Author Topic: SimKishCo  (Read 23914 times)

Offline cliffette

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #25 on: December 25, 2004, 08:43:45 PM »
Read at own peril. It makes no sense. :(

I feel suitably toasted. By the way, this post is just to clarify some points in my previous post- I'm not looking for a huge argument or even a response.

Various rebuttals:
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In self-defense, he tells you.  Of course, Valygar might be lying.  He lies all the time, right?
You don't know how truthful, honest or even how good Valygar is when you first meet him. His guileless demeanour could mean he is guileless, or a great actor. The point is that at the time of the meeting, the PC doesn't know anything except that he's killed two CW at this stage - making him a murderer. From the CW's perspective, he's a murderer as two of their number have been sent on an errand and have been killed as a result. I am aware that the orders might have been "Bring this man back to us, dead or alive." But the PC doesn't know this and nor do we.

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*scribbles in notebook* Someone...who...kills...in...self...defense...murderer.  Got it.

I was using the CW's terminology to describe him, not my own attitude towards murderers, self-defence cases, and such. I don't appreciate the sarcasm either - it's really patronising. I'm not sure if that was your intention, but if not, then I'm letting you know.

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What?

You are claiming, seriously, that Valygar should have Virtue hits because he killed people who came to his house to force him to open the Sphere for them and/or die?
This was actually setting up a case that I could disagree with - which currently makes no sense whatsoever, but read on. :)

There was a parallel between the Valygar case and your suggestion that the PC could only be virtuous through avoiding the killing the beholders, etc by killing an entire drow city - that they both had alternatives. If the PC gets a virtue hit for not exercising his/her alternative (which is actually alot more heinous than Valygar's alternative - killing a woman because you don't want to do what she demands of you?), then shouldn't Valygar?

Or looking at it from another perspective (which is actually the perspective I'm taking - hence the negative example in order to demonstrate a point), Valygar was justified in doing what he did - just as the PC is justified in doing what he/she does. There is a choice involved in both cases, but the higher, more virtuous road is i) fraught with extreme danger, ii) irresponsible when it comes to the safety of your comrades (hey, you don't have to take them with you to the various lairs, but they will be exposed to danger if you take the choose to attack the drow city) and iii) pretty much impossible. The basis for the situations is different, but the basis for the response is the same.

And finally, addressing your suggestion of an alternative way to get back the eggs - I don't think that the actions of two people (Ardulace and Phaere) justify the killing of the rest of the drow, particularly those who are just going about their daily business. This of course, leads back to the beholders who are just going about their daily business, which is why I don't usually step into these argumentsl. :)


So hopefully I'm making a little more sense now. If not, then oh well.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2004, 09:03:52 PM by cliffette »

Offline Kish

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #26 on: December 25, 2004, 08:58:39 PM »
You don't know how truthful, honest or even how good Valygar is when you first meet him. His guileless demeanour could mean he is guileless, or a great actor. The point is that at the time of the meeting, the PC doesn't know anything except that he's killed two CW at this stage - making him a murderer. From the CW's perspective, he's a murderer as two of their number have been sent on an errand and have been killed as a result. I am aware that the orders might have been "Bring this man back to us, dead or alive." But the PC doesn't know this and nor do we. 
Toasting you, or attacking you personally on any level (as opposed to "disagreeing vehemently with what you appeared to be saying"), was certainly not my intention.  I'm sorry I hurt your feelings.

Your last four words in my quote don't seem to go with the rest of what you've said there.  First you're talking about what the PC knows, with a clear distinction between IC and OOC knowledge, and then you jump to OOC, talking about what we know.  Other than that, I'm afraid all I can really say to the rest of your post is that, perhaps, I understood neither your previous post nor this one, sorry.  If "he technically was not an innocent" wasn't an OOC claim, and you didn't mean that you consider the Cowled Wizard's "not caring if this murderer lives or dies" understandable, then I am afraid your entire initial post went over my head.

As far as "avoid killing the beholders, etc. by killing an entire drow city"--why is depopulating a beholder city less evil than depopulating a drow city?  It's not because beholders are not intelligent; they are, on average, more intelligent than drow.  It's not because beholders are more uniformly evil than drow; both are the same as far as evilness goes.  It's not because there are, actually or conceptually, more victims in the drow city than in the beholder city*; either way, you are wiping out the entire population of a city of a major Underdark race.  Because drow are humanoid and beholders have eleven eyes?  That's the only reason I can see.

