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

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Vaalingrade

Legend
This is why I wanted to avoid that line of argument when @Vaalingrade originally brought it up -- it's really thorny and will very quickly lead to discussions of real world atrocities, religions and ideologies.
Ideologies like... labeling whole peoples evil in order to justify destroying them.

That's the thing. You can't avoid something but closing your eyes and charging headlong into it.
 

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Reynard

Legend
Applying the word 'evil' to an entire people is D&D morality making it a moral implication. If they didn't want moral implications, they would have... not used language to imply morality.
Evil is a game term. "Evil" doesn't serve much useful purpose in the real world because it's really hard to pin down since different individuals and institutions define it so wildly differently.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Applying the word 'evil' to an entire people is D&D morality making it a moral implication.
In game, yes.
If they didn't want moral implications, they would have... not used language to imply morality.
But I want a moral implication in the game. I want inherently evil races to be morally okay to kill. I want non-inherently(insert alignment here) races to require consideration of moral implications before killing.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Not if the table doesn't have a problem with it, no. There are lots of games out there, and they don't all see "abhorrent" the way you do.
But in this hypothetical, @EzekielRaiden is at the table, so clearly it isn’t the case that the table doesn’t have a problem with it, or at least not everyone at the table. I would expect someone who had a problem with it to leave the table, and to explain to the group why they are doing so.
 

Cruentus

Adventurer
The funny thing is, in my own games orcs and similar humanoids can be anything they want, even if many are evil by human standards. I just object to giving people a hard time about it if they play differently at their own tables.
In my games, I've tried something slightly different: removed all mention of "good" and "evil" from characters, monsters, gods, and spells. So, Protection from Evil is just "protection" and protects against things attempting to harm you. Detect Evil doesn't work.

If the PC's continually charge into the neighboring Orc kingdom and attack their villages, then, in the eyes of the Orcs, the PC's are "evil", and the Orcs, if its in their best interest, will respond. In the eyes of the PCs, why, of course, the PCs are "good" for going after the "evil" orcs. And vice versa. In an Orc's eyes, there is nothing remotely "evil" in their society and what they do and how they go about doing it, they're good, and regularly attacked for no good reason by those humans over the hills.

They're all free to act and react as they wish based on their society, or their individual personalities, without being "good" and "evil", which, really in DnD and other games, are there purely as game mechanics: see spells, alignment, gods, magic items, etc.

Ultimately each table will make their own decision how they engage with morality in their fictional worlds, as I'm sure there aren't very many people who aren't aware of these particular types of discussion nowadays.

Edit: Oh, and it goes without saying, that Session 0 deals with these types of issues in any game to be played (or should), so, yeah...
 


DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Just because someone engages with a harasser doesn't mean that the person they're engaging with isn't a harasser. Telling someone else "the way you play your game makes you a racist" is condemning them as a person, and that remains true even if they turn around and say "no it doesn't."

As a general rule it's better to talking about the game, rather than talking about the people who play it (which includes dropping not-so-subtle implications about what sort of person they are), and things will be more pleasant all around.
Well, we are going to just agree to disagree then.

To me... this is a public discussion forum. And if you make a post that other people take a moral stance on or they believe you are being insulting/racist/misogynistic/homophobic or whatever (implied or otherwise)... then you should accept you're potentially going to be criticized for it or at the very least responded to in argument/discussion. And you don't get to declare yourself free from response just because you got your potential insult/racism/misogyny/homophobia out first.

It's really simple as far as I'm concerned... if you don't wish to be criticized for how you play D&D... don't post here how you play D&D. Even if it's just general methods of gaming and has nothing to do with political issues. You then never have to worry about what other people think of you when you do.
 

Reynard

Legend
It's also a game when enemies have motivations, but that was a problematic element to be avoided.
It might be that the motivation of the Dark Lord is to destroy everything-- because "Dark Lord" -- and therefore the motivation of his carefully crafted minions is to destroy everything for the Dark Lord. In the very same game, you might have humans aligned with the Dark.Lord whose motivations are much more complex and nuanced -- use the chaos and destruction caused by the rampages of the Dark Lord's minions to secure land and power, for example.

As usual people are forced to construct strawman in order to establish their position as valid.
 

Generally speaking, insulting others on ENworld is discouraged. I would call implying that a poster is a bad person because of their playstyle an insult.
yes and I think if we report someone who even suggest that a poster is racisit for wanting always evil orcs that will get this thread shut real quick
 

Oofta

Legend
Let's be real. This is not about individual game tables. Everyone can play in and DM the type of game they want to run, and there's nothing anyone on any social media can do about it. I, personally, think good and evil races are boring af so it's a trope I avoid. And yet I still play a game based on traipsing around dangerous locales for the sake of profit. There's tools in these games to avoid the type of play I don't want (e.g., morale rolls, reaction rolls, combat being very dangerous and swingy), so I'm able to make it work just as people who DO want those tropes are able to make them work.

This is about the actual game's text and play culture changing, and people acting like that's infringing or irreversibly changing the hobby or their ability to run the games they want... And that's not true. I mean, people who don't want evil orcs or biological essentialism in their game have been catering their games towards that style for years, and letting other people know that that's how their game is being run. So... that's going to be true of people on the opposite side of the argument now. You can do it, though, it's not that big a deal. Just let people know what you're doing, and let them decide if that's the game for them.
While orcs are always evil in my campaign*, I do think the direction WOTC has been taking of being clear that the alignment entry is just the default is a good idea. The alignment listed for any creature in the MM is just a default, and always has been in 5E it's just that the explanation was buried in the intro to the MM that very few people actually read.

I think it's a good idea that they're going back to 3.x's "[qualifier] [alignment]" style so the orcs you encounter as enemies could be "typically evil" then the DM decides what that means for the orcs that the players interact with. As far as cultural changes, I think the game needs bad guys. Sometimes I just want a simple game where black and white, good and evil, are easily identifiable because I want to escape from the messiness of real world morality.

I understand the problems with "every member of a species wears the same hat" trope for serious fiction. Sometimes I want a game that is not serious.

*It's kind of an exception to my general rule for humanoids, only orcs and gnolls are always evil. For different reasons.
 


Vaalingrade

Legend
It might be that the motivation of the Dark Lord is to destroy everything-- because "Dark Lord" -- and therefore the motivation of his carefully crafted minions is to destroy everything for the Dark Lord. In the very same game, you might have humans aligned with the Dark.Lord whose motivations are much more complex and nuanced -- use the chaos and destruction caused by the rampages of the Dark Lord's minions to secure land and power, for example.

As usual people are forced to construct strawman in order to establish their position as valid.
I stated the exact thing you said. How, and in what universe is that a strawman?
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
As usual people are forced to construct strawman in order to establish their position as valid.
If you think people are constructing strawmen against you (and thus presumbly are arguing in bad faith)... then why do you care what they say then?

Are you looking for them to change their minds and agree with you?
 



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