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BG2 Completed Mods => Virtue => Topic started by: JW on October 10, 2004, 03:06:31 PM

Title: Saladrex
Post by: JW on October 10, 2004, 03:06:31 PM
When I'm on the fourth level of Watcher's Keep, one of the inhabitants is a Red Dragon called Saladrex. After some banter with him, I let the wyrm know that he's going to fall there and now. But to my surprise when I defeat the beast, I get a standard -2 virtue loss.

I have a question here.

I thought red dragons were inherently evil beings, if that is the case why I lose virtue by killing Saladrex?
Perhaps he's not coded as Red Dragon by the game? (his skin colour is red tho)
Maybe I am wrong and Red Dragons are not evil?
Last but not the least, might this be a... bug?

I'd appreciatte some input on the subject. 
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Kish on October 10, 2004, 03:11:07 PM
Only extraplanar creatures have truly fixed alignment, and as anyone who's played Planescape: Torment knows, not all of them even.  As far as attacking Saladrex for being a red dragon goes--you're a child of Bhaal, the last person who should try to justify killing other intelligent beings with "their kind are inherently evil."  You attacked a friendly, intelligent creature for its skin color--of course you lost Virtue.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: JW on October 10, 2004, 04:25:03 PM
Saying that I only attacked him for his skin colour is a bit presumptuous, really.
I talked with him, evaluated the situation, and advised him about my intentions towards him. Hardly just "for his skin colour", since I don't have an eternity to spend in that dungeon, I'd say that I gave him plenty of time to prove any trait of goodness.

I will not discuss with you about Toril's lore, instead I will try to learn as much as possible since my knowledge is rather limited. However I am in position to discuss my party's true intentions. I judged the dragon based on my knowledge about their race and interaction with this vain creature; I considered him a menace to all what is right, and defeated the beast in the most honourable way possible, along with the creatures that dwelled the dungeon, Gith's and Anti-Paladins.

If I gave you the impression that I judged the Dragon purely based on racist arguments, I must have explained myself wrong somewhere. Besides, I did not come here to be judged, but to be informed... altho it is fair that you considered appropiate a reflexion about my purposes, even a wrong one, since this is a Virtue mod after all.

Explained this, I reiterate my question: do you consider then the Red Dragon race not evil? My limited knowledge says that these creatures are evil since the moment of their creation, but I might be wrong.

On a side note, do you consider Bhaal children Evil per nature, therefore being the PC an anomaly in realms?

EDIT: In fact, by the game this creature is considered Chaotic Neutral. Whether it is possible or not, I still consider this topic worth of a Virtue discussion, at the very least to shed light upon the matter and to extend my lore about dragons for possible future encounters. 
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: SimDing0™ on October 10, 2004, 04:43:07 PM
On a side note, do you consider Bhaal children Evil per nature, therefore being the PC an anomaly in realms?
Balthazar and Viekang are both non-evil, as presumably are a fair bulk of those herded into Saradush. The Chinchilla is also coded as good (*ducks*). So yes, we have fair evidence that children of Bhaal aren't entirely evil. There are also the non-evil Bhaalpowers you can pick up in BG1, although I'd be loathe to take them as distinct story evidence. However, I think it's fair to envisage that the tendency of Bhaalspawn is towards evil, given that you, like, turn into the slayer randomly and stuff as the essence starts to get the better of you.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: JW on October 10, 2004, 05:08:29 PM
Indeed, in the game Balthazar is Lawful Good and Viekang Chaotic Neutral, so in some way this excludes the possibility of all Bhaalspawns being evil by born, yet what you say about the Taint and turning into the slayer leaves a mist over the main character true nature.

I am roleplaying certainly a good character, and from this point of view I have to assume many things regarding others along the journey to the Throne, however as Kish suggested my motives are as questionable perhaps as the Red Dragon ones. In my path I have met numerous parties that assumed my evil nature as a fact after knowing about my heritage... fact that I always considered erroneous.

Maybe it's a bit arrogant to presume of knowing anyone's interior motives and therefore aligment just based on the heritage, thing that my main char, hence myself, have done with this dragon. Thing that I considered right because *I* did it towards other. That's an interesting way of roleplaying without knowing it, but I guess it is inevitable to give shape of our own personality over our characters. It's also interesting how Virtue, as mod, makes us realize of our actions more deeply, being aware of our behaviour beyond the obvious.

I tried to get more insight about Dragons and their classes, but the best sources are, as always, for sale and not free for download. I'd appreciate it if someone could write more about Dragons at this respect.   

