My issue with it more about how every fictional setting needs to have some extreme moral greyness while the Japanese don't force moral greyness into every character. I like moral greyness in my setting but it is everywhere in fiction these days even in stuff that didn't
>>44656592 >A corrupt bureaucracy but aspires to do good but ultimately falls short >A warring nation of slaves that seeks to remove influences of a past that doomed man, uniting behind a common identity of survival >An ancient dictator with single-minded aspirations and scientific pursuits that is not above using force >A robot of questionable loyalty and its absent commander that all depend on your personal choices
>>44656592 There's 3 morally gray and one morally black. Though they can all look morally white if you're a pollack of some kind (lolbertarian, anarchist, republican, nazi-romefag) Commies don't matter because everybody hates commies. Well I guess BoS is kinda commie.
>>44657014 Who's black? NCR tries to do good but gets choked by its bureaucracy BoS wants to preserve the past and not let these new chucklefucks get it Ceasar's legion puts women in their place but is hamstringed by how authoritarian it is House is brilliant and desires prosperity but he's honestly shrugged off his morals and ethics The player is the player.
Some people like to play a game that somewhat resembles how the real world operates and how real-world people would operate in a different setting with different circumstances. Just because now there's magic involved doesn't mean that human (and non-human) nature has suddenly changed - if anything it would enable people to be even MORE morally gray as there are more and more ways to exploit people through magical means.
>>44656458 I enjoy "understated" moral greyness, if that makes sense. I.e good people doing questionable things and bad people doing good things, but without the setting going LOOK LOOK WE'RE /REALISTIC/ every few seconds. What I can't STAND is political shilling a la Blue Rose or Myfarog. Song of Swords and Demon: The Descent prove people with very heavy opinions towards either side of the spectrum can make a good game, but sadly for every DtD and SoS there's an EP or Beast: The Primordial.
>>44656481 No it isn't, you fucking skeleton. There's just those who have the strength to act morally even whilst being presented with a no-win scenario, and those who are too weak to act and instead lament how the world itself is too grey and complex to make a difference.
>>44660734 >that somewhat resembles how the real world operates and how real-world people would operate in a different setting That does not discount the possibility of black and white morality. Heroes can still waver, they can struggle, they can fail, and they can fall. Much the same as how the enemies of the story must not be completely overtaken by evil, but can be driven by noble ideals.
I don't like black and white morality, but I don't like it when people use moral ambiguity to make everyone into loathsome cunts. I like stories where almost everyone tries to do the right thing, but struggle against the weight of a hostile world and have to make tough choices.
>>44662896 I never implied that. Kinda the opposite.
The point was that most of the time situations when A calls B the Pure Evil come from B having some very clearly defined idea of True Goodness, acting upon it, fucking up due to essentially ignorance only God is omniscient after all and hurting A in process, thus becoming their idea of evil.
As the result, nobody wanted to hurt anybody and everyone just wanted peace, love and prosperity, but a lot of bad things happened regardless and no one is willing to accept the blame. Cue Americans believing themselves to be the Good Guys and Arabs believing them to be Shaitan incarnate, while neither is actually true. Which makes a great example of grey morality IRL.
This eventually comes to the problem of imperfect information - the most simplistic of ethical systems which also happen to be the ones people actually use on day to day basis to build their picture of the world don't take account of participants not being omniscient and therefore capable of doing (whatever the system calls) Evil out of misguided attempts at Goodness, which fail due to incorrect data and predictions.
>>44662138 >lament how the world itself is too grey and complex to make a difference. Greyness and complexity don't mean that making differences is impossible, just more difficult than the black-and-white view expects.
Only self-important faggots think like the way you're describing. We have a name for people who spend a lot of time with self-important faggots, Crusadanon.
I feel like modern culture has, for some reason, decided that objective morality is bad writing. And that means that everybody and their mother is making their stuff feature grey morality, while still thinking that objective morality is the norm and that they're being creative. Same with gritty settings.
