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LG, NG, CG

Discussion in 'Dungeons & Dragons + Other RPGs' started by Loreseeker, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Since the bulk of my experience with D&D (and it's alignment system) is on computers, I don't like it. Basically, because computers don't have 'guidelines'. They have hard-set absolute rules or they have comments that don't actually mean anything.

    That being said, I think the D&D system is very much up to what the GM and players make it. Sure, you can have absolute evil, but then you can also have shades of grey. You can play a campaign from the goblins' perspective if you really want. Much like in the real world, what you get is what you see.
     
  2. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    It may be that the problems with D&D alignments only really arise when the alignments are used as something more than general guidelines. I've never understood, for example, why true neutral would necessarily be associated with druids and nature lovers. Why not just people who don't value law over chaos and vice versa and good over evil and vice versa?

    We see other rather silly examples of this trend in D&D as well with races: barbarians have to be chaotic; elves have to be haughty; dwarves have to be boorish. Assuming that each race would have the same complexity as humans, there should actually be a wide range of behaviors in each race, including humble elves, even-handed dwarves, orderly barbarians, etc. There should even be variances in monster behavior, really, at least for intelligent monsters - kind-hearted goblins, peaceful orcs, honorable bugbears. To say that "the bastards are all the same" is painting with a broad brush.

    I do realize, however, that D&D is a game and has no duty to portray anything 'fairly,' and that making the bad guys easily identifiable probably lends to the game's effectiveness, and that few people would likely find kind-hearted goblins compelling. Still, I often cringe at these generalizations when I imagine what the reaction would be if we stated something like "all people from New Guinea are thieving a-holes who need to get their asses kicked right now." ;)

    Sorry if this has gone OT at all.
     
  3. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG] TN was the alignment associated with animals and those just surviving. In 2ed Druids were limited to that alignment to portray their duties in maintaining balance and monitoring the encroachment of cities, unnatural influences, beings of extreme alignment that might pollute the surroundings - and act accordingly.

    In 3rd edition Druids are given the flexibility of deviating along one axis - their creed depicts they must still maintain balance, but through the druidic hierarchy as a whole rather than each druid on his own.

    Barbarians are uncivilised warriors, their training is provided through experience, instinct and minimal tutoring, they are undisciplined and run on a frantic adrenaline and inspiring personal energy - Fighters on the other hand, are trained, disciplined, practiced, experience and instinct are important but pushed secondary to instruction and adherence to practiced fighting styles. Chaotic fighters still exist and may mix and match styles as they wish perhaps to display their tendencies, but they still have a discipline that barbarians inherently lack.

    D&D also puts humans as being swift learners and adaptable :p, elves are more proud than haughty, they are long lived which does colour their world view extensively. Similar with Dwarves. An important aspect is - culture. D&D tries to establish different races have personality arch-types because their culture is very different to that of anything on earth.

    Every ruleset you encounter will provide generalisations and stereotypes - but that's all they are.

    Someone could come along and say - All Sorcereans are geeks, and most people would just nod and agree to that.

    You could then say - They all enjoy Baldurs' Gate, and you'd have to pause for a moment, after all, some prefer BG2, some haven't played BG1, some don't like it without mods or the expansion pack - but in general, people on here have played BG, and have liked it enough to keep posting about it. It doesn't make it a hard and fast rule though.
     
  4. Paromin Gems: 2/31
    Latest gem: Fire Agate


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    Here's how I handle the three Good Alignments in my campaigns.

    A Lawful Good character is like a Paladin who upholds the laws of the land and his or her faith. Obviously that's provided that the order the Paladin aren't obviously evil or can be justified to be good.

    A warrior who firmly believes that some genocidal rule is the way to purify the world especially if some kind of religion is backing it up can be classified as Lawful Good.

    Not only does a Lawful Good character enforce these laws or live by them, these are an integral part of his core beliefs. That kind of personality is something you train to into someone, take again the Paladin, he up grew as an altar boy raised in an extremely religious family/community.

    This is why Lawful Good characters are the "easiest" to break. Their alignment is so rigid that if the "Lawful" part of their alignment is revealed to be Evil, then they're faced with a huge moral crisis.

    A Neutral Good character on the other hand believes their own rules are the only ones that really matter. They'll break any kind of established law if they believe it's the "good choice." For NG's the end justifies the means, while LG's need to have the means justified by whatever order they follow.

