Kill the bad guys and take their stuff?


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RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

BigNorseWolf wrote:

An evil assassin kills someone because they want their stuff. They have no problems doing so.

A good person kills somoene because they needed to die, and then the state ends up with that persons stuff.

A good adventurer kills someone because they need to die, and that's a shame but there's no point in wasting their stuff. *grab*

While functionally, as a game, its the same thing the "real" consequences and implications are far different. Anyone is at risk from an assassin, only bad guys need to fear good adventurers. A good adventurer is doing the right thing, and just happens to be rewarded by the gods of the treasure table, they aren't doing it JUST for the reward.

Belkar Bitterleaf has the right of it.


It's funny how people treat orcs and goblins.

Orcs and goblins don't have the Evil subtype. They're not bound by their alignment tendencies any more than the standard PC races are. They're no more irredeemable than the Evil highwaymen that Paladins fret over taking prisoner and "bringing to justice". Killing evil orcs and goblins is morally no different than killing evil humans or elves. It should follow that killing them in their own homes is morally no different than kicking in the doors of your human enemies' homes and slaughtering them and their followers down to the last man.

This isn't moral relativism, it is moral consistency to insist that all beings with sentience and free will be treated according to the same moral standards.

Now, this isn't to say that I condemn kicking in the doors and putting them to the sword. If they've been raiding nearby villages, that's just reprisal and I would gleefully advocate the same tactics in confronting human bandits. If the king pays you in hard currency to kill such-and-such group of goblins, you're a mercenary engaged in lawful warfare against enemies of the State.

If you're putting women and children to the sword...


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This discussion reminds me of Terry Goodkind's "Naked Empire," book 8 in his "Sword of Truth" series. In the novel, it was made very clear that when good people do nothing, evil will prosper while everyone else suffers.

It will always be necessary for good people to step up and fight for their most basic rights.

In fact, it's kind of an ongoing theme in his books (that, and his thinly veiled attacks on socialism).


brassbaboon wrote:

It's a game. Worrying about whether it's morally "right" to loot the corpses of goblins, kobods, orcs, vampires, zombies, etc. is just political correctness run amok.

In my games I've always more or less played and GMed things as reasonable as possible. If a party of orcs raids a village and the PC party tracks down and kills the orcs, it is expected that they will do their best to return the recently looted goods to the townspeople. If they just keep it themselves, that is not "good" behavior.

If they raid a goblin lair and find a bunch of loot, they are expected to do a reasonable effort to try to determine the owner of items. I generally will have some expensive jewelry or heirloom weapons which are engraved with information that will allow them to return the items. The loot that is unreturnable is treated like salvage in the real world. There are sometimes taxes placed on it and they are expected to report it to the local authorities.

A dragon horde is almost always filled with stuff that has a home the party should make an effort to return to the rightful owners.

This isn't hard, you just need to apply a little common sense. The real world salvage laws are a good place to start if you want to try to manage the ethical and moral conundrums involved.

Not really.

You see roleplaying stopped being 'just a game' by the end of the eighties.

Roleplaying is a means for telling stories about conflict. That conflict can be between heroes and villains, but it can just as easily be about internal struggle(and often is most effective when it is.)

This has nothing to do with "Political Correctness Gone Mad", as the Daily Fail would put it. It is just understanding that in a lot of ways, the theme of DnD is the 'hypocracy of heroism.' The rather strange form of heroism that DnD represents produced monsterous, morally myopic individuals.


Sometimes, I like games with lots of grey, where black and white are really part of a morality wheel as opposed to two opposite ends of a line.

Other times, I like games where bad things are bad things and need killin'.

And once in a great while, I like games where the players are bad things that need to do killin'.

I have had fun and not fun experiences with all the above.

As for what to do with the "stuff", depends on the characters being played... and the style encouraged by the DM.

Heck, there was a game where we paid weregeld to the families of the bandits slaughtered. Kept the goods though.

Greg


I've never understood the argument that killing people is evil. How else are you going to deal with someone who is a danger to the community? What do you think the local magistrate is going to do with the criminals you bring him-- especially the insane cultists and the diablerists?

This is especially galling when dealing with Paladins and the DMs who hate them. In most cases where they would be attempting to "bring him to justice" they would have the lawful authority to administer said justice in the field as they saw fit.

Good characters respect life. They don't kill casually, needlessly, or indiscriminately, but that doesn't mean they don't kill.

Good kills when it's Necessary.
Neutral kills when it's Justified.
Evil kills when it's Expedient.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Zombieneighbours wrote:
This has nothing to do with "Political Correctness Gone Mad", as the Daily Fail would put it. It is just understanding that in a lot of ways, the theme of DnD is the 'hypocracy of heroism.' The rather strange form of heroism that DnD represents produced monsterous, morally myopic individuals.

