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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    That said, they can tolerate one another's differences better than they can tolerate Evil from beings on the same Law-Chaos axis.

    Zaphkiel can "tolerate Morwel's Chaos" far better than he can "tolerate Asmodeus's Evil".

    Morwel can "tolerate Zaphkiel's Law" better than she can "tolerate Demogorgon's Evil" - hence her whole "invading the Abyss" thing mentioned in Fiendish Codex 1. Nothing like that takes place for "invading Celestia" - because that's not the way Good paragons work.
    Oh, definitely. Hell, from a cosmic perspective, the peculiar attribute of good is that it doesn't favor murdering the other side as a solution to the ancient Law-Chaos conflict.
    Quote Originally Posted by KKL
    D&D is its own momentum and does its own fantasy. It emulates itself in an incestuous mess.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    How would you build a campaign around an (L/N/C) good villain, be it outsider, divine caster or other? Caveat would be that the creature would not loose their "good" alignment or status short of DM fiat and/or good reasoning behind them being ultimatively evil.
    The key is differing goals. I actually worked up a few campaigns based on this idea, back in the day.

    For those who don't want to go to my old page:

    Spoiler: Bear in mind, I wrote this like 20+ years ago
    Show
    Campaign 1: Cormanthyr
    The Year of Wild Magic (1372) has severely destabilized both the Mythal on Myth Drannor and the magical defenses on Evermeet (as well as several other, unrelated, problems). Whereas the Mythal simply started to decay, the elves had been actively maintaining the defensive magics around Evermeet throughout the year, so they were all misfiring... and there were some things the elves really didn't want going off at random. So, by the Year of the Risen Elfkin (1375), the elves are reversing the Retreat, and are moving into old Cormanthyr. A sizable faction, with great political power, is pushing to reestablish the old borders, which would wipe Sembia off the map and push the Dalelanders all the way to Tilverton.

    Normally, this would quickly be solved through the intervention of the Dirty Old Mage. However, Elminster disappeared in the Year of the Unstrung Harp (1371) due a conflict within the Harpers, that resulted in that group's loss of a central authority (in my version, a powerful Doppelganger Wizard had infiltrated the higher ranks of the Harpers, murdering several leaders before it was discovered. Elminster disappeared while fighting it, and has not been seen since. He is feared dead… again). Since no one else really commands his level of respect from the elves, and the political pressure from the hard-line factions is great, the war will likely roll ahead.

    Right now, all that stands between the humans and being driven from their homes are the brave people of Hillsafar, Cormyr, and Sembia, though they don't yet know the extent of the Elven Menace.

    Alternatively, if the players wanted to be elves, many things stand in the way of an Elven homeland. The humans who had encroached upon the land in violation of the Treaty of the Standing Stone (since they have cleared the traditional boundaries of the forests and moved inward) are a minor nuisance, since they aren't militarily inclined. The demonic forces are only slowly being driven out of Drannor (it's Mythal is rapidly degrading, and the elves are actively working to destroy it). The humanoids, which the humans have allowed to gain a foothold in the forest, might prove to be a pernicious problem, however, because they breed so rapidly and are difficult to completely wipe out. Lastly, the interfering human nations who are trying to take away the rightful elven homeland might prove a problem, once the campaign really begins.

    Racially, the humans are finding allies in the dwarves, as well as other nations, long considered foes (such as the repressive Hillsafar). The elves are finding that the centaurs are staunch allies and some gnomes and tallfellow halflings are rallying to their cause, as well. Also, some few drow, allied to the Goddess Eilistraee, are being allowed to serve in the elven armies for night-raids and underground operations. In general, though, neither gnome nor halfling is committed to one side or the other, usually having friends on either side (of course, this means they are alternately courted and demonized by both sides). Half-elves are completely stuck… neither side trusts them, and a substantial number (including the High Dale) have gone rogue… they're fighting both sides, trying to establish their own homeland, separate from both elven and human lands.

    Class-wise, it's a fairly even split, except where the Druids are concerned. Many are human or half-elven, but their sympathies tend to lie more with the low-impact elves, rather than the humans. However, they're not terribly strong allies, since they also oppose some of the elven plans for the forests (such as the extermination of all the humanoids, which are now part of the ecology). And, of course, those elves allied with human deities are finding themselves in something of a religious crunch… their churches are usually supporting the human effort, but do they really wish to join the drow in infamy, as being dragged down by the ambitions of a god?

    Campaign 2: Vast Swamp
    In this scenario, the Kingdom of Cormyr is beginning their campaign to drain the massive Vast Swamp, and turn it into farm and pastureland. To the House Oskabyrr and their allies within the faiths of Chauntea, Tyr, and Helm, this is highly desirable… land that is currently under minimal cultivation, and provides a home for bandits and a route for invading armies can be made profitable and safe. Clearly, draining the swamp will increase the production of Cormyrean agriculture, increasing their share against the Western Heartlands (and they'll be cheaper along the Sea of Fallen Stars, because of easier shipping and more secure lands less subject to raids).

    Unfortunately, the Druids of Silvanus and Eldath do not see it this way. The swamp is wild, true, but it is a natural wildness, and a healthy ecosystem, which pleases Silvanus, while Eldath is fond of some of the quiet pools, and the sense of peaceful solitude that will sometimes come upon one in the swamp. In addition, there are the fenmen… humans, half-elves, as well as some gnomes and halflings... who have for generations made their homes within the swamps. They make their livings with some limited agriculture, fowling and egg hunting, as well as collecting and selling reeds. Generally, these are a rougher breed of people, living off the land, and trading for what they need with the more civilized folk of Cormyr proper.

