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    Default Metagaming and Morality

    Seeing all the discussions about V's execution of Kubota and alignment in general, it seems odd that no one brings this up. I figure it's just impossible to judge the morality of much of what goes on it OotS by real world standards, precisley because te characters know they're in a game-inspired comic strip.

    Evrything V said in strip #596 was accurate and his inferences about Kubota were correct, and another trial scene would have been rather tedious and distracting from the more important plot. So he simply applied the Alexandrian solution to Kutoba's Gordian knot. I rather think Kubota's disappearance shouldn't be much of an issue, since monsters are attacking the fleet all the time and whatnot - since Kubota had the front of being loyal to Hinjo, why should other nobles suspect foul play from Hinjo or his allies?

    It all makes sense in the universe of the strip, but of course it wouldn't fly in the real world. It just seems silly to obsess so much about it.

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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    I believe as well that Kubota's death shouldn't have severe repercussions. It's there to show that V is on his way to snap. However, lots of people seems to be arguing that Kubota's death was also a waste of a perfectly good storyline.

    I wouldn't have mine another trial myself. Those can be pretty entertaining mind games.

    Basically, we should just find a way to be happy in the plot's current evolution, stop rattling about how we could have done it and move on with trust that Rich has something uber for 600.
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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by JonestheSpy View Post
    I rather think Kubota's disappearance shouldn't be much of an issue, since monsters are attacking the fleet all the time and whatnot - since Kubota had the front of being loyal to Hinjo, why should other nobles suspect foul play from Hinjo or his allies?
    Because that's what the nobility of Azure city suspect everybody of, especially Hinjo.

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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by JonestheSpy View Post
    It all makes sense in the universe of the strip, but of course it wouldn't fly in the real world.
    Would it fly in the real world? About as much as it should fly here. Now in either, V is in a lot of trouble if it gets into court. Her action is clearly illegal.

    But the law is not the morals. If we look around, we see a lot of cases where the legal murder is deemed socially desirable. Now one can challenge whether these socially approved killings are in fact morally approved. We have a number of groups in the Middle East that deem it acceptable to take out wayward daughters. In the US we have a number of feminists who think a woman killing her hubby is ok as she claim he was beating her. We also have a spy for the USSR who got shot by his son for that. Each can be challenged, and is, but as we expand the number of cases like this, we eventually find each of us is in favor of at least one of these categories.

    Now we look at a real world V. He knows that X is not only guilty of a major crime, but is likely to get off at the trial, and continue his crimewave. Each of these is pretty likely to have happen in some real case some time. Morally, he would be entirely justified in offing the crum.
    We can note a number of practical problems. The cops miss more often than they hit, and get the wrong guy all too often. He is likely to be worse. She thus has a serious innocent bystander problem. She also has a very high danger of of being killed in the attack, or jailed afterwards. That he should ruin his life just to rid society of some evil can be virtuous, but it's asking a lot of the guy.

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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    The title of the thread actually made think there could be another possibility to V's actions. Possibly the person playing V could not stand Kubota anymore, and hence just killed him, but there was no in game reason to do so, so at the spur of the moment, the player came up with this reason?

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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by bue52 View Post
    The title of the thread actually made think there could be another possibility to V's actions. Possibly the person playing V could not stand Kubota anymore, and hence just killed him, but there was no in game reason to do so, so at the spur of the moment, the player came up with this reason?
    There is no person playing V. The OOTS don't have players :P
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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by JonestheSpy View Post
    It all makes sense in the universe of the strip
    Since it's metagaming, I think it would make more sense to say, "it all makes sense outside the universe of the strip".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Dew View Post
    Since it's metagaming, I think it would make more sense to say, "it all makes sense outside the universe of the strip".
    You're forgetting the nature of the OotS universe. The characters are, at least when a joke requires it, aware that they're in a D&D-based webcomic.

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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Red XIV View Post
    You're forgetting the nature of the OotS universe. The characters are, at least when a joke requires it, aware that they're in a D&D-based webcomic.
    That's only because their nonexistent players are bad roleplayers!

