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

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Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Tolkien's Orcs have language, and different personalities and are intelligent enough to make weapons/armor and other crafts. They're people. They have some kind of free will.
Those don't necessarily follow from a philosophical standpoint, but this probably isn't the place to dive deep into philosophy 202.
 

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Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Part of the objection is simply that biological essentialism when it comes to behavior is in essence the basis of racism.
It's not biological essentialism-- it's magical essentialism. They exist to serve a purpose both in the fiction and in.a meta way, and here's the thing: children and noncombatants NEVER need be encountered.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
The ultimate irony here...

"Our table doesn't want to think about morality when we play... we just want to kill stuff and take their loot." ;)

In any other group except gamers... if they were told the baseline premise of D&D, the PCs would be considered the evil ones. The only reason to need an "always evil" race is to find a way to justify in the minds of the players that they are in fact not being evil MFers who go around killing anyone or anything that gets in their way in their quest to find gold.

But if you're going to sit here and say you want to be able to do just that... just "play" without having to worry about "morality"... then you should probably just accept the fact that all PCs in the baseline prototypical D&D are essentially evil themselves. You are playing a bad person in a society where you will usually not get arrested for murdering anyone or anything you come across out in the wilderness, and stripping corpses of their property after the fact is perfectly fine.

Once you accept who you are and who your PC is and what you want your PC to be able to do in this prototypical style of D&D without any true consequences (other than going to 0 HP and "dying")... you don't need an "Always Evil" servitor race in the game anymore. Because trying to reflect your evil with another evil is unnecessary.
This is a giant strawman made of complete bunk. You are essentially calling every player who ever delved a dungeon morally suspect for wanting to play the game without engaging in performative handwringing over ever enemy. It's no different than labeling every video gamer a potential murderer. It's gross.
 


Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
This is a giant strawman made of complete bunk. You are essentially calling every player who ever delved a dungeon morally suspect for wanting to play the game without engaging in performative handwringing over ever enemy. It's no different than labeling every video gamer a potential murderer. It's gross.
The main point is, if a player wants to play an Evil character in D&D, one can do that.

Playfulness is a safe space.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
I am not saying anything about real world racism or real world racial essentialism.

Whether you intend to say things or not, you are speaking in the context of a world in which those issues exist, and are a heavy burden on many people.

The end result, intentional or not, is as if you are walking up to an open mike and saying, "I don't want to say anything about your problems, but what do you think about this setup that seems directly analogous to these problems?"

Every time we try to handwave away major issues for others, we look pretty insensitive to those issues.
 


Art Waring

halozix.com
Unfortunately, this topic has been a toxic one for some time now.

You can still play your home games the way you want, but convincing people on a public forum that they should still be holding to this tradition is going to be met with resistance.

Regardless of your stance on the problem, the issue itself has to do with a long, long legacy of problematic elements in ODnD that are still problematic today.

If individuals have a problem with the subject matter, and it seems like people are increasingly concerned about it, then simply dismissing their opinions on the matter makes for a one-sided argument.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
This is a giant strawman made of complete bunk. You are essentially calling every player who ever delved a dungeon morally suspect for wanting to play the game without engaging in performative handwringing over ever enemy. It's no different than labeling every video gamer a potential murderer. It's gross.
I'm not calling the players potential murderers, I'm calling the PCs murderers and thieves (if we're using some sort of absolute morality here.)

In D&D the premise of the base game has always been "kill things, take their stuff". And I don't see how anyone could deny that wasn't the baseline of Dungeons & Dragons from the very beginning. That's murder and theft. Now of course players will attempt to justify this murder and theft by suggesting "Well, the PCs only do it to creatures that deserve it"... or "It's always done in self-defense"... or "They were given the okay from their lord / country / higher authority to do it"... etc. etc. so that they can consider their characters moral and good.

But why do you need to have your characters be moral and good if you just wish to "play D&D without worrying about the morality"? That's always the argument for an "Always evil" race, isn't it? So you as players CAN have your characters kill things and take their stuff without ever thinking about it while still thinking of your characters as "good people". You're trying to have your cake and eat it too. But if you aren't going to worry or think about this dichotomy... then it doesn't matter who your targets are NOR who your character is. Evil, good, lawful, chaotic, unaligned-- it doesn't matter.

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.
 

Warpiglet-7

Cry havoc! And let slip the pigs of war!
I find this easy. The orcs happen to be evil. Most encountered are in face footsoldiers of evil wizards or are part of an invading force.

In dungeons etc. they are foes at cross purposes. Are any of them good? There is no rule against that in my campaign nor the ones I play in.

Running it this way can create some great unexpected allies. My group fondly remembers commander Krag a hobgoblin they allied with along with his troops. He was LN but they did not know it.

The trypical hobgoblin was LE in my world but this honorable semi decent? One was a novelty and fun for the group.

I play what I like and don’t listen to they hype and hate. I don’t like moral quandaries about slaying baby goblins etc. and frankly as a rule don’t when presented the opportunity. We intimidate and disarm those that decide to not fight and move on.

This speaks to a lot of things in the game. I like alignment with in game effects and redemption story arcs. An orc who finds redemption and becomes an allied warlord interests me.

But I can have my cake and eat it too. Most are not redeemed. Most are hate filled with and evil religion.

Create the game you want and don’t listen to online randos tell you you’re wrong for it. If you want undead to be the enemy at the gates, go for it. Demons? Go nuts. Orcs? Have at it. Barbaric blood thirsty nation? Why not?

I wax philosophical in life but not usually while I am rolling d20s to see if I crushed it the monster before my PC.
 

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