    Legally, House Oskabyrr has owned the Vast Swamp for many years, but has done nothing to exploit it. Thus, the fenmen are claiming it is theirs by right of use, and that Cormyr has no right to drain the land and give it to others. Both sides are making noises, and the military fight will be nasty enough. The truly nasty fight, however, I brewing within the local Druid Circles, which often contain a mix of Chauntean, Silvanian, and Eldathian Druids. While their philosophies generally concur, the conflict is growing, especially between the Chaunteans and the Silvanians. To make matters worse, the Chaunteans refuse to allow the Eldathians to intervene… despite their adherence to peace and desire to avoid a conflict within the organization if they can, the Chaunteans know full well the preferences of the Eldathians, and consider them too biased to be effective mediators. Also, the usual mediators that would be called up are the Church of Tyr, who neither the Silvanians or Eldathians will accept, as they have often expressed in court a desire to "Drain the foul swamps and drive the brigands who inhabit it to court, then to the gibbet." So, on top of the secular conflict, there is a brewing religious war.

    Racially, each side is a mixed bag. Dwarves are in much lower populations amongst the fenmen, probably no more than a handful, because they don't deal as well with the water (gnomes and halflings, though similarly stout, generally are also more agile, and can avoid many of the problems that dwarves have). On the other hand, many half-humans live within the swamp, such as half-orcs, half-ogres, and half-elves. Since they are distrusted by humans, and not all are willing (or able) to live in their other parent's society, many flee into the more accepting arms of the swamp-folk. Full-blooded elves are especially rare, since they have no set place in Cormyrean society.

    In class terms, the people of Cormyr will have much more in the way of Paladins, Clerics, and Wizards. These will be met, however, by a population with a higher percentage of "classed" individuals, as their more rugged lifestyle demands more advanced skills. Many of the fen-folk are rangers and fighters, and are often ministered to by Druids and Shamans, and some few wizards make their homes in the fens (and others will defend it as a source of rare components). Also, the fens breed a particular kind of rogue, one who is more like a ranger than a cat burglar, and they also tend to have less scruples about taking down an important enemy leader in the night.


    So, for the second, you have neutral-to-good people living happily in the Vast Swamp. It's their home, has been for generations, they have a good life there, as good people. There are monsters, but they deal with them.

    But the land technically belongs to the Cormyrian crown, which wants to drain the swamp, kill the monsters, and make farmland.

    Now, Cormyr's goal is Lawful and Good... the land is theirs, they want to prevent disease, protect people from monsters, and make land that will provide people with food. But you still have good people living in that land, who don't want to give up their homeland, and who don't want to give up their way of life. Their motivations might be categorized as CG... they're not looking to hurt people, or even be especially selfish, but they don't want their situation to change, or to fall under closer scrutiny of the government.

    A conflict between two can be a conflict of Good v. Good BUT that's going to be fundamentally different than a conflict between good v. evil, or even good v. neutral, assuming it stays good v. good.

    EDIT: Realized I had a political bit in there; think I got them all.
    Last edited by Mark Hall; 2018-02-05 at 10:36 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy;22815613l
    It is not their decision whether or not another person is "better off" dead, or "better off" alive -- that is that other person's decision and their decision alone. And if they run around killing random people "for their own good", that makes them plain old evil, regardless of how good they think they are.
    Questions of personal autonomy/responsibility vs. universal law are not a Good vs. Evil thing in D&D. Lawful Good people are allowed (and in some cases required) to ignore individual desires in the name of the greater Good.

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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grek View Post
    Questions of personal autonomy/responsibility vs. universal law are not a Good vs. Evil thing in D&D.
    Which is just another example of how D&D Alignment "morality" is a vile and broken mess.
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Which is just another example of how D&D Alignment "morality" is a vile and broken mess.
    In this case, clearly not. What it is an example of, is in-setting morality and metaphysics being different from your real life beliefs - essentially, a matter of taste.

    Hilariously, as per AD&D rules for Alignment, your viewpoint has well-defined place in the system. What you say here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    It is not their decision whether or not another person is "better off" dead, or "better off" alive -- that is that other person's decision and their decision alone. And if they run around killing random people "for their own good", that makes them plain old evil, regardless of how good they think they are.
    ...is spot-on Chaotic mindset. The emphasis on individual's right to choose over cosmological concerns and the greatest good for the greatest number, is exactly what sets Chaotic Good and Chaotic Neutral apart from Lawful Good and Lawful Neutral.

    This means your attitude would be a gameable character trait in the system in a way that answers the question of this thread: the way you view alignment as "a vile and broken mess" is precisely how a Chaotic Good or Chaotic Neutral character would view ethics of Lawful characters as vile and broken mess, explaining how there can be conflict between such characters without any being Evil in the game's cosmology.
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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    In this case, clearly not. What it is an example of, is in-setting morality and metaphysics being different from your real life beliefs - essentially, a matter of taste.

    Hilariously, as per AD&D rules for Alignment, your viewpoint has well-defined place in the system. What you say here:



    ...is spot-on Chaotic mindset. The emphasis on individual's right to choose over cosmological concerns and the greatest good for the greatest number, is exactly what sets Chaotic Good and Chaotic Neutral apart from Lawful Good and Lawful Neutral.

    This means your attitude would be a gameable character trait in the system in a way that answers the question of this thread: the way you view alignment as "a vile and broken mess" is precisely how a Chaotic Good or Chaotic Neutral character would view ethics of Lawful characters as vile and broken mess, explaining how there can be conflict between such characters without any being Evil in the game's cosmology.

    It has nothing to do with law and chaos. It has everything to do with zealots trying to justify mass-murder by claiming "it's for your own good".

    Unless of course the "law" and "chaos" of D&D Alignment are just as much a laughable misuse of the words as "good" and "evil" are.

    A system (legal system, belief system, government system, whatever) that makes life-and-death decisions for people "for their own good" is at the very least teetering towards evil. Actually murdering innocent people "because they're better off dead" is outright evil. Not "lawful", not "chaotic", just plain evil.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2018-02-05 at 04:28 PM.
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    It has nothing to do with law and chaos. It has everything to do with zealots trying to justify mass-murder by claiming "it's for your own good".

    Unless of course the "law" and "chaos" of D&D Alignment are just as much a laughable misuse of the words as "good" and "evil" are.