    Edit: since they're nonexistent, I guess they have a good excuse, though.
    Last edited by Warren Dew; 2008-09-28 at 01:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Red XIV View Post
    You're forgetting the nature of the OotS universe. The characters are, at least when a joke requires it, aware that they're in a D&D-based webcomic.
    Maybe so, but they're also aware that their actions have consequences--look at Roy barely scraping into LG heaven due to a couple of mistakes, or Celia's berating of Belkar for randomly killing people. They may live in a world where characters actually get X's in their eyes when they're dead (see Haley's comment in strip #444), but that doesn't mean there's no drama or emotion there.

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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    I must agree with David Argall this one time. For all its fourth-wall breaking, OOtS still has a level of internal consistency. And it is simply not possible for #596 not to have serious consequences.

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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by David Argall View Post
    Would it fly in the real world? About as much as it should fly here. Now in either, V is in a lot of trouble if it gets into court. Her action is clearly illegal.
    Only if he gets caught and tried, though. Which he won't, IMO. Hinjo should watch his tongue, because V can cast Disintegrate more than once/day. And Fly seems to come along with the morning coffee now. That TN is more sure than ever, as is his lower-than-expected Wis score.

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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
    Only if he gets caught and tried, though. Which he won't, IMO. Hinjo should watch his tongue, because V can cast Disintegrate more than once/day. And Fly seems to come along with the morning coffee now. That TN is more sure than ever, as is his lower-than-expected Wis score.
    Hinjo can survive a Disintergrate :P
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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
    Only if he gets caught and tried, though. Which he won't, IMO. Hinjo should watch his tongue, because V can cast Disintegrate more than once/day.
    Maybe he should (I personally don't think so), but he won't. That would be grossly out of character, not to mention unworkable for a Paladin.

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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
    Only if he gets caught and tried, though. Which he won't, IMO. Hinjo should watch his tongue, because V can cast Disintegrate more than once/day.
    That'd be... odd, too say the least.

    HINJO: You murdered Kubota? Varsaavius, I'm afraid I'll have to take you to trial for that.

    V: A trial? Are you saying I'm Evil? You insolent fool! I'll show you who's Evil! Disintigrate! Ha! Who's the villain now?
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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Well, what I don't understand is this.

    People were more upset at V for refusing to help Elan rescue Lien then they were at him/her for literally blowing somebody away.

    I know Kubota was evil and a murderer, but still.

    What's gonna happen when V does it again?

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    And this will happen again. Belkar and Miko were the exact same way before they finally got what was coming to them.
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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by FujinAkari View Post
    There is no person playing V. The OOTS don't have players :P
    Well... they are called PC's so they must have motives outside the character description.
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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoritomo Himeko View Post
    Well, what I don't understand is this.

    People were more upset at V for refusing to help Elan rescue Lien then they were at him/her for literally blowing somebody away.

    I know Kubota was evil and a murderer, but still.

    What's gonna happen when V does it again?

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    And this will happen again. Belkar and Miko were the exact same way before they finally got what was coming to them.
    Killing an Evil person is a good act, according to D&D morality. Beyond that, killing an admitted murderer and traitor who would only grow more powerful if you tried him is probably the best option you have in order to punish him. Refusing to save someone who is good and one of your allies is an evil act. Which would you consider worse?
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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Yoritomo Himeko, you assume that the past actions of other characters are going to be indicative of V's future actions.

    If the Order is restored and their work put back on track, there's a very good chance V will mellow out.

    Not that either that fact, or that they'll get back together before V speeds things along once again are assured.

    Also, Mauve Shirt raises a very good point. Unless Hinjo gives the nobles a very convincing story, they're going to suspect him of rubbing out another obstacle to his power. (It's old news that Hinjo has "baselessly" accused Pinky of trying to do him in). And, somehow I don't see the Paladin concocting or telling a lie that all those aristocrats would swallow.

    So the ball is quite clearly in Elan's court on how this will be handled.
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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    "Killing an evil person is a good act in D&D morality"

    Not always. In fact, with Exalted Deeds, it might be easier to say when it is, than when it isn't.

    If the evil person is not evil enough to desrve the death penalty (not valid here), killing them might be considered murder (devious merchant, scheming, bullying noble, etc.

    If the evil person is not a major threat to others: non-combatants: orc women and children in an orc village: killing them indiscriminately is actually described as evil in Exalted Deeds.

