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Author Topic: Extra Credits: “Evil Races are Bad Game Design”  (Read 3821 times)

Ratman_tf

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Re: Extra Credits: “Evil Races are Bad Game Design”
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2021, 05:28:48 AM »
Even in Tolkien, which is held up as the example of innately evil orcs, they fought orcs because the orcs were doing some shit. Abducting hobbits, attacking cities and travellers.
Likewise, it's not even a topic whether orcs are innately evil or not in my games, because these orcs are doing some shit.
I tend towards the idea that orcish culture is violent and nasty and they like it that way. But the occasional orc might break away and try to lead a more peaceful life. Maybe he'll even succeed! :D
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Reckall

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Re: Extra Credits: “Evil Races are Bad Game Design”
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2021, 05:50:34 AM »
I think I'll repost here what I already wrote, cleaned up a bit:

In our reality only human beings are intelligent and advanced. A fantasy world often has a lot more races and cultures - and this means that the "racism" problem is both compounded and, as a result, more complex. For starters.

Yes, true "racism" can very well exist in such a world - but as an encompassing concept involving all races. White men can be racist towards black men. Sun elves can be racist towards Wood Elves. And "Red Hand Tribe" Orcs can be racist towards all other "inferior" tribes. And then you can have "true interracial racism" between, for example, Elves and Dwarves.  You simply can't do a 1:1 comparison between Earth and a world of multiple sentient beings.

Orcs, BTW, are judged "Chaotic Evil" due to their behaviour relative to a human-centric concept of "neutrality", not as a racist label (and a simple check on The Monster Manual shows how they are defined "(Often) Chaotic Evil", not always. In The Forgotten Realms you can find Good aligned Orcs, followers of Eldath).

In Dungeons & Dragons Orcs developed they culture according to their natural characteristics: they are neither intelligent nor wise but they are very strong. Their natural desire of survival as a species depends, as with any other species, from using their strengths and avoiding their weaknesses. To our neutral-aligned human they look evil and chaotic - because they survive by expanding by force, and because "laws" require both wisdom and intelligence. In the Orc culture the strongest win - laws, respect and enduring social order be damned.

Once you grasp this, it becomes easy to see how Orcs can "choose" just fine what to do! Within their cultural upbring of course, they psychophysical nature and their understanding of how the World works. They can have heroes and cowards. They can debate about the best way to face a crisis. An Orc character (both player and non-player) can be interesting thanks to his personal pursuit to go "beyond" the established status quo of his tribe/race. All the things considered "missing" by EC are actually already present, clearly spelled in the MM.

How EC fumbled something so simple is beyond me.
For every idiot who denounces Ayn Rand as "intellectualism" there is an excellent DM who creates a "Bioshock" adventure.

Omega

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Re: Extra Credits: “Evil Races are Bad Game Design”
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2021, 06:21:29 AM »
All this also ignores that in D&D originally orcs could be Chaotic or Neutral and were not human looking at all.
Also that in Greyhawk I believe orcs were pretty much created by their god to raze civilization to the ground and kill or subjugate any non-orc. In other editions orcs and pretty much anything else was stated that alignment lists represented the ones the PCs were most likely to meet. There were exceptions. Pretty sure thats buried somewhere in the AD&D DMG or MM, but can not find it.

These things are always built on lies, cherry picking, and misrepresentations to suit the cults agenda.

Kyle Aaron

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Re: Extra Credits: “Evil Races are Bad Game Design”
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2021, 07:28:48 AM »
I actually prefer not to have races/species/whatever  that are always evil. The reason why is because I prefer the moral complexity of more realistic scenarios where there are shades of gray on both sides of conflicts, where even villains have an aspect of humanity.
That's what humans are for, since humans can be any alignment. But orcs, goblins etc are always some kind of evil alignment. Always.

And humans of course don't always announce their alignment, so you can get a rude surprise. And of course, lawful good does not mean lawful nice.
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Reckall

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Re: Extra Credits: “Evil Races are Bad Game Design”
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2021, 07:53:12 AM »
I actually prefer not to have races/species/whatever  that are always evil. The reason why is because I prefer the moral complexity of more realistic scenarios where there are shades of gray on both sides of conflicts, where even villains have an aspect of humanity.
That's what humans are for, since humans can be any alignment. But orcs, goblins etc are always some kind of evil alignment. Always.