    Depending on their intelligence, a Neutral Good character can be almost impossible to break, since they're extremely flexible with their morals. And even if they do get broken, they'll usually recover much quicker and still be Neutral Good.

    Unlike the other two Good alignments. Neutral Good characters don't need to be raised or have experiences that turn them into NG characters. You could say NG is the "default" Good alignment.

    A Chaotic Good character is somewhat a Lawful Good combined with Neutral Good.

    Just like LG's they're molded by their upbringing. Chaotic Good characters are usually either Lawful Good characters who have seen the "Lawfulness" or "Order" in their environment bring about Evil (like Robin Hood and, to some extent, Batman)

    Some Chaotic Good characters are actually Lawful Good characters but think that those who currently hold the power are ill-suited for it. Robin Hood is a very good example of this, he still firmly believes in the Church and in the Crown but not in the proxies of those two institutions. They might believe in order but do not follow it as "blindly" as Lawful Good characters or don't look at it through rose-tinted glasses. This is the "Neutral Good" side of their alignment.

    Breaking a Chaotic Good character involves showing him that the order he believes in is actually towards the better good of man. Almost always a Chaotic Good character broken this way will turn Lawful Good. The other way to break them is to convince them that what they're doing to "bring down the order for the betterment of man" is bringing about only harm. In which case it's like a Lawful Good character getting broken.

    Contrary to what people believe, Lawful Good and Chaotic Good are pretty uncommon and are the result of some sort of reinforcement during their upbringing or massive psychological trauma or damage (in the case of Chaotic Good anyway)

    These shouldn't be tossed around lightly. Your average "Good" person is most likely Neutral Good.

    Edit:

    And for that matter I make Druids Lawful Neutral. Makes it easier to manage.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  5. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Fortunately I don't play in any of your campaigns. It is a common misconception to believe 'lawful good' means 'faithfully obeys the law' -- nothing could be further from the truth. First of all you cannot have a paladin that belongs to an evil sect. In pnp rules paladins will only associate with good characters, they will align with neutral for a single campaign only if the goal is to eliminate a great evil. Good deeds are the meat and potatos of the paladin (not lawful deeds). The emphasis is placed on 'good' completely -- none of the emphasis is on 'lawful' and a paladin can freely associate with a chaotic good character.

    The lawful part of the alignment is never evil. A lawful good character is bound by their beliefs (especially paladins) to oppose evil regimes and fight against evil laws.

    Also, to place chaotic between LG and NG goes against the accepted alignment system. I would suggest you read the description about alignment carefully in the manual.
     
  6. Paromin Gems: 2/31
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    I think I've read almost a hundred pages regarding alignment and how it affects classes and how it's supposed to govern interactions between those of different alignments.

    And I've come to one conclusion: Alignment is a poorly constructed system and only covers a very limited amount of situations.

    Let's start with Lawful Good

    1. The Good part of the alignment stands for a character who believes he is acting for the betterment of man or a community. However the Lawful part means they are following a code, be it a Paladin's Oath, a Government's Laws, a Society's Rules, or your Grandpappy's Code of Honor. Now this is all sound if you're using the typical fairy tale Knight in Shining Armor story.

    But what about a dystopian setting? Like in 1984? How do you classify a member of the Outer Party who firmly believes in Big Brother's totalitarian rule? He believes what he is doing is for the betterment of humanity so on and so forth, he believes in order.

    A typical D&D Paladin in that setting would see what Big Brother is doing to the masses is "evil"

    Now what would happen if these two "Lawful Good" characters (by definition) were to meet? The Paladin would immediately point out the flaws of the system and declare that he will right wrongs and whatever it is Knights do. The member of the Outer Party would call the Thought Police on this strange person with strange ideas.

    If anything the Paladin in this setting would work well with the "Chaotic Goods" of the world, those who fight to escape from Big Brother's rule. He'd try to rally them to freedom

    Let's give another example.

    Suppose you have a Paladin, raised from birth in noble line of Paladins. Now from conception he was drilled to think the ugly Goblins inhabiting the forest surrounding the kingdom are evil. These goblins spread chaos by killing any humans that enter their forests, they steal livestock, and have on occasion warred on the Kingdom. The only reason the goblins are never crushed is because they have extremely strong magical defenses.

