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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Taking away someone's freedom is Evil. Full stop.
    So... putting someone in jail is evil?

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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Given that the character's society is structured in a way that treats its slaves humanely and is on the whole LN then it can be reasoned that as long as she is good in numerous other ways, and acts against abusive slavery then she could stay LG however a grayer form of LG
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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrudd View Post
    If the game is being played according to the rules, as it sounds like (not some house rules, not redefining what the alignment words mean), then it is very explicit. Good abhors slavery. So that is one particular issue, the only one so explicitly mentioned (so you know it's important) where it does define your alignment, there's no "almost" or "mostly" there. Yes, you can follow Lawful Good behavior on all other counts, but if you have a blind spot for the evils of slavery you are not technically Good.
    Sorry, would you mind referencing where in the rules (that is, which book/page/website/etc) it says that and gives slavery as the concrete example that always stands true? I didn't find anything about slavery and alignment, but I found this:
    Each alignment represents a broad range of personality types or personal philosophies, so two characters of the same alignment can still be quite different from each other. In addition, few people are completely consistent.
    Link: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/c...onalRules.html

    This would imply that whether or not a LG character can think that slavery is sort of okay depends on how much leeway you want to give based on the bold sentence.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Taking away someone's freedom is Evil. Full stop.
    Therefore it's Good to immediately execute criminals & suspects rather than imprisoning them, since imprisonment is full-stop Evil.

    Private property and locked doors are Evil, because everyone must always have the freedom to move without limitation.

    Soldiers are never AWOL, because they always have leave to do whatever they want at any time.

    It's also Good to allow anyone to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Wasn't someone just complaining about people reacting to things they didn't really say?

    This thread could use a little less "reading for things to attack".
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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    My apologies if I put things together anybody did not mean to be taken together to form an implication.


    Regarding LG people with no issue with slavery, consider it like this:

    Marriage is supposed to be a loving relationship where each cares for the other, and generally serves to legitimize sexual relations and the children that issue therefrom. I doubt anybody who thinks "marriage is fine" but has a problem with political marriages being loveless constructs feels there's a contradiction. Similarly, if they see an abusive marriage, full of rape of an unwilling partner and other physical and emotional abuses, they don't view marriage as the problem, but how the participant(s) in that marriage are behaving.

    So, to our LG noblewoman from a culture where slavery is just fine, she has, if not a romanticized notion of slavery, at least a notion that slavery is fine as long as the participants are behaving well. If she sees abuses happening, she doesn't see it as a problem with slavery, but as a problem with the master engaging in the abuses. As a Lawful Good person, she may value freedom of choice to an extent, but not nearly to that which an NG or CG person would. To her, the constraints placed on a slave by their legal status are for their own good, and the good of society. It is the responsibility of the master to treat them well, and she likely even comes from a society where mistreating slaves is no better than mistreating peasant freemen. (Ideally, no difference exists whether the victim is slave, freeman, or noble.)

    If the LG believer in marriage as a good thing saw an LE society where one member of a marriage had a right to abuse (in any way) the other, he'd have a serious problem with the laws and traditions of that society. But that wouldn't make him suddenly "realize" that marriage is evil.

    Similarly, I would see this LG noblewoman only finding herself questioning the goodness of slavery if she not only saw abuses, but saw them somehow demonstrated to be so inevitable that they're happening in ways she never knew back home, because they more or less have to. Barring that, she'd see slavery as just fine, and simply take issue with any slaveowners who treated slaves in an evil manner.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    -snip-
    The problem with that logic train being that slavery is inherently abusive.

    A Lawful Good character may exist in a world where slavery is considered normal and routine without attempting to (outright) dismantle that society, but condoning, participating in, or otherwise upholding the institution of slavery is definitively not Good, based on the standards of society by which alignment is determined. (Remember, we don't have to observe this via historical precedent. RPG settings are not The Real World and those with defined alignment axes are quite apparently written to be examined from a modern perspective.)
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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Scripten View Post
    The problem with that logic train being that slavery is inherently abusive.
    The PC's character arc ought to be about discovering that truth.

