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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    That's what I'm saying. I just didn't want to call it out by name

    And it isn't specifically Christian morality, it's Abrahamic morality. All of the abrahamic religions have this failing.
    I'd be careful calling it a "failing." Not only is that treading awfully close to the line in terms of attacking people's religions, but there are some solid signs that these moral rules exist for reasons that amount to the fact that following those guidelines overall leads to healthier, more successful cultures than those which do not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Also, if we go with sensible definitions of good and evil I could see how the side of evil could desire a balance between good and evil. If everything is ruined and destroyed than there will be nothing left to ruin and destroy
    I guess? But making "Evil's" goal to maximize the amount of stuff they destroy, rather than destroy all the stuff, results in ... strange behavior. Villains now hire craftsman to rebuild things so they can destroy them again, for example. Your evil overlord is now basically a regular government, except he literally lights his tax revenue on fire.

    Really, I don't see a reason to try and preserve "Good" versus "Evil". If you make it anything other than black and white, using the terms becomes stupid. If you want to do Ruin versus Preservation, just call the sides that.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    DND had a ton of subraces for everyone but human. Even races with the human subtype were often crossbreeds or "formerly human but now something else entirely." I suspect it was to avoid accusations of racism but I do not know for sure.
    I mean, subraces are still super racist. Especially when you make the subrace whose primary defining trait is "Evil" the ones with black skin. The whole idea of having "subraces" is just saying that Victorian scientific racism is literally true, which is super racist.

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    I mean, subraces are still super racist. Especially when you make the subrace whose primary defining trait is "Evil" the ones with black skin. The whole idea of having "subraces" is just saying that Victorian scientific racism is literally true, which is super racist.
    Eh. I disagree on several levels, but the only one I'm going to target here is the notion that "especially when the evil race had black skin" makes it extra super-duper racist. "It's more racist if it reflects this one particular race" is nonsense, logically. Things are either racist or they're not. The notion that the target of the potential racism's race determines whether it's racism or not is asinine, at best, and deeply racist, itself, at worst.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Eh. I disagree on several levels, but the only one I'm going to target here is the notion that "especially when the evil race had black skin" makes it extra super-duper racist. "It's more racist if it reflects this one particular race" is nonsense, logically. Things are either racist or they're not. The notion that the target of the potential racism's race determines whether it's racism or not is asinine, at best, and deeply racist, itself, at worst.
    You beat me to it.

    One of my fantasy WIP settings features some instances of racism ( speciesism? ). The particular skin color or other superficial features of the target People -- or those who are racist towards them -- doesn't make it any more or less racist.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    I mean, subraces are still super racist.
    Not when they;re incorrectly using "race" to mean "genus". I'm not sure how or why that happened but it's clearly how they're using it.

    EDIT:
    Strike that, it's explicitly how they're using it, Frostburn introduces neanderthals as a subrace of humans, meaning that subraces equate to species and thus race to genus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I'd be careful calling it a "failing." Not only is that treading awfully close to the line in terms of attacking people's religions, but there are some solid signs that these moral rules exist for reasons that amount to the fact that following those guidelines overall leads to healthier, more successful cultures than those which do not.
    Until Grim brought it up I went out of my way to avoid bringing up anything specific.

    EDIT:
    I changed it from "failings" to "sentiments".

    EDIT:
    And are you implying that the Romans were unsuccessful? For nearly 2 millenia they held the record of being the greatest and best empire the western world had ever seen (though admittedly in the eastern world mongolia was bigger and more powerful in its heyday), and weren't surpassed until the British, French and Spanish empires came along around the 1700's

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    As for a cost to magic, D&D does have this in some places, it's just poorly abstracted. It's always either some item with an incongrous gold piece value that you need to cast a spell or else it's an xp cost for item creation with the bizarre overall effect that constant practice with making items makes you worse at it.