*Except for a different sense of "victims"--there are both slaves and people being tortured for amusement in the drow city, and neither in the beholder city.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2004, 09:18:25 PM by Kish »
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Offline cliffette

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #27 on: December 25, 2004, 09:00:32 PM »
I will therefore stop digging.

And sorry Kish, my previous post was made rather late at night. Considering how inarticulate my second post was, I might still need to catch up on sleep. :)

I meant:
CW tell you that V has murdered two of their number. To them he is a murderer. To the PC he is a murderer as he/she only has the CW's word to go by. This is IC knowledge.

The final two sentences of that paragraph were from my personal pov to show that I had considered those points. I was anticipating future arguments.

As for the rest: It's beyond my ability to express without a large board and a marker. Sorry to inflict that on you. :)
« Last Edit: December 25, 2004, 09:18:14 PM by cliffette »

Offline cliffette

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #28 on: December 25, 2004, 09:32:01 PM »
As far as "avoid killing the beholders, etc. by killing an entire drow city"--why is depopulating a beholder city less evil than depopulating a drow city?

I agree with you that there isn't a difference. But you don't have to depopulate the beholder city - just* kill their leader. You do have to depopulate the drow city to escape. It's a question of numbers, and not of eyes.

Could I be arguing under a false impression here? I was told that if you lost your disguise, you'd have to kill every single drow in the city for the gates to open. Or do the gates open automatically, enabling you to make a run for it without killing too many drow?


And thanks for your apology. I'm being oversensitive, but it's hard to tell what tone comments are being expressed in.

* I know, "just" kill their leader. Strictly talking in terms of numbers here.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2004, 09:34:28 PM by cliffette »

Offline Kish

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #29 on: December 25, 2004, 09:35:59 PM »
No, the city opens when Ardulace dies.  The most virtuous thing for a PC to do, I would say, would be to kill her and then run from the city with the eggs...dealing with any drow who get in the way as necessary, and making sure to rescue the slaves and Dola Fadoon.  Because I do see one major difference--the drow started it (by allying with Irenicus and stealing Adalon's eggs).  The beholders didn't.

And if you'd support a Virtue drop for proceeding into the beholder city and wiping out the rest of the population once you've already killed the Elder Orb, that would be worth mentioning too, since Sim is currently arguing that there should be no penalty at all for killing all the beholders once you've confirmed they will attack you, whether you look like drow or not.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2004, 09:39:35 PM by Kish »
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Offline cliffette

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #30 on: December 25, 2004, 09:46:33 PM »
Ah. Okay. Then I see how killing Ardulace is less of a vice than killing the beholders. It does kill the gameplay opportunities though. :-/

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And if you'd support a Virtue drop for proceeding into the beholder city and wiping out the rest of the population once you've already killed the Elder Orb, that would be worth mentioning too,

That's my personal view - I try avoiding the rest of the beholders where possible, but I also get that if they attack you on sight, you have to defend yourself. (Valygar alert!) When you're in Umar Hills and the leopard attacks you, is it better to run or to defend yourself?

I don't know - I think my view is clouded by my own prejudice - all these creatures, drow, beholders, etc are evil. We're comparing shades of grey with other shades of grey. It's virtuous to allow a creature to live, but if the creature is evil, then does that make it more ok to kill it? When the Order made a raid upon the giants, were they being unvirtuous? Consistency is really hard to achieve, particularly when virtue is a subjective concept.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2004, 10:00:28 PM by cliffette »

Offline Kish

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #31 on: December 26, 2004, 02:19:52 AM »
consistency dictates that the Beholders are behaving evilly if they attack someone just for looking like a drow. And if something is evidently evil and attacking me, I don't expect to incur a hit for killing it.
There you've moved from, "behaving evilly" to "is evidently evil."  One of your unstated premises here appears to be, "Since the beholders do this thing that would cause the PC a Virtue drop, the Virtue mod holds that they are evil."  Incidentally, how does Solaufein, the non-evil drow who will attack you if he's still in Ust Natha and you turn Ust Natha hostile, fit into your calculations here?  He sure doesn't act any better than the beholders in that case; does the Virtue mod hold that he is evil even though we know he is not?

Soo...how big is that Virtue drop for attacking Saladrex, or Aerie the ogre?  If a PC with Virtue 20 does either one, where will the PC be after that?  If the PC will be evil, then you're consistent in that area.  If the PC will be neutral, then the premise I wrote above should state, instead, "Since the beholders do this thing that would cause the PC a Virtue drop, the Virtue mod holds that they are not good."  Is it still appropriate to depopulate the city?

