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Imron Gauthfallow

Tequila Sunrise's page

3,295 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Shisumo wrote:
Would it surprise you, then, to learn that there's a transgender channeler in the series? This shocks the hell out of everyone who realizes it when it happens, and the implications aren't explored nearly as much as I would've liked, but it's definitely a thing.

I remember nothing of this...I've got to reread this series!


Lord Snow wrote:
Quote:

This is speculation on my part, but I suspect the whole duality theme turns some people off because it plays on and emphasizes those traditional gender themes -- WoT has a variety of characters, but in many respects it's about men being good ol' fashioned men and women being good ol' fashioned women. The way that saidin and saidar act fundamentally differently, and how channelers live or die depending on their attitude toward their half of the One Power, for example.

I do love the series, but it can easily be read as an oversimplified metaphor for gender and a glorification of traditional gender norms. If I fit a bit less neatly into my traditional gender box, I might have been too turned off to get past the first book.

You know all of these things from reading the series - the constant bickering between men and women is really annoying in it - but just from hearing the concept of channeling according to the born sex? It seems a bit far fetched to denounce a story on something as simple as that...

*shrug*

Maybe the gender-based channeling concept is enough of a red flag for Scythia -- or maybe I'm completely wrong about Scythia's reasons for avoiding WoT. If Scythia replies again, maybe we'll find out.


Lord Snow wrote:
Scythia wrote:
Xzaral wrote:
The source is split into two gender based halves, Saidar and Saidin. Men draw on Saidin while woman draw upon Saidar. The Dark One managed to taint the male half of the source Saidin during his battle with Lews Therin Telamon. This in turn causes people who draw upon it to go crazy. The more you draw the faster it is, but it's inevitable.
Thanks. Jokes about padding aside, this makes me feel even better about deciding to skip the series.
Why? what do you find so objectionable about the idea?

This is speculation on my part, but I suspect the whole duality theme turns some people off because it plays on and emphasizes those traditional gender themes -- WoT has a variety of characters, but in many respects it's about men being good ol' fashioned men and women being good ol' fashioned women. The way that saidin and saidar act fundamentally differently, and how channelers live or die depending on their attitude toward their half of the One Power, for example.

I do love the series, but it can easily be read as an oversimplified metaphor for gender and a glorification of traditional gender norms. If I fit a bit less neatly into my traditional gender box, I might have been too turned off to get past the first book.


Xzaral wrote:
Reading through the comments here makes me wonder who besides myself actually finished the entire series.

*raises hand*

And someday I'm going to read them all again, consecutively this time...or possibly listen to the audio books. I've forgotten a lot, and so many books do tend to blend together. :)


Tels wrote:
On RWBY and Nora...

I realize that I'm late to the RWBY party, but I just have to comment on how much I love it!

It's rare that such a cutesy show grabs my attention, but RWBY has managed to be just the right mix of gonzo action, character development, fantastical physics, steady plot, allegories to messy real-life issues, music, and yes, gunblades!

There are of course the obligatory too-skimpy-for-school skirts and blouses, but there's also a bit of beefcake and a girl-on-boy ass-slap.

Apparently the creator died this very month though, which is a huge shame. :(


Aranna wrote:
So will you share who you identify with?

Hm, that's a good question, and I can't think of a clear answer. I don't think there's ever been an anime character who I felt a strong connection with; I guess I watch anime more for the fantastical physics and strange settings than the characters.


Freehold DM wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:

Has anyone seen a cgi movie called Harlock: Space Pirate?

Yes, it's every bit as ridiculous as it sounds, and I'm still not quite sure what I think about it after watching it twice. It's a lot like some fan of Final Fantasy and Pirates of the Caribbean was given free reign and a huge cgi budget. The phrase 'so bad that it's good' comes to mind, and there's something about it that's planted itself in my head...

Indeed, it is a remake/update of the original series. Watch it with the fact that it was made in the 70s in mind.

I would not say it was "so bad it was good", I would say it was faithful to the original. I'm glad they didn't try to "update" it with ideas that make sense to modern sensibilities and continued with the rather outrageous 70's ideas.

Greylurker wrote:


if you want to watch the original they have it over at Crunchyroll

Oh wow, that's old school!

Maybe the original will explain the Mimay...


Alzrius wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
And no, I'm not up for dissecting all these post-fragments with you; I'm back at school and don't have the time or the energy.
So you want to respond, but don't have the time or the energy to engage in the actual debate that's going on. That's fine, but it makes it rather hard to discuss the issue with you when you don't want to have the give-and-take that's at the core of a conversation.

