Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 31 to 60 of 79
  1. - Top - End - #31
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Ashtagon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hillvale, Isle of dawn
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    A very wise good person understands that being being a good person, he will be rewarded in the afterlife by getting a place in Elysium (or Bytopia, or Arvandor, or Celestia, or Ponyville, or wherever).

    A very wise evil person understands that by being perfectly evil, he will enter the afterlife as a higher form of tanarr'ri (or whatever), instead of entering the afterlife as souls-currency to be traded and eventually consumed.

    Both are very wise in their own ways.
    Last edited by Ashtagon; 2012-10-24 at 02:10 AM.
    Indigo is a much more appropriate colour for sarcasm, don't you think?
    Blue is strictly for emphasis.
    And grey is kind of like an aside to my main point.

    Avatar by The Succubus

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Firechanter's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Thanks for the replies so far, will take a bit to dig through the longer posts.
    Just a few bits for now:

    - I'm really not into superheroes of any kind, and haven't seen any of those movies, so I won't get any of those comic book references, sorry ^^
    As for Evil and Wise characters, if we take Saruman for instance, my take is that he used to be wise until Sauron corrupted his mind. As Mithrandir put it, "When did Saruman the Wise abandon reason for madness?" If LOTR characters had anything to do with the D&D-ruleset (they don't), I'd interpret Saruman's corruption as a Wisdom drain.

    - I find it only natural to apply the prevalent real-world definition to game terms. If D&D Wisdom should have nothing to do with the historical philosophical understanding of Wisdom, they should use a different word, such as Splork.
    The comparison with Flat-Footed falls on its face because the term flat-footed is a figure of speech and Wisdom is not. The very definition of flat-footed as "unprepared" is _in the dictionary_ and not a D&D invention.
    So you know, university Physics D&D 3.5 Optimization is essentially three seven years of this discussion among like-minded enthusiasts. Done with supercomputers, access to the textsplatbook collections of five continents and thirty languages with thousands of classes, prestige classes, feats and spells.
    On four hours sleep a night.
    With no sex.
    You're not going to find the loophole these guys missed.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Malimar's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Some given examples for "wise" are things I'd put more under "lawful", and examples for "unwise" are things I'd put under "chaotic" (In particular, Ra's al Ghul vs the Joker). Which is to say: I think wisdom has, if anything, more to do with the law-chaos axis than the good-evil axis.

    But it may just be that I always see "chaotic" played as "total lack of self-control" (a hallmark of low wisdom), without that actually being intrinsic to the chaotic archetype.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Titan in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    I wish I knew...
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Firechanter View Post
    Maybe I'm thinking too modern here. That's basically what the entire post-enlightenment philosophers are about: the message that you should be a good person not for fear of some invisible bogeyman who may send you to hell otherwise, but out of the _understanding_ that this is the right thing; the course of action that benefits everyone the most. And understanding is a key element of Wisdom.

    Also, keep in mind that in D&D, Good and Evil are by no means subjective or a matter of interpretation. People typically worship a deity that fits their personal morality. If a Cleric of a Good deity performs Evil acts under the delusion he is being good, he'll soon learn the error of his ways the hard way.
    Allow me to attempt a rational explaination:

    "Yes, I am Evil. I make no bones about it. Why? I got tired of being fettered by laws and morals. I'm evil, because it is more efficient. You may note, in my Lawful Evil reign, that crime rates have plummeted, that all civilians are employed, that every household has food and shelter, and that none of my neighbors dare invade.

    Of course, all of those civillians are peasants living in hovels, their daily bread is the same stuff the Egyptians used... all the nutrition of your mother's turkey dinner... and twelve percent alcohol by volume. This keeps them quiet at night and has dramatically improved morale and decreased crime rates since employing it.

    There are no 'slums'. I don't permit them, because they are inefficient and ripe for increasing crime rates. I send my soldiers out to ensure that none of that nonsense is going on. Ruffians are conscripted and pressed into military service, the severity of the crime determines where in the formations they go. Generally, they end up on the front lines. 'Spear catchers', those are called. This is why I don't execute prisoners... this way they serve a double purpose of taking blows intended for trained soldiers who actually have some value.

    Sure, drugging your population into civility, taking everything save food and lodging from them, and using criminals as deployable decoys are certainly evil acts. Yet they work. And because of that... I do it."

    The military tactics of the real Vlad "The Impaler" Tseppish would also qualify. He would stake his opponents and leave their corpses hanging in the air, a grisly forest of corpses on spears.

