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  1. - Top - End - #961
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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Im not overlooking anything.
    As you yourself get in on, we already got countless examples of absolutely horrible rulers all around the continent.
    Who manages to be absolutely horrible without the aid of a name.

    But we also have examples in Black and Vivienne, of how your not as such forced to immerse yourself into your role unless you want to.
    And how if you directly move away from it, that you will lose your name. So its not like there are any danger of someone like Saint ending as a Queen.
    That means that the only named rulers we end up with are leading names.

    Names that are exceptionally good at being rulers. You dont trail a blaze down history and fate alike as "The Good King"
    unless you were an exceptionally good king. Wise and fair and just and all that stuff. So it seems rather simple logic that if you had the choice
    between the Good King, and the medioche king who though more of hunting and drinking, then you would pick the Good King.
    Because he would make the kingdom thrive.

    The Dread Emperors/Empress meanwhile is a completely different story, in part because the entire culture they come from is INSANE.
    We got countless examples of that. And Black/Malicia is actually examples of how a name doesnt really make you into something else. It just amplify you.
    Malicia had gone for what, close to a pair of decades without building flying fortresses or other doomsday weapons?
    So im quite certain that was not name influence. But instead simply her deciding "this is the easiest way to deter the 10th crusade"

    I certainly do disagree on that its relevant if immersing yourself in a name starts making you think less about other peoples or not.
    To start with we dont have anything to support it. And for that matter, its again something normal nobles are already better at than any hero we have seen.

    Story logic is likely a pretty big force in the universe. But im absolutely certain it has not been relevant in overriding considerations from any of the villains
    you mention there. They did not start thinking about the people beneath them like a resource in a civilisation x game because they became villains.
    They became villans because they though of the people beneath them like that.

    Certainly you cant use the war as an example with Praes here on why a Good King would be bad. You need 2 sides to negotiate a reasonable deal.
    And when until now the other side has been bat-xxxx crazy, then there were not anyone for the Good King to deal with.
    What i think your missing is, that its not good who have been unwilling to deal so far. We heard it straight from Taric,
    on how many times he had tried to deal with a Villain like a reasonable adult. And how despite being backstabbed every time, then he was still ready to give it another go.

    So yes its suddenly an exceptional time. Not because Villains are beating heroes. That has happend before.
    But instead because there is for once a centrally placed Villain who can figure out holding her word. And whom are both interested in change, as well as not enough
    of a sociopath to make dealing with heroes impossible.
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  2. - Top - End - #962
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    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Im not overlooking anything.
    As you yourself get in on, we already got countless examples of absolutely horrible rulers all around the continent.
    Who manages to be absolutely horrible without the aid of a name.
    Cordelia seems to be far more reasonable than any Named so far.

    But we also have examples in Black and Vivienne, of how your not as such forced to immerse yourself into your role unless you want to.
    And how if you directly move away from it, that you will lose your name. So its not like there are any danger of someone like Saint ending as a Queen.
    That means that the only named rulers we end up with are leading names.
    not forced, but not immersing yourself inf the role isn't incentivized, when the gods don't LIKE you not playing out The Role so they go "hey, shape up and start acting like a proper thief or black knight, not this weak stuff." and thus they lost it

    Names that are exceptionally good at being rulers. You dont trail a blaze down history and fate alike as "The Good King"
    unless you were an exceptionally good king. Wise and fair and just and all that stuff. So it seems rather simple logic that if you had the choice
    between the Good King, and the medioche king who though more of hunting and drinking, then you would pick the Good King.
    Because he would make the kingdom thrive.
    Making a lot of assumptions there pal. first, that a good king name is any way defined by modern morality's definition of a good ruler. in medieval times (which is where this fantasy story is set) people would be bored to tears of normal life and consider war an exciting past time because while your dying, at least your dying in excitement to another person instead of dying to disease or the wilderness or the elements. death was more common for them so....they didn't see it the same way we did. a "good king" could be earned for giving people a "righteous exciting crusade" or something, that or it could a "good king" in the sense that they are very virtuous but that doesn't mean they have good virtues for ruling people. it takes more than being a good person to be king, and especially to manage nobility who will be against any of your efforts to help the commoners, what good king is, could be defined by the Angels and who KNOWS what kind of horrible things an angel would tell them to do in the name The Greater Good.