    And so on.

    in Exalted Deeds it also pointed out that if you do not bring evil criminals to trial, when you catch them in a town, you risk being made to stand trial for murder.

    While the fleet is not exactly a town, it is pretty close: its effectively Azure City on water, and Kubota is a citizen of it.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2008-09-29 at 01:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    Killing an Evil person is a good act, according to D&D morality.
    Any killing is a default evil act. Being evil does not change that. What it mostly does is remove grounds for mercy. "This is a death penalty offense, but Joe is a good guy. He just made a mistake and won't do it again..." vs "Sam, however, is an !@#$, and if we let him off, he's just going to go out and do it again, and we'll have to hang him later anyway. So why not do it now?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    Refusing to save someone who is good and one of your allies is an evil act.
    Passive acts are routinely judged by a more moderate standard. Part of this is just pragmatism since you have so much more trouble proving the crime when the guy didn't do anything. But even when we have perfect knowledge, we run into many problems that make dubious any attempt to condemn the passive.
    In V & Lien, we note two such points. V claims she has better things to do, and he could have been right. And she claims his assistance was not needed, again a claim that can't be dismissed out of hand. So it is difficult to show there is actual evil in someone doing nothing.

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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    So, is mercy reserved entirely for the Neutral but Misguided now? If I remember rightly, there was an awful lot of fiction out there that made a point of Mercy being for Evil beings as well, not just Good or Neutral.

    I've seen claim that Vimes wouldn't grant mercy, not would Weatherwax. Erm, in Night Watch a big point is made out of it. Old Vimes: "You don't bash someones brains out when they're tied to a chair!" Young Vimes: "He did" Old Vimes: "But you're not him!"

    Add to that the fact that he runs into a burning building to save the aforesaid torturer, and I think its pretty clear that Mercy, even for the Evil, is a running theme.

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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    So, is mercy reserved entirely for the Neutral but Misguided now? If I remember rightly, there was an awful lot of fiction out there that made a point of Mercy being for Evil beings as well, not just Good or Neutral.
    Read "Faith of the Fallen" and the later books from Terry Goodkind.

    A good man who calls mercy to the evil an evil act because evil lives in the mercy of society.

    Some strong writing.

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    I've seen claim that Vimes wouldn't grant mercy, not would Weatherwax. Erm, in Night Watch a big point is made out of it. Old Vimes: "You don't bash someones brains out when they're tied to a chair!" Young Vimes: "He did" Old Vimes: "But you're not him!"

    Add to that the fact that he runs into a burning building to save the aforesaid torturer, and I think its pretty clear that Mercy, even for the Evil, is a running theme.
    He only untied one strap to give him a (small) chance.

    And BOTH those characters are so strict with themselves because they KNOW they must:

    Granny is far more powerful than maybe even her Grandmother Black Aliss. And power, especially in a witch, leads too often to the insane cackle and the closing of an oven door (as happened with Aliss).

    Vimes knows there's the beast within and that he's the only reason why he's on THIS side of the law.

    And Vimes (and Granny) are WELL on the side of beating the crud out of a prisoner mostly because that way you can be sure they'll STAY the prisoner.

    Now take a look at what Captain Carrot does. A far more noble and good character. But he DOES do nasty (beware of a good man because an evil man will taunt you and you may find a way to get away but a good man will just kill you: and Carrot DOES. And hang the law. A little like V did).
    Last edited by Eric; 2008-09-29 at 02:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    This might not be the O.P.'s meaning in the title, but I'm gonna say we gotta stop metagaming V's morality and look at more "human" motivations.

    V is turning dark, but in a different way. Miko was being set up to fall from the start, to show that it isn't just about technically being LG. Hence the frequent comments that even Belkar was preferable to Miko, even before her fall. Belkar is set up as clearly evil, and clearly doesn't have long to live. V's future... holds ultimate arcane power, and a strong desire to save the world.

    (further comments gets into more strip detail, and predictions/guesses)
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    It was a theme in Start of Darkness that you can't know how to best "save the world" and be good if you don't personally know the members of that world. Likewise, the strongly good Roy (albeit not so strongly lawful) is out to save the world for all the annoying bards, androgenous elves, greedy rogues, etc.