    Why? Because his opponents had a religious belief that such a death meant their spirit would wander the earth forever, a lost soul.

    So, he leveraged his opponent's beliefs and offered them what they perceived to be a literal fate worse than simple death... and his opponents rank-and-file refused to take the field against him. That grisly forest of dangling corpses saved his nation from invasion. But it was no less evil for its victory.
    Last edited by ShneekeyTheLost; 2012-10-24 at 05:26 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Underlord View Post
    All hail great Shneekeythulhu! Ia Ia Shneeky fthagn
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quite possibly, the best rebuttal I have ever witnessed.
    Joker Bard - the DM's solution to the Batman Wizard.
    Takahashi no Onisan - The scariest Samurai alive
    Incarnum and YOU: a reference guide
    Soulmelds, by class and slot: Another Incarnum reference
    Multiclassing for Newbies: A reference guide for the rest of us

    My homebrew world in progress: Falcora

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    As already said, you are using a definition of wisdom that is not the wisdom used in D&D, but there's more to it!

    You said "He'd obviously realize being good is better"...it isn't. While morality is objective in D&D, neither is more right than the other.

    Good people mess up other good people, and evil people mess up evil people (really, everyone ****s up everyone).
    All D&D settings I know either reward either morality equally (the default, it seems) or don't reward either (my favorite), so there's no point in picking one for afterlife's sake.
    "Evil" does not mean immediately that you will go out of your way to ruin people, it may simply mean you don't give a damn. Rarely you get the guys who set an indigenous hobo on fire for the sake of it, but most often it's the guy who does not empathize with anyone's plights and just goes their own way.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Ashtagon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hillvale, Isle of dawn
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Firechanter View Post
    - I find it only natural to apply the prevalent real-world definition to game terms. If D&D Wisdom should have nothing to do with the historical philosophical understanding of Wisdom, they should use a different word, such as Splork.
    That way lies madness. The dominant real-world definition for constitution has nothing to do with a person's health, nor does the real-world definition of dexterity have much to do with moving silently or dodging an attack. For that matter, real-world intelligence has no known relationship with spell-casting ability.
    Indigo is a much more appropriate colour for sarcasm, don't you think?
    Blue is strictly for emphasis.
    And grey is kind of like an aside to my main point.

    Avatar by The Succubus

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Firechanter's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andreaz View Post
    You said "He'd obviously realize being good is better"...it isn't. While morality is objective in D&D, neither is more right than the other.
    In any game, any simulation I know where the players can either cooperate or fight each other, cooperation makes everyone more successful in the long run.

    One example, Settlers of Catan: you can hurt the other players by moving the Bandits. They are denied the resources from the occupied Hex and you get the benefit of stealing a card. Of course your competitors will be happy to return the favour when they get the chance.
    But if everyone agrees to occupy only unsettled hexes, you lose a short term benefit but gain a lot more resources in the long run. Everybody develops much faster. Maybe after 15 turns (I never counted them) the players have 8, 7 and 6 points instead of 5, 4 and 3. Everyone is more prosperous.

    In the real world, we've seen a huge rise of prosperity in regions where people/nations have agreed not to constantly crush each other's heads, whereas regions with constant wars are stagnating. Peace and trade pays off more than war and pillage.

    So I think that one aspect of Wisdom is to understand that being a **** to other people may yield some short term rewards, but holds you back in the long run.
    So you know, university Physics D&D 3.5 Optimization is essentially three seven years of this discussion among like-minded enthusiasts. Done with supercomputers, access to the textsplatbook collections of five continents and thirty languages with thousands of classes, prestige classes, feats and spells.
    On four hours sleep a night.
    With no sex.
    You're not going to find the loophole these guys missed.

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Hirax's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Firechanter View Post
    In any game, any simulation I know where the players can either cooperate or fight each other, cooperation makes everyone more successful in the long run.
    ...
    So I think that one aspect of Wisdom is to understand that being a **** to other people may yield some short term rewards, but holds you back in the long run.
    A wise evil person would simply get everyone to work together, but for their benefit. Your arguments are making it sound more like high wisdom would be incompatible with chaotic alignments, not evil ones.
    Last edited by Hirax; 2012-10-24 at 06:23 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    middletown, ny

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    I mostly agree with what has been said so far, but I think I can identify (and somewhat agree) with the OP: Someone who does evil, if they are wise, must realize that at some point they are going to get caught. Not only that, promoting and doing evil things in the long run leads to more suffering and hardship for all, including the original perpetrator - call it karma, if you will.

