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  1. - Top - End - #211
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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    I suppose that might be my biggest problem with the story. Evil is evil, but Good isn't good. We haven't had a single major character who is a good guy.
    At least a little of this has to come from signfiicant Heroes being sponsored by the Choirs of Angels, who have.. somewhat alien perspectives on things. Contrition just wants you to be sorry and repent. Forever. There is no actual absolution from them, just keep repenting until it kills you. Everybody is guilty to Judgement (although I suppose there's a slim chance they might Judge you 'not guilty enough to have to pay with your life.') I don't think we've seen much of Mercy's worldview yet, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it includes a hefty dose of "you can't suffer after you've died and gone to your reward, therefore killing (or leading others to their death in your service) is a merciful act." Which.. I want to say the Grey Pilgrim is sponsored by Mercy, and a tenet like that would explain how he can drop a plague on civilians to kill an army and have it weigh out as a nominally-Good act.

  2. - Top - End - #212
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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    The Choirs are packed full of well-intentioned extremists.

    Contrition enslaves people with their guilt.

    Mercy sees any net reduction in suffering as good.

    Judgment seeks an impossible ideal with fallible mortals, and holds them accountable for their shortcomings.

    Both demons and angels are portrayed as cosmic horrors in this saga. Angels just have better PR.

  3. - Top - End - #213
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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Leewei View Post
    The Choirs are packed full of well-intentioned extremists.

    Contrition enslaves people with their guilt.

    Mercy sees any net reduction in suffering as good.

    Judgment seeks an impossible ideal with fallible mortals, and holds them accountable for their shortcomings.

    Both demons and angels are portrayed as cosmic horrors in this saga. Angels just have better PR.
    I don't think "well-intentioned" should to be in that sentence, myself; I don't think their intentions are anything but self-aggrandisment of their own little philosphy.

  4. - Top - End - #214
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    At least a little of this has to come from signfiicant Heroes being sponsored by the Choirs of Angels, who have.. somewhat alien perspectives on things. Contrition just wants you to be sorry and repent. Forever. There is no actual absolution from them, just keep repenting until it kills you. Everybody is guilty to Judgement (although I suppose there's a slim chance they might Judge you 'not guilty enough to have to pay with your life.') I don't think we've seen much of Mercy's worldview yet, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it includes a hefty dose of "you can't suffer after you've died and gone to your reward, therefore killing (or leading others to their death in your service) is a merciful act." Which.. I want to say the Grey Pilgrim is sponsored by Mercy, and a tenet like that would explain how he can drop a plague on civilians to kill an army and have it weigh out as a nominally-Good act.
    The Choirs are packed full of well-intentioned extremists.

    Contrition enslaves people with their guilt.

    Mercy sees any net reduction in suffering as good.

    Judgment seeks an impossible ideal with fallible mortals, and holds them accountable for their shortcomings.

    Both demons and angels are portrayed as cosmic horrors in this saga. Angels just have better PR
    I don't think "well-intentioned" should to be in that sentence, myself; I don't think their intentions are anything but self-aggrandisment of their own little philosphy.
    Well.. this seems like a prime example of why you should not speculate on a subject your heavily biased on.
    Because its blowing things way, way out of proportions.

    Yes Contrition likely want you to repent forever. And yes they likely dont know of mercy, thats a different choir.
    But White Knight, the so far most stereotypical hero, is sponsored by Justice.
    And i wont even begin on the ideas on mercy.

    Yes Mercy sponsors the Grey Pilgrim. And he did destroy a small fishing village as collatoral on Blacks army. But that does not mean the Choir of Mercy think it was a good act.
    Despite what there might be claimed, good heroes are -not- puppets of their choirs. They do have free will. That we have seen from the heroes POV chapters.

    Angels does perhaps have a touch of cosmic horror over them, merely from being so different and powerful.
    But its not just PR that differentiates them from Demons, who break down the laws of nature by their mere presence.
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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    1.) Justice is explicitly shown as being nearly as unreasonable as Contrition. Jury's still out on Mercy. Remember that Hanno has very little free will, and by design. He lets Justice make all his decisions for him with that coin flip tic, and in return gains narrative bonuses for it.

    2.) Demons are NOT the equivalent to Angels on the side of Below. Demons are an Out of Context threat that belongs to neither side, and is a threat to both. Villains just happen to often be bat**** crazy enough to make use of them. Sometimes. Devils are the equivalent to Angels; they trade the "limited number, huge power" advantage the Choir has for "infinite number, small individual power" advantage. The latter do not warp reality in the same way Demons do, and Villains often go out of their way to contain Demons at all costs just as much as Heroes do.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Well.. this seems like a prime example of why you should not speculate on a subject your heavily biased on.
    Because its blowing things way, way out of proportions.

    Yes Contrition likely want you to repent forever. And yes they likely dont know of mercy, thats a different choir.
    But White Knight, the so far most stereotypical hero, is sponsored by Justice.
    And i wont even begin on the ideas on mercy.

    Yes Mercy sponsors the Grey Pilgrim. And he did destroy a small fishing village as collatoral on Blacks army. But that does not mean the Choir of Mercy think it was a good act.
    Despite what there might be claimed, good heroes are -not- puppets of their choirs. They do have free will. That we have seen from the heroes POV chapters.