    The Dread Emperors/Empress meanwhile is a completely different story, in part because the entire culture they come from is INSANE.
    We got countless examples of that. And Black/Malicia is actually examples of how a name doesnt really make you into something else. It just amplify you.
    Malicia had gone for what, close to a pair of decades without building flying fortresses or other doomsday weapons?
    So im quite certain that was not name influence. But instead simply her deciding "this is the easiest way to deter the 10th crusade"
    Any more insane than people who worship the angels? Y'know, those beings who decide brainwashing an entire city is good? who can unleash plagues on people? who tries to make everyone trust in their morality? when a lot of people in this thread have a problem with what angels do?

    I certainly do disagree on that its relevant if immersing yourself in a name starts making you think less about other peoples or not.
    To start with we dont have anything to support it. And for that matter, its again something normal nobles are already better at than any hero we have seen.
    We have everything to support it: the entire state of the world. If Catherine is an exception, why not Malicia, Black, or anyone else? If one side changes, they other does to, for balance, and if Praes was insane one side, there would have to be an insane good side as well to even it out. the very fact that named rulers need to be removed from power is pretty indicative, they run the risk of considering the story rather than the people, and they do get caught up in the story rather than the people

    Story logic is likely a pretty big force in the universe. But im absolutely certain it has not been relevant in overriding considerations from any of the villains
    you mention there. They did not start thinking about the people beneath them like a resource in a civilisation x game because they became villains.
    They became villans because they though of the people beneath them like that.

    Certainly you cant use the war as an example with Praes here on why a Good King would be bad. You need 2 sides to negotiate a reasonable deal.
    And when until now the other side has been bat-xxxx crazy, then there were not anyone for the Good King to deal with.
    What i think your missing is, that its not good who have been unwilling to deal so far. We heard it straight from Taric,
    on how many times he had tried to deal with a Villain like a reasonable adult. And how despite being backstabbed every time, then he was still ready to give it another go.

    So yes its suddenly an exceptional time. Not because Villains are beating heroes. That has happend before.
    But instead because there is for once a centrally placed Villain who can figure out holding her word. And whom are both interested in change, as well as not enough
    of a sociopath to make dealing with heroes impossible.
    and yet, even Tariq has his moments of manipulating the story over actually establishing peace, or the Lone Swordsman being unreasonable, and so on. and the Bard has been manipulating all this through her story shenanigans for what, thousands of years? it seems pretty to her benefit to make people think like a story so that someone becomes "romantic fantasy hero Good" rather than real good. which are not the same thing, because we have tons of examples of "fantasy good" being on display in heroes just going around wanting to slay heroes and thinking that just because they kill the enemy that they are a good enough hero. they just attack without pause or hesitation, and Tariq is pretty much the exception as far as that goes, with no guarantee there was any "Grey pilgrim" to try and be diplomatic before this. Tariq seems to be the ONLY hero willing to negotiate at all, Lone Swordsman? Saint of Swords? minor heroes? just attack, and the White Knight well....*flips coin*.

    there can be no doubt that Evil is really Evil in this universe, but whether good is really good is highly questionable.
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  3. - Top - End - #963
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    Cordelia seems to be far more reasonable than any Named so far.
    I firstly dont think it has anything to do with the topic.
    And secondly disagree. I dont think she is the paragon of reasonable your making her into now.

    not forced, but not immersing yourself inf the role isn't incentivized, when the gods don't LIKE you not playing out The Role so they go "hey, shape up and start acting like a proper thief or black knight, not this weak stuff." and thus they lost it
    No its not something that involves the gods or their preferences. We have seen how little the Gods Beneath care about stuff.
    But Black still lost his name. Whats relevant is how closely you align to the Name thats your source of power.

    Making a lot of assumptions there pal. first, that a good king name is any way defined by modern morality's definition of a good ruler. in medieval times (which is where this fantasy story is set) people would be bored to tears of normal life and consider war an exciting past time because while your dying, at least your dying in excitement to another person instead of dying to disease or the wilderness or the elements. death was more common for them so....they didn't see it the same way we did. a "good king" could be earned for giving people a "righteous exciting crusade" or something, that or it could a "good king" in the sense that they are very virtuous but that doesn't mean they have good virtues for ruling people. it takes more than being a good person to be king, and especially to manage nobility who will be against any of your efforts to help the commoners, what good king is, could be defined by the Angels and who KNOWS what kind of horrible things an angel would tell them to do in the name The Greater Good.
    Well.. yeah.. your certainly makign your own share of assumptions though. Firstly is im not your pal.
    Secondly, that real medieval times have more than a superficial impact on things in a fantasy story.
    And lastly, im -not- making an assumption when im saying that the average citizins would rather avoid getting involved in a war if possible in any way.
    Life was hard yes, but not so hard anyone sane though the crazy gamble of a battlefield was worth it.

