>The king and his royal guard are powerful psychics who mentally primes and prepares the youth into being what the kingdom will need for the next generation.
>This means that if he needs more warriors in the youth, he will simply mess with their brains while they are young so they are more likely to be good knights.
Realistically, how powerful could his country become of they managed to keep this up?
Depends how many people they could do this to at once.
But you already knew that.
this is the "post a dumb premise with incomplete information" flavor of bait.
I'd say it's shitposting rather than bait.
Shitty, I bet you my left nut that one of his 'oh so loyal Guards' programs a Knight to murder the shit out of the King. This would just keep happening to. Ever see that episode of Futurama where Fry becomes the Emperor of the Water People?
It'd be something like that.
Or someone finds out that the King is more or less mind raping the youth and a full scale rebellion happens where the King and his men are over thrown and violently murdered.
I don't care how powerful a psychic you are, you can't stop thousands of angry civilians from breaking down the door and killing you and your entire family.
Also, alignment wise, he'd be, like, Neutral Evil.
Usually, but it's likely they don't even know their being programmed to be good, so it's not like their being harmed or scarred. If anything, he's helping them more than anyone else.
No, it's quite the opposite actually.
You hold the door open for someone because you want to, you don't launch yourself on a crusade of justice purging the world of evil because you woke up that morning and wanted to go on a years long blood-soaked war path, it's because deep down you know that doing anything else requires accepting the evil of the world. A paladin is very much made by evil, as it is the existence of that evil that causes the paladin to make his oaths and take up arms against it.
Not very. The needs of the country ten or fifteen years down the line are pretty murky, unless you just need a working society. And a working society emerges from supply and demand as long as you DON'T fuck with it too much and don't get conquered by some asshole who loves to clumsily micromanage society and created an unstoppable conquering force that will starve to death in half a generation.
>takes a whole generation to adapt to new situations
Face it, humans are already pretty good for most purposes that we have an interest in.
I'd say it's almost certainly a legitimate attempt to start an enjoyable discussion.
In a setting where good and evil are both perfectly objective and tangible things that can be measured and quantified, any person with the ability to actually make people good is inherently good. With the alignment chart, free will is irrelevant.
I would, however, make it that anyone and everyone whose alignment is modified in this way also becomes lawful, and it is impossible to be made chaotic or neutral in this manner, although a conflicting form of law could be ingrained into the mind of someone, the very process of enforcing ones will in this way is a lawful act. Due to the nature of alignments, making people lawful good would be a good deed, regardless of how, as the good person will by their very nature work to spread good. Likewise, making someone evil would be an evil act, as they would inevitably work to spread evil.
It is also confirmed from Gygax him self that in such a world, it is a perfectly good and just deed to kill a good man who is at risk of becoming evil before he turns evil, as such a deed would send his soul to a good realm before it can be claimed and tainted by evil. A reformed thief for example, converted prisoners from a pagan army, ect.
For example, in the last campaign I played in, my paladin was the founder of a holy order leading a brutal campaign of conquest against a dragon-born lead orc nation that had been attacking our lands for years. On a regular basis after battles prisoners would be explained the doctrine of my character's faith and given the chance to convert. Those who did were beheaded and had their bodies ritually cremated, while the others were burned as heretics and blasphemers. You cannot claim this is an evil act because in this setting my character is sending these repentant individuals to a provably perfect afterlife that he himself and multiple others in the party have been to personally and know to be perfect in a relatively painless manner while at the same time punishing those who willfully deny it.
Now you might have a point about the killing converts (although it is widely considered the stupidist thing gygax ever said)
But no magicly turning somebody good is an evil act only time that has been gone against is the book of exalted deeds the most hated sourcebook in the edition precisely because the author had such a poor understanding of the alignment system.
Mindrape is an evil spell arcane spellcasters can cast evil spells as a non evil act but mindrape is one of the hardest to justify and most justifications for it can be done with a much lower level spell.
