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  1. #1

    Alignment (Again?!)

    At 01:58 AM 10/7/98 -0400, Daniel McSorley wrote:
    > On the GS in specific: they might not have started off as overtly Evil.
    >Defense of your people is not evil by any measure, so when they were
    >fighting and slaying invading human warriors, they were firmly in the right.
    >When they found that not enough, and started slaughtering those who weren't
    >a threat to them (like villagers and tradesmen), in an effort to drive
    >humanity away, they became evil.

    I think everyone is taking this just a little to serious. But this part
    did catch my eye. It caught my eye because it reminded me of the actions
    of some Native Americans in the United States. I don't know how everything
    can be so cut-n-dry because I don't see it that way. A few Native
    Americans slaughtered innocences as white men took their lands and
    destroyed their tribes. I don't think it was a good act but it was one
    born out of desperation and inability to find a way to work with them. In
    the end, a greater evil was done to them. I see the Sidhelien situation to
    be very similiar and the gheallie Sidhe to be a reaction to the lies,
    betrayals, theft of their land, and death they've recieved. Its a war
    between humans and elves. Evil touches every side in war. Victors write
    the history so we'll just have to wait and see what they say about the
    gheallie Sidhe.

    This has been a Galwylin® Production

  2. #2

    Alignment (Again?!)

    At 12:00 PM 10/7/98 -0400, Samuel Weiss wrote:
    >Let me understand your point. Because someone did Evil to you and yours, it
    >is OK for you to do Evil to otherwise univolved people because of some
    >realtion they have to the people who did Evil to you?

    No, that's not my point. My point is that evil done in the gheallie Sidhe
    will probably not be recognized as evil until history is written. At the
    time of World War II, the United States didn't think it was evil to move
    Japanese-Americans into camps. Certainly, the Japanese-Americans did. But
    many times, its only when you can afford to look back and see the evil that
    has been committed. And not by evil people. In terms of the current
    events of Cerilia, I wouldn't say the elves involved in gheallie Sidhe are
    evil. You keep trying to bring this down to an individual level and its
    not. Its a war between cultures and cultures rarely have alignments so
    completely good or evil that they are clear to see. Alignments in AD&D are
    based on actions. The gheallie Sidhe is an action that hasn't been
    completed yet. Taken on an individual basis, the gheallie Sidhe is evil.
    If it saves the elves from extinction, then elven history will probably
    record it as good. Good because of what it accomplished on a cultural view.

    This has been a Galwylin® Production

  3. #3

    Alignment (Again?!)

    At 12:23 AM 10/8/98 -0400, Samuel Weiss wrote:
    >Galwylin wrote,
    >>No, that's not my point. My point is that evil done in the gheallie Sidhe
    >will probably not be recognized as evil until history is written.<
    >Stuff and nonsense. Next you will be claiming, or rather denying, that this
    >also means until there has been a trial and a guilty verdict, no crime has
    >been comitted.

    Hello? Do you even read what you respond to?? See that word up there that
    starts with an 'r'? That's r-e-c-o-g-n-z-e-d. One of the meanings is to
    admit a knowledge of.

    >>Its a war between cultures and cultures rarely have alignments so
    >completely good or evil that they are clear to see.<
    >Actually, it can be quite easy to judge a culture Good or Evil, and much
    >harder to judge an individual.

    Can you name one culture that is completely good? I've seen you name some
    that were evil so if its so simple, name the other side.

    >Similarly, if a culture ordains genocide, how will it be able to deny an
    >individual their "right" to commit mass murder on any sort of moral grounds?

    You're talking logic and logic is not something that is normally associated
    with human (or human like) cultures. It doesn't matter if the culture
    condones genocide if they say killing is wrong on an individual scale.
    Look at the history of the church that preached killing is a sin then
    sanctified the Crusades. If killing is condemned on an individual level
    then that should be true on the cultural one as well according to you. But
    human groups don't operate like that. And I'm not ready to admit that
    every institution that has existed is evil because it didn't follow your

    >>If it saves the elves from extinction, then elven history will probably
    >record it as good. Good because of what it accomplished on a cultural
    >Not in the least. It means it was beneficial to the Elves. It would be Evil
    >when it was done, it would be Evil after it was finished.

    It doesn't matter what it is. Dropping the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    was evil but the United States aren't because they did it. Some believe it
    was good because it saved more lives that might have been lost had the war
    continued. So in that sense, yes, the elves could see the gheallie Sidhe
    as good because it saves their culture from extinction.

    >Once again, so if i head on out and commit genocide, because it helps my
    >people in the long run, it was really Good all along?

    Are we talking about genocide here? Is the gheallie Sidhe genocide or a
    movement to push humans out of Cerilia. Do the elves have plans to rid the
    planet of humans?

