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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 21,853 posts (22,774 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 8 aliases.


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BackHandOfFate wrote:

The Paladin Thread Train (PTT)(TM) is just getting warmed up! Lets get this party really going. Time to crack open a dictionary!

Define Authority: 1. the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.

It seems some are sticking to the latter portion of this definition, claiming that only official recognition by existing authority figures grants one authority. This is not the case.

A Balor can teleport into a small town and say "I'm in charge". Was he elected Mayor of this boondock town? Nope. Is some ignorant yokel going to brazenly stroll up to him, point his crooked finger at the Balor and say. "Now wait juuust a cotton pickin second, mister. Y'all gotta be a citizen of this here small town for a minimum of ten years an then run fer public office before y'all can start barkin orders at us town folk."? Maybe. Does that stop the Balor from using his power to enforce his will? NOPE. Thus, he has authority over the town by virtue of having the power to wipe it off the map with insignificant effort on his part.

By the same logic, a Paladin, who is likely more powerful than 99% of people in the known world even at low levels, DOES have the power to exert his will on others. He just doesn't do it in the same way a Balor would. A Paladin is a righteous harbinger of truth and justice. He is humble and tries to work WITH existing authority if their goals and his don't outright clash. He's not out to conquer and pillage, but to defend the weak against evil. The moral authority he possesses as a result of the lifestyle he chooses gives him power and respect, even if he isn't mayor of every town he strolls into.

The fact that 'ACTUAL' authority was used as a qualifier means nothing as I have now defined what authority ACTUALLY means. As for the "Well it depends on what your definition of 'Paladin' is.." argument...

In fantasy realms, words have definitions.. A Paladin isn't some rare sight that you only behold once every...

But in that sense, the paladin has authority, but no more than any other PC.

The moral authority is closer to what we're talking about, but in many ways that only exists to the extent that people recognise it.

It's also worth pointing out that for all her moral righteousness, the paladin is Lawful. While she can, she'll work through channels, not usurp and defy local authority. That may change if the local authorities are incompetent and almost certainly will if they're corrupt or oppressive.

Also, while you may be more powerful than 99% of the people around, throwing your weight around in towns larger than 100 starts to get dicey fast.
Rules-default settings have plenty of moderately high level people around. Cause too much trouble, even in a good cause and you may wind up being taken care of.

The Sword wrote:

Reeves were originally magistrates and the role changed over time to land management. I think you need to go back and re-examine the reeves responsibilities.

As I have said - private citizens were required to bring perpetrators to justice themselves unless the person had already been apprehended for other crimes or suspicious circumstances. The case files are full of them.

I could be wrong here, but near as I can tell, while the reeves were magistrates, magistrate didn't originally mean "judge" or "law enforcement" or any of the legal system interpretations you're implying. Just "guy in charge". So, power of judgement, sure, but also land management and whatever else he needed to take care of.

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Tacticslion wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
KenderKin wrote:

If we want to use history as an example them the paladin is known and respected among the general populace

Orfamay Quest wrote:
[citation needed] <roll eyes>
First page, my dude.
Repeating a wrong statement will not make it less wrong. As you yourself pointed out -- "To be sure, the class features and mechanics don't really have anything like that associated with it."

I think you read an argument about class mechanics in a post I made that wasn't about class mechanics.

He said "if we want to use history" and in history people called "paladin" we're known and respected among the general populace. That one isn't about mechanics.

Definitely known and respected.

Logan1138 wrote:
hiiamtom wrote:

My thinking right now is to run the full series since I, at least, am completely new to the classic modules. It's pretty much the most infamous chain of modules and are meant to played serially anyways.

We can make adjustments on the fly, but I'm thinking starting at level 3 with T1: The Village of Hommlet.

Just wanted to offer an opinion from an old-school vet (began playing D&D in 1981), Temple of Elemental evil is a mini-campaign all its own. You would not play the Slave Lord modules (A1-4) after completing ToEE because your characters would be too high in level, probably about level 11-12 and A1-A4 is meant for PC's from 4-8 level IIRC.

I look forward to seeing this game take off as I intend to read along for some good old nostalgia.

I'm not quite sure how they set it up, but they were tied together when the Slave Lords (and the Giants/Drow series) were repackaged in the mid-eighties, soon after Hommlet was expanded into the ToEE.

Mostly registering interest though. I've got a couple characters in mind, for this or the other game. I'll put something together soon.

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Jane "The Knife" wrote:

“I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”

― Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

“That we were slaves I had known all my life--and nothing could be done about it. True, we weren't bought and sold--but as long as Authority held monopoly over what we had to have and what we could sell to buy it, we were slaves.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

The first quote has some serious limitations when applied to cases like chattel slavery.

The second, IIRC, applied to a situation where that Authority controlled things like access to air and abused that privilege. Which is a good deal farther than most governments - but still allowed more freedom than many forms of slavery.

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Tacticslion wrote:
thejeff wrote:
As The Sword said: What do you do when the person runs away or refuses to work?

In our kingdom's case, they are fined for the exact amount they were compensated for when they sold themselves in the first place.

If they lack the funds to do that (say, because they were somehow in debt in the first place due to poor decisions prior), then something is worked out akin to what would have happened if they were unable to pay their original debts, but those debts have now been transferred to a new entity.

Because they are a person, they are treated as a person - that means that if they should fail to live up to the responsibilities that they chose to place upon themselves, the penalties for defaulting on those responsibilities are the same as the penalties for defaulting on similar responsibilities.

