Author Topic: Some Criticism  (Read 3857 times)

Offline Drew

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Some Criticism
« on: May 26, 2005, 07:02:47 PM »
I imagine this has been brought up many times before but I couldn't find it anywhere in the forum.  I'm curious as to why there is a 2 point virtue drop for allowing Viconia to be killed in the government district.  First of all, Viconia is a priestess of Shar, and priestesses of Shar tend to be really bad news.  Also to be pointed out is that the pc knows her from BG1 and knows what a murdering @!?$ she is.  Wouldn't a chaotic good character who knows what bad news Viconia is be unconcerned with how or why she died?  What is done to her is most definitely unjust, but I see this as more of a question of Law and Chaos than of good and evil.  Thoughts?
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Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: Some Criticism
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2005, 07:11:58 PM »
If the PC had observed Viconia killing anyone in BG1, it would only be because he told her to do so!

Letting someone burn to death, especially without even being given a fair trial, is definitely an evil action (or rather inaction) in my book.  Even a Chaotic Good person probably wouldn't condone being burned to death as a "good" punishment, and would at least allow someone who'd been accused of a crime to provide their side of the story before taking any kind of action which involved the alleged criminal being put to death.

The kind of person who'd support the unlawful killing of someone simply because of that person's race or alleged yet unproven crimes would be at least CN, if not some evil alignment themselves.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2005, 07:14:33 PM by NiGHTMARE »
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Offline Drew

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Re: Some Criticism
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2005, 07:23:20 PM »
Every time I've taken Viconia into my party she violently left my party due to my reputation getting too high(BG1 or 2), stating that the next time we met it would be as enemies.  I guess she doesn't like it when you free children from slavers.  Also, burning someone alive is probably no worse than using spells like acid arrow, dolorous decay, fire storm,  summon insects, cloud kill, death cloud, insect plague, creeping doom, poison, meteor swarm, or incindiary cloud to kill your enemies.  Should be about the same amount of suffering and pain inflicted killing your enemies that way.  Why no virtue drop for any of these spells?
Priests of Shar are also really, really bad news.  Their clergy, as I recall from my FR campaign setting often perform human sacrafices in their rituals, one of the reasons that shar isn't worshiped openly.  Letting Viccy burn definitely aint nice, but the PC would know enough by BG2 to realize she doesn't exactly play nice with others and has no respect for any life but her own.  My point here is that not all good characters care about fair trials and such.  Just knowing that the person deserved it would be enough for a chaotic character not to step in.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2005, 07:47:11 PM by Drew »
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Offline Lu

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Re: Some Criticism
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2005, 01:00:05 AM »
Quote
burning someone alive is probably no worse than using spells like acid arrow
  I have no idea if fire is more or less pleasant than acid. However, burning alive a helpless woman just because her
 skin is black is not the same as using acid on a troll in combat. Though it's just my opinion

Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: Some Criticism
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2005, 07:27:45 AM »
Also, burning someone alive is probably no worse than using spells like acid arrow, dolorous decay, fire storm,  summon insects, cloud kill, death cloud, insect plague, creeping doom, poison, meteor swarm, or incindiary cloud to kill your enemies.
But the point is that you use such spells on enemies during combat.  If you go around using them on captive, helpless individuals who've never caused you harm and you do not know for a fact has ever caused anyone else harm, you most certainly are not a Good person.

Quote
Just knowing that the person deserved it would be enough for a chaotic character not to step in.
Believing that someone deserves a horrific death merely because of their race and the deity they worship, rather than because of actions you've observed them commit or it has been proven that they've committed, is not a Good belief.  Good drow such as Drizzt Do'Urden and the followers of Eilistrae are well known to the people of the Realms, as is the fact that just as some Good gods have non-Good followers, some Evil gods have non-Evil worshippers.

Quote
Priests of Shar are also really, really bad news.
Being a priest of an Evil god does not automatically make the priest guilty of horrific actions.  What if they've only recently joined the church, and have yet to commit any sort of criminal act? Being Chaotic doesn't automatically mean you don't believe in the concept of redemption.

Also, some evil gods, such as Talos, Umberlee and Xvim, even accept non-Evil priests, and since it's doubtful there exists in the Realms a list of which gods accept what type of priests, for all the player knows Viconia may not neccessarily be evil.  Also, you seem to be forgetting that the people about to burn Viconia are priests of Beshaba (and declare themselves as such), meaning they themselves are Evil.

