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Sort of a silly point to make but sure, sometimes being good should have a cost to it. But the same holds true of being evil. Maybe doing the right thing cost you an eye because you leapt in front of an arrow aimed at an innocent bystander.... But not saving them may piss off a companion who is fairly moralistic and it is just one small step towards pushing them to leaving your party. Or maybe the person you saved actually would have rewarded you in some way, but being dead, it isn't going to happen now.

 

Good should not always be the "hard" path, doing the right thing should not always have obvious and extreme penalties or rewards. Just like being evil should not always be easy, and should not always have obvious and extreme penalties or rewards.

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This topic: "Let's make being good so unappealing that anyone who isn't explicitly heavily Roleplaying focused ONLY will never, ever, ever do it"

 

Sounds like a delightful plan. How about we make it so when creating a character you choose if you want to be good and if you do then the game just shows you a game over screen.

 

For the record my first character is likely going to be neutral and then I'll probably make an evil character after that, starting on as hard a difficulty as I can and I still find this stupid.

 

"Only good people ever make sacrifices" Yep, no people summon demons that consume their soul or impart terrible curses on them, never, ever.

Edited by HereticSaint
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You have to sacrifice your player at the end of the game for the good ending. In P:E2 you have to start a new character sheet. That would be quite the sacrifice.

 

And then if you're an evil character, you can get arrested and thrown in a dungeon for the rest of the series, while people in later games give passing mention to how wicked you are. /sarc

 

Seriously, why do some of you want to see other people's characters and gameplay choices wrecked just so your playstyle and your particular take on good and evil can feel validated?

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You have to sacrifice your player at the end of the game for the good ending. In P:E2 you have to start a new character sheet. That would be quite the sacrifice.

 

And then if you're an evil character, you can get arrested and thrown in a dungeon for the rest of the series, while people in later games give passing mention to how wicked you are. /sarc

 

Seriously, why do some of you want to see other people's characters and gameplay choices wrecked just so your playstyle and your particular take on good and evil can feel validated?

 

My post was made with quite a bit of snark. Don't worry, your level 12 player will live on in our hearts and minds regardless of what I say.

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

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http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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I love these good/evil debates... I give you a conversation from "The Fall of Night" in the TV series Babylon 5.

 

"But it was Kosh, wasn't it?" Sheridan asks Delenn, and she nods. "That's what he meant when he said that if he left his encounter suit, he'd be recognized by... everybody," Sheridan concludes.

 

"For millions of years, the Vorlons have visited other worlds, guided them and..."

 

"Manipulated us? Programmed us so that... when we saw them, we would react the right way?"

 

"
It is, as you say, a matter of perspective
," Delenn tells Sheridan solemnly.

 

 

Now, look at perspectives in the American Revolutionary War:

 

The British Crown was described by the Founding Fathers as the evil and oppressive taskmaster determined to drive The Colonies into poverty with their taxation and exploitation. But, to the British Crown, the Founding Fathers were a bunch of mutinous insurgents, spoiled children grown fat on the New World. Men who were spreading their evil plots and terrorist ideas within the far reaches of the British Empire. Now, both perspectives are largely forgotten. Because, we've become allies for the most part, and fighting one another is pretty pointless now. ;)

 

Good and evil are revealed within that narrow porthole of perspective that we have created for them. Many a psychopathic killer has considered themselves an instrument of God delivering justice upon the vein and corrupt masses. That said, can we please move beyond these themes of a moral binary that has grown long tired? Human beings are so much more than the pigeon holes we place one another in. And, fiction is so much more interesting when it leaves behind the predefined and dares to explore the depth in the choices we make and those reasons that led us to make them.

 

With that, I'll leave you an excerpt from fiction that I believe is just such an attempt to explore our own complexity:

 

Edited by Luridis

Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. - Julius Caesar

 

:facepalm: #define TRUE (!FALSE)

I ran across an article where the above statement was found in a release tarball. LOL! Who does something like this? Predictably, this oddity was found when the article's author tried to build said tarball and the compiler promptly went into cardiac arrest. If you're not a developer, imagine telling someone the literal meaning of up is "not down". Such nonsense makes computers, and developers... angry.