    However, it's not a simple truth, nor is it necessarily easy to observe as an outsider.

    Limited-contract indentured servitude seems to have worked out somewhat better than permanent racial/caste chattel slavery, and even within chattel slavery there are examples of good treatment -- since confirmation bias is a thing, it's quite reasonable for the PC to (temporarily) try to justify the system she's familiar with for some span of time, until evidence accumulates sufficiently that she's able / forced to discard her upbringing.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    The PC's character arc ought to be about discovering that truth.

    However, it's not a simple truth, nor is it necessarily easy to observe as an outsider.

    Limited-contract indentured servitude seems to have worked out somewhat better than permanent racial/caste chattel slavery, and even within chattel slavery there are examples of good treatment -- since confirmation bias is a thing, it's quite reasonable for the PC to (temporarily) try to justify the system she's familiar with for some span of time, until evidence accumulates sufficiently that she's able / forced to discard her upbringing.
    I'm in complete agreement here. The distinction would be the choices the character makes in response to gaining knowledge. Once they are no longer ignorant of the state of their society, that initial impression they have would ebb away. Some amount of justification is understandable, but when you're working with alignment, that justification (or lack of introspection) is the difference between a character that is Good and a character that is merely convinced they are Good.

    And of course, nothing is stopping that character from remaining convinced of their own virtue despite their own self-delusion. That's actually a fairly interesting and complex character, but they're firmly Neutral or Evil by any reasonable reading of the alignment systems I've seen (discounting FATAL).
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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSandman View Post
    Sorry, would you mind referencing where in the rules (that is, which book/page/website/etc) it says that and gives slavery as the concrete example that always stands true? I didn't find anything about slavery and alignment, but I found this:

    Link: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/c...onalRules.html

    This would imply that whether or not a LG character can think that slavery is sort of okay depends on how much leeway you want to give based on the bold sentence.
    Sorry, it might have been from a 3rd party Pathfinder SRD site that does not reflect the actual wording from Paizo, which I didn't realize until now. I own that; my whole statement is predicated on an official wording which is only official for whomever wrote this website. https://www.d20pfsrd.com/alignment-d...itional-rules/

    Not that the official wording of Paizo influences anyone in their opinion of how alignments should be interpretted in Parhfinder, regardless. I do find it reasonable, however, to describe as Evil the practice of raiding and pillaging to provide a class of permanent servants and laborers - how the society treats those slaves after capture notwithstanding.

    If all slaves in the society were convicted by lawful means of crimes or volunteered for servitude, and those people had legal protections from inhumane treatment, then you could make a case for a lawful good support of that specific society's slavery. If in any case people are worked to death, are allowed to be abused, or taken by force into servitude, then Good must object and seek to remedy such practices.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Scripten View Post
    The problem with that logic train being that slavery is inherently abusive.
    Not...necessarily. I would generally agree, from a modern perspective and with my own personal emphasis on individual liberty and responsibility, but I can see a coherent and recognizably-good argument to the contrary. The inherent problems are not blatantly obvious when the institution is constructed as it would be by an LG society (perhaps as inheritors of an LN tradition).

    To make the claim that slavery is "inherently abusive" at its core, one must have a very specific set of items on the list of what constitutes "abuse." And most of those abusive items also make the concept of "nobility" and "royalty" inherently abusive. Heck, if there weren't a moratorium on real-world political discussion, I could give examples of inherently abusive structures that many would claim are for the good of the victims, and are in fact cruel and abusive to end. The same applies to a society which sees slavery as "fine," and has specific ideas of what is and is not abusive wrt slaves and others.

