Author Topic: SimKishCo  (Read 23678 times)

Offline Murdane

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #75 on: December 29, 2004, 02:53:49 PM »


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?)


My guess is because there isn't as much of an impetus to write about them.  The drow have become very popular, and WotC wants the book department to publish novels that will be popular and sell.  The drow sell.  And yes, that's partly because of their sexiness (as Kish pointed out).  Beholders and Illithids just aren't as sexy, and people do prefer protagonists who are conventionally attractive.

But just because there aren't any novels starring an illithid or a beholder hero doesn't mean they can't exist.  Heck, in the Book of Exalted Deeds there is even a LG Mind Flayer monk as an example of a redeemed villain.  So who says we haven't heard of any?

Also, there is nothing to prevent a PC from hating or mistrusting drow.  He or she can even hate and/or mistrust Drizzt; it's not like Drizzt is a Realms-wide celebrity and is absolutely welcomed and trusted everywhere.  Even Silverymoon lets him in secretly because drow aren't welcome there (in a city famous for it's tolerance).  Finally, the religion of Eilistraee is far from being well known and understood.  Many people think it's just another drow trick, and even the devotees of Eilistraee aren't quick to trust drow--good drow are aware that most of their kind is evil and devious and wouldn't have a qualm about taking advantage of them.

Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #76 on: December 29, 2004, 05:02:09 PM »
The fact that a certain percentage of members of a typically Evil race (such as Beholders) might be of non-Evil alignment does not necessarily mean that killing those members would be nonvirtuous. If the race is, by all accounts, known to have a vast majority of Evil representatives, then charging into a Beholder lair and killing the lot of them is about as dishororable as executing a murderer and thus dooming his intestinal bacteria (who are presumably True Neutral) to certain death as well. If the Gauth you just killed happens to have been Chaotic Good, then oops, okay, honest mistake, but how the heck were you supposed to have known? If the Gauth didn't want to be killed by Good-aligned people, he shouldn't have been hanging out with (and fighting alongside) Evil-aligned people.

By the time the PC reaches the Underdark, let's say they have an 90% chance of already having met the Spectator Beholder (Lawful Neutral), and a 65% chance of progressing far enough into the Unseeing Eye plot to learn that a Beholder(s) is behind it all. Therefore, the PC, regardless of class, alignment, or other in-game knowledge (such as Good Drow or the various pantheons) pretty much knows the following things:
1) Most Beholders are Evil, actively take part in plots to kill and maim innocents, and always attack the party on sight.
2) Some few Beholders are non-Evil--these few do not attack unless attacked themselves.

So, in the event that the party wanders into the Southern Tunnels at random, they will be immediately attacked by the two Beholders there, and defend themselves. They will then send out their Thief and learn that they are in a lair full of Beholders, who are clasically Evil, a judgement which is further supported that they are already Hostile, in keeping with the Beholderkin of the Unseeing Eye. This can be backed up by a Detect Evil, if the party contains a Paladin. As the Thief does not spot any non-Hostile Beholders (in keeping with the Spectator), the party is perfectly within their rights to (correctly) presume that slaying the lot of them would be a terrific blow for the force of righteousness. I defy anyone to give an example of a righteous action that is at the same time nonvirtuous.

In the event that the party intentionally enters the Southern Tunnels at Ardulace's suggestion, the only difference is that the party has the foreknowledge to presuppose the alignment of their targets. I fail to see what is so morally reprehensible about saying, "Ah, we could go kill some evil monsters! Okay, let's go." The fact that you're doing the bidding of someone Evil is irrelevant to the fact that you are performing a Good deed. And if you happen to kill a Good-aligned Beholder or two because they tried to bite your head off, that hardly shows a faulty ethical structure on your part.

The Virtue hit, if any, should come when you hand the blood (of whatever race) over to the Matron Mother, because you know that she will use it to summon a powerful Demon to the Prime Material, with the intent of using it as a weapon against the Good Elves.

