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Originally Posted by avahZ Darkwood
To quote the great sage Paarthurnax smile

“What is better? To be born good or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?”

The more I hear/read that line, the more I loathe what it represents. Being good is not a competition; the world is better with both people that are kind without a second thought and people who are perpetually on the path of self-improvement. Indeed, one can learn from the other: the innately good being can be thankful that they never had to struggle and the evil being struggling to rise in morality sees the unfailingly altruistic/benevolent individual as a source of inspiration.

By the way, this outlook doesn't preclude the possibility of evil beings (i.e., monsters) that cannot change.

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Originally Posted by avahZ Darkwood
For an extreme example, amongst us humans we may consider someone as “good” but a cow being raised for food would see us a bad.
This seems like false example ...

Even the best among Good beings hunt, eat, and kill ... sometimes even without remorse, or second thougths. And it never made them anymore Evil. wink

If you would like to use Cow raised for food as example ...

Good character would give her as full life as possible, enough space, good food, proper medical care, and kill her as clean and painless as possible.

Evil character on the other hand would probably keep her in some dark, deep, depresive shed, surounded by remains of other cows, almost starved to death and most likely will even torture her just for fun, before he kill her.

Originally Posted by avahZ Darkwood
A Goblin that eats other sentient beings, may be a good provider for it’s clan and a hero.
Being a hero in eyes of your Evil race doesnt make you much less Evil. laugh

The point of Alignments isnt to determine if your character is popular among his own people, but to determine if those people have higher chance to help you (good), harm you (evil), or ignore you (neutral). wink

That said, Goblin who provided sentient beings as food for his own clan is still Evil, even tho he helped "technically" his own ...
For one, he sees other races as lesser, that is one of signs for Evil character.
For two, he attacked them and get their bodies to be eaten ... if he would be Good, he would search for option to feed his own while make minimal harm to the others ... wich would probably mean gather some wildberries, or (presuming Goblins are purely carnivous) even steal some meat from those sentient beings rather than just kill and eat them. smile
And finaly, the fact that other Goblins eat here is just side effect, they didnt attacked to feed others, they just attacked and then there was meat that could be eaten. laugh

Originally Posted by avahZ Darkwood
A white dragon may not be innately evil per say, but will see other beings like a cat sees a rat.
But they are ...
That is difference between DnD and Reality ... in our world we are beings of free will, capable of anything on scale between Lawfull Good and Chaotic Evil ...

In DnD tho, there are beings who dont have such luxury ...
- Either they "tend to ne G/E", that is still better option, since they can willingly fight it if they want to, but still its not so easy for them as for others who dont "ted to G/E" ... example would be Half-Orcs
- Or (and that is also quite common), they simply "are G/E", wich basicaly mean that they cannot understand the concept of other Alingment ... such being isnt Evil bcs it choose to, its simply its nature, just as we tend to think about this, just as wild animal either runs or attack ... in the same manner they Destroy, kill, torture, and do all those Evil stuff ... their heads (or souls if you wish) are simply unable to grip any other concept.

To put it simply ...
If you use wounded animal as an example ...

Good character see someone who needs help.
Neutral character see wounded animal.
Evil character see a toy.

And they all can see food. wink

Sometimes it is cultural (then there is possibility for redemption, but it is hard and long road), sometimes it is their nature (then they are basicaly lost).
There are exceptions tho, but as Niara (i believe) allready said here ... being who manage to change his aligment ceases to exist, and is shaped to its new form fitting the new alignment.
I mean have you ever seen Zariel (celestial / fiend) ?

Originally Posted by avahZ Darkwood
I personally don’t mind beings that are innate in alignment, but I love redemption and execration story lines.
They pisses me off to be honest ...
Redemption stories are so often theese days it almost feels like a propaganda ... it has ben ages since i enjoyed good corruption story in game. frown

I believe there should be ballance in this.

Originally Posted by avahZ Darkwood
To quote the great sage Paarthurnax smile

“What is better? To be born good or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?”
This quote have few important problems why it cant be used for DnD ...

For one, in Elder Scrolls there are not "Good Dragons" and "Evil Dragons" by their nature ... there are just "Dragons" who work on entirely different system. smile

For two, if you talked with him properly he explain to you that all that he managed to change was just some aspects of his nature ...
He claim that he dont tendencies to rule over humans ... yet he is practicaly leader of Graybeards, who worship him almost like a God.
He claim that he rejected his tendencies to destroy others ... yet he helps you to defeat Anduin.