You are trying to view a quantifiable alignment system with your current view of morality, and they will never fit together, or make sense.
So no, turning someone good is not an evil act. In fact, turning someone good is about the least evil thing you could ever do. Good and evil are not opinions or world views in this situation, they are objective good and bad, nice and naughty, yes and no. There is no room for balance, argument, debate, or coexistence in such settings. Evil things sow discord and hatred and good things work to fix them. Making people good in this setting makes them better, happier, and more comfortable in every way, because it makes them GOOD.
You are not properly looking at this situation through the lens of its own morality.
It's a giant edgy pile of shit with a few good points. One of which is "brainwashing people into doing what you want is evil."
And, besides, since when are we talking about this through the lens of D&D's alignment system?
Speaking of the book of vile darkness its a shame that it gives better information on the nature of good then the book of exalted deeds
Holly shit the book of exalted deeds is horrible.
Unless that thing is good stuff, because if you want to do evil things, you are literally wrong, meaning I can point to a chart and say "that thing you want to do is wrong, and you are an incorrect person for wanting to do it."
Evil in settings with a tangible alignment chart could be argued to be a mental illness.
If anything, I'm arguing against the alignment chart itself.
The question I responded to was referring to turning people "good", and in order to do that you need "good" and "evil" to be quantifiable things that you can place on a dial. That is essentially D&D alignment.
Does the book of exalted deeds even do anything? From what I understand, the book of vile darkness (as an item) lets you perform rituals, summon evil shit, and just generally be an evil badass while the book of exalted deeds (as an item) is just a book full of feel-good stories.
>Good and evil are not opinions or world views in this situation, they are objective good and bad
Yes, they are quantifiable good or evil. What you're saying is the ends justify the means, but in the case of magic that's not true because the same system that implements the alignment system (which your argument is based off of) objectively labels the mind rape spell as "evil." Regardless of the outcome, the act itself is evil. Much like the paladin example, what he did was overall net-gain good, but explicitly evil: killing helpless people not in self-defense is evil.
Except killing helpless people has nothing at all to do with the issue. A paladin finds evil, and removes it, punishing criminals and smiting evil things. If it ticks as evil, it's a good deed to kill it. This is the kind of phenomenon that occurs when you are using this kind of alignment system, a system that, despite the contention regarding the comment, Gygax understood perfectly. It is the morality of a crusader, a templar, an inquisitor. It's the morality of a world where souls can be measured by deeds and intentions and have determinate slots and locations in which they fit upon death.
The orc must be punished for killing good people and serving the evil nation they were a part of, and as such they are killed regardless of if they repent or not, but death is a non-issue, as their soul is a measurable piece of energy that flows into its prescribed dimension where it continues to exist and reaps what it has sown in life. Knowing this, acts of evil are counter to ones' own interests, and as such is an inherently incorrect state of being.
The paladin can forgive the sins of a man whist smiting him down at the same time and be entirely at peace knowing that if the man was true in seeking forgiveness, he lives on in a tangible way in a location that people can see, visit, and know full well is a utopia for all time. That is the nature of objective alignment.
Killing or taking prisoner is a matter of preference killing people who repent can be a good thing if the gm agrees with it due to gygaxes views but its something few people agree with him on
But magicly making somebody good is NOT a good act. Only time anything has gone against that is the book of exalted deeds which gets almost everything about the alignment system wrong.
>Its something few people agree with him on
And they are wrong. When you utilize an objective and quantifiable alignment system, you are buying into a moral logic that requires outright abandoning modern 1st world common moral ideas entirely. Anything less could be considered a plot hole in the campaign or poor world building on the DM's part.