    Specifically, you need to see inability to choose one's career as abuse, and inability to choose one's employer as abuse. And even the former one is something which may not be a problem, depending on the nature of the slavery laws. You just didn't see, for instance, house slaves and tutors to citizens in Rome told, "Okay, I don't need a tutor anymore. you're going to be a scullion or mine worker, now." The kind of slave you were just didn't have that happen at the casual caprice of your master. That took what was essentially a legal issue coming up, and you being found criminally liable in a way that called for hard labor slavery as a punishment.

    One of the most obvious abuses is sexual. If they're your property, you can use them however you want, right? Not necessarily. In an LG society that sees sex as as personal a thing as life and other such things, rape would still be rape, even of a slave. One could no more legally rape one's slaves than one could legally rape one's employees.

    But to get to the point of slavery being "inherently abusive," you have to get to the core of what choices are required to be left to an individual for it NOT to be abusive. And that is a much, much stickier argument than I think this board is willing to support, because it inevitably gets into real-world parallels. And it's not a settled issue in modern Western culture. Sure, we're all against slavery as we understand it today. But there are a lot of parallel individual liberties to the core ones surrounding ownership of one's own life and labor that people are not so in agreement on. I would have to use arguments that would be uncomfortably close to certain positions I politically and morally oppose to demonstrate how an LG person could believe slavery is not inherently abusive, but I could do it.

    (Incidentally, this is why I don't inherently believe people who disagree with me on those moral and political subjects are inherently evil; I can see how good people would believe as they do. I just think they're wrong.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Scripten View Post
    A Lawful Good character may exist in a world where slavery is considered normal and routine without attempting to (outright) dismantle that society, but condoning, participating in, or otherwise upholding the institution of slavery is definitively not Good, based on the standards of society by which alignment is determined. (Remember, we don't have to observe this via historical precedent. RPG settings are not The Real World and those with defined alignment axes are quite apparently written to be examined from a modern perspective.)
    You have not really supported the mechanical argument that Good alignment's RAW precepts define slavery as inherently evil. But, at the same time, the fact that you're resorting to this suggests to me that you're unable to support the claim you made about it being inherently abusive, since there are a LOT of things that the alignment system's RAW say that are easily scoffed at as overly broad or revelatory of personal writer preferences than anything else. In short, the "RAW," such as they are, are mostly suggestions and guidelines, meant to provide examples and a rough picture, not meant to be a legal document interpreted to the letter in all situations at all times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    The PC's character arc ought to be about discovering that truth.

    However, it's not a simple truth, nor is it necessarily easy to observe as an outsider.
    This, I fully agree with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Limited-contract indentured servitude seems to have worked out somewhat better than permanent racial/caste chattel slavery, and even within chattel slavery there are examples of good treatment -- since confirmation bias is a thing, it's quite reasonable for the PC to (temporarily) try to justify the system she's familiar with for some span of time, until evidence accumulates sufficiently that she's able / forced to discard her upbringing.
    Even lifetime indentured servitude based on something other than race/caste is going to be a lot harder to find the obvious non-Good flaws in. All the objections one might raise can be addressed, for the most part, by specific laws against such abuses, and compared to similar laws preventing such treatment of freemen.
    Last edited by Segev; 2018-07-09 at 04:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    You have not really supported the mechanical argument that Good alignment's RAW precepts define slavery as inherently evil. But, at the same time, the fact that you're resorting to this suggests to me that you're unable to support the claim you made about it being inherently abusive, since there are a LOT of things that the alignment system's RAW say that are easily scoffed at as overly broad or revelatory of personal writer preferences than anything else. In short, the "RAW," such as they are, are mostly suggestions and guidelines, meant to provide examples and a rough picture, not meant to be a legal document interpreted to the letter in all situations at all times.
    You quoted Scripten, but put my name on the quote, and used a quote-link to a totally different thread.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    You quoted Scripten, but put my name on the quote, and used a quote-link to a totally different thread.
    Gah, sorry. Fixed now, I think. (I did mean to quote you with the last two, just from THIS thread.) Unless I've botched that again.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Here's the thing... I see the institution of slavery as being tied strictly to Law vs Chaos, while how the society generally implements slavery and treats their slaves as being what we need to consider belonging on the Good & Evil scale.