    Angels does perhaps have a touch of cosmic horror over them, merely from being so different and powerful.
    But its not just PR that differentiates them from Demons, who break down the laws of nature by their mere presence.

    The Same White Knight who has zero sense of self to the point that his 'Schtick' is becoming whoever the choir needs him to be in the moment?

    That's your argument for the angels not taking away free will?

    The Grey Pilgrim notes that Mercy is the EXCEPTION. That Mercy's coddling of their chosen is, in and of itself an expression of their nature. Mercy. That's WHY The Grey Pilgrim is the 'Grey' Pilgrim. Because Mercy forgives him. Knows his heart was 'In the right place' when he decided to kill that entire town. Still punishes him, but doesn't discard him.
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    I like the "hobo" in there.
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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Anybody want to give me a list of good heroes or protagonists (or even techically nuetrals) in any other medium who would consider murdering a village full of people via biological warfare to infect the enemy army with a plague an action that woould not react immediately with disgust and horror?

    I dunno, maybe, what, a dozen or so?

    No, really, I can't immediately bring any to mind; not even the likes of Belgarath or, I dunno, the Third Hokage who might just be on the border strike me as the sort of people who would think that was acceptable.



    As I have said before, "good" in Creation REALLY isn't, it's evil with a different hat and more delusion, both of itself and in its adherants.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2018-11-15 at 08:10 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #218
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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    Anybody want to give me a list of good heroes or protagonists (or even techically nuetrals) in any other medium who would consider murdering a village full of people via biological warfare to infect the enemy army with a plague an action that woould not react immediately with disgust and horror?

    I dunno, maybe, what, a dozen or so?

    No, really, I can't immediately bring any to mind; not even the likes of Belgarath or, I dunno, the Third Hokage who might just be on the border strike me as the sort of people who would think that was acceptable.



    As I have said before, "good" in Creation REALLY isn't, it's evil with a different hat and more delusion, both of itself and in its adherants.
    Ditto this. Sacrificing a town in order to catch Black wasn't good, or Good. It might have been strategically practical and it was certainly easier, but that's not what good should be about.

    In fact, it's exactly the sort of thing I'd expect a villain like Catherine to do.

    And the thing is, they did it to catch a relatively minor villain. Yeah, Black is the main general of Praes, but they aren't out to tear the world asunder or even killing civilians. Black literally has killed less civilians then the Grey Pilgrim. If it was to take out someone like the Dead King, then yeah, I might be able to see that. But Black isn't really that bad of a villain. He's certainly better then the Sword Saint, who is willing to let most of Procer burn to catch the corrupt in the flames.
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  9. - Top - End - #219
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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    I wonder if there's a linear relationship between the age/career length of a hero and the amount of tarnish on their shining armor. When we saw the squeaky-clean fresh party of Stalwart Paladin + Co., they were exactly the sort of Good that Good is supposed to be - taking risks to avoid getting innocents caught in crossfire for example. They also got slaughtered, but them's the breaks. Contrast to Pilgrim and Saint, explicitly the oldest and strongest Heroes still alive, and also the ones who blatantly and happily do things that would make the actual Evil characters flinch. Maybe Heroes weaken with age as a design feature, to prevent them from living so long that they become villains.
    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.

  10. - Top - End - #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    Ditto this. Sacrificing a town in order to catch Black wasn't good, or Good. It might have been strategically practical and it was certainly easier, but that's not what good should be about.

    In fact, it's exactly the sort of thing I'd expect a villain like Catherine to do.

    And the thing is, they did it to catch a relatively minor villain. Yeah, Black is the main general of Praes, but they aren't out to tear the world asunder or even killing civilians. Black literally has killed less civilians then the Grey Pilgrim. If it was to take out someone like the Dead King, then yeah, I might be able to see that. But Black isn't really that bad of a villain. He's certainly better then the Sword Saint, who is willing to let most of Procer burn to catch the corrupt in the flames.
    I'm not entirely convinced by the anti-Good argument. Catherine is essentially impossible, a completely modern morally person chucked into another world, and a lot of her arguments amount to "you can work within the system as long as the other person is reasonable."

    Catherine's assumption that people will work with her has backfired tremendously, and her goal at this point is to become strong enough to force people to negotiate. Her original plan was based on assumptions about power in Praes that were false, Black really isn't in charge and working with human sacrificing devil summoners rather than fighting them really isn't the lesser evil.

    Second Liesse and Malicia butchering her government are stark reminders that actually you can't work within the system, the system has to be gutted.

    Her Liesse Accords are actually basically Goods goal, which is to remove horrible activities like summong devils and turning people into undead from picture. Catherine even wants to violently butcher the ruling class of Praes and force people to stop using slaves, blood sacrifice, etc. using whatever means necessary, which is identical to Goods ethos.

  11. - Top - End - #221
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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I'm not entirely convinced by the anti-Good argument. Catherine is essentially impossible, a completely modern morally person chucked into another world, and a lot of her arguments amount to "you can work within the system as long as the other person is reasonable."