    Maybe I'm being overoptimistic, but I think at some point V will have to admit why she really wants Haley and Roy back. - she misses them, while Durkon and Elan just plain annoy him. Those two are the ones that really understood her. I mean, note how he never mentions reuniting with Belkar. Because unlike Miko and Belkar, V seems to have a future in the OotS, and that can't happen without some positive character development. i.e., that would mean this is a pitfall that will be resolved in a Miko-like lesson on good/evil, but with V actually paying attention to it. And with the recent string of plot resolutions, I wouldn't be surprised if "ultimate arcane power" is more how you use it than what spell level it is. Maybe I'm totally wrong and she'll become super-powerful evil villian #26, but he just seems too integral to the party for that to happen.
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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoritomo Himeko View Post
    I know Kubota was evil and a murderer, but still.

    What's gonna happen when V does it again?
    If it turns out to be a mass murderer and V killed them thinking they WERE a mass murderer, then nothing.

    Of course (and the reason why we shouldn't do it V's way) there's a chance he could kill someone thinking they were a mass murderer and V misheard and he's a herder of large animals called "asses".

    ass herder.

    But until that happens, V's not got a problem with good/evil alignment changes.

    Now, his *friends* my not want V to do an evil act in case he dies with this sin putting him in hell (or having him summarily executed), so they will continue to try and persuade V to change his ways, cast things in the worst possible light ( because saying "well, you could be right next time too" is hardly going to persuade V to change his MO, is it) and so on to get him to avoid the risk.

    Rather like I try to get friend to walk home rather than drive drunk. Most likely he'll get home OK, but the upside isn't worth the downside.

    Doesn't make "driving home safely and without any incident" evil. Just recklessly stupid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FujinAkari View Post
    Hinjo can survive a Disintergrate :P
    So could this dragon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Read "Faith of the Fallen" and the later books from Terry Goodkind.

    A good man who calls mercy to the evil an evil act because evil lives in the mercy of society.

    Some strong writing.
    Goodkind has very specific and unusual views on ethics, good, and evil. While he may or may not be right, using him as a precedent is a bit questionable. It's not clear that the reasoning that leads him to this conclusion is sound.

    Vimes knows there's the beast within and that he's the only reason why he's on THIS side of the law.

    And Vimes (and Granny) are WELL on the side of beating the crud out of a prisoner mostly because that way you can be sure they'll STAY the prisoner.
    And yet Vimes doesn't bash a man's brains out when he's tied to a chair.

    Kubota wasn't going to escape. He was tied up and at the mercy of people far stronger than him. No, the danger would be that Kubota might make trouble at his trial.

    Killing people because they're too inconvenient to bring to trial, even when you know in their bones that they deserve to die, is incredibly bad police practice. Someone who does that doesn't really deserve to be called a policeman at all, or any kind of agent of the law.

    Vimes wouldn't do it; look at how he treats Carcer at the end of Night Watch.
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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    This is actually a fascinating idea which has a lot more implications than it might, originally, seem.

    For one thing, it means that certain characters- V, for example- know that nothing in the strip actually means anything. What they do has no definitive effect on " Good v. Evil"- since, after all, it's a game-based world and isn't even real. Even in their own world, they cannot ever defeat Evil- Evil must exist so the Good guys can go punch it out every day of the week. This would explain V's True Neutral alignment- why should he/she care? None of this is real!- and V's actions.

    Since V knows nothing is real, and therefore there is no such thing as Good or Evil, V can take a casual attitude to simply killing people it meets. People V kills don't exist and thus don't matter. In this game-based webcomic, people are mere stacks of experience points and plot hooks/triggers- V can simply judge them based on what it wants done. V wants this whole sidequest to be over, and therefore kills its main villain- sidequest done, and they can get back to saving the world.

    ...I doubt this is the right answer, but it's a shockingly horrific- and really, really funny, if in a cruel way- idea that I absolutely love. I heart this piece.
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    Default Re: Metagaming and Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Read "Faith of the Fallen" and the later books from Terry Goodkind.

    A good man who calls mercy to the evil an evil act because evil lives in the mercy of society.

    Some strong writing.
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