Forums Archive RPGMP3 Chatter World’s Largest Dungeon Game Moralizing

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #552342
    tomlib
    • Posts : 154
    • Orc

    The Shar’s attractiveness to All thread has taken an interesting turn and I thought I’d open up a new line.

    The question seems to be moralizing as GM. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

    I admit that I often play the Devil’s Advocate in a game presenting the group with ethical decisions.

    As examples:

    The culture of my home brew game is Aztec in nature and human sacrifice is a relative common practice. I once offered the group a chance to rescue a “wrongly imprisoned” NPC although this was a violation of their pc ethics. They chose to make the rescue although the fellow turned out to be a cad and they ended up hunting him down and turning back over for execution.

    I presented a deformed infant exposed in the wild. Again, they chose to rescue the child rather than play “in character” and leave well enough alone.

    Most of my players speak with genuine distaste and disgust about an incident where a Harpy charmed a group of goblins who then attacked the group. The end of the battle included toddlers with sharpened spoons being cut down in battle.

    Another time I had an entire town in league with a Hag and the group confonted by angry townsfolk after driving off the hag. One of them threw a dagger into the crowd and I had it strike a young girl in the stomach and she started to bleed to death.

    So, anyway. It’s an interesting topic. I think it is ok to introduce ethical decisions into the game as long as you allow the players to resolve them in their own way.

    Tom

    #564933
    EegahInc
    • Posts : 904
    • Gelatinous Cube
    tomlib wrote:
    So, anyway. It’s an interesting topic. I think it is ok to introduce ethical decisions into the game as long as you allow the players to resolve them in their own way.

    Tom

    I agree. I hope I didn’t climb too far up on my soapbox that I made it sound like I didn’t think Shug should do what he wants to. He’s the GM, it’s his game.

    My only concern was that he had the stated goal of changing a person’s way of thinking. Being involved in Religious Ed, I can’t really cast any stones there. 😉 I just hope, as the person in charge, he responds nicely if his message is rejected. But again, it’s his game.

    I actually hope he keeps us posted on how it goes. I figure if he lets the gaming element play second fiddle to the “lesson”, it’ll be a complete failure. If he leaves the message there as a take-it-or-leave-it subtext, ala Lord of The Rings, I think he’d do much better. His gamers will let him know, I’m sure.

    Just my more-than-2-cents worth.

    #564934
    Shug
    • Posts : 118
    • Orc

    I think I got everything covered in my last post in the other thread, but I’ll wax philosophic a bit more in here. I seem to love the sound of my own keyboard clicking. 😉

    Just to make it clear, I’m not going to be necessarily ‘preaching’ – me and the friend both know each other’s beliefs and boundaries, and regularily use each other for launching points for alternate points of view. The fact of the matter is that we realize that we’re not going to change each other’s minds to our own respective points and view, and we can respect that. Much like this post, we just enjoy the sound of our own voices.

    The best-case scenario is that when the reveal is made to the parallel allegory, he’ll laugh in a way that you laugh when you have a practical joke played on you from a well-known friend. The worse-case scenerio is that he’ll get annoyed that I brought in a real life morality point into our “just for fun away from the daily grind” game.

    In either scenerio, once the reveal is made, we’ll be moving on and I’ll dream up some other convoluted and Byzantine way of making the group think out of the box. Since it’s Eberron, I’m sure there’s a way to bring the Stem Cell issue to the table.

    That was a joke, by the way. 🙄

    I want to make it clear that I think it’s the DM’s job to serve as Arbiter of the morality of the game world, not it’s authour. I won’t be changing the ethics of the game world, but inserting a scenerio where the rules of good/evil is gray, and open to interpretation – and relate it back to our well-worn debate point. I know I’m treading on thin ice in terms of keeping the game fun and relaxing, so once the little experiment is over, we’ll go back to black/white ethics.

    With the way that the Alignment matrix is made up, and the setting of most home-grown and mass-produced worlds, that morality of “Good” and “Evil” tends to be based on Western Judeo-Christian values. Which is all fine and dandy, because for the most part, it’s common knowledge to the player and DM as to what acts will constitute good, and which acts will be considered evil.

    What may be an interesting role-playing excercise would be playing in a game world where the rules of Judeo-Christian morality isn’t the norm. If Taoism or the Eastern philophies were the held beliefs of the Majority Inhabitants, how would that affect the Alignment Matrix? Would the term LG be changed to mean the equivalent of LG in Eastern Philosophy, simply being mapped over top the matrix? Or WAIT! For truly mind-bending experience, have the PCs warp into this new world with the new morailty base… how does the DM handle that? ESPECIALLY if the alignment matrices are diametrically opposed? Good and Evil no longer have a point of reference, and therefore the game mechanics that involve morality really take the centre stage and need to be examined in a lot greater detail.

