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Dungeons and Dragons to eliminate concept of "inherently evil" races


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https://www.themarysue.com/dungeons-dragons-inherently-evil-races-gone/

 

Fascinating.  Probably long overdue.

 

Though the idea of "virtuous" illithids and, uh, demons may take some getting used to.

I can't really see the alignment system as currently constituted surviving this.  Perhaps some alternative Outlook/Philosophy system?   

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I'd like to say I'm surprised that there are people who think that making a game more inclusive and less offensive to people is bad in some way. I'm not, but I wish I was.   There are people

Why am I not surprised?   Everyone else is bowing and scraping to the SJW and PC Police (which are, apparently, the only police that are allowed to exist now).   Well as mentioned,

D&D has been distancing itself from the alignment system for a while.  My current paladin doesn't even have a stated alignment on his character sheet*, and spells like "Protection from Evil/Good" only work against small subsets of critters: celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, undead, and whatever the hell "aberrations" are.

 

That said, I'd rather play in games that have inherently evil races, because when I game I want to be able to kill things without the attendant moral quandaries.  As long as those races don't resemble minorities in real life, anyway.

 

 

* Which is for the best, because he's a conceited asshole with a superiority complex.

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1 hour ago, megaplayboy said:

https://www.themarysue.com/dungeons-dragons-inherently-evil-races-gone/

 

Fascinating.  Probably long overdue.

 

Though the idea of "virtuous" illithids and, uh, demons may take some getting used to.

I can't really see the alignment system as currently constituted surviving this.  Perhaps some alternative Outlook/Philosophy system?   

I agree that this is long overdue. It's a trope that has outlived its usefulness in a lot of places. (It's also especially common  on Doctor Who -- aliens are usually inherently evil and a threat to Earth simply because they are aliens, Humans are justifiably xenophobic under this persistent threat, one person shows up out of nowhere to guide us to victory... Sounds eerily familiar...)

 

Demons were mentioned. In worlds inspired by Judeo-Christian tradition, demons could be fallen angels ured to darkness by understandable desires, so perhaps dome demons can be redeemed and return to glory. Perhaps PCs might find themselves helping that process along.

 

And this doesn't mean individual or even large groups of intelligent monsters can't be evil -- it just reaffirms that they are sapient beings capable of making moral choices. I can easily imagine a wizard becoming a lich because he wants to preserve something he holds dear and only then faces the losses and temptations that come with undeath.

 

As Finn points out in Adventure Time, pure evil villains are "basic" and dull over the long term. It might not be a problem if you just want to go into a deep pit and bash anything you find there, bu if you want a longer-running storyarc recognizable motives for bad guys beyond "I am EVIL, and I hate everything and everybody because EVIL!" can make a campaign a truly compelling experience.l (The Lich Finn was referring to is terrifying almost beyond belief, but wasn;t a good long-term adversary. Going beyond the good/evil dividing line was something Adventure Time did very well.)

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"Evil" is what you make of it. It's worth noting that the species that destroyed the Earth was "not actually evil, but bad-tempered, bureaucratic, officious and callous."  A fine distinction, to my mind, but there it is. It's also worth noting that when he had to try to describe Hell, C.S. Lewis used a huge cannibalistic bureaucracy as his template.

 

As for me, one of the things I've always really liked about Champions is that fact that "Alignment" isn't a thing. Makes for better character interactions and role-playing, IMHO.

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23 minutes ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

As Finn points out in Adventure Time, pure evil villains are "basic" and dull over the long term. It might not be a problem if you just want to go into a deep pit and bash anything you find there, but if you want a longer-running storyarc recognizable motives for bad guys beyond "I am EVIL, and I hate everything and everybody because EVIL!" can make a campaign a truly compelling experience.

 

I think of Science Fiction television. In the Stargate universe the Goa'uld were powerful adversaries, but beyond Baal were not terribly interesting. Apophis was only interesting because of the personal connection with Teal'c. Other than Fifth and RepliCarter, every episode with the replicators was like watching somebody playing Doom. The Ori and the Wraith were just pretty dull most of the time.

 

Star Trek had some interesting adversarial races, but they were pretty much Planet Of Hats expys of Earth cultures:

* Klingons: The hordes of Ghengis Khan

* Romulans: Ancient Rome, natch

* Cardassians: Soviet Union

* Kazon: Street gangs

And so on. There were a few memorable individual villains, although even Khan wasn't really that impressive until the movie.

 

Babylon 5 had the Shadows, who were more of a cosmic force than individual villains. But they do have two remarkably good individual villains in Mr. Morden and Mr. Bester. These were well-developed characters whose numerous appearances on the show revealed something new about them every time. At one point, it was almost easy to sympathize with Bester and his situation. Almost.