    Any more insane than people who worship the angels? Y'know, those beings who decide brainwashing an entire city is good? who can unleash plagues on people? who tries to make everyone trust in their morality? when a lot of people in this thread have a problem with what angels do?
    Yes, actually so. Far, FAR more insane. Oh and you made a mistake there. It was not a Angel who unleashed a plague. It just showed how to make one.
    Also, why should it matter what some nameless people have a problem with?

    We have everything to support it: the entire state of the world. If Catherine is an exception, why not Malicia, Black, or anyone else? If one side changes, they other does to, for balance, and if Praes was insane one side, there would have to be an insane good side as well to even it out. the very fact that named rulers need to be removed from power is pretty indicative, they run the risk of considering the story rather than the people, and they do get caught up in the story rather than the people
    No. Thats absolutely not a argument for immersing yourself in a name makes you think less of people.
    Its as such a counter argument. Since its a non-named who are the source of the 10th crusade.
    We lack evidence to say that a insane evil side needs to be balanced by a insane good side.
    And besides all that, then we are also lacking evidence that named are likely to considder the story instead of the people. Its to start only a few named who think in stories.
    We also lack evidence that its bad, when the story in itself is neutral.

    and yet, even Tariq has his moments of manipulating the story over actually establishing peace, or the Lone Swordsman being unreasonable, and so on. and the Bard has been manipulating all this through her story shenanigans for what, thousands of years? it seems pretty to her benefit to make people think like a story so that someone becomes "romantic fantasy hero Good" rather than real good. which are not the same thing, because we have tons of examples of "fantasy good" being on display in heroes just going around wanting to slay heroes and thinking that just because they kill the enemy that they are a good enough hero. they just attack without pause or hesitation, and Tariq is pretty much the exception as far as that goes, with no guarantee there was any "Grey pilgrim" to try and be diplomatic before this. Tariq seems to be the ONLY hero willing to negotiate at all, Lone Swordsman? Saint of Swords? minor heroes? just attack, and the White Knight well....*flips coin*
    And what your missing there is that when Tariq seems to manipulate events, then its -always- to serve the greater good. Greater good in this case being Vulcan Greater Good.
    Bard meanwhile is very likely not human, or named, in the regular sense. So im not going to count what she has been up to.
    Another thing thats being missed is that in general, villains are -extremely- horrible people. Monsters in human disguise. The ones actually likely to see people as a thing.
    Because of that, killing them does genuinly make the world a better place for everyone else. The same way it would be if you shoot a rabid bear.
    Besides that, Taric isnt the only one ready to negotiate or talk. Willian didnt attack the Stygian Spear officers. Saint of Swords straight up told her story of how trying to be reasonable blew up in her face, and yes we directly have evidence that the White Knight does not by default judge anyone. Or even flips his coin without reason.
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  4. - Top - End - #964
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    Eeeeeeeh.

    I think its pretty obvious that power corrupts and that exploiting story logic in this universe is a form of power that can and has corrupted people. you can't just wash away the harm it has done or the effects it has on people. all the people in power care more about exploiting that story logic and fate than actually fighting for the people. all the talks have been about preventing this story or that story, or make this story happen, and that over time this would make a mindset that isn't considering the people under them. I'm not saying that Cordelia is a paragon of anything, but she doesn't have supernatural power influencing her mind which cannot be trusted to lead a fair society.

    you can't just say some people are bad for no reason and that this clear difference of physics from our world that clearly has shaped the politics, culture and cosmology of this world, isn't in some way responsible for people acting this way. thats ridiculous. people aren't bad regardless of the circumstances, the narrative physics came first before any human person ever walked the Earth. it would be affecting the ancestors of the ancestors of the Praesi before they were born, and what makes Praes, Praesi, would have to be rewarded over time to form into a culture. or it would not have lasted at all and died.

    there is again, no denying that evil is evil and that they are monsters, you don't need to bring up that point again, and I'm not sure why you keep doing that.