I was rather naively hoping that, despite your vociferous criticism of the other side of the fanservice issue, you might be willing to put yourself in another’s shoes to at least understand why others see a problem.

Sorry for the mistake; it won’t happen again.


Lemmy wrote:
There was talk that fanservice make men see women as nothing but sex toys...

So no talk of banning then, which means all this reaction against banning is just so much shouting at strawmen.

Lemmy wrote:
And I doubt any of the people complaining about fanservice were protesting the amount of pointless shirtless scenes in Twilight (you know... that series of books/movies that made an incredible amount of money despite its terrible story and bland protagonist).

*shrug* I can empathize with chicks without watching chick flicks.


Has anyone seen a cgi movie called Harlock: Space Pirate?

Yes, it's every bit as ridiculous as it sounds, and I'm still not quite sure what I think about it after watching it twice. It's a lot like some fan of Final Fantasy and Pirates of the Caribbean was given free reign and a huge cgi budget. The phrase 'so bad that it's good' comes to mind, and there's something about it that's planted itself in my head...


Tequila Sunrise wrote:

*If you're not convinced of the general overreaction, take a look at Sissyl's comment about these supposed pro-ban fans getting orgasms from taking fun away from others. Lol, talk about throwing stones from glass houses! I might as well speculate that fanservice lovers want fanservice to be mandatory, because they get their jollies from knowing that their softcore [often child-]porn actively undercuts self-respect and cultural improvement.

Freehold DM wrote:
oh come now, tequila. Softcore child porn? I fought through those accusations enough in the 90s.

Crazy, right? And yet nobody seems to bat an eye at Sissyl's equally vapid speculation about, from what I can tell, is a strawman position.


Alzrius wrote:
...

I understand a lot more than you think I do, and I think if you let yourself cool off a bit and consider the progression of this sub-topic, you'll see a different picture. And no, I'm not up for dissecting all these post-fragments with you; I'm back at school and don't have the time or the energy.

Although I suspect that you're too preoccupied with being right to try this, I'll again suggest that you put on your roleplayer hat the next time you watch a fanservice-heavy show and try to look at the wider picture, rather than focussing on all these little debate points.

...After you cool off for a while. Human empathy really benefits from a clear head.


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Lemmy wrote:
But don't try to stop others from doing it if they want. And yes, censorship is exactly what some people are advocating here.

Citation needed. And let's keep our goalposts firmly in place; 'censorship' is a wider term than 'ban,' and might cover sentiments beyond the supposed ban-desires that you and others are reacting against.

Keep in mind that this whole sub-topic began with cmastah recommending a show, mentioning that it has no fanservice, and then Freehold replying with 'Sounds cool, but no fanservice = no Freehold.'

Link

Afterward, Aranna said that she often finds that fanservice detracts from an anime, and that social awareness can and has led to improved entertainment. Before Alzrius badgered him into leaving the thread, Tels said that he doesn't mind fanservice in general but doesn't like watermelon boobs. And I followed up with my opinion that the world will be a better place when anime learns the meaning of 'everything in moderation.' No mention of bannings that I remember.

And then the thread exploded with a lot of overreactions* and [intentional?] misreading of posts. But hey, I could have missed these pro-ban comments, so feel free to link them. Because for the record, I do not support fanservice bans; what I do support is a bit of human empathy and social awareness.

*If you're not convinced of the general overreaction, take a look at Sissyl's comment about these supposed pro-ban fans getting orgasms from taking fun away from others. Lol, talk about throwing stones from glass houses! I might as well speculate that fanservice lovers want fanservice to be mandatory, because they get their jollies from knowing that their softcore [often child-]porn actively undercuts self-respect and cultural improvement.


Lemmy wrote:
Ban ban BAN ban baaaaaaan!

Is all this talk of banning in reference to my posts, or someone else's?


Alzrius wrote:
...

Sorry bro, but I don't argue with people who make so many offensive assumptions and misinterpretations of my words.

Good talk though. Maybe you'll figure it out someday on your own.


Haven't been finding many hits lately. Magi had great artwork, but was just a little too slow for me even after the first three eps. I've run through half a dozen eps of other series, and nothing even that noteworthy.

Ah well, I'm back to school now anyway!


On a personal note, I prefer that my hit points have some concrete meaning; but in D&D (and PF) this requires an absurd degree of mental gymnastics outside of 4e.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:
Hit points are a hideous abomination of several different descriptions merged into a generic term.
Mark Hoover wrote:
Hit Points are Hit Points. They are whatever you need them to be at the time.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
There was a lengthy section about this in the first edition AD&D DMG, and Gygax addressed this question at some length. Of course, there's no normatives involved, since you play the way you want to play, and it's silly to say you should play this way if it's fun for everyone at your table to do it another way.