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Actually, I got a buddy who likes playing evil. He just wants to see the virtual world burn. He'll go the extra mile to make sure no one comes out happy.. Even at the cost of himself. He likes to be evil, and he doesn't mind a good challenge.

 

Like, yes.. you got people willing to sell out others to come out better themselves.. that's "Lawful" evil. Methodical.. Tactical.

 

However, then you have evil people like Sauron (chaotic evil) who shows no restraint once he has the power. He just wants to kill people and make people suffer. Are you not a minion of his creation? Well, it sucks to be you.. Are you a minion of his own creation? Well, you're not safe either. :p Sometimes, he doesn't want to kill.. He just wants to inflict prologoned torture before that person dies.

 

Now my friend is nice in actual life, but in video games, he has a preference to make things as miserable as possible for everyone. He doesn't tend to like when evil people get the 'easy route'.

 

I personally prefer to play a good guy, but I can see his point. It's not fun or challenging taking the easy route. Commiting to evil and leave a long-lasting devstating impact, and becoming the vessel of destruction should be just as hard and challenging as becoming a good-standing Paragon.

 

However.. I think there should be a few cases of: "Dude. Take this cash and don't tell people we run a slavery-operation, yeah?" And sometimes, doing the good thing only takes a small amount of effort from your end. So have a little of both, but I do think OP's point is a serious misrepresentation of what would make a game fun for evil players. No disrespect meant of course. I'm just making a counter-arguement :)

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Great topic OP. I don't think good actions need more dire consequences than evil ones. I think that if good choices could lead to incurable stat loss that evil choices should have that same potential. If you can lose 1 stamina or what have you sustaining injuries while helping somebody out you should be able to suffer those same type of losses attempting to assassinate somebody for money. I think this would make turning down quests a viable option as right now in many RPGs you just grab everything in sight and do them for the exp and rewards regardless of what your characters personality would dictate.

 

I generally find that being 'good' and 'altruistic' in games yields the greatest rewards. You're more willing to help out people in need so in the end you accept more quests as generally speaking theirs more helping out quests than ones that ask you to hurt people or do other 'evil' actions. Beyond that I always find it interesting that not asking about rewards or saying you don't need a reward usually yields the same amount or more reward than the 'greedy' options. I'd love to see some deviation from this. I think that the greedy dialogue trees should lead to greater rewards than hostile or noble ones.

 

Also I think the number of 'evil' quests in RPGs needs to be increased. f I don't accept a quest to help a lost child find their parents, because my evil/selfish character just doesn't care about them I think that it needs to be balanced out by more quests where people want you to break in to peoples houses or commit murder. Just helping the child but being angry or callous about it seems like a poor option to me. Many of the characters I make simply wouldn't even stop for a crying child from a role playing perspective. However in most games ignoring these sorts of quests leads to a huge loss in rewards and experience so you do them from a grudging standpoint. I think the best way to address this issue is to make more quests that noble and good characters wouldn't want to take part in.

K is for Kid, a guy or gal just like you. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, since there's nothin' a kid can't do.

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I don't get why people feel it is a good way to diffeentiate good and evil simply by punishing good acts with extremely severe actions. Lost of limbs, lost of treasure, and death? It's funny however , again, that in real life, good acts are often more rewarding than evil acts. No way should one be forced to 'sacrifice' themselves in order to be good. That's silly talk. It also makes things too simpleminder. Like an evil character wouldn't make a sacrifice for the cause or have the inability to care about others. Even evil people can care for others.

 

Why so hateful towards good characters that one needs to see them punished in the most heinous of ways.

 

I want to see an evil character with a tough choice.. ie. you see a powerful wepaon you want you need to cut off your hand and graft it onto your stump (ala Buffy the Vampire S3). Or if you want the uber necromancy spell maybe you have to sacrifice your body (con and health) loss to power it.

 

In reverse, perhaps, the good guy heroically rescues the princess and gets the offer to marry her and./or inherit a keep. The evil guy instead works with the villains and is then hunted down by the law and best case scenario he cna no longer show his face in the kingdown or be killed therefore misisng out on a lot of stuff.