 

Farscape had two really remarkable villains and one more who was okay. Crais was an unreasonable individual acting from reasonable motivations. Scorpius was a living nightmare and creepy as Hell. They both had complex interactions with the heroes that made the stories engaging to watch. Grayza, AKA, Commandant Cleavage, was a bit of a letdown. And while the Scarrans were presented as Always Chaotic Evil, the Peacekeepers were much more morally ambiguous, and consequently more interesting.

 

Just my $0.03.

 

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Overall this is a good move for WotC. In reality, one will not find anything that is purely good of evil. Case in point, in America we claimed that the USSR was evil yet they were basically doing the same thing that we were doing only in a different manner. We refused to accept our own evil and placed them on the USSR (until it dissolved then looked for a New target). We still posses the same evil yet we see ourselves as virtuous (in most things). The USSR did the same thing to is actually. In dnd, those "evil" races could actually be the same way and those spells that target "evil" races could actually be driven by the Carter's perception of good and evil father than what is grisly good or evil.

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I've stayed out of D&D since 3rd Ed.

 

I don't have a problem with this either, in large part because the alignment system was so bad.  Plus, I *loathed* the notion of alignment, a seriously nebulous psychosocial concept, was in fact a manipulating and manipulable force...else, how does Protection from Evil/Holy Word work?  It's ok, perhaps, to use that concept with extra-planar critters...if nothing else, it's a feature of the life-forms that develop in those planes.  

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3 hours ago, Old Man said:

 

Sorry, didn't know you were a paladin.  Had you pegged for more of the mad wizard type.  But while we're on the subject, could you heal my bad shoulder?  That'd be great, thanks.

 

I can replace it with a trio of tentacles, one of which is always obedient, and the other two can usually be relied on.  They bicker over special equipment, though.

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5 hours ago, Old Man said:

D&D has been distancing itself from the alignment system for a while.  My current paladin doesn't even have a stated alignment on his character sheet*, and spells like "Protection from Evil/Good" only work against small subsets of critters: celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, undead, and whatever the hell "aberrations" are.

 

That said, I'd rather play in games that have inherently evil races, because when I game I want to be able to kill things without the attendant moral quandaries.  As long as those races don't resemble minorities in real life, anyway.

 

 

* Which is for the best, because he's a conceited asshole with a superiority complex.

So you are gAve him your own personality?

 

WhAt? Someone had to say it😜

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I don't believe that anyone (not even certain individuals prominently featured in, say, the Politics thread) is evil for the sake of evil. There's always a reason for what people do, even if it makes sense only to themselves. Two quotes I like on the matter:

 

"There is no such thing, no matter how strange, as human behavior without a reason." -Murray Banks

 

"The monster never sees a monster in the mirror." -JMS 

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31 minutes ago, Cancer said:

 

I can replace it with a trio of tentacles, one of which is always obedient, and the other two can usually be relied on.  They bicker over special equipment, though.

 

What kind of paladin are you?  I'll have to think about it since the shoulder only causes excruciating tearing pain through about 1/3 of its range of motion. 

 

 

24 minutes ago, Badger said:

So you are gAve him your own personality?

 

WhAt? Someone had to say it😜

 

I just thought it would be hilarious to run a paladin that worships himself.

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I actually liked the Alignment system seeing them as not just measurements, but kind of cosmic forces each with their own influence on the game setting, like conflicting spiritual tides. 

 

That said, I know others who hate the darn things and they're probably thrilled so.. yay for them? :)

 

I'm still on Pathfinder 1 at this time.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Old Man said:

 

What kind of paladin are you?  I'll have to think about it since the shoulder only causes excruciating tearing pain through about 1/3 of its range of motion.

 

Paladin?  I was reacting to your "conceited asshole with a superiority complex", expressed as if that was a bad thing.

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Why am I not surprised?

 

Everyone else is bowing and scraping to the SJW and PC Police (which are, apparently, the only police that are allowed to exist now).

 

Well as mentioned, at least there's still the older material for those of us that don't actively seek "injustice" in everything we look at.

 

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Back in the day when my first game master showed me the dnd stats for "orc" and told me what it meant he said "and this is alignment. This orc is chaotic" then I asked "do all orcs have to be chaotic?" and he said "You can do as you want"

 

And that was that. I never used the alignment system for races to any degree other than a vague suggestion. And I have never met any gamers who have. But I have met many who enjoy playing the misunderstood good member of an scary but powerful race of beings. Which is something I think dnd can hold on to for new editions of the game as the misunderstanding itself can apply to more than one. 

 

I really really get it when people fear that moral relativism will creep into their game. But the removal of the blanket statement of evil in game can actually aid the game master and players in creating real evil enemies and villains we can all love to hate. Evil will now be a choice which makes it extra morally justified to cut off the head of whatever entity that is looting the village. 

 

 

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