    Thus, if someone is perceptive, they would see the ultimate end result of their evil acts, and not do them.

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Firechanter View Post
    In any game, any simulation I know where the players can either cooperate or fight each other, cooperation makes everyone more successful in the long run.
    That's absolutely wise. But not Good or Evil. An evil person is more likely to be selfish, but isn't it selfish to help others because you expect to gain greater rewards for that?
    Quote Originally Posted by Firechanter View Post
    *examples*
    So I think that one aspect of Wisdom is to understand that being a **** to other people may yield some short term rewards, but holds you back in the long run.
    Again, absolutely wise, but not Good or Evil. I do not need to like you or empathize with you or even agree with you to realize that I'll be better off in the long run if you help me (and helping me requires me to help you).

    Think of it this way: Wisdom is realizing cooperation works. Being Good is cooperating because everyone is better in the long run. Being Evil is cooperating because you are better in the long run.

    Ever played Heroes of Might & Magic 4? Gauldoth Half-dead. Wise evil guy.
    Last edited by Andreaz; 2012-10-24 at 06:47 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #41
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Felyndiira's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Here.

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by limejuicepowder View Post
    I mostly agree with what has been said so far, but I think I can identify (and somewhat agree) with the OP: Someone who does evil, if they are wise, must realize that at some point they are going to get caught. Not only that, promoting and doing evil things in the long run leads to more suffering and hardship for all, including the original perpetrator - call it karma, if you will.
    I'm a bit confused. Why will they get caught, and how would 'getting caught' be different from a good guy suffering from a fate worse than death after getting defeated by a villain?

    The (fantasy) world isn't supposed to abide by the conventions of drama. A lie could go on for a person's lifetime (or even longer) without the person suffering from any reprisals; a wise and evil ruler that wants to be king can very well have his cake for the entirety of his career, while a wise and evil druid might eradicate civilizations to return everything to the tranquil nature that he loves. There isn't some greater law of the world that dictates that good will always triumph over evil no matter what happens.

    A wise person can very easily realize that regardless of whether they are good or evil, their chances of getting offed by someone isn't going to change; they might decide that it would be better to just live for his own enjoyment instead of sacrificing himself for other people and dying miserably on an unmarked grave instead of promoting peace and friendship. They might want to prove something - such as nihilism or the superiority of an iron fist rule - to themselves and to other people. They might just seek immortality in history. It's quite a bit of a generalization to say "wise people realize that they always will be caught if they do evil, and that is undesirable to anybody."

    And no, karma itself is a belief, not a universal and known rule of D&D. A wise person can similarly realize that as long as there are enough good people in the world to keep civilization stable and the people trusting, there is ample room for him to do whatever without reprisal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firechanter View Post
    In any game, any simulation I know where the players can either cooperate or fight each other, cooperation makes everyone more successful in the long run.
    Evil doesn't mean villain ball. I've played an evil character (it's my avatar/username character, actually) that cooperated very well with her good teammates, mostly for the goal of having them help her overthrow her mother and take over her house later on. She made quite a few sacrifices for them and continued to regard them as friends even after her goal was fulfilled because good people make trustworthy allies, and she'll probably need their help again when things go south (as they are prone to do when you're the matriarch of a drow house).

    Evil characters are capable of all of that; a villain ball carrier would kick puppies in the open, sure, but villain ball carriers are also not wise people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firechanter View Post
    So I think that one aspect of Wisdom is to understand that being a **** to other people may yield some short term rewards, but holds you back in the long run.
    Wisdom is not always about full-on economic progress, and there are plenty of ways to be an evil leader while understanding that exact fact.
    Last edited by Felyndiira; 2012-10-24 at 07:00 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Titan in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    I wish I knew...
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by limejuicepowder View Post
    I mostly agree with what has been said so far, but I think I can identify (and somewhat agree) with the OP: Someone who does evil, if they are wise, must realize that at some point they are going to get caught. Not only that, promoting and doing evil things in the long run leads to more suffering and hardship for all, including the original perpetrator - call it karma, if you will.

    Thus, if someone is perceptive, they would see the ultimate end result of their evil acts, and not do them.
    Some would see the ultimate end result of their evil acts, and smile.

    Sure, eventually he's going to catch it. But you know what? His tale of being defeated will go down in legend. His name will literally be the stuff of legends, told in a hushed whisper. Mothers will threaten their naughty children with tales of his cruelty.