Basically, unlawfully killing someone - or allowing that someone to be unlawfully killed - based purely upon your own personal assumptions rather than strong evidence or hard fact is not a Good act.  Letting people who are Evil themselves murder someone isn't a Good act either.

As a final note, Chaotic and Unlawful aren't the same thing.  Being Chaotic means you lack self discipline and are likely to act upon whims, it doesn't neccessarily mean you have a total disregard for the law.  Both the elves and those drow whom live in Lloth controlled cities, are 9/10 Chaotic aligned, yet both clearly have a very strict set of rules and regulations which they adhere too... though in the latter's case this is admittedly because if they don't, they'll end up dead.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2005, 07:48:57 AM by NiGHTMARE »
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Offline Drew

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Re: Some Criticism
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2005, 04:32:20 PM »
Good points all, Nightmare.  Hell, I'm probably wrong.  My deal with this, though, is that I'm assuming that you know Viconia fairly well. I'm not actually suggesting that it's ok to kill her because she's drow or because she worships shar.  I think it's unreasonable to assume that you travelled with her in BG and didn't learn many of the things you learn about her through the dialogues you have with her in the romance from BG2.  Most good aligned characters would know, then, that freeing her and letting her go would in essence be to doom others to a death by her hands.  Since travelling with her, for most good aligned characters, isn't really a viable option you are left with a bit of a dilemma about what to do with her.  Is it not evil to let someone who has admittedly done plenty of other things (of which I assume the PC would know, having travelled with her before) simply continue along that path.  Should the PC free her and then follow her around, waiting for her to do something horrific to someone so that he can then be excused for killing her?  I submit then that you are right in your assertion that letting her burn is evil or at least neutral, but I would also state that letting her go after releasing her is also evil (or at least neutral), assuming you know much of her character.  Incedentally, I always let Viconia go.....but she doesn't join my good aligned PC's parties either.  (primarily since I refuse to install the happy patch and it always pisses me off when she leaves and breaks the romance.  And I'm not going to meta game just to keep my rep/virtue from exceeding 18!)
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Offline SimDing0™

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Re: Some Criticism
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2005, 04:36:29 PM »
Since it's assumed that you travelled with her in BG1, any PC's going to know that the only people doomed to fate by her hand if she joins you are those you command her to attack-- which could be exactly the same people doomed to die by Keldorn's hand, or Mazzy's. In this respect, freeing her then not having her join you is probably actually MORE evil than letting her tag along, because you're not taking charge and responsibility for what she's doing.

Offline Drew

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Re: Some Criticism
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2005, 04:45:18 PM »
Basically, yeah.  It just seems kind of weird that you don't lose virtue for freeing her and letting her go then.  And having her tag along isn't really an option either, since if you properly roleplay good alignment, even with virtue installed, then your rep is gonna exceed 18 at some point and she'll leave.  It wasn't like that in vanilla BG2 because just having her in the party caused rep to max at 18.  I think bioware actually did it on purpose so her romance wouldn't break, but I should probably be posting that thought somewhere else......I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you aren't going to travel with her it's actually less evil to let her die than it is to actually free her and let her go.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2005, 04:49:46 PM by Drew »
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Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: Some Criticism
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2005, 07:22:06 PM »
Being Evil doesn't neccessarily make you a vicious, cold blooded killer - there are plenty of other things that can makes someone an Evil person.  Viconia certainly doesn't strike me as the type of person who goes around randomly murdering people; in BG1 she never admits to having murdered anyone, and in her BG2 dialogs (which obviously the PC won't know the content of when he first meets her ;)) the only people she admits to killing pretty much deserved it.
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Offline Drew

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Re: Some Criticism
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2005, 08:15:22 PM »
We obviously have different feelings about the type of person Viconia is. :P
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Offline Lu

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Re: Some Criticism
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2005, 06:51:56 PM »
Quote
Being Evil doesn't neccessarily make you a vicious, cold blooded killer
   IMO, evil alignment != bad guy/girl. I've always thought that the essence of an evil alignment is smth like "trust no one", and that's it

Offline Andyr

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Re: Some Criticism
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2005, 05:35:03 AM »
Perhaps this event would be better classified by a Lawful shift (if you attempt to stop the burning in order to determine if it is justified) or a Chaotic one (if you allow the burning to occur). Though I know Sim is leaving that alignment axis alone. ;) Still, perhaps even that is not perfect.
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Offline Lord Kain

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Re: Some Criticism
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2005, 10:56:27 AM »
If you ask the fantatic he tells you he's burning Viconia for the crime of being a DROW. A GOOD person would not allow someone to excuited for being born. Part of being good is MERCY. She begs you for help.