    Because of this firm belief that these goblins are evil and love to spread chaos, the Paladin decides to enter the forest to slay the Goblins. Now that's all noble and very becoming of the shiny Order of Knighthood, despite a little stupid (Don't forget, that starting from 3E Paladins can now have as low as 3 Wisdom and 3 Intelligence)

    So he enters the forest and he's immediately captured by the goblins, now some of these Goblins are actually pretty intelligent, and they recognize who the Paladin is and what his status means. So they decide to tell him the truth of the matter. The Kingdom was actually built on "spirit land" that originally belonged to the Goblins and that all they're trying to do is reclaim their land. etc. etc. Classic story, the movie Avatar has a story somewhat similar to this if you want a modern reference

    See where I'm getting at here?

    You're right a Paladin cannot follow a set of rules or laws that are evil, but you also fail to include that this is limited to what the Paladin perceives to be evil. If someone is raised from birth to believe that something that is actually evil is good, then by all means his alignment is good despite the world thinking he is evil because he perceives the evil to be good.

    I could go into the world's history and give examples of "Paladins" who've committed acts that are now perceived to have been, in the best of lights, huge blunders, but that's a messy subject.

    2. "Great Evil" forces everyone to work together

    That's a limited view on it.

    Take a dungeon, suppose a Lawful Good and a Chaotic Evil character are Gated or Wished to some abandoned deep dungeon. Let's even push it farther, suppose 1 character from EACH Alignment is Gated or Wished to a dungeon filled with mindless but very dangerous and territorial creatures. As for the reason, let's say some Chaotic Neutral Archmage did it for the giggles.

    Now there is no "greater evil" here, there creatures are simply too stupid to have an "alignment" they weren't conjured or summoned by a good/neutral/evil wizard so no "Undead are inherently evil despite being brainless" clause. Traps certainly have no alignment.

    Going by the rules, no matter how intelligent or wise or charismatic any of these characters can be, they can never, ever work together to escape the dungeon?

    Playing by the book alignment is simply limiting. And very insulting to the intelligence of the players if followed to the letter.

    The handbook itself subtly encourages players not to follow the alignment system, with phrases like "This only serves as guidelines" And this dates back to the first D&D rulebook.

    Much less any kind of "rule-lawyering"
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  7. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    If you read my first post in this thread (post #3) you'll see where I'm coming from.

    You are making an assumption that alignment is based on circumstance. That is not true. In the D&D universe a value system of good and evil has already been set. The 1984 setting is clearly lawful neutral (perhaps with an evil aspect) -- the outer party would not have paladins. Lawful good characters would fight against the oppressive parts of the regime, but recognize the good parts as well. Chaotic good would fight against the entire system as it stifles individuality.

    Your second example is a paladin who chooses to kill based on prejudice -- once the paladin starts down that path he/she becomes fallen. If the creatures truly are evil (and the paladin can verify such with spell or ability) then such a massacre may be permitted by the diety (depending on the diety). But if the creatures are not evil, the paladin would fall or even become evil. A key factor in determining what the paladin would do is also the power of the enemy and relative harm they could cause. An evil child would be taken to a commune for help while an evil wizard would probably be slain.

    Also if someone who was raised from birth to believe certain evil acts are good -- and they act on that belief -- that individual is evil in the grand scheme of things, no matter how good they may believe they are. Being misguided is no excuse for being evil.

    Different characters of differing alignments can work together to complete a mission -- provided they are not divine characters. The response of the divine character will depend on their deity. For a paladin, they would see the CE person as untrustworthy and a potential danger to society if allowed to escape (depending on the power of the CE person and the ability of the paladin to influence an alignment change). To a paladin the evil characters gated in may represent a greater threat than the creatures in the dungeon. If by destroying that evil the paladin sacrifices any hope of escape that may be an acceptable fate to the paladin (it may not be acceptable to the other five non-evil characters). Should the paladin decide to help everyone and in doing so allow the evil to escape the paladin must be made to atone for such a disgression. The paladin is free to disobey his or her code, but must be held accountable for such acts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  8. Paromin Gems: 2/31
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    It's not hard to conceive of an evil diety who'll trick his worshippers into believing that they are fighting the good fight. In fact let's say that this Paladin is actually a Blackguard but raised to believe his abilities are "good" and not evil. And certainly not past the enjoyment of some evil god to see corrupted versions of Paladins.

