How inherently evil are evil things?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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I seem to have gotten the impression that for Golarion, the attitude is

"Don't worry about the morality, just have fun hacking the goblins apart again, like D&D 2e"

Am i correct? Is the default Golarion setting the evil humanoids as so irredeemably evil that kill on sight is a legitimate response?


goblin is brought up amongst dwarves, will hte creature hate dwarves?

Silver Crusade

On humanoids, from everything I've read it's more cultural than anything else.

hunting for a James Jacobs quote, brb

EDIT:

James Jacobs wrote:
Mikaze wrote:

Quick research question for the monster orphanage thread. :)

Generally speaking, would the Lantern Bearers' kill-the-drow standard apply to drow children and infants? Or would they secret them away for some purpose other than execution?

That depends entirely on the individual Lantern Bearer, really, whether that particular person was super-hard core (and not good) and felt that all drow are evil and must be slain, or if the Lantern Bearer thinks that a drow child raised outside of drow society has a chance to live a life worth living.

AKA: It also depends on the GM. "Good" drow are one of those game elements that folks either seem to love or hate. I'm not gonna make their choice for them.

Silver Crusade

Steelfiredragon wrote:
goblin is brought up amongst dwarves, will hte creature hate dwarves?

Figure it'd play out like a more hilarious version of Sandwich Stoutaxe.

Sovereign Court

I'd say there are still a lot of grey areas around with the various types of evil. Lawful Evil likely isn't out to do a whole lot without it gaining them somehow in most cases I'd say.

Then from the law/chaos alignment you'd want to look at perhaps the racial side. Outsiders are likely always very evil as they lack a soul or some such. A humanoid might be more 'redeemable' if they're smart and you could actually have to deal with them as equals if they've got enough power (some orc nations, etc.)

Dark Archive

Think of perspective. do the goblins and orcs view themselves as evil or do they view Humans elf and dorfs as evil.

Alignment is a horribly outdated and obsolete notion.

Silver Crusade

There's another angle to look at as well.

Elves and dwarves aren't exactly inherently good, despite their alignment entries in various monster books.

bigkilla wrote:

Think of perspective. do the goblins and orcs view themselves as evil or do they view Humans elf and dorfs as evil.

Alignment is a horribly outdated and obsolete notion.

I don't mind alignment, just some of the ways it gets used. Like getting a free pass on genocide, overly simplifying player choices/options, locking out certain themes...


I'm hideously evil, but than again, I'm not a good measuring stick for comparison to much anything else.


My default impression is no.

But the setting is also trying to shy away from the "Orcs are just misunderstood" trope type so prevalent in contemporary fantasy, as well. Monsters are generally Monsters.

But then, I've always argued that killing somebody with an Evil alignment, just for having that alignment, is not an inherently good action.


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It's not so much that they're Evil! (tm) as that goblinoids, orcs, and so forth are depicted as having deep, probably built-in psychological problems that make it very very difficult for them to handle civilized life.

Goblins? Stupid, violent, pyromaniacs (and even if they aren't raised to hate dogs and horses, horses -- ubiquitous in human society -- instinctively hate and kill them). Hobgoblins? Literally programmed to despise elves, and obsessed with supplanting their superiors and rising to the top of whatever hierarchy they're in by any means necessary. Bugbears are born sociopaths who love the smell of fear. Orcs love carnage, live to destroy or be destroyed and don't really care which.

Even if you discard Good and Evil, Golarion-issue savage humanoids do not work and play well with others.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It all depends on whether we consider Paladins to be LAWFUL Good, Lawful GOOD or just plain old Chaotic Neutral...


In my gameworld monsters, even those that are mostly evil, are not just monsters. They have feelings and motivations just like an enemy soldier would in our world. There are no random attacks, like the crazy golarion or FR goblins. I am not saying they are less evil, but they are people also.
Some monsters are innately evil due to their sentience combined with a beastly nature such as minotaurs. Others such as drow or goblins are evil due to their upbringing.

Gating/calling evil things is always going to be evil, especially since the risk of them escaping is not going to outweigh the good. They will do many bad things before returning back home.

Silver Crusade

TheWarriorPoet519 wrote:

My default impression is no.

But the setting is also trying to shy away from the "Orcs are just misunderstood" trope type so prevalent in contemporary fantasy, as well. Monsters are generally Monsters.

That's my only real big grief with the setting. For all the talk about how they're being moved "back to being monsters" after being treated as people in so many other settings, I'm really wondering where all of these other settings are...

I mean only Eberron made a biggish deal about having good/neutral orcs, and they never did much of anything with them. We never got a good/neutral/non-always-evil orc source book detailing their culture or giving player support or anything, but we got like dozens of elf books.

So the push for more "Always Chaotic Evil" just comes across as a let down, since that's most of what was already out there already. Especially when Paizo did such an awesome job with the human ethnicities and gnomes.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:
TheWarriorPoet519 wrote:

My default impression is no.

But the setting is also trying to shy away from the "Orcs are just misunderstood" trope type so prevalent in contemporary fantasy, as well. Monsters are generally Monsters.

That's my only real big grief with the setting. For all the talk about how they're being moved "back to being monsters" after being treated as people in so many other settings, I'm really wondering where all of these other settings are...

I mean only Eberron made a biggish deal about having good/neutral orcs, and they never did much of anything with them. We never got a good/neutral/non-always-evil orc source book detailing their culture or giving player support or anything, but we got like dozens of elf books.

So the push for more "Always Chaotic Evil" just comes across as a let down, since that's most of what was already out there already. Especially when Paizo did such an awesome job with the human ethnicities and gnomes.

Warcraft Orcs (And Goblins. And Tauren. And Undead. And Worgen. And ...), Dragonlance Minotaurs, FR Drow (or ironically, the vocal minority of them), Eberron pretty much everything, the list of "yeah they used to be evil and one-dimensional but we made them fluffy and cuddly because it's such a novel idea" shticks in the recent years has grown to a point where one really harkens back to the time where greenskins were a kill on sight target.

I mean, seriously, if I do a drive-by orbital fireball bombardment of an orcish tribe, I prefer not to have my GM give me the funny looks about how said tribe could be a peacful hunter-gatherer community of Desna worshippers.


Since gods exist in the world, and evil gods exist, the easiest way to tell if a race is evil is 'do they worship an evil god?' If they do, they want to please their god, since gods actually can and do reward followers and grant powers. Thus a tribe of 'evil' humans can exist just as much as evil orc tribes, and so on. Although individual orcs or any monster race could be good, they are the odd one out, much like the albino african. Odds are a good member of an evil race would be drawn to the adventuring life style.


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Mikaze wrote:
TheWarriorPoet519 wrote:

My default impression is no.

But the setting is also trying to shy away from the "Orcs are just misunderstood" trope type so prevalent in contemporary fantasy, as well. Monsters are generally Monsters.

That's my only real big grief with the setting. For all the talk about how they're being moved "back to being monsters" after being treated as people in so many other settings, I'm really wondering where all of these other settings are...

I mean only Eberron made a biggish deal about having good/neutral orcs, and they never did much of anything with them. We never got a good/neutral/non-always-evil orc source book detailing their culture or giving player support or anything, but we got like dozens of elf books.

