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From the RPGPundit's Blog: More on The Magic Deer

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To be honest, any game that dictates morality, either objectively or subjectively has a problem.  The WoD, either old OR new was always hampered by their insistance that 'killing people and taking their stuff makes you an uncontrollable madman'.

Which is most emphatically not how the world works. Madmen are killign people because they are crazy, not crazy because they kill people. Other people kill people ALL THE TIME and never go crazy for it.  

It wouldn't have been nearly as much of a problem (indeed, it works excellently when dealing with the man on the street feeling guilty for driving over his daughter's puppy by accident) if it weren't so fucking integral to the game. There are no exceptions for anyone. Everyone has a moral code they must follow, period.
Really now?


--- Quote from: Spike --- Other people kill people ALL THE TIME and never go crazy for it.  
--- End quote ---

I know and have known quite a few people who have killed others.  I can assure you, killing someone changes you.  Maybe not by making you "crazy," true.  I can assure you, however, that someone who can simply go out and kill someone, and feel nothing, not be changed and have no major emotional issues to deal with, is, without a doubt, "crazy."

No doubt.   My point was that those who can go out killing without being changed or having to deal with 'issues' were like that before they killed.  There is an interesting collarary regarding the prevelance of sociopaths in the population, The Ruthless Among Us was the title of the study, if I recall.

About three years ago one of my co-workers was forced to shoot a person. More specifically a mentally retarded woman.  Did he have issues over it? Certainly. Did he become a twitchy, neurotic mess? For about a day or two. Did he become a cold, cruel bastard? Not any more than he had been before.

A WW fan might suggest he 'made his humanity check'. I say bullshit.  He went through the default standard emotional responses any normal human being should go through in those circumstances.  Going 'crazy' and becoming... not just hardened but actually viscious is actually analomous.

While I am hardly a proponent of Unknown Armies as the 'best game evar' I will suggest that their model of 'humanity' was far more in line with actual human psychology by many country miles.


--- Quote from: Hastur T. Fannon ---Werewolf, Mage

All of those have a fairly rigidly-defined metaphysics and playing a character who believes something that's contrary to those metaphysics will cause problems
--- End quote ---

In Mage (at least the 2nd Ed which I'm familiar with) the line between good and evil is probably the thinest of all the WoD settings certianly when I read through it the first time my immediate assumption was that the Technocracy were the good guys, and the Traditions a bunch of selfish gits, this was even more confirmed by The Guide to the Technocracy. Sure the setting assumes that the Traditions are the good-guys, but it isn't in any way defined by the the metaphysics, the world would be a generally safer (if duller) place if the Technocracy won, also if they won magic effectively would no longer exist, so the metaphysics itself could change.

Werewolf as well has issues with some of the tribes, okay the Wyrm itself is ment to be really evil, but Vampires children of the wyrm are capable of good acts, they aren't all LE like in D&D. And some werewolves claim to be doing good by slaughtering humans, because of the damage they unintentionally cause.


--- Quote from: RPGPundit ---Its like if you were to say, play a character in a modern game: a pagan, or a buddhist, a secular humanist or a biology teacher or whatever, but the DM tells you at the last minute "oh by the way, IN THIS WORLD calvinist fundamentalist christian theology is RIGHT; and your character is predestined to HELL for who they are.. its not just a belief, IN THIS GAME its absolutely true.
--- End quote ---

Here's the thing -- you say that this applies to modern games.  But why do you say that it's only true of modern games?  The exact same thing is true in D&D.  There are real gods, and there is a specific theology which is RIGHT.  

If you hate the high priest of Hieroneous and think he's a raving bigot who just wants to slaughter orcs as racial cleansing...  Well, you're wrong.  He's lawful good -- it says so on his character sheet.  The teachings of Heironeous are right, because he's a lawful good god.  If your character is a Jain who thinks that violence is absolutely wrong, then bzzzt -- tough luck.  That sword-swinging paladin over there is lawful good.  Nothing wrong about the killing he does.  

To take an example from a real game, I had a fantasy character who was a loyal Roman citizen.  He believed that the benefits of the Roman civilization to the people and the world outweighed the problems.  He supported slavery and gladiatorial games, arguing that in a state of nature man was violent and abusive, while the Roman system couldn't eliminate that, it channeled the violence into constructive ends.  He most certainly didn't hold any modern belief that life was sacred or that all people were created equal.  In a D&D game, he'd most likely be lawful evil or lawful neutral at best.


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