All of this, yes!

According to Old Geezer of RPGnet, who played under Gary Gygax himself, hit points were originally just a rule to make the game more fun. That's it. There was no in-game explanation; hit points existed so that players had a finite resource to track as their characters progressed through the dungeon. Hit points create a tension which, barring cheap and easy healing, slowly builds up as a party progressed through a time-sensitive adventure. And at the hobby's start, that was the beginning and end of the concept of hit points.

But then fans started asking what hit points mean. After getting over his initial surprise that anyone even cared what such a game rule means, Gygax came up with the various situationally-dependent explanations that most D&D (and PF) gamers use today. I.e., skill, luck, endurance, divine favor, or whatever else the character and situation call for.

Alternatively, many gamers just don't think about it. In the words of Old Geezer, "Hit points are hit points. They represent hit points, and they simulate hit points." ;)

(Apparently Arneson didn't like hit points, favoring a 'damage save' mechanic instead.)


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Alzrius wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Alzrius wrote:
Moreover, you have yet to demonstrate why this is at all worthy of moral outrage.
I can see why Aranna pegged you for a troll.
The irony is that, without expounding on that, your statement here is trolling in and of itself.

And the tragedy is that a role player such as yourself needs more expound-ment to see a problem with fanservice. Maybe the next time you watch a fanservice-heavy anime, role play an impressionable teenage girl with low self-esteem. And then imagine that you always have been and always will be that female anime fan until the day you die.

That'll be much more enlightening than spending hours and hours throwing every conceivable argument at some anonymous internet posters you feel compelled to argue with.


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Grimmy wrote:

Do you guys prefers subs or dubs for anime?

I greatly prefer subs unless I'm so tired I can barely read.

Subs, dude.

I get an inordinately large kick out of hearing words that got ripped right out of English, spoken with a Japanese accent. ("Japan doesn't have a word for that?!") Also, if I generally like an anime but not its voices/sounds, I can mute it and still know what's going on.


Alzrius wrote:
So I finished watching Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic - or at least the first season of it, as it turns out that there's a second season that's not on Netflix (yet) - and while I didn't have very high expectations going into it, I was surprised by how much it surpassed them...
Caineach wrote:
I found the first season really picked up with episode 4. The first 3 are a little cliche and simple on first introduction.

Thanks, you just convinced me to give Magi a second chance. :)

Alzrius wrote:
Moreover, you have yet to demonstrate why this is at all worthy of moral outrage.

I can see why Aranna pegged you for a troll.


Well, this thread exploded since my last post. People sure do love their fanservice!

Less controversially, I just watched about a dozen episodes of Legend of the Legendary Heroes. It started out promising, but got too campy-dark-predictable in that way that so irritates me. Skipped to the last episode to make sure, and sure enough I was right.

...I think I'll try Ghost in the Shell: Arise next.


VM mercenario wrote:

I think you got confused. That is Zaisters idea.

I think it's a pretty awful one. Martials don't need extra nerfs.

My bad. Sorry Zaister!


VM mercenario wrote:
Zaister wrote:
I'm thinking of implementing a house rule that basically says "for each +1 enhancement bonus of the weapon (not counting bonuses from greater magic weapon), reduce the DR by 5 points." In this way, DR/magic can become meaningful again.
Keep in mind that magic weapons are supposed to be somewhat rare and only in the hands of rich people or elite units. DR 15/magic is useless against PCs but allows the creature to walk up to an army, kill thousands and not take a single scratch.

I call that a feature.

DR isn't supposed to be a real obstacle for PCs, IMO; it's supposed to create another reason that the world needs heroes. :) And the '+1 weapons overcome any and all values of X/magic' always seemed silly to me, so I really like VM mercenario's idea.* It creates an incentive to get those higher enhancement bonuses without creating an insurmountable obstacle for characters whose magical weapons aren't quite up to snuff.

*Which isn't a new idea, to be fair; plenty of gamers have played by it. But kudos for coming up with it on your own VM!


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I'm surprised how difficult it seems for some anime fans to see why fanservice might be really objectionable to women. Does sex sell? Absolutely. Will fanservice ever totally disappear? No more than racism, homophobia, or boy bands will completely disappear.

But that doesn't mean we throw up our hands, and say "Oh f!!$ it, bring back the Backstreet Boys!" Because here's the thing: fanservice creates a very subtle but very real effect on women and especially girls. You can say 'Well if a girl doesn't like fanservice, there are other things to watch,' but the fact is that girls will end up watching some of it anyway. Aranna watches fanservice because some fanservicey shows have other redeeming qualities; other girls and women get peer pressured or 'I want to watch what my male friends, bf, husband, big brother, or daddy are watching!' into watching animes with fanservice. (As has been pointed out, an R rating is no real obstacle for a determined child or teen.)