    Dude... that's like the ultimate win. I mean... sure, the Pharaohs of Egypt were pretty cruel about the manpower to build the pyramids... but even four thousand years later... they are remembered for them. Mission accomplished.

    Alternately, particularly with Lawful Evil, they could look on their results. Sure, they ground their peasantry under their heel, drugged them with their food to ensure they did not revolt, took every last resource they produced and gave them bare subsistence... but you know what? They're alive, aren't they? Considering the threats defeated to protect them... I'mma gonna call that one a victory.

    Sure, you might want a Good person ruling in peace... but when war inflicts itself upon you, then you want a guy who can make the tough choices. War is an atrocity. Thus ensuring as crushing a victory as possible in as short a time as possible minimizes your losses, regardless of how many atrocities you have to commit to get there.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Underlord View Post
    All hail great Shneekeythulhu! Ia Ia Shneeky fthagn
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quite possibly, the best rebuttal I have ever witnessed.
    Joker Bard - the DM's solution to the Batman Wizard.
    Takahashi no Onisan - The scariest Samurai alive
    Incarnum and YOU: a reference guide
    Soulmelds, by class and slot: Another Incarnum reference
    Multiclassing for Newbies: A reference guide for the rest of us

    My homebrew world in progress: Falcora

  13. - Top - End - #43
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Ashtagon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hillvale, Isle of dawn
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    http://cheaptalk.org/2012/04/22/golden-balls-solved/

    Game theory probably has something to say abouyt wisdom and maximising success.
    Indigo is a much more appropriate colour for sarcasm, don't you think?
    Blue is strictly for emphasis.
    And grey is kind of like an aside to my main point.

    Avatar by The Succubus

  14. - Top - End - #44
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Rubik's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Look at Azula, from Avatar: The Last Airbender. She's incredibly cruel and self-centered (and also a complete Daddy's Little Monster), but she's insanely insightful (and also somewhat insane). She definitely has high scores in everything, including Wisdom, but she's definitely Evil with a capital E.

    Also a capital VIL, but still.

    Also, I had a LE goblin psion//factotum who was evil to the core and enjoyed it greatly, but he still did good things for others because it benefited him to do so, even if not directly. Others seeing him doing good deeds gave him a measure of leeway when it came to suspension of disbelief when he got caught indulging his love of carnage and slaughter. He knew that a lot of the things he did were wrong, but he loved doing them too much to bother stopping, and if he could build himself a fanbase doing it, then all the better.
    Last edited by Rubik; 2012-10-24 at 08:34 AM.
    Quite possibly the most beautiful ballad I've ever heard.

    A monarch among dragons.
    Spoiler
    Show

    -Unskilled writers use "said" and "asked."
    -Skilled writers use "whispered," "shouted," "questioned," "demonstrated," "ejaculated," "murmured," "explained," "queried," and "demanded."
    -Masterful writers avoid using any of them.

  15. - Top - End - #45
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Firechanter's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    http://cheaptalk.org/2012/04/22/golden-balls-solved/

    Game theory probably has something to say abouyt wisdom and maximising success.
    Confucius say:

    Half of something is better than all of nothing.
    ^^
    So you know, university Physics D&D 3.5 Optimization is essentially three seven years of this discussion among like-minded enthusiasts. Done with supercomputers, access to the textsplatbook collections of five continents and thirty languages with thousands of classes, prestige classes, feats and spells.
    On four hours sleep a night.
    With no sex.
    You're not going to find the loophole these guys missed.

  16. - Top - End - #46
    Orc in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    The only reason wisdom has any "positive moral relation" in real life is because many religions use it as a buzzword for THEIR kind of thinking. By definition it has no relation to morality at all.

    And even then half of that is just translation into English and the vagaries thereof.

  17. - Top - End - #47
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    For game theory to work, and to turn wise people into "good" people, requires 2 things. Transparency, and repeated action.

    Without repeted action, game theory is meaningless. You harm the other player for short term gain, because they will not be around to get back at you. Legal example: in a small city, lawyers will be more cooperative with each other, because they will have to work with the other party again, or with other people who know them. In a big city, law is more cutthroat, because you may never meet the other person again, or not for years. In the classic Prisoners Dilemma, you are always better off if you rat out your buddy in the short term, but you are worse off if the problem comes up again.