EDIT: by the way, I realize this is a game, just incase... I still like and have interest in the subject.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Caedwyr on October 10, 2004, 05:53:02 PM
I can dig up the exact quote if you wish, but in one 2nd edition manual, the Draconomicon, it states that rogue dragons (dragons not following their normal racial alignments) are actually somewhat more common than other alignment restricted species.  This is apparently due to their extremely long life spans and extremely high levels of intelligence, which lead them to question their own beliefs and to critically examine traditions and how they want to live.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: jester on October 10, 2004, 06:42:36 PM
I never had to kill Saladrex. What brought you to the conclusion you had to? Just curious.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: JW on October 10, 2004, 07:17:54 PM
Quote
I can dig up the exact quote if you wish, but in one 2nd edition manual, the Draconomicon, it states that rogue dragons (dragons not following their normal racial alignments) are actually somewhat more common than other alignment restricted species.  This is apparently due to their extremely long life spans and extremely high levels of intelligence, which lead them to question their own beliefs and to critically examine traditions and how they want to live.

There is no need, I trust your word. Actually it would fit with the Chaotic Neutral Dragon there. Perhaps that defines an evil side on my character, or maybe not... It's interesting to know more about Dragons anyway.

Quote
I never had to kill Saladrex. What brought you to the conclusion you had to? Just curious.

Good question. After all this self-reasoning I was starting to ask myself the same.

If I had to re-evaluate my actions, I think it was his lack of morality. This creature seemed more concerned about his ego rather than the place in which he was and the creatures whom he was dealing, Githyanki. Two rooms beyond his lair a madman was summoning creatures of all kinds to entertain himself; a little further an old apprentice of the madman was being tortured by the Illithids for information that the Dragon knew, how to break the glass.. yet he did nothing but to look at himself in vanity. I considered that maybe this dragon was not creating a danger by itself, but with his lack of interest or actions was endangering others and would continue to do so. Much unlike Adalon.

This combined with my belief that Red Dragons were necessarily evil placed me in the decision of fighting him, with honour, but showing no mercy.

Now I have learnt that Red Dragons can digress of their own race beliefs and traditions, perhaps knowing this beforehand would have led to a different result, yet this alone was not the reason. Although it might have been enought if truely the norm is the evilness of their Race.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: neriana on October 10, 2004, 07:43:40 PM
Not dealing with other peoples' problems is not evil, it's just not-good. Not interfering with anyone outside your direct purview is Neutral. Vanity and egotism, even assuming Saladrex to have those traits, are not evil either. You're also assuming Saladrex has great control over the entire dungeon, which is not the case.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: JW on October 10, 2004, 08:27:34 PM
Yes, I understand the possibility of Saladrex not being evil for his actions, or lack of. However I determined him a threat for being in position of doing something about it, and not moving a finguer... in fact this while not being evil necessarily, is punished in many standards. I punished him.

Was killing him the best thing to do?
Perhaps not, but it fits in my sense of morality. I accept the virtue loss now.
Now had Saladrex control over the entire dungeon?
Of course not, but he knew more than enought about the current situation and how to fix it. Much more than any of the inhabitants of the dungeon with the exception of the madman's apprentice, yet he did nothing.

I'm not trying to justify my actions anymore, I accept that he fits inside the neutral alignment, but I still believe that I have followed a reasonable line of arguments to punish him. If my main character was a Paladin, I would despise this creature greatly for his lack of morality. I'm still unsure about the punishment someone like Keldorn would consider appropiate.

I rationalize that my character is good enought to notice the reprehensible component of Saladrex's behaviour, but seems that he (my character) is also evil enought to punish him severely for it.

I assumed that he was evil. His behaviour inside this dungeon played a great part on my judgement, and I was then sure of my reasons. However with the virtue loss I asked myself if there was a possibility for this Red Dragon to not be evil, that led me to question the punishment, since it could have been overexaggerated for a good being.

After knowiing that he can perfeclty be neutral, I still consider him deserving of a punishment for his BAD behaviour, moraly speaking. What could be the right punishment is still undetermined... to me it was killing him, ironically sharing the same fate of those that he did not care for.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: jester on October 10, 2004, 09:18:00 PM
It is perfectly ok to kill him, if you are so inclined in your game. When I play CN people I do kill everybody just because I can like the proverbial dog . :)

I always considered him to be more like Orrick the Grey in his tower in IWD2. Strong enough to fend everybody off, but certainly not strong enough to clean out WK. So if you are killing him for failure to render assistance I think that won't hold in court, but you are not a paladin anyway you said. I would even wager that a CG creature could be tempted not to do much in that situation.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: rreinier on October 14, 2004, 07:11:09 AM
Question: Wouldn't a Cavalier, who specializes in killing Demons and Dragons, attack and kill Saladrex?
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Caedwyr on October 14, 2004, 10:58:50 AM
Question: Wouldn't an Assassin, who specializes in killing People, attack and kill everyone they meet?
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Reverendratbastard on October 14, 2004, 12:28:04 PM

 i can't remember if my undead-hunter used detect evil on saladrex, but i also can't confirm that she attacked him.  does he register?

  good point with the cavalier, except they're not going to go after adalon, are they?  so back to the original question.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: GetCool on October 18, 2004, 09:42:49 PM
This is an interesting problem that requires a lot of thought.  I love these questions that deal with alignment and morality in the D&D universe(s), since they prompt complex considerations of seemingly simple problems.