I am opposed to any changes in Virtue, good or bad, that result simply from killing things. Killing the residents of the Souther Tunnels is no more nonvirtuous than killing the Fallen Paladins is virtuous--in both cases, your actions do not show any strong moral leanings one way or another. (I'm aware that the Fallen Paladin quest currently gives a Virtue bonus. I disagree with this.) In contrast, wiping out the Lair of the Unseeing Eye does deserve a Virtue bonus, because it shows mercy for those who are weak-minded where religion is concerned, which is essentially the same as protecting those who are weak-armed where Trolls are concerned.

Offline Murdane

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #77 on: December 29, 2004, 07:52:23 PM »
I think you are missing my point. I am not arguing, necessarily, that killing beholders should deserve a viture hit, I'm arguing that killing beholders and/or mind flayers isn't somehow less evil than killing drow (which, apparently, some people believe, for reasons I already mentioned in previous posts). Weren't some people troubled by the idea that "You might kill Soloufein and that wouldn't be fair!"...?

Besides, what exactly do you mean by "righteous"? Some people believe that killing any evil creature is in itself a good act (I believe the BoED seems to believe this), but not everyone does...myself included. Is it really "righteous" to kill a creature who isn't bothering anyone and isn't commiting any evil acts, just because they glow red when you cast detect evil?
« Last Edit: December 29, 2004, 07:57:18 PM by Murdane »

Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #78 on: December 30, 2004, 12:44:17 AM »
I think you are missing my point. I am not arguing, necessarily, that killing beholders should deserve a viture hit, I'm arguing that killing beholders and/or mind flayers isn't somehow less evil than killing drow (which, apparently, some people believe, for reasons I already mentioned in previous posts). Weren't some people troubled by the idea that "You might kill Soloufein and that wouldn't be fair!"...?
Sorry, I was kinda replying to the whole thread all at once. True, cleaning out each of the peripheral Underdark maps is just as 'virtuous' as any other, with the only possible exception being the Kou-Toa, since they have the highest probability of other alignments (and, coincidentally, a very high rate of insanity). Apart from that detail, all 4 civilizations are essentially equal, in terms of the morality of killing all members who are hostile to generally-Good adventurers.

So you might kill Solaufein, so what? In a city full of Evil Drow who are going for your jugular, killing a lone guy who happens to be Chaotic Good is every bit as justifiable as killing the guy who collects Halfling skulls. If Sola doesn't declare himself as being a noncombatant in some way, he deserves everything he gets.

Now, the counterargument to that is, obviously, that these people (in all 4 cases) are defending their homes. But honestly, if any member(s) of any of these races suddenly found themselves Dimension Doored into the streets of Athkatla, do you really think they would show mercy to those who were just 'defending their homes?'

And if you're going to take the view that wiping out almost the entire species (which you pretty much have to do if you're doing Ardulace's quest) must certainly be overkill, especially in the case of the Kou-Toa, I reply that you actually don't clear out the whole place: You can't, because it's not on the map. This argument goes into metalogic somewhat, so hold on. We know that what we see of Ust Natha is not the entire place: What, the entire population of a thriving Drow city fits into two noble houses, two Fighter societies, a tavern, a church and somebody's house? Where are their kids? Their workplaces? Their homes, their food, for Pete's sake? No, there has to be more to Ust Natha. This is shown even more clearly in the Svirfneblin settlement: You know the crevasse that you have to cross over to get into the town? Take a good look at it. What do you see? Windows.... going down, many stories down. What we see of the Svirfneblin is literally only the tip of the iceberg.
Now, if BioWare had been completely anal and made maps for the rest of Ust Natha and the other 3 Underdark races, we might have seen rooms where the non-combatants would go. Whether those might be Drow children, insane Kou-Toa bibbling to themselves in a corner, Lawful Good Illithid Monks, or Chaotic Neutral Beholders struggling to overcome the negative stigma imposed by humanoid society, these creatures are the only ones that it would not be virtuous to kill.
On the battlefield, morality takes second place to the fact that you're fighting for your life. The only time virtue comes into play is when the object in question is not a strictly military target.