    A system (legal system, belief system, government system, whatever) that makes life-and-death decisions for people "for their own good" is at the very least teetering towards evil. Actually murdering innocent people "because they're better off dead" is outright evil. Not "lawful", not "chaotic", just plain evil.
    I don't want to speak for others, but I get the impression Frozen Feet was referring to a less extreme case, as it were.

    In any case, I believe the overall point that's being made is that this type of position is an example of one plausible way you get good people or entities in opposition to each other.

    For the purposes of discussion, let's take a hypothetical where a government entity that determines the distribution of cure light wounds due to logistical needs and an inability to meet all demands. Certain people would be prioritized, based on a variety of criteria such as age, urgency of need, overall health, and perhaps even more personal factors such as behavioral history and profession. It also places a general service requirement on clerics. This sounds, to me, somewhat plausible - it is certainly the type of institution that a LG state might feel compelled to set up, and it is certainly the type of institution that CG individuals might find fault with.

    A lawful good argument is that if you only have so much healing to go around, you will have to prioritize, and furthermore that the only way to do that fairly and honestly is to structure the process. The highest good, they will argue, arises in a condition of order. A chaotic good critic, on the other hand, might focus on cases where the rules in place seem to create tangibly unfair results, and argue that only a process of decision-making based on free thinking and good judgment can maximize net gains. They might also criticize the whole system on the grounds of the service requirement placed on clerics, feeling that this truly causes more harm than a maximization of received cure spells. You might also see CG characters generally in favor of such a system, for instance because they believe that it's the best that can be done at the moment; a LG character might be critical because they feel it fixates on the wrong set of problems, or because they think some clerics should be exempted from the service requirement to complete other duties.

    These are just a few cogent arguments, and there's an entire field of dumb ones that other people could make. CG characters simply will not accept that the system has been deployed honestly or for honest ends, and some LG characters will describe critics as malcontents and bomb-throwing anarchists regardless of the validity of their arguments (which will of course be complicated by the presence of actual malcontents and bomb-throwing anarchists). To bring this back around, CG character with a poor understanding of such a system might deploy an argument very similar to your own, wrongly, and in the process cast LG people who are doing their best in their own way as evil (this is, of course, not the case you were describing, and I do not mean to cast you as this hypothetical CG character). A good alignment is not an indicator of a character's intelligence, familiarity with current events, or grasp of public policy.

    Again, I'm not saying that you, or anyone in particular, fits any such category. I'm simply agreeing with Frozen Feet's premise that your response can be taken as a sample case of how good characters can prioritize certain things based on other particulars of who they are and what they believe. The easiest test case for the conflicts that result is always going to be LG vs. CG, but it's absolutely possible to construct scenarios of LG vs. LG or CG vs. CG or NG vs. NG etc, because alignment is only ever a descriptor of how general one's attitude is reflected in relationship to a cosmos that, itself, largely reflects the possibilities of thought.
    Quote Originally Posted by KKL
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    I was really going more into the metaphysical and divine quality of Good rather than a guy with good intentions killing others who disagree. Becaust that is basically just a very convicted neutral good warrior. Let us make a thought experiment, in the Lord of the Rings setting.

    An evil god corrupts a few elves and breeds orcs. A disgusted (neutral good) king rallies his troops to slaughter orcs near(ish) to his kingdom's borders. A rag-tag team of halflings watches idly as the king slaughters hundred and thousands of orcs, who are corrupted but haven't done anything to harm the neighboring human kingdom.

    They plan to intervene on the orc's behalf and try to stop the king. If after back and forth, the king finally dies, would you accept that he still is delivered to the appropriate GOOD afterlife? Would the murdering halfling group stay good after murdering a good and just king?
    Last edited by Sporeegg; 2018-02-05 at 05:42 PM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    I was really going more into the metaphysical and divine quality of Good rather than a guy with good intentions killing others who disagree. Becaust that is basically just a very convicted neutral good warrior. Let us make a thought experiment, in the Lord of the Rings setting.

    An evil god corrupts a few elves and breeds orcs. A disgusted (neutral good) king rallies his troops to slaughter orcs near(ish) to his kingdom's borders. A rag-tag team of halflings watches idly as the king slaughters hundred and thousands of orcs, who are corrupted but haven't done anything to harm the neighboring human kingdom.

    They plan to intervene on the orc's behalf and try to stop the king. If after back and forth, the king finally dies, would you accept that he still is delivered to the appropriate GOOD afterlife? Would the murdering halfling group stay good after murdering a good and just king?
    That brings up a different question... are Middle Earth Orcs irredeemably evil? The answer to that question will have an impact on how questionable that "good" king's behaviour is.

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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    I was really going more into the metaphysical and divine quality of Good rather than a guy with good intentions killing others who disagree. Becaust that is basically just a very convicted neutral good warrior. Let us make a thought experiment, in the Lord of the Rings setting.

    An evil god corrupts a few elves and breeds orcs. A disgusted (neutral good) king rallies his troops to slaughter orcs near(ish) to his kingdom's borders. A rag-tag team of halflings watches idly as the king slaughters hundred and thousands of orcs, who are corrupted but haven't done anything to harm the neighboring human kingdom.

    They plan to intervene on the orc's behalf and try to stop the king. If after back and forth, the king finally dies, would you accept that he still is delivered to the appropriate GOOD afterlife? Would the murdering halfling group stay good after murdering a good and just king?
    The idea of "metaphysical" good and evil is that these beings do not actually have free will. If they are evil, they will always be evil and do evil. Their very existence is evil, there's no such thing as an "innocent" evil creature - they all intend to destroy life and cause suffering at any opportunity. This is what orcs are in Lord of the Rings. So there would be no such thing as orcs on your borders that aren't doing anything to you - they would be raiding villages, raping and pillaging and burning stuff wherever they could get away with it. They even chop down trees and burn crops for the fun of it, just out of spite. Because they're evil. So you have to eliminate them or drive them away. Anyone that intervened against the king would necessarily have been corrupted or tricked by the Dark Lord. If there was a good and an evil afterlife, the orcs all go to the evil afterlife without question. The human king and the halflings would presumably by judged on their behavior in life and go to whichever way the balance leans. If there are any beings created purely "good", they automatically go to the good place - and in life they would always be doing good and would not be capable of doing otherwise, being manifestations of metaphysical good.

