Author Topic: SimKishCo  (Read 22322 times)

Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #50 on: December 27, 2004, 02:57:02 PM »
I never said they're always evil without exception, I said the evil ones would kill the non-evil ones.. backed up by strong evidence from the monster manual (see my point that they kill any beholder which isn't like themselves, which you conveniently ignored).
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Offline Kish

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #51 on: December 27, 2004, 02:59:23 PM »
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.
And that all applies to drow too.  Doesn't it?  Except, of course, for your assertion that beholder thought processes are alien in a way drow thought processes aren't...but you haven't supported that, either.
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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.
Not unless you said, "They're always evil without exception," beforehand, and then brought up this "nothing like us and we can't understand their motivations" stuff to support it.

Andyr--again, where is the big difference between beholders and drow?  What of what you've quoted isn't equalled by drow?
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Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #52 on: December 27, 2004, 03:02:17 PM »
A drow wouldn't kill another drow simply because the other drow happened to be slightly different from themselves. She would kill the other drow because the other drow had insulted or humiliated them or someone in their house, had committed blasphemy, or the death of the other drow would gain them power.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2004, 03:05:47 PM by NiGHTMARE »
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Offline Andyr

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #53 on: December 27, 2004, 03:25:56 PM »
Oh, most of it I guess would apply to drow too, though they're perhaps not as prone to random acts of war on other drow cities. I think drow are phyisologically less varied as a race than beholders. But yeh, the general argument about them being an Evil race is true. I don't think there should be a Virtue penalty for killing drow in the City.

Hmmm. Do Paladins have to swear not to kill the unarmed as part of their code? If so, perhaps killing the unarmed Drow (barkeep etc) could incur a Virtue hit.
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Offline Andyr

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #54 on: December 27, 2004, 03:33:49 PM »
Yeh, I guess so. In that case, uh... ignore me. ;)

For what it's worth, I remember reading that of the races mentioned the Kuo-Toa are the one with the highest proportion of nonevil members. I'd say there was a decent chance that at least some of the ones you meet would be Neutral-aligned.
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Offline Kish

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #55 on: December 27, 2004, 03:36:26 PM »
I'm sure the drow bartender is armed.  "Unarmed drow" is nearly a contradiction in terms.

You know, I thought about phrasing that question as "what doesn't apply to drow, aside from chitinous skin?"  :P

Drow do make war on other drow cities, and would do so more often if they weren't usually kept busy with each noble house making war on other noble houses.

Oops.  Sorry, Andyr.  This is posted below your reply because I was revising it when you posted.
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Offline Andyr

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #56 on: December 27, 2004, 03:52:42 PM »
Heh, wondered why the posts seemed swapped round.

Were you advocating a Virtue penalty for slaying the illithids (after they've captured you), for agreeing to, or not at all?
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Offline Kish

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #57 on: December 27, 2004, 04:04:13 PM »
I am advocating consistency.  Going after any Underdark denizens for Ardulace is morally equal to going after Rayic Gethras--perhaps a little worse, as Rayic is wearing evidence (if perhaps not conclusive evidence) of a choice to be evil.  There should be a Virtue penalty for both or neither.

I am not saying that there should be a Virtue penalty for wandering into the illithid city without knowing it's there and killing your way out, or for wandering into the beholder or kuo-toa areas and killing all the creatures there--whether I think any of these deserve a Virtue penalty is a separate issue; it's not inconsistent with Sim's handling of the rest of the game.  I'm also not saying anything about the hypothetical (and, as far as what actually happens in the game, impossible) situation where the PC wanders into Rayic's house without being sent there by Edwin.  Taking Ardulace's quest, however, is at least as evil as taking Edwin's quest to kill Rayic.
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Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #58 on: December 27, 2004, 04:21:09 PM »
Even if you know that Beholders, Illithid and Koa-Toa are almost always evil in nature, and that by refusing the quest you will probably be unable to retrieve the eggs of a Silver Dragon, a creature which is noble and good?
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Offline SimDing0

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #59 on: December 27, 2004, 05:23:50 PM »
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.
It's also a mistake not accounting for the monsters trying to disintegrate you. You're only taking half my argument. If someone is evil and attacking me on sight, whyever they're doing it, I wouldn't have much of a problem with killing them. If someone is evil but doing nothing (or asking me to get out), I'd certainly think twice.