    In fact the whole kingdom could be misled into thinking that way. For all intents and purposes they are a "Lawful Good" kingdom with the sole exception that they are being territorial.

    So he still qualifies as a "Paladin" and from his perception he's Lawful Good. On the absolute scheme of things, he's Lawful Evil.

    But that's strictly on an absolute scale.

    Now let's go back to the situation, the Lawful Evil "Paladin" receives a report that the Goblins staged a raid on a church and steal a precious religion artifact. He confirms with his "God" and obviously the diety is going to lie to him and say it really happened. The diety even goes as far as saying the best course of action is to sneak into the camp, slay the goblin guards so on and so forth.

    So the "Paladin" goes and does that, killing innocent goblins.

    When the truth of the matter is, the artifact is a symbol that is holy to the Goblins.

    That on the absolute scale is an act of Evil. He killed innocents and stole something sacred from them.

    But if this were an actual Paladin and the Goblins did steal an artifact, he would have been justified in his actions.

    And that's with the Paladin. What about a Lawful "Good" soldier of the kingdom who does this act?

    Granted, the D&D Alignment System would work if on an absolute system of Good and Evil. However that's is only as far as it goes. All the sourcebooks talk about how Good characters (or at least Lawful Good ones) do things like help the needy out of the goodness of their heart while a Lawful Evil character would only do those things if for some reason they think that it would help further their cause.

    But in my example the Lawful Evil "Paladin" could easily be seen to care for the sick or take in a homeless child out of the goodness of his heart.

    Same goes for the Outer Party example, they are lead to believe which acts are good and from the bottom of their hearts they truly believe that what they're doing is for the betterment of mankind if simply misguided.

    A true Lawful Neutral is someone who believes in absolute Order, the concept of Good or Bad is alien to them. The only thing that matters is that there is an order and it is maintained. Yes, some of the characters in 1984 might fall into that category, but is it so hard to imagine a character who truly believes that Big Brother is good and he is following Big Brother not because Big Brother brings about order but that he brings about good?
     
  9. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    As I said, being misguided is no excuse. They may think they are good, but are really evil -- that line is pretty clear. The player who has the character would know they are a blackguard, but play it with the misguided assumptions you've listed. If someone can roleplay that way -- great. But good and evil are still clear cut.
     
  10. Paromin Gems: 2/31
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    Yes the absolute good and evil are clear cut.

    However that is only as far as D&D Alignment goes. But it shouldn't extend past that.

    You've referred me to the rulebooks but nowhere does it say there that

    Good = Follower of a Good Diety, does absolute Good acts
    Evil = Follower of a Evil Diety, does absolute Evil acts

    In fact nowhere on any kind of topic on alignment in the manuals does it say that or stress it that this is the limit of Alignment. Only in Divine Classes does that kind of issue pop up and only because they have to follow the rules that their Diety laid down.

    Neither is it even implied past the Divine Classes.

    See this is where D&D Alignment fails. You can have a character who follows the "Lawful Good" description to the letter with the only exception that he's actually someone being tricked by an evil diety, making him by the absolute scale "Lawful Evil" but by the personality outlined by the rulebook, "Lawful Good"
     
  11. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    That seems quite wrong to me. There's no way you can justify genocide and still be good.

    I always resented the fact that it was alright for good characters to slaughter goblins because they were monsters in D&D. There is a strong racist bias in the way the racial stereotype was implemented.

    Going back to the Lord of the Rings we are given an insight in the way orcs think when Sam wears the ring and spies on the two orcs leaders after they've captured Frodo. It seems that as bad as orcs are their ambitions are rather mundane (have enough food and be able to live the way they want preferably somewhere the Nazguls or Shelob wouldn't get them).

    I think you're going a bit too far with the evil trick. The evil deity posing as a good deity would have to pretend to be good and thus it wouldn't reveal its darker aspects from the start. In a D&D setting there would be the big issue of divine powers. Since Clerics and Paladins derive their spells from the powers confered by their gods it would be rather tricky to implement an evil deity posing as a good deity in game. It would only work for cults like the Unseeing Eye in BG2.