And what's the effect of a girl and even a woman watching fanservice? A small but insistent voice in the back of her head telling her 'You only have small-to-regular boobs, you ain't nothing!' 'Your ankles are bigger than your wrists, you ain't nothing!' 'Your waist is too big for a man to wrap his hands completely around, you ain't nothing!' And so on. It's like how stereotypes like 'black people are stupid' and 'gay people are sex-obsessed perverts' create a kind of background mental chatter. Consciously, a person knows that it's absurd and irrational; but people aren't rational. That mental chatter is enough to undercut or even crush many people's self-respect, which results in all sorts of issues.

I'm not saying that fanservice is the worst thing since Hitler, or that it's not a byproduct of human nature. I'm saying that the world will be a better place when more anime (and other entertainment) learns what 'everything in moderation' means.


Arpeggio of Blue Steel is a fast and fun action-drama! More action than drama, which is just fine by me. :) It follows the adventures of Chihuya Gunzou, his crew, and various cyborg ship-avatars who help and hinder him as he struggles to give humanity a fighting chance to take back the seas from the mysterious Fleet of Fog, which had crushed all human naval power 17 years prior.

What I found unusual about this show is that all but one of the developed characters are cyborgs, and the one human character who does has some depth (Captain Gunzou) doesn't change during the first season at all. The show's drama is mostly about the cyborg ship-avatars 'evolving' through making contact with Gunzou and interacting with his other cyborg allies. All of the cyborgs apparently have 'emotional subroutines,' or some such, which can make them very very human.

Anyhow, lots of action as I already mentioned, and not a single slow episode! I think there's one well-justified flashback during the first episode, with the rest of season one happening entirely in the present tense. A medium amount of fanservice and a couple of highly suggestive comments about 'naval warfare,' but no watermelon boobs!


Alzrius wrote:
This is an anime that I wanted to like, but it quite clearly was too focused on itself to care how I felt about it.

That's a shame! I saw The Irregular at Magic High School on Netflix, but didn't add it to my queue...because the blurb made it sound too slice-of-life-y, oddly enough. :/


You're welcome, and sorry if my reply was a bit abrasive. This video caused a stir back when it was first filmed, and edition warriors jumped on it as evidence that '4e is a video/board/card game with some background fluff text!!!' Heck, this video might be the origin of this ridiculous meme.

Anyhow, all I really know about Chris Perkins is that he helped create 4e and that he DMed for the Robot Chicken guys that one time. I don't know anything about his attitudes or ideals, which for all I know I might find terrible or amazing.


2097 wrote:

To me, playing with actions like this feels like glimpses of another hero's life. It feels like the flavor text in games like Magic, Arkham Horror or Netrunner.

The super-mechanical, Melvin-y effect (“You gain concealment”) feels detached from what I’m doing and the flavor text puts me more into the role of a fan of this character rather than in the role of being that character.

Well you can't help how you feel, right? Everyone's got 'em, and yours are as valid as mine.

2097 wrote:

Chris has set up a room with a flame-throwing trap and a door that’s frozen shut. It’s possible to bust through the door on brute force with time, but he has the solution in mind to melt it with the flame thrower.

One of the players, I think Tom, has a power called Darkfire that can set a creature on fire. He tries to cast it on the door, Chris asks him to carefully read the power — it says “One creature” — and says it doesn’t work. That’s it. Here we have the one moment. A creative solution — shot down.

You mean darkfire, the drow racial power? The one that creates purple heatless 'flames,' just like it does in every other edition of D&D? (I.e., no fire type or fire damage.)

Well, gee you're right! I once tried to use a similar spell to disorient a foe in a 3.x game, and not only did it not work, but I had to actually waste my turn casting it before learning that it didn't work. What a creative idea shot down in its prime! That must make 3.x games super board-gamey and legalistic and punitive! /sarc

I hope you can see how misguided this particular complaint is, and how Chris' call wasn't any less justified in 4e than it would have been in any other game. His real mistake was using the power's targeting rules to explain why it wouldn't work, rather than its lack of actual fire. Which is a small mistake, considering that another DM might have simply let the player waste his turn trying to use a power with a misnomer name that never had any hope of working.


thejeff wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
plusonetshirt wrote:
When 1 of my game club members suggested we play Pathfinder( we mostly play Table-top minitures games, Warhammer ect) I asked him if it was like D&D he said yes. He said the player response to D&D 4.0 was less than desireable, so Pathfinder was created.He said think of it as D&D 3.75.I still have my 3.5 book,and I see many similarities.