"I took the money and spent it all, but refuse to work for it, also I've left." is a crime because you took something from someone on false pretenses - you've become, in effect, a thief.

If there is any abuse going on of the slaves in question; that, of course, is different. Whether or not something counts as abuse is directly related to the "decency treatment" (colloquial term, not official) laws that govern ordinary behavior between people. So, you know, don't be a jerk and show respect to others: no stealing, vandalism, harming, etc. except under justified circumstances (most often that of "self defense" or similar).

Then again, given that slavery is a voluntary, specific, and limited term state (unless something explicit is worked out on behalf of the slave and owner somehow), compensation goes to the slave, and they have treatment as "living persons" just as all do; abuses should be rare and it's less like "slavery" as most people are used to it.

Also, due to free education, basic mandated charity, and a limited regulation of certain economic functions, average lifestyles are pretty easy to come by; so slavery itself should be rare.

I've got a lot of problems with real world debt slavery, but it's probably possible to make it work in fantasy. :)

Envall wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Envall wrote:
The Sword wrote:

The question is also there... What happens when the person runs away, or tells you they don't want to do that thing you asked them to? How do you enforce slavery without punishing someone for having their free will.

I'm not sure there can ever be benign slavery.

Respecting free will is not related to good evil axis yadda yadda yadda.
But punishing people for exercising it is.

With that attitude Lawful Good becomes self-contradictory.

How so? Obviously there are cases where exercising one's free will can be punished - those who use it to hurt or kill others, for example. Free will is not an absolute good.

At the same time, preventing people from using their free will on the scale necessary for slavery is evil, if only because of the methods that are necessary to enforce it. As The Sword said: What do you do when the person runs away or refuses to work?

Envall wrote:
The Sword wrote:

The question is also there... What happens when the person runs away, or tells you they don't want to do that thing you asked them to? How do you enforce slavery without punishing someone for having their free will.

I'm not sure there can ever be benign slavery.

Respecting free will is not related to good evil axis yadda yadda yadda.

But punishing people for exercising it is.

the Lorax wrote:

Problem player? Problem character? Doesn't matter.

It could be the whole party.

Unless there's a good reason, the answer shouldn't be:

Players: "We get off the train at Charleston."
DM: "You don't know why, but for some reason the train doesn't stop at Charleston." <choo-choo!!>
- or -
DM: "That night as you sleep, preparing to get off the train at Charleston, you have a dream of Fear and Loathing in Charleston."

I've seen railroads go all kinds of directions, but when a DM can't adapt to player actions or forcibly moves to negate player actions that turns the game into something not fun - and that applies to both sides of the screen.

I'm speaking about an ongoing campaign, not a one shot of some sort, an ongoing campaign which may comprise multiple different parties of PCs over different story arcs.

If someone's character wants to retire in Charleston and become a underwater yoga basket weaver, cool. If they want to make a new character to continue to play, cool. If they just want out of the game for whatever reason, cool.

At some point, denying player agency is going to force a player to make the choice between continuing to play in the campaign, and leaving the game table anyway. I've never seen a player quit a game because, "there's too much to do and I have so many different goals I could follow."

I guess that's mostly a difference in definition of campaign. Generally, I'd refer to a campaign as one group of PCs through some kind of continuous storyline - possibly multiple arcs, possibly just one. There can be attrition and replacement of PCs, but some continuity is needed. Another group of PCs starting up in a different time & place would be a different campaign, even if it was in the same world and some of the previous events got referenced.

I'm not sure from your post, what you'd call that difference. For the moment, I'll call it a game.

If a PC wants to retire to Charleston, fine. If that player wants to quit or replace the character, then fine.
If the whole party decides to ignore everything that's set up and all the hooks that have been planted for the game they wanted to play in and head off to Charleston for no particular reason, then I don't have an obligation to come up with adventures in Charleston to entertain them. I might, if I've got something interesting in mind. Most likely, I'll pull out of character and talk to the players about what they actually want from the game.

And I've never seen a player quit, but I have seen games fall apart because "there's too much to do and I have so many different goals I could follow." PCs want different goals. There's no focus. The group flips around, switching between one thing and another, chasing their tails, never making progress on any one goal.
I've also seen it happen in somewhat directed games, where there were too many clues and too many possible paths to follow, all in the service of the same main plot goal. In that case it was helped by knowing that the main villains were much tougher than we were so we were worried about any path that might lead to direct confrontation.

The Sword wrote:

There have always been magistrates - call they sheriffs, magistrates, reeves, justices of peace whatever. However while they may be able to pass judgement they are only one person. They rely on other people to enforce/investigate/bring to justice the people they seek.

This worked in a rural situation where crime was low and everybody knew every other person in the village and nobody ever moved about. People solved their own problems in most cases. In towns it was different - exponentially more people, constantly changing.

Judgement does not mean investigation and generally eyewitness testimony was the order of the day. Forensics was unheard of and more often than not testimony rather than evidence was used.

In Sandpoint the sheriff is under resourced and under equipped to deal with the problems he faces. That's why he needs the party to do the investigations and bring the perpetrators to justice. Historically local constables would sometimes be appointed against there will and would be fined for not keeping the peace. Sometimes they would need to pay people to help them rather than them be fined.

This fits quite nicely with the adventuring party idea - particularly in a fantasy world where threats could be far more perilous than anything historically accurate.

I take issue with this idea that adventuring parties have no authority - they don't - at least no more than any other citizen - but they are filling a void, not stepping on someone else's toes. If there is a dirty job that needs doing someone's got to do it!

