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(spoiler) About the "morality issues" of the quest « A mother's plea »


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- You start this quest with the intent of helping a mother to save her child

- After accepting this quest, as a needed step, you are asked to kill a whole tribe of people you are not able communicate with to avoid a renegade of this tribe to be caught.

- You cannot communicate with the tribe you murder, because, well, they are different (smaller, ugly, less developped culture, seen as between animal and civilised ... In a word : Xaurips)

 

Well, it would have been nice to have a little hook on some moral considerations. There is absolutly no thinking at any moment about what you are actually doing.

 

You started "neutral good" and ended "chaotic evil" in a snap, and with nothing to make you consider you where maybe, juste maybe a little harsh and brainless ... *gasp*

 

I have not completed the game, so I actually do not know if the story will later come back on this or not.

 

And I have to say ... I enjoy it fits to what I understand from the setting so far. As for say : we are in a colonialist era, so the story is written in a colonialist spirit.  :teehee:

 

Anyway, I hope that Tides of Numenéra will take a little more time to focus on that kind of questions.

 

(My point is not to argue, but to say "I noticed !" and to know if it was intended or not  :p )

Edited by Nevrose
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The Xaurips run into this situation a lot - like the first one you meet in the early game who is defending that bit of pottery, and is very ill.  You can just brutally cut him down despite him not really threatening you for his stash or leave him be.  It doesn't seem to change your "disposition" either way though. 

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The Xaurips run into this situation a lot - like the first one you meet in the early game who is defending that bit of pottery, and is very ill.  You can just brutally cut him down despite him not really threatening you for his stash or leave him be.

 

In regards to that particular xaurip there is also a third way - most beneficial to the both sides. :)

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Also the one in the bottom of stronghold you find and cut his throat. Poor guy =(

That's actually an act of mercy. There is more to this story, you can find the explanation in the diaries of previous 'adventurers' that went there and started dying one by one.

 

 

 

The Xaurips run into this situation a lot - like the first one you meet in the early game who is defending that bit of pottery, and is very ill.  You can just brutally cut him down despite him not really threatening you for his stash or leave him be.

 

In regards to that particular xaurip there is also a third way - most beneficial to the both sides.  :)

 

ooh, do tell in a PM. Can't figure that one out.

Edited by Veevoir
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Also the one in the bottom of stronghold you find and cut his throat. Poor guy =(

That's actually an act of mercy. There is more to this story, you can find the explanation in the diaries of previous 'adventurers' that went there and started dying one by one.

 

 

 

The Xaurips run into this situation a lot - like the first one you meet in the early game who is defending that bit of pottery, and is very ill.  You can just brutally cut him down despite him not really threatening you for his stash or leave him be.

 

In regards to that particular xaurip there is also a third way - most beneficial to the both sides.  :)

 

ooh, do tell in a PM. Can't figure that one out.

 

me either, its one of the only dialogs in the game that doesnt tell you what skill you're missing...and I've tried a lot of options with that lil guy

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Also the one in the bottom of stronghold you find and cut his throat. Poor guy =(

That's actually an act of mercy. There is more to this story, you can find the explanation in the diaries of previous 'adventurers' that went there and started dying one by one.

 

 

 

 

The Xaurips run into this situation a lot - like the first one you meet in the early game who is defending that bit of pottery, and is very ill. You can just brutally cut him down despite him not really threatening you for his stash or leave him be.

In regards to that particular xaurip there is also a third way - most beneficial to the both sides. :)

ooh, do tell in a PM. Can't figure that one out.

me either, its one of the only dialogs in the game that doesnt tell you what skill you're missing...and I've tried a lot of options with that lil guy
I'm 99% sure you need an item to get another dialogue option. I still have that quest item, I didn't use it anywhere else in Cilant Lis so I assume it's for the xaurip - but I never went back to him, so I could be wrong.
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I've noticed multiple points in the story where the decision that the game thinks is the "morally good" decision is not the one I think is the "morally good" decision (or vice-versa). I've had to reload and redo a few conversations because my intent was to be the good guy but I had to take what I considered to be "bad-guy" conversation paths to get what the game considered "good-guy" status. There were also a number of times when a conversation suddenly put me in a position where my only conversation option was one that I did not agree with and did not think went with my character. Overall the game is good, but there are definitely some poorly thought out parts.