    Even if you could get away with a deity pretending to be good aligned it would mean that ultimately servants of this deity would be faced with a choice when the true nature of their deity would be revealed: either follow through and fall or rebel and lose their divine spells (unless they could embrace another faith).

    In Tolkien's writings it takes a whole lot of power for an evil character to pass as a good guy. That was the case of Sauron before the fall of Numenor. I'm not sure how relevant this is to the D&D setting but it's hard to picture a really evil and corrupted entity being able to understand goodness.
     
  12. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    It worked for Sauron (and before him for Melkor/Morgoth) because neither of them started out as evil. They were both "corrupted" (Melkor by his pride IIRC, and Sauron after he started following Melkor), so even after turning evil they could still sort of remember their life before they turned evil, and since they lived among being who are still good they would have a pretty good understand of them and how to trick them by pretending to have been redeemed. It works especially well for Sauron because he really tried to redeem himself after Morgoth's banishment, but just couldn't bring himself to do it in the end (and ended up falling even further). None of this would ever apply to a D&D deity though because they are Evil by their very nature, and always have been. Aside from the obvious problem you pointed out with spells (any Paladin or Cleric worth his salt would notice his supposedly "good" deity is giving him Inflict and Harm spells, not to mention Smite Good...), the evil deity just doesn't understand good enough to be able to impersonate a good deity.
     
  13. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I don't see Melkor as "Fallen". I think he was evil from the get go. He was jealous of Eru's creations and wanted to rule over his own. I have never read where he was good of heart at the beginning.

    Sauron on the other hand was originally a follower of Aule and was corrupted by Melkor.

    With all of that said, in the D&D worlds, any deity with Deception in their portfolio could easily achieve this. As could any deity that was once good and has been turned to the path of evil, either through forced corruption from a more powerful source or one that has experienced a Catastrophic emotional event that turned them down that path.
     
  14. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Exactly.

    Melkor only became Morgoth after he stole the Silmarils. He wasn't bad at the very start, he was far too powerful for his own good and his flaw was pride. Have I been wrong about this all these years? I'm pretty sure the difference in names only happened after Melkor's fall.

    I'm not sure about what you mean by "a Catastrophic emotional event" or how that could possibly impact on the alignment of a deity. I get that this can be a big deal for a mortal but that an immortal superhuman deity could be affected that much seems rather strange to me. What are you thinking about?
     
  15. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Melkor was evil before he was given that name. Morgoth was just the name Feanor gave him after the slaying of Finwe and the theft of his precious Silmarils. Prior to that, Melkor tried to disrupt the Theme, the Music of the Ainur, before the elves were led to Valmar by Orome. He envied Illuvatar's ability of creation from the get go.



    A god can be turned from their original alignment. In the D&D world, the Gods have "Levels" of a sort. Greater, Intermediate, Lesser and Demi-Power. I don't think it is far-fetched that an Evil Greater God could corrupt a Good Demi-power or cause an event to occur that could overwhelm the mind of a Demi-power and drive them insane, possibly turning them into something evil. It would make for a background story for a FR novel!;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  16. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Blades, minor deities can shift their alliances and even shift their alignment -- but the spells of their followers would reflect such a shift. An evil deity cannot 'creat' a paladin, a powerful deity can give the person paladin-like abilities and the person may actually believe they are a paladin of the deity, but they are still not a paladin.

    People in one theocracy always believe they are right and just -- but they may not be 'good'. And to be honest, it really doesn't matter to them as long as they are true to their own beliefs.

    People seem to confuse the adjective good with the noun Good.
     
  17. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Melkor wanted to create something on his own but couldn't, he was the proud one, the rebellious one. That doesn't mean he was evil from the start. Pride and jealousy made him fall. If you think that he was evil from the start it means he was created evil (you see the problem there) whereas the fact that he became fallen simply illustrates that he was given some sort of free will.

    What you mean by "a Catastrophic emotional event" is just having some other (more powerful) deity corrupt a lesser deity then. It would make sense if there was some sort of justification for such a trial to take place. In D&D deities are fuelled by the number of their worshippers so that complicates things even more. Nothing is impossible in a fantasy setting but as archetypal representations it's hard to imagine deities becoming insane. They're probably not sane to begin with (at least not sane in the way mortals understand sanity).
     