Of course, you do realize that people in the Late Middle Ages and Early Renesaunce did think this way. Just read some of the autrocities that the Crusaders committed.

(Actually, up to modern times, people thought that way - consider the American attitude toward the Native Americans as late as the 1890s.)

Silver Crusade

Never have been a fan of "home invasion", and I've never run games that way. If the good characters want to remain good they have to have higher motives than greed at the forefront of their minds.

Never liked "Always Evil, ALWAYS" either, and have kicked that out of my games as well. If a GM is running a world where genocide is a-ok as long as you're doing it to the right people, I have no interest in playing. Nothing against them having their fun(not that this stops some of them from having something against me wanting my preferred playstyle to be catered to once and a while, sup accusations of "political correctness gone wild"), but it holds less-than-zero appeal to me.

Ravingdork wrote:

This discussion reminds me of Terry Goodkind's "Naked Empire," book 8 in his "Sword of Truth" series. In the novel, it was made very clear that when good people do nothing, evil will prosper while everyone else suffers.

It will always be necessary for good people to step up and fight for their most basic rights.

In fact, it's kind of an ongoing theme in his books (that, and his thinly veiled attacks on socialism).

Terry Goodkind also says that things are bad if done by bad people and good if done by "good" people.

And that it's okay to threaten people with rape if they don't fall in line.

And that it's okay to murder people for disagreeing with you.

ANd that it's okay to consign multitudes of people and all of their descendents to nothingness because they believe differently from you.

And that it's okay to take cheap shots at other writers while they're on their deathbed.

Not a fan of Ayn Ra-er...Terry Goodkind, admittedly. (or any other writers who barely dress up their hamfisted philosphical or political screed as fantasy literature)

Good people should stand up for what's right, but they shouldn't do evil and call it good.


Lord Fyre wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
This has nothing to do with "Political Correctness Gone Mad", as the Daily Fail would put it. It is just understanding that in a lot of ways, the theme of DnD is the 'hypocracy of heroism.' The rather strange form of heroism that DnD represents produced monsterous, morally myopic individuals.

Of course, you do realize that people in the Late Middle Ages and Early Renesaunce did think this way. Just read some of the autrocities that the Crusaders committed.

(Actually, up to modern times, people thought that way - consider the American attitude toward the Native Americans as late as the 1890s.)

I agree entirely.

Hell, many current people think this way.

What makes such people interesting is their Hypocracy. But to appeciate that, you do need to understand that they are hypocritical and realises that they arn't really heroes, or rather that they are heroes only in the bloody,rapist, murderer and war criminal Greek sense of the word.

Contributor

Moved to Gamer Talk forum.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Viktyr Korimir wrote:
I've never understood the argument that killing people is evil. How else are you going to deal with someone who is a danger to the community? What do you think the local magistrate is going to do with the criminals you bring him--

Pathfinder, the game where you hunt down evil, catch it, take it to the local magistrate, and watch while the legal system f's it up and lets the evil free on a technicality! Yea, everyone wants to play that game!

Really though, rpgs are escapist fantasy. We live in a world where evil lawless behavior seems to be constantly protected (if not rewarded) while regular people suffer. Most of us like to imagine a world where good triumphs and things are black and white. That is the core of fantasy gaming, even though it has grown considerably beyond that in the last 30 years.


Pyrrhic Victory wrote:
Pathfinder, the game where you hunt down evil, catch it, take it to the local magistrate, and watch while the legal system f's it up and lets the evil free on a technicality! Yea, everyone wants to play that game!

Well in my games the "Legal Machine" is efficient, swift, and quite often brutal - hey this is a FANTASY game after all!

(In a world full od Discern Lies and a whole plethora of 100% effective and reliable magics that fore out the truth... the guilty parties can be found out pretty fast. Not like its more than half a dozen spells and then the evildoer is pretty much off to do the hempen jig.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Shifty wrote:
Well in my games the "Legal Machine" is efficient, swift, and quite often brutal - hey this is a FANTASY game after all!

+1


I do like the idea that intelligent enemies talk before an encounter. A lot of times you'll find that the PCs attack first anyway, even Good aligned ones. Heck I've witnessed many an encounter ended with an NPC surrendering and being killed anyway, by a "good" character. Or we'll take all their stuff except a dagger and run them off. Heck, we'll take their socks too but let them keep their boots... Blisters, anyone?

Some people don't wanna ask prisoners questions or give their alignment much thought in some situations. Kill the monster and gimme it's stuff.

Silver Crusade

Spaetrice wrote:
I do like the idea that intelligent enemies talk before an encounter. A lot of times you'll find that the PCs attack first anyway, even Good aligned ones.