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Besides, what exactly do you mean by "righteous"? Some people believe that killing any evil creature is in itself a good act (I believe the BoED seems to believe this), but not everyone does...myself included. Is it really "righteous" to kill a creature who isn't bothering anyone and isn't commiting any evil acts, just because they glow red when you cast detect evil?
My definition of 'righteous' is "any action that involves intentionally taking suffering and hardship onto one's own shoulders, so that the innocent (those who live and let live, and do unto others as they'd have done unto them) will not have to."
The simple fact that a creature is Evil is not enough to justify killing it. When's the last time you heard of anybody whacking Joluv, even if they didn't want his gear? No, actual Evil deeds are a prerequisite. Thankfully, the game provides lots of them: The occupants of the Guarded Compound head the Athkatla slave trade. The Twisted Rune want to kill you simply for blundering into their headquarters. Mekrath populates his lair with traditionally Evil beings who attack you on sight, and (in his own little way) promotes slavery and mind control. Etc.

But I don't understand your trying to paint the inhabitants of the Underdark as "not bothering anyone or committing evil acts." Let's take a look here: The Drow are staging a raid into the Beholder Hive and have penetrated deep into the Kou-Toa caverns. The Illithid are also at war with the Beholders, and have captured a Handmaiden's daughter and slaughter her guards. The Beholders are spying on the Drow and are....present (for what purpose is unknown) in the Kou-Toa tunnels, and the Kou-Toa have presumably sent a war party against the Illithids. I'd hardly call all that "not bothering anyone." And let's not overlook the fact that the Drow are trying to reopen a path to the surface and make open war upon the Good-aligned surface Elves. And that's if there's no real connection between the Underdark Beholders and Illithids, and their counterparts busily working to destroy the entire city of Athkatla.

Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #79 on: December 30, 2004, 06:24:58 AM »
I'd say both the Unseeing Eye and the Athkatlan Illithd are working to take over the city rather than destroy it.
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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #80 on: December 30, 2004, 03:30:48 PM »
I agree with SixOfSpades here. :)

Offline Murdane

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #81 on: December 30, 2004, 05:36:51 PM »
So you might kill Solaufein, so what? In a city full of Evil Drow who are going for your jugular, killing a lone guy who happens to be Chaotic Good is every bit as justifiable as killing the guy who collects Halfling skulls. If Sola doesn't declare himself as being a noncombatant in some way, he deserves everything he gets.

By the way, Soloufein as coded in the game isn't Chaotic Good, he's Lawful Neutral. :)

I also agree with you that the maps of a lot of places don't show you the entire settlement--there is most likely more to Ust Natha and Trademeet and Athkatla and the City-of-Caverns and other places than just what you can see in the game.

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But I don't understand your trying to paint the inhabitants of the Underdark as "not bothering anyone or committing evil acts." Let's take a look here: The Drow are staging a raid into the Beholder Hive and have penetrated deep into the Kou-Toa caverns. The Illithid are also at war with the Beholders, and have captured a Handmaiden's daughter and slaughter her guards. The Beholders are spying on the Drow and are....present (for what purpose is unknown) in the Kou-Toa tunnels, and the Kou-Toa have presumably sent a war party against the Illithids. I'd hardly call all that "not bothering anyone."

Most of what you mentioned, you wouldn't know without actually going into the homes of these creatures. So using these reasons as an excuse to attack is meta-gaming. You wouldn't know about the deeds you mentioned until after blundering into their caverns, presumably with the intent to attack them (ie. you attacked first).

Besides, how do you know the Beholders in Athkatla are the same ones from a part of the Underdark under the ocean? That's quite a big assumption to make. Same goes for the illithid under the city...

PS: You took a generalistic statement I made entirely out of context, anyway. ::)  It wasn't being applied to the denizens of the Underdark, necessarily, but to beings like Rayic and Saladrex.  You should be more careful when you quote other people.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2004, 05:45:18 PM by Murdane »

Offline Murdane

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #82 on: December 30, 2004, 05:46:57 PM »
I agree with SixOfSpades here. :)

Even with the quote that was taken out of context, and using knowledge the PC wouldn't have to enter the homes of other creatures with an intent to attack?

Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #83 on: December 31, 2004, 04:58:21 AM »
Even with the quote that was taken out of context, and using knowledge the PC wouldn't have to enter the homes of other creatures with an intent to attack?
Boy, willing to go to any lengths to try to take a cheap shot, huh?