Or will the PC be good even after the Virtue drop?  In that case, the premise should go, "Since the beholders do this thing that would cause the PC a Virtue drop, the Virtue mod holds that they are not paladins."

I'm curious; is there a Virtue shift for anything the PC can do in the sahaugin city?
It should be noted that the latter issue regarding the dream is a design decision in a DM-type role. My interpretation of the dreams differs from Kish's, and as of yet I haven't found the arguments compelling enough to indicate that one opinion is more valid.
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And it's not fair to assume the PC's motivations during Ardulace's quest.
But it...is fair to assume the PC's motivations during that dream?
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Offline SimDing0

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #32 on: December 26, 2004, 05:27:13 AM »
There you've moved from, "behaving evilly" to "is evidently evil."  One of your unstated premises here appears to be, "Since the beholders do this thing that would cause the PC a Virtue drop, the Virtue mod holds that they are evil."  Incidentally, how does Solaufein, the non-evil drow who will attack you if he's still in Ust Natha and you turn Ust Natha hostile, fit into your calculations here?  He sure doesn't act any better than the beholders in that case; does the Virtue mod hold that he is evil even though we know he is not?
With Solaufein, we have greater evidence to go on. There's nothing at all that the beholders do apart from attacking things, even taken out-of-game.

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Soo...how big is that Virtue drop for attacking Saladrex, or Aerie the ogre?  If a PC with Virtue 20 does either one, where will the PC be after that?  If the PC will be evil, then you're consistent in that area.  If the PC will be neutral, then the premise I wrote above should state, instead, "Since the beholders do this thing that would cause the PC a Virtue drop, the Virtue mod holds that they are not good."  Is it still appropriate to depopulate the city?
A Virtue drop for killing an innocent will take you down to neutral, I think. As for Saladrex or Aerie... I forgot to copy the coding over, so the Virtue drop is something laughable like 2 now, which I should probably change. :) Related questions include: Is killing Saladrex or Aerie the Ogre as evil as killing an Innocent?

Oh, and if Solaufein attacks you along with the rest of the drow, should there be a penalty for killing him?

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I'm curious; is there a Virtue shift for anything the PC can do in the sahaugin city?
I... can't remember. This is another good one, though, since you can't get through without destroying one faction, can you?

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But it...is fair to assume the PC's motivations during that dream?
I don't see what possible alternative motivation there can be for a PC to take the evil path when it's clear what's going to happen. "It's only a dream" doesn't carry much weight with me because it's been clear from BG1 that dreams tend to result in stuff happening in the real world.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2004, 05:29:30 AM by SimDing0 »

Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #33 on: December 26, 2004, 02:25:01 PM »
But how is the in-game player character supposed to know that the Beholders/Koa-Toa/Illithid don't speak his language? Depending on what quests he completed earlier in the game, he may well have never met a single representative of their race.

He also may well assume that since he can speak to the Drow and Sahuagin, he should be able to speak to other Underdark races as well.
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Offline Kish

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #34 on: December 26, 2004, 03:55:21 PM »
There you've moved from, "behaving evilly" to "is evidently evil."  One of your unstated premises here appears to be, "Since the beholders do this thing that would cause the PC a Virtue drop, the Virtue mod holds that they are evil."  Incidentally, how does Solaufein, the non-evil drow who will attack you if he's still in Ust Natha and you turn Ust Natha hostile, fit into your calculations here?  He sure doesn't act any better than the beholders in that case; does the Virtue mod hold that he is evil even though we know he is not?
With Solaufein, we have greater evidence to go on. There's nothing at all that the beholders do apart from attacking things, even taken out-of-game.
Since a PC doesn't get a chance to be disguised as a beholder and infiltrate their hive.  But what are the odds of at least one or two odd Solaufein-types being in the beholder city somewhere?  Looking at the numbers, I'd say it's a near-certainty.
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Soo...how big is that Virtue drop for attacking Saladrex, or Aerie the ogre?  If a PC with Virtue 20 does either one, where will the PC be after that?  If the PC will be evil, then you're consistent in that area.  If the PC will be neutral, then the premise I wrote above should state, instead, "Since the beholders do this thing that would cause the PC a Virtue drop, the Virtue mod holds that they are not good."  Is it still appropriate to depopulate the city?
A Virtue drop for killing an innocent will take you down to neutral, I think. As for Saladrex or Aerie... I forgot to copy the coding over, so the Virtue drop is something laughable like 2 now, which I should probably change. :) Related questions include: Is killing Saladrex or Aerie the Ogre as evil as killing an Innocent?
I'd certainly say so.  And--oh, what's the penalty for killing Vithal now?

