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Why do you guys compare assassin with privateer?

 

Don't you fight the enemy face to face when collecting a bounty?

Not everyone prefers a face-to-face engagement, the point of a bounty is that they don't usually care how the job gets done as long as it gets done.

 

There's still no comparison though.

 

Assassin = Contract killer for hire, generally employed by private interest parties, operates illegally

Bounty Hunter = Contract killer or collector for hire, employed by a government or other legal authority, operates legally

Pirate = Self-employed plunderer, marauder and/or murderer, operates illegally and often at the edge of civilization

Privateer = Self-employed plunderer, marauder and/or murderer commissioned by a government or legal authority, operates legally

 

Generally "assassin" and "bounty hunter" refer to individuals operating over land while "pirate" and "privateer" refer to individuals operating over sea.

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Why do you guys compare assassin with privateer?

 

Don't you fight the enemy face to face when collecting a bounty?

Some people here want an excuse to absolve assassinations done by Rauataians, and Maia in particular, so they employ a reverse psychology on the Watcher by implying he's no better by taking bounties, that's all  :rolleyes:

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Why do you guys compare assassin with privateer?

 

Don't you fight the enemy face to face when collecting a bounty?

Some people here want an excuse to absolve assassinations done by Rauataians, and Maia in particular, so they employ a reverse psychology on the Watcher by implying he's no better by taking bounties, that's all  :rolleyes:

 

Well...I mean, they take money to kill people. You can parse it lots of different ways, but at the end of the day the job is murder; telling yourself anything else is just justification.

Edited by Katarack21
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Spoilers ahead.

 

 

Well...I mean, they take money to kill people. You can parse it lots of different ways, but at the end of the day the job is murder; telling yourself anything else is just justification.

 

 

 Maia's mission was an assassination of an effective leader who was politically inconvenient. He was innocent of any wrongdoing. That isn't exactly the same as killing someone for criminal behavior. You can certainly argue that killing is not the right penalty for a criminal, but one of those seems worse than the other. No?  

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Spoilers ahead.

 

 

Well...I mean, they take money to kill people. You can parse it lots of different ways, but at the end of the day the job is murder; telling yourself anything else is just justification.

 

 

 Maia's mission was an assassination of an effective leader who was politically inconvenient. He was innocent of any wrongdoing. That isn't exactly the same as killing someone for criminal behavior. You can certainly argue that killing is not the right penalty for a criminal, but one of those seems worse than the other. No?  

I'm not taking the bounty because I want to right wrongs and make the world just. I'm just killing a dude for pay. The legal aspects were all taken care of before I got involved; the man may be a convicted criminal and all, but for me personally it's just a job that I'm hired to do. I'm providing the service of killing this dude, for the exchange of money.

 

So from my perspective, from my personal standpoint, no. There's not much difference.

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Spoilers ahead.

 

 

 

Well...I mean, they take money to kill people. You can parse it lots of different ways, but at the end of the day the job is murder; telling yourself anything else is just justification.

 Maia's mission was an assassination of an effective leader who was politically inconvenient. He was innocent of any wrongdoing. That isn't exactly the same as killing someone for criminal behavior. You can certainly argue that killing is not the right penalty for a criminal, but one of those seems worse than the other. No?  

 

No.

 

What's criminal may or may not be immoral, and what's wrong is a matter of perspective. 

Given the state of the old city, I'd say that the Huana have a pretty broad definition of what's wrong, and yet none of their own behavior meets the standard. 

 

In some ways the RDC is a breath of fresh air. They don't say their targets deserve death, just that it's expedient to grant it. 

Magran's fire casts light in Dark Places...

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Spoilers ahead.

 

 

Well...I mean, they take money to kill people. You can parse it lots of different ways, but at the end of the day the job is murder; telling yourself anything else is just justification.

 

 

 Maia's mission was an assassination of an effective leader who was politically inconvenient. He was innocent of any wrongdoing. That isn't exactly the same as killing someone for criminal behavior. You can certainly argue that killing is not the right penalty for a criminal, but one of those seems worse than the other. No?  

If we start talking viewpoints, how about this one: Maia's simply carrying out her orders to build a better Rauatai, while the bounty hunter chooses to murder people so long as he gets paid for it.