Yes and no. They may well be stepping on someone's toes, if whoever's responsible in the area doesn't want them mucking about. Quite often, they are hired or otherwise asked to help out, by said authorities. In cases where they're not, they may well be perceived as interlopers - or even threats, if the authority is corrupt, incompetent or just insecure.

Most of those officials you list weren't just law enforcement officials, but rulers or managers. They'd have some authority to pass judgment, but mostly they ran whatever was under their authority, much the same as a lord or a mayor or a king would. That's actually the distinction that makes Sandpoint structured more modernly - the sheriff is separate from the mayor and has a role much more like a modern sheriff (or at least an old West sheriff - handle outlaws and Indian trouble, at least until the cavalry shows up.)

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The Sword wrote:

I don't think anyone is suggesting that the party sets themselves as an alternative law enforcement agency.

Karl the baker says his daughter was kidnapped and the adventuring party tracks her down to the cult meeting in the cellars beneath a local inn, killing several of them and rescuing the daughter. The party aren't stepping on anyones jurisdiction because that is not what a Town Watch did.

Local authorities that investigate and 'solve crimes' as we know it did not exist except the rarest cases until the modern police force evolved in the 19th C. The closest widespread example I can think of were the witch hunters that tracked down and investigated those accused how narrow spectrum of criminality this was and they were often funded by religious institutions and private individuals.

But is that how the fantasy world works? Strict historical simulation this game is not.

Sandpoint, for example, has a Sheriff, who does deal with crimes. And a Mayor, who may well be elected, since it's apparently not a hereditary post. No ruling lord to whom the town owes fealty either.

Even in a more historically accurate setting, while there may well be no authorities that investigate and 'solve crimes', there are authorities who dispense justice. That will at least in some cases involve investigating, though it's mostly ruling on accusations and complaints. Still, when there is some kind of ongoing problem there will be a demand for it to be dealt with and the local authorities will have to deal with it.
They may delegate problems to wandering adventurers, which is a common RPG trope, but they may also not be well disposed to such outsiders coming in and stirring up trouble, even in the name of "justice".

Freehold DM wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
Recently, however, I added the new Micronauts series from IDW, and I've got their new Rom: Space Knight series on my list.


I'm excited!

Near as I can tell, both of those are based on the original toy IP, with no rights to any of the Marvel comics stuff.

the Lorax wrote:

In face-to-face home campaigns, railroads don't do it for me.

Not as a DM.

And certainly not as a player.

As a DM, you could suggest that providing the illusion of choice is what you what to do - to allow the players to choose the route you have plotted out for them.

I would say that this is wrong. There does not need to be an illusion.
What you need is players/characters invested in the setting. You need bad guys with a plot.

Bad guys set their plots in motion,
That creates events/situations that act upon PCs or NPCs.
PCs decide how they will react.

There does not need to be an illusion of choice. If the characters decide to leave the area because bad stuff is happening, then they do.
They go somewhere else. The bad guys keep working on their plots.

The railroad is taking Amtrak from Chicago to New York.
A living campaign is being able to fly, drive, walk or whatever, and maybe deciding that you like it in Charleston West Virginia.

Meaningful choices and repercussions are what make a game interesting for me as a player and as a DM.

If you are talking about a game run at a convention or game store, sure, a clear objective is useful - there's are constraints on how long you have to get things to play out.

As a player in an home campaign, I hate having to choose a path because "Well, that's were the adventure is, so I guess we should go do it." even when that path is to go kill the evil queen who happens to be my long lost sister/mother/wife whatever.

Players who are willing to go on the adventure - to react to the events described by the DM - without prompting are great, but I'm not down with the idea of everything being forced to be a CR appropriate encounter. Town Guards don't magically go up in levels as PCs do.
Everyday goblin tribes don't have 12th level barbarians as their stock tribe member.

To some extent yes. OTOH, I may not want to run a campaign in Charleston, WV, while I've got interesting stuff set up along the Chicago to NY route.

Meaningful choices are great. Some level of buy in to the campaign premise is good too.
If you've got bad guys with plots and the PCs reaction is to leave the area and avoid the bad guys, they can do so, but that can also be a campaign ending. "You leave the city, go settle peacefully in Charleston and some months later you're horrified to read names you recognize in the disaster in NY."

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Aberzombie wrote:
ShinHakkaider wrote:

It's not like this hasn't been done before...

Or even EARLIER by Jack Kirby HIMSELF HERE

Interesting point. I wonder if those writers gave interviews stating this was the real Cap. Not brainwashing, or a clone, or a shapeshifter, etc.

Reminds me of the Aunt May/Galactus story they did back in the 80s. Splashed across the cover was "Not a Hoax! Not a What If? Not an imaginary story!"

It was of course a dream. But the cover copy was technically correct.

I don't know exactly what's been said in interviews. I don't know what wiggle room they've left themselves. I do trust they're not really intending to have him have been a Hydra agent all along, whatever it looks like and whatever they want to make you think.
Not mind you, that they are but they'll retcon it away when it isn't popular, but the intent all along is for it to not be the real truth.

Whether it'll work or not, I don't know. Whether it'll be a good story or not, I don't know. I do know they're not that mind-bogglingly stupid or out of touch. And that's despite some bone-head moves of late, IMO.

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Hitdice wrote:

A radio show I listen to, The Takeaway, just did a piece on the fan reaction. One poor fan kept talking as if he was severely unhappy living in a world where Steve Rogers was hydra double agent. Like, severly unhappy. I was all, "You poor kid, I'm sure it will all be fine in six months."

