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D&D General [Dragonlance/Faerun] Anyone here met any Cataclysm/Wall of the Faithless defenders?


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I can buy into that argument.

I'm likely one of the only people on Earth to have not seen Frozen, but I understand what you're saying.

I see value in verisimilitude and consistent logic. I have spoken in support of such things elsewhere. In other threads, I have used professional wrestling as an example: despite being fantasy, it is presented as "real" and (when done well) makes an attempt to allow the audience to buy in to a coherent presentation and narrative.

Exactly.
 

Raduin711

Adventurer
And they chose to give it the wall as an unique distinction. One one hand people complain that all settings are alike, but as soon as a setting dares to have something special other people complain that it's controversial/offending and needs to be taken out.
My complaint isn't that FR "dared to be different." I am fine with FR being different. I would encourage FR to be as unique as it can be. My complaint is that FR faithless and real world atheists/agnostics share so much in common that they are both the same thing, and the writers of FR have gone out of their way to punish these individuals.

It would be no different if the writers had constructed a religion in FR that mirrored a real-world religion and then went out to their way to punish practitioners of said religion in the imaginary afterlife of FR. Folks would be flipping their lid. Yet here we are.
It's not the same argument, and here is why:

Whether or not it is real to you or me is irrelevant to whether or not it is "real" to a character within the setting.
The characters in the setting don't exist. They are words on a page. To say that the feelings of real people are trumped by the feelings of fictional characters is... odd. To say the least.
 

The characters in the setting don't exist. They are words on a page. To say that the feelings of real people are trumped by the feelings of fictional characters is... odd. To say the least.

That wasn't the position I took.

However, I did offer some comment in response to that. I said that I can understand efforts to sanitize things which may upset people. I further commented that I'm curious how murdering sentient creatures for wealth and advancement fits into that.


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Edit: I can see how my position could be construed as that. I did say that it's irrelevant whether or not things are real to you and me. That comment was geared more toward what I perceived as logically valid (given a set of setting assumptions,) and explaining why my position was not a Thermian argument. (I would further posit that there is some argument for a Thermian Argument not being fallacious because being factual is not necessarily a requirement of being logically valid.)

Admittedly, I do think that -at some point- building a narrative around a fictional world requires some amount of willingness to leave real-world assumptions and expectation behind. As someone choosing to play a role inside of that same constructed fiction, I think there's an argument to be made for seeing through different eyes than your own. Yes, real-world feelings do matter. A product which is grossly offensive to players and customers is not good; at the same time, is there a point at which the game reaches what is essentially the 80s Satanic Panic with a different moral/ethical paint job?

In the context of a broader issue, I'm genuinely curious to see how design of a combat-and-conflict-centric game is approached in a way which objectively offends zero people. How would a brand with the strength (and market share) of contemporary D&D (backed by Hasbro) respond to the 80s Satanic Panic and Jack Chick?
 
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That wasn't the position I took.

However, I did offer some comment in response to that. I said that I can understand efforts to sanitize things which may upset people. I further commented that I'm curious how murdering sentient creatures for wealth and advancement fits into that.


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Edit: I can see how my position could be construed as that. I did say that it's irrelevant whether or not things are real to you and me. That comment was geared more toward what I perceived as logically valid (given a set of setting assumptions,) and explaining why my position was not a Thermian argument. (I would further posit that there is some argument for a Thermian Argument not being fallacious because being factual is not necessarily a requirement of being logically valid.)

Admittedly, I do think that -at some point- building a narrative around a fictional world requires some amount of willingness to leave real-world assumptions and expectation behind. As someone choosing to play a role inside of that same constructed fiction, I think there's an argument to be made for seeing through different eyes than your own. Yes, real-world feelings do matter. A product which is grossly offensive to players and customers is not good; at the same time, is there a point at which the game reaches what is essentially the 80s Satanic Panic with a different moral/ethical paint job?

In the context of a broader issue, I'm genuinely curious to see how design of a combat-and-conflict-centric game is approached in a way which objectively offends zero people. How would a brand with the strength (and market share) of contemporary D&D (backed by Hasbro) respond to the 80s Satanic Panic and Jack Chick?

