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Saturday, 14th July, 2012, 03:12 AM #41
Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)
Ever see the movie, "Undercover Blues"? Kathleen Turner and Dennis Quaid play a pair of spies trying to retire, because they have a new baby. Of course, there has to be one last case...
Their relationship makes the movie. But at no time are they in friction. I suppose for a series it would be harder to maintain interest...
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Monday, 16th July, 2012, 02:34 AM #42
Scout (Lvl 6)
In AD&D, it gives the players a challenge to overcome without having to agonize about whether they are murderers or not. Or have to arrange for prisoner transport (which, from GMing experience is a real game-killer). Or any number of other reasons. Personally, that's one reason I tend to use undead and demons as major bad guys. Same guarantee of evil, without any complaints about being cliche.
For Tolkien, orcs were corrupted elves, IIRC. Regardless, they weren't a naturally occurring race. Considering they were created by what was, essentially, the Devil, I think it's reasonable to make the blanket statement about their alignment. Why did Tolkien make them reliably evil? Probably a lot of the same reasons as in D&D. He didn't have to have the good guys killing humans, except in a few cases on the battlefield.
Is it realistic? I don't know any actual races of sociopaths. Is it racist? Well, it's an imaginary race. If you imagine it to be purely evil, then it's pretty much true. It's flat out impossible to be racist against an imaginary race.
Tuesday, 24th July, 2012, 09:45 PM #43
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
As Mercule said, Evil races in D&D exist to give the players ad guys to kill without having to agonize over moral choices. Tolkiens orcs were evil spirits clothed in flesh, and not an analog for any existing subset of humanity, as some overzealous moral crusaders have claimed.
As for Star Trek being full of one-trick pony aliens... you're just realizing this now? Trek codified the concept of funny-forehead and planet-of-hats aliens and is notorious for it. Are ALL Klingons noble samurai-viking warriors? I've never seen a Klingon farmer. Guess Klingon farmers and doctors are all condemned to Gre'Thor when they die (where go the souls of those who didn't die in glorious battle.) And with Voyager you picked the absolute lowest point of Star Trek history. While I hated Voyager and thought it was totally lame, DS9 was one of my all-time favorite shows and was MUCH better about it, even though it still had the nearly cookie-cutter Ferengi. But even the Ferengi had Quark and Rom and Nog to show the nuances in the culture. DS9 even gave us a Klingon lawyer in one episode!
Voyager makes my teeth ache. That episode where the Janeway and Paris travel past Warp 10 and go to the future and evo9lve into alien lizards and mate? My God, what cheese!
But anyway, it's all storytelling shorthand. In the worst cases it's because the writes are lazy, but hopefully in most cases it's because they just don't have enough time to establish a full character background, and instead they can just use the shorthand of a race's culture and introduce a Klingon and you'll know "violent but maybe noble warrior-race guy" or a Romulan and you'll know "smart, scheming but maybe honorable guy."
Farewell, Randolph Carter, and beware; for I am Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos!
Tuesday, 24th July, 2012, 11:52 PM #44
Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)
Wednesday, 25th July, 2012, 12:40 AM #45
Ogremoch, Elemental Prince of Evil (Lvl 23)
The farmers use double-bladed shovels to turn the dirt, and prefer to punch the seeds to the proper depth into the ground. The crops are watered with the blood of foes, and Klingon battle songs are sung to the growing plants.
Which explains their largely carnivorous diet...
Wednesday, 25th July, 2012, 02:11 PM #46
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Thursday, 26th July, 2012, 03:03 AM #47
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
Plus, for a while there wasn't there a Klingon cook/chef/restaurant owner/something like that on the Promenade on DS9?
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