He sounded like an adult, but I'm calling him kid; what can I tell you, I'm one of those annoying people who would rather read a comic by a writer/artist I like than a comic about any specific character.

That's pretty much it. I follow writers. Some writers on anything. Some if they're doing a character or concept I find interesting.

Veilgn wrote:

Thats called uncaringness.

I relly hate athens for doing that though.

Then you should hate humans in general, because similar practices have been common throughout history. From tribal societies on through to the modern world. There have been and always will be unwanted babies. Most often the cause that drove people to such desperate measures was poverty or other practical reasons they simply couldn't support a child. Institutional means of taking care of such children developed late and were almost entirely confined to large cities until modern times.

Of course, in the modern world effective birth control also reduces the need and safe abortion largely takes the place of abandonment.

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Ventnor wrote:
I guess you could say that it breaks my immersion to have supposedly-good characters use a line of reasoning that inevitably (in my opinion, of course) leads to evil deeds.

Arguably, it's not the paladins using the line of reasoning, but the people deciding to trust them.

Dragonchess Player wrote:
One more complication: In many societies, including the U.S. when slavery was practiced, slaves could actually work for wages in their "off time" and earn their own money in addition to the basic upkeep provided by their owner. Just as some people work two "jobs" today.

If their masters let them. Hardly as a general rule. Usually the master got a cut anyway.

It's not like field hands got "off time" in any real sense anyway.

In some other systems it was more common.

Set wrote:

As actors age or contract out, I'd be fine with their characters dying, in most cases, rather than being recast or (shudder) rebooted. One possible upside of the MCU being a massive tapestry, instead of a collection of mostly unrelated standalone movies, is that rebooting just one character might be too strange, and even recasting a role that's appearing alongside a dozen familiar faces in the Avengers 6: Electric Boogaloo, could be seen as jarring. (Hey, it's Evans and Hemsworth and Johannson and WTH is Charlie Sheen doing pretending to be Robert Downey Jr?)

Robert Downey Jr. has done some fine work as Iron Man, but I think Age of Ultron would have been a fine end to his story, or, if nothing else, Civil War. Captain America already has two potential replacements, between Winter Soldier and Falcon, both of whom have picked up the shield in the comics, and War Machine (or even Rescue-Pepper!) could take over for Iron Man, when that time comes, rather than hire some schmuck to take over after Robert Downey Jr. retires to a Hugh-Hefner-esque lifestyle of slippers, bathrobes and supermodels.

Hawkeye hasn't really even *had* a story yet, and yet I'm tired of him, and would have much rather he bought it than Quicksilver, whose story was just beginning.

About the only one I'd be comfortable with being recast as they aged/contracted out would be Hemsworth as Thor, since he's playing an immortal, and he's, IMO, the weakest link as an actor. Even then, he's also got potential replacements, with his supporting cast, who may lack his power level, but that's hardly an issue on a team with Iron Man, the Vision and the Hulk. Sif's hardly a slouch (and Balder the Brave might be about to debut as well), and would occupy a different tier, but the team finds roles for Falcon and Black Widow, so she should be fine, being 'merely' ridiculously strong and capable.

I'd rather see characters pushed out for awhile and then brought back recast, than see a MCU where you never see any of the older characters again or face the inevitable reboot of the series.

I think it'll be much less jarring if some time passes between Downey-Stark and Sheen-Stark, to use your example.
While I'm cool with some character replacements, I'd much rather that be story driven than Evans is out, put Stan in the suit, now Stan's done, put Mackie in, he's moving on, let's find another excuse for someone else. It's not like they're likely to want to do this forever either. Nor do I never want to see Steve Rogers again.

Same with deaths, if it makes sense for the story for characters to die, let them go, but don't let casting concerns drive it.

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Ventnor wrote:
BackHandOfFate wrote:

What's all this now?

"You Don't Have Any Actual Authority, Just Because You're A Paladin"


Paladins have MORAL authority because they hold themselves to such a strict code of ethics. That may not give them title or the right to lawfully govern. But it does give them power. Even if they aren't an elected or appointed official, people will often look to them for guidance because they know a Paladin isn't out to screw them. Even elected officials will seize the opportunity to enlist the aid of a Paladin for the same reasons. They aren't just some random mercenary. They are always noble, altruistic, and HONEST. No other profession can claim the same high standards unless it has a similar code of conduct.

I don't really like this line of reasoning, honestly. Life experience has taught me that the people who boast about their own righteousness the loudest are often the most corrupt.

But paladins aren't. Because they're still paladins.

You're certainly right in the real world, but this is a fantasy games with a hard control on corruption, at least among paladins. It's not that they always say they're "noble, altruistic, and HONEST", it's that they actually are "noble, altruistic, and HONEST." No excuses. No qualifiers.

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Palinurus wrote:

The heart of this discussion is, I think, I really interesting topic and (although I think I mostly disagree with the original poster) I'm glad they set out their position. Ultimately the correct answer depends on how you want to run your game.

When I run games set in fantasy worlds like Golarion I draw on my understanding of real world (European) history as an inspiration. Although I'm not a historian my reading is that religious and secular authorities had a complex and intriguing relationship. Members of the clergy had authority that derived from temporal, political, moral and in many case legal power. Canon law is the most obvious example, but even without a separate legal system being invoked there is no reason to think that an established church could not have huge latitude in how it conducted its affairs and how it interacted with the rest of the world.