Man, at least let 'em monologue. Otherwise you'll never have the opportunity for memorable snappy comebacks.

One of my dearest dreams is to have the pre-battle meeting break down into a rap battle.


Mikaze wrote:

One of my dearest dreams is to have the pre-battle meeting break down into a rap battle.

On the Wizard's boards, there was a rap battle between the spells True Strike and Nondetection over whether they affected each other.


Mikaze wrote:


One of my dearest dreams is to have the pre-battle meeting break down into a rap battle.

Hey!

This aint the 80's, no one does that any more
(Yes that is Ice-T narrating)


Kamelguru wrote:

Title: Murder hobos.

Melody: Ghost Busters.

MURDER HOBOS!

If there's something strange, and it drops phat loot, who you gonna call? MURDER HOBOS!

If there's something bad, and it's XP too, who you gonna call? MURDER HOBOS!

I ain't fraid of no moral relativism!

Who you gonna call? MURDER HOBOS!

Murder makes me feel good!

I ain't fraid of no moral relativism!

etc.

DAMMIT KAMELGURU!! Stop being so damn funny! I'm trying to disagree with you on several topics here!!!!


Spaetrice wrote:

I do like the idea that intelligent enemies talk before an encounter. A lot of times you'll find that the PCs attack first anyway, even Good aligned ones. Heck I've witnessed many an encounter ended with an NPC surrendering and being killed anyway, by a "good" character. Or we'll take all their stuff except a dagger and run them off. Heck, we'll take their socks too but let them keep their boots... Blisters, anyone?

Some people don't wanna ask prisoners questions or give their alignment much thought in some situations. Kill the monster and gimme it's stuff.

That's true enough.

At the same time, if there's a moral debate about what to do with every bandit you capture that'll wreck a game just as quick as someone that wants to kill everyone that doesn't do what they want.

If the game were a more realistic portrayal of potential alternate worlds TM, you'd probably find that people were pretty savage. You'd also probably have rules for the main characters pissing themselves and running away, or fainting at the sight of blood.

Obviously, the experience needs to be tailored by the storyteller (DM) for the audience (players) and expectations should be understood prior to it becoming an issue.


Hmm. A sticky wicket this. I have always felt that this was problematic because we really only have hit points to tell us whether or not we "win" or "lose" a battle- and they are decidedly final. I have some house rules that go into temporary stat damage that I have yet to test out in Pathfinder(they work okay for 3.x with a few additional houserules, however) that really did help to make combat more "realistic" in a sense- intelligent creatures that were seriously banged and bruised and had that reflected in hit points as well as stats were more likely to attempt to flee to save themselves as opposed to fighting to the death because they still had a few HP left.


In real life, I'm a pacifist and integrity and morality and two of the traits I find most important in life. But I'm not the preachy type; my players can do whatever they want.

As a DM, my scenarios and adventures have never been based on "killing the bad guys and stealing their stuff", and I've been successfully playing the game for two decades.

That being said, I can accept that different levels of morality require different levels of civilization. Directly importing modern principles in a pseudo-classical or pseudo-medieval fantasy setting is not always a good idea.

I believe in democracy, but I can accept that democracy has not been achieved in most countries of the setting. Similarly, I can accept that the game assumes a more archaic notion of morality.

Killing evil IS evil. Stealing IS evil. Whether a modern society can function without committing any type of evil in order to ensure its survival is a debate in its own, but one that the nations of a fantasy setting may not have the luxury to consider, yet.

One month, the mountain orcs raided the village. They looted the temples and the treasuries, burned the farms and stole the cattle and off course, killed all the men who resisted (and a few women who were fleeing for good measure). Next month, It will be the adventurers that will raid their cave and return the stolen baron's crown and treasures (keeping a small percentage off course!), killing a whole bunch of orcs in the process. That is all part of the harsh reality and "morality" of this archaic world.

Sometimes orcs and adventurers will step off the line. Orcs will not only burn the farm but curse the land, kill all that were fleeing and destroy all treasures they could not carry. Adventurers can also cross the line and that's where morality should be integrated in D&D.

Yes, killing the bad guy and steel its stuff is unethical, but it may not always cross the border of "acceptable morality" that comes with the setting.

Note that this border is plastic and changes given different adventuring groups, nations, races and even character classes. IMO, the important point is for the DM and the group to set this limit and clearly indicate when one is in danger of crossing the line.