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #60 on: December 27, 2004, 05:37:50 PM »
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.
Poor analogy. Maybe "wiped out an entire German army barracks who were trying to kill them".

Offline Murdane

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #61 on: December 28, 2004, 06:09:48 PM »

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.

You're right, but what I'm arguing against is the idea that it is somehow more evil (no matter what) to wipe out an entire drow city. Over the past few years, the drow as an entire race have grown more and more sympathetic (because of Drizzt and other characters, as well as the increased popularity of the race), and that's one reason why some people seem to believe that one should stay their hand when dealing with drow as opposed to most other evil races. That, and the simple fact that the drow are anthropomorphic whereas mind flayers and beholders are not.

If mind flayers or beholders had become super popular the way drow are, had been anthropomorphic, and had members of their race that were not only good but also iconic (as that term goes), would wiping out a whole city of them be considered more evil than it is now, out of fear that your PC might unknowingly kill a non-violent LN mind flayer or a LG beholder who dreams of being a paladin? It's important to remember that before the drow became so popular, they were thought of as a monstrous race, and the thought of one of them fighting for goodness and right was almost unthinkable. Now, who blinks an eye when they come across a LG drow paladin? So my point is, what makes mind flayers and beholders so much more monstrous and rapacious and unsympathic than drow? Our fickle perceptions of them...

Offline SimDing0

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #62 on: December 28, 2004, 06:12:22 PM »
Oh. Well I'm not in favour of a Virtue drop for clearing out the Drow city if they all turn hostile either.

Offline Murdane

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #63 on: December 28, 2004, 06:19:52 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.

But like I said, there was once a time when good drow were almost unthinkable, as well.  I admit I don't have an exact quote, and I dislike speaking for other people, but I believe RAS originally intended for Drizzt Do'Urden to be the only good drow in all of Faerun, and wasn't overly happy about an entire faith based around good drow (ie. Eilistraee).  And in the earlier books, the way RAS wrote Drizzt seemed to suggest that the author himself believed that Drizzt might well have been the only good drow in the world, or--at the very least--an extremely rare example.  Even in the newer books, Drizzt has yet to stumble upon a conclave chock-full of good drow that share his own ideals.

Offline Murdane

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #64 on: December 28, 2004, 06:30:33 PM »
[

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.


The drow similarly will kill other drow they perceive as weak (as in "too good or gentle"). Drizzt had to do exactly the very things you mentioned a beholder would have to do, and he survived for a few decades inside Menzoberrazan before he eventually had to leave.

So if the drow have no qualms about killing other drow whom they believe are too good, why should anyone assume there are good drow inside a city, while at the same time assuming that there are only evil beholders or mind flayers in their own respective cities?

PS: Drizzt was also almost killed at birth because of his lavender eyes.  I recall that his family thought he might have been born blind, and if that was the case he would have been dead.  So there you go: drow will not necessarily be merciful to another drow who is different from themselves...
« Last Edit: December 28, 2004, 06:36:07 PM by Murdane »

Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #65 on: December 28, 2004, 06:57:18 PM »
As you said, the drow would kill another drow because they percieved it as weak... but beholders would kill another beholder simply it was slightly different (and that difference could easily be something which is actually an advantage, such as the ability to cast Time Stop or Meteor Swarm from one of it's eye stalks).

If a matron mother started committing charitable acts, her house would rebel against her because she was blaspheming against their god and showing a weakness of character, not simply because she was acting differently than the norm. Every drow in a single city has personaliy which is distinctive from every other drow, whereas in a beholder hive even a trained psychiatrist would be hard pressed to tell any two individuals apart (besides the hive mother and other elders).

Also, drow are a "natural" race, whereas beholders are said to be born of evil gods (in the Forgotten Realms, this would be Bane).

BTW I'm pretty sure that Elistrae was around long before the first Drizzt novel...
« Last Edit: December 28, 2004, 07:07:28 PM by NiGHTMARE »
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Offline Murdane

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #66 on: December 28, 2004, 07:11:29 PM »
As you said, the drow would kill another drow because they percieved it as weak... but beholders would kill another beholder simply it was slightly different (and that difference could easily be something which is actually an advantage, such as the ability to cast Time Stop or Meteor Swarm from one of it's eye stalks).