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    @Segev & Max_Killjoy:

    Man do I have an urge to quote Zak Smith's blog post "the Nazi games" every time these kinds of tangents come up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    @Segev & Max_Killjoy:

    Man do I have an urge to quote Zak Smith's blog post "the Nazi games" every time these kinds of tangents come up.
    Hi I believe that all forms of saying people are inherently evil based upon stupid factors like skin color or appearance in general is stupid and bad and don't care if I keep applying it to my games as well as real life. do you want to quote it at me constantly because I probably won't care and insist back that villains are better when you give them actual motivations even when they are as basic as "I'm a greedy bandit and the only way I care to get money is through force."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Eh. I disagree on several levels, but the only one I'm going to target here is the notion that "especially when the evil race had black skin" makes it extra super-duper racist. "It's more racist if it reflects this one particular race" is nonsense, logically. Things are either racist or they're not. The notion that the target of the potential racism's race determines whether it's racism or not is asinine, at best, and deeply racist, itself, at worst.
    It's more racist if it reflects specific racist stereotypes. If your game just includes subraces, all you're saying is that racism is, in the abstract, correct and true (to be clear, this is still horrible). If those subraces match existing racial stereotypes, you are saying the specific racists who believe in those stereotypes are right, which is worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    If your game just includes subraces, all you're saying is that racism is, in the abstract, correct and true (to be clear, this is still horrible).
    Huh?

    How does the former constitute a claim that the latter is true?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Huh?

    How does the former constitute a claim that the latter is true?
    Because the claim racists make is that different races (which, in a fantasy context is subraces) have different inherent characters and abilities, and giving different subraces different abilities or attribute modifiers makes that claim literally true?

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    The Deity Of Death Is Evil

    ...This one annoys me so much. Death is a natural process, so why do so many works seem to portray the deity/deities of death as being malevolent forces who often hate the living? I'm inclined to blame Disney's Hercules for this, but I think the trope's started before then.

    Evil People Get Punished

    ...Well, no, actually. What I mean is devout worshippers of "evil" forces end up going to a bad place where they're horribly tortured for eternity, or whatever. Why would any evil deity do that to a faithful follower? Devotion and loyalty need to equivalent reward, especially when they require significant sacrifice, otherwise no-one's going to be devoted or loyal since they just get screwed over for it.

    Of course, a cruel and capricious deity who lies to their followers about the nice afterlife they'll get makes a lot more sense. But that shouldn't be all of them, nor should it be easy to see through. I get that fleeting power is a trope all of its own, but this one takes it a bit too far for my tastes.

    Elfland, Dwarfland, Halflingland etc.

    Entire species that just live together in one happy, shiny nation with no problems whatsoever. It's just weird. Especially since they tend to be extremely mon-cultured. Why aren't there fifteen nations of elves, thirteen dwarven empires around the world and three halfling republics? Especially if there are multiple human nations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    Because the claim racists make is that different races (which, in a fantasy context is subraces) have different inherent characters and abilities, and giving different subraces different abilities or attribute modifiers makes that claim literally true?
    The real-world claim is made about humans, and it is not true. With a few exceptions in inheritable genetic complications (sickle cell, for example) , race in humans is superficial and meaningless.

    In an imaginary fantasy world, it could be true or not true about sufficiently distant populations of another species... or the differences could be entirely cultural. Either way wouldn't justify anyone's racism within the setting, or make the setting "racist" -- characters could say "Yeah, people from X tend to be a bit more ______ than other people, but that's just how things are, it's not acceptable to treat them any different", and there'd be no racism.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aneurin View Post
    The Deity Of Death Is Evil

    ...This one annoys me so much. Death is a natural process, so why do so many works seem to portray the deity/deities of death as being malevolent forces who often hate the living? I'm inclined to blame Disney's Hercules for this, but I think the trope's started before then.
    I am 100% comfortable calling someone with an agenda that is explicitly pro people dying evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    In an imaginary fantasy world, it could be true or not true about sufficiently distant populations of another species... or the differences could be entirely cultural.
    Yes, if you made the differences between what are now subraces differences between cultures, they would not be racist. Similarly, if you made the classes perform equally across anticipated encounters, they would not be imbalanced. But it is manifestly the case that, as presented, these differences are not purely cultural. That doing things differently would make them different should be of no surprise to anyone.
    Last edited by Cosi; 2017-10-02 at 09:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aneurin View Post
    The Deity Of Death Is Evil

    ...This one annoys me so much. Death is a natural process, so why do so many works seem to portray the deity/deities of death as being malevolent forces who often hate the living? I'm inclined to blame Disney's Hercules for this, but I think the trope's started before then.
    I'm pretty sure it predated Disney by several millennia.

    Tamora Peirce's Tortall books have a god of Death who not evil. He's patient, because he knows you're coming to him eventually.