I read the book of vile darkness and hated it, never read exalted deeds because it looked like more of the same but flipped, but regardless, the act of turning someone good could very easily be considered a good deed. At that point it depends less on the logic of morality and more on the mechanical composition of the soul in the setting. If a soul can be altered in such a way without tainting or injuring it in some way, it would very much be a good deed, as it would be 'fixing' it of its evil corruption. If the only way to change a soul is via soul-lobotomy, then you end up with a fake-good counterfeit soul, and this is where the issue of the act itself being evil comes from. Such actions in most settings, if it is possible at all, require methods that are inherently offensive to the soul, an almost still-living necromancy. That is where the evil comes from, because you have made more an automaton then a good soul, and to truly make a soul, you would need to become a god (or, it may be more accurate to say you would become a god because you have learned to make a soul) and at that point you are free to dictate morality itself.
Claiming that forcing goodness on someone is evil doesn't stand up to logic, however, and claiming good deities do not force their morals on their creations is just bad writing, as many sentient beings, many made by these very same gods, are manufactured and locked at the good alignment. If you want to build your setting around Taoist philosophy, then go ahead, that's fine, but what the the current writers of D&D supplements always seem to want to do is claim moral objectivity exists in their setting, and then treat it like relative morality.
This has nothing to do with modern ethics I don't consider necromancy evil for one but it is in d&d
>never read exalted deeds because it looked like more of the same but flipped
Well you are right there mechanicly it tried far to hard to mirror vile darkness
That said I honestly think you would like exalted deeds you would agree with a lot of it you will still find parts of it stupid but you won't feel that about the majority of it like most people.
And yes its good for the subject to have it happen to them but its still an evil act.
Its also worth noting that turning somebody good with an evil act to sacrifice your afterlife to help another is also a bad idea I'm not at home so I can't bring up the details on that though.
all these westerners afraid of collectivist cultures saying this is EVIL
There is nothing inherently noble to the chaos of individuality. There is nothing inherently innoble to the shaping of youth through training and social Dogma.
The real issue is that no on ever stops at just the reasonable thing. at first, the king just tweaks things to make his subjects law abiding and happy. He genuinely cares and his nation profits. Eventually however, almost inevitably, he'll abuse his powers in some way - scrambling the brains of a detractor or removing free will completely just to make things simpler.
This Isn't really about individually
I do agree with you about your second point though and even if he does not get corrupted absolutely by absolute power he will screw up somehow
Also as others have said you can't tell what you will need that far in advance
It is relevant enough to mention if only because I have seen the claim made in D&D source books as the reason for certain creatures being alignment locked. Then, almost in the same breath, it is explained that demons are the embodiment of evil, and use the explanation that a demon that stopped being evil would stop being a demon, just like an angel that stopped being good would stop being an angel. Such creatures are made and tied inexorably to their alignment. This means that choice is not a requirement to be good. You don't need to choose good, because there are good creatures that were made good-locked. There is a precedent for this, being forced into goodness while still being a genuinely good creature and not a victim of brain washing.
Once you realize that there is a widely followed precedent, now realize that all the "neutral" races are having their souls in a game of tug-o-war between the gods, who all want that soul in their realm. They can't just have their followers all commit suicide because they need followers to get more followers, but at the same time, if you find someone who follows your god now, but is a notorious flipflop in that regard, it would be better for everyone involved to kill that person on the basis that he could relapse and go to hell, and thus you are sparing him that risk by sending him to heaven now.
With regards to morality, "let god sort them out" is something you can do and actually feel okay about later.
But we are modern people, living in a modern society. Because of this, we all have some form of modern ethics.
It still sounds like Exalted Deeds is a bit trash, but I'm starting to think more and more that people mostly think it's trash for the same reason that they disagree with Gygax's explanation of objective and quantifiable D&D morality: they don't understand it and believe it should match with and reflect their moral code, at least for the fans of Vile Darkness.
Just because he is mentally fucking with people, doesn't exactly make him evil.
>Also as others have said you can't tell what you will need that far in advance
Possibly, though crime rates would become much lower because the young of his own nation would be more law abiding and less likely to go evil.