    Catherine's assumption that people will work with her has backfired tremendously, and her goal at this point is to become strong enough to force people to negotiate. Her original plan was based on assumptions about power in Praes that were false, Black really isn't in charge and working with human sacrificing devil summoners rather than fighting them really isn't the lesser evil.

    Second Liesse and Malicia butchering her government are stark reminders that actually you can't work within the system, the system has to be gutted.

    Her Liesse Accords are actually basically Goods goal, which is to remove horrible activities like summong devils and turning people into undead from picture. Catherine even wants to violently butcher the ruling class of Praes and force people to stop using slaves, blood sacrifice, etc. using whatever means necessary, which is identical to Goods ethos.
    ...I think you missed my point, or something. To be clear though, I consider Catherine to be evil. So when she's better (or at least not worse) then the supposed 'good guys', then I think there's a problem with Good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    ...I think you missed my point, or something. To be clear though, I consider Catherine to be evil. So when she's better (or at least not worse) then the supposed 'good guys', then I think there's a problem with Good.
    What would a Good (in your mind) character do in their place?

    Because from where I'm sitting one side is using crimes against humanity to defeat the other, but the other side sees those as everyday life. Fighting a world war to free the civilians of Praes will cost a lot of lives now, but the endlessly larger number of people not yet born who will avoid slavery, being sacrificed in blood rites or turned into undead is higher still.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    What would a Good (in your mind) character do in their place?

    Because from where I'm sitting one side is using crimes against humanity to defeat the other, but the other side sees those as everyday life. Fighting a world war to free the civilians of Praes will cost a lot of lives now, but the endlessly larger number of people not yet born who will avoid slavery, being sacrificed in blood rites or turned into undead is higher still.
    In which part? The Crusade?

    For the Crusade in general, I would've accepted Catherine's deal to ferry the Crusaders over to fight in Praes. Assuming of course she was willing to swear oaths preventing betrayal.

    To stop Black? There's a lot of options so I'll give you 3 different plans:

    1. A non-lethal disease. A bad bout of diarrhea and nausea to delay Black's army by a couple of days to let Procur's army to catch up.

    2. Sink the boats before Black gets there. I'm sure the town would obey the Grey Pilgrim if he asked.

    3. Fighting them boat to boat. The Sword Saint can cut through ships easily enough, and you could likely ambush the fleet as well. Particularly if you created some divine fog to help out. And numbers don't help that much on a boat, while the Sword Saint can just chop up each boat before retreating.
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  14. - Top - End - #224
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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    I agree with your points there. They could easily have won instead of lost the invasion of Callow by bypassing it and forcing Black to run north to save it instead of south trying to make them do the opposite.

    The boats thing I don't know if those wouldn't get more people killed, but as I am reasonably certain Grey Pilgrim can kill Black 1v1 and his laser can certainly sink ships it does seem like they resorted to murdering their own pretty early.

    My larger point I guess is that the love style of Good countries has been largely shown to be much less horrible than Evil countries. Even if Evil was willing to sit in their own countries and torture their own civilians forever I would likely still endorse destroying them, much less as persistent aggressors.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I agree with your points there. They could easily have won instead of lost the invasion of Callow by bypassing it and forcing Black to run north to save it instead of south trying to make them do the opposite.

    The boats thing I don't know if those wouldn't get more people killed, but as I am reasonably certain Grey Pilgrim can kill Black 1v1 and his laser can certainly sink ships it does seem like they resorted to murdering their own pretty early.

    My larger point I guess is that the love style of Good countries has been largely shown to be much less horrible than Evil countries. Even if Evil was willing to sit in their own countries and torture their own civilians forever I would likely still endorse destroying them, much less as persistent aggressors.
    Oh sure, the Crusade itself wasn't a bad idea. It's just that Callow never needed to be a target. And really, a large reason why it was a target was because Procur wants to conquer it. Not liberate it from Catherine's evil rule, that's just the excuse. Procur's nobility is corrupt, and they want to swell their power by conquering Callow.

    But Praes? Praes is a demon infested ****stain of a country. Malicia might be leagues nicer then any Dread Empress before her, but she's still an evil overlord. Burning that country to the ground and taking complete control of it is a pretty good act. Even if they can't hold it, just getting rid of the current batch of nobles would only make the world a better place.
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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    But Praes? Praes is a demon infested ****stain of a country. Malicia might be leagues nicer then any Dread Empress before her, but she's still an evil overlord. Burning that country to the ground and taking complete control of it is a pretty good act. Even if they can't hold it, just getting rid of the current batch of nobles would only make the world a better place.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Fighting a world war to free the civilians of Praes will cost a lot of lives now, but the endlessly larger number of people not yet born who will avoid slavery, being sacrificed in blood rites or turned into undead is higher still.
    No. No, they won't.

    Because that's not how heroes work here; it's been said so several times.

    The heroes come up, kill the villains... and leave. (Just like adventurers in your average RPG, actually.) Blow up the Death Star, dance in the Ewok village, close credits, story's over.

    Picking up the pieces? Not their problem.

