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  1. #1
    Trizt
    Guest

    Gheallie Sidhe and Alignment

    Kenneth Gauck (c558382@earthlink.net) wrote:

    - -> At 04:48 AM 10/14/98 -0700, Gary V. Foss wrote:
    - ->> There is a really weird interpretation of "evil" by most people out
    there.
    - -> I agree with Gary's points on evil here. That "evil" is missunderstood
    - -> strikes me as odd because in several places the books offer complemantary
    - -> pieces on alignment.
    - -> In general I would argue that doing good for the sake of good,
    irregardless
    - -> of how it impacts you, is required for an act to be good.
    - -> When the ends are allowed to justify the means, we are talking about
    - -> neutrality.
    - -> When the means no longer need justification, when only the ends matter,
    we
    - -> arrive at evil, irregardless of harm. Because the willingness to do harm
    if
    - -> required to achive the ends was always present. Evil requires nothing
    more
    - -> than a total disregard for doing harm. If one does not care who they
    hurt
    - -> or why, they are evil.

    I must say this was the best description of goodevil that have ever
    written and should be included in future editions of PHB and DMG.

    I guess that most of you would say that killing a defencless Orc would be
    evil act, but you should look it from the Orc's point of view. Let say that
    the PC's has hit a Orc so bad that he fall uncouncens (spl?), they bind him
    with rope and gag him in case he would wake up before they are finished so
    that he can't call for help.

    Let say that the enough many Orc survive the PC's attack:
    In the evil society, the Orc would not be treated well as he was to week, he
    prolly would be the next offer for the gods. Even if he wouldn't be put to
    death he would be treated as shit.

    Let say no other Orc did survive:
    The Orc would sarve to death if no other monster would find him first and
    eat him.

    In both thise cases it had been better to end the Orc's life, but I guess
    most of you would scream out, "THAT'S AN EVIL ACT!!!"

    //Trizt of Ward^RITE

    -

  2. #2
    Gary V. Foss
    Guest

    Gheallie Sidhe and Alignment

    einarh@fagerborg.vgs.no wrote:

    > Picture humans almost eradicated from the world.
    > Then you want to fight back with whatever means neccessary right?
    > No matter the cost, just to hurt your opponent the most....
    > Are you good or evil?
    >
    > I'd say good, but its just a matter of Point of View...
    > The ones killing humans would undoubtledly portray you
    > as evil. But who has the correct answer?

    I don't think that's really what is going on in Cerilia. There are what?
    Eight? Ten elven nations? There are thousands and thousands of elves on
    Cerilia. People keep talking about the elves as if they had only a couple of
    years left on the continent, as if they were being actively hunted by humans,
    when in fact the opposite is true. Humans are usually too busy fighting each
    other to dedicate all their time to fighting elves. From what I can tell there
    is no reason why elves should not continue pretty much indefinitely.

    I can find no evidence to indicate to me that elves are the persecuted race
    that they make themselves out to be. (Or that they are made out to be on this
    message board.) Oh, humans have a tendency to cut down trees, but how does
    that kill elves? They might find it aesthetically displeasing to have ancient
    sources ruined, but I don't see how that is some sort of genocidal movement on
    the part of humanity. Elves are not destroyed by deforestation, they just have
    fewer things from which to hang their hammocks. Boo hoo for the elves.

    And the elven response to humans cutting down trees? Kill them! Kill them
    all!

    We don't really have to analyze that to describe it as evil, do we? It seems
    obviously so to me. In fact, I think the burden of proof should be on the side
    of someone trying to convince people that the GS is NOT evil, rather than the
    other way around.

    > I'd actually urge TSR/WoSC to remove all Alignment from AD&D.
    > Alignment was meant as way to easilly define a characters view on life,
    > right? I'd say its only a hindrance, just look at the discussion here and
    > real through my first paragraph.
    > Use the "NPCs (Personality)" page 114 in the DMG!!
    > It would make much more sense, and it can easilly be improved.

    I'd rather they described alignment better than got rid of it altogether. I
    grant you that many games get along just fine without an alignment system, or
    by stipulating "motivations" rather than good and evil, but I'm starting to
    think alignment is one of the AD&D characteristics that makes the game what it
    is. To lose the alignment system would be to lose a lot of the game as a
    system, and would require quite a lot of redesigning of the game. What would
    happen to paladins? How would the Outer Planes exist? There are many spells
    that rely upon good/evil to exist.