Ahem. The post of yours that I took the quote from mentions, as its only operative nouns, Beholders, Mind Flayers, Drow, Solaufein, and Evil creatures in general. In reply to this quote, I spoke of Drow, Illithids, Beholders, and Kou-Toa. And yet you say I'm 'quoting you out of context' because you were actually talking about Saladrex and Rayic Gethras. If you were correct in accusing me of a logical fault, I would apologize.

Since when does any resident of the Forgotten Realms need to walk into a city full of Underdark critters to know that they're Evil and constantly at war with each other? This stuff is common knowledge for anyone with even the slightest bit of interest in the subject--crack open a History of the Drow sometime. Metagaming, my foot.

Offline rreinier

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #84 on: January 02, 2005, 06:23:00 AM »
Most of what you mentioned, you wouldn't know without actually going into the homes of these creatures. So using these reasons as an excuse to attack is meta-gaming. You wouldn't know about the deeds you mentioned until after blundering into their caverns, presumably with the intent to attack them (ie. you attacked first).
Not really. If you accept Imrae's quest, you stumble upon not only the Illithid that captured Phaere, but also upon a Kuo-Toa war party deep in foreign territory, attacking you on sight. Attacking the Kuo-Toa leads you to a group of Beholders far out of their own homes, on apparently hostile ground. In the Beholder Lair, you stumble upon a group of drow attacking a lone Beholder and a group of Illithid attacking the Beholders in their own home.

If you then assail the Illithid and Drow cities, you would have good reason for each of the four "mass murders".

Also, I find it odd that a PC who studied in Candlekeep for the first 20 years of his life would not know about the combatant nature of these four races...

Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #85 on: January 02, 2005, 07:18:07 AM »
Maybe "Inhabitants of the Underdark 101" wasn't on his syllabus? :P
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Offline Murdane

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #86 on: January 02, 2005, 03:32:28 PM »
Not really. If you accept Imrae's quest, you stumble upon not only the Illithid that captured Phaere, but also upon a Kuo-Toa war party deep in foreign territory, attacking you on sight. Attacking the Kuo-Toa leads you to a group of Beholders far out of their own homes, on apparently hostile ground. In the Beholder Lair, you stumble upon a group of drow attacking a lone Beholder and a group of Illithid attacking the Beholders in their own home.

If you then assail the Illithid and Drow cities, you would have good reason for each of the four "mass murders".

Also, I find it odd that a PC who studied in Candlekeep for the first 20 years of his life would not know about the combatant nature of these four races...

I'm disputing the idea that you have the right to kill these creatures simply because they are hostile to each other and warlike (couldn't you then decide to just let them destroy each other, anyway?).

Besides, you only see the drow war party in the Beholder lair if you actually trapse quite a way into it. If you go to the Beholder lair to get the eyeball for Ardulace, you can simply kill the elder Orb right at the entrance and then leave--then is no real reason for you to ever return there, except to kill every creature within and/or take the treasure the beholders are guarding. Neither of those things is an especially good act, unless it really is true that killing an evilly aligned creature is in itself an act of goodness.

PS: Are you even sure that the Beholders in the Kua-toa lair are even there with a hostile purpose?  Every time I've played the game, I've never seen them attacking any Kua-toa at all. 
« Last Edit: January 02, 2005, 03:35:02 PM by Murdane »

Offline rreinier

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #87 on: January 03, 2005, 05:34:00 AM »
Killing an evil creature that attacks you on sight may not be an act of goodness, but it certainly isn't evil either. Perhaps if the Elder Orb at the entrance had politely asked you to vacate their humble abode since it was not an edifice of commerce, things might have been different. However, the fact that she Mazes you and Disintegrates your party members is, to me, a good reason to fight back.

After that, we only have to go down one corridor to find the Drow war party, and down one other to find the Illithids.

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PS: Are you even sure that the Beholders in the Kua-toa lair are even there with a hostile purpose?  Every time I've played the game, I've never seen them attacking any Kua-toa at all. 
Valid point. They do have a hostile purpose towards me each time I'm there, though...