 

Or this one: Maia chose to join the army as a sharpshooter and is thus simply a murderer at heart, while a bounty hunter is simply performing a contract to make ends meet, and is nothing more than an innocent tool of murder.

 

Or this one: Pointless conjectures about the similarities between freelance bounty hunting and government-ordered assassinations don't really serve anyone, especially when most arguments could fit both sides equally as long as we try hard enough. The morality of bounties went out the window the moment the factions started targeting each other with them, no matter how legal they may be in the eyes of the faction that happens to profit from them. The morality/legality of assassinations isn't exactly vague either, in my view. The deadfire's a lawless, uncontrolled zone outside of the major ports, and the factions profit wherever possible: Slave labor, assassination and hiring people to play pirate with enemy ships are all examples of those.

 

Or can you honestly say that every bounty you encounter in-game was clearly and undeniably aimed at an evil person, and couldn't possibly have been a convenient way to eliminate enemy leaders without starting a war?

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Spoilers ahead.

 

 

Well...I mean, they take money to kill people. You can parse it lots of different ways, but at the end of the day the job is murder; telling yourself anything else is just justification.

 

 

 Maia's mission was an assassination of an effective leader who was politically inconvenient. He was innocent of any wrongdoing. That isn't exactly the same as killing someone for criminal behavior. You can certainly argue that killing is not the right penalty for a criminal, but one of those seems worse than the other. No?  

I'm not taking the bounty because I want to right wrongs and make the world just.

 

Fair enough, but if you had a choice of two jobs that pay the same and you can only take one of the two.

 

One of them is to kill a killer who will kill again and the other is to kill an innocent person who has done nothing wrong but is seen as political rival by the person attempting to hire you.

 

Do you see a moral difference between these two choices or would you just flip a coin?

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Spoilers ahead.

 

 

 

Well...I mean, they take money to kill people. You can parse it lots of different ways, but at the end of the day the job is murder; telling yourself anything else is just justification.

 Maia's mission was an assassination of an effective leader who was politically inconvenient. He was innocent of any wrongdoing. That isn't exactly the same as killing someone for criminal behavior. You can certainly argue that killing is not the right penalty for a criminal, but one of those seems worse than the other. No?  

 

No.

 

What's criminal may or may not be immoral, and what's wrong is a matter of perspective. 

Given the state of the old city, I'd say that the Huana have a pretty broad definition of what's wrong, and yet none of their own behavior meets the standard. 

 

In some ways the RDC is a breath of fresh air. They don't say their targets deserve death, just that it's expedient to grant it. 

 

 

Suppose for the sake of argument that the criminal has done something immoral according to your own moral code. Also suppose that the political assassination target has done nothing wrong, also according to your own personal moral code. Is the RDC still a breath of fresh air?

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Spoilers ahead.

 

 

Well...I mean, they take money to kill people. You can parse it lots of different ways, but at the end of the day the job is murder; telling yourself anything else is just justification.

 

 

 Maia's mission was an assassination of an effective leader who was politically inconvenient. He was innocent of any wrongdoing. That isn't exactly the same as killing someone for criminal behavior. You can certainly argue that killing is not the right penalty for a criminal, but one of those seems worse than the other. No?  

If we start talking viewpoints, how about this one: Maia's simply carrying out her orders to build a better Rauatai, while the bounty hunter chooses to murder people so long as he gets paid for it.

 

 

 "I was just following orders" didn't work as a defense at Nuremberg. Should it have?

 

There are, of course, multiple ways to look at every situation. Not all of them are equivalent and you have to make choices about how to act in the world. You stated several viewpoints in your post. Do you have an opinion about any of them?

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Suppose for the sake of argument that the criminal has done something immoral according to your own moral code. Also suppose that the political assassination target has done nothing wrong, also according to your own personal moral code. Is the RDC still a breath of fresh air?

 

 

If every corpse in the old city, and every outstanding bounty besides were vicious fiends, and every one in the RDC's sights was wholly blameless? 

 

In that world the RDC would be doing evil for a good cause. 

While those carrying out the Huana law would be doing good, but for a neutral cause. 

 

As some wandering watcher, it's all beyond my pay grade. 

Edited by Parasol_Syndicate

Magran's fire casts light in Dark Places...