    This stems from the realization that slavery isn't that much different from being a free man. In some societies, slaves are treated much better than free men, and in others they are treated worse. Slavery, like all aspects of society, is 90% psychological in nature. What did most of the work in keeping a slave locked down and subservient in any society was not specifically the chains or the whips (although they did have their place and effect), but the slave's own mind... IE they were psychologically conditioned (through fear, mistreatment, and so forth) to think and act in certain ways.

    When you realize this, soon you come to the understanding that its not really that different for "free" men in any society past, present, or future in the real world or in a fictional one. We may be considered "free" in America, but like slaves we have been conditioned to act and think in certain ways, are subject to certain rules and expectations, risk facing punishment if we disobey, and so on and so forth. All actions have consequences, wether natural or artificial in nature. So in that sense, can anyone truly say they are free? Being free in modern society is just slavery with a bigger box to play in, while "freedom" in feudal and caste-based time periods/places is essentially what we'd call slavery nowadays. So long as psychological conditioning exists (and it always will), we are and will remain in bondage to others and to the boundaries set by groups as a whole. Even the rich and powerful are in psychological bondage to the slavery of society.

    But I digress. When dealing with slavery, whether in the real world or a fantasy world, one must ask themselves a few questions:

    • What does it mean to be a slave in the first place?
    • Is slavery the norm or outside of the norm?
    • How does one become a slave?
    • How does one stop being a slave?
    • How does the society as a whole treat their slaves?
    • How is slavery viewed among this society?
    • What are the general laws and regulations regarding slaves be like, if there are any any?


    Depending on the answers to these questions determines whether or not slavery is Lawful, Good, or Evil. If a society values individual freedom over everything else, slavery likely doesn't exist as an institution, and said society is likely either Chaotic in nature, or at least a neutral/lawful society where slavery is completely illegal, and where the rights of the individual are clearly defined.

    If a society has complex rules and regulations regarding slavery, (Including the legality or legality of slavery), then chances are its probably a lawful society. Expect slavery to be specifically defined and for the government to regulate the trade of slaves.

    If a Lawful society generally views slaves as people (IE just because they are legally required to work for you doesn't mean they are animals; its the contract of who the slave is working for that is bought and sold, not the person themselves), then it is probably a society that is either Neutral or Good on the good-evil scale. In such nations, expect slaves to retain some rights, and the slave owners to be expected to treat them with some dignity (IE owners are expected to give them proper food and lodging, not kill them or mistreat them, and in some instances even pay them; laws would protect against inhumane treatment). Also expect there to be rules regarding how to become a slave (Example: Stuff like you have to willingly sell yourself to pay off a debt, or you are a slave for a years as the result of being found guilty of a crime), how to get out of slavery (Example: Slaves are automatically set free after a period of time stated in their contract, or they could save up enough money to purchase their freedom early), how long they stay a slave (IE slaves are not permanently stuck as slaves), etc.

    If a society generally treats its slaves as commodities or as animals, then it is probably Evil in nature. This is the kind of society we think of when we typically picture slavery. They are bad without question.

    Anyway, to answer your original question, if your character is lawful good and comes from a lawful society where slavery is legal, and her slaves were well treated, its entirely possible for her to support slavery as a concept without having to shift her alignment. As soon as she realizes that other nations don't treat slaves all that well, she would draw her sword and seek to fix this injustice!

    She would consider the forms of slavery of Orcs, Drow, and other evil creatures (and nations) to be barbaric, a perversion of the natural nature of society! She would fiercely speak out against the inhumane treatment of slaves, and be advocating laws and regulations to ban inhumane treatment and giving slaves certain rights. She would encourage slaves to obey their masters (so long as such orders were legitimate and legal), but not let them push them around (after all, in her eyes, the relationship between a slave and their master would be similar to an employee and their boss).