That doesn't answer my question, though.  I would say that attacking a group of drow who come into your city while you're already fighting another group of drow and don't speak to you in a language you can understand bears no comparison to attacking a red dragon who you approach in his lair, who quickly speaks to you and establishes no desire to fight, and still less comparison to attacking an ogre who not only immediately expresses nonhostility, but does so in a voice that makes it clear something is weird here, and who couldn't possibly threaten a group of adventurers of your level even if she wasn't trustworthy.  But even assessing the beholders the highest Virtue penalty for their actions that you can possibly justify there, if killing Saladrex or Aerie the Ogre makes a good PC neutral, then beholders who attack anyone who looks like drow reinforcements for the war party they're already fighting might be evil or neutral--you, in character in that situation, don't know they're evil.  Is it still perfectly Good, in your view, to depopulate their city?
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Oh, and if Solaufein attacks you along with the rest of the drow, should there be a penalty for killing him?
Well, as far as you know in those circumstances he's evil.  If I was making this mod I'd still say that wiping out the whole city when you don't have to should carry a Virtue penalty...but that is evidently not your view, and would look grotesque put next to the lack of penalty for wiping out the beholders.

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I'm curious; is there a Virtue shift for anything the PC can do in the sahaugin city?
I... can't remember. This is another good one, though, since you can't get through without destroying one faction, can you?
You can't...and you can also wipe out both factions.

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But it...is fair to assume the PC's motivations during that dream?
I don't see what possible alternative motivation there can be for a PC to take the evil path when it's clear what's going to happen. "It's only a dream" doesn't carry much weight with me because it's been clear from BG1 that dreams tend to result in stuff happening in the real world.
So it's not about not wanting to assume the PC's motivations, but only wanting to assume them when the alternative possibility for the PC's motivations is something you find unconvincing?  Well, then there we stand, because, "You might think you're going to talk to a group you don't have a common language with and to whom you look like a known, brutal, and treacherous enemy" carries no weight with me at all.
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Offline SimDing0

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #35 on: December 26, 2004, 03:59:36 PM »
That doesn't answer my question, though.  I would say that attacking a group of drow who come into your city while you're already fighting another group of drow and don't speak to you in a language you can understand bears no comparison to attacking a red dragon who you approach in his lair, who quickly speaks to you and establishes no desire to fight, and still less comparison to attacking an ogre who not only immediately expresses nonhostility, but does so in a voice that makes it clear something is weird here, and who couldn't possibly threaten a group of adventurers of your level even if she wasn't trustworthy.  But even assessing the beholders the highest Virtue penalty for their actions that you can possibly justify there, if killing Saladrex or Aerie the Ogre makes a good PC neutral, than beholders who attack anyone who looks like drow reinforcements for the war party they're already fighting might be evil or neutral--you, in character in that situation, don't know they're evil.  Is it still perfectly Good, in your view, to depopulate their city?
As you know from chat, I wasn't aware that the Beholders were already fighting a war party. This clouds the issue somewhat, because it's less evident that they're both evil and hostile.
I've been thinking, however. Should a player who's read up on the Monster Manual (or Elminster's Compendium, if you want to be less tongue-in-cheek) and learned that Beholders and Illithids are evil be penalised for killing them? It seems to me that if they're documented as evil, I'm entitled to assume that they are unless anything proves otherwise.
While I remember, I'd also like to raise the issue of what should happen if you Detect Evil and all the beholders show up with red blobs.

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I'd certainly say so.  And--oh, what's the penalty for killing Vithal now?
Vithal is... the imprisoned mage? I forget what happens.

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You can't...and you can also wipe out both factions.
Should a Paladin be forced to fall to proceed?

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So it's not about not wanting to assume the PC's motivations, but only wanting to assume them when the alternative possibility for the PC's motivations is something you find unconvincing?  Well, then there we stand, because, "You might think you're going to talk to a group you don't have a common language with and to whom you look like a known, brutal, and treacherous enemy" carries no weight with me at all.
I'm saying that any PC who takes an option that kills a load of commoners in a dream which, as far as they know, is potentially going to affect the real world, isn't thinking about their actions. Motivation isn't significant here. Whether I want to use the power to blow kisses or destroy the world, the potential consequence is what I'm looking at.