    Melanie Rawn's Exiles series has a legend of a god of death who stopped doing his job after one of the other gods brought someone back to life after dying. "What's the point of my job if someone else can just undo it?" Chaos ensued because now nothing could die. The plants were quite happy, but no one and nothing else was.

    A god of Death does not need to be about causing everyone to die as quickly as possible. Such a god would rapidly find itself out of a job. Death is just the transition from this life to the afterlife - for whatever definition of that applies to your setting.

    In 2E, Titans are Chaotic Good, including Girzon, a titan with dominion over death, and the ability to kill any living being.
    Last edited by Lord Torath; 2017-10-02 at 09:23 AM.
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    In both of my fantasy settings, "death" is not a force, or an agenda, or a cosmic necessity, it's just the way things work in the physical world.

    In one, the deity "of death" is a guardian and guide, protector and judge, who keeps souls from getting lost or from being snatched up by something nasty.

    In the other, there is not deity "of death" as such, what happens to someone after death depends on what they believe and who they are and what they did and so on. Deity of fire prefers funeral pyres, Deity of storms prefers "sky burials". Etc.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2017-10-02 at 09:33 AM.
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    Historically death gods tended to be pretty mellow all things considered.
    Sanity is nice to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    In both of my fantasy settings, "death" is not a force, or an agenda, or a cosmic necessity, it's just the way things work in the physical world.

    In one, the deity "of death" is a guardian and guide, protector and judge, who keeps souls from getting lost or from being snatched up by something nasty.

    In the other, there is not deity "of death" as such, what happens to someone after death depends on what they believe and who they are and what they did and so on. Deity of fire prefers funeral pyres, Deity of storms prefers "sky burials". Etc.
    I have two "death gods" with no afterlife to speak of. One is the god of untimely death--murder, assassination, and betrayal. He's not a nice character, but his clerics are all about keeping order. The other is the goddess of winter, timely death, endings, and mercy. Her clerics are primarily healers (mostly non-magical) and grave-tenders. She's one of the primary gods of one of the nations (who focus their worship on the seasonal gods).

    There's also a Demon Prince specializing in undead, death magic (magic that directly consumes unwilling souls for fuel), and assorted other nasty magics. He's not such a bad person unless you break a contract. Oh, but his contracts are tricksy things.

    All souls go to the Shadows and slowly fall apart into primal anima unless
    * they had sold their souls (or were sacrificed) to a demon (in which case their soul is devoured by that demon)
    * they were a particularly powerful person and a god had interest in them (in which case they get snatched up to the Astral plane to become an ascended hero)
    * they get eaten by one of the few predators that consumes souls (either in the Shadows or in the Mortal plane).
    * or something else (*cough* evil magical science experiments *cough*) captures their soul energy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aneurin View Post
    The Deity Of Death Is Evil

    ...This one annoys me so much. Death is a natural process, so why do so many works seem to portray the deity/deities of death as being malevolent forces who often hate the living? I'm inclined to blame Disney's Hercules for this, but I think the trope's started before then.
    It started around the 1950s if memory serves correct. For one of my favourite campaigns from years ago I set up all the domains and then rolled randomly for alignment on all of them. I did wind up with an evil Death god but I also wound up with an evil Sun god which is quite the rarity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aneurin View Post
    Evil People Get Punished

    ...Well, no, actually. What I mean is devout worshippers of "evil" forces end up going to a bad place where they're horribly tortured for eternity, or whatever. Why would any evil deity do that to a faithful follower? Devotion and loyalty need to equivalent reward, especially when they require significant sacrifice, otherwise no-one's going to be devoted or loyal since they just get screwed over for it.

    Of course, a cruel and capricious deity who lies to their followers about the nice afterlife they'll get makes a lot more sense. But that shouldn't be all of them, nor should it be easy to see through. I get that fleeting power is a trope all of its own, but this one takes it a bit too far for my tastes.
    Yeah, especially in settings where people can pop in and see what their afterlife would be like. That's one of the things in D&D which really gets my goat. Why be evil there? It is not going to wind up well for you. I at least make it so that while it isn't a pleasant place it only tends to be really bad for the people on the bottom of the hierarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aneurin View Post
    Elfland, Dwarfland, Halflingland etc.