If a matron mother started committing charitable acts, her house would rebel against her because she was blaspheming against their god and showing a weakness of character, not simply because she was acting differently than the norm. Every drow in a single city has personaliy which is distinctive from every other drow, whereas in a beholder hive even a trained psychiatrist would be hard pressed to tell any two individuals apart (besides the hive mother and other elders).

Also, drow are a "natural" race, whereas beholders are said to be born of evil gods (in the Forgotten Realms, this would be Bane).

BTW I'm pretty sure that Elistrae was around long before the first Drizzt novel...

I'm *not* so sure about that, myself. Remember that Qilue (the Chosen of Mystra who worships the drow goddess) was created long after the other six were, I believe by Steven Schend. I don't know the date of this, though. The first Drizzt novel came out in 1988.

Weren't the elves created by Corellon, anyway? And I do believe the reason drow are the way they are is because they were cursed by Corellon--that, and they fervently follow an evil goddess. So why is there such a huge difference between this heritage, and the heritage of a race created by evil gods? ???  I still don't see why beholders are arbitrarily more evil than drow.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2004, 07:13:21 PM by Murdane »

Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #67 on: December 28, 2004, 07:59:16 PM »
I'd imagine that it would be far easier to turn from the path laid before you by a non-creator god, than it is to turn from the path a god created your entire species to follow. In other words, it's a case of religious doctrine vs. the very nature of the species.

As you yourself pointed out, Drow were not always evil. I'm not sure what the typical alignment of drow was before Lloth's betrayal, but at worst it was most likely chaotic neutral. Beholder's, on the other hand, have always been evil, and were intended to be evil when they were first created.

In the real world, human beings are capable of having differing beliefs than those who raised them, but we're obviously incapable of experiencing emotions and using abilities that our bodies are physically incapable of - indeed, I doubt most people could even comprehend an emotion they could never experience, or an ability they lack ("seeing" in sonar, for example). For a beholder to be good, it would need to be a mutant... and in a race which detests even the slightest of differences, it would need to be one of the fastest learners and finest actors ever born to survive for very long.

So what exactly are the chances of an individual which is a mutant, an extremely fast learner, and an exceptionally fine actor? Infintesimally small... though not impossible. Perhaps one in every ten generations or so, in the entire world?
« Last Edit: December 28, 2004, 08:03:29 PM by NiGHTMARE »
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Offline Kish

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #68 on: December 28, 2004, 10:58:54 PM »
Even if you know that Beholders, Illithid and Koa-Toa are almost always evil in nature, and that by refusing the quest you will probably be unable to retrieve the eggs of a Silver Dragon, a creature which is noble and good?
Yes, even if you "know" that judging the morality of intelligent creatures by their species is ethically viable instead of reprehensible, and that you're more likely to retrieve the eggs unharmed by running errands for Ardulace than by walking down the hallway, killing the egg guards, and grabbing the eggs.  Maybe especially if you "know" that.
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Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #69 on: December 29, 2004, 05:24:30 AM »
The main problem is that you're trying to apply real world ethics to a fantasy setting where no-one (or at least very few people) actually shares those beliefs. Virtue isn't about what we consider virtuous, it's about what people in the Forgotten Realms consider virtuous. In that setting, monsters are monsters, and any "good" representative of that race is a freak of nature, and are so rare that none have ever been recorded in the history books.

There are good Drow in the world - the player character has probably already met Drizzt, and if not he's most likely heard of him.  He's probably heard of Qilue and the goddess Eilistraee, too. The player, on the other hand, will have never heard of a good beholder, illithid or koa-toa - simply because they're thousands of times rarer than good drow (otherwise, why haven't we heard of any?)

So the PC will aprobably know that drow can be good, but all he'll know of beholders, illithd and koa-toa - if anything - is that they're monstrous inhabitants of the Undardark, and perhaps some of their customs and habits (none of which are exactly pleasant). So to the PC, those drow door guards could very well be good people - but the beholders, illithd and koa-toa are monsters. If he's already met the illithid under Athkatla, he'll have all the more reason to want to attack them.