A feel ASoIaF kind of kickstarted a lot of shitty habits in modern culture. Namely the grey morality to a ludicrous extent (there are NO good characters), grittiness to the point where it's as unrealistic as overly bright, and promiscuous death (particularly on what characters are morally grey in a white direction). It honestly causes the story to be boring, because you don't give a shit about anybody or anything, since they're going to die or it's probably a turd.
Heroic heroes and villainous villains are cool, and both can be handled in a huge number of ways. Grey morality can, as well, but there's this common trend that just because you make it morally grey, you're already being creative and a good writer. If your setting is gritty and people die constantly, even better!
Basically, post-modern education has brainwashed everyone into thinking everything is subjective, everything is gray, blah blah blah. People convincing themselves that everything is a shade of gray keeps them from coming to terms with the fact they're horrible people and morally weak.
At this point I sorta long for the black and whiteness of say, the Narnia books. Say what you want about Strong Christian Overtones, they were fun adventure books and it's nice to read a story where you DO have good and evil, holy and unholy sometimes. It's honestly a nice change from a lot of stories these days.
They also have some issues on the Strong Christian Overtones front too. Mostly because they were promoting Vatican II and even some modern principles before Vatican II actually happened. The Tashlan stuff would have been seen as pretty heretical even before Dominus Jesus in 2000[/spoiler[
>>44663523 If you want to see the best and worst of morally objective storytelling, look no further than Marvel comics
On one hand you have the majority of Spider-man stories, stories about an objectively good, but still deeply flawed, hero trying his best to do rthe right thing. The best kind of morally objective story
On the other hand you have marvel civil war, where the writers were so taken with stories being morally objective that they forced it awkwardly into an inherently ambiguous storyline, ruining everything about it forever as a result
I've read them in the last 3 years. They are still pretty fun books. Nothing too complex but they do deal with surprisingly deep theological topics for children's books. Like the Silver Chair talking about the theological ramifications of a lack of god and the moral imperatives even if he doesn't exist.
Aka: 'I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia'
That and the wonders of the WRITERS not being sure which side was morally right in Civil War so depending on who you were reading at the time, one side was puppy kicking, Thor cloning, mustache twirling villains while the next book had them as pure heroes.
>>44663579 Comic books are so fucked ten ways from Tuesday that it's ridiculous. It comes with the territory of not having a consistent writer for an entire story, on top of constant cross-interactions. For every writer you have that nails a character and does a good job with a story, you have several that fuck it up.
It's run the weird gamut of originally being near the pinnacle of objective morality and bright settings, to now featuring a fuck-ton of grey morality and grit. We live in a world where Batman canonically killed the Joker. Not that it matters, because comics have no consistency.
>>44663466 The point of post-modern education isn't to teach kids what's right and wrong. It's to teach them how to think. How to see outside themselves, how to consider other's viewpoints, how to recognise that their first assumptions could very easily be wrong, how to understand that what they think is "right" and "good" might not be so, how to come to terms with the fact that they are not the centre of the universe.
It's meant to teach humility, open-mindedness and curiosity, and encourage us to acknowledge our own errors, and forgive those of others. It's meant to teach us to be kind and considerate of others. After all, there's no such thing as absolute truth - we're all just trying to do the best we can. We're all just apes fumbling in the dark, huddling around the light of flawed virtues, because that's better than letting the dark consume us.
>>44656481 No. Not every choice you have is grey. In fact, most of your life choices are pretty clear-cut. If you're a middle-class person, and steal to gain more, you're a cunt, nothing grey about it.
An old woman (who happens to be a witch) and a priest are sitting by the road having a conversation.
(The conversation starts on the classic subject of "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?")
"Sixteen!" "You've counted sixteen?" said Oats eventually. "No, but it is as good an answer as any you'll get. And that's what you holy men discuss is it?" "Not usually. There is a very interesting debate raging at the moment on the nature of sin, for example." "And what do they think? Against it, are they?" "It is not as simple as that. It's not a black and white issue. There are so many shades of gray." "Nope." "Pardon?" There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is." "It's a lot more complicated than that--" "No it ain't. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they're getting worried that they won't like the truth. People as things, that's where it starts." "Oh, I'm sure there are worse crimes-" "But they Starts with thinking about people as things…"
>>44663711 Not that anon, but I get where he is coming from. The idea was learning to empathize with the opposing viewpoint, hopefully ending in either an understanding or at least prevent conflict.