This is very much how I see PF; it has some rules changes and some new classes, but the same is true of 3.5 compared to 3.0. All three are fundamentally the same game. PF 2e, whenever it happens, may truly be its own beast. We'll see.

I find it hilariously ironic that a vocal segment of the D&D fandom complains that 4e doesn't feel D&D because it changed too much, while PF carries the 'spirit' of D&D...but totally isn't D&D! Sometimes coming from the mouths of the very same fans.

It's not inherently wrong to say that PF carries the spirit of D&D without actually being D&D. In fact, that's what's usually meant by "carries the spirit of" or "spiritual successor to".

Of course it's not inherently wrong to think so, because it's all about feelings. Just like it's not inherently wrong for an abused spouse to love their abuser.

It just says more about the speaker than the topic.


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Anzyr wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
I think it's really more of an attempt by the 3.x crowd to marginalize 4e than anything else.
I believe the MMO comments are more because the game has a severe (one might even say crippling) lack of creativity in regards to abilities. Everything is square this, status that, [x]W, xd6. Made a floating hand? Guess what? It can move in any direction but up. Up is forbidden, because allowing Up movement would unbalance things. There is 0 creativity allowed in the rules and anything that *could* unbalance things is errata'd to the point of needing a video-game like patch log.

This is an excellent example of the lies that edition warriors like to spread, and the double standards they live by. Powers absolutely work in three dimensions, and out of combat by the way. Unlike conjuring spells in PF, which can't summon creatures to a space in the air. (SO MMO GAMEY!) And like invisibility, which ends when the subject performs an arbitrary action. (NO CREATIVITY TOO MUCH BALANCE!)

Anzyr wrote:
Again, the above is not a criticism of 4E. It is merely a statement of how it is designed. That kind of inflexible design would be fantastic for say a board game. It may be wonderful for some gaming groups. I, however, happen to like the direction up.

PF has zero consistency in errata; the devs let casters get away with murder but anything nice that martials discover get nerfed into the ground. But hey, that's not a criticism of PF; it's merely a statement of how it is designed. That sort of haphazard design would be fantastic for say a collectible card game all about magic, and it may be wonderful for some game groups. I however happen to like devs who care about their product, and for consistent balance.


plusonetshirt wrote:
When 1 of my game club members suggested we play Pathfinder( we mostly play Table-top minitures games, Warhammer ect) I asked him if it was like D&D he said yes. He said the player response to D&D 4.0 was less than desireable, so Pathfinder was created.He said think of it as D&D 3.75.I still have my 3.5 book,and I see many similarities.

This is very much how I see PF; it has some rules changes and some new classes, but the same is true of 3.5 compared to 3.0. All three are fundamentally the same game. PF 2e, whenever it happens, may truly be its own beast. We'll see.

I find it hilariously ironic that a vocal segment of the D&D fandom complains that 4e doesn't feel like D&D because it changed too much, while PF carries the 'spirit' of D&D...but totally isn't D&D! Sometimes coming from the mouths of the very same fans.


Freehold DM wrote:

Down for freezing.

Especially because there's no snow.

I definitely recommend Freezing for you, Freehold! The most interesting thing about it is the reversal of the usual action-adventure gender roles: the women are the front-line warriors, while their male 'limiters' are the support *cough* casters *cough*. This reversal of gender roles even touches upon the show's non-combat events.

I ended up dropping it from my Netflix queue because the scifi-and-action-to-character-drama-and-fanservice ratio is too low for me, but it's not without its good points. Well-paced and action-packed, not too many flashbacks, and for fans of fanservice...!


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sacklunch wrote:

...he always said he "doesn't do point buy."

...told by him that "he doesn't do crafting"...

"Well then, you don't play."


Aranna wrote:
Fan service in most cases hurts a good show... or at least is a turn off that you have to consciously ignore to enjoy the show. Sexist scenes shouldn't be celebrated they should be discouraged.

I...I can't believe it, but I find myself agreeing with you, Aranna. I just watched the first couple of episodes of Freezing, and it has promise...but oh, the fanservice! We'll see if its good features outweigh the adolescent ones.

I think the world will be a better place when female characters become a bit more mixed in appearance. Or, barring that, objectify men too: All male characters are either fabulously rich men with chiseled faces, bulging muscles, and personal entourages; or they're helpless loser background characters!