And humans of course don't always announce their alignment, so you can get a rude surprise. And of course, lawful good does not mean lawful nice.
Ultima V already showed what happens when "Virtues" are taken to strange extremes...
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Steven Mitchell

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Re: Extra Credits: “Evil Races are Bad Game Design”
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2021, 08:17:01 AM »
I don't need to watch the video to know that the real bad game design is woke and ivory tower.  Combined, they are a game-killing mix.

jhkim

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Re: Extra Credits: “Evil Races are Bad Game Design”
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2021, 04:01:56 PM »
Players like butchering things horribly. We must give them a socially acceptable way to do so. This is why zombie movies are so popular - people feel uncomfortable watching someone gunning down human waves of Chinese communists, or Burmese militia (hi Rambo!) or the like, but nobody's worried about the feelings and culture of zombies... or orcs.

With an inherently evil or mindless race of monsters, we can butcher them horribly without guilt. They are thus a necessary element of game design. We don't game for moral subtlety, we're playing D&D, not doing Moral Philosophy 101.

I generally agree with Kyle here, which is what I've expressed in my own circles. Though a slight correction - there are people that worry about the feelings and culture of orcs. Mainstream games like World of Warcraft have them as player characters with interested communities, and mainstream films like Bright (2017) portray orcs as sometimes-positive characters. But even if someone accepts the specific case of orcs - the video is arguing that there should be no inherently evil monsters at all - even vampires and so forth.

Charon's Little Helper

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Re: Extra Credits: “Evil Races are Bad Game Design”
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2021, 05:38:36 PM »
Players like butchering things horribly. We must give them a socially acceptable way to do so. This is why zombie movies are so popular - people feel uncomfortable watching someone gunning down human waves of Chinese communists, or Burmese militia (hi Rambo!) or the like, but nobody's worried about the feelings and culture of zombies... or orcs.

With an inherently evil or mindless race of monsters, we can butcher them horribly without guilt. They are thus a necessary element of game design. We don't game for moral subtlety, we're playing D&D, not doing Moral Philosophy 101.

I generally agree with Kyle here, which is what I've expressed in my own circles. Though a slight correction - there are people that worry about the feelings and culture of orcs. Mainstream games like World of Warcraft have them as player characters with interested communities, and mainstream films like Bright (2017) portray orcs as sometimes-positive characters. But even if someone accepts the specific case of orcs - the video is arguing that there should be no inherently evil monsters at all - even vampires and so forth.

I don't think anyone is against having nuance in specific fantasy races - even if they lean towards being raiders etc. (No one but strawmen.) But there's also nothing wrong with having races/species/whatever which are inherently evil for in-setting reasons. Even if those races/species/whatever have more nuance in a different setting.

Just because Robin Williams's Genie was a good guy doesn't mean that someone can't have a setting where all djinn and other such otherworldly creatures hate all mortals and only grant monkey's paw style wishes, taking pleasure in mortal pain etc.

In the same way, just because some settings have orcs as okay guys doesn't mean that 40k is wrong & racist to have orks be fungus boyz who are all violence all the time.

thedungeondelver

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Re: Extra Credits: “Evil Races are Bad Game Design”
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2021, 06:37:20 PM »
Why I would delve further into such arrant nonsense?

Players like butchering things horribly. We must give them a socially acceptable way to do so. This is why zombie movies are so popular - people feel uncomfortable watching someone gunning down human waves of Chinese communists, or Burmese militia (hi Rambo!) or the like, but nobody's worried about the feelings and culture of zombies... or orcs.

With an inherently evil or mindless race of monsters, we can butcher them horribly without guilt. They are thus a necessary element of game design. We don't game for moral subtlety, we're playing D&D, not doing Moral Philosophy 101.

Thought: Prof. Dubois from Starship Troopers would either be the best or worst person to play D&D with. 
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Mcbobbo sums it up nicely.