    I think alignment should be fundamental, but essentially background information
    for characters. It should dictate their behavior only in the broadest sense.
    Minor moral issues can be solved quite easily without dealing with alignment.

    Gary

  3. #3
    einarh@fagerborg.vgs.n
    Guest

    Gheallie Sidhe and Alignment

    Picture humans almost eradicated from the world.
    Then you want to fight back with whatever means neccessary right?
    No matter the cost, just to hurt your opponent the most....
    Are you good or evil?

    I'd say good, but its just a matter of Point of View...
    The ones killing humans would undoubtledly portray you
    as evil. But who has the correct answer?

    I'd actually urge TSR/WoSC to remove all Alignment from AD&D.
    Alignment was meant as way to easilly define a characters view on life,
    right? I'd say its only a hindrance, just look at the discussion here and
    real through my first paragraph.
    Use the "NPCs (Personality)" page 114 in the DMG!!
    It would make much more sense, and it can easilly be improved.

    Siebharrin the Lich

  4. #4
    Galwylin
    Guest

    Gheallie Sidhe and Alignment

    At 07:29 AM 10/15/98 -0700, Gary V. Foss wrote:
    >
    >I can find no evidence to indicate to me that elves are the persecuted race
    >that they make themselves out to be. (Or that they are made out to be on
    this
    >message board.) Oh, humans have a tendency to cut down trees, but how does
    >that kill elves? They might find it aesthetically displeasing to have
    ancient
    >sources ruined, but I don't see how that is some sort of genocidal
    movement on
    >the part of humanity. Elves are not destroyed by deforestation, they just
    have
    >fewer things from which to hang their hammocks. Boo hoo for the elves.

    I think you're overlooking the information given about elves and humans in
    the Atlas and the start of the gheallie Sidhe. In fact, the point of view
    you've given could be used to show that the Shadow War was evil and the
    Cerilians should have bow down before Aduria and Azrai. They weren't going
    to kill them, just subjugate them. On page 6, "The elves fiercely resisted
    conquest... When we began to force the elves from their ancestral homes,
    the elven leaders devised the gheallie Sidhe." I think you give a
    wonderful view point of humans toward elves though. But would that same
    view be held if elves were routinely destroying homes and cities of humans?
    So what, they have to sleep without roofs over their heads. Boo hoo for
    the humans. ;>

    After rereading some of the main books for Birthright, I noticed more than
    a few references to ancient elven ruins within the lands of Anuire.
    Doesn't that indicate that elves were forced from their homes? And if
    humans are so quick to war with each other, was that force peaceful? There
    enough bloodshed to go around on both sides and painting one more evil than
    the other seems to be ignoring history.

    This has been a Galwylin® Production

    galwylin@airnet.net
    http://www.airnet.net/galwylin/

  5. #5
    einarh@fagerborg.vgs.n
    Guest

    Gheallie Sidhe and Alignment

    >> Picture humans almost eradicated from the world.
    >> Then you want to fight back with whatever means neccessary right?
    >> No matter the cost, just to hurt your opponent the most....
    >> Are you good or evil?
    >>
    >> I'd say good, but its just a matter of Point of View...
    >> The ones killing humans would undoubtledly portray you
    >> as evil. But who has the correct answer?
    >
    >I don't think that's really what is going on in Cerilia. There are what?
    >Eight? Ten elven nations? There are thousands and thousands of elves on
    >Cerilia. People keep talking about the elves as if they had only a couple of
    >years left on the continent, as if they were being actively hunted by humans,
    >when in fact the opposite is true. Humans are usually too busy fighting each
    >other to dedicate all their time to fighting elves. From what I can tell
    there
    >is no reason why elves should not continue pretty much indefinitely.

    Nothing lasts forever. And the humans chaotic nature (selfishness) makes
    sure of it. The Gheallie Sidhe is just a natural reaction on
    loosing all their territory. Hmm... What if US got invaded and you were
    only left with one of the original states? Wouldn't you use any option
    available to regain US territory?