I think the problem boils down to classification.  In BG2 (and other D&D) it is necessary for us to classify things; i.e. this person is chaotic neutral, this person is lawful good, this person has a Virtue of 18, etc.  This is necessary because of the game's nature; playing a game would be impossible if we didn't have quantitative references on which to base gameplay.  If we left everything wide open for free interpretation while playing D&D, there would be literally no gameplay model, as there would be no standard on which to base the progression of the game, and what we would have would be arguments and lengthy discussions on the true nature of a character's alignment.

Now, take that idea, and transport it from PnP into BG2, a PC game.  If PnP is an extremely simplified abstraction of real life, BG2 is an even further abstraction of PnP.  Take dialogue for example: you can't type in anything you want your character to say, you have to choose from a selection of possible responses.  This makes the importance of classification for the structure of the gameplay even more significant, and the lines between A and B even more defined.  When you encounter Saladrex and deal with him, you have two possible options: kill him or don't kill him.  You can't talk to him at length about his nature, and try to persuade him towards a given course of action.  And even if you actually can do this (I don't remember this dialogue exactly), you can't attempt a multitude of approaches, or drink an Intelligence potion and try to reason with him more on his level, or give him an allegory to ponder over, etc.  And if you want to punish him, you can't punish him in another way, you can't think of a creative way to teach him a lesson or to trick him, etc.  And even if he is entirely stubborn and would not give in to even the most intelligent, creative persuasion you attempt, you can't even try this in the first place and gather his obstinate attitude as further reason for punishing him.

The bottom line is you have an extremely limited number of options in dealing with him, and so if one is to create a Virtue mod, a one-dimensional scale on which to place the morality of your character, one needs to use best judgment in determining if option A is good, bad, or neutral with respect to option B.  Of course, sharp disagreement may arise from such judgments, but we all need to keep in mind the fact that we can only work with what we are given.  In such an abstract, categorical world, our judgments need to be equally abstract and categorical, and we need to adhere to the rules in a way that we may not in real life.

So, if you're tired of reading my rantings, I'll say what I'm getting at: the author of this mod needs to make a decision based on the given scenario, and while I can see truth in both sides of the argument, I can't criticise the author for making a judgment call when it falls into one of those gray areas, because in-game, there is no room for gray.
Title: PURELY hypothetical
Post by: Reverendratbastard on October 19, 2004, 05:24:59 PM
So, if you're tired of reading my rantings, I'll say what I'm getting at:

  and what if we're NOT tired of reading your rantings?
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Joe on October 28, 2004, 03:23:04 AM
Saying that I only attacked him for his skin colour is a bit presumptuous, really.
I talked with him, evaluated the situation, and advised him about my intentions towards him. Hardly just "for his skin colour", since I don't have an eternity to spend in that dungeon, I'd say that I gave him plenty of time to prove any trait of goodness.


He has not shown any hostility, why should he have to prove anything at all?
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Golden Lion 86 on November 04, 2004, 10:56:14 PM
Well, I am a dragon hater, and in reply to the first few post I will tell you outrigt that killing Saladrex is wrong. He is there guarding a hoard of his possessions, much like Humans and banks. Saladrex does register as evil, and he is evil, and unless you have the alignment fix, don't EVER go by game alignments, because your major Domo, and your Play supervisor, and High priestess Demin are all evil, and that Otyugh in Irenicus' Dungeon is NG.

Now, there is a clear line between evil and threat. Now good believes in either self defense, or preemptive strike against a threat. Killing something because it is evil is prejudice. Though one can assume that Saladrex might do evil stuff if he gets out, he is no immediate threat to you, unless he attacks, and no dragons in BG2, except the one in Suldanesselar, attack first.

SInce Saladrex does all he can to keep from fighting you, whether this be good intention, fear, or lack of concern for human affairs, the point is that YOU provoke the fight, so it is reasonable that YOU be held responsible.

Now, if you want to kill Saladrex, I approve, but it is not the GOOD thing to do, nor even the MORAL thing. Generally, you either kill him for his loot, which is theft (Murder 1 in Human terms, Armed Robbery and Homicide), or because he's a dragon, which is prejudice (A Hate Crime). The notes in parentheses are to illustrate why you lose the VIrtue, and what the equivalent is in modern Earth.