The problem with your theoretical position of seeing this from the eyes of someone within the setting is that it assumes that someone within the setting, with full access to all the facts we have, would have a different reaction. And there are only two flavors of positions I can see differing from my own.

The first is "Those who do not worship the divine majesty of the Gods deserve what they get". And this position is... well it is bigotry and worse. It assumes that holding a different belief that harms no one is something deserving of punishment. Worse, since we are explicitly told ( in Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad chapter 43 as referenced in an earlier post) that being insane does not exempt someone from the Wall, that means that this position also is that people with mental illnesses deserve to be punished.

That same quote from earlier (Alzrius post #234 ) also shows us that Mystra doesn't think that is how things should work, which tells me that even in the Realms... that is kind of an extreme position.


The second position? "The gods do what they will, and we just need to keep our heads down." Which really smacks of Stockholme syndrome and just the acceptance that we are too weak to actually change anything. Which is a perfectly logical thing for a peasant to think. It isn't like they can travel to the Fugue plane and demand things from Kelemvor. But, reorienting back to us instead of them, we can change it. We are not powerless in the face of unfair gods, we are the ones holding the pen.



Also, an aside, I do not see "sanitizing DnD" as the "broader issue" in this thread. We are talking about the Wall. If you want to start a new thread wondering about how a combat game can be justified from a moral viewpoint, go ahead, but that has nothing to do with my objections to the Wall. Because, if we were in a setting like Theros, where the Gods are as much feared as revered, and the Wall had existed as a punishment since the beginning of time, used only to punish those who defied the Gods and invoked their wrath, then I'd be fine with it. Because the point there is that the Gods are terrible, taking the Ovid view that they are all petty tyrants who throw fits and punish languishing mortals for no good reason.

But that is not the thematic bedrock of FR.
 

Olrox17

Hero
My complaint isn't that FR "dared to be different." I am fine with FR being different. I would encourage FR to be as unique as it can be. My complaint is that FR faithless and real world atheists/agnostics share so much in common that they are both the same thing, and the writers of FR have gone out of their way to punish these individuals.

It would be no different if the writers had constructed a religion in FR that mirrored a real-world religion and then went out to their way to punish practitioners of said religion in the imaginary afterlife of FR. Folks would be flipping their lid.
Real world atheists and FR faithless are nowhere close, IMO.

A real world atheist does not believe in a higher power, since there is no concrete scientific evidence of the existence of such power. A perfectly logical and acceptable position.

FR faithless do not deny the existence of higher powers. How could they? Evidence of their existence is everywhere around them. They REFUSE to worship those powers, even though they are aware of their existence. Their belief (or lack of belief) is not even remotely comparable to real life atheists, or any other RL belief, really.

If I really had to find a RL analogue for the faithless, I suppose hardcore anarchists is the closest I can think of. Even then, not really a match.
 

Zeromaru X

Arkhosian scholar and coffee lover
, I had to do that anyways, so that is less a punishment and more just a crazy guy yelling at me for no reason. Maybe if we were really bad he'd tell us we have to breath air too.

Ao just make it a law.

"By my decree, now you have to breath air as I say it, or you die".

I always thought the Avatar Crisis series were nonsense...
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
That same quote from earlier (Alzrius post #234 ) also shows us that Mystra doesn't think that is how things should work, which tells me that even in the Realms... that is kind of an extreme position.
The novel in question, Troy Denning's Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad, presents Mystra as being the one whose position is extreme.

While the book is written from an in-character perspective (of Cyric's most devoted worshiper, no less), a fairly large sub-plot is that Mystra and Kelemvor are also on trial for letting their mortal perspectives on right and wrong interfere with the dispassionate discharge of their divine duties. The passages quoted in my previous post are presented after Kelemvor ultimately concludes that he's done exactly that, and decides to reform his practices. Mystra holds out longer, but eventually complies as well.
 
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Mirtek

Adventurer
But, reorienting back to us instead of them, we can change it. We are not powerless in the face of unfair gods, we are the ones holding the pen.
Holding the pen we can also just cross out Orcus, Bane, Asmodeus and all other nastyness. So why even bother rolling up characters for their long journey to right the wrongs through ingame actions? We have the pen after all.