    >I can find no evidence to indicate to me that elves are the persecuted race
    >that they make themselves out to be. (Or that they are made out to be on
    this
    >message board.) Oh, humans have a tendency to cut down trees, but how does
    >that kill elves? They might find it aesthetically displeasing to have
    ancient
    >sources ruined, but I don't see how that is some sort of genocidal
    movement on
    >the part of humanity. Elves are not destroyed by deforestation, they just
    have
    >fewer things from which to hang their hammocks. Boo hoo for the elves.
    >And the elven response to humans cutting down trees? Kill them! Kill them
    >all!

    Hmm... you forget that elves are children of the elements. They have based
    their life on the forrest. Taking away that forrest causes them much mental
    harm, according to the BoM. Seems to me you don't think
    Imperialism is evil? Conquering other nations?

    >We don't really have to analyze that to describe it as evil, do we? It seems
    >obviously so to me. In fact, I think the burden of proof should be on the
    side
    >of someone trying to convince people that the GS is NOT evil, rather than the
    >other way around.

    What is so obvious about GS? As I see it, there are at least thousands of
    different views on it. You represent one view, I represent one. Do not
    claim you speak for all.

    I'd rather brand the humans as selfish than GS evil.
    The first we know is true, GS is but a way to defend their land and
    culture. The Hunt is not *only* against the humans, its against
    *anyone* who trespasses elven lands. Goblins, orogs, trolls, gnolls and so
    on... Everybody..
    There are two versions of elven lands:
    1) Realms where the elves thrive.
    2) Realms where the elves *once* thrived, but they were derpived of.
    I stick with the first, but number two is not wrong. Its still defence of
    your ancestral grounds.
    What would you have thought about it, if elves were a subrace of humans,
    and were a minority group?
    To give an example coming from your history (please comment if totally
    wrong): Englishmen, French and Spanish colonized America.
    How many indians died? Why? How did they die? Did they try to defend at any
    cost at any time? Are they evil?
    In the beginning they lived side by side, but as humans are selfish by
    nature, they wanted to expand. And they took the way with the smallest
    resistance. Think about what consequenses of england trying to invade
    france because of the land. (they did wage war, but not because of
    landgrabs). And they viewed indians as easy targets, then waged war,
    assimilated, used diplomacy and deception in order to gain the land.
    Who is evil? the war-waging, land-hungry, fat europeans? or the indians,
    who were waging war against themselves, and generally just survived?
    Indian culture is as good as gone, and the same situation is in cerilia.

    >> I'd actually urge TSR/WoSC to remove all Alignment from AD&D.
    >> Alignment was meant as way to easilly define a characters view on life,
    >> right? I'd say its only a hindrance, just look at the discussion here and
    >> real through my first paragraph.
    >> Use the "NPCs (Personality)" page 114 in the DMG!!
    >> It would make much more sense, and it can easilly be improved.

    >To lose the alignment system would be to lose a lot of the game as a
    >system, and would require quite a lot of redesigning of the game. What would
    >happen to paladins? How would the Outer Planes exist? There are many spells
    >that rely upon good/evil to exist.

    Paladins would have moral codes, and they would try to live by them.
    Outer Planes? They can keep their alignment, because its so generalized
    that its not important.

    >I think alignment should be fundamental, but essentially background
    information
    >for characters. It should dictate their behavior only in the broadest sense.
    >Minor moral issues can be solved quite easily without dealing with alignment.

    ::nods::

    Siebharrin the Lich

  6. #6
    Galwylin
    Guest

    Gheallie Sidhe and Alignment

    At 04:21 PM 10/15/98 -0400, Daniel McSorley wrote:
    >
    > The indians who behaved similarly to the GS, that is, killing settlers,
    >traders, anyone who came near them, were definitely evil, on the alignment
    >scale. Fighting armies is one thing, killing innocent people is something
    >else entirely.

    Apparently, Native Americans weren't evil enough. They've been reduced to
    a fraction of their former population and they're culture has almost died
    out except as a museum piece.