'findel

Sovereign Court

Ronin Pi wrote:

Besides, it would kill the economy of most game worlds if adventures didn't come back with loads of stuff from their fallen adversaries. :)

ugh, I honestly can't tell you how much I hate when game worlds have economies built around adventuring. Nothing bothers me more than that concept. I can't stand it, whenever I hear the words adventuring economy or people talk about how the game world assumes a certain level of "adventuring" is taking place, I get hives. That includes Golarion, although I understand its need of the pathfinder society for organized play, that kind of thing always breaks my suspension of disbelief


lastknightleft wrote:
ugh, I honestly can't tell you how much I hate when game worlds have economies built around adventuring. Nothing bothers me more than that concept. I can't stand it, whenever I hear the words adventuring economy or people talk about how the game world assumes a certain level of "adventuring" is taking place, I get hives. That includes Golarion, although I understand its need of the pathfinder society for organized play, that kind of thing always breaks my suspension of disbelief

Not that I know much about it, but couldn't one make a rough equivalency between the "adventuring economy" and the Yukon/Californian gold rush of the 1800s?

Certainly there was an economy that included "treasure"? Granted, I don't think it was terribly long-lived, but this is fantasy and one could argue the amount of gold/treasure available for the taking in a fantasy world can be considerably more than was available during the gold rush.

Greg


"Well, in the old days, we used to go down in the dungeons, kill the uglies, and take their stuff. Yep, those were the days. Now, however, it's all "equal opportunity for goblinoids", "affirmative action for scalykind", and all that rot. Can you imagine, the critters even have "social structures" beyond # appearing??? Yeah, I tell you, the real problem today ain't the monsters..."

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

In my home campaign sometimes the looting gets forgotten. Granted its a big party (11 active players) and when they all show up there is often a rush to get onto the next thing. I use a lot of monsters that don't have treasure, or keep it elsewhere so if the want if they gotta look. I think you also reach a critical point where you don't want to keep track of everything. Sure if the orcs all have +1 hand axes cool, but no one in the party cares to run the math on selling 50 mundane items when there's other stuff to do.

One thing they never forget to do is roll each other when one of them gets killed. With 11 PC's, who are always splitting up and getting into fights with each other there seems to be a player kill every two or three sessions, and no one really cares to be raised because they all have other ideas for "when I die", so the loot of a fallen PC really outstrips the loot of a couple of monsters. Everyone seems to invested in their own thing.

Dark Archive

With the notion of balance being tied to Wealth By Level, 'looting' feels kind of anachronistic anyway.

No matter if I bring a crowbar and pull up every brass tack to bring back for resale in my large sack, and the dude next to me walks through the adventure fastidiously touching *nothing,* we are both supposed to have 1000 gp at 2nd level, and thanks to the 'understood' concept of 'party treasure,' that's pretty much the way it's always been.

It's meta-game-y as all hell, even more so than an MMO, but I'd see nothing wrong with a game where the 'treasure' was all just meaningless items for resale, and the adventurers showed up and traded it all in at the end of the adventure for WBL-appropriate gear.

Of course, the meta-game-y feel could be removed by having the party be Pathfinders, or employees of some other organization / ruler / guild / society, whose 'loot' is to be handed over to the organization, in exchange for level-appropriate gear, as they 'earn status in the ranks, thanks to their contributions' or whatever. A group of Pathfinders might bring in lots of glyph-scribed tomes of ancient lore that's pretty much meaningless to them (ooh, a complete 'ecology of' treatise on something that's been extinct for 500 years!) while members of other organizations might have similar restrictions or reasons to not collect 'loot,' such as Mendevian Crusaders who are allocated appropriate gear, but expected to return all found items to their commanding officers, as it's either A) the property of the people the demons have forced out of the region or B) possibly demon-tainted and unsafe...

Still, I could see that sort of thing not appealing to everyone.

I've never cared for loot, because it's 95% of the time junk that I'm just gonna have to cart around and resell at half value anyway, or, worse, some custom-designed 'drow magic items' crap that worked really well against us, but is going to end up unusable and unsellable.

Selling and shopping after the adventure felt like businessmen and bureaucrats, to me. Just tedious 'work' between the fun parts of gaming, like cleaning out your bags / repairing your gear / crafting up new meals & drink, etc. at the end of a gaming session in Warcraft.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Set wrote:

With the notion of balance being tied to Wealth By Level, 'looting' feels kind of anachronistic anyway.

No matter if I bring a crowbar and pull up every brass tack to bring back for resale in my large sack, and the dude next to me walks through the adventure fastidiously touching *nothing,* we are both supposed to have 1000 gp at 2nd level, and thanks to the 'understood' concept of 'party treasure,' that's pretty much the way it's always been.

It's meta-game-y as all hell, even more so than an MMO, but I'd see nothing wrong with a game where the 'treasure' was all just meaningless items for resale, and the adventurers showed up and traded it all in at the end of the adventure for WBL-appropriate gear.