Offline Kish

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #36 on: December 26, 2004, 06:04:02 PM »
That doesn't answer my question, though.  I would say that attacking a group of drow who come into your city while you're already fighting another group of drow and don't speak to you in a language you can understand bears no comparison to attacking a red dragon who you approach in his lair, who quickly speaks to you and establishes no desire to fight, and still less comparison to attacking an ogre who not only immediately expresses nonhostility, but does so in a voice that makes it clear something is weird here, and who couldn't possibly threaten a group of adventurers of your level even if she wasn't trustworthy.  But even assessing the beholders the highest Virtue penalty for their actions that you can possibly justify there, if killing Saladrex or Aerie the Ogre makes a good PC neutral, than beholders who attack anyone who looks like drow reinforcements for the war party they're already fighting might be evil or neutral--you, in character in that situation, don't know they're evil.  Is it still perfectly Good, in your view, to depopulate their city?
As you know from chat, I wasn't aware that the Beholders were already fighting a war party. This clouds the issue somewhat, because it's less evident that they're both evil and hostile.
I've been thinking, however. Should a player who's read up on the Monster Manual (or Elminster's Compendium, if you want to be less tongue-in-cheek) and learned that Beholders and Illithids are evil be penalised for killing them? It seems to me that if they're documented as evil, I'm entitled to assume that they are unless anything proves otherwise.
A character who read in a book that illithid and beholders and kuo-toa are all evil isn't wrong to kill them?  That has interesting consequences if applied to some real-world books.  Or to the indoctrination sessions drow get in which they learn that all non-drow are evil.
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While I remember, I'd also like to raise the issue of what should happen if you Detect Evil and all the beholders show up with red blobs.
Mostly, my response is contained here:
Quote from: Kish
If I was making this mod I'd still say that wiping out the whole [drow] city when you don't have to should carry a Virtue penalty...but that is evidently not your view, and would look grotesque put next to the lack of penalty for wiping out the beholders.
But I'd also like to mention that magical detection methods, like real-world polygraph tests, are unreliable.  Irenicus could have easily cast a Wish that would make everyone in the Underdark who would consider helping you glow red to Detect Evil; it would have been child's play for him.
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Vithal is... the imprisoned mage? I forget what happens.
He asks you for help dealing with the guardians of the three portals.  You battle a Greater Air Elemental, Greater Earth Elemental, and Greater Fire Elemental.  He traverses the planes and brings back treasure hidden there.  Afterward, he offers you the Rod of Absorption.  You can talk him into giving you more.  Afterward, you can demand he hand over still more.  He will refuse, telling you that, as he traversed the planes, he took the majority of the risk and is unwilling to reduce his own share of the treasure.  You can let him leave with more than half of the treasure, or you can kill him and take it all.
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Offline SimDing0

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #37 on: December 26, 2004, 07:02:16 PM »
A character who read in a book that illithid and beholders and kuo-toa are all evil isn't wrong to kill them?  That has interesting consequences if applied to some real-world books.  Or to the indoctrination sessions drow get in which they learn that all non-drow are evil.
I'm not convinced that a Drow who's killed an elf because he's been taught that they're evil and seen them behaving in evil/hostile ways should incur a Virtue hit. Is it really their fault that they've been given incorrect information throughout their lives?

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But I'd also like to mention that magical detection methods, like real-world polygraph tests, are unreliable.  Irenicus could have easily cast a Wish that would make everyone in the Underdark who would consider helping you glow red to Detect Evil; it would have been child's play for him.
This seems rather far-fetched as justification to me. I'm sure magical illusions can account for any number of weird circumstances in the game. In any case, even if it is an illusion, a Paladin who encounters some hostile Beholders that he's been warned are very evil, casts Detect Evil and finds that... guess what, it looks like they ARE as evil as everyone makes out, and kills them shouldn't really incur a Virtue hit.
Should Ajantis take a Virtue hit for attacking you?

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He asks you for help dealing with the guardians of the three portals.  You battle a Greater Air Elemental, Greater Earth Elemental, and Greater Fire Elemental.  He traverses the planes and brings back treasure hidden there.  Afterward, he offers you the Rod of Absorption.  You can talk him into giving you more.  Afterward, you can demand he hand over still more.  He will refuse, telling you that, as he traversed the planes, he took the majority of the risk and is unwilling to reduce his own share of the treasure.  You can let him leave with more than half of the treasure, or you can kill him and take it all.
Right, I'll add a penalty for killing him, if there isn't one already.

Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #38 on: December 26, 2004, 07:51:42 PM »
I think a person's intentions are what's important when considering virtue, not neccessary the reality of the situation. If someone kills a person or creature they believe in all their hearts to be evil but who actually isn't, the virtue drop should only occur if and when they find out that their victim wasn't evil.
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Offline Murdane

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #39 on: December 26, 2004, 10:31:14 PM »
By the way, in the MM, neither Beholders nor Ilithids are described as always evil (and neither are drow), and it is certainly possible for a mind flayer to be LN or TN, or in rare cases, NG.  The same is most likely true for beholders--like Kish said, they may be creepy looking but they are certainly sentinent beings who are on average just as intelligent as mind flayers, and more intelligent than drow.  So, just like drow, these creatures aren't born with one specific alignment.

It's true that most of these beings are evil, but the same exact statistics are true for drow.  I agree that it isn't necessarily any more evil to kill every drow in the city than to kill every ilithid and beholder in the Underdark.

Offline Kish

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #40 on: December 26, 2004, 11:49:20 PM »
Quote from: Kish
But I'd also like to mention that magical detection methods, like real-world polygraph tests, are unreliable.
This seems rather far-fetched as justification to me. I'm sure magical illusions can account for any number of weird circumstances in the game. In any case, even if it is an illusion, a Paladin who encounters some hostile Beholders that he's been warned are very evil, casts Detect Evil and finds that... guess what, it looks like they ARE as evil as everyone makes out, and kills them shouldn't really incur a Virtue hit.
Should Ajantis take a Virtue hit for attacking you?
But someone who goes to Rayic's house, casts Detect Evil near him, then kills him when he glows red still gets a Virtue hit.  Consistency?
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Offline SimDing0

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #41 on: December 27, 2004, 06:17:03 AM »
He's still not trying to disintegrate you. Plus, I'd have no problem shifting Rayic's alignment to Lawful Neutral or something, but since Oversight is what I rely on for my alignment codings, it's hardly my choice. :)

It's true that most of these beings are evil, but the same exact statistics are true for drow.  I agree that it isn't necessarily any more evil to kill every drow in the city than to kill every ilithid and beholder in the Underdark.
Right, but the point I'm making is that if evil is the norm, then I think when you encounter a load of creatures that are trying to use their magic ray weapons on you, the assumption you're going to make is that they're evil.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2004, 06:30:49 AM by SimDing0 »

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #42 on: December 27, 2004, 11:56:49 AM »
It's very rare that I ever explain my point perfectly when I make the mistake of posting in this sort of topic, but I figured I'd try it again. :)

As explained in chat either yesterday or the day before, Sim is apparently arguing that vigilanteism is evil, and--this seems contradictory--that people are innocent until proven guilty.

Rayic Gethras is evil.  A real-world corrupt police officer is evil.  If this man is an opponent of a criminal, who then hires a bounty hunter to kill said man, is the bounty hunter evil or not?  Neither the cop nor Gethras got a trial, or a chance to prove their innocence.

Then there's the city of beholders, and real-world examples won't work all that well, but anyways.  Stalin hires a group of adventurers (heheheh) to infiltrate Nazi Germany and assassinate a german officer (not SS, or anything totally evil like that), and bring his eyeball back, for the construction of a super eyeball tank.  The adventuring party agrees, on account of them trying to bring down the evil communist empire by returning the super eyeball tank plans to the British, who developed it in the first place.  Once they get to Germany, dressed as Russian soldiers, the Germans attack them, they depopulate the entire German city, and return to Stalin.  THEN when Stalin brings the plans for the super tank before his engineers, he gives them the wrong plans, because the adventuring party secretly swapped them!  The engineers become outraged and destroy Stalin, and then proceed to depopulate Russia.

So the first example is that vigilanteism is bad, and the second is that a person seemingly agreeing with Ardulace/Stalin may very well have pure motives at heart.  They're only words, after all.
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Offline Kish

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #43 on: December 27, 2004, 01:01:23 PM »
He's still not trying to disintegrate you. Plus, I'd have no problem shifting Rayic's alignment to Lawful Neutral or something, but since Oversight is what I rely on for my alignment codings, it's hardly my choice. :)
And I would have no trouble shifting the alignments of 10% or so of the beholders to some shade of Neutral, and one or two of them to some shade of Good.  The only reason Oversight doesn't do this is because they're all clones of the same .cre and I figured it would be more trouble than it's worth.  If we're going to argue based on "but they glow red, which justifies killing the monsters with all the eyes although it doesn't justify killing the man in the S.S. uniform," perhaps that was a mistake.