    It would be the duty of any good king to send out troops to find and destroy orcs whenever possible. The only reason you wouldn't is if doing so would be harmful, like you needed to keep soldiers home for the harvest, or because you can't afford to supply an army far from home. Eventually, the goal is to root out orcs from every hole and crevice where they hide and eliminate them, for the sake of all free beings.

    Also, other than orcs being created by Morgoth, this thought experiment does not resemble the Lord of the Rings setting.

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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    The key is differing goals. I actually worked up a few campaigns based on this idea, back in the day.

    For those who don't want to go to my old page:

    Spoiler: Bear in mind, I wrote this like 20+ years ago
    Show
    Campaign 1: Cormanthyr
    The Year of Wild Magic (1372) has severely destabilized both the Mythal on Myth Drannor and the magical defenses on Evermeet (as well as several other, unrelated, problems). Whereas the Mythal simply started to decay, the elves had been actively maintaining the defensive magics around Evermeet throughout the year, so they were all misfiring... and there were some things the elves really didn't want going off at random. So, by the Year of the Risen Elfkin (1375), the elves are reversing the Retreat, and are moving into old Cormanthyr. A sizable faction, with great political power, is pushing to reestablish the old borders, which would wipe Sembia off the map and push the Dalelanders all the way to Tilverton.

    Normally, this would quickly be solved through the intervention of the Dirty Old Mage. However, Elminster disappeared in the Year of the Unstrung Harp (1371) due a conflict within the Harpers, that resulted in that group's loss of a central authority (in my version, a powerful Doppelganger Wizard had infiltrated the higher ranks of the Harpers, murdering several leaders before it was discovered. Elminster disappeared while fighting it, and has not been seen since. He is feared dead… again). Since no one else really commands his level of respect from the elves, and the political pressure from the hard-line factions is great, the war will likely roll ahead.

    Right now, all that stands between the humans and being driven from their homes are the brave people of Hillsafar, Cormyr, and Sembia, though they don't yet know the extent of the Elven Menace.

    Alternatively, if the players wanted to be elves, many things stand in the way of an Elven homeland. The humans who had encroached upon the land in violation of the Treaty of the Standing Stone (since they have cleared the traditional boundaries of the forests and moved inward) are a minor nuisance, since they aren't militarily inclined. The demonic forces are only slowly being driven out of Drannor (it's Mythal is rapidly degrading, and the elves are actively working to destroy it). The humanoids, which the humans have allowed to gain a foothold in the forest, might prove to be a pernicious problem, however, because they breed so rapidly and are difficult to completely wipe out. Lastly, the interfering human nations who are trying to take away the rightful elven homeland might prove a problem, once the campaign really begins.

    Racially, the humans are finding allies in the dwarves, as well as other nations, long considered foes (such as the repressive Hillsafar). The elves are finding that the centaurs are staunch allies and some gnomes and tallfellow halflings are rallying to their cause, as well. Also, some few drow, allied to the Goddess Eilistraee, are being allowed to serve in the elven armies for night-raids and underground operations. In general, though, neither gnome nor halfling is committed to one side or the other, usually having friends on either side (of course, this means they are alternately courted and demonized by both sides). Half-elves are completely stuck… neither side trusts them, and a substantial number (including the High Dale) have gone rogue… they're fighting both sides, trying to establish their own homeland, separate from both elven and human lands.

    Class-wise, it's a fairly even split, except where the Druids are concerned. Many are human or half-elven, but their sympathies tend to lie more with the low-impact elves, rather than the humans. However, they're not terribly strong allies, since they also oppose some of the elven plans for the forests (such as the extermination of all the humanoids, which are now part of the ecology). And, of course, those elves allied with human deities are finding themselves in something of a religious crunch… their churches are usually supporting the human effort, but do they really wish to join the drow in infamy, as being dragged down by the ambitions of a god?

    Campaign 2: Vast Swamp
    In this scenario, the Kingdom of Cormyr is beginning their campaign to drain the massive Vast Swamp, and turn it into farm and pastureland. To the House Oskabyrr and their allies within the faiths of Chauntea, Tyr, and Helm, this is highly desirable… land that is currently under minimal cultivation, and provides a home for bandits and a route for invading armies can be made profitable and safe. Clearly, draining the swamp will increase the production of Cormyrean agriculture, increasing their share against the Western Heartlands (and they'll be cheaper along the Sea of Fallen Stars, because of easier shipping and more secure lands less subject to raids).

    Unfortunately, the Druids of Silvanus and Eldath do not see it this way. The swamp is wild, true, but it is a natural wildness, and a healthy ecosystem, which pleases Silvanus, while Eldath is fond of some of the quiet pools, and the sense of peaceful solitude that will sometimes come upon one in the swamp. In addition, there are the fenmen… humans, half-elves, as well as some gnomes and halflings... who have for generations made their homes within the swamps. They make their livings with some limited agriculture, fowling and egg hunting, as well as collecting and selling reeds. Generally, these are a rougher breed of people, living off the land, and trading for what they need with the more civilized folk of Cormyr proper.

