D&D General The Case for Evil Orcs (Minor Rings of Power Spoilers)

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You can't say you want to play D&D without considering the morality of your actions BUT ALSO want an "Always evil" set of creatures in the game so you can kill them indiscriminately and thus act as though your character's actions were good. Those are two completely opposite things. If you aren't going to consider the morality of things within the game "and just play"... that should include the morality of your character as well.
We can, because D&D morality is not real world morality. You can bring real world morality into your D&D game, but we don't have to do that for ours.
 

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Voadam

Legend
Goblins and Orcs are not supernatural. They have children, culture, lives, cities, hopes, dreams. They're people.
That varies a lot. They can be non-supernatural people with children, culture, lives, etc.

They can also be 40K orks who are biological weapon fungi with a designed biological and psychic drive to die in combat with adrenaline flowing to activate and spread their spores.

I have heard people who had their D&D goblins be fey creations of darkness who are not born but spawned by evil as fully grown malicious little monsters.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
now having said that I 100% support the idea of talking to your table... maybe 1 table is fine with 1 and not another. I know that I personally want a warning about if there is sexism in a setting, but I default to assuming theft murder and major war crimes will be okay...
This. There's nothing wrong with murder being in the game, but if someone at the table had someone close to them murdered, I would not include it in the game I run. The same with rape(though I've never had this anyway), inherently evil races, kidnapping, and so on.

We should be empathetic to those who are playing in the game and not include things that would bring up their pain, but if nobody at the table has such an issue with inherently evil races, there is no issue with including them.
 


FireLance

Legend
I think that a lot of people are Bothered About Biological Essentialism (B.A.B.E.) and I'm surprised that there isn't already a comic entitled "Rongful Races".
 

That varies a lot. They can be non-supernatural people with children, culture, lives, etc.
We're in the D&D forum. D&D orcs are people. They have children, cities. this has been a canon fact for decades, since the existence of half orcs. Heck, Orcs are going to be a base race come 1D&D. Heck, the one I can think of that isn't just "Some humanoid" is goblyns from Ravenloft and Ravenloft's whole, deal

i mean all the whatever to folks justifying it in their homebrew any which way, but baseline D&D, they're people and you absolutely are going to have people who just go in wanting to be one. I can write a thing about elves being souless monsters who's morality is so alien to us as to be inconcievable and have a notorious weakness to cold iron, but am hardly going to be saying this should be a regular thing in D&D even if it absolutely works in Discworld

(GNU Terry Pratchett)
They can be 40K orks who are biological weapon fungi with a designed biological and psychic drive to die in combat with adrenaline flowing to activate and spread their spores.
40K orcs are also notoriously not Always Evil. They're chaotic neutral if anything.
 

Bagpuss

Hero
In war films and WW2 RPGs we don't worry if the soldiers you are fighting are inherently evil or not, they are the enemy and the situation often demands violent action.

Why do orcs need to be inherently evil for us to avoid feeling guilt over slaughtering them?

I'm sure a lot of the people who protest about inherently evil orcs are absolutely fine with the "Punch a Nazi" statement, when we know Nazi's are real people and therefore possibly capable of redemption. Why moralise of killing orcs (inherently evil or not), when we don't moralise over killing enemy soldiers, stormtroopers, terrorists, etc in other settings, or punching Nazi's in real life?
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
We can, because D&D morality is not real world morality. You can bring real world morality into your D&D game, but we don't have to do that for ours.
Then what's your in-game morality then?

If your game's morality says the PCs are allowed to kill things and it does not affect their morality... then you don't need an "Always evil" race. The PC are allowed to kill anything-- good or evil. Having an "Always evil" race is pointless. A target's alignment has no bearing on whether PCs can kill something so making hard declarations such as "X are always evil" does not matter.

But putting that aside for the moment... what exactly is the point of the original post? Is it to suggest in a roundabout way that WotC should be okay with including "Always evil" humanoid races in their books? If that's the ultimate endpoint and conclusion of the original post... then of course the answer from all indications is "WotC is not going to do that regardless of the points made by other people to do it". So we can throw that idea right out the window.