    So no, I see no problem with your lawful good character being an advent supporter of slaver; no alignment change is needed, so long as she sticks to her values and doesn't let the mindset of slavery equaling a work animal you can abuse. You just gotta provide the right context for her beliefs, play very carefully, and most importantly, be consistent! Slavery is a sensitive subject for many, so you gotta approach this tactfully
    Last edited by Durzan; 2018-07-13 at 08:11 AM.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    The PC's character arc ought to be about discovering that truth.

    However, it's not a simple truth, nor is it necessarily easy to observe as an outsider.

    Limited-contract indentured servitude seems to have worked out somewhat better than permanent racial/caste chattel slavery, and even within chattel slavery there are examples of good treatment -- since confirmation bias is a thing, it's quite reasonable for the PC to (temporarily) try to justify the system she's familiar with for some span of time, until evidence accumulates sufficiently that she's able / forced to discard her upbringing.
    I think slavery is tool. it can be used for good and evil. It depends on what is alternative for being slave. Freedom is nice thing and in modern world we have used to being free, but you cant eat freedom and when you don't have anything to eat...

    Limited-contract indentured servitude looks like better system at first glance, but it is really? Sometimes freedom is only freedom to starve. For example is it really a good deed to give very old slave freedom when he is too old to work? So that instead of owner feeding him he can beg in some street corner and starve.

    Is it better to be free worker who is hired when he is needed and starve when he is not, or slave who do exactly same work for same employer but will not starve as as slave his owner will always feed him.

    Mining works is bad and and slaves will die young, but if slaves doesn't do that then free workers do it and most likely they will die young too. Mining is just dangerous business and is there really any difference when mine owner buys some slaves to do mining or if he hires some people who would otherwise starve so that they can't really say no and then pays them so little that they have to make debt so that they can't leave before they have paid their debt, which of course will never happen. In both cases some unfortunately people work in the mines until they die and earn nothing while doing it.

    Or slave could be favorite slave of the emperor. One whose job is to govern that empire when Emperor focus on drinking and making heirs. Should good person feel bad because that slave is not free. Even if that slave is the second most influential man in the country.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    A gilded cage is still a cage.

    Better free to starve than forced to eat, better to die standing than to live kissing the floor.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Not going to do a point by point, because I'm on mobile, but I would counter with the following:

    Regarding slavery as evil: slavery implies abuse because it is servitude and ownership of a person against their will. One could make the argument that using criminal prisoners as slaves is evil, but I can see that as neutral. (I wouldn't categorize it as Good unless the criminals are being given usable skills, which I will concede makes the use of the word slavery here a misnomer at best.)

    Also, while I do not have my books in front of me, I would argue that the Thri-keen in D&D being evil is due to them being slavers. There are other examples (and I'm fairly sure I've read that slavery is considered an evil trait in a number of other RPGs' allotment section directly), but honestly I didn't really consider "prove that RPG writers consider slavery evil" on the agenda for today.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Scripten View Post
    Also, while I do not have my books in front of me, I would argue that the Thri-keen in D&D being evil is due to them being slavers.
    Maybe that's a setting thing for Dark Sun?

    In the 3.5e XPH, they're biased towards Chaotic, and mixed (mostly Neutral) on the Good-Evil scale. There's nothing about Thri-Kreen being inherently slavers (nor being inherently evil) in the XPH.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Better free to starve than forced to eat, better to die standing than to live kissing the floor.
    The fact that you have a strong subjective opinion on the subject does not make it an objective fact.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Maybe that's a setting thing for Dark Sun?

    In the 3.5e XPH, they're biased towards Chaotic, and mixed (mostly Neutral) on the Good-Evil scale. There's nothing about Thri-Kreen being inherently slavers (nor being inherently evil) in the XPH.
    Ah, you are correct. It was actually Neogi, which are in Volo's guide in 5e. They're defined as emotionless like Lizardfolk, but are evil because of the rigid slaver culture of their society, as well as their ability/willingness to control sentient minds.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    As far as a hypothetical society where slavery conditions were so good as to be beyond reproach - why would they even have slavery at that point? Free workers don't need to be guarded, and have less issues in general. And when you consider the unpleasant working conditions that people accepted during, say, the industrial revolution, any job that /requires/ enslaving people is not going to be remotely good.