    Legally, House Oskabyrr has owned the Vast Swamp for many years, but has done nothing to exploit it. Thus, the fenmen are claiming it is theirs by right of use, and that Cormyr has no right to drain the land and give it to others. Both sides are making noises, and the military fight will be nasty enough. The truly nasty fight, however, I brewing within the local Druid Circles, which often contain a mix of Chauntean, Silvanian, and Eldathian Druids. While their philosophies generally concur, the conflict is growing, especially between the Chaunteans and the Silvanians. To make matters worse, the Chaunteans refuse to allow the Eldathians to intervene… despite their adherence to peace and desire to avoid a conflict within the organization if they can, the Chaunteans know full well the preferences of the Eldathians, and consider them too biased to be effective mediators. Also, the usual mediators that would be called up are the Church of Tyr, who neither the Silvanians or Eldathians will accept, as they have often expressed in court a desire to "Drain the foul swamps and drive the brigands who inhabit it to court, then to the gibbet." So, on top of the secular conflict, there is a brewing religious war.

    Racially, each side is a mixed bag. Dwarves are in much lower populations amongst the fenmen, probably no more than a handful, because they don't deal as well with the water (gnomes and halflings, though similarly stout, generally are also more agile, and can avoid many of the problems that dwarves have). On the other hand, many half-humans live within the swamp, such as half-orcs, half-ogres, and half-elves. Since they are distrusted by humans, and not all are willing (or able) to live in their other parent's society, many flee into the more accepting arms of the swamp-folk. Full-blooded elves are especially rare, since they have no set place in Cormyrean society.

    In class terms, the people of Cormyr will have much more in the way of Paladins, Clerics, and Wizards. These will be met, however, by a population with a higher percentage of "classed" individuals, as their more rugged lifestyle demands more advanced skills. Many of the fen-folk are rangers and fighters, and are often ministered to by Druids and Shamans, and some few wizards make their homes in the fens (and others will defend it as a source of rare components). Also, the fens breed a particular kind of rogue, one who is more like a ranger than a cat burglar, and they also tend to have less scruples about taking down an important enemy leader in the night.


    So, for the second, you have neutral-to-good people living happily in the Vast Swamp. It's their home, has been for generations, they have a good life there, as good people. There are monsters, but they deal with them.

    But the land technically belongs to the Cormyrian crown, which wants to drain the swamp, kill the monsters, and make farmland.

    Now, Cormyr's goal is Lawful and Good... the land is theirs, they want to prevent disease, protect people from monsters, and make land that will provide people with food. But you still have good people living in that land, who don't want to give up their homeland, and who don't want to give up their way of life. Their motivations might be categorized as CG... they're not looking to hurt people, or even be especially selfish, but they don't want their situation to change, or to fall under closer scrutiny of the government.

    A conflict between two can be a conflict of Good v. Good BUT that's going to be fundamentally different than a conflict between good v. evil, or even good v. neutral, assuming it stays good v. good.

    EDIT: Realized I had a political bit in there; think I got them all.

    That's a good example.

    I wrote about a personal one quite a while ago where I was one of two paladins that ended up fighting each other. And both were PCs.
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Good villian plots:

    Sworn to secrecy, he has traveled through time to stop some calamity, recieved a vision or otherwise knows something truly awful will happen. He isn't very bright, so decides on the simplest method: eliminate the source. Enter the lawful good serial killer.

    A lawful good mage decides that the best way to eliminate all undead is to destroy the negative material plane. Not realizing his plan will ultimately result in the destruction of well... everything, this is a problem.

    A good person with an uncontrollable destructive power.

    A powerful good person deluded into thinking he is performing good by opening a "trapped force for good" is about to unleash an elder evil.

    A good person possessed by an evil force.

    A good person with an evil master (possible in cases such as samurai, monks, thrallherd followers etc.) Also domination is a thing.

    A good person who's child is being threatened. That's a thing in real life.

    Just need a bit of creativity.

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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Yeah. But I see how it would suit D&D well to cut the direct link between Good and good. The latter being a moral compass and the first being just "the Light" or "the Heavens" or "Elysium" or "Nirvana" or whatever. Then Evil would become "the "Pits" or "Hell" or even "the cold Void of the Stars" or whichever supernatural horror you can imagine.Since by default in many D&D cosmologies your character alignment ultimatively decides with which afterlife and planes you align yourself with. With 1st ed. even going as far and introducing "alignment languages".

    I can understand that CE Demonology Bob probably should burn in the fires of the abyss because that is what he decided to. But LE Assassin Jack who did several very effective jobs for the demon summoners? Even if he dutifully assassinates any enemy of a cabal of demonologists he still stays LE. Say he dies by a stray arrow and not the sacrifical knife of said cult (that fears his soul aiding the devils instead of the demons) shouldn't he be delivered to the Abyss? Why the hells? Why not possibly some good realm (because after all he killed many devil worshippers, even if by contract rather than choice)?
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    Yeah. But I see how it would suit D&D well to cut the direct link between Good and good. The latter being a moral compass and the first being just "the Light" or "the Heavens" or "Elysium" or "Nirvana" or whatever. Then Evil would become "the "Pits" or "Hell" or even "the cold Void of the Stars" or whichever supernatural horror you can imagine.Since by default in many D&D cosmologies your character alignment ultimatively decides with which afterlife and planes you align yourself with. With 1st ed. even going as far and introducing "alignment languages".

    I can understand that CE Demonology Bob probably should burn in the fires of the abyss because that is what he decided to. But LE Assassin Jack who did several very effective jobs for the demon summoners? Even if he dutifully assassinates any enemy of a cabal of demonologists he still stays LE. Say he dies by a stray arrow and not the sacrifical knife of said cult (that fears his soul aiding the devils instead of the demons) shouldn't he be delivered to the Abyss? Why the hells? Why not possibly some good realm (because after all he killed many devil worshippers, even if by contract rather than choice)?
    Alignment in D&D is sort of like radiation poisoning. If you nobly sacrifice yourself by working in a heavily irradiated area to stop a reactor from melting down, you still died from radiation even if you 'thwarted' radiation from killing others. In D&D, certain actions (mostly but not entirely independent of the rationale behind them) simply cause you to absorb a bit of typed radiation. Fulfilling contracts, holding to oaths, etc irradiates you with Law. It may be that you do so on behalf of enemies of Law, and maybe the gods of Law will be pissed off at you when you arrive in Acheron or wherever, but that's secondary. D&D cosmic alignments are deontological, not consequetialist.

