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

Good points you make there.  And yeah, the morals of Death Test and Death
 Test 2 fundamentally came down to, "I hired both groups of mercenaries. 
 The good ones will live.  I don't have to pay the bad ones any more." 
 Or, just possibly -- "the guys in the maze are prisoners guilty of crime
s anyway, so by killing them off this way, my mercs get free (but very toug
h training) and justice is served!  Two birds with one stone."  Either 
way, Dhallek m'Thorsz Carn is not a nice guy.  Arguably, he's not unreali
stic in terms of characterization for a guy in charge of a city-state that 
is beleaguered on every side by enemies, but should one of the very first d
ecisions a player is forced to make be whether or not they support THIS guy

 From: gem6868 <gem6868@ve
To: tft@brainiac.com 
Sent: Monday, August 4, 2014 7:20 PM

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

olutely.  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, k
them all and let their evil gods sort them out - they're friggin ORK
S man!" 
Others may have a more diverse moral compass.  I've done all o
f 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 an
before you hate them enough to try and _really_ kill t
hem back.  Lots of 
famous memoirs of WWII talk about how there was a f
ine 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 th
eir 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 am
oral.  Lots of guys who killed plenty of 
Germans developed a healthy r
espect for them and actually became MORE moral. 
Others got sicker and ca
me 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 ha
d to be destroyed to destroy him?   Nah, not 
really.  You make certa
in choices for power, you take your chances. 
F--k'im.  And the minions
 he rode to power upon.  ;)

You want a moral quandary???  How abou
t the ethics of Death Test and Death 
Test 2!?  I thought the premise w
as sort of sick, but funny.  Sort of like 
the ethics of a gladiator fi
ght.  Will I still play them?  heck yeah!

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

All right, I provide two counter arguments given the premi
se you seized upo
n for this lengthy discussion of comparative morality a
nd 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 t
he big baddie in order t
o accomplish your goal (and the term "baddie" do
es seem to sort of define t
he individual you're fighting), and a bunch o
f his minions are between you
and him and trying to kill YOU too, then si
tting down to debate whether or
not they're acting the way they are becau
se 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 b
eginning.  And oh, by the way, I'm
guessing that such a discussion woul
d 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 s
omething different from the mundane world
in which we all live.  Yes, w
e 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 g
ames and reading these books precisely because
they DO allow us to explor
e "good" and "evil" or "ethical" versus "unethic
al" or maybe just that n
ebula in the Orglon quadrant -- all of which are pl
aces we CAN'T go righ
t now in reality.  If I want moral quandaries ove
r whether or not a ce
rtain group of people is innately good or evil, and wh
ether or not my re
sponse 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 a
re more primary and certain circumstances have been presen
ted to us to e
xplore their nature.  Tolkien made orcs bad because he n
eeded bad
cs 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"
at way using Morgoth's twisted powers and perceptions -- depending on
of the various back stories he included in his works that you happ
en to be
lieve (and maybe both were true).  But the real bottom line he
re 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 wo
rld by living
out a different life (even if it is nasty, brutish, and sho
rt) without bein
g judged for it.  If your DM chooses to make that worl
d some sort of n
eo-Nazi super-race fantasy world where all women are sla
ves (John Norman, a
nyone?) then maybe you need to do the actual moral th
inking 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 t
hinking 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 comp
ass by presenting you with these kin
ds of conundrums to unravel during t
he course of the scenario, but at the s
ame time, most of us got into the
se games just to play an elf or a dwarf, o
r some other thing that we nev
er could or would become in real life.

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