    Entire species that just live together in one happy, shiny nation with no problems whatsoever. It's just weird. Especially since they tend to be extremely mon-cultured. Why aren't there fifteen nations of elves, thirteen dwarven empires around the world and three halfling republics? Especially if there are multiple human nations.
    Well dwarfs at least are usually portrayed as having several nations with a tenuous connection between them... As a matter of fact now that I think about it I can't really recall many worlds which have this. Sometimes they only have one nation but it's usually portrayed as that being all that remains of their race. And sometimes they seem like one nation but are actually several nations with agreements between them and viewing them as one nation is like viewing every member of the UN as one nation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aneurin View Post
    The Deity Of Death Is Evil

    ...This one annoys me so much. Death is a natural process, so why do so many works seem to portray the deity/deities of death as being malevolent forces who often hate the living? I'm inclined to blame Disney's Hercules for this, but I think the trope's started before then.
    What do you think of Warhammer 40k (wherein the god of death, while still evil, is probably the least evil and most approachable of all the gods (except possibly isha and cegorach))

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    I'm pretty sure it predated Disney by several millennia.

    Tamora Peirce's Tortall books have a god of Death who not evil. He's patient, because he knows you're coming to him eventually.

    Melanie Rawn's Exiles series has a legend of a god of death who stopped doing his job after one of the other gods brought someone back to life after dying. "What's the point of my job if someone else can just undo it?" Chaos ensued because now nothing could die. The plants were quite happy, but no one and nothing else was.

    A god of Death does not need to be about causing everyone to die as quickly as possible. Such a god would rapidly find itself out of a job. Death is just the transition from this life to the afterlife - for whatever definition of that applies to your setting.

    In 2E, Titans are Chaotic Good, including Girzon, a titan with dominion over death, and the ability to kill any living being.
    Just because there are exceptions (I can think of a fair few), doesn't mean it's not a trope - though your point is appreciated.

    Most of the gods of death in fiction (those that I like, at least) have been more guardians of death, rather than the enforcers. They protect the dead, like Hades and Hel in classical mythology do - they guard the underworlds of the respective religions and safeguard the souls contained within. They're not always nice, but they're not malevolent and they're not out to hurt people... any more than any other deity is, anyway, with their games of heroes and all the smiting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    In both of my fantasy settings, "death" is not a force, or an agenda, or a cosmic necessity, it's just the way things work in the physical world.

    In one, the deity "of death" is a guardian and guide, protector and judge, who keeps souls from getting lost or from being snatched up by something nasty.

    In the other, there is not deity "of death" as such, what happens to someone after death depends on what they believe and who they are and what they did and so on. Deity of fire prefers funeral pyres, Deity of storms prefers "sky burials". Etc.
    Oooh. Now that sounds like an interesting way to do things, and a way that makes quite a bit of sense with a heavily multi-deistic pantheon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    Historically death gods tended to be pretty mellow all things considered.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkerer View Post
    It started around the 1950s if memory serves correct. For one of my favourite campaigns from years ago I set up all the domains and then rolled randomly for alignment on all of them. I did wind up with an evil Death god but I also wound up with an evil Sun god which is quite the rarity.
    Huh. It makes as much sense as an evil death deity, though, since they're both blind natural forces. Heck, you could even argue that since the sun brings death and pain (deserts, anyone? Sunburn? Heatstroke?), while death brings a relief from pain that sun gods should always be evil and death gods should always be good.

    ...I wouldn't actually argue it since it's a little on the extreme side and ignores the positive aspects of the sun and the negative ones of death, but if we're ascribing morals to natural forces it makes as much sense as anything.


    Yeah, especially in settings where people can pop in and see what their afterlife would be like. That's one of the things in D&D which really gets my goat. Why be evil there? It is not going to wind up well for you. I at least make it so that while it isn't a pleasant place it only tends to be really bad for the people on the bottom of the hierarchy.
    Sure, rulership over the damned as a reward would work. And, let's face it, anyone selling their souls to a dark and dangerous deity is probably more concerned with power than comfort.