 

Se.. works both ways... Sacrifice can hit both.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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I think that rewarding "evil" actions more than "good" actions, is just about two kind of gaming (and enjoying): players playing "good" characters will enjoy to have a difficult path as some challenge, and players playing "evil" characters will enjoy easy paths and thinking that "good" paths are useless.

 

About "Sacrifice" for "good" characters, I think empathy (which couldn't be evaluated in a game) was in the balance to get some equality with material rewards obtained by "evil" characters.

 

Even if I enjoyed playing "good" characters (Lawful to Neutral Good), now I really much enjoy "Neutral" ones (as I did in F:NV, in TW 1&2, and in Torment in Curst), because it is really difficult to "follow the line" and really amusing to get some freedom from Good and Evil archetypes, especially if your character proves to good and evil npc that they're wrong.

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players playing "good" characters will enjoy to have a difficult path as some challenge, and players playing "evil" characters will enjoy easy paths and thinking that "good" paths are useless.

 

No. Why would "good" be more challenging?

 

Just make sure it's not like in BG 2, where you get one tenth of the xp and half the loot for taking the evil choice.

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I like the idea that good is something that will cost you something. It won't really just be a no-brainer choice. I'd like to see choices where you really have to think "Is the cost really worth doing the right thing?" without the cost being so high that no one will ever take the nice option, nor so low that its negligible.

 

Playing good and playing bad are usually uninteresting in RPGs as they're usually just about picking a line of actions, then sticking to them, without the game changing much. I want to see situations where there is content you will not see unless you make a certain decision in a certain way.

I don't particularly agree with this line of thinking. Making evil or good be innately more/less profitable just makes the whole thing a puerile "come to the dark side, we have cookies" thing.

 

I would rather that both sides of an option lead to different resolutions and rewards, and that no penalizing or rewarding the player for choosing one path over the other come into play.

BioShock was pretty decent at making the choice interesting, because you had no idea what the costs for either choice were. You simply had to guess, and when it became apparent what the cost was, it was too late to re-load and pick the other choice.

You were killing little girls. I'm pretty sure that was a conscious design choice to make you think twice about it.

 

Bioshock is a great example of the OP's issue, however. The choice of virtue / vice in that game was effectively just a choice of endings. It did not serve to advance the thematic principles of the game. A virtuous PC ended up 'living a long life and dying in the arms of loved ones.' An evil PC 'unleashed hell on the world.' There is no subtlety involved; the paths were just caricatures.

There are doors

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I fully agree that the dark side must have cookies. Be it more power, higher rewards, less work, whatever. Otherwise, what's the temptation to fall for it? Simple malevolence? It's not even funny anymore, Evil should not equal Stupid Evil, as it is the case in most RPG games. Evil choices must have a greater reward in most cases.

 

I really liked the choices in Alpha Protocol and Witcher. Thornton can be a real son of a beach ball for the heck of it sometimes, but at least it is justified with his character. Most of the time he has a good reason for doing evil things, like revenge.

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players playing "good" characters will enjoy to have a difficult path as some challenge, and players playing "evil" characters will enjoy easy paths and thinking that "good" paths are useless.

 

No. Why would "good" be more challenging?

 

Just make sure it's not like in BG 2, where you get one tenth of the xp and half the loot for taking the evil choice.

I was refering to the Peter Molineux's quote (about "sacrifice" from "good" characters), and of course, I agree that it depends on the way that game's designers wanted. All in all, different rewards between "good" and "evil" will give a challenge for a side or another.

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In reverse, perhaps, the good guy heroically rescues the princess and gets the offer to marry her and./or inherit a keep. The evil guy instead works with the villains and is then hunted down by the law and best case scenario he can no longer show his face in the kingdom or be killed therefore missing out on a lot of stuff.

 

Se.. works both ways... Sacrifice can hit both.

 

Um, that's how every single game written to date works -- the "good path" (typified by offering to help without asking for a reward, declining rewards when they are offered, opposing slavery, murder, and torture, and so forth) generates both greater in character rewards (XP and loot) as well as player awards (more dialogs, more quests, more areas, etc -- generally, longer game play).