    >Kariu wrote,
    >>It's elf can't afford to be nice...because to an immortal
    >elf...that 15 years it takes for a new born to pick up an just a
    >few minutes or you and me......<
    >See that part where you say, "can't afford to be nice"? I guess that means
    >they are Evil huh?

    No. It means they recognize that necessary evils are needed sometimes.
    Its evil to kill others but its also evil to allow your culture to die
    because won't defend it. When you're surrounded by evil, all you can do is

    This has been a Galwylin® Production

  4. #4

    Alignment (Again?!)

    At 02:56 AM 10/8/98 -0400, Samuel Weiss wrote:
    >Yes it does. It is called "hypocrisy". "It is OK for us to do this to them,
    >or we leaders to tell you do something, but none of you can make such
    >decisions on your own."

    Exactly! Something human history is full of. Has always been and
    apparently always will.

    >Well seeing as you wish to absolve everyone of guilt forever because you
    >feel unfit to pass judgement on them, I will also allow you not to pass
    >judgemnet on me and completely ignore this violation you have commited of
    >your sacred precepts. Feel free not to feel guilty for judging me when you
    >can not condemn mass murderers.

    This is where you're wrong. I have no sacred precepts. I didn't enter
    this debate believing my view was right as you have.

    >If someone finds me to be a pompous moralistic ass, I consider that a
    >compliment in comparison to what you are showing yourself to be.
    >I repeat, you can pass judgement on me, but not on murderers. Wow.

    No one's passing judgement on you. Why you wish to take on this role of a
    victim, I don't know. Because I don't believe its the absolute example of
    evil for an individual, group, or culture to fight against extinction any
    way they have to is a far assumption that murderers can't be judged.
    That's why our courts believe that self-defense is a proper excuse for
    murder. Someone is still dead, and someone still did it but the
    circumstances surrounding it makes it not absolute evil. You absolute view
    would condemn one of the poor victims of Ted Bundy had they actually killed
    him trying to escape. My view of the gheallie Sidhe is exactly the same as
    that of a court looking at someone on trial for killing in self-defense.
    So far, you've not shown me that is not true. In fact, you have tried to
    impose a view that is unchanging to what this discussion is about. That
    being the examination of the gheallie Sidhe and if its good or evil. My
    views are not absolute and are subject to change as the subject recieves
    more discussion. Since I've been in 'discussions' with you before,
    moralistic isn't a term I'd use to describe you but the rest fits rather
    well. Until you decide you want a discussion and not a soapbox, I'll
    address you no longer on this.

    This has been a Galwylin® Production

  5. #5

    Alignment (Again?!)

    At 03:30 AM 10/8/98 EDT, wrote:
    > This does not mean we cannot discuss these things,
    >just that perspective must be maintained, for "reality" (for lack of a better
    >word) is perceived differently by each and every person. That is what
    makes us
    > This is my input for now, and I hope no one takes
    >wrong, as I am a novice to all this sort of thing.

    I certainly don't take it wrong. Don't let being a novice deter you from
    adding to it. I would certainly like more views on it. The discussion on
    Haelyn allowing evil priests into his clergy and the gheallie Sidhe shows
    that Birthright is and can be a very adult setting where answers aren't so
    easily found. Some very complex concepts can enter into it. When I think
    of maturity in a setting, this is my idea of it. Not something superficial
    like demons.

    This has been a Galwylin® Production

  6. #6

    Alignment (Again?!)

    At 10:04 AM 10/8/98 -0400, Daniel McSorley wrote:
    > Within the structure of the game, we do have an absolute scale of good
    >and evil. The alignment system is set up this way on purpose. If we let
    >everyone say that what they believed was correct, then there would be no
    >evil on that chart at all!

    I think this is why someone earlier said they have a problem with the
    alignment system. The alignment system tries to describes both actions and
    internal motivation. Those don't necessarily agree. That's why some think
    a ranger can kill all members of his species enemy and retain his alignment
    even though he is also killing those that aren't a threat to him. Even
    further, in Birthright, members of the same alignment may be forced into
    battle with each other at the desires of their regents. The alignment
    system as an absolute scale isn't designed to handle all of this and give
    an complete answer. Doesn't mean its not useful.

    This has been a Galwylin® Production

  7. #7

    Alignment (Again?!)

    At 10:56 AM 10/8/98 -0700, Gary V. Foss wrote:

    >>A lot of good points. More than I think I'm allowed to quote since this
    is a response to all of it (except the CA proposition)

  8. #8

    Alignment (Again?!)

    At 01:20 PM 10/8/98 -0700, Gary V. Foss wrote:
    >Actually, a more accurate comparison of the GS might be (and I could get
    >slammed for this, but what the heck?) the KKK after the Civil War. There are
    >certainly many differences between these two, but I think the ethical
    >of either of them to kill civilians is based upon the same horrifically
    >moral argument.