    As far as slavery as an alternative to improsonment, my main issue would be that it creates perverse incentives - see asset forfeiture and for-profit prisons for examples. When sentencing someone guilty puts money in your pocket (including indirectly), it has a tendency to bias the justice system.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Let's not forget, "spare the rod, spoil the child", or the paddle. Corporal punishment has been iconic of multiple industries, including child-rearing.
    This is considerably weaker than what I meant when I described the whip as emblematic or iconic of slavery in a way that it was not of other institutions that sometimes also involved corporal punishment.

    If you mentioned to a Roman (or a person from most other slave societies) that you spent twenty-five years under the whip, he will understand you as saying that you once were a slave, and that meaning will come perfectly naturally to him because of the overwhelming ubiquity of the whip in slavery. However, if you subsequently explain to him that you didn't mean to say you were once a slave, but that you were once a child subject to your parents' authority, it would seem bizarre and unsettling to him that you chose that metaphor.

    In the Roman literature (I keep coming back to Rome partly because it dwarfs other slave systems and partly because Rome is my field of study), the comparison between master of slaves and parent of children is in fact explored, but to exactly the opposite conclusion than the one you are aiming at. The metaphors were used to illuminate contrasting treatment rather than similar treatment. Cicero for example contrasted master with father in de re publica: actions are commanded by the will like a father commands his children, but in contrast, desires are crushed by the will like a master crushes slaves (the literal words are coercet et frangit, "repress and break").



    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    If I learned ANYTHING in my Latin classes, it's that there certainly was a distinction between good slave owners and bad ones. Reality is, slave was a term for all kinds of situations. From captured enemy soldiers that are worked to death to the urban house servants that are living better than the average commoner.
    Definitely a fair point - slavery was rarely undifferentiated and there were almost always internal hierarchies, with some favored and others disfavored, or a few put in more or less responsible positions over the rest and given commensurate privileges.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    Slavery was a very common thing. But the overwhelming majority of societies which practiced slavery, did not, in fact have a slave based economy. Or some kind vast network of human trafficking to keep the supply running. I am not sure why the very few societies that completely depended on slavery should be the focus and not the many others that didn't.
    This is certainly true, but I'm not sure where you're going with it. It seems like there may be an unstated understanding that slavery in societies that did allow it but that did not place it centrally in the economy was not as bad, but I'm not sure that's defensible. Also not sure whether that's actually your point or whether I am mistaking it.

    Well, often that worked but sometimes even slaves running the gouvernment or being the core of the army proved powerful enough to take over.
    Worth noting (and a lot of pop culture references, e.g., game of thrones, miss it) is that mamelukes along the Egyptian model were freedmen, former slaves who were manumitted as part of the process of ensoldiering them. Slavery provided the input into the system, but part of turning the slaves into soldiers was freeing them.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Similarly, I would see this LG noblewoman only finding herself questioning the goodness of slavery if she not only saw abuses, but saw them somehow demonstrated to be so inevitable that they're happening in ways she never knew back home, because they more or less have to.
    Which is in actual fact the case, at least if all the slave societies that ever existed on Earth are taken as guides. But realizing it could, I think, make for fun roleplaying.

    It took real people a few thousand years to work through the morals of it and get to the place where all *looks at thread* most of us are now, after all.

    It is genuinely intellectually difficult to achieve the sort of Copernican revolution of thought involved in being the first to realize that an institution that has been characteristic of all of human society since time immemorial is inherently evil.