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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    I don't want to speak for others, but I get the impression Frozen Feet was referring to a less extreme case, as it were.
    The general principle applies to all cases (for Chaotics, a person's freedom to choose trumps greatest good for the greatest number, where as for Lawfuls it is often the other way around), but the actual sample case is the rather extreme situation that death is objectively better than life, because such a scenario is required for a person's freedom to choose between life and death to be in conflict with greater good.

    ---

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    It has nothing to do with law and chaos. It has everything to do with zealots trying to justify mass-murder by claiming "it's for your own good".
    Within the alignment system, it has everything to do with Law and Chaos, because different motives and methods of murder have different alignment. In simplest possible terms: it acknowledges that zealots of different faiths and ethics are in fact different. "Mass-murdering zealot" is not a special category outside of all alignments.

    Also, from the subjective viewpoint of one alignment, a strict adherent of any other alignment can seem like a cuckoo zealot, and a mass-murderer at that. From the viewpoint of a Chaotic Neutral Druid who can speak to plants and animals, a Lawful Good farmer who hacks forests down to make fields and grows animals for food, is a mass-murdering zealot. How the actual objective, cosmic alignment evaluates each individual may in fact relevantly differ from how individuals see themselves, because nothing dictates individuals need to agree with the cosmic evaluation.

    This means both that a cosmically Evil mass-murdering zealot who thinks they are Good is possible, but so could be a cosmically Good character who is a mass-murdering zealot by some non-cosmic standard, such as yours. So your distaste towards the Immaculate Morning or the alignment system in general does not, in fact, tell us what Immaculate Morning is or should be, nor anything about the brokenness of the system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy
    A system (legal system, belief system, government system, whatever) that makes life-and-death decisions for people "for their own good" is at the very least teetering towards evil. Actually murdering innocent people "because they're better off dead" is outright evil. Not "lawful", not "chaotic", just plain evil.
    Again, the whole point of the idea is that if death is objectively better than life, your statement has to be re-evaluated in its entirety.

    Also, again: within the alignment system, different motives and methods have different alignment. It is a feature of any multi-axis alignment system that there is no such thing as "plain evil", there a multiple different types of evil. In case of D&D's two-axis system, three: Lawful, Chaotic and Neutral.

    So even if we established the Immaculate Morning is, in fact, Evil, the question of whether it would be Lawful, Chaotic or Neutral would still exist and be relevant within the system. From the viewpoint of a multi-axis alignment system, your conclusion is about as meaningfull as "this text is not navy blue or light blue, it is just plain blue!".
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Any universe that actually had an objective "morality" that worked like the Alignment system would be an inherently immoral reality, and the only way for those living therein to be actually be good would be for them to work at odds with the very universe.

    Anyone who claims that the mass slaughter of innocents is "for the greater good" or "for their own good", or that they can impose death on others en mass because they'd be "better off", has no claim to being good. They're evil, and I don't give a tinker's damn about what some cockamamie game system has to say about it.

    I have no problem with a setting in which the inhabitants believe in odd moralities culturally or individually. But if you tell me the universe itself is inherently immoral (which is exactly what some of the examples here -- never mind decades of examples and discussion -- are demonstrating about Alignment as the inherent "moral" structure of those settings that use it)... then I'm either going to play a character who seeks to burn down the universe, or more likely just say "no thanks" and walk away from the table.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2018-02-06 at 09:18 AM.
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grek View Post

    Consider: The souls of the dead not only persist in the afterlife, but they are sorted according to their temperament. In death, the wicked dead can only perform their evil upon other wicked souls. The souls of the just are sent to live among the souls of the just. The Good are sent off to their eternal reward, in the heavens of the Gods of Goodness. Those who chafe against the law will be sent to the lawless planes, far from all tyrants and kings. In death, all are given that which they deserve and desire. Spiritual strife exists only in the temporary and unnatural state that we know as 'life'. Therefore, it is our absolute moral imperative to kill every creature as swiftly and painless as possible, that each may be delivered unto their richly deserved destiny.

    On strictly utilitarian grounds, this is a very compelling argument. And if they're humane about it, nothing necessarily stops this from being Good. But I can imagine a party of adventurers strenuously objecting to this plan and wanting to put a stop to the people in charge.
    I think The Giant said it best about the idea that "death and the afterlife are better than life":

    Except, of course, that you will never improve at any skill you know, never have a say in what happens in the world, never have children if you haven't already, never talk to anyone with a different point of view, never experience any real risk, never visit anywhere else, and never see any friends or family members who did not share the exact same shade of alignment as you. Oh, and you can still be destroyed by evil adventurers, but you never get any better at defending yourself.

    And that's the Lawful Good afterlife. Roy is talking about the entire world here, many of whom might be headed for less cushy situations.

    Analogy time! If you were to take the National Football League and disband it, forcibly retiring everyone who plays, you would objectively be improving the long-term health prognosis of almost every player as well as giving them oodles of free time to study basketweaving and poetry. And yet every player would resist if they could, because playing football is important to their identity. Sure, they all know they will have to stop someday anyway, but all the more reason to treasure the playing time they have left.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2018-02-06 at 09:21 AM.
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    A system (legal system, belief system, government system, whatever) that makes life-and-death decisions for people "for their own good" is at the very least teetering towards evil. Actually murdering innocent people "because they're better off dead" is outright evil. Not "lawful", not "chaotic", just plain evil.
    So any legal systems which forces a treatment to cure a disease on a child despite the parents' religious objections to said treatment (they'd prefer to see the child dead) is on a slippery slope towards evil?

    Also, mercy killing has been a thing for a long time I believe. When you find someone on a battlefield who is about to face a long and agonizing death, is it plain evil to ease their suffering?

    Perhaps we should avoid too much morality discussion, but I was especially curious of the first question.

