Forum > Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion

Good, evil, and fantasy cultures

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--- Quote from: Shasarak on September 17, 2021, 06:56:07 PM ---
--- Quote from: jhkim on September 17, 2021, 04:38:41 PM ---So I guess this is about - when have you had a problem with difference between what is good by modern morality and good in a fantasy RPG? What were ways that you dealt with it? I'll think if I can come up with some more examples.

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This happened to me the other day.  Some arsehole could not tell the difference between fantasy Drow and real life people.

Luckily I was able to deal with it easily by telling him to fuck off.

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Drow see in absolute darkness, mate with demons to get hybrids, practice paranoia and treachery as mainstays of their society, and if they piss off their god by failing a test they get turned into cannibalistic spider centaur zombies. Also they shoot people with little crossbows and the darts are tipped with a paralytic.

Real life people...not so much.


--- Quote from: S'mon on September 17, 2021, 05:48:47 PM ---I haven't run much realistic historical settings. I have run the very 1970s sword & sorcery Wilderlands, and slavery has been a bit of an issue, with PCs going all out to abolish slavery, a very marginal ideological position in the setting. I don't recall anything else being such a trigger - serfdom certainly is not!

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Right, so, in the AD&D2e campaign I'm playing my PC (A wizard) comes from a culture that practices slavery but lives in a different kingdom where slavery is prohibited and slavers are killed (the slaves also don't remember why).

Due to language barriers (English not being my main one) I still have to get into a heavy RP session with some philosophers so they explain to him why serfdom is okay but slavery is not.

I think that in his eyes they would be very much the same.

Change my mind.

As for the original question...

Given that it's an imaginary world I don't see why modern sensibilities would need to intrude. Nothing that happens in that world is really happening much less to real people (and only humans are people by definition).

If you don't have a problem with your PC killing NPCs/Monsters left and right why would you have a problem with anything else?

Sexuality, sure Gay people have always existed, so? Is it fundamental for the adventure that my PC knows who is sleeping with who? If the answer is yes then I would expect for him to find a few gay relationships. As for his reaction to that it very much depends on the setting, is it something seen as normal and acceptable by the society at large?

And the same goes for the straight characters, does my PC need to know who is fucking who?

And I wouldn't play in a game where sex is not fade to black.

As for torture, rape, etc... Well, I asume that in a brutal world those things do happen, do they need to be explicity described? WHY? Honestly why the fuck do they NEED to be explicity described?

I don't consume porn and if I did I wouldn't consume 50 shades of rape porn, so I don't want it in my gaming thank you very much.

Politics: Only those that are internal and inherent to the world, and don't even dream of sliping by me some current day issues on the down low cuz it won't work.

I've never run into these sort of problems. And there are a few reasons for that.

First, I run D&D alignments according to what I feel is the clearest definition, those given in the 1E DMG. There, it defines good as respect for "human" rights, of which there are three that are enumerated. Human in quotes, of course, because this will likely extend to other races in a D&D world. But exactly where the line is drawn is left to the individual DM.

Evil is not defined as the mirror image of good, however. For evil, purpose is determinant. It takes priority above and beyond the "human" rights, and so evil is willing to trod on human rights for the sake of their "greater purpose." There is no requirement that evil's purpose involves mustache twirling. The purpose could be a seemingly noble one.

What this sets up is a system where you can clearly and objectively know whether an act fits in with good or evil. But at the same time, by being sufficiently broad that evil can have a noble purpose, you can have a moral ambiguity vibe to the game.

As for historical morality, the differences really are over-stated. Or maybe just wrongly stated. Natural Law did not start with Thomas Aquinas. It has its roots in ancient philosophers, and you see bits and pieces of it emerge throughout history. A lot of ancient and persistent ideas began being put into modern form with the School of Salamanca as early as 1177.

Regarding slavery, there were old manuals written for slave owners describing how you had to break the will of slaves, revealing that it was always understood that slaves were human beings with self-determination, and keeping slaves meant destroying that. This is not a modern insight. To most modern eyes, you look at Mark Twain. White dude who lived in the antebellum south. Wore a white colonel suit. He clearly must have loved slavery. But I can't help but think he was being subversive in his writing when N-word Jim has hopes and dreams. Property doesn't have hopes and dreams. I would point to this as yet another indication that the culture understood the gravity of what slavery meant. There were just political reasons to ignore clear and present reality. I would think the political climate of the present day makes it clear just how easily that can happen.

Stephen Tannhauser:

--- Quote from: GeekyBugle on September 18, 2021, 01:03:38 AM ---Due to language barriers (English not being my main one)
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You write much better than some native English speakers I've read.


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