Basicaly you can say that he never actualy overcomed his nature ... he just distanced from everyone so his nature, he was unable to change, dont manifest. :P O_o

And last but not least ...
While the situation with Paarthurnax may seem deep and philosophical ... he isnt Good at all. smile
All he can hope for is some kind of Neutral.
IF he would actualy become Good (in matter of Alignment), he would actively try to help others, and i dont mean just Greybeards (even tho they would probably be first) ... instead just sleep on his mountain and think about clouds and stars, meditating about words in Dragon language and ocassionaly learn some Dragonborn traveler (or Greybeard) word of power. laugh

---

Anyway i still want option to kill Tiefling childs ...
I dont care about their Alignment, that is totally irellevant. :P

Last edited by RagnarokCzD; 20/01/22 11:05 PM.

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So what you are saying is that you sided with the blades smile how evil of you LoL.

I do find it interesting reading all these and getting a hint as to the real life alignments of the group. You can tell the lawful from the chaotic and those that tend to G/E. It’s easier to see the L/C nature online than actual G/E. smile My whole point above was written in a True Neutral tone. In my many trips around the sun, these debates have always been the same and no conclusions are ever made.

I am going to age myself a bit, but if you ever get a chance, try the old Reverse Dungeon 2e adventure.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_Dungeon

Last edited by avahZ Darkwood; 21/01/22 12:08 AM.
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Reality check.

Our world = Evil people are those who like evil actions and/or are addicted to them. They can change at any time, but they don't because they like evil actions. There is no nature or dark energy making them crave evil. They chose to enjoy it, and they continue to enjoy it.

Fantasy worlds = Evil is represented by actual forces such as evil spirits, the Shadow Weave, gods and evil creatures, like dragons. Evil magic can corrupt and literally change people so they have no choice but to become evil. This was literally the premise of BG1 and 2. You were fighting the powerful corruption heritage within you.

D&D is built upon alignment systems. As you aquire items, you atune yourself to them, but only if you share the alignment. A good person carrying a corrupt artifact may find themselves being corrupted.

So, in fantasy, an entire race can literally be evil because the race as a whole is attuned to evil.

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Except and unfortunately they WOTC appears to be moving away from that. I hate the fact that the protection from good or evil spell has been combined to a watered down anti creature type spell.

Last edited by avahZ Darkwood; 21/01/22 03:23 AM.
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Originally Posted by avahZ Darkwood
Except and unfortunately they WOTC appears to be moving away from that. I hate the fact that the protection from good or evil spell has been combined to a watered down anti creature type spell.

WOTC has caved to people with a stupid agenda.

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
Reality check.

Our world = Evil people are those who like evil actions and/or are addicted to them. They can change at any time, but they don't because they like evil actions. There is no nature or dark energy making them crave evil. They chose to enjoy it, and they continue to enjoy it.

Fantasy worlds = Evil is represented by actual forces such as evil spirits, the Shadow Weave, gods and evil creatures, like dragons. Evil magic can corrupt and literally change people so they have no choice but to become evil. This was literally the premise of BG1 and 2. You were fighting the powerful corruption heritage within you.

D&D is built upon alignment systems. As you aquire items, you atune yourself to them, but only if you share the alignment. A good person carrying a corrupt artifact may find themselves being corrupted.

So, in fantasy, an entire race can literally be evil because the race as a whole is attuned to evil.

You are certainly welcome to your opinion of what makes good fantasy. I personally find the notion of "metaphysical evil" to be incoherent and I welcome changes that move away from this. Sapient beings can choose their actions, and should therefor be held responsible for what they do or do not do and not for some idealized concept of evil that is associated with their lineage.

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Originally Posted by dwig
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Reality check.

Our world = Evil people are those who like evil actions and/or are addicted to them. They can change at any time, but they don't because they like evil actions. There is no nature or dark energy making them crave evil. They chose to enjoy it, and they continue to enjoy it.

Fantasy worlds = Evil is represented by actual forces such as evil spirits, the Shadow Weave, gods and evil creatures, like dragons. Evil magic can corrupt and literally change people so they have no choice but to become evil. This was literally the premise of BG1 and 2. You were fighting the powerful corruption heritage within you.

D&D is built upon alignment systems. As you aquire items, you atune yourself to them, but only if you share the alignment. A good person carrying a corrupt artifact may find themselves being corrupted.

So, in fantasy, an entire race can literally be evil because the race as a whole is attuned to evil.

You are certainly welcome to your opinion of what makes good fantasy.

You are certainly welcome to misrepresent the posts of others.

Wait a minute...

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Originally Posted by dwig
Sapient beings can choose their actions
Well ... basicaly, maybe ...
But for Evil being (like Fiend for example) "choose" to be Good from now on, is something like for us to "decide to go on a hunger strike" ...
It might seem easy at first, but with every next hour it becomes harder and harder ... and eventualy it either breaks your will, or irreversibly damage the body. wink

Last edited by RagnarokCzD; 21/01/22 09:26 AM.

