    That is true, yes. Thank you for making my point more sensible.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Well atleast people were able to understand me (yay :P)

    So as for the whole "orcs need killing" thing. This is where the game should high light civilization over savagery. I mean D&D have druids, rangers, & barbarians all who are supposed to come from the wilderness, but the materials never make much thought into the encroachment of civilization over the wild places. Orcs & goblins are savage creatures, they don't belong in a civilized society... Tensions will boil over on the borders. Makes a perfectly reasonable environment for unreasonable people to reasonably kill others without being unreasonable. Sure the paladin & good clerics should have to watch what they do, but it's unlikely that their gods will care about the plight of the orc

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeful View Post
    So you'd rather the default game essentially call out every player as horrible hypocrites who are literally the worst things in the setting because they're freebooters?

    Yeah see, your entire closing bit can be turned 180 degrees and used as a completely valid argument against that kind of crap. You want to play a depressing grey-on-gray world in which everything you do is morally ambiguous, you still can if you want to, you'll just have to ignore their fluff and insert your own. My problem is insisting that as the default.
    But ignoring fluff that supports ambiguity is KNOWN to be trivial to do.

    Look at 3.x where killing orcs indiscriminately is unambigously, clearly, and unquestionably EVIL. Seriously, orcs are an often alignment, an outright majority are not CE and there's NOTHING in the rules that says that the rest of them are overwhelmingly likely to be evil.

    Moreover in 3.x racial prejudice is EXPLICITELY a characteristic of LE.

    Additionally in 3.x simply being evil is CLEARLY not enough to justify death. Consider that humans show no tendancy toward or away from any particular alignment, so about 1/3rd of your average city's population is evil. Callus disregard for the welfare of others is defined to be evil, and doesn't require that you ever commit any crime at all, much less a capital one.

    So the 3.x rules are everything the poster who doesn't like team jersey play wants. If you actually read those rules it's totally clear that killing orcs because they are orcs is EVIL. Doesn't change a thing about the way most people play. I regularly see people on the internet using orcs as an EXAMPLE of an always CE race you're allowed to kill. Those are the orcs with a often (not usually or always) alignment in the game that says racial prejudice is evil. The rules that encourage ambiguity are so easy to ignore that people never even noticed them when they're plainly put in the rules.

    So since we know that almost everyone will ignore rules that encourage ambiguity you may as well write the rules that way. People who like team jersey play are fine with 3.x even though the rules don't actually allow that style at all.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    Look at 3.x where killing orcs indiscriminately is unambigously, clearly, and unquestionably EVIL. Seriously, orcs are an often alignment, an outright majority are not CE and there's NOTHING in the rules that says that the rest of them are overwhelmingly likely to be evil.
    ....Often means more than or equal to 50%
    So most Orcs are evil.

    Which kinda wrecks the rest of your premise.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Alignment and morality is difficult to do, but D&D needs to address it.

    At it's core, D&D is heroic high fantasy. It's a game designed to represent heroes and villians, mighty struggles of good vs. evil, where the forces of light conquer the forces of darkness. That's the kind of setting and game D&D was designed for, and the world needs a good game to fill that niche.

    That said, some people may want a more morally ambiguous campaign, but still high fantasy(low fantasy as a rule doesn't fare well with D&D), and that's fine. However, if people are looking to think more about morality, they should be willing to use optional modules, or you know, think about morality. In a morally grey world, having a book tell what what's right and wrong doesn't make much sense.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    Additionally in 3.x simply being evil is CLEARLY not enough to justify death. Consider that humans show no tendancy toward or away from any particular alignment, so about 1/3rd of your average city's population is evil. Callus disregard for the welfare of others is defined to be evil, and doesn't require that you ever commit any crime at all, much less a capital one.
    Further, if you read the rules in the DMG for allocating alignment through a population, I think I remember something about most humans being Neutral, and something less than a third being somewhere on the evil side of things.