Another thing is the Shadow Dragon. This guy is also evil and he killed Mazzy's party (though I am sure Saladrex's hands are not clean either). But he serves a greater evil. If you notice, all but the most evil of dragons just leave people alone in exchange for privacy and gems. Some dragons eat gems. (I am feeling my hatred wearing off and I see some dragons just kill for food, like Lions. Tears form :'( ). Now, if he works for an active evil, but is a passive evil, there is no real reason to kill him. Killing him is more justified than Saladrex because this guy actually CAN hurt people from his location, but he has no interest in doing that. I know, at my office, a very nice young lady who works as the slave-assistant of my evil manager (Not really slave-assistant, but she does all but floss the harpy's teeth). I don't run off punching her in the face because she serves evil (Though she also serves my good manager. What a nice lady that one is :D)

Anywho, my reason for killing Dragons and Drow and Mariliths is prejudice. This prejudice stems from their arrogance clashing with my own. Dragons just think they are better than everyone else, and Drow are worse with their female supremascist views (It is my business to dine on the brains of amazon-idiots who think men do not deserve to live.)

BUt the point of this long discussion is that killig Saladrex is an evil act. This message brought to you by a hardcore Dragon-Hater. BioWare will confirm this.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Lord Kain on December 30, 2004, 12:59:30 AM
Only extraplanar creatures have truly fixed alignment

Kish Dragons do have a fixed alignment. Red Dragons are born chaotic evil. Maybe its do to the fact dragons are born smarter then the average human. Ture dragons are born into there alignment.
All Chromatic Dragons are evil (with the exception of some cosmic event or alignment altering magic)
Red
Black
Greed
White
Blue

On the otherside we have metallic dragons
Gold
Bronze
Silver
Brass
Copper

The forgotten realms has other types of dragons
Deep (evil)
Shadow (very evil)
Fang (evil)
Brown (evil)
Song (good)
Chaos (always chaotic)


Now some cosmic event could cause a red dragon to be born or become good. So can alignment altering magic.

Now creatures like Drow are raised to be evil. If you take a drow infant and give him to kind loving parents the baby has the same chance to be good as one of his surface cousins. And an evil Drow has the chance to change (like Viconia) How ever to take an evil red dragon and make him good would require magic.

But Dragons are born intelligent. From the moment they hatch they can say "hello" and with some kinds of dragons, in more the one language.




Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Murdane on December 30, 2004, 06:19:09 PM
It comes down to whether or not it is OK to kill a being just because it's evil.  It is something that is certainly debatable--some believe that killing any creature that is born evil is perfectly fine (if not a good act in itself) but not everyone would agree with that logic.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Lord Kain on December 30, 2004, 08:44:13 PM
well he has the Serpent Shaft the item used to upgrade the ravager.

Saladrex is an adult red dragon or older. There is no doubt he has done evil in his life, there is no doubt he will do evil in the future.

Killing a red dragon because it is evil is no different then killing a demon because it is evil.

Now I usually get around  the virtue loss by attacking the red dragon the moment he comes into view. To me there are two very reasonable responses when you walk into a room and see big fat dragon. The first is to run very fast. The second is to attack and get the opening move.

It would be nice if you could provoke him into a fight but you can't.


Saladrex does not have the capacity to be anything but evil. Drow, Orcs, Goblins, Duragar and the like can be raised good or can turn from evil to good.


The real moral question is this. You know this dragon if it lives will one day murder innocent people. Do you kill him now or wait until he has actually gone and pillaged a village.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Kish on December 30, 2004, 10:38:58 PM
well he has the Serpent Shaft the item used to upgrade the ravager.

Saladrex is an adult red dragon or older. There is no doubt he has done evil in his life, there is no doubt he will do evil in the future.

Killing a red dragon because it is evil is no different then killing a demon because it is evil.
Even if that were true--and you've offered nothing but assertion to support it, certainly no refutations to Caedwyr's reference to the Draconomicon--how on Toril could the PC know it?  Oh, the PC might know the first part, that Saladrex can be counted on to have good treasure, but if that's a key part of the reason for killing him, someone is acting evil there, all right, and it's not Saladrex.

Btw, do you know what green dragons breathe?
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Murdane on December 30, 2004, 11:40:44 PM
I'm not sure that dragons embody their alignment the same way fiends and celestials do.  If they don't, then killing a red dragon is *not* the same thing as killing a demon.  Besides, unlike just about any demon you meet, Saladrex seems to have no interest whatsoever in attacking you or harming you in any way.

PS: Green dragons breath chlorine gas, I believe (either that or acid, I forget which). :)
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Kish on December 30, 2004, 11:56:42 PM
Green dragons breathing chlorine gas is what I read, but I was thinking perhaps the book which told Lord Kain that red dragons are all evil and don't have the capacity to be good said they breathed something else.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Lord Kain on December 31, 2004, 01:36:28 AM
Kish the book that told be that all red dragons are evil was every D&D monster manuel i've read from AD&D to 3.5. Along with books such as Draconomicon.
Also its perfectly reasonable that the PC would know that an evil red dragon has done evil and will do evil again.

Chromatic dragons are evil and are under there goddess Tiamat
Metallic Dragons are good and are under there god Bahamant.
Except for the occasional cosmic event that creates an exception.