I suppose next you'll be arguing that quite a few demons and devils sponsor orphans and keep cute fluffy kittens as pets too? And that the "supposedly evil" gods like Shar and Bane arent that bad when it comes down to it..
« Last Edit: December 29, 2004, 05:36:32 AM by NiGHTMARE »
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Offline Kish

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #70 on: December 29, 2004, 12:29:30 PM »
The main problem is that you're trying to apply real world ethics to a fantasy setting where no-one (or at least very few people) actually shares those beliefs. Virtue isn't about what we consider virtuous, it's about what people in the Forgotten Realms consider virtuous.
Ah ah.  Reputation is about what people consider Virtuous.  Virtue is supposed to be about what is virtuous.  If Sim agrees with you and only means it to reflect what Realms people believe to be virtuous, then he fundamentally misunderstood what I was suggesting, and thus it shouldn't be so surprising that the mod he produced doesn't have my recommendation.
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will have never heard of a good beholder, illithid or koa-toa - simply because they're thousands of times rarer than good drow (otherwise, why haven't we heard of any?)
We haven't?  Murdane talked about good and neutral illithid, Andyr about good and neutral kuo-toa, but I guess you didn't read those posts.  Drow, rather than the other races, get written about, to the extent that people make jokes like, "Now the whole species consists of nothing but Chaotic Good rebels, yearning to throw off the reputation of their evil kin (who don't really exist)"--because drow are sexier than spheres of eyeballs, fish-people, or squid-people.
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Offline Andyr

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #71 on: December 29, 2004, 01:01:20 PM »
I would be cautious about the PC having assumed knowledge of famous Realms NPCs. :)

It is true that you have met Elminster and may have met Drizzt, but not others like Qilue... For example, in the novels I am reading at the moment Wulfgar manages not to be recognised by many people when he's out and about, and Artemis Entreri mentioning the name Drizzt to the Calimport halfling thieves' guild leader gets an effective reply of 'who'?

Likewise, I do not think that all PCs would have knowledge about the deities. Certainly those like Azuth, Mystram Oghma, Gond and Deneir from time in Candlekeep, and probably those common in towns and followed by NPCs by association (Helm, Lathander, Shar etc). But a minor deity such as Eiliastree... maybe not.
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Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #72 on: December 29, 2004, 01:19:45 PM »
But who in the Forgotten Realms decides what's virtuous or not? Ao most likely, and I doubt he'd consider someone slaying creatures which that person believes with all their heart to be evil to be non-virtuous.

People in this thread may have talked about non-evil Illithid and Kuo-Toa, but I've never once seen them mentioned in any official D&D material, and definitely not in-game.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2004, 05:04:18 PM by NiGHTMARE »
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Offline Andyr

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #73 on: December 29, 2004, 01:35:04 PM »
I think the sourcebooks say a minority of Kuo-Toa are Neutral; and some of their Prestige Classes in 3E allow Neutral as an alignment prerequisite.

About what is virtuous, it has also occured to me that characters in Salvatore's novels (Drizzt and associates) frequently go and kill Evil creatures (giants, etc) after tracking them, without prior evidence they have/will done anything wrong.
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Offline Murdane

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #74 on: December 29, 2004, 02:43:50 PM »
I'd imagine that it would be far easier to turn from the path laid before you by a non-creator god, than it is to turn from the path a god created your entire species to follow. In other words, it's a case of religious doctrine vs. the very nature of the species.

The point I was trying to make, though, is that the history of the drow race is just as laden with magic and evil and divine intercession as the beholder race is, if not more so.  If that's "natural", well, I suppose it would be helpful to agree on what the definition of "natural" is.

Like the drow, neither the ilithids nor the beholders are born with an alignment, or else ilithids would be always Lawful Evil rather than usually Lawful Evil, and beholders would be the same way--always Lawful Evil.  They are not, however, which means that beholders aren't born with a specific alignment (like dragons), so I disagree that a good beholder or ilithid would have to be a mutant to be good.

Besides, like I said before there was once a time when the idea of a good drow was almost unthinkable.  As I see it, the only reason why good drow are so much more conceivable is because our perceptions of them have changed, and drow heroes have--as a result--become more and more believable.

 

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