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Suppose for the sake of argument that the criminal has done something immoral according to your own moral code. Also suppose that the political assassination target has done nothing wrong, also according to your own personal moral code. Is the RDC still a breath of fresh air?

 

 

If every corpse in old town, and every outstanding bounty besides were vicious fiends, and every one in the RDC's sights was wholly blameless? 

 

In that world the RDC would be doing evil for a good cause. 

While those carrying out the Huana law would be doing good, but for a neutral cause. 

 

 

 

Sure, but just to be clear, in my example, I was specifically talking about Maia's political assassination.

 

That specific case was, according to me, morally problematic (moreso than the majority of bounties by any of the factions) even if you otherwise think that the RDC had good intentions overall. (And, it is easy to argue that they are doing some good things in the region).

 

 

As some wandering watcher, it's all beyond my pay grade. 

 

 

 
It may be, but your character is making choices about how to act and may have become an accomplice (in a very real and legally binding sense) to a crime. I think that is what the OP was getting at with the title of this thread.
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Spoilers ahead.

 

 

 

Well...I mean, they take money to kill people. You can parse it lots of different ways, but at the end of the day the job is murder; telling yourself anything else is just justification.

 Maia's mission was an assassination of an effective leader who was politically inconvenient. He was innocent of any wrongdoing. That isn't exactly the same as killing someone for criminal behavior. You can certainly argue that killing is not the right penalty for a criminal, but one of those seems worse than the other. No?  

 

No.

 

What's criminal may or may not be immoral, and what's wrong is a matter of perspective. 

Given the state of the old city, I'd say that the Huana have a pretty broad definition of what's wrong, and yet none of their own behavior meets the standard. 

 

In some ways the RDC is a breath of fresh air. They don't say their targets deserve death, just that it's expedient to grant it. 

 

 

Suppose for the sake of argument that the criminal has done something immoral according to your own moral code. Also suppose that the political assassination target has done nothing wrong, also according to your own personal moral code. Is the RDC still a breath of fresh air?

 

And of course we had a trial to determine their guilt, right? We confirmed that they were criminals who'd done something immoral? (And, further, determined that those immoral things warranted death? Because, I assume that we don't think stealing a cookie warrants death, as immoral as it may be.)

 

Heck, half if not most of the Principi bounties are killing pirate hunters... who are just other people on bounties to kill pirates! We're literally on bounties for other bounty hunters. How can bounty hunting be impeccably moral and just? Either they're bad guys and we're killing them as good guys, or we're the bad guys!

 

Why we're talking about bounties in here isn't because we're trying to compare the relative moral values of bounty hunting vs assassination; it's to compare the situations of Maia vs the Watcher. Maia goes talk to some guy, who says he'll pay her to go kill some other guy, and then blah blah blah that guy is bad and evil and blocks Rauataian progress whatever. You go talk to Udita, she tells you that Chornu is a terrible meanie, hunting pirates, and that she'll pay you 4000 copper for his head. What's the difference? Other than the name we ascribe to these acts, which isn't actually a difference at all, more a post-hoc justification to distinguish ourselves. Or Rodul, the captain who's employed by the VTC to protect their ships is "military" whereas Clairio who's employed by the VTC to govern Port Mahe is a "civilian"?

 

These lines are so thin that they may as well be non-existent. It's an Obsidian RPG. We're playing in shades of gray. If Atsura had told the PC to go kill Clairio because Clairio had done all sorts of evil things and for 5000 copper (and if we hadn't met Clairio already so as to have proof to the contrary, which Maia hadn't), most of us would have done it without blinking, cuz $$$ and experience!

 

(Maia violates the RPG standard of full player agency. People feel "betrayed" by Maia having volition of her own as an independent(-ish) character in the game's world, sabotaging their attempt to get the most perfect ending. RPG companions aren't supposed to go off and do their own thing that sabotage the player's desires. She lies to us. (Minor) quest givers never lie to us.)

Edited by hippofant
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Spoilers ahead.

 

 

 

Well...I mean, they take money to kill people. You can parse it lots of different ways, but at the end of the day the job is murder; telling yourself anything else is just justification.

 Maia's mission was an assassination of an effective leader who was politically inconvenient. He was innocent of any wrongdoing. That isn't exactly the same as killing someone for criminal behavior. You can certainly argue that killing is not the right penalty for a criminal, but one of those seems worse than the other. No?  