If some group hates the wall that much, it's an epic campaign goal to destroy it. Probably best achieved by throwing down Kelemvor and placing one of them on the throne. A DM can easily add covert support by the deities of good who equally dislike the wall
 

Holding the pen we can also just cross out Orcus, Bane, Asmodeus and all other nastyness. So why even bother rolling up characters for their long journey to right the wrongs through ingame actions? We have the pen after all.

If some group hates the wall that much, it's an epic campaign goal to destroy it. Probably best achieved by throwing down Kelemvor and placing one of them on the throne. A DM can easily add covert support by the deities of good who equally dislike the wall

Why must you go to the extreme end of the spectrum on this?

"This facet of the setting makes no sense, breaks with the thematic depiction of the gods, has no support, and unlike a character who has no power to change their reality, we can change it"

"Why not just remove all conflict and make a perfect world then with no strife, evil, greed, or any other bad thing."


I mean, if the Wall was INTERESTING then a quest to destroy it would be fine. If Myrkul was still in charge and everyone agreed the Wall was bad, but it was his domain and AO prevents direct interference between domains, then it would be INTERESTING.

As it is... it is just a weird blot on the cosmology. Kelemvor's Judge Dredd style "THE LAW" has nothing to do with the Wall existing. It is incidental to the problem he is confronted with and his solution. It does nothing but create problems, but removing it allows for more interesting things. For example, with the Wall gone, one of the more likely fates of someone who refused to worship the Gods is to be is that " Some are charged with serving as guides for other lost souls." This gives us a set of souls who are guides and organizers for the dead, who are almost free agents of the afterlife. Interesting things can be done with that instead of having a big Wall in the middle of nowhere, doing nothing except torturing people.
 

But how is it unjust? Anymore than the king saying pay this tax or go to jail?

A 'lawful' good deity will, being lawful, have a codified body of doctrine and theology etc about what is just and what isn't and how to tell the difference. Each lawful good deity will use that doctrine to make their own decisions on whether the Wall is justified or not, and if so, how best to oppose it. And of course, not all LG deities will agree on the matter...
 

Zeromaru X

Arkhosian scholar and coffee lover
We are talking about Lawful Good deities, not Lawful Neutral. They also care about things like compassion and mercy, not only about justice. They can argue about wether a law is just or not, but you can be sure that one of their main concerns, one were all would agree, would be if such law is compassionate or not.

And the Wall fails in that regard.
 

Olrox17

Hero
We are talking about Lawful Good deities, not Lawful Neutral. They also care about things like compassion and mercy, not only about justice. They can argue about wether a law is just or not, but you can be sure that one of their main concerns, one were all would agree, would be if such law is compassionate or not.

And the Wall fails in that regard.
Well, Kelemvor himself is Lawful Neutral, not Lawful Good
 

Mirtek

Adventurer
If Myrkul was still in charge and everyone agreed the Wall was bad, but it was his domain and AO prevents direct interference between domains, then it would be INTERESTING.
Well, it's Kelemvor in charge, he is not a good guy and while AO doesn't prevent direct interference any direct interference by the deities of good (aka assault on Kelemvor in his divine realm, as you agree it's not really opposable on the mortal coil) would lead to an apocalyptic battle (even before some of the evil and neutral deities join the fray) and thus is unfortunately off the table.

So yes, the deities keeping an eye out for a promising mortal strike team is an interesting campaign idea (even though if it's kind of a rehash from MotB)

" Some are charged with serving as guides for other lost souls." This gives us a set of souls who are guides and organizers for the dead, who are almost free agents of the afterlife. Interesting things can be done with that instead of having a big Wall in the middle of nowhere, doing nothing except torturing people.

That's not being free agents, that's still being forced into servitude at Kelemvor's behest. So the fate of those who refused to serve the gods if to serve the god of dead. Well, at least they're not annihilated I guess.