So the push for more "Always Chaotic Evil" just comes across as a let down, since that's most of what was already out there already. Especially when Paizo did such an awesome job with the human ethnicities and gnomes.

Actually, on a second thought, more than being a push-back against a trend of empathy in other settings, actually, I suspect it's more there to differentiate Golarion from other High Fantasy settings where multi-species cosmopolitanism is the norm. Golarion's model roots are very much in Sword and Sorcery and Pulp adventure stories wherein that which is non-human has an emphasis placed on it's other-ness.

Take or leave as one likes, I suppose. It certainly is a defining trait of the setting.

I like the road they've taken, but that's because I prefer my campaign settings to be more humanocentric. What few examples of Fantasy Counterpart Culture we have in nonhumans doesn't bother me much, as most of the usually demonized real world human cultures that have analogues in Golarion have their roles filled primarily by, well, human ethnicities.

Given that Pulp, or low-fantasy, had a tendency to demonize actual real world ethnic groups (simply a product of the times in which much of it was written) I'm glad that Golarion's designers have taken the road of making non-humans the "other" and allowed human ethnicities normally shut out of fantasy in general, to be portrayed in all sorts of roles.

It certainly sits better with me than having a white-only setting which featured a bunch of suspiciously familiar "non-human monsters" that strongly resemble frequently demonized real world cultures.

This way we get both: We get the creepy, inhuman other, and the heroic human of every shade and creed.

It also allows non-humans to be, well, non-human, rather than portrayed as being human, but with slight cosmetic differences.

It fits together very nicely.

Silver Crusade

There's still the problem of the Bekyar though.

While I love the variance in culture and the all-inclusive representation of real world human ethnicities, I wish it didn't come at the price of almost every other race getting stuck with the monoculture treatment. "Why can't we have awesome variety for both humans and non-humans?" is how I've been feeling about the setting lately I guess.

Gorbacz wrote:

Warcraft Orcs (And Goblins. And Tauren. And Undead. And Worgen. And ...), Dragonlance Minotaurs, FR Drow (or ironically, the vocal minority of them), Eberron pretty much everything, the list of "yeah they used to be evil and one-dimensional but we made them fluffy and cuddly because it's such a novel idea" shticks in the recent years has grown to a point where one really harkens back to the time where greenskins were a kill on sight target.

I mean, seriously, if I do a drive-by orbital fireball bombardment of an orcish tribe, I prefer not to have my GM give me the funny looks about how said tribe could be a peacful hunter-gatherer community of Desna worshippers.

Referring to D&D material, though I have to admit I'd trade the Classic Monsters Revisited/Orcs of Golarion orcs out for Warcraft orcs in a heartbeat. The other examples were mostly exceptions from the Always Chaotic Evil norm that never got their own books or real in-depth focus. They always felt like they were pushed off to the side to serve as a novelty instead of being fully fleshed out. The larger game as a whole seemed to seriously treat them as much more than guilt-free cannon fodder for the most part for the longest time. Maybe I'm wrong about Krynn's minotaurs there.

Just really want a non-always-evil orc flavor book someday. Something as rich and well-developed as what Paizo has done for the human ethnicities, gnomes, and such. And not have it treated as a one-off oddity or a joke.


Y'know, I gotta say - Warcraft orcs, as far as I'm concerned, are "always evil" too. There's only a handful that aren't, and there's a handful of risen fiends and fallen angels too, so yeah. Personally, for me...all orcs are good for is killing! ^_-

Shadow Lodge

When I GM, there are no absolutes for Alignment for any creature.

When I play, regardless of what the character sheet/stat block says, I've never met a Tiefling (and almost the same with a Drow), that wasn't actually there for the purpose of screwing over and angering the characters and players, and Evil.

It's uncommon for Orcs, (even a few Trolls and Giants) to be non-evil, but it happens. They tend to be more of the isolationist, tribal types.

Krynnish Minotaurs are generally LN, with a lot being LE. They worship (and are the chosen people of) a god of vengence and strength. But a great many of them also range from LG, NG, to N, and there have been some notable heroes from their ranks of an asortment of alignments.

Another side of the MInotaurs are that they are natural sailors, from pirates to slavers to honest laboreres, so any alignment is possible and believable.

What might be a better comparison would be the Draconians. A Krynnish race of half-dragon-like men, (similar to Lizardfolk in appearance). They are magically created being bred for war and slaughter and magically crafted from Good Dragon eggs. However, after their method of creation is lost, and they start to run the risk of extinction (they can't reproduce naturally), they begin to step away from the embodiment of evil role they filled and basically try to become a part of the natural world, creating their own cities, establishing a government, and working to coexist with the humanoid societies around them.


HarbinNick wrote:
Since gods exist in the world, and evil gods exist, the easiest way to tell if a race is evil is 'do they worship an evil god?' If they do, they want to please their god, since gods actually can and do reward followers and grant powers. Thus a tribe of 'evil' humans can exist just as much as evil orc tribes, and so on. Although individual orcs or any monster race could be good, they are the odd one out, much like the albino african. Odds are a good member of an evil race would be drawn to the adventuring life style.

Ergo it's OK to kill all Chelaxians from Cheliax on sight because Cheliax worships Asmodeus. That Sheppard? He's evil. That blacksmith making toys for the local orphans? He's Chelaxian, so he's fair game, even though he's been living in Andoran for years. That Paladin with a Captain's rank with the town guards? It's fine to kill him too. He'd be out adventuring and not have a position in the guards if he wasn't evil.

Seriously though, alignment comes down to GM and player preference. Some people prefer simplistic games where they can just hack and slash to their hearts content, knowing that it's fine to kill something because it had an entry in the monster manual or where its acceptable for a paladin to torture an orc to find out where the invasion force is but is utterly evil if the orc tortures the paladin to find out where the adventurers killing his women and children are. Others prefer to have to consider the moral quandary of whether or not every goblin stabbing them in the kneecap is trying to support a family and who would support the children if it died.

Then there's the middle ground. Creatures have a tendency to one alignment or another, but are no more bound to that alignment than an elf, dwarf, halfling or human. Things are often lumped into a box, but the players should pause and think when things aren't fitting into what they're used to seeing.

Personally, I try to keep it in the middle group, at least in view of humanoids. While cultural preference might be to one way or another, nothing locks any race in that vein. Otherwise creatures become charactertures and simply sources of XP.

Besides, it means you seriously limit your options otherwise, which can lead to the even more terrible trope of the players meeting the world's only good orc. And it's silly enough when it happens with Demons and Devils, let alone intelligent humanoids who aren't locked into the evil subtype.

Shadow Lodge

Tobias wrote:
Ergo it's OK to kill all Chelaxians from Cheliax on sight because Cheliax worships Asmodeus. That Sheppard? He's evil.

Well, . . . I'm not saying you are wrong, . . . :)

Tobias wrote:
That Paladin with a Captain's rank with the town guards? It's fine to kill him too. He'd be out adventuring and not have a position in the guards if he wasn't evil.

:) Another excellent point you make, my friend.


Mikaze wrote:

There's still the problem of the Bekyar though.

While I love the variance in culture and the all-inclusive representation of real world human ethnicities, I wish it didn't come at the price of almost every other race getting stuck with the monoculture treatment. "Why can't we have awesome variety for both humans and non-humans?" is how I've been feeling about the setting lately I guess.