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I've noticed multiple points in the story where the decision that the game thinks is the "morally good" decision is not the one I think is the "morally good" decision (or vice-versa). I've had to reload and redo a few conversations because my intent was to be the good guy but I had to take what I considered to be "bad-guy" conversation paths to get what the game considered "good-guy" status. There were also a number of times when a conversation suddenly put me in a position where my only conversation option was one that I did not agree with and did not think went with my character. Overall the game is good, but there are definitely some poorly thought out parts.

 

That's the reflection of our world: sometimes the actions you take seem moral to you, but the person who witnesses them thinks otherwise. Doesn't that happen to you in reality? And sometimes you can even accept, that these actions can be in fact interpreted in two or more ways.

Moreover, I would regard the creators of the game not as a single being that corresponds to your actions and judges if you are bad or good in general, but as a collection of different opinions on your different actions. You cannot follow your moral standards, bobthe, and be seen as good by all the members of the society. Because everyone has a different opinion (is it better to mercy-kill or not commit the murder, but let the sick person live? or take another highly discussed moral question). Try and start that debate across the world, you will see not everyone agrees with you.

Throughout the game I acted as a good character would, I tried to be forgiving, loyal, honest, sympathetic etc. Yet still I came out a mixture of everything (except cruel and aggressive) in the end. You know, I see it as a natural thing, because there are always at least two points of view on what you are doing. Not all characters in the game appreciate all the aspects of your morally good line. Some would appreciate honesty over sympathy, some can't bare honesty and will regard you as good if you tell them sweet lies but they just do not know.

 

Well, it would have been nice to have a little hook on some moral considerations. There is absolutly no thinking at any moment about what you are actually doing.

 

You started "neutral good" and ended "chaotic evil" in a snap, and with nothing to make you consider you where maybe, juste maybe a little harsh and brainless ... *gasp*

 

 

Nevrose, same goes for the Mother's Plea quest. You can regard xaurips as sacrificing bloody brutes, who live to bring more chaos by worshiping and helping the drakes, so the land is better off without them. Or you can see them as another of nature's creation, although flawed but not to be blamed for they are born that way and thus do not deserve being killed (I guess, defending all sorts of beings no matter their nature that'd be the Neutral alignment in the classic DnD, not Good?).

I regard killing those xaurips at Compass as self-defense, I do not kill unless that can be helped. But they do not give me a chance to negotiate - they get killed. Period. There's killing in the fantasy worlds, because it's perilous. The moral principles are pushed forward, where survival is in question. Think of it.

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Well, about the form, I do remember I am playing a game with a lot of details on "how to kill things" so yeah, I know this is going to happen a lot whatever goal I am trying to achieve : you even get a lot XP for it ! ;)

 

About the content, I agree with you both, Bobthe and Vilma. 

 

And just to debate a little : is it more classic DnD neutral alignment or Good alignment ? I think it depends on what you decide what evil and good means in your campaign. What Goodness vs Evil does stand for ? Altruism vs egocentricism ? Social kindness vs social vileness ? Good deeds vs bad deeds ? Helping the good guys side vs standing with the bad guys ? ... So, are those druids neutral because they side with nature ? Are they good because they save ecosystem ? Are they bad because they fight civilisation ? So when you stated that there is always at least two points of view on what you are doing, I couldn't agree more !

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My point is that, given what I know about certain NPCs and factions and their goals and motivations, some responses/reactions to certain actions/positions were very surprising and contradictory to how they have been portrayed in the game. I'm not talking completely generically.

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My point is that, given what I know about certain NPCs and factions and their goals and motivations, some responses/reactions to certain actions/positions were very surprising and contradictory to how they have been portrayed in the game. I'm not talking completely generically.

 

 

In this case, if just some NPCs did not align with their fractions, I would just assume that someone with different understanding of the fraction goals wrote this piece. If the same characters were not consistent throughout the plot, then it's another thing. Was that what you meant? Do you have a particular example in mind?

 

 

Well, about the form, I do remember I am playing a game with a lot of details on "how to kill things" so yeah, I know this is going to happen a lot whatever goal I am trying to achieve : you even get a lot XP for it !  ;)

 

About the content, I agree with you both, Bobthe and Vilma. 

 

And just to debate a little : is it more classic DnD neutral alignment or Good alignment ? I think it depends on what you decide what evil and good means in your campaign. What Goodness vs Evil does stand for ? Altruism vs egocentricism ? Social kindness vs social vileness ? Good deeds vs bad deeds ? Helping the good guys side vs standing with the bad guys ? ... So, are those druids neutral because they side with nature ? Are they good because they save ecosystem ? Are they bad because they fight civilisation ? So when you stated that there is always at least two points of view on what you are doing, I couldn't agree more !