Besides all this Saladrax is an evil red dragon, the PC can easly know that a full grown red dragon has murdered people to aquire its hord.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Caedwyr on December 31, 2004, 03:54:03 AM
I should really just make a text file and save this passage in it so I don't have to constantly look it up:

The following quote is from the 2nd edition Dragon source book, the Draconomicron. (TSR 1501)
Quote
Rogues

As with humans, demihumans, and humanoids, the alignment of dragons reflects not instinctive behavior but an intelligent choice about how the creatures respond to the world. Certainly, dragons raised in a society with a strong alignment are probably going to share that alignment, but there's no law of nature that prevents a dragon from changing its alignment. (In fact, the consequences of changing alignment are considerably less for a dragon than they are for a human or demihuman. Dragons progress in power depending on their age, so they suffer no direct ill effects from a voluntary alignment change.)

Dragons that voluntarily change their alignments are referred to as "rogues," and they're very rare indeed. Rogues have decided for reasons of their own that they don't go along with the world-view common to dragons of their species.

These reasons can vary widely. A gold dragon might become disillusioned after seeing evil continuing to flourish no matter what efforts are made to crush it. The gold grows tired of what it sees as "beating its head against a mountain," and decides to leave the futile efforts to younger dragons. It has its own life to live, and wants to do it on its terms. This rogue would probably have shifted its alignment to Neutral Good or even Chaotic Good.

In contrast, a copper dragon might become steadily more obsessed with collecting wealth, while growing less and less concerned with the means by which it is attained. The normally Chaotic Good dragon might shift to Chaotic Neutral or even Chaotic Evil. Rogue chromatic dragons are even rarer than rogue metallic dragons, but they do occur. A young red dragon might be sickened by the suffering that its older relatives are inflicting on innocent victims. After much soul-searching, it might flee to an isolated area where it can live on its own terms (Chaotic Neutral alignment), or it might try to work to prevent or reverse damage caused by others of its kind (Chaotic, Neutral or even Lawful Good, depending on how it went about this task).

The response to a dragon that turns rogue varies depending on the species involved. Bronzes and golds almost certainly sentence the rogue to official proscription. Silvers might tolerate the rogue as long as it didnít slip over the line into evil behavior. Coppers and brasses generally shun a rogue. If the behavior of a rogue metallic dragon becomes actively evil, other members of his species might be forced to consider more serious measures.

Myths record only one such incident, when a flight of gold dragons hunted down and slew one of their own kind who was engaging in a wild orgy of destruction across the Dalelands. (Most naturalists are convinced that the rogue in this case was actually incurably insane, since most sane rogues would never consider such a wild swing in alignment.)

In the case of Chaotic Evil dragons becoming neutral or good, their kin respond to them in exactly the same way they would to any other dragon of that alignment: hatred and attack if the rogue intrudes on their territory, general indifference otherwise.  Lawful Evil dragons might consider retribution against the rogue, but only if the rogue posed some kind of danger to them or if they saw some potential gain in it.


So actually, if Saladrax is indeed a rogue red Dragon, then the safest and most secure way he could continue living with minor disruptions is in Watcher's Keep.  If he is not bored there, and happy to live there, then the defences of the place would definately reduce the disturbances and encounters with other dragons who may take exception to his changed alignment and demenor.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Reverendratbastard on December 31, 2004, 05:58:20 AM
 
  i just wonder how he stays fed there.  if he could come and go at will, you'd think the keep would become known as a dragon's lair.  and the watchers would either be heavily dug-in or ridiculously powerful, or frequently decimated.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Andyr on December 31, 2004, 08:03:38 AM
I'd tend to agree with RRB. :) Assuming Saladrex is not trapped in WK, I would say that him being there (as opposed to a mountain lair from which he can raid the countryside) is a piece of evidence increasing the odds he is not, in fact, necessarily an Evil creature.

I don't think he is mentioned by others in the region, suggesting he keeps to himself.

Plus, in the dialogue he does not outright try and kill you - outright hostility is the way most other Red Dragons behave (if you read various FR novels), and he certainly doesn't match Firkraag's behaviour from what we know of him. :)

So I would support a Virtue hit for killing Saladrex. Unless, perhaps, the player is a Cavalier who has sworn to kill chromatic Dragons. However if he/she is meant to swear to kill Evil dragons (not quite synonyms) then there should be a Virtue hit unless the Cavalier can show the dragon to be Evil.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Lord Kain on December 31, 2004, 03:51:21 PM
but Saladrax IS NOT A ROUGE DRAGON. he is evil. Its a simple bit of magic to find that out.

Evil doesn't mean runing though the streets seting kids and small animals on fire. Quite a few mass murderers were nice guys aside from the fact they killed people.

I'd guess Saladrax eats the mind flayers and Githyanki the mad mage summons.