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thedungeondelver

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Re: Extra Credits: “Evil Races are Bad Game Design”
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2021, 06:40:07 PM »
I actually prefer not to have races/species/whatever  that are always evil. The reason why is because I prefer the moral complexity of more realistic scenarios where there are shades of gray on both sides of conflicts, where even villains have an aspect of humanity.
That's what humans are for, since humans can be any alignment. But orcs, goblins etc are always some kind of evil alignment. Always.

And humans of course don't always announce their alignment, so you can get a rude surprise. And of course, lawful good does not mean lawful nice.

Well, any player character can be of any alignment.  It's fully possible to have a lawful good half-orc fighter-cleric as dedicated to Heironeous as the human Paladin next to him, or a chaotic evil high elf as depraved and foul as the Drow living a dozen or so miles beneath his feet. 

Fortunately, monsters are organized on easy to understand lines of "Kill," "Negotiate carefully with," and "Don't Kill" courtesy of the alignment system.  Somehow the pinhead who created the video thinks that's bad game design.  He's probably the type whose father deliberately lost every chess game he played against him or something.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 06:48:56 PM by thedungeondelver »
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Mcbobbo sums it up nicely.

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Astrophysicists are reassessing Einsteinian relativity because the 28 billion light year across closed universe isn't big enough to encompass just how fucking far 4e is from old school.
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A katana's just a fucking sword, you assholes! - The Shaman

Renegade_Productions

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Re: Extra Credits: “Evil Races are Bad Game Design”
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2021, 06:53:37 PM »
https://youtu.be/ymUEPKTEQaQ



Can't say I'm surprised they're still around, and still this stupid. As soon as they thumbed their noses at GamerGate was the moment you knew they were just another leftist cog in the machine.

BoxCrayonTales

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Re: Extra Credits: “Evil Races are Bad Game Design”
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2021, 07:03:23 PM »
But even if someone accepts the specific case of orcs - the video is arguing that there should be no inherently evil monsters at all - even vampires and so forth.
Yeah, the part where the vlogger said we should rewrite The Thing as a nice guy was pretty much the crowning moment of crazy.

Human beings from the same culture think members of a different political party or skin color are evil incarnate, much less agree on the finer details of morality. It staggers belief that an alien species with a completely different evolutionary history would hold a morality compatible with Extra Credits, much less any human civilization.

That's pretty much the entire conflict of the web novella Three Worlds Collide. http://robinhanson.typepad.com/files/three-worlds-collide.pdf

ShieldWife

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Re: Extra Credits: “Evil Races are Bad Game Design”
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2021, 08:03:34 PM »
That's what humans are for, since humans can be any alignment. But orcs, goblins etc are always some kind of evil alignment. Always.

And humans of course don't always announce their alignment, so you can get a rude surprise. And of course, lawful good does not mean lawful nice.

Well sure, and I actually usually play in campaigns that are entirely human or at least human based settings. Most of the fantasy rpgs I play don’t have the traditional elves, dwarves, orcs, goblins, etc. I’m not opposed to the idea, but I find that humans often have more depth as PCs, NPCs, and as cultures too.

Though in most settings, including D&D variations, orcs and goblins don’t have to be evil. I think that for settings with these sorts of creatures, it can be fun to change them up a bit, keep players on their toes. We could have orcs be morally the same as humans, while the next setting might have orcs as little more than demons in the flesh that are always evil. Similarly, one setting could have orcs as really dumb, while another setting could have orcs with human-like intelligence. I think that changing them up allows the the players to experience some of the same sense of mystery or even fear that their players would regarding a foreign race of creatures that they may not fully understand.

BoxCrayonTales

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Re: Extra Credits: “Evil Races are Bad Game Design”
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2021, 08:24:55 PM »


Extra Credits makes the claim that it’s totally okay to just kill anyone you happen across wearing a Nazi or KKK uniform. That’s actually pretty disturbing when you think about it.

TJS

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Re: Extra Credits: “Evil Races are Bad Game Design”
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2021, 09:00:29 PM »
You're old, or old at heart, or both, I don't know. Cloud's over there for yelling at.
So you don't feel that video is baby talking at you?

I mean if I'm 2 minutes into a video and it hasn't said anything that isn't fucking obvious why would you watch and further?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 09:03:24 PM by TJS »