There have been times that I've wanted my players to go along with something like this - particularly when the adventure has too many humanoid opponents and their wealth-by-level gets off, or they pull a 'Greyhawk' (yes, my players wanted to strip all of the stonework out of the floor of the Temple of Elemental Evil to sell). Unfortunately, they love looting too much.

I have stopped making them identify gems and potions and have identified them on the spot - it was too much work trying to keep notes on what everything was from the cryptic things I would tell them when they get around to it two months in real time later ("Vials of blue liquid? *Looks at notes* Are you sure it was blue liquid? Not pink or green? *crickets* I got nothing."


Keith Taschner wrote:
I have stopped making them identify gems and potions and have identified them on the spot - it was too much work trying to keep notes on what everything was from the cryptic things I would tell them when they get around to it two months in real time later ("Vials of blue liquid? *Looks at notes* Are you sure it was blue liquid? Not pink or green? *crickets* I got nothing."

We number everything. I have a notebook that I use for hp tracking, XP and the odd note here and there, and whenever the party finds something of value - either an unidentified magic item or a piece of jewelry or gems, it gets an individual number. The party notes some generic identifying phrase, and I note the actual worth/magic. That way, when they finally get around to identifying/selling, they simply say "#34 - cleric's potion" and I look up it's actual identity.

Quick and easy. And since I use published adventures it means I don't have to keep every adventure within reach when they finally get around to identifying stuff.

Greg


To Keith and Greg,
in the magic item compendium there is a device called an artificers monocle. It's primary function is to use detect magic as an identify spell. You identify items fast and easy and alot cheaper than with the regular identify spell.
Identify takes 8 hrs artificers monocle takes 1 minute/10 rounds which ever you prefer.

In my group we ALWAYS have that little device because in a party of 5 outta six players( short straw gets stuck playing the fighter type) so no matter what wand, potion or whatever we find it's identified almost immediatly.
My DM finds that this helps w/ his bookkeeping because once he tells us players what's what it's up to us to keep track of what were takeing vs what were selling.
The guy with the highest dipolmacy makes a haggleing check to bump the resale value to 60% vs 50 or 85% if you have the merchantile feat.

I do advise some caution if useing the magic item compendium, my DM had a slight meltdown when one player had 6 pairs of the same type of gloves that could only be used 3 times per day.
The healing belts are a great value for anybody.

As far as the main topic of this thread: Kill the bad guys and take their stuff.
To me thats how the game has always been played and what I look forward to doing on a weekly basis. I don't bothering asking moral questions about imaginary fantastic creatures.

The day I can change into a daywalking half-vampire and become a cleric of the god of undeath then due to impressive service be rewarded by being turned into a death knight like my most favorite charecter ever, then I may stop and pause to question morals but I doubt it.

Then again maybe it's just my group. We found some magic sand in one adventure that acted as a slow spell against anyone that it was thrown on. This was a d20 module not a core published adventure. Anyway we stopped the mission let the children we were trying to rescue be slaughterd by the bad guy and gatherd as much sand as possible and became rich beyond our charecter levels. Then we took over the impoverished town that was being tormented by the bad guy, we finally got around to killing the bad guy but we then became even worse overlords. We raised that town to new levels of prosperity, education and prestige as long as WE were in total control.
Maybe moral stuff is just lost on my group?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Wolfsnap wrote:

I know that this is an archetypal activity in Fantasy RPGs, but the recent thread about what makes assassins evil has me revisiting my general unease with the idea that this is the basic premise of what adventurers do. When running my own games, I have tried to steer clear of this trope:

I try to make sure that violence between PCs and NPCs is justifiably motivated, most often by self defense.

Intelligent creatures don't engage in head-on violence without a good reason.

Intelligent creatures rarely fight to the death.

I avoid overuse of monstrous humanoids.

I give the heroes more bestial kinds of Monsters to battle.

Also - I try to arrange things so that looting intelligent creatures is not overly profitable. Most of the big rewards come from quest completion.

The occasional bit of monty-haul dungeoneering is fun, but I prefer the bulk of my game to cast the players in a suitably heroic light. How does this compare with your own experiences?

Actually, you have hit upon one of the main attractions of the Superhero Genre for games.

In such games, the heroes are supposed to capture (rather then kill) the opponents - are are doing demonstratively criminal (if not outright evil) actions.

Related to that - Loot is rarely a primary concern.


Steven Tindall wrote:

To Keith and Greg,

in the magic item compendium there is a device called an artificers monocle. It's primary function is to use detect magic as an identify spell. You identify items fast and easy and alot cheaper than with the regular identify spell.

Very cool. Downside is I don't have Magic Item Compendium, and still haven't been convinced that ebay is worth trusting.... I know someone personally (not a friend, an acquaintance) who I have every reason to believe used ebay to scam people out of their hard earned money (the information comes from an impeachable source). So I'm hesitant. And its not like I can run down to my FLGS and get 3.5 books any more. I really wish Wizards hadn't pulled their PDFs.