Offline Murdane

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #88 on: January 03, 2005, 03:50:46 PM »
Killing an evil creature that attacks you on sight may not be an act of goodness, but it certainly isn't evil either. Perhaps if the Elder Orb at the entrance had politely asked you to vacate their humble abode since it was not an edifice of commerce, things might have been different. However, the fact that she Mazes you and Disintegrates your party members is, to me, a good reason to fight back.

Didn't say it was evil.  As for them attacking you on sight; well, it makes sense, because you are walking into their sanctuary. :)  That's kind of what I've been trying to say.  I believe Kish mentioned this before, but it's kind of like if some evil wizard (such as Irenicus) wants to take a part of you for his own purposes--any PC in his right mind is going to fight back.  It's perfectly valid, I would agree, to argue that there isn't such a huge difference between that example and killing an Elder Orb for your own purposes (and by extension, Ardulace's).  I agree that agreeing to help Ardulace is not in itself an act of good, and it may even be evil.

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After that, we only have to go down one corridor to find the Drow war party, and down one other to find the Illithids.

True, but the point is there is really no reason to even go that far unless you either want to kill all the creatures therein, or steal whatever treasure they have. 

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Valid point. They do have a hostile purpose towards me each time I'm there, though...

But what I'm asking is, are they there with a hostile purpose towards each other?... :)

And even if they are, is that a good reason to simply slaughter them all?  If the PC is killing them for being hostile and warlike (instead of getting along happily), doesn't that by extension make the PC rather warlike himself?  Maybe the PC does have good intentions, but again, it wouldn't be far from the truth at all to describe such a person as "bloodthristy" because of the methods they are using.

Offline belboz

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #89 on: January 03, 2005, 04:30:37 PM »
Besides, what exactly do you mean by "righteous"? Some people believe that killing any evil creature is in itself a good act (I believe the BoED seems to believe this), but not everyone does...myself included. Is it really "righteous" to kill a creature who isn't bothering anyone and isn't commiting any evil acts, just because they glow red when you cast detect evil?

I think I agree with a lot of what you've said in this thread, but I'm not entirely sure this question is as simple as you think.

It's a bit tricky for us (here in the real world) to apply our intuitions to the case, because we have no equivalent of a "detect evil" spell. Here in the real world, there is fundamentally no way to judge someone's character except by their actions, so we would never want to punish someone who hadn't actually *done* something wrong.

If someone glows red in response to a "detect evil" spell, it means that they're...well...*evil*. If they aren't bothering anyone, it's just because they haven't figured out a way to turn such bothering to their advantage yet, or haven't seen an opportunity to get away with it, or something of the sort. If they were really content to just live and let live, they'd be neutral, not evil. An evil alignment is supposed to *mean* something--it's not just a disturbance in your astral aura or suchlike; it means you're a genuinely bad person who would do bad things if you could get away with it and found it advantageous.

So if the beholders glow red (which I think they do) in response to "detect evil", it means one of two things:

1. It's a bug (like the major domo, I presume) which would ideally be fixed (as the major domo is by Oversight).
2. They're really genuinely awful creatures, who probably *would* murder you, even if they ran into you outside their lair, so long as you had something they wanted and/or a toothsome flavor, and so long as they didn't think you could beat them, or summon aid to beat them.

(And yes, I know this doesn't really match Bioware's implementation of, say, Viconia. But I always thought that was a problem--Viconia should be coded as true neutral, not NE. Korgan and (unredeemed) Sarevok, and especially Valen...now *those* are evil NPCs.)

Offline Murdane

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #90 on: January 03, 2005, 04:42:51 PM »
All good points, and I'm not denying them, but again it comes down to the question of whether or not is a good act to make a pre-emptive strike against someone simply because they are evil. Even evil people (and creatures) can have neutral tendencies (like Viconia, who says at one point that she wanted to live in peace), and upon thumbing through a lot of sourcebooks, there are a fair number of evil NPCs who probably will do bad things but otherwise seem to live fairly normal lives...there are evil people who are also mothers, fathers, storekeepers, council members, etc. I'm not saying that mind flayers and beholders are going to be this way, but I tend to argue things on principle. If I read a story about an ostensibly good person who assassinated another person because he or she cast a spell and found that person's heart was "evil", I'd probably feel more disappointed than happy.