    Otherwise, I am in the camp that think you can't have a good BBEG because it has evil in the name. You can have a good antagonist, and also fights between two good people / factions with opposing views on what or how things should be done.
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lorsa View Post
    So any legal systems which forces a treatment to cure a disease on a child despite the parents' religious objections to said treatment (they'd prefer to see the child dead) is on a slippery slope towards evil?

    Also, mercy killing has been a thing for a long time I believe. When you find someone on a battlefield who is about to face a long and agonizing death, is it plain evil to ease their suffering?

    Perhaps we should avoid too much morality discussion, but I was especially curious of the first question.
    Because our system places some people (children) in the near-total control of other individuals, that system also bears the moral burden of ensuring that the decisions made on the behalf of those people are actually to their benefit.

    A "mercy killing" without the permission of the person being killed is usually still just murder with a nicer name slapped on it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lorsa View Post
    Otherwise, I am in the camp that think you can't have a good BBEG because it has evil in the name. You can have a good antagonist, and also fights between two good people / factions with opposing views on what or how things should be done.
    "Evil" is not a necessary part of "antagonist".

    "Antagonist" and "villain" are not fully equivalent and synonymous.
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Good for him.
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    Yeah. But I see how it would suit D&D well to cut the direct link between Good and good. The latter being a moral compass and the first being just "the Light" or "the Heavens" or "Elysium" or "Nirvana" or whatever. Then Evil would become "the "Pits" or "Hell" or even "the cold Void of the Stars" or whichever supernatural horror you can imagine.
    I think, quite the contrary, it loses most of its emotional resonance that way. "Good and evil" are terms that mean something to me, but if those words just mean "Cthulhu A and Cthulhu B," they suddenly mean far less. That's not to say Blue and Orange Morality is a worthless trope (I'm a big SMT fan), just that it's only valuable as a thing that human morality interacts with and is incompatible with.

    What I think does work, and would work with D&D's schema, is when you have disparate factions that emphasize particular aspects of the familiar moral universe. This allows players and characters to enjoy strong empathetic connections with the ideas in question. Nobilis (3e in particular) provides a good case study: Heaven embodies purity and perfection but is impossibly demanding; Hell loves everything universally but allows things to become corrupt, degraded, and stunted due to its lack of standards; the Light values life above all else, even at the cost of joy and humanity; finally, the Dark wants people to take life for everything it has to offer until, inevitably, the effort kills them. Other games that do a good job with this sort of concept are M:tG's Color Wheel, and M:tA's five watchtowers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    Since by default in many D&D cosmologies your character alignment ultimatively decides with which afterlife and planes you align yourself with.
    Not ... quite. The Great Wheel's afterlife can be seen as a sort of ascension to a more ideal state, relative to what one idealizes. Followers of a deity, for instance, end up in their god's divine realm as petitioners, where they begin a gradual process of enlightenment to the universal truth that deity in particular embodies. In the process, they take on the attributes of their god until, at last, they undergo a full merger with the godhead and become an equal participant in their vision of perfection.

    For secular folks, the planes proper are the destination, but the process is roughly analogous: new arrivals shortly become the lowest tier of planar exemplar, and by achieving something like their alignment's understanding of enlightenment, they accumulate status and power such that they might eventually become a major expression of its intrinsic truth. Orcus is perhaps the ur-example: he worked his way up from a lowly mane to become an embodied, ideal formulation of Chaotic Evil. (There's an exception if you're Lawful Evil because Asmodeus Is A Right Bastard, but you can get around having your soul ground up into mincemeat by having the foresight to deal with the baatzeu beforehand, which ... is pretty ideally lawful evil, to be honest.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    With 1st ed. even going as far and introducing "alignment languages".
    Yeah there are some things you just have to chalk up to Gygax having weird ideas about predestination. All of the actual good writing on alignment came further on down the line.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    I can understand that CE Demonology Bob probably should burn in the fires of the abyss because that is what he decided to. But LE Assassin Jack who did several very effective jobs for the demon summoners? Even if he dutifully assassinates any enemy of a cabal of demonologists he still stays LE. Say he dies by a stray arrow and not the sacrifical knife of said cult (that fears his soul aiding the devils instead of the demons) shouldn't he be delivered to the Abyss? Why the hells? Why not possibly some good realm (because after all he killed many devil worshippers, even if by contract rather than choice)?
    Because it's not about keeping score, but rather about who Assassin Jack is. The Lower Planes are horrible, but they're not a punishment - with power and ingenuity, they can become a particular sort of paradise for a particular sort of terrible person. See again: Orcus. Neither are the Upper Planes a reward, and if Assassin Jack were a creature of regimented, selfish ambition, a place like Arborea would be extremely unpleasant for him. But if he has something of the Nine in him, then he will fit right in there (until Asmodeus grinds him up for spare parts).
    Quote Originally Posted by KKL
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Max, to me it seems that, if a player is unable or unwilling to distinguish between his personal views of morality and the morality of the game, he's not role-playing well. Same as if a player can't/won't distinguish between his own capabilities and those of the character.

    What's good here, now may not be the moral operating principles of other worlds. Same goes for physical law, historical fact, etc. Refusing to accept that means you'll have a hard time playing any RPG.
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Max, to me it seems that, if a player is unable or unwilling to distinguish between his personal views of morality and the morality of the game, he's not role-playing well. Same as if a player can't/won't distinguish between his own capabilities and those of the character.

    What's good here, now may not be the moral operating principles of other worlds. Same goes for physical law, historical fact, etc. Refusing to accept that means you'll have a hard time playing any RPG.
    Character who believes something I don't? Sure, great.

    World or culture where what people believe is different? Sure, great.

    World where there's an assertion of an onerous, malignant objective "morality"? Best I just walk away.
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Character who believes something I don't? Sure, great.

    World or culture where what people believe is different? Sure, great.