    This has been a Galwylin® Production

    galwylin@airnet.net
    http://www.airnet.net/galwylin/

  7. #7
    Ryan Freire
    Guest

    Gheallie Sidhe and Alignment

    >I think you are associating Cerilian elves with real world Native
    >Americans in a way that just doesn't apply. First, I haven't read
    >anywhere that said elves existed in the millions before humans >arrived
    in Cerilia. In fact, I haven't read anywhere that elves had >even
    settled all of Cerilia before humans arrived. Second, Europeans
    >launched an overtly militant pogrom against Native Americans. The
    >humans who came to Cerilia did no such thing. They cut down some
    >trees and the elves started killing them for it. Third, Native
    >Americans were subjected to the actions of colonialism. That's
    >different morally from the actions of people fleeing corruption and
    >the Shadow as the humans who came to Cerilia are described. Native
    >peoples were enslaved by Europeans and when that didn't take they >were
    killed. Where does it say that anything even remotely similar >happened
    when humans came to Cerilia?

    Oh? What about the Puritans and Pilgrims, they did the EXACT same thing.
    When they fled europe from persecution and the corruption of the church
    they landed, at first peacefully with the natives then..as more arrived
    they began to expand, pushing natives further inward and into the
    territories of other neighbors when the natives wouldnt voluntarily
    move...they killed them and TOOK the land. And the elves warned and
    asked the humans to not chop down the trees, the humans basically
    laughed it off and continued. The elves may have not settled ALL of
    cerilia, but they had almost all of anuire where the aelvinwode USED to
    be. Greatheart is a good book to read to find out this POV as well as
    the entry under rhoube in the blood enemies sourcebook

    >Again, I think this is an association with Native Americans that
    >doesn't really make sense. Diseases and plagues? I've never even
    >heard someone bring up elves being brought down by disease before.
    >Poor nations? How's that related to elves? Elven nations aren't
    >poor. It's also hard for me to accept the concept that elves would >be
    starved by having forests turned into much more productive >farmland.

    I wasnt referring to elves getting diseases...mainly humans. The short
    lifespan they have coupled with the fact of disease would probably give
    the humans a urge to have as much as they can before their time is up
    that would confuse the elves. As well as explaining the greed the
    humans would have for the land. The poor HUMANS (ie: serfs and
    peasants) in an effort to better their lot..would have expanded into the
    territories of the elves. Which is also why the GS is attacking the
    civilians...its not the ARMIES marching into the elvish territories..
    its the peasants who want to make more money, the woodcutters, farmers,
    and herdsmen. With it in that light its far less evil than if they WERE
    attacking the armies. The members of the army havent done anything to
    them, its the peasantry.

    >Where is all this coming from? I think you're statement about
    >misapplication of MODERN morality is actually correct, but I don't
    >think I'm the guy applying modern standards. There's a very thick
    >undercurrent of political correctness in this whole POV morality that
    >people are advocating that is the real source of this confusion.
    >Gary

    The statement that ALL killing of intelligent life is evil IS modern
    morality. In that time period, people were killed for all manner of
    things and it was not considered evil.


    Ryan

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  8. #8
    Kenneth Gauck
    Guest

    Gheallie Sidhe and Alignment

    At 03:30 PM 10/15/98 +0100, einarh@fagerborg.vgs.no wrote:
    >Picture humans almost eradicated from the world.
    >Then you want to fight back with whatever means neccessary right?
    >No matter the cost, just to hurt your opponent the most....
    >Are you good or evil?
    >
    >I'd say good, but its just a matter of Point of View...
    >The ones killing humans would undoubtledly portray you
    >as evil. But who has the correct answer?
    >

    Acts of desperation are hardly acts of virtue. Self restraint is a
    requirement for goodness. Self interest is a dangerous road which easily
    corrupts.
    Kenneth Gauck
    c558382@earthlink.net

  9. #9
    Daniel McSorley
    Guest

    Gheallie Sidhe and Alignment

    From: Galwylin
    >Well, I think the history is important in understanding any people.
    Understanding, sure, but even if they have a "reason", killing innocent
    people is evil, which was the original question.

    >Now,
    >I'm not saying this is correct but I don't think most humans have to worry
    >about the gheallie Sidhe. It takes place mainly in elven lands (or near
    >them).
    And Hitler only killed the people he could catch, right? That sounds
    like a slam, but I don't mean to be cruel, but the fallacy in saying that it
    only takes place in a limited area, so it isn't so bad, is absurd.