  18. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Good point Carad. Are you then trying to say that nothing is created evil? All things are born good and turn evil? The evil intent had to come from somewhere. Maybe the evil is in him from the start and it's the temptation that brings it out of him? It would be a good question for Mr. Tolkien.:)


    Cyric goes mad in the novels. Not the Avatar Trilogy, but the books following. (The Prince of Lies and ?The Trial of Cyric the Mad?, not sure on the 2nd title, it's been a long time since I read them).
     
  19. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    I'm not familiar with the novels so I'll take your word for it. One thing that you may clear out for me Blades, wasn't Cyric a mortal once?

    It's tricky as Tolkien used many religious and philosophical themes in his book without making them explicit. Faith and the belief in Providence are major elements in the Lord of the Rings. If I were to look for a quote I'd have to look through his letters which give some really valuable insight on the way he worked and the way he regarded interpretation and analysis of his work.

    That being said the nature of evil has been debated in religions over and over again. Seeing the divide between Good and Evil as absolutes opposing each other is the very basis of Manichaeism. To make a long story short if the universe is the stage for a fight between Good and Evil it means that there can be no supreme power (unless that supreme power is both good and evil).

    Unless I'm mistaken Eru Illuvatar in the Silmarillion is as the supreme being and the Demiurge or the Creator fundamentally good. Eru acts in mysterious ways and he doesn't take part directly in the struggle of Elves and Men against the Evil Morgoth (and Sauron) represent. That is a very complex issue as Eru created Melkor who was responsible for all the disharmony in the world.

    I may be too kind when I consider Melkor to be something of a wayward child who tries to emulate his Father. The point is that it's rather difficult to reconcile the idea of an all powerful maker that would willingly bring evil into his creation. Especially when you take for granted the fact that the One is the perfect definition of Good.

    Of course if you postulate that the One didn't foresee the evil that Melkor would bring then it can lead us to assume that Eru is not all knowing or omnipotent. Unless of course bringing Evil into the world was part of His plan all along which brings into question the 'goodness' of the One.

    It's a theological issue as in various religious doctrines different versions of Satan are put forward. I'm no theologian but it's widely acknowledged that according to some beliefs he is an agent of God, a fallen angel or the Enemy (and sometimes all of these together).

    In the end as far as mortals are concerned it's all about temptation and free will. If we consider the Lord of the Rings it's easy to see how the ring itself represents the ultimate temptation for every character (except Tom Bombadil) because it is the source of almost absolute power. To quote Lord Acton: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
     
  20. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Yes, Cyric was a mortal. As are many other current gods of the Realms. During the Avatar crisis, when Ao, the overgod, banished all of the gods to Aber-Toril as punishment for one of them stealing the Tablets of Faith, Bane, Torm, Myrkul and Bhaal are destroyed as part of the main story line. Lliira, Waukeen and a few of the Mulhanrandi and Untheric deities perish as well I believe, but that is only found out in a later edition of the campaign setting. Cyric kills Bhaal and helps destroy Myrkul. Bane and Torm kill each other, though Ao reinstates Torm9upgrading him from a Demigod to a Lesser God I believe) for staying true to his portfolio. 2 of his companions, Midnight and Kelemvor, rise to god-hood as well. Cyric takes over the portfolio for Bane, Bhaal and Myrkul, but Kelemvor usurps the Lord of the Dead title from him in hte next book. Midnight becomes the next Mystra, God of the Weave and Magic. Bane was a mortal at one time, as was Uthgart(the Barbarian God) and Azuth, the God of Mages. Not sure if any others were. Many gods are created from the War of the Sisters, Shar and Selune. Talos is created this way, as is Tempus. Enough ramblings....

    Are you hinting that only a deity that was origianlly a mortal could possibly become insane or experience psychological trauma?

    Another reason for thinking Melkor was evil at heart is this. He is not the only Ainur to want to create beings. Aule created the Dwarves without Eru's initial consent. Not because he wanted dominion over lesser subjects, but because he wanted to create craftsman like himself. Melkor wanted to create beings to rule like a tryant. It's hard to tell if this was his heart from the beginning or if it slowly turned to this as he watched the Theme unfold. I haven't read anything that points to either circumstance. I believe Eru would be considered more of a Neutral, not a Good Deity.
     
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