 

Originally, I think the ask in this thread is that this should be better balanced -- sometimes, if you don't ask for an award you... Shouldn't get an award, at all. No extra content, no extra quests, no extra allies, nothing. And, sometimes, if you do ask for an award, you should get one, with no further consequences. And sometimes, if you go and save a cat in a tree, you miss out on a much more lucrative quest that only appears if you refuse to save the cat. And sometimes, if you ally yourself with an obviously "evil" person, you actually get the award that you were promised (vs. getting stabbed in the back, as inevitably happens in cRPGs).

 

All of the "Good character's should suffer every time they even consider doing something nice for someone" is overkill, at least for P:E. I would like to see a game that made this its core concept, though -- where the character is in a society or situation where being good was inevitably punished in the same way that evil behavior is punished in normal cRPGs, and vice versa for evil. I don't think such a game would be a financial success, though.

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I would like to see a game that made this its core concept, though -- where the character is in a society or situation where being good was inevitably punished in the same way that evil behavior is punished in normal cRPGs, and vice versa for evil. [emphasis added]

 

Why would you want a game with a story/setting that makes no damn sense? A society where "being good" is punished? That's a ****ing paradox, buddy. Every single society, especially larger and long-lived societies, necessarily develop out of their conception of what is good. And what is good is always good for a reason, and what is bad is always bad for a reason. If for some reason, what once was good suddenly(!) becomes bad, the society dies, or it transforms into something else. This is why evil overlords are such a popular device in fantasy stories (because, in the long term, evil overlords must inevitably fail). Where you cannot make values, you cannot have a society.

 

As for the design of this game, plain and simply, the sacrifices and benefits of good or bad behavior need to fit the story/setting (or the reverse if you want to design this game the stupid way, i.e. mainly design the story and setting to fit some shallow and derivative ready made quest scenarios, which will pretty much guarantee that the game's story and setting be crap). That's it right there. End of story.

 

What I want to see in this game is a world that reacts believably to your actions.

Here, here!

 

On a side note, factions are a really good idea. Since story is all about the balance of power and it's effects, factions (especially if well integrated into the "main" storyline) can make things much more complicated and interesting than simply hero vs villain.

Edited by Game_Exile
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I would like to see a game that made this its core concept, though -- where the character is in a society or situation where being good was inevitably punished in the same way that evil behavior is punished in normal cRPGs, and vice versa for evil. [emphasis added]

 

Why would you want a game with a story/setting that makes no damn sense? A society where "being good" is punished? That's a ****ing paradox, buddy....

 

In the real world, a society defines what it allows or encourages as "good", so this is something of a moot point. There are numerous examples of societies that would be classified as "evil" by the standards of modern morality that survived and thrived for an extended period of time (for example, the Roman Empire). Yes, they all fell -- but they lasted longer than any currently existing society, so all that establishes is that all things eventually end, not that evil societies are necessarily unstable.

 

Now, in a high fantasy world -- one with deities that are actively advocating and rewarding behavior that is explicitly defined (by the deities) as evil -- then it might be feasible for a stable society to develop where evil (as identified by modern morality) behavior is both identified as evil, such behavior is encouraged, and is stable (as stable as any society is, anyways). In the FR setting, for example, Thay and Drow society both operate (in theory) are examples of societies organized along these lines, and Mordor in LotR is another example. To make this work would require an immense amount of world building on the part of the writers as this type of society would be as alien to readers / players as the society of bug-men from Zeedak. But I don't think it is necessarily impossible.

 

To reiterate the point that I made before, though: I'm very uncertain if it is possible to make a high-quality cRPG around such a society (without casting the player in the role of "freedom fighter"). Even if it is possible to do so, I don't think that such a game would be a financially successful, as the vast majority of the potential player base would be repulsed by the very concept of such a game. Although, now that I think of it, the "Grand Theft: Auto" series of games could be classified as games of this sort, and they are popular... :)

 

In any case, while I think such a game would be interesting, I don't think it is the right way to go with P:E. I fully expect P:E to be a fairly standard fantasy game, one which the player is awarded for choosing "good" options and punished severely for choosing "evil" options -- after all, that's how all the games that are described as inspirations for it worked. And, intuitively, we believe the real world should work this way as well -- "pay it forward", "karma", all religions ("meet will inherit the world", anyone) and most, if not all, philosophical systems are based around the concept that good people will always come out ahead of evil people. To make a game that clashes with such a common and deeply held belief is just asking for trouble.