    But again, just because someone is Good and has supernatural powers, doesn't mean they are good ruler, morality doesn't have as much to do with ruling as you think and everything to actually be social on a level most nerds who think about this stuff can't even pull off. being a good person does not a competent politician make. they are not mutually exclusive, but neither does it mean they are something necessarily easy to maintain at the same time. and supernatural powers helping with it is antithetical to negotiating fairly, and thus not conducive to trustworthiness and thus not helpful to being social. It makes a ruler that cannot be held to the standards of other people or other rulers- a dangerous prospect as the entire purpose of society and its rules is that no one is above them.

    the point being raised by things like Cordelia and her refusal to let the White Knight judge, as well as Catherine disallowing Named rulers, is to make sure Named can't operate above the rules, the law. the fact with these supernatural powers there, on some level when they do things differently and make these decisions, you can't be sure if the supernatural powers are helping them to do better....or leading them into a situation thats worse that will lead to something disastrous because they have more to risk, more to fail and you can't see that because you don't have the same powers. society is not improved by one person becoming a superman, no matter how noble their heart. improvements to society is allowing changes for everyone, fair changes that make certainty for all, and not raising some figure on a pedestal above all others just because they are an outstanding person.

    because no matter how noble they are, it doesn't change the fact they aren't realistic. they are half-fairytale beings walking the earth following limited moral rules that only work in some isolated scenario, following story moralities that don't make sense for a fair and just society. a good ruler can't just do anything they want as long they says its for the good of the nation and say "totes trust me, I have magic powers to help solve things", what am I supposed to do, just trust them? No way! thats a corrupt tyrant waiting to happen. their powers violate something rulers need which is trust that people know the struggles they have and what their life is like so that they know what to do to fix them properly, not a superman solution that looks good on the surface but won't actually solve the problem for real. there is subtleties to this, that no amount of supernatural power solves.
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  5. - Top - End - #965
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    So I finally gave up and started reading Worm, which I have been told is similar to or inspired this series. It is also defunct for a long time so there isn't a Worm thread.

    The main characters are very similar in some ways, but Cat is less likable and much smarter. Skitter (why is the series even called Worm??) is very reactive, and doesn't have a long term plan. She effectively conquers a city as a solution to everyone above her being bad, but she never sets out to accomplish it as a goal. Cat has bigger, more fleshed out goals from the beginning.
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  6. - Top - End - #966
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    (why is the series even called Worm??)
    DO NOT ask this question about Wildbow works unless you want severe end-of-story spoilers, as the title meanings typically only become fully relevant in hindsight to the series' endgame. Pact is really the only exception to this.

  7. - Top - End - #967
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    So I finally gave up and started reading Worm, which I have been told is similar to or inspired this series. It is also defunct for a long time so there isn't a Worm thread.

    The main characters are very similar in some ways, but Cat is less likable and much smarter. Skitter (why is the series even called Worm??) is very reactive, and doesn't have a long term plan. She effectively conquers a city as a solution to everyone above her being bad, but she never sets out to accomplish it as a goal. Cat has bigger, more fleshed out goals from the beginning.
    If you haven't finished, you don't want to know why the series is called Worm.

    I think that Skitter is more likable because she's actually smarter than Cat. She has a much better grasp of the consequences and isn't so willing to brush off casualties and bad things happening as part of the price of doing business. Or maybe that just makes her less selfish.
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  8. - Top - End - #968
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    If you haven't finished, you don't want to know why the series is called Worm.

    I think that Skitter is more likable because she's actually smarter than Cat. She has a much better grasp of the consequences and isn't so willing to brush off casualties and bad things happening as part of the price of doing business. Or maybe that just makes her less selfish.
    Eh, I dunno about that. The thing with Worm in hindsight is that the characters are VERY shallow. Most of Taylor's moralizing is very surface level and I never found her likable beyond that same surface level. Say what you will about Cat, but her thought processes are well laid out so you know exactly why she thinks what she does even when it's not explicitly stated.

    Taylor isn't really less selfish she just has a greater luxury to consider the human cost of some actions because of the "cops and robbers" mentality of capes, and when the chips are down and she no longer HAS that luxury...well, she makes Cat look like as subtle as a Chessmaster and doesn't even bother to acknowledge that acceptable losses are even losses.

  9. - Top - End - #969
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    Part of the difference is that Cat thinks like a university educated individual and Taylor is a reasonable approximation of a high schooler. Cat comes up with the UN and arms limitation treaties as a barely literate tavern wench, and grows from there while having the smartest people in the world as friends and mentors.