    And nor is it what Procer wants, either. The "good" guys don't do what Black was trying to do - and nor has Praes, actually, in the past - actually stop around and try and change the culture (which WOULD be good if actual Good people and not the LE dude was doing it). Their bosses explictly DON'T want them to do that, because THEY want this cycle to endlessly continue to they can have their little game of one-up-manship with the Gods Below - after all, why win one victory when you can leave Praes to rise up time and time and time again to be swatted down? Who cares how many petty mortal lives it costs (after all, they are inherntly incapable of upholding your impossible standards so they derserve diddly-squat). Hell, Cordelia has a vested interest in NOT doing that for purely non-religious reasons; for one, Procer has got someone to kick sand in the face of when the need a crusade another day, and in the meantime, the land in Callow gets parcelled out and a chunk to her detractors who will be the ones bearing the brunt of the next Dread Emperor, before the current Prince can come up and stomp all over them for good PR and the satisfaction of the Gods Above.

    No, this Crusade isn't about liberating Praes and it sure as hell isn't about liberating Callow; it's about killing Black, Cat and Malicia and their Named, so that they are replaced with much less competant ones or, Named like the Tyrant - willing to play the game, so the status quo is maintained. (So a Crusade not unlike the ones in history, them...)



    (I mean come on, the Gods Above are so panicked about Black and co ruining the little game THEY ESCALATED FIRST. I honestly cannot think of another time that the preported GOOD gods went for direct intervention first, allowing the bad gods to come in to balance it - "breaking the rules and getting directly involved" is hitherto the BAD GUY'S thing!)



    I pretty certain Cordy has NO intention of occupying Praes (pretty sure she doesn't have the manpower, even if she wanted to), and maybe not even just razing it to the ground - just killing Malicia and killing/removing Cat as leader of Callow, annxexing Callow (just like the bad guys did...) and in the process stabilising Procer (by getting rid of a lot of those troublesome potential rebels). She doesn't give two fricks about the civilians of Praes. Let's also remember that the orcs and goblins as a whole and large swaths of the human population will be massecred, as they burn the cities to the ground, because the "good" guys are all massive racists.

    A massively expensive occupation with the intent of educating the people (maybe even the greenskins) There Is A Better Way (i.e. the Good thing to do), which will take decades or centuries, maybe? Definitely not on the cards - Procer is way too fractious to allow that anyway; the nobles are only marginally better than the nobles of Praes (and personally I think that somewhat debatable even then). After all, Procer isn't on knife edge that needs Callow's grain so the population doesn't starve, so there's no economic benefit to them.

    So, instead, Callow becomes part of Procer1, so that when, however long down the line, the scrabble of survivors in Praes (that weren't massecred) - who funnily enough, they aren't going to magically become good because you killed the nobles - re-raise the Tower and start all over again, rising up, doing damage and then being killed off (with, of course, Callow as the battleground). Nothing will change (as technology is being actively suppressed), and Bard - arguably the central pivot antagonist eldritch horror embodiement of the narrative - wins, because the status quo is maintained, once again ensuring that the angels and devils and gods kill millions of people over the years for their urinating contest.



    No, the only way this ends is if the cycle is actually broken -and there are basically two ways that happens, both of which include spitting in the god's collective faces and telling them to shove it.

    1) Peace treaty. Can't believe I'm in the position of saying this the immediate solution is not violence. But Cat's Accords may actually be the right choice in the short-mid-and medium-long term; you can't win the god's game, so the only winning move, as they say, is not to play. (I mean, for frack's sake, when 2/3 of the primary Evil protagonists think this is the only option, that's kind of a problem.)

    2) Ultimately: kill all the gods. This is the only permenant solution - maybe if Cat continues to escalate in power she might be able to do so at the end of the series. Seems unlikely, but I unlive in hope.



    Right, I'mma gonna go read the new chapter now.




    1Which is, to paraphrase Forum Explorer, is itself an angel infested ****stain of a country, let's not forget.

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    The Same White Knight who has zero sense of self to the point that his 'Schtick' is becoming whoever the choir needs him to be in the moment?

    That's your argument for the angels not taking away free will?
    No, not that guy, the one who is a genuine good person, the closest we have seen to a paladin-type so far.
    And who just happens to have a gift that lets him draw on fighting abilities of past heroes. That guy.

    And the thing is, they did it to catch a relatively minor villain. Yeah, Black is the main general of Praes, but they aren't out to tear the world asunder or even killing civilians. Black literally has killed less civilians then the Grey Pilgrim. If it was to take out someone like the Dead King, then yeah, I might be able to see that. But Black isn't really that bad of a villain. He's certainly better then the Sword Saint, who is willing to let most of Procer burn to catch the corrupt in the flames.
    Should be pointed out Black is extremely competent, had a massive army, and poseda serious distraction while the Dead King were on the move.

    No, this Crusade isn't about liberating Praes and it sure as hell isn't about liberating Callow; it's about killing Black, Cat and Malicia and their Named, so that they are replaced with much less competant ones or, Named like the Tyrant - willing to play the game, so the status quo is maintained. (So a Crusade not unlike the ones in history, them...)