    >And we've barely even mentioned that the gheallie Sidhe isn't a
    >cohesive organization. Rhuobhe's, the Sielwode's, and Tuarhievel's aren't
    >all the same. Some are based on hatred, some on distrust, some of
    >protection.
    But all of them kill innocent people. Look at Tuarhievel, the most open
    of the elven lands, even the Prince of the land doesn't support it, but
    whole caravans disappear. These nutcases are killing the humans that
    actually like them enough to try and trade with them! And this is the open
    elven land?

    >Elves may even have a stake in the reformation of the Anuirean
    >Empire knowing that once humans are united, their next foe will be the
    >elves. It's still a more complex situation than just labeling the gheallie
    >Sidhe as evil. If they elves were to form a large army that could stand
    >against the human kingdoms and invade, driving them from their lost lands,
    >would that be evil? If soldiers in a war aren't evil for killing the
    >enemy, what would it mean if the elves see humanity as the enemy and the
    >current situation as a ongoing war, are they still evil?
    I never said soldiers that killed the "enemy" weren't evil. I said
    fighting armies is different from killing innocent people. There is a
    difference there, but it's subtle. Soldiers in battle are justified in
    killing the enemy _troops_. Any group might be declared to be the "enemy",
    but to kill them just because they are declared "enemy" is nothing like
    fighting someone who is also shooting back at you, because that's what you
    were both ordered to do. "Humanity" is not trying to kill elves. Some
    individual humans might be, but not "humanity" in general. There is
    therefore no comparison between war, and the actions of the GS.

    >If the elves have
    >formed the gheallie Sidhe to keep humans out of their lands, why have
    >humans continued to ignore that and enter to become vicitims of it? Or
    >built their homes near elven lands?
    >
    The traders enter the elven lands to trade with the elves: the GS doesn't
    even like this, so they kill merchants. The peasants have no recourse but
    to try to make money and survive, these people are dirt poor, and the best
    method for this is often chopping lumber and selling it. The elves kill
    them for it. How's that?

    >How long is elven grief?
    Doesn't matter. It's no excuse to kill people who had nothing to do with
    the cause of their grief.

    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley.1@osu.edu

  10. #10
    Galwylin
    Guest

    Gheallie Sidhe and Alignment

    At 08:16 PM 10/15/98 -0400, Daniel McSorley wrote:
    >
    > I never said soldiers that killed the "enemy" weren't evil. I said
    >fighting armies is different from killing innocent people. There is a
    >difference there, but it's subtle. Soldiers in battle are justified in
    >killing the enemy _troops_. Any group might be declared to be the "enemy",
    >but to kill them just because they are declared "enemy" is nothing like
    >fighting someone who is also shooting back at you, because that's what you
    >were both ordered to do. "Humanity" is not trying to kill elves. Some
    >individual humans might be, but not "humanity" in general. There is
    >therefore no comparison between war, and the actions of the GS.

    I've not decided fully on if the gheallie Sidhe is evil or not. But if
    humans aren't killing the elves then why are the elves in decline? We have
    elven ruins through out the lands that humans dwell in yet it wasn't the
    humans that did this? I'm inclined to agree with the post before that
    armies aren't the true enemy to the elves so much as its the common people.

    > The traders enter the elven lands to trade with the elves: the GS doesn't
    >even like this, so they kill merchants. The peasants have no recourse but
    >to try to make money and survive, these people are dirt poor, and the best
    >method for this is often chopping lumber and selling it. The elves kill
    >them for it. How's that?

    Yes, its cruel. But there's only one resource to divide between humans and
    elves, the forests. There isn't the abundance that there once were. Do we
    give it to the humans because they are victims of their own society or do
    we give it the elves? I say give because the ones we label evil also
    inherit being the ones non-deserving of the forests. I haven't had the
    chance to read up on how elves treat the Rjurik. They have a more
    nature-loving society. How are they treated by the elves and the gheallie
    Sidhe?

    > Doesn't matter. It's no excuse to kill people who had nothing to do with
    >the cause of their grief.

    I agree its no excuse but I'm not trying to excuse the gheallie Sidhe. I'm
    only trying to understand it. I don't think you can understand it without
    understanding elves and, in that case, elven grief is important. I've said
    before that I think Birthright is a mature setting and that things aren't
    so black and white is one reason.

    This has been a Galwylin® Production

    galwylin@airnet.net
    http://www.airnet.net/galwylin/

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