So in my games a cleric or paladin could most definitely have legal authority in some situations - certainly when dealing with church matters (provided that the church in question was recognised or respected in that region). Several churches (Abadar, Sarenrae etc.) in Golarion would - in my view - have powers in relation to civil or criminal law within their remit - especially outside major cities. Exercising that authority is a little different from real history because there will often be more than one 'church' and because of the risk of divine intervention if a paladin or cleric doesn't behave appropriately.

Real history is a lot weirder in this regard than you might think. The poet Ben Jonson once killed someone in a duel, was charged with manslaughter, having sufficient scholarship to recite a bible verse managed to get tried under a form of canon law and escaped serious punishment (well, he was branded, but only on the thumb).

Of course, it's far more complicated when there isn't a single monotheistic religion, closely linked the state authorities.

Even the various Gods in PF/D&D aren't usually linked together in the same way that real world pantheons usually were.

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Charles Scholz wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:
Harley isn't loathsome! She's just misunderstood!

Sorry, but I have always and shall forever despise the character. Blame the voice casting they started out with. It tainted my feelings for Harley for all eternity.

Same with Damien. Morrison's early characterization of him as an arrogant little punk has forever made me loathe the little s+*%.

I thought Talia hid Damien from her father by giving him over to the League of Assassins. This would warp anyone's psyche.

I'm not a big Batman fan, so my understanding of Damien is what I have seen here and there and may not be full or correct.

Something along those line, though I don't remember whether she was hiding him from Ras or just trying to make her own perfect little assassin. The warping is definitely justified.

That doesn't mean anyone has to actually like the character though.

Personally, I did, as I've said before. I liked Morrison's slow reveal of the scarred desperate kid hiding beneath the arrogant little punk. IMO, some of the best characterization in recent comics - his fumbling attempts to earn his father's love thwarted by Bruce's near inability to show it. I particularly liked his relationship with Dick, who's damn well aware of Bruce's shortcomings on the emotional front.

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:

And this goes back to the trustworthiness of a paladin. If it's a paladin who did it, the local guard will likely default into siding with them. Because... paladin!

No more so than the local guard will side with the sorcerer, because... sorcerer!

Not really the same thing at all. False comparison. Sorcerers aren't known to be beacons of truth, justice, and the Lawful Good way.
And nor are paladins, which is the central point.

Well, it's more like the central contention.

If classes are a known thing in the setting and reasonable well identifiable, then once they know you're a Paladin, then you will be known to be a "beacon of truth, justice, and the Lawful Good way".

If not, then while there may be specific paladin-centric organizations with such reputations, individual Paladins won't benefit from it, unless they belong to such a group.

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Now if they're high-born kids or otherwise connected, it might be a different story.
Though at that point, how likely are they going to be stealing bread anyway?


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
You were hosting a banquet and needed six more servers, four dancing girls, two musicians, and three cooks? Most of the time, they would have been hired slaves. You arrived in a strange city and need to rent a villa for a few weeks? It probably either came with slaves owned by the (absent) landowner, or you hire staff for that period of time (and the staff are probably all someone's slaves).
Would the slaves have gotten the bulk of the $? If not - it would be more like renting them.
.... as is true of any temporary employment. What do you think happens when you call Manpower today and say "I need six more servers, four dancing girls, two musicians, and three cooks"? The bulk of the money still goes to the slaveowner contracting agency.

OTOH, hiring slaves from such an organization means you're not controlling their treatment of the slaves or how they became slaves or any of the other circumstances we've been saying might move slavery out of the evil category.

Aberzombie wrote:

An interesting aspect of this discussion I hadn't thought of, until I saw it mentioned in a random comment on some article....

What would the two men who created Captain America (Simon and Kirby) think of making Steve Rogers a near life-long member of an organization so heavily associated with Nazis. It'd be interesting to hear their perspective.

I'm sure they'd despise it, if that is actually the full story arc.

Having done their own stories that involved misleading the readers for a time, I suspect they'd want to see where the story was actually going before leaping to judgement.

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Thieves in a market can expect mob justice.

What is described, though, is not "mob justice."

There's a reason that the "hue and cry" is so-named. One of the key aspects of the hue and cry is that you announce ("Stop, thief!") what you're doing so that everyone knows in advance what's going on and understands why you're pursuing someone -- and, incidentally, is also around to witness what is going on. (Canny thieves would take advantage of this by starting a hue and cry against an innocent person as a distraction.)

If you just all of a sudden chase through the market and start attacking two children, that's not a hue and cry. You forgot the cry. And, for that matter, the hue -- which is just an old French word meaning "shout." (A lot of common law legal terminology is like that; it's a combination of a French word and a Germanic word, so that both the French speakers and the English speakers of the 13th century would understand what was going on.)

So your entire point in that earlier post where you described the paladin being hauled off for assault was just that he didn't yell "Stop, thief!" properly?

Cause that's not how it read at all.
You even said "He shouts at them".
Honestly, in the vast majority of pre-modern societies in history or fiction, regardless of the "hue & cry", if a gentleman of means (which any but the lowest level PC/Paladin is going to be) captures and accuses a couple of street kids of robbery, they're going away and he'll be thanked. Even if it's a foreign gentleman.
Now if they're high-born kids or otherwise connected, it might be a different story.