Notice back in BG1, if you slay a member of the flaming fist, you lose reputation. HOWEVER if you slay the guy who is chasing after Viconia you don't. WHY? because the right thing to do was to save her.
When you hear her talk about her past, she sounds like she was sliping away from evil even before meeting the PC. He can just give an extra push to get here all the way there.

Lets assume you didn't travel with her. So you don't know Viconia, but you do know this woman is about to die for the crime of being born a drow.

You also can't punish viconia for crimes SHE MIGHT do in the future. You can't punish someone for a crime they didn't commit.
You can charge them for attempting the crime, you can charge them for planing out the future attempt at a crime. But you can't punish someone for a crime they haven't even decided they would try and do.



Part of being good is being the hero. And the hero of the story WOULD NEVER allow Viconia to burn.
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 Imrahil

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Re: Some Criticism
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2005, 11:36:29 AM »
You also can't punish viconia for crimes SHE MIGHT do in the future. You can't punish someone for a crime they didn't commit.
But under the rules of Virtue, she had to have committed Evil deeds in order to be Evil.  How can it be bad to allow an Evil person to be punished?  Is it just a matter of who is doing the punishing?  Would it matter in this case if it were Priests of Lathander burning her at the stake, instead of Beshaba?  Would it then be a good act to interfere, free her, & slay her would-be executioners?

It seems to me that the act of freeing her should be either Good or not-Good independent of who is doing the punishing & it only depends on whether the potential victim is Good or Evil (& thus deserving of the punishment).

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Offline Silk

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Re: Some Criticism
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2005, 11:59:27 AM »
I may be overtired but isn't there a gap in your logic there, Imrahil?  How do you know Viconia's evil unless you've taken her on board at some stage?  Okay, I suppose detect evil or know alignment might work but how much time have you actually got to cast it before you have to choose what to do?

The idea of someone being executed simply because of their race seems evil to me *regardless* of who is doing the punishing.  I've actually kicked Keldorn out of my party for his attitude over this one.
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Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: Some Criticism
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2005, 01:03:10 PM »
Okay, I suppose detect evil or know alignment might work but how much time have you actually got to cast it before you have to choose what to do?
In BG1, no time at all--you're stuck in dialogue mode and have to base your decision on almost no information at all. All you know is that Viconia is Drow and therefore (roughly) 95% sure to be Evil, the FF guy is 95% sure to be Lawful Good or Lawful Neutral, she says she didn't kill anyone, he says she's wanted for murder. True, there is room for a shadow of a doubt to creep in, but I don't think any Paladin's god would be upset if the Paladin went with the status quo, especially Viconia attacks you if you choose not to get involved.

In BG2, there's actually about 10 seconds between the end of dialogue and the Flamestrike--which is plenty of time for a Paladin's Detect Evil, but not enough for the intense brainwork that follows ("She's Evil, but so are they; Killing based on race alone is wrong if she protests their actions, but then she probably deserves death anyway, but doesn't giving her a trial allow her a chance of escape?" etc). Some people might wind up letting her burn simply because they couldn't make up their minds.

Offline Lord Kain

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Re: Some Criticism
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2005, 03:28:35 PM »
"Many who live deserve death, many who die deserve life"

Also being evil doesn't mean you've murdered someone, or have commited a crime worthy of death. ALL you do know is, viconia IS evil, BUT you don't know is she deserves that kind of punishment and you DO KNOW they are only killing her because she is drow.

You find out later Viconia hasn't murdered anyone sense leaving the underdark.
(unless she traveled with you in which case its your fault and your betraying a friend)
She got some grusome bits of revenge, but thats not exactly evil. Its not good either.
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.

 

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