    Actually, while watching television, I was reminded of the KKK and there is
    more in common between the KKK and the gheallie Sidhe than I like.

    >They attack civvies. That's a no-no
    >in warfare even in medieval times. Oh, war has always been brutal on
    >civilians, but making the slaughter of civilians the object of your efforts
    >rather than incidental to it (what has now been euphemistically called
    >"collateral damage") is immoral.

    That's true up until modern warfare in which civilians did become targets
    (WWI, I believe). We have no problems bombing cities now, knowing that
    civilian causalties may occur (actually, there doesn't even have to be a
    war declared for that to happen). TSR settings are all a
    pseudo-combination of medieval times with modern morality. Also, in
    ancient times, there was never a problem with a warlord invading a nation
    and destroying whole cities and towns and everyone in them. Morality
    really was subjective then. The enemy always became a 'they' that had
    nothing in common with the attackers. By today's standards, the gheallie
    Sidhe is evil. Is today's standards what we are meant to use? Probably.

    The only solution I see for the elves of Cerilia to maintain their culture
    (assuming humans will eventually destroy their homes) and not be labeled
    evil is to either gather themselves in a few corners (as in Greyhawk) or
    leave the continent (as in Forgotten Realms). Since there are no drow
    (that I know of), I wonder if the designers had envisioned the gheallie
    Sidhe as a replacement.

    Of all the aspects of Birthright I like, the fact that elves actually
    fought and hated humans for what was done to them was my favorite.
    Finally, elves that didn't wimper off into a corner. Now, that I think
    about it, it seems they have. Or must bow down before the 'goodness' of
    humanity and embrace evil.

    This has been a Galwylin® Production

  9. #9

    Alignment (Again?!)

    At 05:27 PM 10/8/98 -0400, Daniel McSorley wrote:
    > What you just described is guerilla warfare against an occupying army.
    >There is no occupying army of humans on elven land, the lands the humans
    >have now have been lived on by humans for over a thousand years, again, long
    >enough for the elves to take notice that the humans aren't being especially
    >expansionistic for the past MILLENIA!

    Elves do have one real worry. If the empire unites, it will expand. 1000
    years may seem long to humans, but to elves? Certainly 500 years hasn't
    been forgotten by them. I still think you have to look at humans as elves,
    not humans. Time is much different for them and century year old wounds
    are still fresh.

    This has been a Galwylin® Production

  10. #10

    Alignment (Again?!)

    At 02:43 PM 10/8/98 -0700, Gary V. Foss wrote:
    >Well, I don't think that is really the Gheallie Sidhie's argument. The
    >destruction of forests is bad, but not their major objection the the
    >encroachment of humans.

    Just to point out something. You said the destruction of forests is bad.
    Not evil. From what I've been able to read so far, it is evil according to
    elves. Not just the gheallie Sihde. Just an attempt to show that maybe
    the view of elves aren't recieving the attention deserved ;)

    >If I recall correctly, elves lived on the plains of
    >Cerilia before humans arrived, didn't they? There were more forests back
    >but I'm pretty sure the elven attitude towards forests is more of a
    reaction to
    >the fact that they are better able to defend themselves in them rather than
    >some sort of sacred belief in trees.

    The latest thing I've read is the Book of Magecraft and it gives the
    impression that any destruction of the forest is evil. They could have
    plains then moved to the forests (I don't remember) but home is home.

    >I hadn't
    >really noticed that humans kill all humanoids encountered.

    I don't think they do (though I've had players believe that was acceptable.
    After all, they are just monsters ;)

    >I would view a human character who ruthless slaughtered goblins as being at
    >best of neutral alignment.

    Okay, I was following you well till now. Goblins are sentient. I don't
    see why the ruthless slaughter of them gets a neutral alignment but elves
    who slaughter humans gets an evil one. I can almost imagine goblins
    saying, "If you prick us, do we not bleed?" ;D

    >One last point. Just because the original humans who violated elven lands
    >might have committed evil acts and may very well have been evil themselves,
    >that does not mean that an elven response that includes the slaughter of
    >civilians would not be evil. Just because the pot calls the kettle black
    >doesn't mean he spends any less time over the fire. (OK, lousy analogy, but
    >what the heck?) An evil act with rationale is still an evil act.

    Understandable. It just that there are circumstances not being considered.
    Humans killing the parents of an elf will probably be hated as well as
    elves killing a human's parents. Humans killing an elf a week ago will
    translate the same. Elves have a much longer perception of time. The
    equalavant could be a year, ten years, or a hundred years. For all we
    know, the gheallie Sidhe could be made up of the elves directly affected by
    the last human excursions into their lands. Remember what the rule book
    said about the elven heart? Burning rage with only the slighest cause.

    This has been a Galwylin® Production

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