Given that he specifically cited examples right before your bolded line, I thought it was pretty clear.
"ometimes violent knee jerk reaction that's been happening for the past day or so."
"when rabid fans threatened the life of writer Ron Marz and his then toddler daughter"
"bile thrown at Marvel for"

then afterwards: "When I saw on Twitter that people were reacting so violently to this Captain America issue"

Greylurker wrote:
to be fair Convergance made Crisis never happened off panel so we never really got to see it happen, we were just kind of told that Superman, Supergirl, Flash and Paralax managed to do it and that the Multiverse was whole again.

Still affected stories at the time.

Basically no one has any idea what actually happened in the past of the current DC Universe, including the writers, and hasn't since Crisis. I hate reboots.

Write good stories now. Don't worry about weirdness from decades ago.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Set wrote:
Greylurker wrote:
A big part of DC and Rebirth in particular seems to be the idea of Legacies. Heck it's what got me reading JSA in the first place.

That, for me, was the biggest appeal about DC. I was a huge fan of the Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans from the '80s, and other 'legacy' groups like Young Justice and Infinity, Inc. (And the Legion, who were kinda/sorta of a Superman legacy, at the beginning of their career, but evolved into something far bigger.)

While Marvel seemed to be so strongly focused on their 50 year old 'starting characters,' such as Spider-Man and Iron Man and Thor and Dr. Strange and the Fantastic Four, DC was, IMO, bravely forging ahead, and turning 'Batman's sidekick' into a team leader and solo hero in his own right, as Nightwing. New characters were emerging and replacing older heroes like the dead Barry Allen/Flash and the died-and-became-the-Spectre Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, and that was pretty cool, to see 'Kid Flash' step up and become the new Flash, and 'new guys' John Stewart and Kyle Rayner take up the Green Lantern mantle. Even newer characters like Tim Drake/Robin and Bart Allen/Impulse were taking over the 'kid hero' or 'sidekick' roles left behind, and PADs Young Justice was amazingly fun.

And then they backslid, hugely, and Didio kept nattering on about how he didn't 'get' Dick Grayson and wanted to kill him off, and Barry Allen came back to life as an inexperienced buffoon that his teammates mocked, and Hal Jordan came back to life as a juvenile frat-boy, and Wonder Woman was 'new to man's world' again, and Superman was kind of emo and angry all the time, while at Marvel, Quesada had similarly weird things to say about a married adult Spider-Man being 'unrelatable' and wanting to One More Day him back into being an unmarried and 'younger' sort of person. Ugh.

For Marvel, that seemed to be kind of par for the course, even if One More Day was more appalling than the normal course, but for DC, I felt like they were crapping all over their strongest...

Well in the 80s Marvel's "starting characters" were only around 20 years old. And their biggest success at the time was the new X-Men, who had largely replaced the original X-Men.

That very period you cite for DC was the time of the first Crisis, which wrecked a lot of the "legacy" stuff they had going, though it bring Wally to the fore, it also did the first "Wonder Woman was 'new to man's world' again". (Trashing the Titan's Wonder Girl in the process.) Crisis also broke Infinity, Inc, though it held on for awhile. And the Legion has never recovered, despite a few decent runs.

Yes, I'm still bitter about Crisis. The first of its kind and one of the very best as a story, but it broke so much of what I liked about DC - even much of what it introduced me to.

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Norman Osborne wrote:
Set wrote:
since all the glorious snark and attitude that makes comic book Hawkeye such a fun character has been surgically removed and added to RDJ's version of Tony Stark
I'm worried this will happen to Spidey as well. ESPECIALLY since they've decided to shoehorn Stark into the Spider-Man movie.

Still, I really loved how Peter was handled in Civil War.

Stark is a snarker, but Iron Man doesn't really have the battle patter thing going and Spidey definitely did.

Envall wrote:
Now I am intrigued to figure out Lawful Good slavery.

On some level, in a society living fairly close to the subsistence level, everyone had to work. If you needed to punish someone by imprisoning them, you still needed them to work, since you couldn't support the extra mouths.

On that level, LG slavery for punishment might work.

OTOH, that's also why punishments in such societies tended to not involve confinement, but more corporal approaches. Execution, flogging, cutting off hands, etc.

OTGH, most RPG fantasy worlds, including Golarion, tend not to be so close to edge of subsistence and often have much more modern systems than classic medieval or earlier societies.

Set wrote:
The *fact* that Black Widow, who arrived *eleven years* into the Avengers comic book, was a 'founding' cinematic Avenger, as opposed to an actual super-powered founding Avenger, like the Wasp, or one of the next generation, the Scarlet Witch, annoyed me, but I love what they've done with the character in the Avengers movie, and in Winter Soldier, in particular. (Her intro in Iron Man 2 was also pretty darn cool.)

She may not have officially joined until the 70s, but she was a frequent ally back in the fairly early days of Caps Kooky Quartet, thanks to her relationship with Hawkeye.

So, somewhere around '66?

Scythia wrote:

Does any hero ever die permanently in comics?

I wouldn't expect the movies to be that different.

No. There are only heroes who haven't come back yet.

Irontruth wrote:

You don't like my solution. Got it.

Anything else?

Not really. What were we trying to solve anyway? Something about railroading? :)

I didn't intend this much of a derail. Sorry if it came out harsher than I'd meant. It's a good technique. Worth bringing up. Works for a lot of people.

Klara Meison wrote:

And what if they don't want your freedom? People growing up in the modern world often forget that for a long, long time serfdom was a thing, and nobody complained. Hell, when they tried to disband serfdom in Russia, peasants were like "Yeah, thanks, but no thanks, I would rather stay with my lord who protects me and knows how to balance the economy of our village, because I sure as f~*% don't, and neither do I want to learn how"

Not every slave wants their freedom, and not every owner is a horrible person.