    (I mean come on, the Gods Above are so panicked about Black and co ruining the little game THEY ESCALATED FIRST. I honestly cannot think of another time that the preported GOOD gods went for direct intervention first, allowing the bad gods to come in to balance it - "breaking the rules and getting directly involved" is hitherto the BAD GUY'S thing!)
    Well.. i guess one should expect someone whose head is on fire to be -extremely- biased when it comes to reporting on the motivation of the gods above.
    Even when it comes to information that we dont really have anything solid on. And therefore cant ever be more than guesswork.

    Because at least according to the actual story, the reason for the crusade is simply that Proccer needed something to unify her country. Black and Malicia had been allowed to play in peace for a generation or so.
    Certainly, the story about The Gods Above panicking dont hold water. If that was the case GP and his team would have been unleashed at the start.

    I pretty certain Cordy has NO intention of occupying Praes (pretty sure she doesn't have the manpower, even if she wanted to), and maybe not even just razing it to the ground - just killing Malicia and killing/removing Cat as leader of Callow, annxexing Callow (just like the bad guys did...) and in the process stabilising Procer (by getting rid of a lot of those troublesome potential rebels). She doesn't give two fricks about the civilians of Praes. Let's also remember that the orcs and goblins as a whole and large swaths of the human population will be massecred, as they burn the cities to the ground, because the "good" guys are all massive racists.
    Well.. i think it has been stated a few times. Actually occupying Praes is impossible. It is a wasteland of fortified cities, and when you start to press them to hard all sorts of abominations are unleashed.

    But yes. New chapter.
    Spoiler
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    And we finally get to know what likely pushed The Gray Pilgrim off the couch and the Wandering Bard into gear.
    As predicted its Cat. And more specifically the risk that she becomes the next Dead King, as the immortal ruler of Callow.

    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    No, not that guy, the one who is a genuine good person, the closest we have seen to a paladin-type so far.
    And who just happens to have a gift that lets him draw on fighting abilities of past heroes. That guy.
    That's the same guy. The pillock that is doing the same schtick as a literal Batman villain.



    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine
    Well.. i guess one should expect someone whose head is on fire to be -extremely- biased when it comes to reporting on the motivation of the gods above.
    Even when it comes to information that we dont really have anything solid on. And therefore cant ever be more than guesswork.
    Sure, go with the defence of "you're just biased1!" That's a position that's worth having a conversation over.



    1And untrue, actually, since I have a VERY keen sense of morality and what akes me Evil is that I do evil anyway; but I can tell you, now if I was a proper LG Paladin, I'd be just as if not more morally ouraged about how "good" is operating.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2018-11-16 at 08:37 AM.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    No, not that guy, the one who is a genuine good person, the closest we have seen to a paladin-type so far.
    And who just happens to have a gift that lets him draw on fighting abilities of past heroes. That guy.
    The guy whose heroic revelation, the epiphany that saw him offered his Name, was that he didn't have the right to judge people.. so he instead surrendered his moral authority, his own ability to identify right and wrong acts, to the Choir of Judgement. Who so far have conveniently declared that all his opponents need to be put to the sword (admittedly most of the viewpoint characters we've seen him come up against probably would come down to kill or be killed in conflict.) I'd feel a lot more charitably inclined toward Hanno if we got to see what happens when the coin comes down on the other side, or how he responded if he got a verdict he disagreed with from it; right now he just appears to be the executioner for Judgement, and as we've already noted the Choir of Judgement seems disinclined to show mercy on anybody.. (that would be the job of a different Choir, after all.) His actions outside of his job as a hero don't necessarily qualify to make him a 'good person' - Black is a perfectly congenial person when he's not doing Villain things too.

    Edit: hmm. Is it Justice or Judgement? I'm not at liberty to go paging back through the chapters right now, but I keep wanting to say Judgement. Probably because the actions of the 'Just' seem so often to consist of rendering Judgement.
    Last edited by tyckspoon; 2018-11-16 at 12:22 PM.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    1.) Justice is explicitly shown as being nearly as unreasonable as Contrition. Jury's still out on Mercy. Remember that Hanno has very little free will, and by design. He lets Justice make all his decisions for him with that coin flip tic, and in return gains narrative bonuses for it.
    Best rendition of two-face ever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I'm not entirely convinced by the anti-Good argument. Catherine is essentially impossible, a completely modern morally person chucked into another world, and a lot of her arguments amount to "you can work within the system as long as the other person is reasonable."
    That depends entirely on your morals. I feel safe in saying that Catherine's actions would be a bit much by the standards of most modern day people, and a lot of the remnants of morals she has are simply due to her upbringing. She's certainly not evil by the standards of the old ways of Praes, but neither is she a beacon of good and justice. She'll twist a knife in someone to make them hurt more just to make a point.

    We have a lot of grey-black portrayals, but not much in the way of characters who are actually heroes.
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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    I don't think "well-intentioned" should to be in that sentence, myself; I don't think their intentions are anything but self-aggrandisment of their own little philosphy.
    Their basic philosophies appear to be derived from "Good" concepts.

    Contrition would have us be sorrowful of acts that harm others. Judgment would have us seek the best outcomes from our actions, and take responsibility when we could have done better. Mercy would reduce suffering in the world.

    What is problematic here, and what makes the Choirs interesting to read about, is that they really cannot be good, taken in isolation from each other.