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Originally Posted by dwig
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Reality check.

Our world = Evil people are those who like evil actions and/or are addicted to them. They can change at any time, but they don't because they like evil actions. There is no nature or dark energy making them crave evil. They chose to enjoy it, and they continue to enjoy it.

Fantasy worlds = Evil is represented by actual forces such as evil spirits, the Shadow Weave, gods and evil creatures, like dragons. Evil magic can corrupt and literally change people so they have no choice but to become evil. This was literally the premise of BG1 and 2. You were fighting the powerful corruption heritage within you.

D&D is built upon alignment systems. As you aquire items, you atune yourself to them, but only if you share the alignment. A good person carrying a corrupt artifact may find themselves being corrupted.

So, in fantasy, an entire race can literally be evil because the race as a whole is attuned to evil.

You are certainly welcome to your opinion of what makes good fantasy. I personally find the notion of "metaphysical evil" to be incoherent and I welcome changes that move away from this. Sapient beings can choose their actions, and should therefor be held responsible for what they do or do not do and not for some idealized concept of evil that is associated with their lineage.

The essence of fantasy is that it is LIKE reality, but it is not reality. Each fantasy world is built on certain fantastic elements. "The Light Side creates life. The Dark Side destroys and corrupts."

In D&D, Alignment has ALWAYS been what the worlds have been built on. Even the gods are subject to alignment. They do not rule the alignments. They are locked into them. It is the foundation of the entire game system's stories across various worlds, not just Forgotten Realms. Take this away, and you tear out the foundation for the entire game.

Again, this is not Star Wars or Star Trek or Skyrim or whatever where every race is capable of being good or evil. That's one of the things that has always set D&D apart. You have good, evil and neutral, and those alignments set the foundation for gameplay. If I'm good, and I encounter evil, I know I can just kill it because it's evil. I don't have to worry about whether I'm killing someone's dad or brother or cousin or whatever. It's bad. End of story. Cast a spell to know alignment, learn it's bad, kill it.

Start making every monster sentient with the potential to be redeemed or good and I will certainly have a problem wanting to purge the world of anything because, well, "they might just be misunderstood."

Baby dragon is eating children in a local village. I go to kill it. It tells me, "But, I have no food, Sir.". Big soulful eyes. "Please Sir. I'm just so hungry. Please don't kill me."

"Lying wyrm! Eat chickens and cows. Not people. Die!"

"I didn't know better. I'm just a kid. Please Sir."

What the flip do I do? Let it live just because it's "misunderstood?". It was eating children!

But it's just so child-like and seems good, and, well, it could be good if raised right.

Well. Sucks to be the parents of those dead kids. I'm gonna keep the monster and raise it myself, cause it MIGHT be good. Maybe.

Last edited by GM4Him; 21/01/22 01:19 PM.
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Or it will eat you in your sleep. laugh


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The bottom line is that this sort of constant moral ambiguity and perpetual hesitation is not the albatross every player wants to carry in their escapism. However, there is room for both sorts of encounters if you desire them; for example, human bandits waylaying travelers are - in actuality - former knights without a king who have become driven to extreme measures (they can be convinced to stop their harassment and possibly eventually redeemed) whereas hobgoblin irregulars tearing up the village a few miles down the road are a scourge that needs to be eliminated, plain and simple.

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Right. D&D has always been based on mythological lore and folk tales. In those stories, good and evil exist. They are defined. They are broken out. Please let's not strip D&D from its foundations. Please don't try to mold and craft D&D into yet another ambiguous fantasy world(s) where these foundational things don't exist.

Literally, the entire world of Forgotten Realms is built on alignment of good, evil and neutral. You have entire planes of existence that exist within these alignments. You have your good realms with your good gods and your evil realms with your evil gods. Each has their good or evil minions. The Material Plane is neutral where everything comes together. Good, evil and neutral all exist within the Material Plane. That is why it is the way it is. It is the entire premise for the entire story. Good and evil are warring in the neutral zone, and neutral is trying to balance them out to make it so that it is even livable.

Seriously. If you strip alignment from D&D, you turn it into every other fantasy sci-fi world/universe. Goblins become aliens, like Twi'leks in Star Wars or Romulans in Star Trek. No. Goblins are an evil race because they are aligned with evil and do evil things like eat and torture people. Same with mind flayers. What, are we to assume, as someone previously said in this thread, that we shouldn't necessarily kill the Illithid tadpoles in our heads because they are technically the offspring of mind flayers? Should we feel guilty about killing them because they are technically children? If attacked by a baby intellect devourer (which apparently most of them in the game right now are maybe supposed to be since they are SO much weaker than true intellect devourers), should we feel bad about killing them?