 

I have little to contribute to the Good vs Evil debate. I just know what classical DnD have to offer on alignments. But that system is the child of the society at the time of its creation. So it cannot be trusted. Neither can be trusted what a white middle-class RPG player as myself has to say on the topic :D Try to teach your principles to another culture.I just have one question: Or is the person good no matter what he does if he means well?

 

As I understand, neutrality does not mean connected with nature. You can be just self-serving and do practical things, but not too cruel and restrain from devoting too much time to giving to others and here you are in the Neutral alignment, as I see it.

But the nature is regarded as a self-balanced system (roughly: the deer is eaten by a tiger, the tiger dies and the trees grow on its remains), that's why people who are close to it (druids), take a mixture of principles from it. I think, if druids want to be neutral, they have to balance out nature vs. civilization as well. There is reasonable amount of wild regions and civilization is okay unless the balance is threatened.

 

It all comes to self-preservation mechanisms. If you are endangered, you'll do everything to protect yourself and others around you. The safer/more powerful you are - the bigger is the circle of those "others" you can think of.

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@Nevrose: Did the game give you good guy points for killing the evil xaurips and tell you you were the most moral of them all for helping that poor mother-to-be? No. Did the game give you good guy points for not killing a whole tribe of xaurips who hadn't done you any harm just for the selfish emotional comfort of one cowardly character? No. Did the game expect you to start or finish that quest? No. The story that gets written is the one you write with the elements the game makes available to you. You chose to act as what you consider a chaotic evil character. Granted, the designer of the quest did not include another way to resolve it (lazy design, a plague upon their house unto the seventh generation, how dare they), but you can't always get what you want. I'd say that quest says as much about its designer as it does about the setting (if you insist) or the player. I know I certainly didn't lose any sleep over it. Huh? Kill a tribe of dragon-worshipping lizardlings that haven't stopped attacking me on sight ever since I set foot on this beach? Sure!

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Right, but the point is the game elements provided to you are: kobolds are for killing.  The end.  

And, of course, as it turns out, you aren't helping anyone, which only says something about the writer.  (Notably that there is no option for: 'yes, the drink won't spontaneously give your child a soul, but you have a better chance of surviving childbirth if you're healthy', rather than just calling shenanigans of lying to the woman).  

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The point of reproach in the OP was that the only way you could progress that quest was by killing that specific xaurip tribe when we are shown in the very setup of that stage of the quest that xaurips are quite clearly sentient and capable of reason even if the PC cannot understand them, not that "[xaurips] are for killing" - obviously not, since you are wiping out a tribe of xaurips to save a xaurip (The PC does it to get a potion to save an unborn human to... make them feel good about themselves I guess? But the healer's motivation is to save her xaurip buddy. There can be no debate about it.)

 

The general undertone of the OP was that the quest and its author were obviously brainless xenophobes (shameless caricature on my part, I know, what a bad reader I am, putting words in people's mouths): "You cannot communicate with the tribe you murder, because, well, they are different (smaller, ugly, less developped culture, seen as between animal and civilised ... In a word : Xaurips)" (my emphasis) Never are you presented with that line of reasoning in the game, not even implicitly. What you are presented with is a creature of the same "type" as you (=kith=human-like) that is asking you to kill a whole lot of creatures with a red circle (=enemies!) that are not the same type as you for the sake of one exact same creature but with a green circle (=friend!).

 

I agree that this quest could have been designed in a less xaurip-hating way. Your PC could have tried hand gestures, they could have tried putting their down on the ground, they could have tried spending ten years learning the xaurip's ways, I don't know. But it certainly was not designed with a neo-colonialist state of mind. (Fair warning: I'm about to prove that I can read the writer's mind too.) It was designed with a "now I need an obstacle that fits the map and hopefully presents some sort of quandary" state of mind. Because it is a quandary, and it is obviously set up to be one. Why not simply have the most important ingredient be in a cave full of unequivocally righteously killable creatures? Or only accessible via a scripted vignette the healer herself was not fit for? Why introduce that friendly xaurip outcast and his/her/its tribe?

 

Maybe the journal should have had an extra step to make the writer's intentions crystal clear, like , "now stop and think really hard about what you are about to do" or "now take a moment to bask in your glorious kith supremacy" or even "now turn off your brain because there is no deeper meaning to what you are doing."

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