The rare and almost unique good chromatic dragon would not behave in the manor that Saladrax does. If he was good I'd expect him to behave more like Adalon the silver dragon from the underdark.



Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Reverendratbastard on December 31, 2004, 05:06:11 PM
but Saladrax IS NOT A ROUGE DRAGON. he is evil. Its a simple bit of magic to find that out.
yup.  better kill de'Arnise Keep's major domo while you're at it.

Quote
Evil doesn't mean runing though the streets seting kids and small animals on fire. Quite a few mass murderers were nice guys aside from the fact they killed people.
  and?  a dragon[/b] being condescending and haughty to a small group of humanoids (about whom he admittedly doesn't know much, if he thinks they're absolutely no match for him) is not by definition evil, certainly not actively so.  saladrex is not a nice guy, despite the fact that he may eat a lot of githyanki and/or illithids that might otherwise give Our Party a lot more trouble.  but since this is basically about paladins taking a hit for making a morally unprovoked attacked on a nonhostile, not-clearly-or-obviously-actively-evil red dragon:  if saladrex has renounced evil (or just doesn't care about it at all), he's not obligated to tell you just because you're a paladin.  i don't think it's supposed to be obvious one way or the other.  but he's apparently not a threat to anything except githyanki and mind flayers (or captured mind flayers, i suppose, considering his location).  (and anybody else who's made it past that many levels of a dungeon as wiggy as WK, i seriously doubt qualifies as "innocents led to the slaughter".)
  i agree that virtue should consider allowing for the 'Cavalier Calling', but only if Oversight is not in use.
  personal extra tuppence = detect evil is a flimsy device that should at least have a more detailed description/effect.  "you know that this is or isn't their alignment group", in other words "this is how they can be expected to behave in a purely instinctive scenario" (if they test positive).  someone who registers as good or neutral with know alignment could still commit an evil act, but that would be a surprise, right?  the only real difference with detecting evil intent/tendency is that you can expect/wait for it to happen.  but with saladrex, it doesn't happen.  he's not even arrogant enough to be successfully taunted.  (this is where the spells taunt or blood/animal rage would have fun application.)

Quote
I'd guess Saladrax eats the mind flayers and Githyanki the mad mage summons.
that's a lot of githyanki and mind flayers.
 i haven't read up on their ecology, but i have doubts that astral-heavy critters like gith are particularly substantial eatin'.
 someone should write a book on Who[m] Eats Who[m]?  what limited diets certain omnivores will settle for in lean times, and so on.
 actually, there's probably some kind of hibernation deal i'm forgetting about - gold dragons eat gems that tide them over for some time (if not exclusively - is it the older they get, caedwyr, or from birth?), i can't remember if reds can snack on their hoard or something...

Quote
The rare and almost unique good chromatic dragon would not behave in the manor that Saladrax does. If he was good I'd expect him to behave more like Adalon the silver dragon from the underdark.
   
  would not.  okay, thank you, Arbiter.
  there has not been a single suggestion that saladrex is or even might be good.  Oversight makes him CN if i'm not mistaken.  which would be a completely reasonable decision, considering that saladrex doesn't behave like a typical red, apart from being arrogant/proud (which is pretty much #1 on the Things All Core Chromatics And Metallics Have In Common, or tied with Some Kind of Breath Weapon).  especially considering the extreme likelihood that the party is carrying a hefty load of valuable treasure.
  and adalon has become cynical - not at all typical for metallics, that i can recall - yet another candidate for roguehood.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Lord Kain on December 31, 2004, 06:26:06 PM
I think Saladrex behaves exactly like a red dragon. Just because he doesn't kill thing that walks in his door doesn't mean he's not a typical red dragon. You people are taking a slight diviation in behavior and turning a murderus wyrm into just a jerk.

Saladrex spells out his reasons for staying
"I have only been here a few years - an insignificant time for a dragon.  But I choose to remain for a number of reasons.  For one, I find the antics of Carston and the other lesser creatures on this level amusing."
Lets think about what he finds funny, he finds humor in these poor souls being summoned to the the room fighting, killing and being butchered.

Saladrex does NOTHING to show he is any different from another red dragon. In fact his little quote shows he's just like other evil dragons. He enjoys watching others suffer just like Firkaag.

What about Firkaag? when you walk into his lair he isn't out right hostile. He's willing to let take the child and leave.

At any rate. I'm tired of this fruitless argument. Nothing we can say will change each others minds. I'm of mind its ok in the world of D&D to hunt and kill evil dragons.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Reverendratbastard on December 31, 2004, 07:47:10 PM
I think Saladrex behaves exactly like a red dragon. Just because he doesn't kill thing that walks in his door doesn't mean he's not a typical red dragon. You people are taking a slight diviation in behavior and turning a murderus wyrm into just a jerk.
  and your documentation of his murderousness is... where?
  CN creatures can have murderous streaks/periods.  even a true neutral, hypothetically.
  i'm not telling anybody he can't be evil.  i'm just not ruling out some possibilities, and i'm acknowledging the validity of reasonable considerations like Oversight.
 