    Taylor is an easily bullied high schooler with a weak education that is fairly clever. Her teams varies from pretty smart to actively stupid, and so far she hasn't made any long term plans to keep from having to deal with a new crises every week (literally ever week.)
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  10. - Top - End - #970
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    I'm reading Worm now, and my impression between the two series is that Worm is actually good at making me care about their characters. they feel actually human and emotional for the right reasons. Like, it actually made me hate Taylors bullies in a visceral way, and thats just the beginning.

    Practical Guide has this problem where where you get so caught up in people trying to outwit and manipulate each other and so much logistical and practical concerns that the emotional side isn't really done well and you don't really feel anything from the attempts, so they feel less human and relatable. I personally can't recall any reason to care about anything in Practical Guide except on a purely intellectual level, when better stories can do more than that. its the same reason why I'm not crazy for rationality fiction or fan fiction, it assumes everyone is a genius and acting the smartest they possibly can at all times and that a particularly arrogant, logical and forceful genius pointed in the right direction is all thats needed to fix it, when that is just as fantastical to me as the mindsets they tend to criticize.
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  11. - Top - End - #971
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Eh, I dunno about that. The thing with Worm in hindsight is that the characters are VERY shallow. Most of Taylor's moralizing is very surface level and I never found her likable beyond that same surface level. Say what you will about Cat, but her thought processes are well laid out so you know exactly why she thinks what she does even when it's not explicitly stated.

    Taylor isn't really less selfish she just has a greater luxury to consider the human cost of some actions because of the "cops and robbers" mentality of capes, and when the chips are down and she no longer HAS that luxury...well, she makes Cat look like as subtle as a Chessmaster and doesn't even bother to acknowledge that acceptable losses are even losses.
    Agree to disagree there. I feel like Taylor was always very concerned about what the right thing to do was. Cat's decisions are much more straightforward. I mean really, so far her hardest choice has been if she should eat Sve Noc or convince her to ally with her. Besides that, Cat's always had the luxury of being the better option. Even then she was the better option, considering how the drow were existing before.

    Admittedly, Taylor is often the better choice as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    so they feel less human and relatable.
    Linguistically, I completely agree that these words do indeed apply; but entirely the opposite way to what you meant, in the sense that "less human" is a massive complement and I have not in unliving OR living memory actually encountered any characters until now that I can actually properly relate to.

    I GET them, Black especially. I really do.



    As far as likeable characters go? As I have observed before, Jubilee was starting to feel a bit of an itch in the back of her spine from at least two pairs of eyes, so that's half a step down from being the literal top.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2019-09-21 at 04:40 AM.

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    Part of the difference is that Cat thinks like a university educated individual and Taylor is a reasonable approximation of a high schooler. Cat comes up with the UN and arms limitation treaties as a barely literate tavern wench, and grows from there while having the smartest people in the world as friends and mentors.
    I think it should be pointed out here, that the waste majority of Cat's ideas comes after she gets a rather intense personal education by one of the smartest men in her world.
    A place where she also initially had a aspect to help argument her studying.
    Last edited by lord_khaine; 2019-09-21 at 09:59 AM.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Eh, I dunno about that. The thing with Worm in hindsight is that the characters are VERY shallow. Most of Taylor's moralizing is very surface level and I never found her likable beyond that same surface level. Say what you will about Cat, but her thought processes are well laid out so you know exactly why she thinks what she does even when it's not explicitly stated.

    Taylor isn't really less selfish she just has a greater luxury to consider the human cost of some actions because of the "cops and robbers" mentality of capes, and when the chips are down and she no longer HAS that luxury...well, she makes Cat look like as subtle as a Chessmaster and doesn't even bother to acknowledge that acceptable losses are even losses.
    On Taylor's morals, she starts off the series very much an outsider to the ethics of superheroes and villains, and I'm not sure she ever makes a clean pass into adapting to their morality. I will argue that she is consistently moral in a genuine, unselfish way, or at least tries to be, and it's only later in the series as she starts to develop a more nuanced understanding of crime and parahumans that her morals simultaneously start to degrade in the face of ever-increasing stakes and consequences.

    Also, I think we're correlating intelligence with wisdom a bit much here. Taylor's very smart (maybe not on Cat's level, but then again she doesn't have magic powers to augment her learning abilities), but also very headstrong, especially early on in the series. She consistently tends to take action without thinking too much about the consequences, help people even if it's not in her best interest, go for the low road without much concern over how it'll affect her reputation later. A big part of her character arc later in the series is learning that this impulsiveness is a very bad thing if she wants to be successful in the cape world, and trying to overcome it.