    Well dwarfs at least are usually portrayed as having several nations with a tenuous connection between them... As a matter of fact now that I think about it I can't really recall many worlds which have this. Sometimes they only have one nation but it's usually portrayed as that being all that remains of their race. And sometimes they seem like one nation but are actually several nations with agreements between them and viewing them as one nation is like viewing every member of the UN as one nation.
    Honestly, it's something I ran across more back when I was still playing D&D. You'd just get one nation of elves, one of dwarves and so on. It does crop up in fantasy fiction too, though, although seldom as noticably since it tends to happen for antagonists - one nation of orcs and goblins, or at least one area they all live in, one for whatever other horrible monsters the setting has and so on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    What do you think of Warhammer 40k (wherein the god of death, while still evil, is probably the least evil and most approachable of all the gods (except possibly isha and cegorach))
    ...Who do you mean here? Nurgle? He's as much the God of Endings as he is of death. And he's also very much a god of life, too. It just so happens he likes viruses more than he does humans. I'm also a little hesitant to describe any of the Chaos Gods as evil, for that matter, since they're as much the manifestations of entropy and anarchy as they are spite and malevolence.

    Otherwise I can only think you mean Khaela Mensha Khaine, the Eldar's Blood-Handed God of Murder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Not when they;re incorrectly using "race" to mean "genus".
    That is indeed the case. And the subraces having different abilities is meant to represent something beyond culture. It's essentially making them more alien from eac


    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    And are you implying that the Romans were unsuccessful? For nearly 2 millenia they held the record of being the greatest and best empire the western world had ever seen (though admittedly in the eastern world mongolia was bigger and more powerful in its heyday), and weren't surpassed until the British, French and Spanish empires came along around the 1700's
    And they held to similar mores overall. The various ways they ignored them were very minority (if accepted) behaviors, and tended to be sidelined in terms of actual behavior across the years. As they more and more mainstreamed certain behaviors, their culture suffered for it and became more and more reliant on pillaging other cultures to sustain their own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    It's more racist if it reflects specific racist stereotypes. If your game just includes subraces, all you're saying is that racism is, in the abstract, correct and true (to be clear, this is still horrible). If those subraces match existing racial stereotypes, you are saying the specific racists who believe in those stereotypes are right, which is worse.
    Only if you accept the racist premise to begin with. Otherwise, you can hold up the "stereotype fantasy!race" and say, "Don't behave like them." It's only racist if you say, "You can't help but behave like them, because your skin color is [blah]."

    Given that we don't have actual orcs, goblins, drow, elves, dwarves (at least, not THAT kind of dwarf), gnomes, etc. in the real world, at best you can say that claiming an always-evil race mimics a particular real-world culture is insulting that culture by saying that culture is evil. Which, unless you are, yourself, racist enough to insist that skin color dictates real-world culture, is not racist.

  23. - Top - End - #263
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    There's also Ynnead now on the 40k front. Seems to be more or less alright for a being who eats souls.

    What I wound up doing in my setting is having no gods of the dead, partly because there's no real gods in general apart from 1 who died, came back as a different person and then died again. The four winds serve as the setting's psychopomps and carry souls to various destinations created by powerful magical beings, souls in places with little air movement can't move on and just linger, so catacombs, cities, the sea and dense forests tend to become filled with the dark energy of the abandoned dead over time. The manufactured afterlives include a kingdom that was sunk into the earth and is now ruled by basically demons and a small peaceful world contained inside a pearl. Thus far I've not really settled on any more, but I'm thinking a cave of singing crystals might be a good one.


    I'm going to say the opposite to what some others have said in that Always Evil races don't bug me much provided they have a good reason for it, like Mind Flayers who need to eat people to survive, I'm actually more annoyed by races that are Always/Often Good or portrayed as such like Halflings and Elves. It ties into my earlier mentioned pet peeve about kingdoms that have always been good until 'bad thing' came along. Real people aren't like that most of the time, they're often cowardly, spiteful, paranoid, suspicious and greedy. They may not murder and steal all the time, but I expect the average village of basically any race to be filled with lots of low level unpleasantness in the form of cliques, affairs, unfriendly rivals, hurtful gossip and veiled insults.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    I'm going to say the opposite to what some others have said in that Always Evil races don't bug me much provided they have a good reason for it, like Mind Flayers who need to eat people to survive, I'm actually more annoyed by races that are Always/Often Good or portrayed as such like Halflings and Elves. It ties into my earlier mentioned pet peeve about kingdoms that have always been good until 'bad thing' came along. Real people aren't like that most of the time, they're often cowardly, spiteful, paranoid, suspicious and greedy. They may not murder and steal all the time, but I expect the average village of basically any race to be filled with lots of low level unpleasantness in the form of cliques, affairs, unfriendly rivals, hurtful gossip and veiled insults.
    I agree. People are people, unless there's some magical force making them less than people (due to reduced agency and thus reduced accountability).