Like Tels, I also find watermelon-boobs off-putting. I like real-life ta-tas as much as the next straight guy or gay gal, but anime too often takes them to grotesque extremes. It's a lot like watching a South Park episode with Ms. Chokesondick; I usually do an eye-roll-chuckle the first time she appears on screen, but after that all I can think is "Sooo...nobody's gonna comment on this?"


GreyWolfLord wrote:
...not bad, just really really boring...

*very confused*

What metric do you measure entertainment by?


Serghar Cromwell wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:
Is it possible, just once, to have an alignment thread pop up that doesn't end up boiling down to repeated personal insults between posters?
That's funny.

Lol, yes. It does happen once in a blue moon though.

In parallel with this fortnight's three Paizo forum alignment threads, I started an alignment thread on a different forum. We're eight pages in so far, and no insults yet, despite the inevitable paladin side-conversation! Although we have recently drifted into discussing Hogwarts houses and the Sorting Hat.

I could speculate on the factors that contribute to a civil alignment thread, but that might offend this one's angry spirit. ;)


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Aelryinth wrote:

He's deluding himself.

Casting IH is making an evil choice. He's a hypocrite. He can continue to think he's making good choices, but where it really matters, i.e. wanting healing, he stoops to using Evil because it's better and more convenient.

He could say whatever he wanted...his actions would speak for him, and soon enough he'd start popping the paladin's detect-o-meter, which has been a kind of 'oh s+&&' moment for some people when it happens. Of course there's the one guy who tried to make it seem like I was singling him out personally, but he's the same guy who thought he could stay CG while using Evil magic to good ends. I warned him, he learned otherwise. And since I don't allow Evil PC's when I GM, he had a choice of taking drastic action to reclaim his destiny, or becoming an NPC. I ended up with his character sheet, and he started someone new.

What happened to the new NPC after that was interesting, but that's a separate story.

==Aelryinth

Aelryinth wrote:

This would fall under tolerating a lesser Evil to fight a greater Evil. It's still Evil, in the end. Your example is different because the character is going into it with eyes open.

he's Evil with a Code. that doesn't mean he's not Evil, nor does it mean he can't have noble qualities. But he is indeed making his choices and choosing to be Damned rather then making other choices. it IS his choice.

==Aelryinth

I'm really starting to see why so many gamers are fundamentally uncomfortable with the idea of objective alignment.

Thanks for your thoughts.


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Digitalelf wrote:
However, I could see with some players where I would just instantly make the character an NPC, because I would know the player, and thus know that he would not play the character any differently than before the change, thus perpetuating the problem (thankfully, as I said, I have not encountered such a player personally).

Yeah, this is what I've been imagining; a character who's willing to damn his own soul for the betterment of others. A tragic hero doomed to a terrible afterlife because a capricious universe deems his choices noble but his tools wicked. I.e., a player who knows that his character is technically Evil, but no less a good guy for it.

...I apologize. No doubt that would involve quite a bit of cognitive dissonance for you, but it sounds rather interesting to me. :)


Digitalelf wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
My question is: Have you ever had a player who decided that "I don't care if using IH makes my character hear voices; Evil is a choice, and my character continues making Good ones"?

Obviously I am not Aelryinth, but I have a similar view that casting spells such as IH gradually shift one's alignment towards evil...

I have not had such a player as the one in your example, but in my games, evil can be a choice, a good character that continues to play with evil, especially willingly so, no longer has a say about retaining his good alignment. I am NOT NOT NOT saying that one simple casting of an evil aligned spell will change a good character's alignment, but what I am saying is that if a good character continues to make conscious evil choices again and again, his alignment will not just shift, but will eventually change. Such a character could then start to make good choices (for starters, by discontinuing the use of evil aligned spells), and start back up the path towards good.

This is all predicated on the fact that I do not view evil and good as being equal, that it is much harder to maintain goodness than it is to do evil - so one cannot steal one day, and give to the poor the next and expect their "moral account" to be balanced out...

Thanks for your thoughts, Digitalelf.

So from your comments, it sounds like you'd be happy with an Evil PC in your campaign who, other than casting a lot of [evil] spells, was in every other way heroic and Good by your reckoning. Would such a character eventually provoke the 'PCs who turn Evil become NPCs' clause from the 2e DMG*, or would they remain PCs so long as they remained 'Heroic Evil'?

*Don't recall if this ever carried over into 3.x...


A point of curiosity directed at Aelryinth:

If I recall from the previous thread which got consumed by the IH debate, you stated that using an [evil] spell often enough would shift the caster (and the recipient?) toward Evil over time. I take this to mean that in your games, such a caster would find themselves having more and more selfish thoughts, and would eventually begin acting on those thoughts.