Offline Lord Kain

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #91 on: January 03, 2005, 07:31:34 PM »
Drow are not born evil the are raised to be evil.


A beholder is born fully grown. They have childhood. They are born evil (execpt for spectral beholders who are born neutral and with a sense of humor)
Now, at last, the masks had fallen away. The strings of the puppets had become visible, and the hands of the prime mover exposed. Most ironic of all was the last gift that Raziel had given me, more powerful than the sword that now held his soul, more acute even than the vision his sacrifice had accorded me - the first bitter taste of that terrible illusion: Hope.

Offline Murdane

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #92 on: January 03, 2005, 07:40:08 PM »
I only assume creatures are born a specific alignment if they are mentioned as being "Always LE" (or NE, or CE, or so forth). I recall that beholders are described as "Usually LE". And even if the beings in question are evil...

1) It is still disputable as to whether or not killing an evil creature is in itself a good act, even if the evil creature in question really was born evil.

and

2) Even if a being isn't born evil, but are evil because of their society, the end result is still the same...

The are some good drow out there, but they are exceptions, not the rule. They are not at all common (even most surface drow are NE according to the FRCS).
« Last Edit: January 03, 2005, 07:56:07 PM by Murdane »

Offline Lord Kain

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #93 on: January 03, 2005, 08:12:29 PM »
beholders are listed as always evil can't remember if it was NE, CE, or LE

There are many kinds of beholders of the kinds in this game only the Spectral beholders aren't inherently evil.


Are you going to tell me its not alright to kill every demon you see. Demons are born of evil. They are made from evil infact. In the world of D&D wiping out a beholder nest or a hive of mind flayers is good thing. Lets remember that the beholders, mind flayers, and other monsters are monsters. Lets keep D&D a black and white world and not make it grey like the real one.

I do not want to play D&D and debate the moral question of wiping out a group of creatures that see humans as either food, or slaves.

That sums up beholders and Mind flayers. They see the humanoids of the world as food or slaves. detect alignment can be fooled. So you shouldn't go killing, humans and demi-humans based of that. Also humans and demi-humans have a great capacity for change. You can convert an evil drow to good. Or teach an Orc to be nice.

You can't teach a beholder or a mind flayer to be kind compasionent only magic and rare chosmic events cause these creatures to become good.

Also are we going to start picking apart the lord of the rings for all the orcs they killed?

Anyway our world is a shade of gray. the D&D world is not. Somethings are just born evil in D&D. What makes some adventures grand is when you find that one in a million being who is not like his brothers.


Is killing a demon a good act? I'd say yes. Would you really argue with me on if its wrong to kill a demon.
Now, at last, the masks had fallen away. The strings of the puppets had become visible, and the hands of the prime mover exposed. Most ironic of all was the last gift that Raziel had given me, more powerful than the sword that now held his soul, more acute even than the vision his sacrifice had accorded me - the first bitter taste of that terrible illusion: Hope.

Offline Murdane

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #94 on: January 03, 2005, 09:31:35 PM »
beholders are listed as always evil can't remember if it was NE, CE, or LE

Not according to the MM, if I recall correctly. Beholders and Mind Flayers are usually evil, just like drow. And Lord Kain, I never said it was wrong to kill a demon--you are the one who brought up demons to begin with, not I.

Drow used to be known as "monsters" until recent years--I've been over this before. Orcs and other goblinoids are also known as "monsters" even though they also aren't born evil, and their ways aren't even all that "alien" to the ways of the core races (they are humanoids, not abberations).

I'm not trying to pick apart anything, but I always argue things on principle. If it's OK to kill anything that's considered a "monster", one should think carefully about what is called a "monster" and why. And remember--virtue isn't about what is OK in D&D, it's about what we would consider to be good or evil. Stories about slaying "monsters" and stealing their treasure are common, but does that make such behavior right?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2005, 09:44:47 PM by Murdane »

Offline Lord Kain

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #95 on: January 04, 2005, 12:05:39 AM »
Drow haven't been known as "monsters" sense the first printing of Drizzit.