This is exactly why the game is designed to specifically designate evil as evil. It's so that you can know killing this monster or that is okay and good. You don't have to question it. You don't have to have a moral dilemma about it. Goblins are evil aligned. Their children are evil aligned. They will all grow up to be evil monster adults. There may be exceptions here or there that are REALLY few and far between, but the baseline truth in FR is that goblins are bad. Kill them like vermin before they kill you.

As for tieflings, they may look like devils but they aren't. There is no evil alignment attunement in them. That is one of the main points of the race. They are viewed as evil, but they aren't. That's one of the things that makes them unique as a race from a story perspective. BG3 actually plays upon this rather well. They are letting you know that this entire group of tieflings isn't bad. The kids might be mischievous and thieves, but that doesn't necessarily make them bad or evil. Goblins, on the other hand, ARE EATING PEOPLE. Even the kids. They are kicking corpses and laughing about it and throwing stones at Halsin and talking about killing him, and their adults are cooking Brian the dwarf on a spit, along with others they captured and killed from Waukeen's Rest, and so forth, and the kids are going to partake in it all because they're evil. It's a HUGE difference, and it is all differentiated and split out for us via alignment so we don't have to have moral dilemmas in regards to killing the goblin children. They're evil, like mind flayer tadpoles, dragon wyrmlings, intellect devourer spawn, and any other evil alignment race's children.

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Originally Posted by Ragitsu
Originally Posted by dwig
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Reality check.

Our world = Evil people are those who like evil actions and/or are addicted to them. They can change at any time, but they don't because they like evil actions. There is no nature or dark energy making them crave evil. They chose to enjoy it, and they continue to enjoy it.

Fantasy worlds = Evil is represented by actual forces such as evil spirits, the Shadow Weave, gods and evil creatures, like dragons. Evil magic can corrupt and literally change people so they have no choice but to become evil. This was literally the premise of BG1 and 2. You were fighting the powerful corruption heritage within you.

D&D is built upon alignment systems. As you aquire items, you atune yourself to them, but only if you share the alignment. A good person carrying a corrupt artifact may find themselves being corrupted.

So, in fantasy, an entire race can literally be evil because the race as a whole is attuned to evil.

You are certainly welcome to your opinion of what makes good fantasy.

You are certainly welcome to misrepresent the posts of others.

Wait a minute...

We disagree. There is no need to be a dick about it.

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
Right. D&D has always been based on mythological lore and folk tales. In those stories, good and evil exist. They are defined. They are broken out. Please let's not strip D&D from its foundations. Please don't try to mold and craft D&D into yet another ambiguous fantasy world(s) where these foundational things don't exist.

Literally, the entire world of Forgotten Realms is built on alignment of good, evil and neutral. You have entire planes of existence that exist within these alignments. You have your good realms with your good gods and your evil realms with your evil gods. Each has their good or evil minions. The Material Plane is neutral where everything comes together. Good, evil and neutral all exist within the Material Plane. That is why it is the way it is. It is the entire premise for the entire story. Good and evil are warring in the neutral zone, and neutral is trying to balance them out to make it so that it is even livable.

Seriously. If you strip alignment from D&D, you turn it into every other fantasy sci-fi world/universe. Goblins become aliens, like Twi'leks in Star Wars or Romulans in Star Trek. No. Goblins are an evil race because they are aligned with evil and do evil things like eat and torture people. Same with mind flayers. What, are we to assume, as someone previously said in this thread, that we shouldn't necessarily kill the Illithid tadpoles in our heads because they are technically the offspring of mind flayers? Should we feel guilty about killing them because they are technically children? If attacked by a baby intellect devourer (which apparently most of them in the game right now are maybe supposed to be since they are SO much weaker than true intellect devourers), should we feel bad about killing them?

This is exactly why the game is designed to specifically designate evil as evil. It's so that you can know killing this monster or that is okay and good. You don't have to question it. You don't have to have a moral dilemma about it. Goblins are evil aligned. Their children are evil aligned. They will all grow up to be evil monster adults. There may be exceptions here or there that are REALLY few and far between, but the baseline truth in FR is that goblins are bad. Kill them like vermin before they kill you.