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Why would you want a game with a story/setting that makes no damn sense? A society where "being good" is punished? That's a ****ing paradox, buddy. Every single society, especially larger and long-lived societies, necessarily develop out of their conception of what is good. And what is good is always good for a reason, and what is bad is always bad for a reason. If for some reason, what once was good suddenly(!) becomes bad, the society dies, or it transforms into something else. This is why evil overlords are such a popular device in fantasy stories (because, in the long term, evil overlords must inevitably fail). Where you cannot make values, you cannot have a society.

 

I do not think benevolence is a structural necessity. I do not think our "north" societes put benevolence as a central value, something used by them to stand. You know very well selfish is a norm and is praised. Benevolence is praised too, but as something "exceptional". The heroic fire-fighter, the good sister. If "the good" is to get rich, to have a "successful life", a car, children, good education, good health, being patriotic, etc., it is not the "good" of our adventure novels and games.

 

So, I repeat myself, but I think "being good" has to feel exceptional. It may not feel exceptional for our character (being a hero, and all..) but it could be for us, players. There is no need to caricature what I say as in "Let's make being good so unappealing that anyone who isn't explicitly heavily Roleplaying focused ONLY will never, ever, ever do it" (actual quote).

 

I will help people who want to not agree with me. A better argument (an argument at all) would be: "But, our society discourages involvement. You play a hero, good or not, evil or not, so you are getting involved by definition. Thus you find yourself in a position where being good is a possibility not as far-off as for a mister/lady Nothing".

 

That is where the discussion could begin to be interesting. Because "yes indeed, very pertinent objection, thank you." and so, I could say something like "also, it is a videogame". And get back to the question of design. I guess a designer wants the player to feel involved. Hell, what if the player could feel all warm and fizzy inside when he is being sacrificially good in a meaningful quest?

 

Somebody mentioned Bioshock, I really like this example. Putting its manichaeism and the different endings aside, it's a very boring and cosmetic game mechanics. Will you have your reward now (be evil) or later (be good)? Obviously, the dev team has had this discussion we have here. They decided to make "being good" a bit more difficult, with a big reward at the end, but in such a way that it does not really matter. Sadly, I am pretty sure they chose this direction because they did not want to make the spoiled players we are cry. Because we want the praises AND the candy. And we usually have. Can't we come up with something a bit more... rough?

Edited by Margaretha
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Now, in a high fantasy world -- one with deities that are actively advocating and rewarding behavior that is explicitly defined (by the deities) as evil -- then it might be feasible for a stable society to develop where evil (as identified by modern morality) behavior is both identified as evil, such behavior is encouraged, and is stable (as stable as any society is, anyways).

Unless you are the fanatical religious type, modern morality has no bearing on whether or not you can find "believable" a fictional morality for a fictional society. That's why I didn't mention modern morality in my reply to your post. Because I was talking about the coherence of a fantasy world.

 

Now, leaving "modern" morality aside, let me ask you one question. How many generations are people in your fictional society supposed to either a)keep tolerating the "evil" demands of the evil god, or b) keep identifying the "evil" as really evil?

 

To make this work would require an immense amount of world building on the part of the writers as this type of society would be as alien to readers / players as the society of bug-men from Zeedak.

ONE way to do this would take an immense amount of "building", not because such a society is alien, but because you would have to clearly and convincingly show something that is extremely convoluted in its sense. The OTHER way is to make a game where it is simply easy to ignore the lack of sense in this part of the game's setting, in which case, dealing with moral questions in this game will probably be one of its least interesting parts (think of a cartoon Hell).

 

And, intuitively, we believe the real world should work this way as well -- "pay it forward", "karma", all religions ("meet will inherit the world", anyone) and most, if not all, philosophical systems are based around the concept that good people will always come out ahead of evil people.