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    Killing Alexandria and defecting to the Protectorate is, obviously, the big turning point in her development both in and outside of the plot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    So I finally gave up and started reading Worm, which I have been told is similar to or inspired this series. It is also defunct for a long time so there isn't a Worm thread.

    The main characters are very similar in some ways, but Cat is less likable and much smarter. Skitter (why is the series even called Worm??) is very reactive, and doesn't have a long term plan. She effectively conquers a city as a solution to everyone above her being bad, but she never sets out to accomplish it as a goal. Cat has bigger, more fleshed out goals from the beginning.
    I mean, I would also say the reason is that Skitter doesn't set out with much of a goal at all beyond 'Escape High School Bullying.'

    They don't conquer the city because everyone above her is bad. They conquer the city because at first they're paid to, and then afterwards their boss betrays them rather than holding up to their end of the deal so they kill him and set themselves up in his place. Cat STARTS with a big goal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarZero View Post
    I like the "hobo" in there.
    "Hey, you just got 10000gp! You going to buy a fully staffed mansion or something?"
    "Nah, I'll upgrade my +2 sword to a +3 sword and sleep in my cloak."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Eh, I dunno about that. The thing with Worm in hindsight is that the characters are VERY shallow. Most of Taylor's moralizing is very surface level and I never found her likable beyond that same surface level. Say what you will about Cat, but her thought processes are well laid out so you know exactly why she thinks what she does even when it's not explicitly stated.
    Eh, the processes are clearly laid out, but...they're not really anywhere near as well narratively justified in my opinion. Far too often, they seem to have started with a desired conclusion, and been jimmied until they fit the conclusion; there's little in them that shows Cat's biases. That's the thing I think makes Worm stronger than PGtE: not only do people - especially the protagonist - get things wrong, but they get things wrong because of experiences that shaped them. Yes, Taylor moralizes on a surface level - because her extreme experiences with bullying led her to a very flat morality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by uncool View Post
    Eh, the processes are clearly laid out, but...they're not really anywhere near as well narratively justified in my opinion. Far too often, they seem to have started with a desired conclusion, and been jimmied until they fit the conclusion; there's little in them that shows Cat's biases. That's the thing I think makes Worm stronger than PGtE: not only do people - especially the protagonist - get things wrong, but they get things wrong because of experiences that shaped them. Yes, Taylor moralizes on a surface level - because her extreme experiences with bullying led her to a very flat morality.
    Yeah, here is the thing with Practical Guide: the entire world just seems to be there to prove her right.
    She never finds a hero who is truly heroic and a good person in the usual sense to truly challenge her beliefs, (Grey Pilgrims a utilitarian, Saint of Swords was uncompromising, Lone Swordsman was outright called an anti-hero, Thief was your greedy rogue, we don't know enough about Lone Sorcerer, and jury is still out on White Knight, because she has never met the guy), the angels seem intentionally written to be jerks with an alien morality who don't want to lose, and while she does regret starting Liesse and the whole and stuff that lead to the current situation, its a personal one and the people who detract her people like the House of Light who are portrayed as idiots and zealots.

    like what if Catherine ever came across a Hero escorting a bunch of defenseless refugees to safety and the hero walked out knowing they'd die to her superior forces and say "if your here to kill me, fine but leave the refugees alone." or something like that? y'know, reverse the roles here and put her in the position of the overdog against a well-meaning weak hero, especially in earlier books where she was killing heroes as a random encounter. we never see her in that kind of position.

    Contrast Worm: a lot of why the heroic antagonists oppose Taylor and villains are actually pretty reasonable things to be angry at her over, and the villains around Taylor are all genuinely vile and horrible as they would be in real life rather than the fake genius evil nonsense that everyone has been doing since the Evil Overlord List was a thing. like the heroes in Worm aren't perfect, but I can tell they are actually good people as opposed to Taylor, because when they get angry at her, its over legitimate ethical/moral things like "a teenager shouldn't be a double agent" or "your stunt with poison nearly cost me my job." things like that, which are y'know much stronger cases to bring up against someone than vague angel moral stuff that isn't well explained.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    jury is still out on White Knight, because she has never met the guy),
    End of Chapter 74, all of Chapter 75?
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Yeah, here is the thing with Practical Guide: the entire world just seems to be there to prove her right.
    She never finds a hero who is truly heroic and a good person in the usual sense to truly challenge her beliefs, (Grey Pilgrims a utilitarian, Saint of Swords was uncompromising, Lone Swordsman was outright called an anti-hero, Thief was your greedy rogue, we don't know enough about Lone Sorcerer, and jury is still out on White Knight, because she has never met the guy)
    You are...not at all up to date, I assume. She met Hanno recently (they got along quite nicely actually), and there have been quite a few other "heroic heroes"; it's simply that the two oldest heroes on the continent are more gray.

