@Sozz, really great comments!

The people that say they live in a morally grey world usually are saying more about themselves than the world.

Exactly right. So this is a worldview, one with a name "political realism". And to your larger point the world of the Witcher is one designed with that worldview in mind. The protagonist isn't presented with a series of evil v lesser choices because the universe demanded that he be given those choices its a set of choices set up by authors who subscribe to said worldview. Which worldview -- ST or Witcher -- seems the more 'realistic' tells you volumes about the opinions of the person making the observations.

So @Ayvah nails it:

he regularly has to grapple with the consequences of failing to choose the lesser evil, until eventually he learns the importance of making the lesser evil choice (but carefully). Comparing it to US politics, thematically you can see it as essentially roasting anyone who sat out of the 2016 US election because "both sides are bad"

Exactly right. It's a worldview in which one takes the world as it is and reacts to it instead of one that thinks of politics in terms of visions becoming concrete. Which view -- ST: TNG / Witcher -- seems the more nuanced and sophisticated depends on your familiarity with and adherence to the given worldview. We know our opinions best and as a result they seem more layered and more sophisticated than the views we oppose. "you need to vote for the lesser evil" is an expression of a commonly held worldview. For people who hold this worldview not choosing the lesser evil is a expression of naivete at best or stupidity at worst. The realists believe they see things that others do not and believe that their decisions are multi layered and complex. People who oppose that worldview likewise believe that the positions of the political realists are based in illusions and that they are blind to assumptions they have and how they deliberately limited their political visions. One side sees layers, the other side believes their opponents suffer from tunnel vision. Both believe their opinion to be the more sophisticated of the two and both believe the other to ignorant of some aspect of reality.

And I think this "lesser evil" world view is being promoted and maintained by videogames, movies and tv shows; I do think it has a political message leads us to accept 'morally grey' actions by powerful figures. I think Faerun is one of the last holdouts in popular media I want the FR to keep to a style of play where people adopt a moral vision and have it challenged.

(a priest of Bhaal who doesn't murder the grove should face consequences and same goes for any life cleric who does choose to murder everyone)

It's just more lifelike, nothing is black and white. When a game features alignment, me and the game disagree too often on what is good and what is evil, or if ''good'' is even diserable outcome in the first place

To me alignment and the gods give life to the realms and the realms suffer when they are removed. Of course removing alignment doesn't make Faerun into Westeros but it does slide a bit further down that continuum. I like both settings.

Did you ever see Troy? Great sword and sandals flick. I loved it -- I thought the 'realistic', gritty view of the Trojan war spoke to the current day because it was a story about a culture that had been at war for years on end and how that changed the people fighting the war. If anything I wanted them to more with Achilles as the war scarred man. But was it more lifelike or sophisticated than the original? I would say: no. Emphatically.

The original was more sophisticated * because the war was the instantiation of a battle between the gods. It just had elements to the story that the original cut out. For the Greeks the battle between Achilles and Hector was a divine battle. On one side you had the favored of Aries fighting to avenge his fallen lover and you had the favored of Aphrodite and Hera fighting for home and hearth. So equally matched are the two forces that Zeus himself need to show up at the end of day to decide the winner. Pederatic love and lust for battle are stronger forces than romantic love and the love of home; for the Greeks Zeus + Aries > Aphrodite + Hera.

Or to take another example -- the sword fight between Luke and Darth Vader in the Return of the Jedi is just a better sword fight than the one between Obi Wan and Vader in Episode III because of 'alignment'. In the first the battle is symbolic of the battle between the light and dark sides of the force. Our hero finds out that the emperor is right -- by striking out in anger, by giving into the dark side, Luke is able to best the better swordsman. Only to realize that he is becoming that which he opposes. So he turns back to the light, puts aside anger and desire for vengeance and suffers the consequences. Only to be saved by the redemptive power of paternal love. Here the moral of the Illiad is turned on its head. Home > Lust for power.

The Episode III fight is a visual treat but it's kinda forgettable because instead of a fight between dark and light we have a contemporary reading -- in a series of lore breaking lines Obi Wan states that the Sith are evil and Vader says that the Jedi are evil. Instead of a story about the battle between two very real cosmic forces we get a contemporary story about how warring forces tend to demonize the other. More familiar? Yes. More relevant to current politics? Perhaps. More lifelike? I say no. Emphatically.

Oh, sorry if I misrepresented your views on Mithara. I don't think I represented the views of every Minthara fan -- some have explicitly said they like the notion of reward. Not trying to shame -- one's kinks are one's kinks smile

* 1 : deprived of native or original simplicity: such as
a : highly complicated or developed : complex sophisticated electronic devices

2. : devoid of grossness: such as

b : intellectually appealing
a sophisticated novel