    Sorrow for harming others leads to understanding and change, and is tempered by self-forgiveness. Judgment is best when those who wronged are penitent, and when possible, should lead the aggrieved to forgive those who harmed them. Mercy should be shown to those who are remorseful, and when there is good reason to believe that it will not lead to greater suffering.

    Isolated into Choirs, these tenets become wonderful monstrosities.

    Maybe the Choirs' themes are to good what quarks are to hadrons?
    Last edited by Leewei; 2018-11-16 at 12:32 PM.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    When the first crusade (the only one that worked) conquered Praes they in fact occupied it and lost it to an uprising, but they very much tried to remove Evil and not just knock people over. The crusades have otherwise all been failures.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Leewei View Post
    Their basic philosophies appear to be derived from "Good" concepts.

    Contrition would have us be sorrowful of acts that harm others. Judgment would have us seek the best outcomes from our actions, and take responsibility when we could have done better. Mercy would reduce suffering in the world.

    What is problematic here, and what makes the Choirs interesting to read about, is that they really cannot be good, taken in isolation from each other.
    EXACTLY.

    *puts on uncharacteristically serious hat*

    You can't BE good without compassion - without forgiveness. I always say anything that claims to be "above such petty conceits of good and evil" is AUTOMATICALLY evil; you can't be a number below zero without being negative, you can't be beyond good without being evil. Opposing Evil by itself doesn't make you good. You can't be Good by being an extremist. Compassion, empathy, forgiveness - the knowledge that your feelings are not more important than other people's lives; that is what Good IS.

    To be Good is to lead by shining example, not by demand. To take responsibility for not just yourself, but those around, especially those you have authority over. To be kind, and never be cruel or cowardly. To show mercy and compassion and grant protection to, not just to your family, friends and allies - that's easy, Evil does that all the time; not even just to those who are innocent or unprotected (Evil can do that out of sheer practicality and to avoid waste), but sometimes even those who are your enemies, those who hate and fear you and who will not thank you for it - because it is the right thing to do. No matter how hard it is, or at the cost to yourself.

    Not to take the quick and easy path because its conveniant and comes at expense of others, but to take the hard path, the risky path, without reward, knowing that often it will come back to haunt you, but to do it because it is right thing to do. To draw your sword only when all other methods have failed and but always seek peace over war, but never to shirk from protecting those who cannot protect themseves.

    To question, to ask of yourself, your subordinates and your superiors "is this right? Can we find a better way?" To known that the ends do not justify the means and that the "greater good" is most often used by those trying to justify unconscionable actions to themselves.

    To be prepared to sacrifice of yourself, no matter how much it hurts; but never to demand the sacrifice of others. With your power, however little, however small, comes responsibilty to USE that power to better the world, be it saving the whole universe or just lending a sympathetic ear to a stranger.

    To know that you are not perfect, that both you and others will make mistakes, sometimes terrible, but to never give up trying to improve; to get right back up when you fall and to offer your hand to others you see fall themselves.

    To take a stand against the evils, draw a line in the sand and say "no further." To recognise those few who you genuinely cannot help or redeem, who will not be brought out of the darkness and to ensure they cannot harm any others as best you can, without prolonging their suffering or to punish.

    To be Good is to strive to be BETTER, both in yourself and those around you, allies and enemies both; to find a different way.

    To light a fire in the blackest depths of night, to stand blazing in the darkness and light the way for others to follow.

    THAT is what it means to be Good.



    Some might make the arguement that me? I was just not strong enough to walk that path. That I took the easy route.

    And you know what... In a moment uncharacteristic self-reflection?



    They might even be right.



    But never dare let it be said I didn't l know EXACTLY what it was I was turning away from when I choose to be Evil.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2018-11-16 at 02:21 PM.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    No, not that guy, the one who is a genuine good person, the closest we have seen to a paladin-type so far.
    And who just happens to have a gift that lets him draw on fighting abilities of past heroes. That guy.
    ... He doesn't just draw on their fighting abilities. He takes on their entire personality to the point of briefly believing himself to be a woman from Procer.
    Spoiler
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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."

    Non est salvatori salvator, neque defensori dominus, nec pater nec mater, nihil supernum.

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    That's the same guy. The pillock that is doing the same schtick as a literal Batman villain.
    Nope.. you got to be talking about a different guy.
    Im talking about the guy who seems to be the brains behind his party, not some deranged lunatic.

    Sure, go with the defence of "you're just biased1!" That's a position that's worth having a conversation over.
    But well, thats the thing. You have already not only dug yourself into place, you also covered the place in barbed wire and landmines.
    That is not a position its possible to have an actual conversation from.

    The guy whose heroic revelation, the epiphany that saw him offered his Name, was that he didn't have the right to judge people.. so he instead surrendered his moral authority, his own ability to identify right and wrong acts, to the Choir of Judgement. Who so far have conveniently declared that all his opponents need to be put to the sword (admittedly most of the viewpoint characters we've seen him come up against probably would come down to kill or be killed in conflict.) I'd feel a lot more charitably inclined toward Hanno if we got to see what happens when the coin comes down on the other side, or how he responded if he got a verdict he disagreed with from it; right now he just appears to be the executioner for Judgement, and as we've already noted the Choir of Judgement seems disinclined to show mercy on anybody.. (that would be the job of a different Choir, after all.) His actions outside of his job as a hero don't necessarily qualify to make him a 'good person' - Black is a perfectly congenial person when he's not doing Villain things too.
    Well, all the same. We have still not seen him do anything evil. And we have seen him risking his life in fighting some of the bigger monsters around.
    But as i recall Judgement only ever has a single champion. So of course he will be aimed towards the top of the naughty list.