    I think that alignment systems neglect or ignore that most mortals are pretty much neutral. A little more lawful than chaotic, on average, and a little more good than evil, on average (but not as much as we are lawful). If we did a coordinate plane with (0,0) being chaotic evil (and x as law vs chaos, y as good vs evil), most people are (by my estimation) somewhere around the (60,50) range with a very large (+- 25) range. Both of these are necessities of having civilization--order is important, as is thinking of others.

    So those "always/usually good" types? They're more like (x, 65), with a wide spread, just a narrower one in the good/evil direction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Only if you accept the racist premise to begin with. Otherwise, you can hold up the "stereotype fantasy!race" and say, "Don't behave like them." It's only racist if you say, "You can't help but behave like them, because your skin color is [blah]."

    Given that we don't have actual orcs, goblins, drow, elves, dwarves (at least, not THAT kind of dwarf), gnomes, etc. in the real world, at best you can say that claiming an always-evil race mimics a particular real-world culture is insulting that culture by saying that culture is evil. Which, unless you are, yourself, racist enough to insist that skin color dictates real-world culture, is not racist.
    No, it's racist because you are putting racial stereotypes in your game. Like the crows in Dumbo that are a racist stereotype. They aren't less racist because black people are not literally a species of bird.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    No, it's racist because you are putting racial stereotypes in your game. Like the crows in Dumbo that are a racist stereotype. They aren't less racist because black people are not literally a species of bird.
    But people aren't saying Orcs/Drow/whatever=black people or anything like that. There's pretty clear difference between literally voice acting seeming delinquents to enforce a stereotype, and having a race with a certain color. Just using a dark skin tone does not make them racist. Besides, having racial stereotypes is not fundamentally racist, everyone believes *something* in general about other people, and in the case of having literal different species it's a lot more excusable than a bunch of one species hating one another for differences in skin color.

    To get back on topic, Elves in general are annoying. Live forever, noses in the air, basically "magic" humans. I'm not a fan of them or their influences.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    No, it's racist because you are putting racial stereotypes in your game. Like the crows in Dumbo that are a racist stereotype. They aren't less racist because black people are not literally a species of bird.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hypersmith View Post
    But people aren't saying Orcs/Drow/whatever=black people or anything like that. There's pretty clear difference between literally voice acting seeming delinquents to enforce a stereotype, and having a race with a certain color. Just using a dark skin tone does not make them racist. Besides, having racial stereotypes is not fundamentally racist, everyone believes *something* in general about other people, and in the case of having literal different species it's a lot more excusable than a bunch of one species hating one another for differences in skin color.

    To get back on topic, Elves in general are annoying. Live forever, noses in the air, basically "magic" humans. I'm not a fan of them or their influences.
    The crows in Dumbo reflect a culture. Unless you buy into the notion of "cultural appropriation," you can have people of any color behaving like the crows from Dumbo. (They're not even a NEGATIVE stereotype; the crows were positive characters. Impish, a bit, but not wicked or even mean-spirited in general.)

    I can assure you, as a little kid, I never associated the crows with a human phenotype at all. They were just...the crows. Characters in a cartoon. By making them animals, in fact, they ensured that I would never look at a human being and, based solely on how he looks, expect him to behave that way. I'd be more likely to point at a white-bread barbershop quartet, with their stripped shirts and little flat hats, and think, "They're like the crows!" than I would have been to look at black people dressed for modern day school and expect the jive turkey to come out based on the crows.

    Show a modern day 7-year-old Dumbo, then show him some stereotypical inner-city blacks, stereotypical suburbanite whites, and a few... geesh, I can't even think you you'd "stereotype" Hispanic kids... and ask him which group is most like the crows, and he's probably going to pick the black kids no more often than any other race. Because BEHAVIOR IS CULTURAL, NOT RACIAL. And no modern social group behaves like the crows.

    Heck, the "stereotypical inner-city black kids" are really just "stereotypical inner-city kids." The "black" is only marginally stereotypical because there tend to be more blacks than others in those groups. But put a white kid in the same baggy pants et al, or a Hispanic kid, or even Asian kids, and you get the same stereotype.