Steven Tindall wrote:
As far as the main topic of this thread: Kill the bad guys and take their stuff.

That's how we play. I try to put in consequences for "questionable" behaviour (my party is only now, at the end of "Three Faces of Evil" allowed back into Diamond Lake without fear of imprisonment) but when it's cut and dried I have no problems with it.

Greg


GregH wrote:
(the information comes from an impeachable source).

That should be unimpeachable source...

Not sure what I was thinking there.

Greg


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Steven Tindall wrote:

To Keith and Greg,

in the magic item compendium there is a device called an artificers monocle. It's primary function is to use detect magic as an identify spell. You identify items fast and easy and alot cheaper than with the regular identify spell.
Identify takes 8 hrs artificers monocle takes 1 minute/10 rounds which ever you prefer.

Interesting. I have the Magic Item Compendium but haven't really looked through it too much. But, I think I prefer to just houserule :) I still play 3.5, but generally handwave it since one of my players always plays a Warlock that can detect magic at will and has a good Knowledge [Arcana] skill, plus I vastly prefer to not have to have more notes on what treasure is what.

Steven Tindall wrote:

As far as the main topic of this thread: Kill the bad guys and take their stuff.

To me thats how the game has always been played and what I look forward to doing on a weekly basis. I don't bothering asking moral questions about imaginary fantastic creatures.

The day I can change into a daywalking half-vampire and become a cleric of the god of undeath then due to impressive service be rewarded by being turned into a death knight like my most favorite charecter ever, then I may stop and pause to question morals but I doubt it.

Then again maybe it's just my group. We found some magic sand in one adventure that acted as a slow spell against anyone that it was thrown on. This was a d20 module not a core published adventure. Anyway we stopped the mission let the children we were trying to rescue be slaughterd by the bad guy and gatherd as much sand as possible and became rich beyond our charecter levels....

My group is similar in the not wanting to deal with morality in their escapist fantasy games, but they go the other way - they are always good, but orcs should always be evil and there should never be modules leaving you with the dreaded orc women and children to deal with.


GregH wrote:
GregH wrote:
(the information comes from an impeachable source).

That should be unimpeachable source...

Not sure what I was thinking there.

Greg

moves to impeach GregH's source

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Freehold DM wrote:
GregH wrote:
GregH wrote:
(the information comes from an impeachable source).

That should be unimpeachable source...

Not sure what I was thinking there.

Greg

moves to impeach GregH's source

Motion Seconded!


Lord Fyre wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
GregH wrote:
GregH wrote:
(the information comes from an impeachable source).

That should be unimpeachable source...

Not sure what I was thinking there.

Greg

moves to impeach GregH's source
Motion Seconded!

Mr. Speaker I demand to be recognised!

*begins fillabuster to protect GregH's source from ever being impeached*


I'm usually more a lurker than a poster - you can check my very limited post count if you don't believe me - but after reading this thread I started to wonder if there really is any kind of moral aspect regarding this style of play.

I have to say, I can't find there to be one. The reason being that it is a game. Not in the 'this stuff isn't relevant' way, but in the 'no matter how hard you try it is not, and will not be real' way.

Playing a game in which you guide a character into breaking into 'people's' homes, killing them and stealing their stuff is perfectly acceptable because there is always an underlying presupposition that it is not real. There are no actual moral implications attached to these actions. No matter how convincing your NPCs are, no matter how lifelike you make or describe them, we know that when you stop describing them they cease to exist in a way that real people and creatures do not.

In addition to this, there is generally an inherent assumption that whomever is being killed is justifiably so. Evil in this sense does not carry the same connotations as it does/has in real life. Evil here means should be vanquished by good foes, in the same way that it seems to be commonly understood that all evil creatures can see eye to eye, and all good ones can. Obviously I appreciate that many players and GMs go to great strains to avoid this, but it is none-the-less an inherent assumption made within the game, and not just by the game; but by the players also.

Good guys kill evil guys because that is their assigned role, in the same way that the one side in a chess match wants to beat the other, or why one coloured counter wants to exit the snakes and ladders board before the others do. It's pointless to question it because no justification exists beyond a certain level, unlike (one would hope) real life.

When you introduce an evil creature into the game his role is not that of a fully fleshed out personally, we know that when the story is over he/she isn't at home reading to his/her kids. They no longer exist at this point. Evil here means, exists to be 'dealt with' by the good guys.

I don't think I made any sense, and probably just rambled a lot, but I am sure someone will understand what I am getting at.


Okay... "Good" and "Evil" are bad labels. Try "Green" and "Purple" instead, and it feels better.