What are "philosophical systems"? I've never before seen one of these "systems". And it is ridiculously stupid to think that "good people" will always come out ahead of "evil people". Which philosophy even comes close to saying THAT?

 

 

Why would you want a game with a story/setting that makes no damn sense? A society where "being good" is punished? That's a ****ing paradox, buddy. Every single society, especially larger and long-lived societies, necessarily develop out of their conception of what is good. And what is good is always good for a reason, and what is bad is always bad for a reason. If for some reason, what once was good suddenly(!) becomes bad, the society dies, or it transforms into something else. This is why evil overlords are such a popular device in fantasy stories (because, in the long term, evil overlords must inevitably fail). Where you cannot make values, you cannot have a society.

I do not think benevolence is a structural necessity. I do not think our "north" societes put benevolence as a central value, something used by them to stand. You know very well selfish is a norm and is praised. Benevolence is praised too, but as something "exceptional". The heroic fire-fighter, the good sister. If "the good" is to get rich, to have a "successful life", a car, children, good education, good health, being patriotic, etc., it is not the "good" of our adventure novels and games.

I'm glad to see that we agree (if I'm reading your post correctly). The way you write is very cute, and I bet you are, too! :biggrin:

Edited by Game_Exile
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Now, in a high fantasy world -- one with deities that are actively advocating and rewarding behavior that is explicitly defined (by the deities) as evil -- then it might be feasible for a stable society to develop where evil (as identified by modern morality) behavior is both identified as evil, such behavior is encouraged, and is stable (as stable as any society is, anyways).

Unless you are the fanatical religious type, modern morality has no bearing on whether or not you can find "believable" a fictional morality for a fictional society.

 

Um, I'm 100% certain that I'm not a fanatical religious type, but I do in fact use modern standards of morality when evaluating the moral systems in fiction (games and books). If I'm reading a book that contains a society that rewards unwilling human sacrifice, practices chattel slavery, and treats rape as something praiseworthy, then... I'm going to evaluate that society as "evil", regardless of what words the book / game chooses to use to describe the morality of the society. In fact, I'd expect the members of that society (in character) to define their actions and society as "good" -- if they didn't, then that's where I would have a problem. The notion of a society of people who would say "Yes, slavery morally and ethically wrong -- in fact, it is evil -- but I do it anyway" seems absurd to me. However, fantasy novels quite often include entire races or societies that, apparently, do work in just this way. I'd be interested in seeing a work (novel or game) that tried to come up with a way to make this type of society believable.

 

That's why I didn't mention modern morality in my reply to your post. Because I was talking about the coherence of a fantasy world.

 

Now, leaving "modern" morality aside, let me ask you one question. How many generations are people in your fictional society supposed to either a)keep tolerating the "evil" demands of the evil god, or b) keep identifying the "evil" as really evil?

 

I don't know -- that would be up to the writers in practice, or the deity in-universe. Presumably, the deity is in charge of defining the words "good" and "evil", and can therefore define "evil" to be whatever behavior(s) he/she/it feels produces the desired results, and ensure that definition doesn't change over time.

 

To make this work would require an immense amount of world building on the part of the writers as this type of society would be as alien to readers / players as the society of bug-men from Zeedak.

ONE way to do this would take an immense amount of "building", not because such a society is alien, but because you would have to clearly and convincingly show something that is extremely convoluted in its sense. The OTHER way is to make a game where it is simply easy to ignore the lack of sense in this part of the game's setting, in which case, dealing with moral questions in this game will probably be one of its least interesting parts (think of a cartoon Hell).

 

And, obviously, I'd only be interested in a work that chose the first route.

 

And, intuitively, we believe the real world should work this way as well -- "pay it forward", "karma", all religions ("meet will inherit the world", anyone) and most, if not all, philosophical systems are based around the concept that good people will always come out ahead of evil people.

What are "philosophical systems"? I've never before seen one of these "systems". And it is ridiculously stupid to think that "good people" will always come out ahead of "evil people". Which philosophy even comes close to saying THAT?