Where does glowing red fit into your examples, Jesse?  I mean, neither the bounty hunters who go to kill the corrupt police officer, nor the adventurers who go to infiltrate Nazi Germany, can detect evil.  Remember when you reply, I said that magical detection methods shouldn't be used to justify anything--but Sim thinks they should.  For the beholders.  And not for Rayic.

I'd say you've made your point perfectly well.  As long as you were agreeing with me, not Sim.  The group of adventurers in your example wiped out an entire German city, guilty and innocent alike, so that they could cut out the eye of a German officer who wasn't established as evil.  Then they did something that led to Stalin's death anyway.  Obviously, they should have just killed Stalin to begin with.

As for the other part of your example, if "vigilanteism is bad," there should be a Virtue hit for killing anyone it's possible to avoid killing.  Vongoethe?  Korgan?  Lehtinan?  Mae'Var?  Not one of the people you kill in the game gets a trial.  Vigilanteism is bad?  Vigilanteism is what adventurers do.  When Lord Jierdan's agents kidnap Garren Windspear's child, (remember, you don't know Lord Jierdan is a dragon at the time, you just think he's a corrupt nobleman) do you call 911 or do you break* into his house?  The fundamental premises of BG1 and BG2 both are about acts of vigilanteism--think about it: Seek out the Armored Figure to avenge Gorion's death, and rescue Imoen/kill Irenicus.

*Figuratively speaking.  Yes, I know the door isn't locked; no, that doesn't alter my point in the least.
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Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #44 on: December 27, 2004, 01:41:56 PM »
Beholders living in hives are always evil, without exception. If a beholder happened to born good or neutral (which I've no doubt does happen, though it would be an extremely rare event), it would undoubtedly be killed without question by the rest of the hive. Of course a good or neutral beholder could thereotically be born outside of a hive, but the chances of that are so remote there's most likely only one or two non-evil Beholders in the entire Forgotten Realms.

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The beholders are a hateful, aggressive and avaricious race, attacking or dominating other races, including other beholders and many of the beholder-kin. This is because of a xenophobic intolerance among beholders that causes them to hate all creatures not like themselves. The basic, beholder body-type (a sphere with a mouth and a central eye, eye-tipped tentacles) allows for a great variety of beholder subspecies. Some have obvious differences, there are those covered with overlapping chitin plates, and those with smooth hides, or snake-like eye tentacles, and some with crustacean-like joints. But something as small as a change in hide color or size of the central eye can make two groups of beholders sworn enemies. Every beholder declares its own unique body-form to be the "true ideal'' of beholderhood, the others being nothing but ugly copies, fit only to be eliminated.

Beholders will normally attack immediately. If confronted with a particular party there is a 50% chance they will listen to negotiations (bribery) before raining death upon their foes.

There is, however, a relative of beholders called spectators, which are always Lawful Neutral. They're said to be creations of the god Helm.

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Another relative of the beholder, the spectator is a guardian of places and treasures, and capable of limited planar travel. Once it is given a task, the spectator will watch for up to 101 years. It will allow no one to use, borrow, or examine an item or treasure, except the one who gave it its orders. The spectator has a large central eye and four smaller eye stalks protruding from the top of its hovering, spherical body.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2004, 01:49:27 PM by NiGHTMARE »
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Offline Kish

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #45 on: December 27, 2004, 02:04:19 PM »
Beholders living in hives are always evil, without exception.  If a beholder happened to born good or neutral (which I've no doubt does happen, though it would be an extremely rare event), it would undoubtedly be killed without question by the rest of the hive.  Of course a good or neutral beholder could thereotically be born outside of a hive, but the chances of that are so remote there's most likely only one or two non-evil Beholders in the entire Forgotten Realms. 
Annnnd where would that be from?  Since what you've quoted says much the same thing about beholders as the Monstrous Compendium entry on drow says about drow.
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Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #46 on: December 27, 2004, 02:17:32 PM »
It's from the Monster Manul. Sorry, forgot to say ;).