    Okay, maybe a little too heady and too much thought involved. I swear I was never like this… it’s just that I was 17 the last time I played, so I’ve grown up a bit, and I need to keep it intellectually interesting for myself.

    #564935
    Cob37
    • Posts : 555
    • Gelatinous Cube

    Interesting, and all I can say is the moral issues in any story line, to me anyway, are way more interesting than black and white, combat resolution and treasure allotment.

    So really, DM the way you enjoy and like minded gamers will eventually find their way to you.

    Just my opinion.

    #564936
    mchvlichldprdgy
    • Posts : 1168
    • Owlbear
    tomlib wrote:

    Another time I had an entire town in league with a Hag and the group confonted by angry townsfolk after driving off the hag. One of them threw a dagger into the crowd and I had it strike a young girl in the stomach and she started to bleed to death.

    RAT BASTARD DM

    Anyway, I play the DM who loves to present my players with stuff like that. Every time I set out a major situation, like my most recent involving a baby red dragon whose killing is forbidden by law, but is the only way to gain it’s heartstrings which are required for a potion to save two of the characters who had unfortunate misadventures in the nine hells, I think of all the choices, and set out which choices work for which alignments. If they choose differently than their alignment, they move one step towards that choice’ss aligment, with something this major. I’ve got a paladin in there, so I’ll be interested to see how he reacts. Stupid alignment designated classes. Of course the constant alignment changes are a little to extreme for me, so I have added the designations Emotional, Controlled, Dispassionate, which go slightly along the lines of C,N,L, but I play them differently. Fun really.

    I think the moral decision is to leave the baby dragon, considering they will actually walk in on its hatching. They may think differently, but it’s my world, so my rules. I think it is the duty of the DM to put the characters in tough spots where they have to work their way out. I also think it is the Job of the DM to create dissent in the party, because both the difficult decisions and the dissent over said decisions create awesome roleplaying, like the time the paladin stabbed the cleric of olidammara. that required an atonement spell. He is still a level and a half behind.

    By the way, if they let the baby dragon be, the mommy dragon unfolds from her magically concealed place in the walls and gives them access to her trasure hoard and a substitute potion. If they kill the baby, she fights them, which they will probably win, and then they get all of her hoard and the ingredients for the potion, plus a very very angry daddy dragon out there. I don’t punish them for either choice, I just make the peaceful and moral choice have a peaceful solution, and the bloodthirsty choice have a bloodthirsty solution.

    #564937
    Cob37
    • Posts : 555
    • Gelatinous Cube

    That sounds very reasonable and well thought out, mchvlichldprdgy. I will steal that idea, if you don’t mind?

    #564938
    mchvlichldprdgy
    • Posts : 1168
    • Owlbear
    Cob37 wrote:
    That sounds very reasonable and well thought out, mchvlichldprdgy. I will steal that idea, if you don’t mind?

    Go ahead. I would like nothing more than to make the game work in a greater number of degrees. If you mean the thing about the dragon, thanks, it took me near three hours to work out everything, and now I’m starting on the dungeon they have to pass throught to get to the lair. Full of magically stuff and evil dragon hirelings.

    #564939
    EegahInc
    • Posts : 904
    • Gelatinous Cube

    That’s a great scenario, especially since it allows the PCs to “win” either way and yet have serious ramifications for their choices. Cob has something similar going on in his audio I’m listening too.

    I hope you guys realize you’re coming up with stuff ten times more involving and facinating than what’s being published. Keep up the good GMing ❗

    As for introducing a completely alien environment, I’d be careful. You might end up with a Bizarro World 😯 Actually that might be fun. I never played the old Dungeonland module that was atakeoff of the Alice stories. Anyone here ever run through that one?

    #564940
    mchvlichldprdgy
    • Posts : 1168
    • Owlbear
    EegahInc wrote:

    I hope you guys realize you’re coming up with stuff ten times more involving and facinating than what’s being published. Keep up the good GMing ❗

    Thats because it’s WotC that does the publishing.

    Thank you for the compliment.

    #564941
    Ffaern
    • Posts : 242
    • Orc

    All of this reminds me my initial nervousness when looking at running an In Nomine game. Having talked to the group they turned out to be dead keen, with the committed Christian player being the most gung-ho. We should get around to trying it by next spring.

    #564942
    riddles
    • Posts : 2288
    • Succubus

    I think so long as you & the players are comfortable, pretty much anything goes.

    Big thing is that everyone comfortable though. My guys like “‘itting fings”. I probably wouldn’t run that cerebral a game with them, not because they CAN’T play like that, rather because they don’t find it fun.

    It’s nice reading about other people running complicated games though! 🙂

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • The forum ‘World’s Largest Dungeon’ is closed to new topics and replies.