Idunnojohnmaybe wrote:

I'm usually more a lurker than a poster - you can check my very limited post count if you don't believe me - but after reading this thread I started to wonder if there really is any kind of moral aspect regarding this style of play.

I have to say, I can't find there to be one. The reason being that it is a game. Not in the 'this stuff isn't relevant' way, but in the 'no matter how hard you try it is not, and will not be real' way.

Playing a game in which you guide a character into breaking into 'people's' homes, killing them and stealing their stuff is perfectly acceptable because there is always an underlying presupposition that it is not real. There are no actual moral implications attached to these actions. No matter how convincing your NPCs are, no matter how lifelike you make or describe them, we know that when you stop describing them they cease to exist in a way that real people and creatures do not.

In addition to this, there is generally an inherent assumption that whomever is being killed is justifiably so. Evil in this sense does not carry the same connotations as it does/has in real life. Evil here means should be vanquished by good foes, in the same way that it seems to be commonly understood that all evil creatures can see eye to eye, and all good ones can. Obviously I appreciate that many players and GMs go to great strains to avoid this, but it is none-the-less an inherent assumption made within the game, and not just by the game; but by the players also.

Good guys kill evil guys because that is their assigned role, in the same way that the one side in a chess match wants to beat the other, or why one coloured counter wants to exit the snakes and ladders board before the others do. It's pointless to question it because no justification exists beyond a certain level, unlike (one would hope) real life.

When you introduce an evil creature into the game his role is not that of a fully fleshed out personally, we know that when the story is over he/she isn't at home reading to his/her...

You make quite a bit of sense and your post was very easy to read and understand.

Lurking is OK but exchangeing ideas and information is IMO better.


Sissyl wrote:
Okay... "Good" and "Evil" are bad labels. Try "Green" and "Purple" instead, and it feels better.

Only if you're Drazi... :)

Greg


Steven Tindall wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
GregH wrote:
GregH wrote:
(the information comes from an impeachable source).

That should be unimpeachable source...

Not sure what I was thinking there.

Greg

moves to impeach GregH's source
Motion Seconded!

Mr. Speaker I demand to be recognised!

*begins fillabuster to protect GregH's source from ever being impeached*

Hear, hear!


GregH wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Okay... "Good" and "Evil" are bad labels. Try "Green" and "Purple" instead, and it feels better.

Only if you're Drazi... :)

Greg

Polite disagreemnet with you Greg.

I think it should be..

Only if your Ivanova!

When she claimed leadership of the drazi green faction the former drazi leader knew better than to try and claim it back.


Steven Tindall wrote:
GregH wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Okay... "Good" and "Evil" are bad labels. Try "Green" and "Purple" instead, and it feels better.

Only if you're Drazi... :)

Greg

Polite disagreemnet with you Greg.

I think it should be..

Only if your Ivanova!

When she claimed leadership of the drazi green faction the former drazi leader knew better than to try and claim it back.

Point taken. Sissyl did say "Green and Purple". If it had been a Drazi it would have been an "or".

:)

Greg


Set wrote:
Of course, the meta-game-y feel could be removed by having the party be Pathfinders, or employees of some other organization / ruler / guild / society, whose 'loot' is to be handed over to the organization, in exchange for level-appropriate gear, as they 'earn status in the ranks, thanks to their contributions' or whatever.

That's more or less exactly what I'm doing in my game. Keeps me sane, helps stop the issue of "we found magic armor and swords and bows for the melee monsters, but the wizard gets jack-s@#~", allows me to increase or decrease party wealth as needed - and even though they might outgrow the Pathfinders*, there's always barons and kings that could use an adventuring party on retainer.

*or my homebrew equivalent, but whatever.


I have a character that loots bandits we are taken prisoner so he does not get the weapons stabbing him in the back if the prisoner escapes. Also leaving loot in a dungeon may not exactly be the smartest idea because oh wow a group of monsters move into this dungeon and now they have more good loot to terrorize the town with.

Also if your comments about looting get public information someone might follow your characters to where they fought battles and then get a bunch of free gear.

Also the Mendev regional trait cynic from inner sea primer sort of shows that good does not always have the best reasons. There is no good to those people.

Lets think about looting swords.
Another point on taking the gear dropped monster is having the gear stay out and rust and get old in some deserted battlefield the most efficient use of resources. Why is having people waste money to mine more metal in mines that could collapse on them risking their life as a miner good so more miners have to risk there lives mining metal. So the air become thick with the smoke of the smith making a new sword of long hours of work. Is an evil corrupt owner of the mines making more money crafting swords when he secertly smuggling ore to the duergar. These are all things that are possible when not looting. Should farmers pay more taxes to arm town gaurds with weapons from smiths instead of buying looted weapons from adventurers?


doctor_wu wrote:
Should farmers pay more taxes to arm town gaurds with weapons from smiths instead of buying looted weapons from adventurers?

