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Re: (TFT) Man To Man & GURPS - hack/n/slash ethics

absolutely. The GM or the group if they rotate, needs to set a tone for the world or area or adventure they are on. Some GMs may just be "hey, kill them all and let their evil gods sort them out - they're friggin ORKS man!" Others may have a more diverse moral compass. I've done all of them.

With real humans, that sort of hate of another human has to be learned, it can't even be trained. They have to kill YOUR FRIENDS and TRY TO KILL YOU before you hate them enough to try and _really_ kill them back. Lots of famous memoirs of WWII talk about how there was a fine line between the guys that went out and shot a few Germans on their own initiative and liked it, and the guys who shot Germans b/c it was their duty to keep advancing until they reached Berlin and got to go home. The latter didn't like the former, finding them somewhat sick and amoral. Lots of guys who killed plenty of Germans developed a healthy respect for them and actually became MORE moral. Others got sicker and came to enjoy it. When they went home from killing nazies they probably killed minorities.

Anyway, I think the article overstated the case. The shades of moral grey that gamers want is just fine, it's a game. And there's nothing wrong with destroying ultimate evil in my book. So am I broken up that Sauron couldn't be "redeemed" and his ring had to be destroyed to destroy him? Nah, not really. You make certain choices for power, you take your chances. F--k'im. And the minions he rode to power upon. ;)

You want a moral quandary??? How about the ethics of Death Test and Death Test 2!? I thought the premise was sort of sick, but funny. Sort of like the ethics of a gladiator fight. Will I still play them? heck yeah!

-----Original Message----- From: Jeffrey Vandine
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2014 2:09 PM
To: tft@brainiac.com
Subject: Re: (TFT) Man To Man & GURPS - hack/n/slash ethics

All right, I provide two counter arguments given the premise you seized upo
n for this lengthy discussion of comparative morality and ethics:

heat of the moment:  when you're in the middle of a fight (or even a
dungeon crawl, which you've explicitly undertaken for the purpose of gettin
g into a fight, then clearly, if you need to kill the big baddie in order t
o accomplish your goal (and the term "baddie" does seem to sort of define t
he individual you're fighting), and a bunch of his minions are between you
and him and trying to kill YOU too, then sitting down to debate whether or
not they're acting the way they are because their mothers didn't actually l
ove them very much doesn't seem like a reasonable choice of action.  P
erhaps that's a discussion that should be had at the tavern where you were
planning this little soiree in the beginning.  And oh, by the way, I'm
guessing that such a discussion would never happen in just about any game
you or I have ever played in, which brings me to my second point;

literary licence:  the entire point of this form of escapism (both bo
oks and games) is to experience something different from the mundane world
in which we all live.  Yes, we want some form of verisimilitude in our
game worlds (trees have leaves and lose them in the fall, soil grows stuff
), but we are playing these games and reading these books precisely because
they DO allow us to explore "good" and "evil" or "ethical" versus "unethic
al" or maybe just that nebula in the Orglon quadrant -- all of which are pl
aces we CAN'T go right now in reality.  If I want moral quandaries ove
r whether or not a certain group of people is innately good or evil, and wh
ether or not my response is proportional given the provocation, all I have
to do is open a newspaper or watch TV.  The whole point of these games
is that colors are more primary and certain circumstances have been presen
ted to us to explore their nature.  Tolkien made orcs bad because he n
eeded bad
orcs for his literary development, not because he felt that one particular
class of people ("Germans" from your discussion?) were innately and inhere
ntly evil.  Indeed, in his books he made it clear they were either twi
sted to evil (driven insane, if you will) by Morgoth, or, perhaps "bred" th
at way using Morgoth's twisted powers and perceptions -- depending on which
of the various back stories he included in his works that you happen to be
lieve (and maybe both were true).  But the real bottom line here is th
at the whole thing is make-believe -- an opportunity to explore a world wit
h different paradigms than our own, and to experience that world by living
out a different life (even if it is nasty, brutish, and short) without bein
g judged for it.  If your DM chooses to make that world some sort of n
eo-Nazi super-race fantasy world where all women are slaves (John Norman, a
nyone?) then maybe you need to do the actual moral thinking before you agre
e to
be a part of that game.

I'm not saying that your points are invalid,
but I am saying that maybe that level of thinking needs to be applied by th
e GM before he or she ever sets pen to paper.  There may be a valid pl
ace for games that test your moral compass by presenting you with these kin
ds of conundrums to unravel during the course of the scenario, but at the s
ame time, most of us got into these games just to play an elf or a dwarf, o
r some other thing that we never could or would become in real life.

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