    Game theory also requires transparency. You have to KNOW if the other person is harming you. In the Catan example, you know if the other player robs you, so you know that it is time to seek revenge. If you have an evil tactic that is secret, like quietly skimming money from your boss or cheating on a trade embargo that you agreed to, game theory won't apply, because if you don't think the other side will find out they cant retaliate.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2012-10-24 at 08:47 AM.

  18. - Top - End - #48
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Firechanter View Post
    Confucius say:
    Half of something is better than all of nothing.
    ^^
    You know that Rich has an article that describes two villains just that right?

  19. - Top - End - #49
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Ashtagon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hillvale, Isle of dawn
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    You know, Redcloak is both evil and wise. Just saying.
    Indigo is a much more appropriate colour for sarcasm, don't you think?
    Blue is strictly for emphasis.
    And grey is kind of like an aside to my main point.

    Avatar by The Succubus

  20. - Top - End - #50
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Suddo's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Firechanter View Post
    Also, keep in mind that in D&D, Good and Evil are by no means subjective or a matter of interpretation. People typically worship a deity that fits their personal morality. If a Cleric of a Good deity performs Evil acts under the delusion he is being good, he'll soon learn the error of his ways the hard way.
    This is the problem with gods being active on the world. What if the god changes his mind? What if the god becomes true neutral instead of neutral good? Want to bite into something really interesting?

    Make a neutral/lawful good god (for this example his name is Bob); He's good for lets say 1000 years (give or take a few decades); He has plenty of worshipers but isn't a tier 1 god; he thinks a certain idea, you can create your own but I'll make one: He wonders why evil exists and why its allowed to continue.
    Tier 1 gods try to explain to him why, he understands some but disagrees on key points; The Tier 1 gods tell him that its also the way it is; Bob is angered by this and begins to try and gain power and destroy evil; Bob tells his followers to slaughter evil where ever they see it; Bob and his followers go on a crusade; Bob is now Chaotic Good (at best); Bob sees that evil isn't stopping (because it tends not to); Bob once again asks the Tier 1 gods why they won't help; Same discussion happens; Bob now believes that inactivity towards evil is the same as evil; The Crusade of Bob now begins to take the lives of neutral people because they don't do anything to stop evil; Bob is now Evil (amounts of Chaotic/Lawful-ness vary).

    Now one could argue that Bob wasn't wise enough to see the error in his way, but many others would argue that Bob was wise enough to see the error in the other god's ways.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Currently Glanror in the Political Shenanigans campaign.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rankar View Post
    *I may not teach the paladin communism and the concept of the greater good.
    *It is not within my rights to overthrow the established monarchy using the communist paladin.

  21. - Top - End - #51
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Firechanter's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulm11 View Post
    You know that Rich has an article that describes two villains just that right?
    No, I never read his articles. Do you mean the "Villain Workshop" one?
    So you know, university Physics D&D 3.5 Optimization is essentially three seven years of this discussion among like-minded enthusiasts. Done with supercomputers, access to the textsplatbook collections of five continents and thirty languages with thousands of classes, prestige classes, feats and spells.
    On four hours sleep a night.
    With no sex.
    You're not going to find the loophole these guys missed.

  22. - Top - End - #52
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    middletown, ny

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Felyndiira View Post
    I'm a bit confused. Why will they get caught, and how would 'getting caught' be different from a good guy suffering from a fate worse than death after getting defeated by a villain?

    The (fantasy) world isn't supposed to abide by the conventions of drama. A lie could go on for a person's lifetime (or even longer) without the person suffering from any reprisals; a wise and evil ruler that wants to be king can very well have his cake for the entirety of his career, while a wise and evil druid might eradicate civilizations to return everything to the tranquil nature that he loves. There isn't some greater law of the world that dictates that good will always triumph over evil no matter what happens.

    A wise person can very easily realize that regardless of whether they are good or evil, their chances of getting offed by someone isn't going to change; they might decide that it would be better to just live for his own enjoyment instead of sacrificing himself for other people and dying miserably on an unmarked grave instead of promoting peace and friendship. They might want to prove something - such as nihilism or the superiority of an iron fist rule - to themselves and to other people. They might just seek immortality in history. It's quite a bit of a generalization to say "wise people realize that they always will be caught if they do evil, and that is undesirable to anybody."

    And no, karma itself is a belief, not a universal and known rule of D&D. A wise person can similarly realize that as long as there are enough good people in the world to keep civilization stable and the people trusting, there is ample room for him to do whatever without reprisal.
    Well that's what I get for typing in the 3 minutes before I go to work.