    But her beliefs trend more toward "The entire Named system is bonkers" these days than anything about either Good or Evil being superior.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    the angels seem intentionally written to be jerks with an alien morality who don't want to lose, and while she does regret starting Liesse and the whole and stuff that lead to the current situation, its a personal one and the people who detract her people like the House of Light who are portrayed as idiots and zealots.
    The Callowan House of Light is portrayed as quite reasonable. The Proceran members on the other hand, are neither zealots nor idiots; they are simply grasping for political gain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    like what if Catherine ever came across a Hero escorting a bunch of defenseless refugees to safety and the hero walked out knowing they'd die to her superior forces and say "if your here to kill me, fine but leave the refugees alone." or something like that? y'know, reverse the roles here and put her in the position of the overdog against a well-meaning weak hero, especially in earlier books where she was killing heroes as a random encounter. we never see her in that kind of position.
    This happened like 3 books ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Contrast Worm: a lot of why the heroic antagonists oppose Taylor and villains are actually pretty reasonable things to be angry at her over, and the villains around Taylor are all genuinely vile and horrible as they would be in real life rather than the fake genius evil nonsense that everyone has been doing since the Evil Overlord List was a thing. like the heroes in Worm aren't perfect, but I can tell they are actually good people as opposed to Taylor, because when they get angry at her, its over legitimate ethical/moral things like "a teenager shouldn't be a double agent" or "your stunt with poison nearly cost me my job." things like that, which are y'know much stronger cases to bring up against someone than vague angel moral stuff that isn't well explained.
    Much like PtGE, read the whole thing before making judgments like this. =)

    It looks like you haven't even hit the first big "event" yet given some of those references.

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    well excuse me for not having the best memory, of having other things to keep myself updated on, or trying to get into yet another book.

    ugh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    well excuse me for not having the best memory, of having other things to keep myself updated on, or trying to get into yet another book.

    ugh.
    I mean, having heated conversations about stuff you haven't read is pretty silly, yeah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    I mean, having heated conversations about stuff you haven't read is pretty silly, yeah.
    I mean, that doesn't change that he's not wrong. As much as I LIKE practical guide to evil, good is bad, bad is mostly good except for a few token 'Bad Bad' Guys. Basically the closer to the center you get, the more 'right' you're allowed to be.

    Worm's Heroes are the enemy largely not because they're wrong. But because the main character is a lonely girl who's imprinted on the first people her age to treat her with kindness and respect, and that group happens to be a team of super villains including two murderers. Whereas most of the heroes are enemies of Catherine because.... the angels said so, up until they stopped.
    Last edited by druid91; 2019-09-21 at 09:14 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarZero View Post
    I like the "hobo" in there.
    "Hey, you just got 10000gp! You going to buy a fully staffed mansion or something?"
    "Nah, I'll upgrade my +2 sword to a +3 sword and sleep in my cloak."

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    Quote Originally Posted by druid91 View Post
    I mean, that doesn't change that he's not wrong. As much as I LIKE practical guide to evil, good is bad, bad is mostly good except for a few token 'Bad Bad' Guys. Basically the closer to the center you get, the more 'right' you're allowed to be.

    Worm's Heroes are the enemy largely not because they're wrong. But because the main character is a lonely girl who's imprinted on the first people her age to treat her with kindness and respect, and that group happens to be a team of super villains including two murderers. Whereas most of the heroes are enemies of Catherine because.... the angels said so, up until they stopped.
    Yes. Even the corrupt heroes aren't really that bad when you consider

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    that they were making an army in order to fight Scion, a being who kills billions, despite their best efforts.

    And when you look at the lengths Taylor is eventually willing to go to to win, she really isn't much better than them. IE, the whole enslaving all parahumans in every reality in order to use them as her own army to fight Scion.
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    okay so that happened. met causally on the road apparently. the two big Villain and Hero of their generation finally meeting. honestly I've been kind of looking forward to this.