Gorbacz wrote:

Warcraft Orcs (And Goblins. And Tauren. And Undead. And Worgen. And ...), Dragonlance Minotaurs, FR Drow (or ironically, the vocal minority of them), Eberron pretty much everything, the list of "yeah they used to be evil and one-dimensional but we made them fluffy and cuddly because it's such a novel idea" shticks in the recent years has grown to a point where one really harkens back to the time where greenskins were a kill on sight target.

I mean, seriously, if I do a drive-by orbital fireball bombardment of an orcish tribe, I prefer not to have my GM give me the funny looks about how said tribe could be a peacful hunter-gatherer community of Desna worshippers.

Referring to D&D material, though I have to admit I'd trade the Classic Monsters Revisited/Orcs of Golarion orcs out for Warcraft orcs in a heartbeat. The other examples were mostly exceptions from the Always Chaotic Evil norm that never got their own books or real in-depth focus. They always felt like they were pushed off to the side to serve as a novelty instead of being fully fleshed out. The larger game as a whole seemed to seriously treat them as much more than guilt-free cannon fodder for the most part for the longest time. Maybe I'm wrong about Krynn's minotaurs there.

Just really want a non-always-evil orc flavor book someday. Something as rich and well-developed as what Paizo has done for the human ethnicities, gnomes, and such. And not have it treated as a one-off oddity or a joke.

I suspect on some level, at least, the extent to which Warcraft has become big and influential, their portrayal of Orcs has come to be perceived by many people as being a new norm. Enough so that it IS a norm to a new generation of gamers.

I know that if Golarion orcs were going the Warcraft route, I've been over-exposed to that interpretation that I'd probably be rolling my eyes and murmuring "Not Again."

But I fully admit, I want at least some generally unambiguous, cannon-fodder badguys, and since the human ethnicities of Golarion are serving up my dose of complexity, Im more than content to let the non-human races wear fantasy-trapping hats.

This is me, though, and I certainly respect your perspective. ^_^


Beckett wrote:
When I play, regardless of what the character sheet/stat block says, I've never met a Tiefling ... that wasn't actually there for the purpose of screwing over and angering the characters and players, and Evil.

I am disappointed.

Silver Crusade

DrowVampyre wrote:
Y'know, I gotta say - Warcraft orcs, as far as I'm concerned, are "always evil" too.

?! This doesn't mesh with anything I've read about Warcraft's orcs at all. Their big thing was that, all things considered by the time WoW rolled around, they were no better or worse than the humans of the setting.

Hell, Thrall wouldn't have been able to make the impact he did if most of his race was Always Chaotic Evil.

Tobias wrote:

Besides, it means you seriously limit your options otherwise, which can lead to the even more terrible trope of the players meeting the world's only good orc. And it's silly enough when it happens with Demons and Devils, let alone intelligent humanoids who aren't locked into the evil subtype.

That was my huge grief with Orcs of Golarion. It seemed hellbent on limiting options and locking them out rather than offering support. That was an extremely frustrating thing to find in what was supposed to be a player's guide.

And yeah, that's another reason for wanting alternate cultures. Some of us don't want to be the Drizzt of that race. Some of us would like to have a decent cultural background for our characters, just like some of us would like our half-orcs to not have rape assumed to be their origin. Having peaceful unions between orcs and humans doesn't make that grimdark backstory impossible for those that still want it after all.

TheWarriorPoet519 wrote:

I know that if Golarion orcs were going the Warcraft route, I've been over-exposed to that interpretation that I'd probably be rolling my eyes and murmuring "Not Again."

But I fully admit, I want at least some generally unambiguous, cannon-fodder badguys, and since the human ethnicities of Golarion are serving up my dose of complexity, Im more than content to let the non-human races wear fantasy-trapping hats.

This is me, though, and I certainly respect your perspective. ^_^

For me it'd be "Finally!" It may be bias coloring my perception, but it always felt to me that those that prefer Always Chaotic Evil generally always had plenty of support for their game, while those of us that would like good/neutral orcs/goblins/medusas/whatever have to fight tooth and nail for it or beg for bones thrown our way.

And yeah, back at you on respecting perspectives. I don't begrudge you your desired game. Just wish there were options for mine that got the same level of quality and serious development as what Paizo is currently putting out.

(on always-evil cannon-fodder, I always saw fiends, some undead, and some aberrations fitting that role. Mortal races being shackled to algnment never sat right with me even back in 2E)


Mikaze wrote:

?! This doesn't mesh with anything I've read about Warcraft's orcs at all. Their big thing was that, all things considered by the time WoW rolled around, they were no better or worse than the humans of the setting.

Hell, Thrall wouldn't have been able to make the impact he did if most of his race was Always Chaotic Evil.

Prior to WoW, possibly. Within WoW, though, especially in the last 2 expansions, they've been massive douchebags, especially to the night elves. They're far worse than the humans...and the humans aren't necessarily nice.

Scarab Sages

I think if you take this:

prd wrote:
Alignment, Size, and Type: While a monster's size and type remain constant (unless changed by the application of templates or other unusual modifiers), alignment is far more fluid. The alignments listed for each monster in this book represent the norm for those monsters—they can vary as you require them to in order to serve the needs of your campaign. Only in the case of relatively unintelligent monsters (creatures with an Intelligence of 2 or lower are almost never anything other than neutral) and planar monsters (outsiders with alignments other than those listed are unusual and typically outcasts from their kind) is the listed alignment relatively unchangeable.

(Note that there isn't even an 'always' option for intelligent monsters? - so 'orcs are always chaotic evil isn't golarion canon...)

and this

prd wrote:
Alignment and Type: A settlement's alignment is the general alignment of its citizens and government—individuals who dwell therein can still be of any alignment, but the majority of its citizens should be within one step of the settlement's overall alignment. Alignment influences a city's modifiers. The type is the size category the settlement falls into, be it thorp, hamlet, village, town (small or large), city (small or large), or metropolis. In most cases, rules play off of a settlement's type rather than its exact population total. A settlement's type determines many of its statistics (see Table 7–36: Settlement Statistics).

it isn't even a stretch of imagination that, although orcs are considered chaotic evil, taht doesn't mean every orc (or even every orc tribe) has to be chaotic evil. Perhaps the disparity is not as big as the disparity of humans and dmihumans in, let's say Korvosa, but since there is no standart rule (there be no more then 10% of other alignemnts, otherwise the purple golem will hit you with the canon hammer), exact details are best left to the gm/group in question.


I suspect it really depends on the group.

My GM is currently running two groups through the same content, with the other group being a little ahead of us. Both groups started off by running Crypt of the Everflame. The first played it pretty much as intended, cheerfully hacking away at skellies and zombies and bringing their prize back to Kassen to be covered in praise. Our group, on the other hand, was horrified by what was happening, and had a pretty serious argument over the role of the village, and their quest to recklessly glorify a dangerous pursuit (even if they didn't plan the undead). (It sort of scarred my sheltered little sorc, to be honest. Dude's used to being the coddled youngest child with three squares a day, never being allowed to do anything on his own, and SUDDENLY: zombie juice and corpses, everywhere. :P)

Some groups want to battle for fun and profit. Others want to explore themes like "is killing all orcs indiscriminately an evil act?" I don't think it's wrong to tailor one's interpretation to the mood of the particular table you're sitting at.

Contributor

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I think the easiest way to deal with the racial alignments is to just view them like the national alignments and go with it as a cultural thing.

I mean, look at Cheliax. It's Lawful Evil as a nation. Is everyone in in Lawful Evil? Hardly. There are likely a large portion who drank the Kool-Aid and a much larger portion who are just good at giving lip service, saying "By Asmodeus!" or "As Our Dark Lord and Master Wills!" as ritual phrases and pretty much doing whatever it is they please.

Orcs? If there's some business about 100% of the half-orcs out there being the product of rape, the logical way to look at it is that orcish culture places a high value on rape, and it is the most awful of orcish insults to allege that the human war bride, rather than being unwilling, is really Eskimo Nell, willing to do it with anyone and twice on Sundays, or worse, Sadie Hawkins, who actively chased the orc down and the only unwilling one was him.

The orcs who don't like rape or are not turned off by the idea of a willing partner are still probably saying stuff "Urk, yes, me wife unwilling!" and it's probably as much lip service as the Cheliaxians ritually praising Asmodeus.

Silver Crusade

DrowVampyre wrote:
Mikaze wrote:

?! This doesn't mesh with anything I've read about Warcraft's orcs at all. Their big thing was that, all things considered by the time WoW rolled around, they were no better or worse than the humans of the setting.

Hell, Thrall wouldn't have been able to make the impact he did if most of his race was Always Chaotic Evil.

Prior to WoW, possibly. Within WoW, though, especially in the last 2 expansions, they've been massive douchebags, especially to the night elves. They're far worse than the humans...and the humans aren't necessarily nice.

That's ignoring all the douchebaggery night elves have done though, as well as all the non-douchebaggery orcs have done. It happens a lot, but fans of both Alliance and Horde tend to see the other side through Ron the Death-Eater lenses. Every one of the races have their saints and villains, they're just stuck warring with each other because too many people on both sides can't get over their Cycle of Revenge drama.

And even if the orcs were as bad as you suggest, that siill isn't enough for them to be labelled Always Chaotic Evil and deserving of being wiped out down to the last man, woman, and child. That's the kind of attitude espoused by the villains of the setting.

feytharn wrote:
it isn't even a stretch of imagination that, although orcs are considered chaotic evil, taht doesn't mean every orc (or even every orc tribe) has to be chaotic evil. Perhaps the disparity is not as big as the disparity of humans and dmihumans in, let's say Korvosa, but since there is no standart rule (there be no more then 10% of other alignemnts, otherwise the purple golem will hit you with the canon hammer), exact details are best left to the gm/group in question.

That's what had me so sad about Orcs of Golarion. That canon hammer was getting swung pretty hard. There were like two lines in the whole book that stood out as exceptions that might be supportive of non-kill-crazy-always-evil orcs, but I halfway fear pointing them out would get 'em retconned or called out as errors or misreadings.

Meanwhile more than 10% of the elves that have shown up in in-universe material have been something other than CG.

Still, been holding onto those lines on alignmnet for creatures as tightly as a man lost at sea holding onto a lifesaver. It's literally all we have to work with at this point.

Silver Crusade

Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

I think the easiest way to deal with the racial alignments is to just view them like the national alignments and go with it as a cultural thing.

I mean, look at Cheliax. It's Lawful Evil as a nation. Is everyone in in Lawful Evil? Hardly. There are likely a large portion who drank the Kool-Aid and a much larger portion who are just good at giving lip service, saying "By Asmodeus!" or "As Our Dark Lord and Master Wills!" as ritual phrases and pretty much doing whatever it is they please.

Orcs? If there's some business about 100% of the half-orcs out there being the product of rape, the logical way to look at it is that orcish culture places a high value on rape, and it is the most awful of orcish insults to allege that the human war bride, rather than being unwilling, is really Eskimo Nell, willing to do it with anyone and twice on Sundays, or worse, Sadie Hawkins, who actively chased the orc down and the only unwilling one was him.

The orcs who don't like rape or are not turned off by the idea of a willing partner are still probably saying stuff "Urk, yes, me wife unwilling!" and it's probably as much lip service as the Cheliaxians ritually praising Asmodeus.

As much as I'd like to view some Belkzen tribes this way, I'd much rather not have to have rape factor into every culture for the entire race. Having the option to not have it involved at all would be nice.

But I do like the Cheliax comparison.


Mikaze wrote:

That's ignoring all the douchebaggery night elves have done though, as well as all the non-douchebaggery orcs have done. It happens a lot, but fans of both Alliance and Horde tend to see the other side through Ron the Death-Eater lenses. Every one of the races have their saints and villains, they're just stuck warring with each other because too many people on both sides can't get over their Cycle of Revenge drama.

And even if the orcs were as bad as you suggest, that siill isn't enough for them to be labelled Always Chaotic Evil and deserving of being wiped out down to the last man, woman, and child. That's the kind of attitude espoused by the villains of the setting.

Actually I started as Horde and was so disgusted with them that I switched to Alliance - I can't even stand to play Horde anymore. And I'd note that the night elves haven't done any real douchebaggery (as a people...a few individuals have, and waaaaay back in history the Highborne did, but mostly to their own kind...and those are naga now) - they've fought the orcs, but it's always been when the orcs were invading their lands (and they didn't exactly intend for the Sundering to happen).

As for wiping them out to the last...I utterly support it. The orcs have shown time and again they can't be trusted to do anything peacefully, beyond a very small handful. Killing said small handful as well is a shame, but preventing more orcs from coming about and starting it back up? That makes it worth it. I'd also support trapping them on their planet, the one they blew up after trying to exterminate the draenei completely, if that could be done in such a way that they could never ever evereverever even possibly get back to Azeroth. But killing them all is a lot more feasible. >_> <_<

And yes, every race has its good and bad people...but the vast majority of the orcs are in the bad camp, and only a few in the good, where with the other races it's the other way around(at least the Alliance races - the other Horde races other than Forsaken seem to be split more evenly).

Silver Crusade

All I can say is that is some selective reading going on there.

As for the genocide justification, Jesus....

Guess fans of non-evil orcs can't even have the one good thing made for them.


Mikaze wrote:

All I can say is that is some selective reading going on there.

As for the genocide justification, Jesus....

Guess fans of non-evil orcs can't even have the one good thing made for them.

Oh, you can have it - I don't have a problem with the people that like the Warcraft orcs. I just hate said orcs. ^_- Blizzard did their job of making me hate the orcs extremely well, lol.

Contributor

Mikaze wrote:

As much as I'd like to view some Belkzen tribes this way, I'd much rather not have to have rape factor into every culture for the entire race. Having the option to not have it involved at all would be nice.

But I do like the Cheliax comparison.

You're never going to get every culture for an entire race. You're going to get broad strokes, and the broad strokes are generally that humans find elves graceful and sexy whereas orcs are uncouth and gross. Ergo, all the half-elves come from seduction, dalliances, flings, and tragic May-December romances whereas all the half-orcs are the offspring of rape, obscene lust, and or at best barbaric war brides. The truth? Probably not as clear cut.

It should also be stressed that since humans are the majority population on Golarion, all the other races are by definition minority populations and there isn't room for the diversity you might see with a co-race or even an alternate majority race. There's not room for cannibal headhunter elves or enlightened purple-robed orcish senators, at least not as a well known majority population. You could expect to find some of both in hidden valleys in the Mwangi expanse, but you need to have a good story behind it, like the Sleestaks in the Land of the Lost being the Morlock-like degenerate descendents of a formerly proud and enlightened race.


DrowVampyre wrote:
Within WoW, though, especially in the last 2 expansions, they've been massive douchebags, especially to the night elves.

Are you talking about what happens in Stonetalon Mountains?

DrowVampyre wrote:

As for wiping them out to the last...I utterly support it. The orcs have shown time and again they can't be trusted to do anything peacefully, beyond a very small handful. Killing said small handful as well is a shame, but preventing more orcs from coming about and starting it back up? That makes it worth it. I'd also support trapping them on their planet, the one they blew up after trying to exterminate the draenei completely, if that could be done in such a way that they could never ever evereverever even possibly get back to Azeroth. But killing them all is a lot more feasible. >_> <_<

And yes, every race has its good and bad people...but the vast majority of the orcs are in the bad camp, and only a few in the good,...

Doing things peacefully isn't part of being a generic warrior race, and make no mistake WoW orcs are a generic warrior race. Slaughtering the squidgoats… Um, draenei on draenor was when the orc leaders were corrupted by the burning legion. Straight from the WoW official site, "Using the cunning shaman as his conduit, the demon spread battle lust and savagery throughout the orc clans. Before long, the spiritual race was transformed into a bloodthirsty people. " The orcs? Yeah, they were turned into cannon fodder by WoW's version of demons and really weren't in control of their own actions.


Hippygriff wrote:
Are you talking about what happens in Stonetalon Mountains?

partly, yeah. And what's been happening in Ashenvale all along.

Hippygriff wrote:
Doing things peacefully isn't part of being a generic warrior race, and make no mistake WoW orcs are a generic warrior race. Slaughtering the squidgoats… Um, draenei on draenor was when the orc leaders were corrupted by the burning legion. Straight from the WoW official site, "Using the cunning shaman as his conduit, the demon spread battle lust and savagery throughout the orc clans. Before long, the spiritual race was transformed into a bloodthirsty people. " The orcs? Yeah, they were turned into cannon fodder by WoW's version of demons and really weren't in control of their own actions.

Oh, I know - that doesn't make it any more forgivable though. The night elves are something of a warrior race too, but you notice they don't go around invading and killing everyone just because they can (and yes, Ashenvale is just because they can - they aren't even using most of the wood, so it's not a resources thing).

Also, yes, the draenei on draenor was when they were demon-thralled. Which they chose to become. On their own. For no reason. Just because they were being controlled by a demon doesn't absolve them when they put themselves in that position by choice. And the second time is even less forgivable, since they already knew what would happen and did it anyway.

Fact of the matter is...there isn't a single redeeming feature of the orcs. The only times they've ever done anything "good" is when the entire world has been at stake...and the only reason they were even needed then is because they'd worn down the actual good-peoples' armies enough to where they couldn't handle it on their own...and even then they consistently attack the other people as much as the "shared threat". No, they need to be put down like the rabid dogs they are.


DrowVampyre wrote:
partly, yeah. And what's been happening in Ashenvale all along.

Well, that part is due to one person in a position of local authority, Overlord Krom'gar and should be written off just like it is for the alliance as "And yes, every race has its good and bad people..."

DrowVampyre wrote:
Oh, I know - that doesn't make it any more forgivable though. The night elves are something of a warrior race too, but you notice they don't go around invading and killing everyone just because they can (and yes, Ashenvale is just because they can - they aren't even using most of the wood, so it's not a resources thing).

The orcs are invading and killing everyone they can? They seem to have peaceful relations with the tauren, until the Garrosh vs Vol'jin thing the darkspear were valued members of the horde, are they trying to kill off the cenarion circle? And how do we know they "aren't even using most of the wood"? What we see in game? That's a poor reflection of what azeroth must really be like, where's all the housing for the armies, farmers to feed the members of each race, etc?

DrowVampyre wrote:
Also, yes, the draenei on draenor was when they were demon-thralled. Which they chose to become. On their own. For no reason. Just because they were being controlled by a demon doesn't absolve them when they put themselves in that position by choice. And the second time is even less forgivable, since they already knew what would happen and did it anyway.

Oh, I don't believe they should just be forgiven but I don't understand how something that were manipulated into doing is less forgivable than nasty things the humans and dwarves have done of their own free will.

DrowVampyre wrote:
Fact of the matter is...there isn't a single redeeming feature of the orcs. The only times they've ever done anything "good" is when the entire world has been at stake...and the only reason they were even needed then is because they'd worn down the actual good-peoples' armies enough to where they couldn't handle it on their own...and even then they consistently attack the other people as much as the "shared threat". No, they need to be put down like the rabid dogs they are.

Not a single redeeming feature? Not the love for family you sometimes get a glimpse of in-game? Not the willingness to defend their people? They are clearly not "rabid dogs".

"Good-peoples' armies"? Who are these "good people"? Not the humans, they slaughtered Camp Taurajo when most of the hunters were away, killing tauren women and children before burning down the village. The dwarves? Bael Modan in the southern barrens is not "Bael Modan", it's tauren land with a tauren name but those stunties invaded just to strip mine it for possible hints about their earthen ancestors. The night elves were isolationists who were concerned only with their own needs until the second invasion by the burning legion forced them to seek allies for their own survival. Make no mistake, if it weren't for that the night elves would still be using arrows to keep other races off of their land.


Hippygriff wrote:
Well, that part is due to one person in a position of local authority, Overlord Krom'gar and should be written off just like it is for the alliance as "And yes, every race has its good and bad people..."

It's not one guy - it's been ordered and supported by first Thrall and now Garrosh.

Hippygriff wrote:
The orcs are invading and killing everyone they can? They seem to have peaceful relations with the tauren, until the Garrosh vs Vol'jin thing the darkspear were valued members of the horde, are they trying to kill off the cenarion circle? And how do we know they "aren't even using most of the wood"? What we see in game? That's a poor reflection of what azeroth must really be like, where's all the housing for the armies, farmers to feed the members of each race, etc?

They have peaceful relations with the Tauren and did with the trolls, yes. Yes, they're attacking the Cenarion Circle (Stonetalon anyone?). And we know they aren't using it because it's said in game - they're clearcutting the forest and leaving most of the wood to rot.

Hippygriff wrote:
Oh, I don't believe they should just be forgiven but I don't understand how something that were manipulated into doing is less forgivable than nasty things the humans and dwarves have done of their own free will.

It's not. But the orcs are doing it over and over, and they're doing it from the top all the way down, whereas the humans and dwarves a) already owned the land where they're fighting, for the most part, b) don't do nearly as bad things generally, and c) the ones that do aren't actually doing it on orders from the top (not the very top anyway).

Hippygriff wrote:

Not a single redeeming feature? Not the love for family you sometimes get a glimpse of in-game? Not the willingness to defend their people? They are clearly not "rabid dogs".

"Good-peoples' armies"? Who are these "good people"? Not the humans, they slaughtered Camp Taurajo when most of the hunters were away, killing tauren women and children before burning down the village. The dwarves? Bael Modan in the southern barrens is not "Bael Modan", it's tauren land with a tauren name but those stunties invaded just to strip mine it for possible hints about their earthen ancestors. The night elves were isolationists who were concerned only with their own needs until the second invasion by the burning legion forced them to seek allies for their own survival. Make no mistake, if it weren't for that the night elves would still be using arrows to keep other races off of their land.

Love for their own families, hatred for anyone else (unless they can turn them into lackeys). And rabid dogs defend themselves too, so that doesn't really count.

Now let's see...Camp Taurajo, where the humans attacked and intentionally left gaps in their lines to allow the noncombatants a place to escape? Yeah, sorry, that's about as nice as they could be - when they're getting attacked from the town, they're gonna fight back, and they left a way for the civilians to get out.

Bal Modan, granted, wasn't the best thing. That said, it's one instance opposed by a ton from the Horde.

And yeah, the night elves were isolationists...and? Does that somehow make it ok for orcs to invade their land, kill their people (intentionally killing civilians and defenseless, sleeping druids too, mind you), and cut down their forest just because it's there? And oh yeah, let's also not forget that Azshara was more or less night elf territory too.

"Good people" doesn't mean they do nothing bad, just like "bad people" doesn't mean they can't do anything good. But when one side's bad is a drop in the bucket compared to the flood of good (and relatively good) things they do, and the other side's good is a drop in the bucket compared to the torrent of bad, it's pretty safe to call the first good and the second bad, don't you think?


DrowVampyre wrote:
It's not one guy - it's been ordered and supported by first Thrall and now Garrosh.

Spoilered for length.

Spoiler:
Overlord Krom'gar says: Watch now, Cliffwalker, as this battle comes to its glorious conclusion.

High Chieftain Cliffwalker says: You are about to cross a terrible threshold, Krom'gar. may the Earth Mother have mercy on your soul.
Overlord Krom'gar says: Look upon the world, Cliffwalker, and see the might of the Horde!
*The Ultimate Bomb is dropped on Thal'darah Grove*
Overlord Krom'gar says: Warchief! I… I was carrying out your command!
Garrosh Hellscream says: My command?
Garrosh Hellscream says: Was my command to murder innocents, Krom'gar?
Overlord Krom'gar says: Warchief… Sir… I…
Garrosh Hellscream says: Am I a murderer, Krom'gar?
Overlord Krom'gar says: No, Warchief!
Garrosh Hellscream says: Then I ask you again: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!
Garrosh Hellscream says: I sent you into Stonetalon Mountains with an army. Your orders were to secure this land for the Horde.
Garrosh Hellscream says: Instead, you laid waste to the land. Murdered innocents. Children even…
Garrosh Hellscream says: I spent a very long time in Northrend, Krom'gar. I learned much about the Horde in that time.
Garrosh Hellscream says: While there, a wise old war hero told me something that I would carry with me forever…
Garrosh Hellscream says: "Honor", Krom'gar, "No matter how dire the battle… never forsake it."
Garrosh Hellscream says: Overlord Krom'gar, you have disgraced the Horde.
Garrosh Hellscream says: You have brought shame to us as a people.
Garrosh Hellscream says: By my right as Warchief, I hereby relieve you of duty.
*Garrosh Hellscream picks Overlord Krom'gar up by the neck and walks to the edge*
Garrosh Hellscream says: YOU ARE DISMISSED.
*Garrosh Hellscream lets go and Overlord Krom'gar falls to his death*
Garrosh Hellscream says: And you, <Race>!
*Garrosh Hellscream turns to the player*
High Chieftain Cliffwalker says: Wait, Warchief! Please! <Player> was the hero responsible for uncovering this corruption. He tried to stop Krom'gar!
High Chieftain Cliffwalker says: Have mercy, Warchief.
Garrosh Hellscream says: Mercy… Your wife and child were murdered. Your kin wiped out. Your home burned to the ground.
Garrosh Hellscream says: Mercy… Chieftain, on this day I learn from you.
Garrosh Hellscream says: <Player>, Krom'gar's army is no more. Your rank no longer has meaning. If you wish to truly help the Horde, your considerable power could be used in Desolace or in the Southern Barrens.
Garrosh Hellscream says: The choice is yours to make.
Garrosh Hellscream says: Let honour guide you, <Name>. Do not forget that Hellscream's eyes are always upon you.

So orders for an army to be sent there, yes. The extreme actions taken when it got there? They were not ordered from above, Krom'gar is the one responsible. The horde actually does have honor and some measure of mercy.

DrowVampyre wrote:
They have peaceful relations with the Tauren and did with the trolls, yes. Yes, they're attacking the Cenarion Circle (Stonetalon anyone?). And we know they aren't using it because it's said in game - they're clearcutting the forest and leaving most of the wood to rot.

Bad example with the circle, but that is Krom'gar's doing instead the will of the horde. They aren't killing everyone and have had / still has reasonable relations with multiple neutral factions such as the the steamweedle cartel, argent crusade, the naaru's faction, the guardians of hyjal, etc. Interesting, where does it say they are being left to rot? I must have missed that quest / npc.

DrowVampyre wrote:
It's not. But the orcs are doing it over and over, and they're doing it from the top all the way down, whereas the humans and dwarves a) already owned the land where they're fighting, for the most part, b) don't do nearly as bad things generally, and c) the ones that do aren't actually doing it on orders from the top (not the very top anyway).

… Thrall bent over backwards to try forging some measure of peace with the alliance. He sent players on quest lines that were built around calming tensions between the horde and alliance in old pre- cata azeroth. Garrosh, sure he's a warmonger. Just like good old Varian. Being on the defensive in their homeland does not change the fact that they are also invaders in other people's lands on kalimdor. The humans and the dwarves have plenty of skeletons in their closets.

DrowVampyre wrote:
Hippygriff wrote:

Not a single redeeming feature? Not the love for family you sometimes get a glimpse of in-game? Not the willingness to defend their people? They are clearly not "rabid dogs".

"Good-peoples' armies"? Who are these "good people"? Not the humans, they slaughtered Camp Taurajo when most of the
...

No, really, who are the "good people"?


Ok, we're not gonna get anywhere with this, so rather than derail the thread any further, I'll just give my parting words to it now, lol.

First, Stonetalon was ordered by the warchief - the bomb thing may not have been, but the attack was, and Ashenvale was happening well before that. And Thrall is the one that initially sent them into Ashenvale.

Second, the only reason the Horde have anything but open warfare with most of those factions is for game balance reasons, considering that most of them or their precursors have either been at war with the Horde prior to the WoW time period or are actually headed by Alliance leaders that were made neutral just so both sides could participate in the game events. And it's the quests in Ashenvale near the clear cut areas - I don't know if Horde side it says anything about it but Alliance side it sure does.

Third, Thrall sent people to try and make peace while in the process of having his forces invade those peoples' lands - that's hardly bending over backward, it's at best gross incompetence on his part (just letting the warmongers have what they want) and at worst outright backstabbing (trying to keep them from retaliating while his troops take land). And that land wasn't orc land to begin with - remember, they're invaders from another planet - the lands they've settled in are, for the most part, actually night elf territory.

And the good people, in order of most to least good, are draenei>night elves>gnomes>humans/worgen/tauren (depending on which particular tribe)>dwarves. And frankly, since the tauren just go along with whatever the orcs want, I pretty well remove them from the list, lol. And before you think Varian is such a warmonger...remember that he was one of the ones responsible for not putting every one of the orcs to the sword when they had the chance to do so. And look where that got him and his people. Personally, if I were in his position, I'd be sneaking into the Caverns of Time, going back there, and slapping my past-self silly until she realized that they're a disease that needs to be exterminated.


No use replying to someone who has said their final word…

So, how inherently evil are evil things? Depends on the gm.


DrowVampyre wrote:
Fact of the matter is...there isn't a single redeeming feature of the orcs.

And this is the kind of willful blindness that shows why humans must be wiped from the face of Azeroth.

Taking that back to a more relevant setting, we have the example of Cheliax. It worships devils. As a state religion. Ergo, everyone in Cheliax should be killed.

The same with the people of Nidal. The land and the people belong to that dark god.

There's the entire armed forces of Mendev, which harm innocents when they have evil spawn right in front of them.

There's the people of Korvosa. The people of Kaer Maga (which allows slavery, necromancy and any sin you like to name). Razmir. Galt. These are just a few, but anyone who came from there, lives there currently, or moved there for any length of time must be destroyed before they cause more pain and suffering.

In fact, the worst mortal villains in Golarion's history have been humans. All Seven Runelords, Geb, Nex, The Whispering Tyrant, Socorro, Razmir, Jakalyn, Caydserras Arudora, Kaltessa Iyis, all of the Daughters of Baba Yaga. Need I go on?

There are lots more examples. A. Lot. More. The dwarves haven't had a similar effect on the world. Which demi-human has created a monster on the level of the Runelords or Geb or the Whispering Tyrant? Not even the elves, as the drow were creations of trauma and divine "radiation".

That's why humans are worse than orcs. They're worse than trolls, and goblins and all the other evil races. No other races has brought more tyranny and death to Golarion than the humans. Hell, Aroden enabled the creation of Norgorber and took no action to keep evil beings from using the Starstone to become gods.

No single non-human race has caused as much and as lasting suffering as the humans. That's why, before orcs and goblins are wiped from the map, we have to start with the humans.

Frog God Games

Reason - WoW Discussion.

The developers obviously took pains to show that neither side is evil, just "human" and that right and wrong are a matter of perspective.

Reason - Tabletop Discussion

It has always been my policy that the only irredeemable evil creatures are those that have "Evil" as a subtype (before subtypes the concept was a bit more nebulous but boiled down to non-planar creatures mostly).

Can a Demon be redeemed? Sure. It would be incredibly hard and the plot hook of a story in one of my campaigns and even then the very nature of the creature would have to fundamentally change making it no longer a "Demon".

Contributor

IMHO, anything that has free will cannot be inherently evil.

Inherent evilness, like inherent goodness, does not have free will because by definition it will always take the evil choice when faced with a choice between good an evil, will always chose he greater of two evils, and will only do good when this is the necessary saccharine pill to swallow when furthering the greater evil.

Inherent evilness is also a form of mindlessness since it places "Evil!" above all other urges. Moreover, it's also extremely problematic because it needs some variety of omniscience to properly function. Does the demon automatically kill the baby? What if this is the baby prophesied to grow up to be Hitler? What you mean you "Ate the Antichrist"?


Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

IMHO, anything that has free will cannot be inherently evil.

Inherent evilness, like inherent goodness, does not have free will because by definition it will always take the evil choice when faced with a choice between good an evil, will always chose he greater of two evils, and will only do good when this is the necessary saccharine pill to swallow when furthering the greater evil.

Inherent evilness is also a form of mindlessness since it places "Evil!" above all other urges. Moreover, it's also extremely problematic because it needs some variety of omniscience to properly function. Does the demon automatically kill the baby? What if this is the baby prophesied to grow up to be Hitler? What you mean you "Ate the Antichrist"?

While I understand what you're saying, I disagree. Eating a baby, prophesied or not, is an evil act. Further, evil is... debatable. What is the nature of evil? After a personal examination (from a far, far too sleep-deprived me to make sense) in a another thread, in Pathfinder (stretching back through D&D, from what I can tell), I developed a thought of what each of the alignments means:

Not Really A Quote, but to Set This Apart wrote:

Chaos: individualism, a lack of structure (sometimes expressed as a desire for disorder or randomness), and a general disregard for any thought of a "higher authority" than the self (specific exceptions apply... as befits "chaos")

Good: benevolence, altruism, and general respect for life and other persons

Law: order, discipline, communality, and general loyalty to a "higher creed" (which higher creed, the nature, and measure of it varies)

Evil: malevolence and cruelty are there, sure, but most often characterized by excess of sin (as identified by the seven deadly sins), but each sin being present in different amounts: pride, lust, gluttony, (selfish, unyielding) hatred [wrath], envy, (excess) sloth [laziness]. These seven basic things are the predominance of evil, and, mostly, it's a facet of selfishness taken to extreme levels, and a general disregard for anyone other than oneself (as in willing to do anything to anyone for your own sake/motives). Effectively, lacking a moral compass of any sort

Neutral: a predominant balance between two extremes. Most all creatures are somewhat balanced (paladins might have evil or individualistic thoughts, barbarians might have some respect for tradition, etc), but neutrality is when a balanced approach controls the person. That is not to say that a neutral purposely holds a balance, but that they are just as likely to sink to any depths in order to accomplish a goal for person (including self)-or-group A), while willing to sacrifice himself for person-or-group B). Alternatively, a neutral might have a healthy respect for the purpose and presence of the "higher authority", and will often follow it, feeling even justified in doing so, however there are persistent (and probably far-ranging) elements where they just cannot and will not accept that a "higher authority" has sway - extremely strong threads of individualism running throughout, causing a lack of care or following of whatever the communal scope holds to.

Anyway, in such a situation, evil does not render out a mindless killing machine where the highest maliciousness is the ultimate goal. An inherently evil creature will hold to its own particular brand of villainy, certainly, but that brand is colored immensely by its personal representation on the ethical (law/good) axis and its particular penchant for sin. An inherently evil creature who is devoured by lust will always take the most lusty (according to its own tastes/ethos) option, unless circumstances dictate that it cannot or, due to it being a thinking, reasoning, even though inherently evil creature - should not for it's own (selfish) sake otherwise take.

But that makes sense: evil is like an addiction, something you "need" because it "feels good" (at least for a while) and you cease "feeling good" when you don't engage in it. Thus a creature completely consumed with that addiction will fulfill it in the best way possible. This includes taking any action they think can and will feed that addiction. BUT! Just because they are addicted, doesn't mean they'll do nothing but that one action. Addicts who still think usually engage in all sorts of clever behaviors completely unrelated to their addiction in order to, in the long run, gain more of their addiction. That the addiction generally catches up to them in the end is a good warning against addictions... but that's not the point. When given an (effectively) immortal form with (little) chance of reprisal on other planes other than a wrist-slap (banishment for a century) fiends will be free to engage in anything. On their home realms, where it's forever, they'll probably be more cautious. Also, their sin doesn't cause any delusions, unlike many mortal addicts.

(NOTE: you can make the same comparison about good, law, chaos, and neutrality).

In any event, that's how I've always seen it - inherently evil outsiders are very, very scary because they want something very specific, and something usually good only for themselves (it's actually irrelevant if it happens to be good for others - they are supremely selfish, after all) and might be terrible for you... or it might not: you don't matter to them in the long-run.

The main reason most demons, devils, or others tempt and purposefully destroy mortal lives is because they get something out of it, not because they can't help it or must act in the most destructive way now.


Tacticslion wrote:
Interesting Things

I don't know if I would qualify evil as an addiction because it "feels good."

The insidious part of evil is that it is easy. It's hard to put others before yourself and do the right thing. Your definition suggested that it is selfishness taken to the extreme and I think that is the key part in defining evil. It isn't that it feels good, but that it is easy.

"Savage" races exist in cultures where they are shown they have to take what they want from the moment they are born. That cultural basis becomes a self-perpetuating cycle, as each generation grows and those that cannot keep up die young and those that want to change the system are killed because they threaten the order.

But there are actions that are inherently evil. Genocide, for example. That's based on the belief that another race or culture are a danger to your own, and that it is better to kill off every single member of that race/culture than find more peaceful solutions.

After all, can someone name a single genocide that wasn't an atrocity? History is full of entire cultures being wiped out, so surely someone can think of one that was inherently good and necessary.

Modern justice is guided by the concept that it is better to let 10 guilty men go free than for one innocent man be unjustly punished. It's imperfect, but exists because no single person has the resources to match those of the government. Innocent people still get convicted in this system and the guilty go free, but the number of innocents suffering could be much, much higher without the checks and balances that are in place.

So what does that do to with genocide? Well, genocide is the exact opposite. It is better that ten innocents suffer than for one guilty man to escape punishment. That is inherently selfish. It says that you and the people you love and care for are inherently more important than the innocents that the system grinds into the dust to punish the guilty. Compare that to the first system, which is based on the assumption that all innocents are of equal value.

There is no middle system. It isn't possible with humans because we aren't perfect. We aren't gods capable of knowing true guilt or innocent, and even a system where you can tell a person's ethics with a spell (ie detect magic), that doesn't mean that they actually committed a crime.

Mortal races have true free will, something creatures with an alignment subtype do not. This means that they are not inherently good or bad, but that they are shaped by their culture and lives. Some can rise above or fall below these norms if the chance appears and they have the stuff to take that chance.

So when someone talks about killing off an entire mortal race, such as orcs, they're talking about an act that is inherently evil and selfish. It states that the innocents that the person cares about (non-orcs) are inherently more important than the innocents who will die (orcs). It judges the entire race and says, "those are lesser beings, so killing them isn't the same as killing a human."

Or can you think of an example where that point of view hasn't lead to suffering, injustice and atrocity?

You set up a double standard. When they kill and destroy us, it is evil. When we kill and destroy them, it is good. Now, if you catch a hobgoblin, for example, in the middle of sacking a village and putting women and children to the sword, there is no question of their guilt and they deserve what they have coming to them. But reverse it to when you are invading the hobgoblin camp and the guy guarding the women and children charges you. He's doing what you were doing in the reverse case.

Everyone instinctively feels that the people they love are more important than everyone else. That protectiveness is hardwired in. That's why going to the extreme with it is selfish and evil. Being good requires you to do the difficult thing, which is to equate all innocents no matter who or what they are with one another, and see the suffering of one as being just as bad as the suffering of another.

Needless to say, it's far, far easier to simply judge the entire race as a whole, clumping them together as "beasts." But if good believes in protecting innocents, it cannot create levels of innocence where one has to be protected at all costs. Good is holding to the hard road, to have that single moral standard that you hold yourself to. Sometimes it's hard, sometimes it's impossible. But being hard or impossible does not somehow make the alternative the better moral choice.


My DM's and my group just keep it simple.

Is it an orc/undead/kobold/certain color dragon/ etc/etc then it's kill on sight!

The whole point of a game is to have fun. My dm loves messing with the paladin in our group giving him "moral dilemmas" as part of the game. My druid really doesn't have any "morals" so whatever he wants to do he will.
Perfect example, a bunch of peasants had been turned into savage snarling werewolves they had been chained up before they could be turned lose but they still presented a clear and present danger to the land, the paladin wanted to wait the 4 weeks that it would have taken to cure them all of their curse, me I shape-changed past the guards, cast vortex of teeth, made sure all of the werewolves were nothing bigger than chunky salsa and shape-changed outta there with no one the wiser. Naturally I acted completely horrified when we found the poor creatures but "oh well nothing more to do here let's get on the road".

Then when an evil priest of cyric surrendered to the party I was in polar bear form and after the paladin accepted his surrender I still mauled the son of a black sun to death( I crited!) This lead to me and the paladin having words. It was finally resolved when I pointed out that he served his dwarven gods his way I served Silvanus mine and my god doesn't show mercy or kindness to willing followers of evil.

I guess it comes down to if your good you believe in redemption, kindness and mercy. I play my true neutral druid as being much more pragmatic, you get mercy and kindness only if you deserve those traits.


Mikaze wrote:
TheWarriorPoet519 wrote:

My default impression is no.

But the setting is also trying to shy away from the "Orcs are just misunderstood" trope type so prevalent in contemporary fantasy, as well. Monsters are generally Monsters.

I mean only Eberron made a biggish deal about having good/neutral orcs, and they never did much of anything with them. We never got a good/neutral/non-always-evil orc source book detailing their culture or giving player support or anything, but we got like dozens of elf books.

Well, Eberron got taken out of KB's hands even before 4e. However, some of the novels have a lot to do with the assorted "used to be evil" races. Orcs, hobgoblins, halforcs, and even medusae all feature prominently in a bunch of the novels with a lot of backstory and interactions with the heroes...where they don;t become the heroes themselves.


I've always felt that it can't be that hard to have evil guys who you don't have to give a damn about without needing to have them be identifiable by race/species or even culture. Games where you fight Nazis do it all the time.

Contributor

Tacticslion wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

IMHO, anything that has free will cannot be inherently evil.

Inherent evilness, like inherent goodness, does not have free will because by definition it will always take the evil choice when faced with a choice between good an evil, will always chose he greater of two evils, and will only do good when this is the necessary saccharine pill to swallow when furthering the greater evil.

Inherent evilness is also a form of mindlessness since it places "Evil!" above all other urges. Moreover, it's also extremely problematic because it needs some variety of omniscience to properly function. Does the demon automatically kill the baby? What if this is the baby prophesied to grow up to be Hitler? What you mean you "Ate the Antichrist"?

While I understand what you're saying, I disagree. Eating a baby, prophesied or not, is an evil act. Further, evil is... debatable. What is the nature of evil? After a personal examination (from a far, far too sleep-deprived me to make sense) in a another thread, in Pathfinder (stretching back through D&D, from what I can tell), I developed a thought of what each of the alignments means...

There's a problem here. You've defined "eating a baby" as an "evil act" regardless of prophecies and other extenuating circumstances, but then you say that evil is "debatable".

Which is it?

If you've got evil as "debatable," then everything should be up for debate, including whether "baby" is on or off the menu. If some things are not debatable--for example, baby eating--then it looks like you've got a hard-and-fast working definition of "evil."

Which brings me back to my original contention that "always evil" requires both lack of free will as well as divine omniscience to always know what evil actually is and thus make the evil choice.

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