    On the other hand, Pathfinder (with its abolitionist nations confronting slavery) is already on our side of that revolution, which puts the morals of slavery a bit more front and center as far as any given character goes. Slavery can't really be dismissed as just the way things are when there are whole countries (Andoran) out there crusading to put an end to it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrudd View Post
    Does she somehow not know or never wonder where all these slaves came from? That they were probably free people with their own farms and families just like her until someone raided their town and kidnapped them? [...]
    Unless she is a young child, she understands what slavery is, and has either chosen to accept society's apologies for it (to allow her to turn a blind eye to the necessary evils being comitted), or she believes it is wrong but maybe lacks the power or influence or courage to do anything about it. If she is Pathfinder Good, then at the very least she would start manumutting slaves whenever she had the chance.
    I agree. Any other interpretation does make world building a headache (anything starting with life debts Chewbacca style).

    I asked over on the Pathfinder Reddit and got a lot of varied answers; some said it was fine to play her as LG at first due to her sheltered upbringing, but that as she became more aware of the world she would either have to change her stance on the issue of slavery or alter her alignment appropriately, others suggested that she should be classified as LE but 'thinks' she's lawful good, leading to the same eventual choice.
    That, basically. She is lawful neutral (imho) unless she abuses her power over the slaves (she might have as well, there are no consequences; and kids are cruel sometimes). Remember Molthune is independant of Cheliax because they have a strong military and their Chelaxian roots lie deep. I'd play it like a slightly less rigid Sparta. It's expected of her to be skilled at arms. She should have been deeply indoctrinated that her place in the hierarchy is rightfully hers. Slave abuse is bad but she should not let a slave rise above his or her station. Remember this:

    Governor Teldas has recently proclaimed that any labourer that serves five years in Molthune's armies can become an Imperial citizen, helping to swell the army's ranks.
    However I just like the interpretation as follows. Slavery might be a bad thing and when the girl was younger, maybe the children of slaves (who are slaves by heritage) even played with her. They don't know differently, and the adult slaves are prompted to keep their mouths shut.

    Slaves are ultimatively barred of this opportunity to rise to citizenship and this honestly might be her turning point: A childhood friend could really REALLY want to help her country (and become free) and she does everything in her might to help him or her achieve that.

    Usually something drastic happens in the young adulthood to show a character such as that that slavery is non-good (I'd say sensible slavery starts off at the grey area of neutral), with the archetypical example being outright abuse of owned people. However you should not forget a typical result of legal slavery: You have to be able to afford keeping them: i.e. feed them, keep them in a presentable manner (clothes, hygiene, general health) and that just might be enough that they're better off than Old Bob, the ill-stricken farmer and father of two that barely can support himself. They might have 'stockholm-y' qualities to them because after a while freedom could feel dangerous and scary.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    This doesn't have much to do with the current line of debate but it's something I've always found kind of interesting when reading through D&D (and other RPG) Setting books. When the books detail the standard "bad guy" nations and monster cultures, like Thay in the Forgotten Realms, "being slavers" is typically pretty high on the "why it's okay to kill them in random encounters" list, but then you get to the setting's "Not-Egypt" or "Not-Rome" area and the book suddenly has to back pedal and explain how "it's okay when they do it" and the like.


    Just something that popped into my head while reading this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enixon View Post
    This doesn't have much to do with the current line of debate but it's something I've always found kind of interesting when reading through D&D (and other RPG) Setting books. When the books detail the standard "bad guy" nations and monster cultures, like Thay in the Forgotten Realms, "being slavers" is typically pretty high on the "why it's okay to kill them in random encounters" list, but then you get to the setting's "Not-Egypt" or "Not-Rome" area and the book suddenly has to back pedal and explain how "it's okay when they do it" and the like.