    We have a lot of grey-black portrayals, but not much in the way of characters who are actually heroes.
    We have a lot who might have been actual heroes die a swift and brutal death.

    EXACTLY.

    *puts on uncharacteristically serious hat*

    You can't BE good without compassion - without forgiveness. I always say anything that claims to be "above such petty conceits of good and evil" is AUTOMATICALLY evil; you can't be a number below zero without being negative, you can't be beyond good without being evil. Opposing Evil by itself doesn't make you good. You can't be Good by being an extremist. Compassion, empathy, forgiveness - the knowledge that your feelings are not more important than other people's lives; that is what Good IS.

    To be Good is to lead by shining example, not by demand. To take responsibility for not just yourself, but those around, especially those you have authority over. To be kind, and never be cruel or cowardly. To show mercy and compassion and grant protection to, not just to your family, friends and allies - that's easy, Evil does that all the time; not even just to those who are innocent or unprotected (Evil can do that out of sheer practicality and to avoid waste), but sometimes even those who are your enemies, those who hate and fear you and who will not thank you for it - because it is the right thing to do. No matter how hard it is, or at the cost to yourself.

    Not to take the quick and easy path because its conveniant and comes at expense of others, but to take the hard path, the risky path, without reward, knowing that often it will come back to haunt you, but to do it because it is right thing to do. To draw your sword only when all other methods have failed and but always seek peace over war, but never to shirk from protecting those who cannot protect themseves.

    To question, to ask of yourself, your subordinates and your superiors "is this right? Can we find a better way?" To known that the ends do not justify the means and that the "greater good" is most often used by those trying to justify unconscionable actions to themselves.

    To be prepared to sacrifice of yourself, no matter how much it hurts; but never to demand the sacrifice of others. With your power, however little, however small, comes responsibilty to USE that power to better the world, be it saving the whole universe or just lending a sympathetic ear to a stranger.

    To know that you are not perfect, that both you and others will make mistakes, sometimes terrible, but to never give up trying to improve; to get right back up when you fall and to offer your hand to others you see fall themselves.

    To take a stand against the evils, draw a line in the sand and say "no further." To recognise those few who you genuinely cannot help or redeem, who will not be brought out of the darkness and to ensure they cannot harm any others as best you can, without prolonging their suffering or to punish.

    To be Good is to strive to be BETTER, both in yourself and those around you, allies and enemies both; to find a different way.

    To light a fire in the blackest depths of night, to stand blazing in the darkness and light the way for others to follow.

    THAT is what it means to be Good.
    Hmm.. thats a surprising sharp definition of what it means to be good. I do find it hard to argue against it.

    ... He doesn't just draw on their fighting abilities. He takes on their entire personality to the point of briefly believing himself to be a woman from Procer.
    Did it go that deep?
    Well fair enough. its been a long while since i read his chapter. I guess my memory has slipped.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Did it go that deep?
    Well fair enough. its been a long while since i read his chapter. I guess my memory has slipped.
    He did it in the second exchange with Black, IIRC, when he realized he needed to bring something to the fight that Black couldn't predict and adjust for - not just mimicing the armament and superficial style of a hero, but going deep enough into them that he effectively brought a completely different hero to the fight. (I don't think it was specifically mentioned on page, but I would bet part of his search for the past lives he needed to channel was a filter for 'Have you fought the Black Knight before' so he could make sure he was bringing things Black wouldn't know about.)

    Spoiler: Chapter 74
    Show
    In which Cat begins to properly internalize the fact that she doesn't have to personally punch out every single notable opponent, and that this is in fact a really stupid and dangerous way to approach fights when you're wanting to operate on the level of mythical monsters. Probably also shaking off some of the combat training from Black and her previous experiences as Squire - he once mentioned that controlling his shadow is the biggest direct combat-applicable power he got from his Name, while some of his more traditionally villainous predecessors could topple forts. So he would have had to learn how to fight potentially much more supernaturally potent enemies with fairly mundane tools, and Catherine would have followed that style as both his apprentice and a bearer of a relatively weak Name herself. Now, she's on the more powerful end of supernatural nonsense and is starting to really come to terms with what that means for her as a combatant. It probably helps that she's been using the Underdark trip as a chance to study the kinds of tricks other powered combatants get up to.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    The hero that I remember, (Aforementioned woman from Procer.) was in fact one who had not faced the black knight and seemed confused by the present circumstances. So that's plausible.

    Spoiler
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    We're also getting something of a view of just how bad the Drow being brought to the surface is going to be. If her average soldiers whom she lost 200 in an eyeblink are equals of the watch? If they've got all the power of the fey with none of the fey enforced stupidity?
    Spoiler
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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."