That's also already one of the possible fates that awaits the false. So we're already having a lot of souls being forever stuck in and around the fugue plane performing such menial task at Kelemvor's degree.
 

Well, it's Kelemvor in charge, he is not a good guy and while AO doesn't prevent direct interference any direct interference by the deities of good (aka assault on Kelemvor in his divine realm, as you agree it's not really opposable on the mortal coil) would lead to an apocalyptic battle (even before some of the evil and neutral deities join the fray) and thus is unfortunately off the table.

So yes, the deities keeping an eye out for a promising mortal strike team is an interesting campaign idea (even though if it's kind of a rehash from MotB)

See, "Kelemvor isn't Good" (which he was) isn't the same as "Myrkul is an evil and sadistic diety seeking to spread fear of death in all mortal hearts for his own enjoyment"

Kind of like saying that "The Joker" and "Catwoman" are equivalent, because Catwoman isn't necessarily good. There is a space on the chart between Good and Evil.

So, why does Kelemvor keep using an evil torture device devised by a sadistic god who wanted nothing more than to spread dread, terror and despair? The lulz?

That's not being free agents, that's still being forced into servitude at Kelemvor's behest. So the fate of those who refused to serve the gods if to serve the god of dead. Well, at least they're not annihilated I guess.

That's also already one of the possible fates that awaits the false. So we're already having a lot of souls being forever stuck in and around the fugue plane performing such menial task at Kelemvor's degree.

One: "Guiding Lost Souls" doesn't sound like a menial task to me.

Two: "Charged with" could be very different than "forced into Servitude". Just because you are given a job doesn't mean that you do it. Or that it is all you do.

Three: While it was a fate, it wasn't a fate for the False to my knowledge. And really, I'm curious who would be a) not picked up by a god b) Not False c) Not Faithless under the structure of the wall. That seems like an incredibly narrow section between "everyone who worships the gods" and "everyone who does not worship the gods or actively betrays them"

Four: Not sure why being stuck forever in the Fugue Plane is being brought up. Stuck forever in the afterlife is kind of the definition of being dead. And having free agency to do things compared to being tortured unto destruction seems like a better deal.
 

Well, Kelemvor himself is Lawful Neutral, not Lawful Good

Then what is the lawful justification of the use of Myrkul's torture device?

"Well, the previous administration instituted this policy of fear and torture for his own sadistic amusement. I'm not amused, I do not want to spread fear, but the torture part is established so I guess I have to do it. Can't just go back to the older laws before that clearly non-lawful being changed everything."
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
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Zsong

Explorer
I have zero problem with the wall of the faithless. It sounds like something that would exist in old pagan religions. Very fitting in my opinion for someone creating a setting that is not based on modern theology
 

Zeromaru X

Arkhosian scholar and coffee lover
Well, Kelemvor himself is Lawful Neutral, not Lawful Good

I was not talking about Kel. I was answering to the hypothesis that the Lawful Good gods would argue if the Wall was just or not, but here people only see the "lawful" part of Lawful Good. That's why I mentioned that they would also care about stuff like if the nature of punishment is really according to the nature of the "crime". Faithless do exist in the rest of the multiverse, and there is no punishment for them there. And the gods also depends on worship for power and sustenance in other worlds. And many gods of the Realms are multispheric and know about this fact.

So, the most likely answer of the Lawful Good deities is that the Wall is a harsh punishment for a not that harming crime (because, if it was a harming crime, something would already have happened in the multiverse because of Faithlessness; and nothing has happened).

Now, all defaults to whatever Kelemvor wants to do with the Wall. The Lawful Good deities have nothing to do with it. But, if they at least had voiced their concerns, I won't feel as if the Good gods of the Realms are all a bunch of hypocrites...
 

Zeromaru X

Arkhosian scholar and coffee lover
I have zero problem with the wall of the faithless. It sounds like something that would exist in old pagan religions. Very fitting in my opinion for someone creating a setting that is not based on modern theology

Thing is, the Wall was not created by Ed Greenwood (who has voiced that he also dislikes the Wall, as it messes up with the idea he had of how the afterlife in the Realms should work). It was an addendum of some author of the novels for some reason.
 

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