I bring up demons because no one is really going to argure its not ok to kill a demon on principle.
Beholders and Mind Flayers seek to inslave lesser races. Now I remember Mind Flayers and Beholders being listed as always evil. Especially in 2nd edition.

I don't think Virtue is not about applying real world ethics to D&D.
As far as I understand virtue was created to be a better option over reputation. D&D has its own set of ethics. Caught between medieval and modern. Virtue was not created to cause paladins to become fallen from clearing out a lair filled with lawful evil beholders or lawful mind flayers.

Execpt for the spectral beholder. Every beholder you encounter has an evil alignment. Also every single Mind Flayer in the game also has an evil alignment.

If your alignment is evil you have done horrible things or you are planing to do horrible things.

D&D is 90% black and white and only 10% gray. I'd like to keep it that way.
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Offline Andyr

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #96 on: January 04, 2005, 10:45:22 AM »
Spectator Beholders are always LN, yeh.

Note in D&D alignment terms always doesn't mean the same as in English; it just means really most of the time. Usually, for example, is meant to mean around 60% or something. I don't quite recall, don't have the MM to hand.
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Offline belboz

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #97 on: January 04, 2005, 03:40:40 PM »
All good points, and I'm not denying them, but again it comes down to the question of whether or not is a good act to make a pre-emptive strike against someone simply because they are evil. Even evil people (and creatures) can have neutral tendencies (like Viconia, who says at one point that she wanted to live in peace), and upon thumbing through a lot of sourcebooks, there are a fair number of evil NPCs who probably will do bad things but otherwise seem to live fairly normal lives...there are evil people who are also mothers, fathers, storekeepers, council members, etc. I'm not saying that mind flayers and beholders are going to be this way, but I tend to argue things on principle. If I read a story about an ostensibly good person who assassinated another person because he or she cast a spell and found that person's heart was "evil", I'd probably feel more disappointed than happy.

A fair point. I wonder how much of this is just that there is, by real-world, modern standards, a serious problem with the D&D alignment system (or indeed, *any* genuine alignment system, like most, though not all, RPGs have). It might be argued that if you're really troubled by assuming guilt based on a "detect evil" spell, you want a game where evil doesn't have the sort of reality that can be detected with a simple spell--except in extreme cases. Ars Magica, for example, has spells to detect demons*, and spells to tell when someone is lying, and would probably be open to spells to detect hostile intent towards any specific individual, but has no alignment system in the conventional sense. But D&D isn't Ars Magica, and it's hard to have a system like D&D's alignment system without committing yourself to a fair bit of black and white.

*I agree with the poster who said it was fine to kill demons on sight. In most systems, they're the very *essence* of all that is evil. I enjoyed Fall-From-Grace as a character, but she really doesn't make a lot of sense. A LN demon would be like a steel bar with no iron in it; if it's LN (or indeed ever has a compassionate thought) it's ipso facto not a demon, because a lack of compassion is just part of demon-ness.

Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #98 on: January 04, 2005, 04:02:19 PM »
In D&D, if a person or creature is evil, that means he has either already committed evil acts in the past, or would willingly do so in the future (either for pleasure or personal gain).  Or most likely both.
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Offline Murdane

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Re: SimKishCo
« Reply #99 on: January 08, 2005, 10:36:48 PM »
I've checked the Monster Manual, and neither Beholders nor Ilithids are always LE, they are usually LE. Which means, as far as I see it, that they aren't born with a specific alignment. Killing them isn't the same as killing a demon, because they aren't necessarily made from evil the way fiends are.

As for drow, what you said about Drizzt only reinforces my point that what we consider "monsters" is largely a matter of perception. The MM has no good things whatsoever to say about beholders or mind flayers, but the same exact thing applies to drow. There is no addendum in the drow entry that says, "Even though the drow are a hideously evil race that strikes fear into any being that has ever heard about them, *don't* be surprised if you come upon Chaotic Good rebel drow during your journey. Many drow are turning away from the evil ways of their race, so if you see them, don't strike before having spoken to them first."

Good drow are marginal outcasts at best, and non-existant at worst, depending on the setting of the campaign.


 

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