I also get how people have been flouting grey and grey morality with highschool level existential faggotry to excuse being absolutely soulless people. Saying everything is subjective doesn't mean you might have a valid point while the opposing view is equally right.
I don't know. Sometimes, it's good when a story starts out with the disclaimer "Hey, the protagonist is a shitty fucking person. So are most of the cast."
I mean, I don't believe in the "Oh, everything is subjective." I'm perfectly fine with a grey-ish hero fighting people who are worse. Alternatively, straight-up misery porn. You know, the kind of anti-story where everyone ends up broken or dead in the end. It was kind of the appeal of Akame ga Kill or whatever it was called, which was specifically for people who fucking hated shonen anime.
The main problem is that 'subjectivity' nowadays is always about openness and letting the rapist hordes flood your country. If it was more about being a staunch defender of your nation and your people - while being appropriately solemn about how you had to kill so many of the other guys in order to protect you and yours - it would be a lot more interesting.
You know, something like a crusader knight who specializes in purging heretics and who takes pride in the necessity of his labors.
You know, a setting doesn't have to be realistic and gritty in order to be dark as fuck. GESELLSHAFT BLUE has a really cutesy JRPG setting, but the central premise is certainly pretty dark.
I say this because the big twist to the story is that the protagonist's power allows him to temporarily absorb the levels of his dead companions. It turns out that the dark secret of the world-saving, Demon Lord-killing Subjugator class is that they can only win by getting their companions killed.
>>44663832 This. Despite their fierce reputation, the Knights Templar were a deeply conflicted group, trying to reconcile the peaceful spiritual mission of Christ with the war-torn political power struggles over Outremer. You want to uphold the need to abhor violence but you see your brothers suffering half a world away, what can you do?
>>44663690 >After all, there's no such thing as absolute truth The problem is that this is wrong. There IS such a thing as absolute truth. It's incredibly difficult to get a hold off, nearly innaccesible, complex. But it does exist: it's the reality that transcends us. It's why no matter how different subjective worlds of individual people are, we still have a common ground: we can communicate, we can improve by pooling our experiences, etc...
You don't need humility, you don't need to know how to think IF THERE IS NO OBJECTIVE COMMON GROUND. And that is why postmodernism failed, and why it ended up producing people more arrogant than ever in history. You need humility because you never know if what you know is close to the objective truth, and hence you should always be doubtful of even your own conclusions. But if there is no "objective truth", if there is no ideal to strive for, you don't need to worry. If you can't be right, you can't be wrong either.
There is a difference between acknowledging the world is immensely complex and difficult, and between saying nobody can be right or wrong. Just like there is a difference between moral complexity, and everyone being an asshole.
Postmodernism is, ironically enough, one of the most arrogant ideas that humanity ever came forth with. It teaches arrogance.
The effects only last for one fight, and you don't get to keep it. Also, hard level difference is everything in this world. The highest level ever reached by a human was Level 89, and that was almost three centuries ago. Most people top out around Level 30. The Demon Lord is Level 999.
There's actually a lot you can do with a crusader or knightly protagonist. Imagine: He's in a foreign land, and he's committing what could normally be called 'atrocities'. But these people are heretics and Saracens...Except they're still people, and it sickens the soul to have to slaughter them en masse.
At the same time, with all the petty political games, it becomes harder and harder to serve God's will. And what IS God's will? Prayer doesn't clarify anything. Who's right, and who's wrong? Just trying to do the right thing is impossibly difficult.
>>44663999 I need this story to be written but not by a militant athiest, someone who actually puts thought into the incredible nuance this story needs to make it compellling.
Would God even get involved in human conflict? When can a man say objectively when he fights for good. If a random hedge knight rallies the conquered villages China against the Mongol horde which rapes and kills everything in its path, could you say that he fights for what is righteous? To fight for a world where children would never see the hill over the horizon be blackened with the hooves of their enslavers.