As for tieflings, they may look like devils but they aren't. There is no evil alignment attunement in them. That is one of the main points of the race. They are viewed as evil, but they aren't. That's one of the things that makes them unique as a race from a story perspective. BG3 actually plays upon this rather well. They are letting you know that this entire group of tieflings isn't bad. The kids might be mischievous and thieves, but that doesn't necessarily make them bad or evil. Goblins, on the other hand, ARE EATING PEOPLE. Even the kids. They are kicking corpses and laughing about it and throwing stones at Halsin and talking about killing him, and their adults are cooking Brian the dwarf on a spit, along with others they captured and killed from Waukeen's Rest, and so forth, and the kids are going to partake in it all because they're evil. It's a HUGE difference, and it is all differentiated and split out for us via alignment so we don't have to have moral dilemmas in regards to killing the goblin children. They're evil, like mind flayer tadpoles, dragon wyrmlings, intellect devourer spawn, and any other evil alignment race's children.

As you say, Goblins are evil because they do evil things like eat and torture people. There is no need to invoke "aligned with evil" here. As soon as they start eating and torturing people they are evil, full stop. It is the torture and the murder that makes them evil.

In any case, I suspect that this is a fundamental disagreement that isn't likely to be resolved in an internet forum. I am content to leave it at agree to disagree.

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
Baby dragon is eating children in a local village. I go to kill it. It tells me, "But, I have no food, Sir.". Big soulful eyes. "Please Sir. I'm just so hungry. Please don't kill me."

"Lying wyrm! Eat chickens and cows. Not people. Die!"

"I didn't know better. I'm just a kid. Please Sir."

What the flip do I do? Let it live just because it's "misunderstood?". It was eating children!

But it's just so child-like and seems good, and, well, it could be good if raised right.

Well. Sucks to be the parents of those dead kids. I'm gonna keep the monster and raise it myself, cause it MIGHT be good. Maybe.
Well, you could at least ask the cows and chickens in your story how they feel about being eaten, before offering them to the baby dragon.

I have to say, D&D doesn't make humans look that good. You have spells that let you communicate with animals, which would let you easily find out how sentient they are.

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Originally Posted by ash elemental
I have to say, D&D doesn't make humans look that good. You have spells that let you communicate with animals, which would let you easily find out how sentient they are.
The animals aren't necessarily sentient (sapient?) though. Magic helps bridge the gap between the caster and beast, allowing the caster to gain information from beasts' experiences, but it's usually not taken as Larian's "the beast speak in full sentences and show a human-like level of intelligence." Otherwise, the spells Comprehend Languages, Detect Thoughts, and Tongues would allow animals to communicate with you - but they don't because beasts don't actually have a language and/or high enough intelligence.

Also, irl we eat pigs and pigs are pretty smart.

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@dwig. It's not about agreeing or disagreeing. I'm talking about foundational story elements. In D&D, goblins are evil because they are aligned with evil. They do evil things BECAUSE evil courses through their veins. To NOT do evil goes against their nature.

The difference is that irl, our nature isn't driving us to be evil. We choose it. In D&D, alignment drives good and evil. It is like the light and dark sides of the Force except entire races can be aligned to one side or the other.

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Originally Posted by dwig
As you say, Goblins are evil because they do evil things like eat and torture people. There is no need to invoke "aligned with evil" here. As soon as they start eating and torturing people they are evil, full stop. It is the torture and the murder that makes them evil.
Nah ... it works exactly the other way around. smile

Its not "they eat, kill and torture other sentient beings, therefore they are Evil" ...
Its "they are Evil, therefore they kill, eat and torture other sentient beings". wink

It might not seem like huge difference at first sight, but it is!
A imply B does not mean B imply A. wink

To put it in different perspective here is example:
Animal is a fish, therefore it swims.
Animal swims, therefore it is a fish. (Nah, its just swimming mamal. :P )

See? smile


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Originally Posted by mrfuji3
The animals aren't necessarily sentient (sapient?) though. Magic helps bridge the gap between the caster and beast, allowing the caster to gain information from beasts' experiences, but it's usually not taken as Larian's "the beast speak in full sentences and show a human-like level of intelligence." Otherwise, the spells Comprehend Languages, Detect Thoughts, and Tongues would allow animals to communicate with you - but they don't because beasts don't actually have a language and/or high enough intelligence.

Also, irl we eat pigs and pigs are pretty smart.
And in real life there is an ongoing discussion about animal sentience too. If you add magic to the mix, even if you'd not be able to hold a conversation with livestock, you should be able to tell how sentient they are and how they feel about being fed to that baby dragon. Of course, the question becomes even more complicated if the dragons are on average as (or more) intelligent than humans. Because if it is fine to kill a dragon simply because they are evil, would then killing humans simply because they are evil (easy to tell with that detection spells) be also ok? There was a paladin like that in BG1. laugh

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