 

No.

 

What's criminal may or may not be immoral, and what's wrong is a matter of perspective. 

Given the state of the old city, I'd say that the Huana have a pretty broad definition of what's wrong, and yet none of their own behavior meets the standard. 

 

In some ways the RDC is a breath of fresh air. They don't say their targets deserve death, just that it's expedient to grant it. 

 

 

Suppose for the sake of argument that the criminal has done something immoral according to your own moral code. Also suppose that the political assassination target has done nothing wrong, also according to your own personal moral code. Is the RDC still a breath of fresh air?

 

And of course we had a trial to determine their guilt, right? We confirmed that they were criminals who'd done something immoral? (And, further, determined that those immoral things warranted death? Because, I assume that we don't think stealing a cookie warrants death, as immoral as it may be.)

 

 No, we didn't, but that wasn't the question. The question was, if one thing was moral and the other was not according to your own moral code. You get to decide the morality in this question. If you are trying to play a good character, you wouldn't take the bounties you didn't agree with. Presumably, if Maia's target was offered to you as a bounty, that would be one you wouldn't take because, to use your example, he didn't even steal a cookie, as far as we know.

 

 Certainly some of the bounties cross a line; Maia's mission clearly did. 

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Suppose for the sake of argument that the criminal has done something immoral according to your own moral code. Also suppose that the political assassination target has done nothing wrong, also according to your own personal moral code. Is the RDC still a breath of fresh air?

And of course we had a trial to determine their guilt, right? We confirmed that they were criminals who'd done something immoral? (And, further, determined that those immoral things warranted death? Because, I assume that we don't think stealing a cookie warrants death, as immoral as it may be.)

 

 

 No, we didn't, but that wasn't the question. The question was, if one thing was moral and the other was not according to your own moral code. You get to decide the morality in this question. If you are trying to play a good character, you wouldn't take the bounties you didn't agree with. Presumably, if Maia's target was offered to you as a bounty, that would be one you wouldn't take because, to use your example, he didn't even steal a cookie, as far as we know.

 

 Certainly some of the bounties cross a line; Maia's mission clearly did.

 

 

We entirely trust almost all of these bounty givers without second thought. If someone did something evil according to the person who wants them dead, we go make them dead! We know because we've met Clairio and because we can meta-game the ending slides that Clairio's good folk, but Maia presumably doesn't. For her, she's just <insert random bounty here>, who Atsura says is bad and needs to be killed and will give her 5000 copper for. Even if we agreed that whatever Chornu supposedly did deserves death, we don't even know that Chornu actually did it except that person who wants us to kill Chornu says he did and it's backed up by the magical quest log. So if Atsura says Clairio eats kittens, Maia believes him, and kills Clairio to save the kittens; what's the difference? (Though we know that Maia doesn't kill Clairio, but someone else actually, who we don't know at all, and may actually eat kittens for all we know.)

 

And I don't think most players even get to the point of questioning whether a minor quest giver is lying to them or not. I think most people probably took those bounties without batting an eye. For example, this one is clearly just political assassination: https://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Bounty_-_Uamoru_the_Pretender

 

And for all we know, Maia has an ending slide too, where the Huana named Uamoru she was working with to take over the Kahanga and reform Huanan society to improve life for all the Huanans got killed by a Watcher who wanted the copper to add a menagerie onto their boat. As PCs in RPGs, we rack up ridiculous extrajudicial kill counts; it seems absurd to morally condemn an NPC who notches one in rather murky circumstances. (Maybe the Unseeing Eye is actually good folk! Maybe I just slaughtered an entire group of devotees because some Priest of Helm got his robes in a twist! Or maybe a sweet electrical katana +3 isn't a worthwhile reason to murder everybody in this house who just want to be left alone!)

 

 

Edit: To be clear, there are lots of reasons to not like Maia as a character. And you can certainly think that what she does is over the line. But I don't think the line is really because it's an "assassination" compared to all the killing that PCs do. Maybe you do play the game super-straight or maybe you acknowledge that you're RPing a character who's also over the line, but I don't think the line is somehow drawn between Maia's one assassination and all the killing that most PCs are going to do in the game. I don't think the PCs most of us play are that much better than Maia: we kill people all the time to try and get the better result in the grand scheme of things and, in Obsidian games anyways, sometimes we're off and miss the mark. And that's with the benefit of meta-game stuff like saving and reloading and authoritative quest logs and monsters manuals to tell us what's evil and what's not.