Or is the point to suggest that players who choose to include "Always evil" humanoid races should not be looked at by other players (here on EN World for instance) as bad people or potentially racist? Well... I can understand WHY someone would want to make that argument... but that's not really their call, is it? You can't tell someone not to think of you as a bad person... that person is going to think whatever it is they want. The only way you're going to get that person to not believe you aren't a bad person is to not do what they think is bad... even if you truly believe your belief is justified or that you are being treated unfairly.

Which means the only option is to not care what some people think of you. You do you. Or your table does your table. However you want to look at it and regardless of what others might say. I certainly have no problem with that. What you do doesn't matter to me personally. But if you are going to do that at your table then do it AT YOUR TABLE. Don't come HERE onto EN World and declare that you are doing it at your table and think that then shields you from criticism or other people considering your beliefs or actions to be bad. Or if you REALLY need to declare it here... then just be perfectly fine with other people thinking you are a bad person and not care what they think. But if that's the case... there's then no reason to argue with anyone about it. :)
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Okay, so do we want Good and Evil, or do we want to not have to think about moral implications?
We can have both. We can have inherent good and evil that we don't have to think about, and races that aren't inherently evil where we do have to consider moral implications.
 


Why moralise of killing orcs (inherently evil or not), when we don't moralise over killing enemy soldiers, stormtroopers, terrorists, etc in other settings, or punching Nazi's in real life?
Because one of those is fighting someone because they're opposed to you on an idealogical level, and the other is going after them because of how they born. How are these even comparable? You're comparing an entire race, literately available for anyone to play as an option, to an idealogical choice

Going after the soldiers of the Jerk Empire is a vastly different thing than targetting someone because of how they were born
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
Because one of those is fighting someone because they're opposed to you on an idealogical level, and the other is going after them because of how they born. How are these even comparable? You're comparing an entire race, literately available for anyone to play as an option, to an idealogical choice

Going after the soldiers of the Jerk Empire is a vastly different thing than targetting someone because of how they were born
What if the soldiers of the Jerk Empire are all orcs? What if your only encounters with orcs are as soldiers of the Jerk Empire? Do you have to show orc farmers for orcs to not be all evil?
 


DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I just object to giving people a hard time about it if they play differently at their own tables.
No one's forcing a person to share how they play here on EN World. Choosing to share how you play D&D here on the boards does not shield you from criticism. You don't get a free pass to declare whatever you want about what you think about D&D and then not expect other people to comment on it.
 


Micah Sweet

Legend
No one's forcing a person to share how they play here on EN World. Choosing to share how you play D&D here on the boards does not shield you from criticism. You don't get a free pass to declare whatever you want about what you think about D&D and then not expect other people to comment on it.
They don't have to comment from a moralistic point if view. I would consider that rather rude.
 

What if the soldiers of the Jerk Empire are all orcs? What if your only encounters with orcs are as soldiers of the Jerk Empire? Do you have to show orc farmers for orcs to not be all evil?
I mean, ideally you'd have turncoats, folks who aren't buying into the regime, various other people and whatnot joining up with the other side for power, fame, fear....

But, you've found the solution. Regimes be evil, races aren't. Plus, folks remember and like the stories of people driven to fight each other through circumstance, through who had things been different they may have been friends. No one cares about Orphanageburner the Bandit who burns orphanages because he's Chaotic Evil and your players will reduce him to a bloodied smear on the ground in 3 rounds, tops
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
No one's forcing a person to share how they play here on EN World. Choosing to share how you play D&D here on the boards does not shield you from criticism. You don't get a free pass to declare whatever you want about what you think about D&D and then not expect other people to comment on it.
This cuts in both directions. Choosing to cyberbully and harass people who play the game in a manner you don't approve of is not okay even if you call it "criticism."
 

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