If so, I can see how this is easily acted out from your side of the screen: You control the NPCs, so they act as you deem appropriate. And when you explain how [evil] spells affect a caster to your players, most of them are probably more or less willing to either avoid casting [evil] spells while playing non-Evil characters or to act out the alignment shift. My question is: Have you ever had a player who decided that "I don't care if using IH makes my character hear voices; Evil is a choice, and my character continues making Good ones"?


Well written, thejeff!

Scythia wrote:
Judging by the frequent disagreements, if alignment is like maths, it's like calculus being attempted by kindergarteners.

Morality and ethics are subjective in the real world, hence all the debates. But within any particular DM's game world, that DM defines alignment. Thus, alignment can indeed be an objective and universal fact within a particular campaign.

Granted, alignment may get subjective and messy in organized play due to different DMs having different takes on alignment. But I'm guessing that there aren't terribly many gray areas written into official organized play adventures.


Claxon wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:

According to this wiki, Apsu shares his primordial-god status with Tiamat, who is unlikely to give him free reign to define alignment.

And then of course there's the issue of conflicting creation stories which DeadManWalking brings up, which while I agree makes the game world wonderfully ambiguous and interesting, doesn't exactly lend credibility to the gods-define-alignment possibility. Occam's razor, and all that.

Indeed Apsu shares this primordial status. Of course, thinking free reign to define alignment is required isn't necessarily true. I would think the actions of each define good from evil, as one is good and the other is evil. They do not decide something is good or evil, but rather their actions could determine what good and evil are.

Now, I'm not saying its actually true but it is a possibility. For me, it's however you want to decide it is for your story. It's not necessary to establish one way or the other.

Some people prefer immutable decrees of the universe that say what good and evil are. And that's fine. I think it's more interesting if the gods collectively define what good and evil are (as well as law and chaos). And I hope others think that's okay too, even if it's not their cup of tea.

Oh, agreed! Planescape, my all-time favorite setting, is in part about ambiguity, contradiction, and having no definitive answers. And I suspect that many non-D&D rpg gamers think these things make games much more interesting too!

(I also find LazarX's 'deities don't have free will' idea interesting...)

So, if Apsu and Tiamat defined good and evil, who are the likely suspects to have defined law and chaos?


Claxon wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Perhaps Tequila Sunrise, but if I recall my Golarion lore correctly good and evil didn't even exist until the gods created them to separate them from law and chaos.

Law and chaos I could see being called primordial fabric of the universe. Actually just chaos. The first being coming into existence naturally disturbed this and created order (law) and then later created good and evil as distinctions form these.

Interesting. So, for the sake of discussion, this begs the question of which god gets to define alignment. Does Golarion have a head honcho god like Zeus or Odin, or perhaps a god of wisdom or knowledge who might be accepted by the others as the arbiter of morals and ethics?
There is a "head honcho" god, though he is far removed from the universe. Apsu is his name, and he is the equivalent of 3.5's Ao. However, not much is not about how Apsu and Tiamat led to the creation of the traditional Pantheon we are familiar with. It is only stated that Apsu and Tiamat are the original two beings.

According to this wiki, Apsu shares his primordial-god status with Tiamat, who is unlikely to give him free reign to define alignment.

And then of course there's the issue of conflicting creation stories which DeadManWalking brings up, which while I agree makes the game world wonderfully ambiguous and interesting, doesn't exactly lend credibility to the gods-define-alignment possibility. Occam's razor, and all that.


Scythia wrote:

Interesting. So far it sounds like the consensus is that Alignment is more powerful than even deities.

If not deities, then who, within the game, is the arbiter of what is Good and what is Evil?

I think of the arbiter as an omniscient and impartial entity whose sole occupation is the judgment of every other being's character. These judgments are what allows things like protection from evil to work the way they do, but the arbiter is otherwise invisible and impotent.

Not being familiar with Golarion lore, I can't comment on Good gods who hand down questionable edicts.


Claxon wrote:

Perhaps Tequila Sunrise, but if I recall my Golarion lore correctly good and evil didn't even exist until the gods created them to separate them from law and chaos.

Law and chaos I could see being called primordial fabric of the universe. Actually just chaos. The first being coming into existence naturally disturbed this and created order (law) and then later created good and evil as distinctions form these.

Interesting. So, for the sake of discussion, this begs the question of which god gets to define alignment. Does Golarion have a head honcho god like Zeus or Odin, or perhaps a god of wisdom or knowledge who might be accepted by the others as the arbiter of morals and ethics?


Zhayne wrote:
Actions determine alignment, not the other way around. The god's alignment would change, just as it would for a normal person.