    “If the coin spun for ever soul on Calernia, it would show the laurels more often than not,”
    KNEW IT. but seriously, good on them.

    and wow he is reasonable, this might actually work. Hanno is aware of Catherine's protagonism though. I think he is just wait a little longer to see if she can make this work before fully committing.

    so yeah, she has met with Hasenbach next and yeah.... that super-weapon will be important to something. and its another Angel oh no.


    But yeah, none of this changes my opinion of Practical Guide really? White Knight is close to center so....it fits with druid91's assessment. it all feels a bit arranged. mostly I think the difference between Practical Guide and Worm so far is down to the simple fact that a villain shooting an innocent in the face is more establishing of their monstrosity than all the evil speeches and finely crafted master plans in the world.
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    I mean, that doesn't change that he's not wrong. As much as I LIKE practical guide to evil, good is bad, bad is mostly good except for a few token 'Bad Bad' Guys. Basically the closer to the center you get, the more 'right' you're allowed to be.
    He is. or at least you are. Good isnt bad. The waste majority of heroes are risking their lifes for others on a regular basis.
    Bad meanwhile are bad. All the Calamities are monsters. A significant part of the woes are sociopaths or psykopats.
    Its really only Cat who are the exception here, and even she does some awful things once in a while, even if its for the greater good.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Yeah, here is the thing with Practical Guide: the entire world just seems to be there to prove her right.
    She never finds a hero who is truly heroic and a good person in the usual sense to truly challenge her beliefs, (Grey Pilgrims a utilitarian, Saint of Swords was uncompromising, Lone Swordsman was outright called an anti-hero, Thief was your greedy rogue, we don't know enough about Lone Sorcerer, and jury is still out on White Knight, because she has never met the guy), the angels seem intentionally written to be jerks with an alien morality who don't want to lose, and while she does regret starting Liesse and the whole and stuff that lead to the current situation, its a personal one and the people who detract her people like the House of Light who are portrayed as idiots and zealots.

    like what if Catherine ever came across a Hero escorting a bunch of defenseless refugees to safety and the hero walked out knowing they'd die to her superior forces and say "if your here to kill me, fine but leave the refugees alone." or something like that? y'know, reverse the roles here and put her in the position of the overdog against a well-meaning weak hero, especially in earlier books where she was killing heroes as a random encounter. we never see her in that kind of position
    Something tells me that you'd be even more annoyed if good was actually Good, because Cat still wouldn't be, and as the protagonist, would still be winning and instead of evil-with-a-funny-hat, you'd be watching her narratively smack around Actual!Gandalf or Actual!Belgararth or something narratively instead.



    (Beside, Cats's practical, so in your mentioned situation, she'd either just let them go or just kill the hero, depending on the context of the situation and how necessary it was to eliminate the hero. I mean, I would do that and I am arguably more Evil than she is. Waving around metaphorical Naruto in front of my face wouldn't change my opinion (BECAUSE IT HASN'T), why would you think it would change Cat's?)
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2019-09-22 at 03:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by druid91 View Post
    Worm's Heroes are the enemy largely not because they're wrong.
    I feel that at some point in worm the moral questions end and the story just begins piling up ever bigger fights.
    At some point the motivations for taylors actions become so stupid that she kills someone in the vincinity just because that person is slightly inconvenient.

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    Something tells me that you'd be even more annoyed if good was actually Good, because Cat still wouldn't be, and as the protagonist, would still be winning and instead of evil-with-a-funny-hat, you'd be watching her narratively smack around Actual!Gandalf or Actual!Belgararth or something narratively instead.
    I would -love- to see Belgareth getting smacked around a bit.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rydiro View Post
    I feel that at some point in worm the moral questions end and the story just begins piling up ever bigger fights.
    At some point the motivations for taylors actions become so stupid that she kills someone in the vincinity just because that person is slightly inconvenient.
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    Are you referring to her killing Aster during the second Slaughterhouse 9 arc? Taylor only kills like three or four people over the course of the series (clones excepted), and Aster's death is probably the only one that I wouldn't consider justifiable in the end. And Taylor herself eventually comes to regret doing so a few arcs later, but it was arguably the only bad option in a sea of much worse ones.

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    Mantellum the omni-jammer. She isnt even real enemies with group that searches the Lab for answers.

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