It's not a game, it's their world. Like, their world is a JRPG. It seems to be more of a 'leveling up is REALLY HARD' kind of thing. The guy who topped out at 89 was a physical and mental prodigy, and he spent nearly his entire life honing his skills.
A battle-hardened veteran of countless minor conflicts is Level 30. The Captain of the City Guard (who won the annual sword tournament) is around Level 24. Your standard adventurer is anywhere between Level 15 - 20.
>>44663793 I'm actually totally okay with stories that have protagonists who are gigantic assholes. The trick is to give them some redeeming qualities outside of being assholes, and make them actually struggle for their victories.
I'm reminded of Thomas Clavell's novel "Shogun", which is a fictionalised recounting of the last days of the Sengoku Jidai, and the rise of the Tokugawa clan to the rank of Shogunate. One of the main characters is a man named Toranaga (a fictional doppelganger of the famous Tokugawa Iaeyasu), and the story spends a huge amount of time covering the byzantine political maneuvers this guy has to pull off before he can clain the title of Shogun. But the story pulls zero punches in depicting just how fucking brutal and bloodthirsty feudal Japan was at every level of society, with Toranaga being at the heart of a great many of the story's most atrocious acts. It is plain that Toranaga is a psychopath, and power-hungry to the extreme.
But I loved reading about the guy, because he was an incredible chess-master and social puppeteer, as well as a master strategist and ludicrously inventive problem-solver, who at several points in the story just barely escaped the traps of his enemies by the skin of his teeth. I kept reading to see what new and suprising maneuver he was going to pull off next. The fact he was an asshole was second to the fact that his story was fascinating to follow.
>>44663832 >Thousands of scared people, often whole families, trying to escape war in their own country by risking everything on a long trek into foreign nations >Probably a lot of criminal elements getting in amongst them, but the impetus for the movement is still largely fear >Any acknowledgement of that ambiguity? >Nope, they're all brown and muslim, which makes them BadWrongEvil
The older I get, and the more I see, the more I realise just how dead-on Pratchett really was. >>44663790
>>44664081 Not him but the mass movement of people is not nearly as clear cut as either of you are making it out to be.
It's silly to assume every person on the move is a terrorist, but it is naive to think that every single one is a loving mother or father with a scared kid in toe just needing a helping hand. The fact that none can be vetted due to no infrastructure or background checks makes for a security nightmare which is obvious to anyone on either side of the spectrum.
Also consider the culture shock of people who were reluctant to come, the complications of the people who tagged along with the actual refugees for economic benefits (only 20% of people on the move claim Syrian origin), the rising civil unrest of settling a literal million people in one year which will crash the job market.
Even putting aside the /pol/ and lefty coolaid, this is a legitimate crisis, that has - who guessed it - shades of grey.
Not every refugee is a terrorist, not every person worried about the flood of people is a racist. Fucks sake.
>>44656458 Why can't we all just agree that morality is subjective and complex, not based around arbitrary concepts such as "good" and "evil", but rather on motivation, level of empathy, stupidity, religious convictions, laziness, etc.?
I'm fucking sick of alignment. I'm sick of moral greyness. I'm sick of people focusing on this bullshit. I understand the purpose of the alignments as some sort of tool to help understand what a character roughly is, but frankly it probably shouldn't be jotted down on a paper the way we've been doing it because its leads to stupid shit like this thread.
"Moral greyness" should be an inherent conceptual byproduct of setting and whatever kind of individuals happen to be involved in a campaign. It shouldn't be something to argue about.
Stop over-analyzing morality. Games will be more interesting if you do. This goes for both the developers and the players+GMs.
The main problem is that after all the sexual assault, you just can't risk it. Like, your first priority has to be your own people - You cannot compromise the lives and comfort of your own citizens to minister to the world's ills. You definitely can't import people prone to sexual assault, either.
It's like the question: What's more valuable? The life of one soldier on your side, or a thousand enemy civilians? If your answer is 'a thousand enemy civilians', you have no business fighting a war.
It's a great tragedy, but your own country and way of life has to come first.