Well see here's your big mistake.

The farmers pay the KING their taxes and he in turn arms his agents with weapons. When the FARMERS buy the weapons then they are rebel insurgents.

Besides, if the adventurer was really so lofty with green values and being nice to his brother man he'd be giving those swords away :)


Shifty wrote:
doctor_wu wrote:
Should farmers pay more taxes to arm town gaurds with weapons from smiths instead of buying looted weapons from adventurers?

Well see here's your big mistake.

The farmers pay the KING their taxes and he in turn arms his agents with weapons. When the FARMERS buy the weapons then they are rebel insurgents.

Besides, if the adventurer was really so lofty with green values and being nice to his brother man he'd be giving those swords away :)

Okay the king being a middleman makes not looting weapons okay? So the farmers should have to pay more for weapons to protect himself. The king is better off. what good are the weapons sitting in a dungeon? Also if the adventures spends that money from swords on other things in the kingdom like magic items the whole economy grows. The weapons would get rusty or rot because dungeons are wet places.

the main problem with looting is loss of life and much less usefulness to the people that orginally had the loot. If they were using like bandits to take other people's wealth or to attack towns then that loot is being used agianst society and is evil.

Also looted weapons do not pollute streams as much as mining does with the waste.

Why am I thinking of starting a cult that wants to get looted.


Wolfsnap wrote:

I was recently re-reading the old B2 Module "The Keep on the Borderlands" and I think a certain amount of the "kill the bad guys and take their stuff" can be traced back to certain conventions in that book and others of the period. The "Caves of Chaos" dungeon is basically set up like an "evil neighborhood" filled with competing tribes of Orcs, Kobolds, Hobgoblins, Gnolls, etc. The thing is that each Lair, in addition to having a number of seasoned warriors and boss monsters, is also home to a large number of non-combatant females and young - sometimes they outnumber the demi-human fighters. The end result being that, if the module was run as written, after you dispatched the tribe's warriors you would then step into the next room and be surrounded by wailing widows and orphans. EVIL widows and orphans. (supposedly)

The Demi-humans had treasure which was supposedly amassed from raiding (although its never specified who was robbed) and there's an evil temple in the area, but in hindsight it still seems weird to me.

I'd say that Keep on the Borderlands is a quintessential example of this style. That said I don't feel it in any way 'started it all'. Killing things and taking their stuff is what the game was about from the very beginning. Even before the very beginning when we are dealing with proto-Dungeons and Dragons.

In the original game there was a dungeon and players explored it, solved puzzles/traps (they were kind of one and the same) and fought monsters for loot. From here there was increasing expansion of the game to deal with things that happened outside of the dungeon (with interesting juxtapositions between dealing with such elements in a very gamist manner (roll on this table) and dealing with such elements in a role playing manner (the version that would, ultimately win out).

All that said Keep on the Borderlands is important in that it is probably the single most read and played D&D adventure of all time. Hence even as other methods of playing the game where being increasingly explored the next generation was essentially introduced to the game with a very classic 'kill the baddies and take their stuff' adventure that would, at a minimum, keep attention focused on this style of play.


Machaeus wrote:


I'd go so far as to say "if your players are spending all their time calculating the gp from the shoddy falchions and scimitars the orcs were wielding and their ill-kept, smelly armor, there's something wrong with either the players or the GM, because that's not 'fun' to me - that's just bookkeeping." I would rather get to the point of roleplaying or rollplaying. And yes, that's supposed to be part joke.

I've had this problem with one player. For anyone with experience with this, I'd like advice on how to take care of it. Probably applying encumbrance rules would help.

No it won't - it'll potentially reduce how much actual loot your players can physically haul and, in so doing, reduce the imbalances that may be developing from them having to much gold but it actually adds to the amount of time that this is taking from the game because you have added a layer to the accounting - now things need to be tracked by their wieght as well as their value and calculations need to be made to determine the optimum weight versus value ratio. All of this, and especially the odd ball plans that need they need to devise in order to protect the valuable doors that where looted from the dungeon (until they can come back for them) eat up game time.

Personally, having dealt with the accountants nightmare version, I switched to a very abstract version. Basically its presumed that you are looting material of any reasonable value and its further assumed that you are using such goods to handle all mundane living expenses. Treasure that is handed out in the form of gold and magic items are above and beyond basic living expenses and are actually tracked but nothing else is.


Meh, all this talking makes my knives ache. Let's go kill the local problem, take the stuff, come back and party. If the problem has a recipe, we'll cook and eat it after taking the stuff.

Really cool stuff gets kept. What's not to like?

When we're broke, let's go out and kill something else!

^^

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