    Edit: Table 4-7, page 110. Alignment for random NPCs. 20% good, 30% neutral, 50% evil. No distinctions for race. So I guess I remembered that wrong. I can't find anything much around 137-140 for generating communities, besides "power center alignment". Maybe that idea was just something I came up with because it makes more sense?
    Last edited by noparlpf; 2012-11-09 at 10:43 PM.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    But ignoring fluff that supports ambiguity is KNOWN to be trivial to do.
    And ignoring fluff that denies ambiguity is somehow harder to do? And if you're going to say "yes", please explain why, because without a well reasoned answer behind that yes, I will not believe you.

    Look at 3.x where killing orcs indiscriminately is unambigously, clearly, and unquestionably EVIL. Seriously, orcs are an often alignment, an outright majority are not CE and there's NOTHING in the rules that says that the rest of them are overwhelmingly likely to be evil.
    Yes there is, what do you think Often means or Usually for that matter? Because even Usually implies much more than 50% (otherwise it wouldn't be usual for them to be that alignment, so yes, an outright majority of every thing with an MM entry are the listed alignment), with Often and Always being even larger percentages. Besides the entire alignment system is hilarious short-hand for the entire nature vs nuture debate, as well as being much shorter than any more in-depth explanation. If you want to explore that, feel free, but tacking on unnecessary moral ambiguity as a pretension for maturity in a game centered the highly black-and-white genre that heroic fantasy is very much missing the point, especially if you aren't going to run the theme throughout the entire system, which would make game tone schizophrenic at best.

    And honestly, I've yet to find a piece of fiction, much less a game, that was actually improved any by the dark themes necessary for a grey-and-gray morality to work.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    As far as I see it, there are three main alternatives here:

    A. Write the default fluff in the "old" way: All Orcs the PCs encountered can be killed without hesitation, because they're orcs.

    B. Write the default fluff in the "new" way: Orcs are people and should be treated as such. If it means lessening some of the game's Hack-and-Slash tone, so be it.

    C. Ignore the issue entirely: Don't write fluff about this at all and let each DM decide that for themselves.


    Personally speaking, I find B and C vastly preferable to A.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    *stuff*
    Or, amazingly enough:
    D. Write a reasonable amount of emotion neutral material for each different monster,

    E. A, B, or D, and don't let fluff ruin your perceptions of something.

    E seems to be the best one, to me.
    Last edited by wadledo; 2012-11-09 at 11:57 PM.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    I have no issue with indiscriminately killing always-evil humanoids if a particular campaign world is based around it, and I have no strong preference for whether the "default campaign setting" of Next is this type or something more nuanced (as long as both are still a part of the edition as a whole).

    However, I would like to point out that, if orcs & company are presented as more complex societies rather than monolithic evil, the DM is still free to offer pure amoral hack & slash opportunities in the form of undead, constructs, and fiends.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    I'm looking at the 3.5 Monster Manual right now, and I'm struggling to see where it says "Orcs are 100% pure evil and should be killed on sight!" I see that they're "Often Chaotic Evil", but that implies that there are orcs who arne't Chaotic Evil. So, if you just go around killing random orcs, then there's a good chance that you kill orcs that are just chaotic, and not evil.

    It goes on a lot about how their culture is very warlike and they lead lots of raids and try to expand their territory and so forth...which sounds a heckuva lot like ancient Mongols. And while ancient Mongols were pretty bad, I doubt any of you would argue that they should have been killed indiscriminately.

    I'm getting this inching feeling that some people (and I don't want to point fingers) are simply bashing DnD because it's "mainstream," rather than for the actual flaws it has. It'd be nice if, in the future, we could have less baseless accusations of terribleness, and more reasoned arguments for or against specific aspects of the game.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by AgentPaper View Post
    I'm looking at the 3.5 Monster Manual right now, and I'm struggling to see where it says "Orcs are 100% pure evil and should be killed on sight!" I see that they're "Often Chaotic Evil", but that implies that there are orcs who arne't Chaotic Evil. So, if you just go around killing random orcs, then there's a good chance that you kill orcs that are just chaotic, and not evil.
    And in addition read up on the Orc entry in the AD&D 2nd ed Monster Manual, which clearly falls into the "B" category of Craft(Cheese).

    So the supposedly "traditional" description of Orcs does not refer to 3ed or 2ed, which covers the last two decades where many people have used orcs acceptable targets for killing.
    That supports the idea that people are VERY good at ignoring morally ambigious fluff.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Ive sort of reached the point where Im sick and tired of creating highly detailed explanations for my villains.