Edited by hippofant
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Maia's personal quest reminds of Anders from DA 2. Except she actually tells you about being an assassin after finish her mission and make it very clear that she hates it, and tries to change things during the ending slides.

 

While Anders just goes with the "I'm sorry but there is no other way." bull****.

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Spoilers ahead.

 

 

Well...I mean, they take money to kill people. You can parse it lots of different ways, but at the end of the day the job is murder; telling yourself anything else is just justification.

 

 

 Maia's mission was an assassination of an effective leader who was politically inconvenient. He was innocent of any wrongdoing. That isn't exactly the same as killing someone for criminal behavior. You can certainly argue that killing is not the right penalty for a criminal, but one of those seems worse than the other. No?  

If we start talking viewpoints, how about this one: Maia's simply carrying out her orders to build a better Rauatai, while the bounty hunter chooses to murder people so long as he gets paid for it.

 

 

 "I was just following orders" didn't work as a defense at Nuremberg. Should it have?

 

There are, of course, multiple ways to look at every situation. Not all of them are equivalent and you have to make choices about how to act in the world. You stated several viewpoints in your post. Do you have an opinion about any of them?

 

Personally, I'd say that Maia was a soldier carrying out orders, exemplified by the fact that she carried out her orders without a problem, despite her doubt concerning the target and belief that assassinations shouldn't be the way her country deals with potential problems.

 

I'd also say that a nazi comparison is as tasteless here as anywhere else. She performed a single assignment to secretly eliminate, in her view, a potential enemy leader,  and it shakes her enough to turn to the watcher with her doubts about a mission that was clearly supposed to be off the record. Equating that with the Nuremberg trials, involving several years continuously exterminating millions for which no good reason could ever be given, is just bad taste, though it is an excellent example of Godwin's law ;) .

 

As for the bounties, they're bounties in an RPG, but it IS an Obsidian RPG. The killing you do in an RPG throughout your journey isn't really up for debate in my view: it's still a combat RPG, and you need to earn EXP somehow. Bounties, like in any RPG, are mostly a way to earn quick money, yet as you say several bounties clearly cross the line. Yet a bounty hunter would still choose to fulfill those bounties of his own free will, should he take them; Maia was given an order, in an era where disobeying orders because of moral problems is unheard of.

 

And that's the main problem here: in our day and age, a soldier following orders that are clearly bad is a bad person for not objecting. Before WW2, however, you simply followed orders because that's what you're supposed to do, morality didn't enter the picture. In Rauatai's rigid, manifest-destiny society, I don't see things being any other way, and while that doesn't absolve her of responsibility, you can't just discount it

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Why do you guys compare assassin with privateer?

 

Don't you fight the enemy face to face when collecting a bounty?

Not everyone prefers a face-to-face engagement, the point of a bounty is that they don't usually care how the job gets done as long as it gets done.

 

There's still no comparison though.

 

Assassin = Contract killer for hire, generally employed by private interest parties, operates illegally

Bounty Hunter = Contract killer or collector for hire, employed by a government or other legal authority, operates legally

Pirate = Self-employed plunderer, marauder and/or murderer, operates illegally and often at the edge of civilization

Privateer = Self-employed plunderer, marauder and/or murderer commissioned by a government or legal authority, operates legally

 

Generally "assassin" and "bounty hunter" refer to individuals operating over land while "pirate" and "privateer" refer to individuals operating over sea.

 

 

What's your point here? Aren't we talking about ingame events?

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Spoilers ahead.

 

 

Well...I mean, they take money to kill people. You can parse it lots of different ways, but at the end of the day the job is murder; telling yourself anything else is just justification.

 

 

 Maia's mission was an assassination of an effective leader who was politically inconvenient. He was innocent of any wrongdoing. That isn't exactly the same as killing someone for criminal behavior. You can certainly argue that killing is not the right penalty for a criminal, but one of those seems worse than the other. No?  