    Which is my whole point: stereotypes are cultural. They are only inherently racist if you assume that they MUST be tied to race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aneurin View Post
    ...Who do you mean here? Nurgle? He's as much the God of Endings as he is of death. And he's also very much a god of life, too. It just so happens he likes viruses more than he does humans. I'm also a little hesitant to describe any of the Chaos Gods as evil, for that matter, since they're as much the manifestations of entropy and anarchy as they are spite and malevolence.
    Yeah. Nurgle seems like a pretty decent guy, at least compared to Khorne or Khaine or the Emperor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Yeah. Nurgle seems like a pretty decent guy, at least compared to Khorne or Khaine or the Emperor.
    Weirdly, he seems to be the Chaos god who actually likes his followers. And who wants them to thrive. He just...is really really gross, and hostile to non-followers and big on unwilling assimilation. Which is its own horror.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    Doesn't the cosmic balance version of good and evil usually draw specifically on the traditional Christian morality in which sex, homosexuality, alcohol and so are evil? I recall Good is usually portrayed similar to Law but with moral overtones, which was basically how things worked before D&D divided Law and Chaos into Law, Chaos, Good and Evil.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    That's what I'm saying. I just didn't want to call it out by name

    And it isn't specifically Christian morality, it's Abrahamic morality. All of the abrahamic religions share the same heneral sentiments on these sort of issues
    I really don't know where people get these kinds of ideas. Mostly a bunch of BS propaganda.
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    Judeo-Christian religions do NOT view sex as "evil". Quite the contrary, one of their basic tenants is to "be fruitful and multiply". They frown on extramarital sex, but within the confines of marriage, sex-even for recreation-is actively encouraged. Neither view alcohol as "evil". Christianity, in particular follows the belief that Jesus turned water into wine, wine is used in Catholic/Anglican/Episcopalean services, and beer was created by Catholic monks who used the calories to fortify them during their fasting periods. And homosexuality...that's a topic of debate, as an Apologetics study of the Christian Bible will contest the way that particular translation from the original Aramaic is usually accepted.

    But D&D doesn't necessarily draw on those religious mores for Good. Nothing about "Good" specifies any sexual ethical mores or aversion to alcohol. Pre-3e alignments were also really wacky. True Neutral was unplayable and Chaotic Neutral meant "random coin toss" insanity. Since 3e, they have specified that Lawful in alignment may or may not have anything to do with civil laws and social infrastructure. It could be adherence to a particular code, or reflection of someone who is very organized and habitual. Good, on the other hand, was about selflessness, compassion, and mercy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aneurin View Post
    The Deity Of Death Is Evil

    ...This one annoys me so much. Death is a natural process, so why do so many works seem to portray the deity/deities of death as being malevolent forces who often hate the living? I'm inclined to blame Disney's Hercules for this, but I think the trope's started before then.
    This trope annoys me specifically in reference to Hades. Hades being Evil is a major pet peeve of mine, as he is not depicted as such in Greek mythology. Hercules:The Legendary Journeys (and the Hercules in the Underworld movie that preceded the show) did a GREAT depiction of Hades. So did the Percy Jackson books (not the movie).

    For me, I used to have a separate god of the dead, who was Lawful Neutral (modeled after Hades and FR's Kelemvor), and a god of death and undeath, who was evil and all about murder and undeath (modeled after FR's Bhaal and Greyhawk's Nerull). Later, I did some cataclysmic stuff with my timeline and drastically shortened my pantheon, and had the evil god murder the LN one, so NOW my god of the dead is evil, but I've got a potential storyline where players could alter that).
    Quote Originally Posted by Aneurin View Post
    Evil People Get Punished

    ...Well, no, actually. What I mean is devout worshippers of "evil" forces end up going to a bad place where they're horribly tortured for eternity, or whatever. Why would any evil deity do that to a faithful follower? Devotion and loyalty need to equivalent reward, especially when they require significant sacrifice, otherwise no-one's going to be devoted or loyal since they just get screwed over for it.

    Of course, a cruel and capricious deity who lies to their followers about the nice afterlife they'll get makes a lot more sense. But that shouldn't be all of them, nor should it be easy to see through. I get that fleeting power is a trope all of its own, but this one takes it a bit too far for my tastes.
    Not all of them do. Evil people who are not devout enough to get into their deity's realm go to Baator or the Abyss, but a lot of the novels that examine this kind of thing seem to imply that evil faithful of an evil deity are not necessarily tortured, but are rather rewarded.
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