    Let me clarify: my use of the word "karma" was not to reference the actual religious beliefs associated with the word, I was using it to mean essentially what someone else already said: generally, when everyone works together, every is better off. When one person is a selfish parasite, they are treated as such.

    I will also fully admit that Yes, sometimes bad guys can live their life without facing the repercussions of their actions - but they are in the extreme minority. Most of the time, eventually, a selfish and/or cruel person gets what they deserve, in one form or another. It is human nature to think "that won't happen to me," I would think a wise person would be at least somewhat aware of that bias and account for it: the chances of them not facing "justice" (for lack of better words) is slim.

    Also, I would caution against using someone who upholds evil in principle in this argument. Someone who goes out to prove the validity of a iron-fist rule by definition doesn't care about more traditional ideas of morality, and thus won't care when the peasants under them starve. This is why characters like the Joker are poor examples - the Joker follows evil and chaos for the sake of those things. Clinically, he is a psychopath, and should be excluded in a discussion of the actions of mental healthy people.

  23. - Top - End - #53
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Black_Pants_Guy's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Under your bed. :P
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Last edited by Black_Pants_Guy; 2012-10-24 at 12:36 PM.
    Avatar by Serpentine.

    Spoiler
    Show

    BlackPantsBarbarian by Crimmy

  24. - Top - End - #54
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    PairO'Dice Lost's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Malsheem, Nessus
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    I think part of the problem here is that the OP and several others are equating Evil with stereotypical villains. Evil is a charismatic corrupter who is betrayed by his minions once they see the error of their ways and repent; Evil is irrational and loses in the end; Evil can't or doesn't play well with others while Good always cooperates; and so on.

    It's been pointed out by three different people in three different ways already, but I'll say it again: in D&D, Evil is just as correct as Good (and Law, Chaos, and Neutrality, for that matter). Corrupted people don't see the "error of their ways," because there is no error; a fallen paladin who becomes a blackguard is just fine where he is, thank you very much, and there's no point in falling again. Evil isn't guaranteed to lose at all, and if you have an Evil Overlord who reads the list or TvTropes it's quite likely to win. Evil isn't going to "get caught" eventually, as that implies punishment that outweighs the crimes; even if a BBEG is killed, if he was sufficiently evil he is rewarded for the whole thing. Evil is as good as or better than Good at cooperating with allies--the different sorts of fiends have their differences, but so do the different sorts of celestials, the major difference being that fiends will make allies of convenience while the celestials are usually honest about their alliances.

    Here's a good way to look at it: the OP is thinking of evil BBEGs while it actually works more like evil PCs. In an actual campaign you want the PCs to win (or at least not TPK), so you give the BBEG a crippling weakness of overconfidence, sprinkle some minions in his base who are unsure of their boss's motivation, loosen security, that sort of thing. That's not the definition of all Evil, though, that's Evil set up with the specific goal of being defeated. If you want to see rational, wise Evil unshackled from genre conventions, run an evil campaign with a bunch of evil PCs. They don't immediately fall to bickering, they take advantage of ally with the people they know they can trust. They ward their bases with multiple redundancies, close every security loophole, screen their minions for disloyalty, come up with complicated plots that don't fall apart because of a MacGuffin (or if they would, the PCs scry-and-fry whoever dares to pick up the Holy Sword of Whoever at the first sign of its discovery), use whatever means they need to get ahead, and so on.

    So, really, the "in tune with your surroundings" part of Wisdom also includes things like genre-savviness (hello, Tarquin), intuition of heroes' or villains' actions (hello, Ra's al Ghul), and similar. The OP's conception of evil being unwise is actually a combination of evil being incompetent or the described actions being chaotic rather than actually evil.
    Better to DM in Baator than play in Celestia
    You can just call me Dice; that's how I roll.


    Spoiler: Sig of Holding
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by abadguy View Post
    Darn you PoDL for making me care about a bunch of NPC Commoners!
    Won a cookie for this, won everything for this

  25. - Top - End - #55
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    I think part of the problem here is that the OP and several others are equating Evil with stereotypical villains. Evil is a charismatic corrupter who is betrayed by his minions once they see the error of their ways and repent; Evil is irrational and loses in the end; Evil can't or doesn't play well with others while Good always cooperates; and so on.