If we start talking viewpoints, how about this one: Maia's simply carrying out her orders to build a better Rauatai, while the bounty hunter chooses to murder people so long as he gets paid for it.

 

 

 "I was just following orders" didn't work as a defense at Nuremberg. Should it have?

 

There are, of course, multiple ways to look at every situation. Not all of them are equivalent and you have to make choices about how to act in the world. You stated several viewpoints in your post. Do you have an opinion about any of them?

 

Personally, I'd say that Maia was a soldier carrying out orders, exemplified by the fact that she carried out her orders without a problem, despite her doubt concerning the target and belief that assassinations shouldn't be the way her country deals with potential problems.

 

I'd also say that a nazi comparison is as tasteless here as anywhere else. She performed a single assignment to secretly eliminate, in her view, a potential enemy leader,  and it shakes her enough to turn to the watcher with her doubts about a mission that was clearly supposed to be off the record. Equating that with the Nuremberg trials, involving several years continuously exterminating millions for which no good reason could ever be given, is just bad taste, though it is an excellent example of Godwin's law ;) .

 

 

 

 No no. It's only Godwin's Law if I direct it at you as an epithet - which, for the record, I am absolutely not doing. (Everybody: Yonjuro doesn't think that Taevyr is one of those guys.) It is the case, in the modern world, that carrying out an order you know to be illegal doesn't absolve you from the crime - that was my point. Your point about not judging an premodern culture by modern rules is a good one (and something that lot of people forget when they look at history).

 

 Anyway, in Eora,  they probably haven't made that law about following illegal orders (and maybe assassination is just fine and dandy in this culture), but the moral issue is similar and it was the morality of the choice that we were discussing. Maia's assignment seems to be a lot less of a gray area than the bounties and, Maia, as a character, seems to know that (meaning that she knows that she has done something wrong, not she has an opinion about the bounties).

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And for all we know, Maia has an ending slide too, where the Huana named Uamoru she was working with to take over the Kahanga and reform Huanan society to improve life for all the Huanans got killed by a Watcher who wanted the copper to add a menagerie onto their boat. 

 

 Yeah, but that menagerie was pretty sweet. 

 

 

..

Edit: To be clear, there are lots of reasons to not like Maia as a character. And you can certainly think that what she does is over the line.

 

 Or, to like her as a character because she at least has second thoughts about an order that she followed but didn't agree with.

 

 And, the Huana have a permanent slave class as part of their culture - do we want them to have strong leaders to carry that forward?

 

 It is the gray areas that make this an  interesting discussion.

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And for all we know, Maia has an ending slide too, where the Huana named Uamoru she was working with to take over the Kahanga and reform Huanan society to improve life for all the Huanans got killed by a Watcher who wanted the copper to add a menagerie onto their boat. 

 

 Yeah, but that menagerie was pretty sweet. 

 

 

..

Edit: To be clear, there are lots of reasons to not like Maia as a character. And you can certainly think that what she does is over the line.

 

 Or, to like her as a character because she at least has second thoughts about an order that she followed but didn't agree with.

 

 And, the Huana have a permanent slave class as part of their culture - do we want them to have strong leaders to carry that forward?

 

 It is the gray areas that make this an  interesting discussion.

 

I'm not sure that I'd call the Roparu a "slave class". Nobody *owns* a Roparu; you can't buy them, sell them, trade them, etc. And the Roparu appear to have rights; nobody forces them out of bed with whips and clubs and beats them if they don't show up for work. They're treated very badly, but they're more like Untouchables than slaves.

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And for all we know, Maia has an ending slide too, where the Huana named Uamoru she was working with to take over the Kahanga and reform Huanan society to improve life for all the Huanans got killed by a Watcher who wanted the copper to add a menagerie onto their boat. 

 

 Yeah, but that menagerie was pretty sweet. 

 

 

..

Edit: To be clear, there are lots of reasons to not like Maia as a character. And you can certainly think that what she does is over the line.

 

 Or, to like her as a character because she at least has second thoughts about an order that she followed but didn't agree with.

 

 And, the Huana have a permanent slave class as part of their culture - do we want them to have strong leaders to carry that forward?

 

 It is the gray areas that make this an  interesting discussion.