    Just something that popped into my head while reading this thread.
    Right, and I think the explanation usually hinges on how people treat their slaves and that there are laws that protect from cruelty. But they tend to ignore or devalue the means by which people are made into slaves, which I think is equally or more important for determining the alignment-nature of a society. Realistically those evil slaver/raider cultures exist because of and in symbiosis with the not-Rome and not-Egypt. I think it is disingenuous or short-sighted to separate them in any moral sense. If any of your slaves are gotten by someone being captured and dragged from their homes against their will, your slavery is evil.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrudd View Post
    Right, and I think the explanation usually hinges on how people treat their slaves and that there are laws that protect from cruelty. But they tend to ignore or devalue the means by which people are made into slaves, which I think is equally or more important for determining the alignment-nature of a society. Realistically those evil slaver/raider cultures exist because of and in symbiosis with the not-Rome and not-Egypt. I think it is disingenuous or short-sighted to separate them in any moral sense. If any of your slaves are gotten by someone being captured and dragged from their homes against their will, your slavery is evil.
    Agreed.

    And if your slavery is fed by coercing people in debt into servitude, it's evil.

    And if your slavery is hereditary, it's evil.

    And really, if your slavery is slavery, it's evil.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Agreed.

    And if your slavery is fed by coercing people in debt into servitude, it's evil.

    And if your slavery is hereditary, it's evil.

    And really, if your slavery is slavery, it's evil.
    Yeah, in general, "slavery" as we think of it today is going to be evil on the face of it, to the point that we cannot see an LG society practicing it.

    To see an LG society practicing it, the term has to be stripped of a lot of the obvious (to us) implications of what owning another person allows the owner to do to that person.

    In essence, the slave stops being chattel-level property in an LG society. At the worst end of it, it's somewhere hovering just above a pet or a child in terms of personal rights. The owner has all decision-making regarding "well-being" decisions, and directs the slave's life, but is generally expected to have the slave's best interests at heart, and to take good care of said slaves, treating them kindly and well. At the most idealistic end of it, the slave has all the rights to dignity that any freeman does, except the ability to determine who his employer is. He may or may not have say in what his job is, but any LG society is going to see misusing a slave as not just wasteful but immoral. And slaves who do get the crap jobs (sometimes literally) either are the ones who genuinely deserve the penal duty, or who are otherwise well-treated and appreciated.

    The reason we see slavery as evil through and through today (and I happen to agree with this) is because we recognize that the ability to tell somebody that they are a prisoner and permanent employee, even if that's ALL there is to it, engenders an attitude of entitlement and power to abuse that will lead to and even tacitly encourage such abuses.

    It's a system where safeguards of self-determination are removed when they needn't be. Self-determination allows even the poorest of employees to decide that he's better off seeking other employment than withstanding the abuses of his current boss. Slavery traps them there.

    But I can absolutely see how an LG society coming at it from a different historical and philosophical perspective would say that the problem isn't in slavery, but in some people just being unworthy slave-owners. If I were inclined to engage in debate from an RP standpoint (or like I was on a debate team, where making the argument for a position you don't hold is considered a sign of good skill), I could construct some fairly decent debate positions for that LG apologist which, even if you didn't agree with him, would leave you convinced he really is both Lawful and Good at heart. At least, I think so. (I am not, in fact, a very good debater. But I see in this case how to do it.)

    Because this is so charged a subject, I feel the need to emphasize: I do not think slavery is good nor justified. I just see how an LG person could believe it, given the properly-framed worldview, and still be LG. Even after thinking it through.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    I mean, once you remove the major parts that make slavery, well, slavery, it kind of ceases to be slavery, doesn't it? At this point we're talking about a lot of institutions and conflating them under the term slavery, which is likely the cause of a lot of the disagreements and proclamations.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder: How views on Slavery influences character alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Scripten View Post
    I mean, once you remove the major parts that make slavery, well, slavery, it kind of ceases to be slavery, doesn't it? At this point we're talking about a lot of institutions and conflating them under the term slavery, which is likely the cause of a lot of the disagreements and proclamations.
    Presumably that's why it's done.

    In good conscience: reforming the system so that it's kinder and gentler.

    In bad faith: as a cover for the abuses that they want to continue, so the great masses of the people don't think of those abuses as the norm.

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