Yeah, this. I've always considered alignment to be above even the gods, so alignment trumps all.

Claxon wrote:
I think this is like asking "Which came first the chicken or the egg?"

Speaking for myself, it's not at all like the chicken and the egg. I started gaming in 2e D&D, which is famous for its many campaign settings, each with their own pantheons, including the Planescape setting which is an attempt to reconcile all those settings and all those gods in one cosmology. So for me there's no question at all; gods come and go, but alignment is part of the very fabric of the multiverse.

In another thread, DeadManWalking mentioned that many gamers come at alignment from a real-life religious perspective, which likely explains why they might have the chicken-or-egg reaction to this question, or to quite naturally put gods above alignment. Conversely, being an atheist might further explain my own response. As far as I'm concerned, the only god who has any say over alignment is the DM. :)


Aranna wrote:
This is why I slightly changed the book definitions, it makes things clear instead of murky. In the case of doing evil to evil doers this has been a thing in the game already a crusader hunts down and murders the bad guys; he doesn't bring them in for a trial unless the GM has them surrender... Torture to stop further crime is good in your own words, yet it makes no sense if we leave that type of torture as evil acts. Better to make that a Chaotic act and call it a Dirty Tactic that way Paladins would still avoid it but it leaves the CG guys free to pick up the knives while the paladin guards the perimeter as long as you are fine with the paladin being cross with you later. No ones alignments need to change this way and everyone has a clear vision about the alignment of their actions.

Ah, gotcha.

Personally I'm rather uncomfortable calling torture anything but Evil, and would rather make exceptions that even paladins can take advantage of. Just like killing is normally Evil, while including exceptions for the pure of heart, as you note.

But c'est la vie, right?


Aranna wrote:
Peter Green wrote:

So take the issue of torture or lying for instance? My question as DM is a simple one: Does the fact that the PC just tortured or lied increase or decrease the overall amount of evil in the world? If the answer is "decreases evil," then his action was good.

It's almost like that famous answer to "How do you know the difference between art & pornography?" "I may not know how to define it; but I know it when I see it."

Therefore, if the paladin tortures the half-demon in order to ascertain the location of a group of elf-children who are currently being sexually abused, then his actions were good. As DM, it seems pretty obvious to me.

This is why torture (for information not pleasure) and lying are Chaotic Aligned actions in my new definitions. They can be good... they can be evil... but they most definitely are dirty tactics. A single chaotic act from a paladin wouldn't cause his fall... but if he makes a pattern of torturing his enemies for information, then his alignment would start to move toward CG and away from LG causing a fall unless he alters his behavior.

This is where alignment gets [more] messy.

Torture is a violation of the victim's dignity, if not its life, which makes it definitionally Evil. (Both by my way of thinking and by the game's definition.) Even ignoring the utter lack of empathy that torture requires, which is easy to forget about or gloss over when it's your imaginary character doing the torturing rather than yourself in the real world, torture is inherently problematic. Because even innocents will eventually say anything to stop the pain, a torturer often has no way of knowing that her victim is even guilty.

That said, I don't believe in absolutes and I can certainly imagine plenty of corner cases where "Yeah, we have to torture this guy who we're absolutely sure is an evil cultist who knows where the evil sacrificial ritual is happening" is the Good decision. In the real world, the heat of the moment makes this seem like the right call much more often than it is, but again playing a rpg means that stress and emotional influences are [potentially] less misleading.


Bandw2 wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Peter Green wrote:


I only permit my players nonevil characters in any event. Although I allow wide latitude as to what counts as "good." Moreover, I practically ignore law vs. chaos altogether. (I might use it with respect to spells...but as of yet, still haven't found occasion to.)
Yeah, I find Chaos and Law to be rather confused, and not terribly inspiring. In the past, I've vacillated between redefining them in much broader terms, and not caring one way or the other.
I feel Law vs Chaos should be order vs liberty/freedom or some such.

Liberty and freedom are pretty self-explanatory terms, but how would you define order?

Lately I've been thinking that since one of alignment's most commonly cited and practical uses is to provide a quick and easy reference to a monster or NPC's behavior, a good way to think of Law vs. Chaos would be "Likes Working in Groups vs. Likes Working Alone." These definitions have some overlap with the traditional definitions -- chaotics don't like being told what to do, for example -- but I wouldn't want to get much more definitive than that.

It also casts Chaos in a more negative light, at least when it comes to small groups of individuals expected to trust and work together -- like adventuring parties! But this might be a feature, depending on your PoV, because it's a convenient way to tell players "Don't play a brooding loner!"

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