    World where there's an assertion of an onerous, malignant objective "morality"? Best I just walk away.
    That's your right. But you're still presuming that it's malignant (by whose standards?). That is, you've assumed the conclusion here. It's the core of all the RPG alignment/morality debates I've ever seen:

    1) assume my morality is the right one and applies to all universes, no matter how different.
    2) since that morality doesn't agree with mine, it's wrong.
    3) ???
    4) profit

    For example, cartoon universe morality is very different than real-world morality. But that's fine.

    As a note--I don't particularly like 3e D&D's morality/alignment system. But if I was playing in it, I'd accept it and make a character that fits (instead of meta-gaming and pulling in my real-life moral standards and demanding that the only "good" action is to burn down the universe). My own setting has neither fixed alignments nor universe-enforced good or evil. In fact, my players just fought a "good" (by all estimations) antagonist because he was trying to enforce such morality on the universe.
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Any universe that actually had an objective "morality" that worked like the Alignment system would be an inherently immoral reality, and the only way for those living therein to be actually be good would be for them to work at odds with the very universe.
    And thoughts like these are why you can have thinking, highly intelligent, highly wise characters in D&D who are not Lawful Good, or indeed any kind of Good.

    Welcome to the discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy
    Anyone who claims that the mass slaughter of innocents is "for the greater good" or "for their own good", or that they can impose death on others en mass because they'd be "better off", has no claim to being good. They're evil, and I don't give a tinker's damn about what some cockamamie game system has to say about it.
    No-one asked you to give a damn about the game's rules outside the game. Meanwhile, while discussing of the game, and of things within the game, not giving a damn about the game's rules is just failure to engage. Like, everyone gets it, you don't like the setting(s) painted by the alignment system. This continues to not be aan impressive criticism of either the system or the settings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy
    I have no problem with a setting in which the inhabitants believe in odd moralities culturally or individually. But if you tell me the universe itself is inherently immoral (which is exactly what some of the examples here -- never mind decades of examples and discussion -- are demonstrating about Alignment as the inherent "moral" structure of those settings that use it)... then I'm either going to play a character who seeks to burn down the universe, or more likely just say "no thanks" and walk away from the table.
    And if you were to play such a character, you'd be in good company, as this has been done by myriad players and characters alike. It's something of a classic, even. Or at the very least, a trope.

    In fact, I'd suggest you do it at first opportunity just to get it out of your system. Maybe then you can actually start to appreciate the value of having setting with such radical morals underpinning them.
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    That's your right. But you're still presuming that it's malignant (by whose standards?). That is, you've assumed the conclusion here. It's the core of all the RPG alignment/morality debates I've ever seen:

    1) assume my morality is the right one and applies to all universes, no matter how different.
    2) since that morality doesn't agree with mine, it's wrong.
    3) ???
    4) profit

    For example, cartoon universe morality is very different than real-world morality. But that's fine.

    As a note--I don't particularly like 3e D&D's morality/alignment system. But if I was playing in it, I'd accept it and make a character that fits (instead of meta-gaming and pulling in my real-life moral standards and demanding that the only "good" action is to burn down the universe). My own setting has neither fixed alignments nor universe-enforced good or evil. In fact, my players just fought a "good" (by all estimations) antagonist because he was trying to enforce such morality on the universe.
    I had my tolerance for "universes with objective morality that asserts that what we think is vile is actually good" and/or "but this is necessary for the greater good" assertions completely used up by past gaming experiences.

    I'll spoiler this for those who might not care for the subject matter.

    Spoiler: triggers?
    Show

    For example, the GM who asserted that it was not just OK, but good for the PCs to engage in rape because the gods smiled on it, and that made it "good". And also humans were in danger of becoming extinct, so any woman who refused to have as many children as possible was being "evil". Yeah, found that out a couple sessions in, and stopped coming to the games. Or answering his emails.

    Or hey, there was "NAZIverse" GM... yeah. I don't think I need to explain that one, do I?
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    I had my tolerance for "universes with objective morality that asserts that what we think is vile is actually good" and/or "but this is necessary for the greater good" assertions completely used up by past gaming experiences.

    I'll spoiler this for those who might not care for the subject matter.

    Spoiler: triggers?
    Show

    For example, the GM who asserted that it was not just OK, but good for the PCs to engage in rape because the gods smiled on it, and that made it "good". And also humans were in danger of becoming extinct, so any woman who refused to have as many children as possible was being "evil". Yeah, found that out a couple sessions in, and stopped coming to the games. Or answering his emails.

    Or hey, there was "NAZIverse" GM... yeah. I don't think I need to explain that one, do I?
    And I can understand that. I'd nope out of those settings as well. I noped out of a group (I was trial-running DMing for them) when they wanted to get the kids drunk and engage in graphic sexual activity.

    But it seemed to me that you were saying that any significant disagreement between your own morality and the morality of a setting was enough to make it malignant. I was probably misreading you, and if so, I apologize.
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    This actually is possible, just have a [Good] subtype creature as your BBEG. They will count as Good for all mechanical purposes (the tangible and objective force bit) and also count as evil due to their actual alignment. They might eventually lose the subtype over time, either spontaneously or in pursuit of more selfish ends, but while they have it you have a "Good" bad guy.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
    Cheers to Psyren the MVP "naysayer".
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    Default Re: If Good is a tangible and objective force, shouldn't a good BBEG be possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    And I can understand that. I'd nope out of those settings as well. I noped out of a group (I was trial-running DMing for them) when they wanted to get the kids drunk and engage in graphic sexual activity.

    But it seemed to me that you were saying that any significant disagreement between your own morality and the morality of a setting was enough to make it malignant. I was probably misreading you, and if so, I apologize.
    Any disagreement? No. Just assertions that outright vile acts are "good". Murdering the innocent against their will "because the afterlife is better", for example. Any setting in which the "objective morality" justifies that approach, I'm not going to bother with.

    And again, it's not a setting's morality as espoused as by the inhabitants -- it's only when the setting claims that the moral assertions are True, Objective, Cosmic, Universal, etc.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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