It's possible, of course.

It seems to me that the thing to do to account for that is to offer the slave freedom on decent terms - not "You're free to leave and starve" - and make it clear that the offer remains open. And then treat them like an employee.

Regardless of the legal situation, a slave who's really free to leave whenever they want isn't actually a slave at all.

I also suspect the situation with Russian serfdom wasn't as simple as you make it seem. Which attempt? What terms?

Davia D wrote:
If you were separating them from a cruel master, and they were not in a situation where it'd be safe for them to be free (i.e. they'd be re-enslaved), and it was temporary, I could see it... but really, even there it should be more, "I'm freeing you and want you to work for me. We'll maintain the charade til I can deposit you somewhere safe."

In that case, treat them like a free person - give them agency: "I'd suggest maintaining the charade until we reach the border where you'll be safe, but if you want to head off on your own now, that's your choice."

Irontruth wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Lastly, I off-load some of that creative burden onto my players. I'll even be blunt and tell them I don't have anything prepped. Then, when they ask me a question about an NPC, location, object, etc... I turn the question back around on them. I usually add something as well. For example:

Player: Is there a magic shop in town?
Me: Yes. You find it in a quiet part of town, something about the shop seems really off to you. What about the shop unnerves or creeps your character out?

As the player starts describing stuff, I take a moment to absorb what they're saying and prep an idea or two for myself. I once ran a 16 hour game over 3 days basically using that technique (combined with some generic prep and some other techniques), both players and I had a blast.

I'll just say that as a player, I hate this technique. Making up world stuff in play breaks me out of character, making me think about the game and setting in way the character wouldn't be. Some of that is unavoidable, but I'd rather not add more than necessary.

Me: Have you tried Indian food? Some of it's really good.

Complainer: I tried it once, didn't like it.
Me: Just once? And you formed a complete opinion on it?
Complainer: Yep.
Me: But you were just complaining that you wish you could try new foods...
Complainer: Yup, I want to try new foods, but I don't like new foods.

Did I say I've only tried it once?

I can do it. I can put up with it. In limited doses. It's far from the worst thing I've run into gaming.
But I know I don't like it. Done enough, it breaks immersion in a way I find it hard to recover from.
I've been playing RPGs for close to 30 years with many GMs in many systems. I've actually got a pretty good idea what I like.

I'm also well aware that tastes vary and that what works for one person might not for another. Something you might do well to keep in mind.

And Indian food is great. But I still don't like beans, no matter how many times people offer them to me.

Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
In the setting, keeping slaves is neutral on the good-evil axis as long as one is not cruel to them. Buying slaves from a slaver who captures innocent people and forces them into slavery would be an evil act, however, unless done with the intention of freeing the slaves. If the slaves in question are criminals who were put into slavery as a punishment, or people who were in debt and willingly sold themselves into slavery to pay it off, or actually indentured servants whose contracts end after a certain amount of time or value generated by labor, that would not be evil and could even be a good act under certain circumstances.

So how do you keep the slaves enslaved without treating them badly? What do you do if they try to run away? Or just not follow orders?

I suppose you can personally keep your hands clean and not treat them so badly if you have the threat of selling them to a worse master or can rely on the legal system to hunt down escapees.

Individual exceptions may be possible, but the system has to be evil, because you can't keep it going with personal or institutional cruelty.

Edit: Meant to add, criminals who would need to be kept confined anyway are a different story, as long as the laws punishing them are just.
Indentured servitude and debt slavery are greyer areas. Could be okay, with sufficient limitations and protections.

Freehold DM wrote:

Oh come on.

Mashable? You're taking cues from mashable?


Just read the comic. Everything BEFORE the spoiler, not just a hastily written article by some hack. Let the storyline play out.


I'd love to see the actual release from Marvel they quote. The bit they excerpt isn't in either of the links.

Charles Scholz wrote:

The Red Skull still has Professor Xavier's telepathic powers. Cap has probably been brainwashed.

Any number of ways to do "Cap is now working for (or appearing to work for) Hydra."

Harder to retcon it throughout Marvel history.

I will say that I'm about 95% sure that they won't revert Cap to being a good guy because everyone hates the concept, but that reverting Cap to a good guy (or revealing that he's still a good guy) is the plan from the beginning.

Just like they didn't bring back Peter Parker because everyone hated the Superior Spider-man, but because that was the plan all along. Or so many other story arcs over the years.

ShinHakkaider wrote:

I'm watching people have meltdowns on Twitter and threaten Nick Spencer with violence.

I have no patience for fanboys who have been reading comics FOR DECADES and yet apparently have no idea how this particular brand of serialized fiction works.

Was this a surprise and shock when I read this this morning? Yes. Have I gone all "GAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH HAAAAAAAAAAAATE!!!!" Nope. Because now I'm curious to see where this story is taking us and I'm a Captain America fan. Something isnt RIGHT and now I want to know what it is. Is this the ramification of how he got rejuvinated via Kobik aka The Cosmic Cube? PROBABLY.

But the question I ask is how is this going to play out. It's literally the first chapter of a multipart story. Is it fair to drop a book after reading the first chapter? Sure, but youre not even close to being actually informed about the whole story.

People reacted the SAME EXACT WAY when Brubaker brought back Bucky as Winter Soldier or when Bendis killed of Peter Parker and gave us Miles Morales or when Dan Slott had Otto Octavius take possession of Peter Parker's body, or when Cap became NOMAD or CAP WOLF or...