 

Philosophy covers (at a very, very superficial level) some of the more important philosophical systems. And yes, most of them (not all) do contain some element of "good inevitably triumphs over evil". Note that this isn't at the individual level (e.g. one person), but at the "big picture" level -- over the course of hundreds of years, societies that are based on "good" concepts will triumph over societies that are built on "evil" concepts, with "good" and "evil" being defined by the specific philosophical system. The concept of "the meek will inherit the earth" is hardly unique to Christianity.

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If I'm reading a book that contains a society that rewards unwilling human sacrifice, practices chattel slavery, and treats rape as something praiseworthy, then... I'm going to evaluate that society as "evil", regardless of what words the book / game chooses to use to describe the morality of the society. In fact, I'd expect the members of that society (in character) to define their actions and society as "good" -- if they didn't, then that's where I would have a problem. The notion of a society of people who would say "Yes, slavery morally and ethically wrong -- in fact, it is evil -- but I do it anyway" seems absurd to me. However, fantasy novels quite often include entire races or societies that, apparently, do work in just this way. I'd be interested in seeing a work (novel or game) that tried to come up with a way to make this type of society believable.

So what you are saying is that we are in total agreement. Though I am a bit skeptical about these fantasy novels you mention. By your own admission, you have yet to see a "believable" illustration of the type of self contradictory fictional society you are talking about.

 

Now, leaving "modern" morality aside, let me ask you one question. How many generations are people in your fictional society supposed to either a)keep tolerating the "evil" demands of the evil god, or b) keep identifying the "evil" as really evil?

I don't know -- that would be up to the writers in practice, or the deity in-universe. Presumably, the deity is in charge of defining the words "good" and "evil", and can therefore define "evil" to be whatever behavior(s) he/she/it feels produces the desired results, and ensure that definition doesn't change over time.

You are talking about "define" in the superficial sense. If a people come to feel that what must be named "evil" is actually good, the meaning of "evil" will change to "good", especially over generations if it persists. The word attached to "good" frankly doesn't matter.

 

What are "philosophical systems"? I've never before seen one of these "systems". And it is ridiculously stupid to think that "good people" will always come out ahead of "evil people". Which philosophy even comes close to saying THAT?

Philosophy covers (at a very, very superficial level) some of the more important philosophical systems. And yes, most of them (not all) do contain some element of "good inevitably triumphs over evil". Note that this isn't at the individual level (e.g. one person), but at the "big picture" level -- over the course of hundreds of years, societies that are based on "good" concepts will triumph over societies that are built on "evil" concepts, with "good" and "evil" being defined by the specific philosophical system. The concept of "the meek will inherit the earth" is hardly unique to Christianity.

Once again, you end up agreeing with me 100%: "Note that this isn't at the individual level (e.g. one person), but at the "big picture" level -- over the course of hundreds of years, societies that are based on "good" concepts will triumph over societies that are built on "evil" concepts, with "good" and "evil" being defined by the specific philosophical system." You realize what is "good" ends up being good because it, one way or another, triumphs over "evil"? This is a pretty common, very modern, insight about history.

 

And you still haven't told me what a "philosophical system" is. If the "systems" are so complex that philosophy only covers them very very superficially, how in the hell are you drawing all these facile conclusions about them? "Philosophical system" sounds, to me, like a very very superficial misnomer. Lastly where else besides chritianity/judaism does it say "the meek will inherit the earth"?

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It's not DnD or SW so there is no reason to include "good" or "evil" choices or endings. Just choices and consequences like in Witcher.

There is no reason to have them defined but I would still like the option of dealing with situations in extreme ways, even though it may not say anything about your character's alignment.

Its quite liberating when you think about it since you no longer have to play at being the good/bad guy.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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It's not DnD or SW so there is no reason to include "good" or "evil" choices or endings. Just choices and consequences like in Witcher.

There is no reason to have them defined but I would still like the option of dealing with situations in extreme ways, even though it may not say anything about your character's alignment.

Its quite liberating when you think about it since you no longer have to play at being the good/bad guy.

 

What does being extreme has to do with being good or evil?

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