    It's been pointed out by three different people in three different ways already, but I'll say it again: in D&D, Evil is just as correct as Good (and Law, Chaos, and Neutrality, for that matter). Corrupted people don't see the "error of their ways," because there is no error; a fallen paladin who becomes a blackguard is just fine where he is, thank you very much, and there's no point in falling again. Evil isn't guaranteed to lose at all, and if you have an Evil Overlord who reads the list or TvTropes it's quite likely to win. Evil isn't going to "get caught" eventually, as that implies punishment that outweighs the crimes; even if a BBEG is killed, if he was sufficiently evil he is rewarded for the whole thing. Evil is as good as or better than Good at cooperating with allies--the different sorts of fiends have their differences, but so do the different sorts of celestials, the major difference being that fiends will make allies of convenience while the celestials are usually honest about their alliances.

    Here's a good way to look at it: the OP is thinking of evil BBEGs while it actually works more like evil PCs. In an actual campaign you want the PCs to win (or at least not TPK), so you give the BBEG a crippling weakness of overconfidence, sprinkle some minions in his base who are unsure of their boss's motivation, loosen security, that sort of thing. That's not the definition of all Evil, though, that's Evil set up with the specific goal of being defeated. If you want to see rational, wise Evil unshackled from genre conventions, run an evil campaign with a bunch of evil PCs. They don't immediately fall to bickering, they take advantage of ally with the people they know they can trust. They ward their bases with multiple redundancies, close every security loophole, screen their minions for disloyalty, come up with complicated plots that don't fall apart because of a MacGuffin (or if they would, the PCs scry-and-fry whoever dares to pick up the Holy Sword of Whoever at the first sign of its discovery), use whatever means they need to get ahead, and so on.

    So, really, the "in tune with your surroundings" part of Wisdom also includes things like genre-savviness (hello, Tarquin), intuition of heroes' or villains' actions (hello, Ra's al Ghul), and similar. The OP's conception of evil being unwise is actually a combination of evil being incompetent or the described actions being chaotic rather than actually evil.
    Dice nails the real issue at hand, as usual.

    Remember "Evil will always triumph, because Good is Dumb!" This is the flip side. Evil people who aren't shackled with storyline flaws (the kind of people who read the Evil Overlord List) are actually quite successful. If you're successful, you're getting temporal rewards (whatever vice you feel like, you're an Evil Overlord!) and then if someone actually beats you, you end up being a high-ranking Devil for the rest of eternity (which arguably might not be too bad). That sounds like a good idea to me.

    ~EDIT~ Also, the title question of "how can anyone be Wise yet Evil"? That's primarily because most people have never seen anyone Evil being anything except Dumb.
    Last edited by kardar233; 2012-10-24 at 01:12 PM.
    On creating medieval thermobaric detonations:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    *strokes chin*
    Hmmm, I like the way you think.

  26. - Top - End - #56
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Another thing about the game theory examples, those usually assume a symmetry between the players. If you have someone who has an innate advantage over the rest of the players, or someone who can alter the payoffs, or a number of other things, then you can change the equilibrium and the optimal behaviors. Basically, if you want a certain kind of outcome to be optimal, you can generally find the parameters for a game that will make it so, so it doesn't really say much about real behavior unless you can make a convincing argument for what the real values of those parameters should be.

    Lets be concrete about wisdom though. Someone who is very wise is:
    1. Very perceptive of their environment and their overall situation
    2. Very perceptive about the feelings, needs, desires, etc of others
    3. Very in tune with their own drives - they understand themself.
    4. Intuitively able to grasp the consequences of actions, both short and long-term

    I think that point #3 is key to a Wise, Evil character. Being wise doesn't mean that the person's core drives will be any different than if they weren't wise. Being wise just means that the person is aware of them keenly and can act to fulfil them. If that person's drives are inconsistent with the happiness of others, then they might well end up going Evil. A Wise person might decide and seriously mean 'its not worth living if I can't have this thing', and so taking actions which put their life and stability at risk can still be perfectly 'wise'. Point #3 is also where alien psychologies come in, which can create a lot of apparent paradoxical behavior when you try to analyze them from the point of view of societal norms. This is particularly good for deities I think.

    Imagine a over-deity sitting in the void. He creates the world and then thinks on it for thousands of years. He is trying to decide what makes the existence of the world valuable. Why is the universe better with a world than without it? At the end of this time, he decides that the stories spawned by the world are the important thing. Simply having 'more people' isn't valuable. Simply having another place that has happiness isn't valuable on its own. Its the stories that are formed when people seek things, strive to be happy, and eventually achieve it. From the point of view of a tabletop game, this is really very perceptive, as the game itself would have no reason to exist if not for the conflicts that the players then resolve. But actually having to go and create those conflicts so that stories can exist and be interesting, that means that this deity has to dedicate himself to being the source of all evil.