I mean really, have people declaring this THE WORST THING EVER!!!! about this actually READ A SUPERHERO COMIC?

Well, if it really is "Steve Rogers has always been an undercover operative for Hydra" as the press release seems to claim, it'll be hard not make it decent. OTOH, I don't actually see a source with full context for that quote, so it could be misleading.

Good to hear Nick Spencer done some good stuff. That helps a bit.

Death should be rare and it should be an event. Much like it is in comics. Unlike comics, it shouldn't easily be reversed.

I'd rather see characters drop out of active use as actors move on or they get less popular, leaving them open to be recast and brought back at a later date. That's certainly preferable in my mind to killing characters off because of bad ratings or when they lose an actor. Death can raise the stakes for the movies, but not if it's too telegraphed - which it's likely to be in most of these cases: Iron Man and Cap are in danger, but we know Evans is signed for the next movie and Downey isn't? Guess who doesn't make it?

Rosgakori wrote:
Yeah, that might be true, but it does not take away it's stupid. Maybe they change it back (they most definitely will, since EVERYONE hates this) but this still is horrid and even insulting thing to do.

It's at least theoretically possible there's some clever story arc behind this. I'd be surprised if the actual intent is to really have Cap be and have been all along a Hydra agent.

How well they can pull it off is another question entirely.

Edit: What else has this Nick Spencer guy done? The name isn't familiar.

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And you can't hire a free person to do these things?

Talk to your GM. In my case, I'd say that merely buying the slave is not evil, but nearly anything you do to keep them or make them work will push you over the line.

If you bought a slave and set them free, that's not evil. If you offered them freedom as soon as you reached another country, that might be okay, though if they demanded it then and there and you kept them in chains to prevent escape ...

Well, presidential politics will certainly have an effect on LGBT issues, but Trump deserves a flame war thread of his own.

Freehold DM wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:

I'm not sure if I'm worried about Trump or not.

I'm trying to phrase this so it's not seen as an attack on Trump.

Trump is known to not say what he actually believes in many instances, and instead says what he thinks his audience WANTS him to say.

In fact, in the past, Trump has shown himself to be EXTREMELY liberal in many areas. What's puzzling, is many things that he has stated during his presidential campaign are the exact opposite of what he's stated in the past.

Because of this, I think Trump is NOT saying what he is actually going to do, but what he thinks will get him the most attention and the most votes.

Personally, I'm more of a Bernie Sanders type of person, and if Hillary is smart, she'd make him her VP nominee (she won't, and he probably wouldn't accept even if she offered), I'd think that would be an unbeatable ticket.

Or even better, be Bernie Sander's VP!

However, on the issue of Trump, I don't think I'd want to vote for him, even knowing many of his political statements in the past are actually FAR MORE liberal than anything Hillary has said.

(Clinton is actually in some ways far more conservative than Trump would appear from the late 90s to around the time when Obama was elected).

To me, he has a bigger problem with honesty than Clinton does, and I don't feel that he has any respect for women in general except as things he can "own" from what he seems to proffer in his regards for them.

More than likely, if Sanders does not win the nomination (looking very likely), this is an election I'll sit out.

for the love of god, please don't do that.

Vote against the other guy if you have to. But vote.

Otherwise you will only get what you deserve.

And vote for your Senators and Reps and all the state and local offices.

hasteroth wrote:
Revan wrote:

Even were one to assume that the Chelaxian authorities were 100% certain they were dealing with a paladin, I imagine many of them might be of the opinion that the whole 'Paladin's Code' business is just good propaganda. Believing that someone *really* never lies might be too absurd for many evil characters.
Makes me think of the Aes Sedai from Wheel of Time. It was common knowledge that they could not tell a lie, could not create weapons, and could not use their power as weapons except to defend themselves and others. But not everyone completely believed this, many were rather skeptical of these oaths, some believed the oaths were just myths... Some in small towns believed the Aes Sedai were just myths...

And those who knew better knew that Aes Sedai were excellent deceivers despite not being able to tell a lie.

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Irontruth wrote:

Lastly, I off-load some of that creative burden onto my players. I'll even be blunt and tell them I don't have anything prepped. Then, when they ask me a question about an NPC, location, object, etc... I turn the question back around on them. I usually add something as well. For example:

Player: Is there a magic shop in town?
Me: Yes. You find it in a quiet part of town, something about the shop seems really off to you. What about the shop unnerves or creeps your character out?

As the player starts describing stuff, I take a moment to absorb what they're saying and prep an idea or two for myself. I once ran a 16 hour game over 3 days basically using that technique (combined with some generic prep and some other techniques), both players and I had a blast.

I'll just say that as a player, I hate this technique. Making up world stuff in play breaks me out of character, making me think about the game and setting in way the character wouldn't be. Some of that is unavoidable, but I'd rather not add more than necessary.

Krensky wrote:
thejeff wrote:
The Doomkitten wrote:
The really frustrating part about Trump is that the election is a win-win situation for him. Regardless of whether or not he wins, he now has a legion of rabid supporters that he can sic on whoever he likes.

Not to mention all sorts of ways to turn that popularity into lucrative business deals.

It's all about the grifting.

Not to mention he's quite likely going to be the first candidate to turn a profit 9n his campaign.

I love that his supposed "self-funding" that made him independent and not beholden to anyone was actually a loan to the campaign that he's now fund-raising to pay back. It really is brilliant in a way.

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