One difference you've got to remember is that drow are humanoids, and have thoughts and feelings which we as human are reasonably capable of understanding.  Beholders, on the other hand, are completely alien - and we therefore aren't understand the full extent of how their minds work.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2004, 02:20:05 PM by NiGHTMARE »
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Offline Kish

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #47 on: December 27, 2004, 02:22:33 PM »
Not where is your quote which makes beholders sound a lot like drow from--I've read that, too.  Your not-quoted extrapolation that every beholder in a hive, unlike every drow in a city for some mysterious unstated reason, is pure eeeeeeeevil...where is that from?  From a book, or from inside your head?
Quote
One difference you've got to remember is that drow are humanoids, and have thoughts and feelings which we as human are reasonably capable of understanding.  Beholders, on the other hand, are completely alien - and we therefore aren't understand the full extent of how their minds work.
Ah, yes, of course.  As I said some ways back--because drow look like us and beholders have eleven eyes, it's more okay to kill beholders than to kill drow.
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Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #48 on: December 27, 2004, 02:24:02 PM »
Quote
Not where is your quote which makes beholders sound a lot like drow from--I've read that, too. Your not-quoted extrapolation that every beholder in a hive, unlike every drow in a city for some mysterious unstated reason, is pure eeeeeeeevil...where is that from? From a book, or from inside your head?

If a slight difference in skin colour or eye size would make two Beholders sworn enemies, I rather thinking having a radicially different outlook on life would have far more serious consequences... So to answer your question, a logical assumption from my head based on words from a book.

As I already said, the reason a good or neutral beholder wouldn't exist in a hive is because the evil beholders would kill them. It's not exactly easy to hide a completely different moral code from every single person around you, especially as you would first need to learn that you had to hide the fact in order to survive.

Scenario: human enters hive, beholders kill said human within seconds. Beholder junior asks why they needed to kill the strange creature. Likely outcome of secenario: beholder junior joins human in death.

Quote
Ah, yes, of course. As I said some ways back--because drow look like us and beholders have eleven eyes, it's more okay to kill beholders than to kill drow.
Where did I say that was my point? Answer: I didn't, in any way, shape or form. This isn't the first time I've seen you accuse people of saying or thinking something that wasn't the case, and it isn't even the first time I've been the victim of it either...

Anyway, my point was simply that we can try to place ourselves in the role of Drow because they are somewhat like us... but doing the same for a Beholder isn't anywhere near as feasible. We cannot understand their motivations or methods because we're nothing like them. The same is true of Celestials and the Lawful Good gods, so would me saying that we can't fully emphasize with such beings mean I thought they were evil and deserving of death as well? No, of course it wouldn't.


« Last Edit: December 27, 2004, 02:40:38 PM by NiGHTMARE »
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Offline Andyr

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #49 on: December 27, 2004, 02:49:56 PM »
There was a supplement called something to do with Beholders that talked a lot about their society, I don't have it to hand but it is doubtless somewhere at Uni. ;)

I remember it saying essentially:

- Beholders show a great deal of differences as a race (size, pigmentation, shape etc).
- Beholders living together in hives tend to share very similar characteristics (the aforementioned size, pigmentation, shape etc).
- Each beholder believes itself to be the perfect representation of the Beholder ideal; I think this is something they are born with.
- Beholders consider all other races inferior to them and will tend to kill them or use them as slaves; and only rarely will they work with them. Note this applies to the illithid, kuo-toa and drow too. ;)
- Beholders will attack and destroy beholders who are different from them (in size, shape etc...) pretty much on site, believing them vile mutants who taint the beholder race.
- Beholders will even kill their young as soon as they hatch if they appear too different from their parents.
- In short, each beholder sees itself as perfect and will kill or enslave anything it deems inferior.

I would concur with NiGHT that a beholder who did not fit in idealogically with other members of the hive would have to leave very quickly... Though I do not know what might happen if one was to be alone essentially since birth. Examples of loner beholders include the Xanathar... This is a creature working with some Thieves' Guild in the Forgotten Realms. A bunch of them serve the Church of Bane, too. Anyway, uh, I'd think that pretty much every Beholder in a hive is Evil, and most of the outcasts/loners are too.

Spectators are LN, yeh, I am not sure of their origins but will try and find out if it was indeed the Church of Helm. I do not think they associate with other Beholders, in any case despite ingame graphical representations they are meant to be a lot smaller and weaker than true Beholders.

I don't know how official Gauths are or if they live with true beholders.

Eyeballkin beholders are (I think) LE; note these are not part of mainstream Beholder society but are bred by Evil spellcasters as familiars.

Death Kiss beholders were (again, this is from memory) bred by the Phaerimm to fight Beholders. I dunno if they live in hives, but again, they're Evil.

Death Tyrant beholders are CE undead creatures and serve their creators (mostly the Church of Bane, I think).

(I am not really making a point about Virtue, just Beholder ecology) :)

To try and make a Virtue-related point: If the PC knows anything about Beholders, then I do not think killing them should incur a Virtue hit. Especially when they are hostile from the outset.
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