  27. - Top - End - #57
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Gray Mage's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Porto Alegre, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Remember, just because they're evil, it doesn't mean they can't cooperate. The IFCC from the comic is a good example of evil cooperating. Tarquin's party as well (we don't know the other's aligment, but there's a very good chance they're evil as well).

    Shy Guy avatar made by the awesome Death by DM



    Join us today.

    The Legend of Zelda WW: The Wind Waker is underway.

    Previous Avatars
    Spoiler
    Show

    Ignotus Peverell avatar made by the great Bradakhan.

  28. - Top - End - #58
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Wings of Peace's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    The Tragedy of the Commons explains how a person can be evil and wise fairly easily. If I can turn a profit in a society by exploiting a helpless underclass while draining resources from the upperclass till they're powerless to stop me then why not do it? Sure I'll eventually collapse the society under that business model but there are countless other societies I can move to. Hell, maybe one of them will give me tax breaks to do it to their enemies.

    Edit:

    It was said earlier somewhere that the villains being used as examples are stereotypically evil and too an extent I can see that as true. For example, a high level Cleric who uses his magical powers of creation to corner a low-magic society's economy has arguably used his high wisdom score to make the best decision (compared to the resources required to seize the society by force).
    Last edited by Wings of Peace; 2012-10-24 at 01:50 PM.
    Doc Roc: We're going to eat ourselves.
    --------------------------------------
    Snazzy avatar courtesy of Rowsen!

  29. - Top - End - #59
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lord Vukodlak's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    When my Lawful Evil cleric and party were hired to help these dwarves defend their mine from invaders the dwarves were a little reclutant to to accept my help. I then explained why evil mercenaries were superior to good. If the good adventurers discovered the dwarves had burrowed into these monsters homes, or stolen the land from them they'd turn against them. They could even be tricked into believing the dwarves are at fault and then turn against them. But If I wished for continued buisness I must honor my contracts, I don't care how the dwarves came into conflict with these people. I'm being paid to clear the mine and thats the only thing that matters.

    In one mission he and the party were hired to kill some bandits, did it matter these bandits turned out to be initiate paladins tricked into attacking caravans to steal the evil magic items being transported? No it was just a sweet wonderful bonus. He got to personally murder nearly two dozen paladins in training and got to call it justice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alabenson View Post
    Evil Intelligence is knowing the precise ritual that will allow you to destroy the peaceful kingdom that banished you.

    Evil Wisdom is understanding that you probably shouldn’t perform said ritual while you’re standing in the estimated blast radius.
    Excuse me while I roll over laughing.

    So I think that one aspect of Wisdom is to understand that being a **** to other people may yield some short term rewards, but holds you back in the long run.
    Just because modern society decided piracy and acts of banditry against one another was bad for everyone doesn't mean anyone stopped be **** to other people for the rewards. They just found less destructive means to do it.

    What if the god changes his mind?
    The answer to that is they don't. On common feature of deities is they don't change there mind ever. Even if they did as immortal beings woven into the fabric of creation it be a gradual change over the course of centuries not a sudden face turn. Deities in fiction rarely have sudden shifts in 'alignment' and when they do its usually the result of being corrupted by some force or having that corruption purged.

    It really depends in how tied a god is to there portfolio. Are the gods just really powerful beings who decided "I'm the god of X" Or is there divinity tied to the portfolio they manage.
    Last edited by Lord Vukodlak; 2012-10-24 at 02:36 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Suddo's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Vukodlak View Post
    The answer to that is they don't. On common feature of deities is they don't change there mind ever. Even if they did as immortal beings woven into the fabric of creation it be a gradual change over the course of centuries not a sudden face turn. Deities in fiction rarely have sudden shifts in 'alignment' and when they do its usually the result of being corrupted by some force or having that corruption purged.

    It really depends in how tied a god is to there portfolio. Are the gods just really powerful beings who decided "I'm the god of X" Or is there divinity tied to the portfolio they manage.
    Once again why I hate gods. I mean even if the "sudden shift" happened over 500 years some elves live that long what would they do?
    Spoiler
    Show

    Currently Glanror in the Political Shenanigans campaign.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rankar View Post
    *I may not teach the paladin communism and the concept of the greater good.
    *It is not within my rights to overthrow the established monarchy using the communist paladin.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •