No more half way measures, go full Orc please! (TW: Rape, Sexual Assault)


Prerelease Discussion

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Serum wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
Orcs are a race of psychopaths and rapists. Why should that be a core race? This isn't Warcraft or Might and Magic, orcs aren't reasonable or honorable, their gods are the most vile things imaginable and they reflect that in every aspect, from being unable to form traumatic memories in order to not develop regret over their actions to having a culture based around abusing those under your "control" (your subordinates, your slaves, your wives, and even your children).
If it works for goblins, why not?

(Suddenly wondering if the reason that Mikaze disappeared from these messageboards is that he figured out a way to go to Golarion to reform as many Goblins and Orcs as possible in preparation for the patch to the Multiverse.)


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

@ Rysky: Balancing realism with PG-13 standards is very tough, and usually reserved for crude comedies and Disney/Pixar movies.

If Pathfinder is a PG-13 Disney/Pixar movie, then I'll abandon ship full stop, because it's clear Pathfinder is a children's game, along the lines of Trouble, Sorry!, Uno, and Monopoly.

Lord of the Rings was PG-13, Willow was PG and both are epic staples of th' fantasy genre, so, gotta be truthful man. XD

Discussion is good, but let's not add "unless it's X or R rated, it's for kiddies" to the argument, because that just ain't true. If anything, "you gotta include rape to be True Grit" makes me think of some teenagers, especially some teenage boys I knew, not adults at all.

I get "not wanting to soften things up," but this is a specific thing being brought up for good reasons: gamers having lived through that or knowin' someone who went through that, and not wantin' it on their core heroes list, instead of a villain they can defeat, or a supplement they can choose not to buy.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I want to put this forth.

Half-Orc do bread true. There can be generations of the race that are born from Half-Orc parents instead of the start of their existence on the borders of Orc lands. Yes, the race got it's start from the ravages of War, when Orc barbarians laminated the human enemies women, but that does not need to be the exclusive origin of the characters in play.


MuddyVolcano wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

@ Rysky: Balancing realism with PG-13 standards is very tough, and usually reserved for crude comedies and Disney/Pixar movies.

If Pathfinder is a PG-13 Disney/Pixar movie, then I'll abandon ship full stop, because it's clear Pathfinder is a children's game, along the lines of Trouble, Sorry!, Uno, and Monopoly.

Lord of the Rings was PG-13, Willow was PG and both are epic staples of th' fantasy genre, so, gotta be truthful man. XD

Discussion is good, but let's not add "unless it's X or R rated, it's for kiddies" to the argument, because that just ain't true. If anything, "you gotta include rape to be True Grit" makes me think of some teenagers, especially some teenage boys I knew, not adults at all.

I get "not wanting to soften things up," but this is a specific thing being brought up for good reasons: gamers having lived through that or knowin' someone who went through that, and not wantin' it on their core heroes list, instead of a villain they can defeat, or a supplement they can choose not to buy.

Well, I dislike Lord of the Rings, if that makes any sense to you. (No, not because it's PG-13.) It created fantasy staples, sure, but it also caused skewing of other fantasy possibilities due to its popularity. Wanna know why Longbows have been the master race of ranged weapons? Why usually only Dwarves and Orcs use axes and/or hammers, and everyone else uses daggers and swords? Look no farther than the Trilogy.

As for Willow, what's that? Sounds like a Disney movie about a sentient tree that is the main star of the "action". (If I can call it that, since even in Lord of the Rings, the trees walked in there too, so maybe it's a tangential film about one of the trees in the relevant movie.)

That argument makes no sense; by that logic, I can take children to a zombie movie with blood and guts and all the other R-rated aspects and be just fine because "R and X rated movies are for adults only." Even with a threshold concept, G, PG, and PG-13 movies are designed for a younger (and by usual relation, less mature) audience, meaning the idea of the movie being "for kids" still holds up, since that is the entire point of that system.

And as I've stated prior, you probably shouldn't be playing a game that can very well include some of those factors as a plot element to the overall story if you are gaming with friends and family who have had such traumatic experiences. Even for those who don't intend to purposefully have some of those things as plot devices, they are still built in to some Paizo-published APs, and some people don't have the time to read and/or change some of the pre-printed stuff.


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thaX wrote:
...Yes, the race got it's start from the ravages of War, when Orc barbarians laminated the human enemies women...

The orcs gave 'em Beer Goggles?


Zolanoteph wrote:


This seems to be the direction that gaming culture is moving towards. Your game world can't be a genuinely dark and scary place where awful things happen, it has to be a safe space. It's the Harry Potter model where the bad guy is a boogie man with no nose or a cape or something, and you can't describe him actually doing anything horrible because somewhere someone will be triggered, so he just does some scary magical hocus pocus and you beat him with your Fisher Price hammer.

Honestly, the shift was already happening in the gaming culture regardless of the sexual assault implications. Half-orcs were essentially created so you could play an orc as a PC, but the half-human aspect made it "Orc Lite," though in the process it brought a lot of questions with unsettling answers. But outside of "the implication" of half-orcs, a lot of games in the wider gaming culture have been moving towards potentially PC friendly orcs. In Eberron, orcs of the Shadow Marches are stalwart druidic protectors against otherworldly aberrations. Orcs are a playable race in Green Ronin's Fantasy Age RPG. In Warcraft, the orcs became a prominent playable race. Same with the Elder Scroll series.

It's not that half-orcs are inherently bad, that grimdark is bad, or a desire to sanitize everything but, rather, the grimdark sexual assault backstory for half-orcs is honestly a really lousy justification for a mass playable ancestry. Why must the majority of half-orcs be the product of sexual assault? Why couldn't they mostly be the children of half-orc parents much like most half-elves in Eberron are the children of half-elves rather than tragic backstory #4 between elf and human?

Why not simply allow for playable orcs? But if you want to preserve what the "civilized" half-orc represents in contrast with the "bloodthirsty" orc, then you could make them both "orcs," but have them represent different branches, much akin to Neanderthal and Cro Magnon humans.

And I think that overall in the gaming industry there is a reprisal of how orcs are depicted and their suitability for playable bioforms. I don't think that sexual assault is what spurs this growing shift, though it undoubtedly does factor into the conversation.

Liberty's Edge

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The community of Half-X breeding with itself for generations is somewhat problematic from a biological standpoint as well. Nowhere in the setting are there described large social entities beyond communities here and there along the fringes of Belkzen as areas where half-orcs have kept to themselves. So if several generations are going by with that closed group inter breeding within its happening... well bad things.


Would the half-Orc not be more or less equivalent to the Uruk-hai?

In any case, if the half-human races on Golarion can breed true, that would seem to be by far the most likely source of PCs though I don't really see why so many people seem to rule out consenting liasons between orc and evil humans...

Liberty's Edge

Crayon wrote:


In any case, if the half-human races on Golarion can breed true, that would seem to be by far the most likely source of PCs though I don't really see why so many people seem to rule out consenting liasons between orc and evil humans...

No one is saying it doesn't happen, but have you read the Beastiary description of the Orc? It would seem to indicated that is far from the normal process in Half-Orc creation.


Crayon wrote:

Would the half-Orc not be more or less equivalent to the Uruk-hai?

In any case, if the half-human races on Golarion can breed true, that would seem to be by far the most likely source of PCs though I don't really see why so many people seem to rule out consenting liasons between orc and evil humans...

That's a misnomer from the movies. Uruk-hai was a term used for certain large orc breeds. There were Mordor Uruks with no human blood in them. The Isengard Uruks just fit the description for an already existing breed of orcs.

Most descriptions of Half-Orcs (including Core) specifically call out sexual assault as the cause of most Half-Orcs. There are exceptions, but if you meet a half-orc in Golarion it's generally assumed they are a product of rape in the current lore.

Liberty's Edge

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Malachandra wrote:
Most descriptions of Half-Orcs (including Core) specifically call out sexual assault as the cause of most Half-Orcs. There are exceptions, but if you meet a half-orc in Golarion it's generally assumed they are a product of rape in the current lore.

This is actually not true per materials focused on Golarion (as opposed to the setting neutral core rulebook line). Inner Sea Races, for example, notes that a lot of Half Orcs are the children of other Half Orcs, all the distant descendants of the slave caste that the Orcs bred millennia ago when they had an empire. So...still unpleasant way back when, but your actual parents were probably just Half Orcs.

And most Half Orcs in the vicinity of the Mwangi Expanse are the result of formalized relationships between the Human and Orc tribes where the Humans are actively trying to breed Half Orcs because their strength is useful in fighting the local demon problem. That's not exactly romantic, but it is consensual.

Also, for those who are skeptical about Half Orcs maintaining a population, bear in mind that several Half Orc Alternate Racial Traits make them more human or more Orc, so the race isn't merely true crossbreeds, but at least anyone with between 1/4 and 3/4 Orc heritage, so an occasional human or orc added to the breeding pool does plenty to increase genetic diversity while still leaving them identifiably Half Orcs.

None of which is to say rape is also not a factor. It is. But it's not the only factor by any means, nor even the majority of Half Orcs in most places (the area around the Hold of Belkzen is more likely to have Half Orcs with this kind of backstory than anywhere else, for example).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

On the other side of the coin, the background of the Half-Elf is the suave human male sweet talking the Elven hottie and, as the song goes, "...Get Lucky."

I believe their may be parts of bigger cities that host different "Chinatowns" like areas that are the Half-Orc portions, Half Elf, and Goblin having their own sections in the Cities. As far as that goes, there may be certain places where different races meet others of their kind for various reasons and stay in touch with one another and keep in the know about things. Gnomes especially keep meeting to tell each other their adjusted names.


thaX wrote:
On the other side of the coin, the background of the Half-Elf is the suave human male sweet talking the Elven hottie and, as the song goes, "...Get Lucky."

This seems strange. Elves are known for low fertility.

It seems far more plausible that it's those elven men with their bishonen looks and lack of concern for their transient human trists.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Do elves get away with raping humans because they're 'pretty' and no one would ever think a 'pretty' race would do that?

After all, Calistria IS their patron deity, and what a better way to sow Vengeance via Lust among defeated opponents...

That would make for a far more horrific but believable story in the modern climate.

Liberty's Edge

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Do elves get away with raping humans because they're 'pretty' and no one would ever think a 'pretty' race would do that?

It's more that they're culturally CG while orcs are culturally CE than anything to do with prettiness.

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
After all, Calistria IS their patron deity, and what a better way to sow Vengeance via Lust among defeated opponents...

Uh...Calistria is not a big fan of rape. And most of her devotees are certainly not fans of causing injuries in such a way to get others to avenge themselves on them. Calistria prizes intellect and cunning, noy brutality.

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
That would make for a far more horrific but believable story in the modern climate.

'Believable'? I'm sorry to say that war time rape of captured prisoners remains highly believable in the modern day.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
After all, Calistria IS their patron deity, and what a better way to sow Vengeance via Lust among defeated opponents...

Uh...Calistria is not a big fan of rape. And most of her devotees are certainly not fans of causing injuries in such a way to get others to avenge themselves on them. Calistria prizes intellect and cunning, noy brutality.

Man, someone tell her Antipaladins then, cus she sure as heck doesn't sound like this when her code says:

"I take what I desire, by trick or by force. If others resent my actions, they may attempt to take vengeance against me."

I can totally see other CE followers of Calistria doing what Wei-Ji says. I mean they're CE after all.

Liberty's Edge

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TheFinish wrote:

Man, someone tell her Antipaladins then, cus she sure as heck doesn't sound like this when her code says:

"I take what I desire, by trick or by force. If others resent my actions, they may attempt to take vengeance against me."

I can totally see other CE followers of Calistria doing what Wei-Ji says. I mean they're CE after all.

Her CE followers? Sure. But Evil followers of a Neutral deity are definitionally unusual. Most followers of Calistria, not being Evil, do not condone that sort of thing.

Which is sorta where I was going there.

Paladin and Antipaladin followers of Neutral deities in particular are often very much at odds with certain aspects of their deity's normal practices. I mean, Abadar isn't a big fan of charity, but his Paladins are a different story.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Apologies for the slight tangent there, the logic chain I was following sort of disconnected slightly.

Back to the topic at hand -- Orcs in some major MMOs have had serious image rehabilitation performed on them in the past decade or so, and that is part of the new player base that Paizo is hoping to draw to the game.

While acknowledging past behaviour as unacceptable (something said races in the given circumstances also admit), moving forward to full acceptance would change the dynamic.

Building in some orc communities that are solid, reliable, and *civilized* while still remembering their recent tribal past could be a huge game-changing item that would still allow for 'nasty aspects of *any* race' to be target-able outliers for adventures.

It would also help step away from 'pretty races = good/ugly races = bad' mentality, too.


graystone wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
It's probably more structured than Goblin society at least.

it'd be hard to agree with this more...

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I would be down for an exploration of what Orc culture is like beyond the obvious brutality and violence, presuming there is actually something there.

There are few races I'd object to getting a write up for. I mean tengu and ratfolk never did anything for me either, but I wouldn't mind a write up for them.

Briit wrote:
Can we finally go away from the Half-Orc as a race please. They imply sexual assault and really no longer fit into the modern inclusive approach to gaming that hasn't always been there. I would be happy if they were playable full orcs, but half-orcs are just disturbing.
The only problem there is if you make orcs a full race, you'll eventually get orcs and humans that love each other and make 1/2 orcs... So it's not really a winning strategy for getting rid of 1/2 orcs. ;)

I always felt like half orc and half elf made very little sense anyways creatures of a completly different species shouldn't be able to breed successfully in the first place! so no half-orcs at all! (I would be ok with half outsiders and dragons cause You can say their magic enough)


Vidmaster7 wrote:
graystone wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
It's probably more structured than Goblin society at least.

it'd be hard to agree with this more...

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I would be down for an exploration of what Orc culture is like beyond the obvious brutality and violence, presuming there is actually something there.

There are few races I'd object to getting a write up for. I mean tengu and ratfolk never did anything for me either, but I wouldn't mind a write up for them.

Briit wrote:
Can we finally go away from the Half-Orc as a race please. They imply sexual assault and really no longer fit into the modern inclusive approach to gaming that hasn't always been there. I would be happy if they were playable full orcs, but half-orcs are just disturbing.
The only problem there is if you make orcs a full race, you'll eventually get orcs and humans that love each other and make 1/2 orcs... So it's not really a winning strategy for getting rid of 1/2 orcs. ;)
I always felt like half orc and half elf made very little sense anyways creatures of a completly different species shouldn't be able to breed successfully in the first place! so no half-orcs at all! (I would be ok with half outsiders and dragons cause You can say their magic enough)

In my game, they are of the same species; humans are a race, not a species. I called them Kith. (IMG Dwarves and Halflings are Kith, too, but that ain't core.)


totoro wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
graystone wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
It's probably more structured than Goblin society at least.

it'd be hard to agree with this more...

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I would be down for an exploration of what Orc culture is like beyond the obvious brutality and violence, presuming there is actually something there.

There are few races I'd object to getting a write up for. I mean tengu and ratfolk never did anything for me either, but I wouldn't mind a write up for them.

Briit wrote:
Can we finally go away from the Half-Orc as a race please. They imply sexual assault and really no longer fit into the modern inclusive approach to gaming that hasn't always been there. I would be happy if they were playable full orcs, but half-orcs are just disturbing.
The only problem there is if you make orcs a full race, you'll eventually get orcs and humans that love each other and make 1/2 orcs... So it's not really a winning strategy for getting rid of 1/2 orcs. ;)
I always felt like half orc and half elf made very little sense anyways creatures of a completly different species shouldn't be able to breed successfully in the first place! so no half-orcs at all! (I would be ok with half outsiders and dragons cause You can say their magic enough)
In my game, they are of the same species; humans are a race, not a species. I called them Kith. (IMG Dwarves and Halflings are Kith, too, but that ain't core.)

That at least makes more sense.


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I wonder if we could fix something by just calling them something other than "half-orcs". Like Aasimar are not half-celestial, they just have some celestial somewhere in their family tree whose traits manifest occasionally in future generations. Just be cause your mom and dad and all of your grand-parents and great grand-parents aren't aasimars, doesn't mean you won't be.

So why can't it work the same with "half-orcs" (or whatever we're going to call them)- Occasionally two human parents have a kid who's a little greenish and has tusks? A family could either be okay with this because the same thing happened to somebody's great aunt, or treats the poor kid like any "birth defect" and tries to hide it or get rid of it, depending on the needs of a character's backstory.

But when you put "half" in the name there, you're getting awfully specific and limiting possibilities.


I suppose to say that human is a bit orcish is just as good. or maybe that orc is a bit human-ish?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Orchids for former 'half-orcs'

Elvids for former 'half-elves'

I'd buy that.


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Heh I feel like you hear a name like Orchid and you think oh this person is going to have a flowery personality... and then you see the orc


Orcneas is historical and hasn't been claimed as some other variant. We could always go with the Italian: mezz'orco, which supposedly means half-ogre, though I'll wager the translator didn't know the difference between orcs and ogres. :) Or just Orco.

Maybe huldefolk?

Perhaps uruk if the Tolkien estate doesn't complain.


In my game, there is no half-elf or half-orc race. I just have anyone with the ancestry choose either human or elf/orc, then handle the amount of blood with cosmetic changes. (And Elf and Orc are not playable races; it's just that the half-elf and half-orc can use the stats.) The human option has an associated feat for each race, too. I know we aren't going that way, though.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
totoro wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
graystone wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
It's probably more structured than Goblin society at least.

it'd be hard to agree with this more...

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I would be down for an exploration of what Orc culture is like beyond the obvious brutality and violence, presuming there is actually something there.

There are few races I'd object to getting a write up for. I mean tengu and ratfolk never did anything for me either, but I wouldn't mind a write up for them.

Briit wrote:
Can we finally go away from the Half-Orc as a race please. They imply sexual assault and really no longer fit into the modern inclusive approach to gaming that hasn't always been there. I would be happy if they were playable full orcs, but half-orcs are just disturbing.
The only problem there is if you make orcs a full race, you'll eventually get orcs and humans that love each other and make 1/2 orcs... So it's not really a winning strategy for getting rid of 1/2 orcs. ;)
I always felt like half orc and half elf made very little sense anyways creatures of a completly different species shouldn't be able to breed successfully in the first place! so no half-orcs at all! (I would be ok with half outsiders and dragons cause You can say their magic enough)
In my game, they are of the same species; humans are a race, not a species. I called them Kith. (IMG Dwarves and Halflings are Kith, too, but that ain't core.)
That at least makes more sense.

Horses and donkeys have about as much in common as orcs and humans or humans and elves.

The strange part is both crosses being fertile in all directions.


Megistone wrote:

I don't get why it's ok to say that orcs slaughter or enslave entire villages, but not that they rape people.

Raping is horrible, but is killing better?
CraziFuzzy wrote:
I think it's hilarious to have this much crazy animosity towards characters possibly being the result of non-consensual sex, while it's perfectly okay for those same characters to main and/or kill to get out of just about any situation.

Yes, killing and mass-murder ARE OK and better - indiscriminate killing and mass-murder are, after all, the default heroic behavior for parties of PCs when encountering groups of orcs, goblins, trolls, ogres, and other people, is it not?

The game NEEDS rape and sexual violence in it as the only real defining difference between heroic PCs, and the anonymous hordes they are expected to slaughter. Otherwise, the good and evil alignments look suspiciously similar.

Liberty's Edge

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yronimos wrote:

Yes, killing and mass-murder ARE OK and better - indiscriminate killing and mass-murder are, after all, the default heroic behavior for parties of PCs when encountering groups of orcs, goblins, trolls, ogres, and other people, is it not?

The game NEEDS rape and sexual violence in it as the only real defining difference between heroic PCs, and the anonymous hordes they are expected to slaughter. Otherwise, the good and evil alignments look suspiciously similar.

This is basically completely untrue in all Paizo APs and every Pathfinder game I've ever played. In basically all of that, the difference between Good and Evil is that Evil kills people because it wants to (or wants their stuff), while Good only kills people and things in defense of themselves or to protect or save others.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
yronimos wrote:

Yes, killing and mass-murder ARE OK and better - indiscriminate killing and mass-murder are, after all, the default heroic behavior for parties of PCs when encountering groups of orcs, goblins, trolls, ogres, and other people, is it not?

The game NEEDS rape and sexual violence in it as the only real defining difference between heroic PCs, and the anonymous hordes they are expected to slaughter. Otherwise, the good and evil alignments look suspiciously similar.

This is basically completely untrue in all Paizo APs and every Pathfinder game I've ever played. In basically all of that, the difference between Good and Evil is that Evil kills people because it wants to (or wants their stuff), while Good only kills people and things in defense of themselves or to protect or save others.

I'll amend that then -

The game NEEDS rape and sexual violence in it, as one of only two real defining differences between heroic PCs, and the anonymous hordes they are expected to slaughter, along with having the convenient excuse of claiming the slaughter isn't fun for heroes even though it's the best part of the game for those of us playing. Other than rape and the dubious excuses for killing and mass murder when Good characters commit them, the Good and Evil alignments look suspiciously similar.


yronimos wrote:
The game NEEDS rape and sexual violence in it, as one of only two real defining differences between heroic PCs, and the anonymous hordes they are expected to slaughter, along with having the convenient excuse of claiming the slaughter isn't fun for heroes even though it's the best part of the game for those of us playing. Other than rape and the dubious excuses for killing and mass murder when Good characters commit them, the Good and Evil alignments look suspiciously similar.

I believe you are resorting to hyperbole for effect, which is fine. However, I do not use it to distinguish humans from humanoids. That alone disproves your statement.

More seriously, I think the way to go is with the concept of free will. It's an excellent framework for alignment because it is one of those things you cannot prove (or disprove) logically. Accordingly, you can define a creature as either one of free will (e.g., any PC) and so the creature can choose its alignment by forming an intent, or as having no free will and so the creature is unable to form an intent other than that of the alignment it is assigned. Undead are evil because they lack free will EVEN IF they are capable of seemingly intelligent thought. Prove me wrong (hint: you can't).

The nice thing about the no free will concept is you can apply it to any PF1 creature that is always of a particular alignment, like undead, angels, devils, etc. All Paizo needs to do is codify it in the core rules; nothing really changes except that it is logical.

Liberty's Edge

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totoro wrote:
Undead are evil because they lack free will EVEN IF they are capable of seemingly intelligent thought. Prove me wrong (hint: you can't).

Actually, I can. There's a LN vampire in Kaer Maga. He's LN because he doesn't do bad things unless someone tries to blackmail him.

Disproved.


yronimos wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
yronimos wrote:

Yes, killing and mass-murder ARE OK and better - indiscriminate killing and mass-murder are, after all, the default heroic behavior for parties of PCs when encountering groups of orcs, goblins, trolls, ogres, and other people, is it not?

The game NEEDS rape and sexual violence in it as the only real defining difference between heroic PCs, and the anonymous hordes they are expected to slaughter. Otherwise, the good and evil alignments look suspiciously similar.

This is basically completely untrue in all Paizo APs and every Pathfinder game I've ever played. In basically all of that, the difference between Good and Evil is that Evil kills people because it wants to (or wants their stuff), while Good only kills people and things in defense of themselves or to protect or save others.

I'll amend that then -

The game NEEDS rape and sexual violence in it, as one of only two real defining differences between heroic PCs, and the anonymous hordes they are expected to slaughter, along with having the convenient excuse of claiming the slaughter isn't fun for heroes even though it's the best part of the game for those of us playing.

Speak for yourself.

From both sides of the table I play for the story, combat is just a form of conflict resolution to get on with the story (for me and those who share this preference)


Deadmanwalking wrote:
totoro wrote:
Undead are evil because they lack free will EVEN IF they are capable of seemingly intelligent thought. Prove me wrong (hint: you can't).

Actually, I can. There's a LN vampire in Kaer Maga. He's LN because he doesn't do bad things unless someone tries to blackmail him.

Disproved.

EDIT: I take back my mea culpa. You failed to quote the paragraph that gave my sentence context. My words were inelegant, though.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
totoro wrote:
Undead are evil because they lack free will EVEN IF they are capable of seemingly intelligent thought. Prove me wrong (hint: you can't).

Actually, I can. There's a LN vampire in Kaer Maga. He's LN because he doesn't do bad things unless someone tries to blackmail him.

Disproved.

Also

Spoiler:
Runelord Alderpash, a chaotic evil lich, canonically will seek redemption earnestly if this is made a condition of the PCs helping him escape the Ivory Labyinth. Even the GM notes specify that he's not just going to say whatever it takes to escape and will betray the PCs as soon as he's clear, he really will try to the extent of his ability and succeeding is not impossible.


OK. I suppose I'll fall on my sword. The point I was trying and apparently failed to make is that the rules say animate dead is evil and that mindless undead are evil, so it must be true that their bodies are evil because they have no minds; they cannot choose to be evil or to cease being evil. If an intelligent undead creature is "always evil" according to the rules, then you can explain the rationale for the inability to change alignment, despite the undead creature's apparent ability to make choices and form intent, as a lack of free will. It is impossible to prove or disprove free will. Nobody to date has succeeded in doing so IRL. (Although the needle seems to be moving in the direction of no free will, we can say that ain't so in our fantasy games even if it is someday proven.)

If an undead creature is able to change alignment, that would be indicative of free will, as with the LN vampire in Kaer Maga.


It would probably be better to say that Undead and many other things that are nearly all of one alignment (such as most Outsiders) have impaired free will rather than no free will -- they are close to condemned to be of whatever alignment they are, but they can make their own decisions within those constraints. On very rare occasions, they manage to make decisions that allow them to escape those constraints. (Alternatively, an idea that I have been toying with is that making and following through on the choice to leave their alignment is merely difficult and uncommon, not nearly impossible and vanishingly rare -- the hard part isn't so much backsliding as surviving afterwards. In the case of Orcs, for example, this would be the lack of skills for surviving within non-Orc society, combined with both the non-Orc society usually wanting to hunt you do and kill you, combined with the Orcs you left wanting to hunt you down and kill you, preferably before you managed to leave in the first place.)


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I don’t see the issue with Half-Orc at all unless it is with the rape origin. But still it is fiction and part of the lore of the universe. It has nothing to do with real world issues.

I mean I lost a friend of mine in a suicide and and I got brutally attacked in a street beat down by five men with health issues in consequences. Yet I still do stories with sometimes people on the fringe of suicide in it, and thughs still attack my players in the street.

And if people don’t like the canon origin of the majority of the Half-Orcs in Golarion, which is totally fine, whatever the reason why, they can and should change it t9 make them more confortable. But we don’t have to change the canon lore every time because of real world traumas otherwise we should just all play Mario.

And it is the same arguments, on lighter subjects, with long swords or normal physics or whatever. Yes the real world can be an inspiration, just like for an author, but it is not the same.


Briit wrote:

Can we finally go away from the Half-Orc as a race please. They imply sexual assault and really no longer fit into the modern inclusive approach to gaming that hasn't always been there. I would be happy if they were playable full orcs, but half-orcs are just disturbing.

So, segregation is ... better?

As a player of half orcs I object to this! The player makes up the backstory for his/her character and decides how that character came into being - halforcs make great and interesting characters.


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I'm sorry, but the majority of this thread has me confused.

There seems to be a lot of posts to the effect of, "Half Orcs are (typically) a product of rape, and that makes me uncomfortable, so we should get rid of them in favor of full orcs."

So, if I'm understanding correctly, the child of rape (who, like any other child, has no say in the circumstance of it's conception or upbringing) is objectionable, so you'd rather play as the rapist himself?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I suspect it's the "These groups of orcs are the ones that have never seen print because they aren't pop-up monsters or justifications for half-bred children" approach, that have probably stable orc families in stable orc communities and have never interacted with humanity therefore their story has been untold to this point.

Much like I"m guessing they're going to be doing with Goblins?

The unsettling part is that the write-up for the PF1 half-orcs is 'rape-kids' (though there are some outliers).

It could be argued that having a significant population of them indirectly justifies the act that brought them into existence, which is just kind of ick when you think about it?

Also, there's no equivalent for half-elves, so at least from my perspective here pretty=good/no-trauma and ugly=bad/much-trauma.

That promotes 'pretty uber alles' and says 'ugly need not apply', which is a bad subliminal message to impart.

Liberty's Edge

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
The unsettling part is that the write-up for the PF1 half-orcs is 'rape-kids' (though there are some outliers).

This is pretty much solved just via the new edition being Golarion infused. As I noted repeatedly above, Half Orcs in Golarion are actually mostly not the children of rape (though a significant minority probably are). The setting neutral books are the only ones that treat them like they all have such origins.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
The unsettling part is that the write-up for the PF1 half-orcs is 'rape-kids' (though there are some outliers).
This is pretty much solved just via the new edition being Golarion infused. As I noted repeatedly above, Half Orcs in Golarion are actually mostly not the children of rape (though a significant minority probably are). The setting neutral books are the only ones that treat them like they all have such origins.

Oh damn my bad sometimes I forget the first core book is not Golarion. Good to know!


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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
cfalcon wrote:

"It also does imply an aspect of rapeyness that is well out of date"

It's not out of date. Orcs are an evil race. Rape is evil. Orcs are fecund and love rape. That's clearly one of many evils that they are all about. There's nothing "out of date" about having an evil race do evil things. Orcs should make you uncomfortable, they are vile.

That's Orcs as their flavor text is currently written. But this is Pathfinder 2 -- we can update the lore!

It'd be nice to have Orcs aren't 100% pure evil traditional tropes. Sure, have some Orcish tribes reminiscent of Tolkien's Uruk-hai, Games Workshop's Orks, and AD&D Chaotic-Evil experience point containers. But some "Noble Savage" Orcs spiritually akin to the World of Warcraft Orcs would be a nice change. How about a tribe of Orcs with Gengis Khan's Horde cultural trappings? Fierce warriors, yes, but also culturally sophisticated with complex mores and a robust set of laws.

Similarly, keep a few tribes of Pathfinder eating machine pyro vandal Goblins around as foils and comic relief. However, there's room in the setting for less jokey/cartoony Goblins. What about Goblin mercenaries in the vein of the Galloglasses or even cheap knock-offs of World of Warcraft's Ferengi/Jersey Shore Goblins?

Bonus points for socially acceptable Hobgoblin, Bugbear, Kobold and even Gnoll cultures. Perhaps Persian Immortal/Spartan-esque Hobs, Laplander/Finnish Arctic Pastoralist Bugbears, Industrial Revolution/Dickensian era Londoner Kobolds and Bantu/Bedouin/Berber infused Gnolls.

Liberty's Edge

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I'll repeat that we actually have Good Orcs in setting. Heck, there's a whole tribe in the Belkzen book led by a CG Warpriest of Sarenrae. No lore change necessary.

Now, they're canonically very much in the minority (at least around Belkzen) but they do exist.


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avatarless wrote:

{. . .}

It'd be nice to have Orcs aren't 100% pure evil traditional tropes. Sure, have some Orcish tribes reminiscent of Tolkien's Uruk-hai, Games Workshop's Orks, and AD&D Chaotic-Evil experience point containers. But some "Noble Savage" Orcs spiritually akin to the World of Warcraft Orcs would be a nice change. How about a tribe of Orcs with Gengis Khan's Horde cultural trappings? Fierce warriors, yes, but also culturally sophisticated with complex mores and a robust set of laws.
{. . .}

The Genghis Khan and his Hordes were not the kind of people you should be using as an example of something good . . . .


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If you find the rape stuff unacceptable can't you just use your DM powers to remove it? Instead of trying to dillute the official version of orcs ?

Liberty's Edge

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UnArcaneElection wrote:
The Genghis Khan and his Hordes were not the kind of people you should be using as an example of something good . . . .

The Mongols enforced religious tolerance, instituted fair laws, and were generally pretty good rulers to the people they conquered.

There is of course the small matter of them killing entire cities and even countries who defied them, but they weren't quite as unambiguously awful as sometimes portrayed.

Cynicalpleb wrote:
If you find the rape stuff unacceptable can't you just use your DM powers to remove it? Instead of trying to dillute the official version of orcs ?

What if you're a player not a GM? And, say, a rape survivor?

Now, that's not to say they should remove any references to anything that might be traumatic for anyone (and indeed I wouldn't remotely advocate removing all references to rape), but it's also not quite as simple as you're making it out to be.

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