 

I'm not sure that I'd call the Roparu a "slave class". Nobody *owns* a Roparu; you can't buy them, sell them, trade them, etc. And the Roparu appear to have rights; nobody forces them out of bed with whips and clubs and beats them if they don't show up for work. They're treated very badly, but they're more like Untouchables than slaves.

 

 

 True. They also give everything they produce to the upper classes who divide things up with the two upper classes taking the majority - so I guess they are worse off than untouchables but not fully slaves.

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No no. It's only Godwin's Law if I direct it at you as an epithet - which, for the record, I am absolutely not doing. (Everybody: Yonjuro doesn't think that Taevyr is one of those guys.) It is the case, in the modern world, that carrying out an order you know to be illegal doesn't absolve you from the crime - that was my point. Your point about not judging an premodern culture by modern rules is a good one (and something that lot of people forget when they look at history).

 

 Anyway, in Eora,  they probably haven't made that law about following illegal orders (and maybe assassination is just fine and dandy in this culture), but the moral issue is similar and it was the morality of the choice that we were discussing. Maia's assignment seems to be a lot less of a gray area than the bounties and, Maia, as a character, seems to know that (meaning that she knows that she has done something wrong, not she has an opinion about the bounties).

 

Ah, I mistook the Nuremberg thing then :wacko: . Sorry for that, since the moral side of "following orders" is definitely at play here, lawful or not.

 

I definitely agree that Maia's assignment is less gray than the bounties,  especially since no-one was supposed to know it even happened and the target's a civilian.  But i think Maia handled it well: while she did carry out the assignment, she's not going to hide the fact that it shook her and she doesn't agree with using those methods at all. One key element is also her mentioning how the next leader takes up the last one's cause: Her worry isn't simply that she killed an innocent, it's that she killed an innocent without a good reason. Whether there's ever a good reason to kill an innocent is up for debate, of course, and it's never going to be the moral thing to do, but it's something I liked about her reasoning.

 

P.S. I have to say, I'm kind of surprised by how civilized these discussions are over here. Most fora I know would've stoked up a flame war already.

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And for all we know, Maia has an ending slide too, where the Huana named Uamoru she was working with to take over the Kahanga and reform Huanan society to improve life for all the Huanans got killed by a Watcher who wanted the copper to add a menagerie onto their boat. 

 

 Yeah, but that menagerie was pretty sweet. 

 

 

..

Edit: To be clear, there are lots of reasons to not like Maia as a character. And you can certainly think that what she does is over the line.

 

 Or, to like her as a character because she at least has second thoughts about an order that she followed but didn't agree with.

 

 And, the Huana have a permanent slave class as part of their culture - do we want them to have strong leaders to carry that forward?

 

 It is the gray areas that make this an  interesting discussion.

 

I'm not sure that I'd call the Roparu a "slave class". Nobody *owns* a Roparu; you can't buy them, sell them, trade them, etc. And the Roparu appear to have rights; nobody forces them out of bed with whips and clubs and beats them if they don't show up for work. They're treated very badly, but they're more like Untouchables than slaves.

 

To me, it's more like a strange form of tribal communism: everyone owns everything up to the point where it gets redistributed, and the distribution never quite goes fairly with the ruling/warrior class taking the majority of stuff and the Roparu getting nothing but scraps. While the Roparu have clear rights, like any Huana civilian, their main right is "the right to starve" in times of lean, which is probably one they'd be happy to give up.

 

Also, they live in a literal ghetto, piles of half-rotten food, guarded gates and all. Nobody chooses to live in a literal ghetto unless they have no choice.

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One key element is also her mentioning how the next leader takes up the last one's cause: Her worry isn't simply that she killed an innocent, it's that she killed an innocent without a good reason. Whether there's ever a good reason to kill an innocent is up for debate, of course, and it's never going to be the moral thing to do, but it's something I liked about her reasoning.

 

I'm not sure I understand why people are using the term "innocent" for the person Maia killed. She killed the leader of an Huana tribes which are all members of the warrior cast. That leader was a warrior, one of the best in his village going by how they are selected too. Rauatai is invading the Deadfire, all warriors are enemies to them, especially the ones trying to unit tribes to opposite outsiders which is what that leader wanted to do.

 

The quest seems to be an allegory for military preemptive strikes programs actually.

Azarhal, Chanter and Keeper of Truth of the Obsidian Order of Eternity.


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