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Saladrex spells out his reasons for staying
  easy for him to say, the designers don't have to worry about how he gets his food.  :P
  it's a frequent ecological oversight by most users-of-dragons-as-plot-devices.

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Saladrex does NOTHING to show he is any different from another red dragon. In fact his little quote shows he's just like other evil dragons. He enjoys watching others suffer just like Firkaag.
  sure, a metallic dragon able to assume human form might make the effort to acquire the hammer and put a stop to 'carston's antics'.  but why would they have set up shop in WK?  i think it's a smokescreen anyway.  everybody in that place is trapped, from where i'm sitting.

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What about Firkaag? when you walk into his lair he isn't out right hostile. He's willing to let take the child and leave.
  what he's done to the windspear hills/family is plenty of justification to go after him.  letting garren's child be 'rescued' is an act of boredom, not consideration.  (at least that's what he claims.  maybe he's starting to go soft!  ::))

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At any rate. I'm tired of this fruitless argument.
  yeah, i could use a nap too.  lots of drinkers arriving here shortly.
  anyway, there are easier ways to get the last word.  ;)

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Nothing we can say will change each others minds.
  well, if you fully backed up one of your handful of absolute exceptionless statements, i'd be glad to entertain the idea.
  you may even notice that i sometimes riff little offshoots from the ideas of my "opponents", to observe the spirit of discussion and contemplation, as opposed to pure argumentation.  or, you may not.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Lord Kain on December 31, 2004, 08:34:18 PM
A Dragon can eat just about any thing to fuel its body. Stone, Metal, Gems. Also a dragon’s digestive system is so efficient what ever goes in ain’t coming out the other end.
According to Draconomicon.


Why do I need documentation for saladrex's murderousness? he is chaotic evil red dragon. IF he had lived as long as he has with out behaving like a chaotic evil red dragon he wouldn't be chaotic evil anymore. Considering his power he must be a at least few hundred years old.
He's chaotic evil when you meet him. So how could he have spent his life being chaotic evil and not have done evil things?

Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: SixOfSpades on December 31, 2004, 09:31:56 PM
Assuming Saladrex is not trapped in WK, I would say that him being there (as opposed to a mountain lair from which he can raid the countryside) is a piece of evidence increasing the odds he is not, in fact, necessarily an Evil creature.

But he is trapped. At least, since the PC can't enter or leave the Keep without the Vigil Wardstone, and Aesgareth is able to gate other creatures in but not himself out, I find to difficult to believe that a creature as large as a Dragon can pass with ease in & out of a magically warded dungeon that can hold even planewalkers like Aesgareth. True, says that "I choose to remain," but mentions no details to support the idea of his being able to leave, or even that he's attempted to.

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Plus, in the dialogue he does not outright try and kill you - outright hostility is the way most other Red Dragons behave.
True. Interestingly enough, he does not even show any interest in acquiring the amazing loot the party carries--a very un-Dragon-like attitude indeed. I believe Oversight changes his alignment from ?E to CN, and that seems to mesh well with his character, his red scales notwithstanding.
But I still want an option to have him speak to the party as an equal.

Like Firkraag, Saladrex views the antics and suffering of smaller beings amusing. Unlike Firkraag, however, Saladrex does not actually cause that suffering, unless you count his killing them for food.

Idle thought: There are Trolls on that level of the dungeon as well. Theoretically, Saladrex could bite off a limb or two without actually killing the Troll. Kinda sad for the Trolls, though, I think I'd prefer to be eaten all at once than have something amputated every day.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Kish on December 31, 2004, 10:31:45 PM
Saladrex can also shapeshift, as adult red dragons can.  He could turn himself into a mouse and need very little food each day.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Reverendratbastard on January 01, 2005, 01:07:30 AM
  i understand that he tested positive for you under a detect evil, maybe a know alignment as well (i'm assuming that's how you confirmed the chaotic part, not that the designers weren't lazy or anything), and that he
  i was only taking issue with the proclamation of the murderous wyrm, despite having nothing to go by other than the above and ordinary prejudice.  oh, and the stories of [predominantly CN, very trustworthy sources for paladins] githyanki, if you wanted to listen to them...

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 IF he had lived as long as he has with out behaving like a chaotic evil red dragon he wouldn't be chaotic evil anymore.
 absolutely.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: SimDing0™ on January 01, 2005, 08:11:44 AM
What bothers me about the notion of adding a dialogue path to Saladrex that allows the party to convince him that they're on a par with him is that... well, is he going to be convinced? It doesn't seem to me, looking at the dialogue, that Saladrex is terribly likely to make such a concession any time soon.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Reverendratbastard on January 01, 2005, 05:21:40 PM
 a supra-genius could be allowed to outriddle him or something.
 or someone who can cast dragon's breath...
 