>>44664091 What are the circumstances when killing people enmasse would be considered the right and holy thing to do?
Mowing down the Mongol Hordes with a machine gun would be cathartic to most when you consider their methods of war, tying women and children to shield walls as they marched towards the battlements to discourage the defenders from shooting back.
If a Nazi knocked on the door of your neighbor who was born paralyzed from the waist down, to bring him out to be shot for the sake of their Eugenics program would it be your duty to help them, even if you must kill the Nazi?
Sometime death and killing is necessary m8, sometimes it is actually the first and obvious option.
Yep. The characters, for instance, naturally gravitate towards a certain 'class' and derive satisfaction from it. For instance, once you grow up, you realize that you have a natural affinity for being - say - a Cook, and act accordingly.
They're actually aware of what levels they are, and so on.
> What are the circumstances when killing people en masse would be considered the right and holy thing to do?
Generally, when those people are evil. For instance, swording every member of ISIS or Al-Qadea to death would be a heroic deed. Same for fighting an enemy that's actively trying to kill you, or is ideologically opposed to you.
Sometimes, violence really is the answer. There isn't always a compromise, because you can't accommodate someone's viewpoint without creating a world you can't live in. (Sort of like how it's becoming increasingly clear that the West and Islam are incompatible.)
>>44656921 >A corrupt bureaucracy but aspires to do good but ultimately falls short >A warring nation of slaves that seeks to remove influences of a past that doomed man, uniting behind a common identity of survival >To the fucking moon, nigger >A robot of questionable loyalty and its absent commander that all depend on your personal choices
>>44664258 See, I would say it's more that you kill people en masse when that would save the lives of others. That way, I not only avoid boring arguments about "from my perspective it is the Kuffar who are evil!", but muslims willing to live in peace can work and provide useful goods and services to the economy, rather than forcing us waste time and money slitting all their throats.
>>44663466 Oh yes, only you are awoken, only you see everything in pure light! Condemned be blind masses, poor sheeple! Damn, I'm really sorry that reality is ruining your perfect tunnel vision, but don't blame it on "postmodern education" and/or "brainwashing". People are driven by resultant of lots and lots of believes, instincts and observations, morality being just one of the bunch. Saying that proper, healthy human being can be ONLY and PERFECTLY good is just sign of total lack of obervation of people and overdosing of fairy tales and DnD alignment system. This said, I fully support polar morality in writing, storytelling and RPGs, but to maintain that reality can be boiled down to good/bad, is plain ignorance. >People convincing themselves that everything is a shade of gray keeps them from coming to terms with the fact they're horrible people and morally weak. You know why is grayness showing in RPGs? Because it is normal to put players in spots, also morally. What do you can say about yourself, how many times you had to choose between two evils? When was the last time you had to choose between well-being of individual and the whole? It's pretty east being crusader with keyboard at fingertips and closed curtains.
>>44665080 By and large there are three broad approaches to that guy's problem, not just "it depends."
The first is that killing people is always wrong, which is pacifism. They'd say that either answer is wrong, although many would say the thousand dead answer is worse.
The second is that you should basically do the thing that benefits you the most, which is international realism. Who "you" is in this context depends on the exact formulation, but it's commonly the state overall when discussing wars.
The third is that individuals and nations fundamentally have certain rights (such as not being killed), and that to violate these rights requires certain extenuating circumstances. This is just war theory. Some claim that if the war itself is justified then any conduct within it is automatically justified, while others claim that you can have a justified war and unjustified conduct or vice versa. The best supported modern variant would say that generally one of your soldier's lives is not worth the lives of a thousand civilians, assuming those civilians were only living their ordinary civilian lives and not - say - working in the munitions industry.
Each of these three approaches assumes there is an objective right thing to do, and disagree about what it is. But a fourth approach might be that there is no objectively right answer, for a variety of reasons.
Probably, though, nobody here is going to actually know fuckall about any. More probably, they are going to keep doing the 4chan thing of stating an uninformed opinion as fact and then getting into a slapfight about it with sassy images until the thread is archived.
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