    I just want to relax, and send out some MUHAHA-ing Orcs at them. And those often get more impactful effects out of the players.

    If your playing a game where both sides have equal merit, you get this bland feeling in your gut.

    But this is high fantasy! Relax, and enjoy the EEEEEEEvIIIIIIIIIl

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by AgentPaper View Post
    It goes on a lot about how their culture is very warlike and they lead lots of raids and try to expand their territory and so forth...which sounds a heckuva lot like ancient Mongols. And while ancient Mongols were pretty bad, I doubt any of you would argue that they should have been killed indiscriminately.
    To set the record straight, here are the relevant passages:

    Orcs are aggressive humanoids that raid, pillage, and battle other creatures. They have a hatred of elves and dwarves that began generations ago, and often kill such creatures on sight.

    [Physical description of orcs]

    When not actually fighting other creatures, orcs are usually planning raids or practicing their fighting skills.

    [Stats here]

    Orcs believe that to survive, they must conquer as much territory as possible, which puts them at odds with all intelligent creatures that live near them. They are constantly warring with or preparing to war with other humanoids, including other orc tribes. They can ally with other humanoids for a time but quickly rebel if not commanded by orcs. Their deities teach them that all other beings are inferior and that all worldly goods rightfully belong to the orcs, having been stolen by the others. Orc spellcasters are ambitious, and rivalries between them and warrior leaders sometimes tear a tribe apart.

    Orc society is Patriarchal: Females are prized possessions at best and chattel at worst. Male orcs pride themselves on the number of females they own and male children they sire, as well as their battle prowess, wealth, and amount of territory. They wear their battle scars proudly and ritually scar themselves to mark significant achievements and turning points in their lives.

    [Encounter information here]

    They sound a lot like the Mongols... a cartoon caricature of the mongols, maybe. I think that we could, and should, do better than that. If you think the lack of space is a problem, watch:

    Orcs are a race of nomads who herd goats and sheep, but also trade in exotic goods from all over the continent with the other races. The orcs used to hold great empires that collected tithes from vast swaths of the continent, but are now subject to persecution, the practicing of their native religion and many of their rituals now outlawed in many places. Here are a few important beliefs and tenents in Orc society:

    - A true Orc is self-sufficient, and needs no one to care for them. Learn the ways of the sword and the axe so you may defend what is yours from those who would deem you weak.

    - Mourn not the dead, for your feelings keep their spirits in the world of the living. Let them pass on where they may rest in peace.

    - Respect your mother first, as material gains are transitory. Family is the only thing that lasts beyond this life, and your mother is the one who built yours.

    - Respect the herd, as it is for your sake they give you their meat and skins. Never slaughter without need, and never let a kill go to waste.

    It's actually shorter than the WotC description, and yet is not only more interesting but also far less one-sided.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    It's actually shorter than the WotC description, and yet is not only more interesting but also far less one-sided.
    How is that more interesting? Sounds like a pretty generic Proud Warrior Race.

    Good, morally grey storytelling doesn't mean that evil doesn't exist. It doesn't even mean "true evil" doesn't exist. Morally gray means that there's good, and there's evil, and there's a whole range of muddy area in between.
    Last edited by AgentPaper; 2012-11-10 at 04:48 AM.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by AgentPaper View Post
    How is that more interesting? Sounds like a pretty generic Proud Warrior Race.
    More interesting because it talks about stuff aside from "Yeah, they kill and steal things a lot. When they aren't doing that, they're planning how they're going to kill and/or steal the next thing they want. What else? The hell you mean what else? They're Orcs, that's all you need to know about 'em."

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    More interesting because it talks about stuff aside from "Yeah, they kill and steal things a lot. When they aren't doing that, they're planning how they're going to kill and/or steal the next thing they want. What else? The hell you mean what else? They're Orcs, that's all you need to know about 'em."
    Well, that IS what orcs are for. If you don't want a race like that in your campaign, then you should probably not have orcs in your campaign. Instead have a bunch of human tribes that can have whatever customs you want.

    Just because you don't like the fluff for orcs doesn't mean they're badly written.
    Excellent avatar by Elder Tsofu.

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