 
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Andyr on January 01, 2005, 05:50:59 PM
Being a Red Dragon, he'd probably be unaffected by that spell. ;)
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Reverendratbastard on January 01, 2005, 05:59:26 PM
 oh come on!  to compete or impress or 'match', not to damage.   :P  or prot-firing yrself and having him breathe on you...
 
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Murdane on January 01, 2005, 11:25:03 PM
What bothers me about the notion of adding a dialogue path to Saladrex that allows the party to convince him that they're on a par with him is that... well, is he going to be convinced? It doesn't seem to me, looking at the dialogue, that Saladrex is terribly likely to make such a concession any time soon.

I agree.  Just about every type of dragon is arrogant to begin with, and red dragons are among the most arrogant of all.  I'm sure Saladrex would find the very idea of the PC convincing him of anything--or changing his mind about something--to be laughable in and of itself.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: SixOfSpades on January 02, 2005, 12:51:44 AM
What bothers me about the notion of adding a dialogue path to Saladrex that allows the party to convince him that they're on a par with him is that... well, is he going to be convinced? It doesn't seem to me, looking at the dialogue, that Saladrex is terribly likely to make such a concession any time soon.
If it's about power, the party can tell of mighty deeds performed and foes vanquished (after checking certain Global variables and the presence of certain items, like Carsomyr), and perhaps an assesment of the party's overall EXP level.
If it's about bloodline, the PC can mention Bhaal. Even a Dragon would have to give that one pause.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: NiGHTMARE on January 02, 2005, 03:32:09 AM
ToB already establishes that dragons consider draconic heritage to be superior to divine heritage.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: jester on January 02, 2005, 04:43:38 AM
Given the fact that pesky mortal humans have ascended to godhood who can blame them? Also given the wide array of backgrounds for the various gods they would probably not considered a race. Therefore it boils down to individual power rather than heritage for the PC.

BTW the amount of dragon slaying in SoA alwas bothered me given the fact that they are supposedly epic creatures. Oh well.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: SixOfSpades on January 03, 2005, 03:57:04 AM
ToB already establishes that dragons consider draconic heritage to be superior to divine heritage.
Okay, that's it. If Saladrex actually thinks that dragons outrank gods, he needs to be served his ass on a platter (Required: One very very large platter) just for being so colossally stupid. No matter how you look at it, it's honorable: Call it a mercy killing of the mentally retarded if you wish, or a lesson to the remaining draconic populace to hold their collective tongue and maybe cultivate some manners.

Seriously, if Saladrex sees a band of six adventurers decked out in Red, Shadow, Blue, & White Dragon Scale, Dragonslayer, Dragon's Bane, Dragon Helm, Firetooth, Boneblade, Dragon Scale Shield, Belt of Inertial Barrier, and Carsomyr, you'd think he would get the friggin' message.
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: NiGHTMARE on January 03, 2005, 04:59:45 AM
All dragons apparently think that way, so it would appear you're advocating genocide.  Not exactly the proper attitude for a paladin...
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Caedwyr on January 03, 2005, 05:26:20 AM
Quote
Call it a mercy killing of the mentally retarded if you wish, or a lesson to the remaining draconic populace to hold their collective tongue and maybe cultivate some manners.


If this is the type of ethics and moral your paladins follow, I'm kinda worried about what you'd consider evil.  :P


What I've noticed in the recent set of posts, is that people aren't really arguing that killing Saladrex shouldn't have a virtue hit, they just want to beat him at a pissing contest.....
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: jester on January 03, 2005, 06:19:03 AM
I think Six that what you would describe is the behaviour of any common thug with a bloated ego. The fact that he is not intimidated by your fancy gear or your half-breed status doesn't entitle you to do anything. If you want to kill him out of spite that is ok, but a paladin is meant to be a humble person and would not answer to mere words by resorting to violence. I think the term 'mercy killing' is totally unknown for a paladin at least in your use of the word. 'Mercy killing of the mentally retarded'? Wow!
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: SixOfSpades on January 03, 2005, 06:37:15 AM
Call it a mercy killing of the mentally retarded if you wish, or a lesson to the remaining draconic populace to hold their collective tongue and maybe cultivate some manners.
This is what is called 'tongue in cheek.' Not to be taken literally, but going a bit over the top to attain humor by exaggeration. Hence my beginning the next paragraph with the word 'Seriously.'
Title: Re: Saladrex
Post by: Murdane on January 03, 2005, 04:46:26 PM
Remember, though, that the PC still had to work for his power, just like any other non-godly character.  In some respects, being a Bhaalspawn doesn't make you much different from any other mortal (you still are mortal), and when all else is equal, dragons still think of the core races as "little people".  Even good dragons are going to look down on humanoids as beings who need their protection and wisdom (in other words, they are condescending).