    Non est salvatori salvator, neque defensori dominus, nec pater nec mater, nihil supernum.

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    Cat could probably enter apothesis here and drive the dwarves out as the fey version of the King of the Dead if she wanted. Heck she could probably drive the dwarves out, become a minor god, and gate the population of Callow to the underdark where they would be safe if she wanted.

    The dwarves only have 100,000 people with no supply line, it is likely the easier war than fighting Procer and Praes at the same time.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    I wonder if there's a linear relationship between the age/career length of a hero and the amount of tarnish on their shining armor. When we saw the squeaky-clean fresh party of Stalwart Paladin + Co., they were exactly the sort of Good that Good is supposed to be - taking risks to avoid getting innocents caught in crossfire for example. They also got slaughtered, but them's the breaks. Contrast to Pilgrim and Saint, explicitly the oldest and strongest Heroes still alive, and also the ones who blatantly and happily do things that would make the actual Evil characters flinch. Maybe Heroes weaken with age as a design feature, to prevent them from living so long that they become villains.
    Well, you do have the idea that all organisms exist to be beyond good and evil.

    In a sufficiently malignant existence the metrics of justice are a matter of the reliability of rules-based utilitarianism. An understanding that by agroup of people sufficiently advanced to maintain the systems of its progressive enlightenment of intellectual standing and pursuit of happiness, that something like due process is a 'good thing'. When a nation is on the verge of collapse, the last thing you want is whatever surviving force of personal security to be weakened having to deal with looters in terms of pre-trial hearings and sentencings.

    There is an argument that it is literally better for that security force to just shoot looters in the head and kick them into a ditch.

    In a world which does not allow a group of people to maintain a sufficient means to protect its own happiness, then the rules by which the sacrifice and debt of services required on its membership must equally change until so far as a society can legitimatelysay something like; "Due process will make us happier."

    The idea of 'tarnishing one's spirit' is inconsequential in a world which cannot create rules-based ultilitarian orders to exist above act-based utilitarian decisions made in the moment to secure against some greater malignancy.

    The fact of the matter is any D&D style world is inevitably going to feel like a barbarous, chaotic place. Where life comes cheap and every problem treated as if merely a nail to hammered down. In a world necessitating cruelty, people will drfit to towards the act-based utilitarianism side ... in a world which fears little barring merely the political power of individuals and lives in a universe of laws and a cogent metaphysical rule of their relations, people will (hopefully) measure the advancement of their society purely in terms of an ever greater shift towards rules-bsed utilitarianism.

    In short, Malar is right in *any* D&D style setting... arcane magic shuld be seen as detrimental to anothers' will to power, civilization is inherently a lie, and all leaders should be chosen by their cunning or strength, and fearing one's own mortality rather than rising to each and every challenge even if it occasions in death is merely a path to mediocrity.

    All hail the Beastlord.

    At least that's what many of my druidic characters in the Forgotten Realms preaches to the masses.

    One of them routinely donated all her wealth to the poor. Taught young kids how to poison corrupt nobles when next they demanded taxes from their village. Even offered healing to sick and injured mothers and their children right infront of the clerics of the town that would exchange alms or services only in exchange of coin or fervor. She built up quite the following. And she never once murdered a person simply for her own self-benefit. Either due to religious tenets, political beliefs or self-defence. She once declared a high hunt to her amassed congregation upon another humanoid, but she picked him as a target of the High Hunt because he was a war profiteer andmade an example of him (a bloody example) to other war profiteers to 'donate' some of their ill-gotten gains to the needy families in town.

    There was no squeaky clean paladin in that group but there was a 'neutral good' warblade, and it was kind of funny that in any realistic sense my character was a greater 'force of good' than he could ever conjure.
    Last edited by Schismatic; 2018-11-21 at 08:39 PM.

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    Default Re: A Practical Guide to Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by druid91 View Post
    The hero that I remember, (Aforementioned woman from Procer.) was in fact one who had not faced the black knight and seemed confused by the present circumstances. So that's plausible.

    Spoiler
    Show
    We're also getting something of a view of just how bad the Drow being brought to the surface is going to be. If her average soldiers whom she lost 200 in an eyeblink are equals of the watch? If they've got all the power of the fey with none of the fey enforced stupidity?
    Spoiler
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    Merely Watch-equivalent probably wouldn't be enough - one of the recurring themes Cat muses on is the difference between warriors and proper soldiers, and she knows from repeated first-hand experience how good soldiers can stand up to and even quite soundly beat individually superior warriors on the battlefield. It's how her Legion and then the Legion-trained Army of Callow was able to stand up to devils and lesser fey. The dzulu, as dangerous and useful as they might be as raiders, skirmishers, and outrunners, are not the field army she needs if she's going to try to stand up to the armies of Praes and Procer, especially when they come with heavy magical and priestly support. And they wouldn't stand up to the Dwarves either, at least not in her and their current state.. but if Cat wins at Great Strycht and is able to oathbind any significant fraction of the Mighty here, it probably won't matter. There is a point where having individually greater warriors does beat soldierly discipline and trained combat tactics, and it's probably about the spot where every tenth you field is backed by the equivalent of a lesser Named and all of your command officers are fairy nobility.

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