Author Topic: Any room for kindness?  (Read 7143 times)

Tulana

  • Posts: 189
Any room for kindness?
« on: September 13, 2016, 01:30:02 AM »
Hi guys. I may log in soon to attempt playing again. I'm still at newbie level, so maybe I should be asking this in the Newbie forum. Is there any kindness in the world of Zalanthas? Does anyone get a kick out of roleplaying random kind deeds? Or is it just a dog eat dog world?

Dunetrade55

  • Posts: 402
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2016, 02:17:41 AM »
Depends on your background and race, and what appears kind may be setting you up for future issues or debts. It's ok, just make sure every act of kindness is appropriately selfish on SOME level, in my opinion.
I'm asking for evidence, not telling you all to fuck off.

No, I'm telling you to fuck off, now, because you're being a little bitch.

Raptor_Dan

  • Posts: 313
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2016, 02:42:20 AM »
If I'm playing a char that -thinks- they're good, they're going to be kind just to reinforce their own beliefs, or make themselves feel good.

Kindness exists in game, I've seen many chars be kind. The world itself is not kind, and these chars go against the grain, and often receive a lot of suspicion for their actions. Prepare ahead of time for that.
I'm just looking for a general consensus. Or Moe's opinion. Either one generally can be accepted as canon.

evilcabbage

  • Posts: 1733
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2016, 03:29:55 AM »
allow the cabbage to kindly bring you under his wing...

and gently, with love, insert a bone shiv in between the third and fourth lumbar.

it's okay.

i do it with kindness.
I could give a shit about wholesome.

Suhuy

  • Posts: 891
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2016, 06:48:42 AM »
I think acts of kindness are fine. And they don't always have to be sneaky or underhanded or with any ulterior motives. Of course, this is a world where for every act of kindness there are twenty acts of downright deceit and cruelty. And that's fine, because it is the overall setting of the game. The problem is (and it's just my opinion) that the popular trend now is for cruelty to outweigh any kindness, however small, at a level that's disproportionate even for the harsh desert world of Zalanthas.

Dunetrade55

  • Posts: 402
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2016, 08:30:46 AM »
I think acts of kindness are fine. And they don't always have to be sneaky or underhanded or with any ulterior motives. Of course, this is a world where for every act of kindness there are twenty acts of downright deceit and cruelty. And that's fine, because it is the overall setting of the game. The problem is (and it's just my opinion) that the popular trend now is for cruelty to outweigh any kindness, however small, at a level that's disproportionate even for the harsh desert world of Zalanthas.

I perform acts of kindness all the time. I just tell myself it's all part of my devious, dastardly plan. When something else happens as a result, well, obviously it worked. (HINT: There was no plan)
I'm asking for evidence, not telling you all to fuck off.

No, I'm telling you to fuck off, now, because you're being a little bitch.

Dakota

  • Posts: 1223
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2016, 09:21:29 AM »
Hi guys. I may log in soon to attempt playing again. I'm still at newbie level, so maybe I should be asking this in the Newbie forum. Is there any kindness in the world of Zalanthas? Does anyone get a kick out of roleplaying random kind deeds? Or is it just a dog eat dog world?

dibs on boots.
Czar of City Elves.

Beethoven

  • Posts: 1323
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2016, 09:36:01 AM »
I have a lot of nice characters, with a great deal of empathy. They are legitimately kind to some people, and have no qualms about fucking over or killing others--or, at the very least, they're willing to get past those qualms for the sake of their own survival or the survival of those they care about. It doesn't have to all be dog eat dog, but I do like to include some of that mentality even in my kindest PCs.

There's no requirement to be that way, however, just as long as your kind PC is aware of the kind of society they live in and not bizarrely shocked when people screw each other over.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 09:38:27 AM by Beethoven »

Delirium

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  • Posts: 11375
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2016, 09:59:02 AM »
You can be gritty and kind, the two are not mutually exclusive. As Beethoven said, just remember the reality of the dog eat dog world you live in.

Think mother wolf and cubs, not hippie commune.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

you've seen more than they could ever know
no matter what they say, you've earned the right to be so bold

Refugee

  • Posts: 1479
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2016, 10:42:14 AM »
I think it's a world where someone who would kick a starving child out of his way in the street could also choose to risk his life to save some stranger from a scrab, and not think there was anything strange about either.

Beethoven

  • Posts: 1323
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2016, 10:42:40 AM »
I think it's a world where someone who would kick a starving child out of his way in the street could also choose to risk his life to save some stranger from a scrab, and not think there was anything strange about either.


+1

Reiloth

  • Posts: 4541
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Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2016, 11:19:39 AM »
I've had characters who were kind to one person and absolutely terrible to another. I think in a world with such loose morals (no real universal moral compass or religious moral compass), someone can dip their toes into both spectrums without being a hypocrite. So, i'll have my rough and tumble ranger who's got a soft spot for kids, because they remind him of himself. Or i'll have a Noble who is an absolute turd to Commoners but has a fascination with a certain tribe, so he's actually genuinely 'kind' to them.

So yes -- I do think there is kindness in the world. While your PCs might wish to be kind to everyone, they would likely find out in their past (or they will find out through actual play) that there are people out there who will -not- be kind to them, despite anything they attempt to appease them. These people may even have enough power to harm them, or even have them killed. It could be -because- they are kind, that these people wish to snub them out.

It evinces cowardice from the powerless, and stalwart indignation from those that wish to make a stand. So pure kindness, unadulterated compassion, I think is really rare in Zalanthas. I think it typically gets bred out of you as a kid. You are born innocent and without the 'stains' that come with aging, but in a harsh place like Zalanthas, you would learn very quickly that true kindness is a weakness that others exploit. So, actually, i've seen that very sheltered people (some tribals, or middle-class Allanaki) tend to be much more kind and naive, because they are less experienced with the world as a whole, or have less of a complete understanding of their place within it. People from the Labyrinth, or the 'poor caste', are usually quite familiar with their place in the world, and understand that kindness is typically a way to disarm you into making a mistake. There's a reason Elves have 'Tests of Trust', and it's mostly because they are constantly paranoid that people are attempting to take advantage of their trust, so they guard it with a chastity belt.

I suppose, in closing, just keep in mind you shouldn't make a PC that's kind for the sake of being kind, because you enjoy being kind IRL. Just as well, you shouldn't make a PC that is cruel because you enjoy being cruel IRL. You should make a PC where it makes sense for them to be kind or cruel, based on their personality, background, and outlook.
"You will have useful work: the destruction of evil men. What work could be more useful? This is Beyond; you will find that your work is never done -- So therefore you may never know a life of peace."

~Jack Vance~

Patuk

  • Posts: 4139
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2016, 11:21:09 AM »
Yes, there is room for kindness. Zalanthans are people, not cartoonish movie villains.
Quote
You take the last bite of your scooby snack.
This tastes like ordinary meat.
There is nothing left now.

Desertman

  • Posts: 9490
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2016, 11:21:53 AM »
Yes, there is room for kindness. Zalanthans are people, not cartoonish movie villains.

+1
My phone now autocorrects "damn" to Dman.
The young daughter has been filled.

Reiloth

  • Posts: 4541
    • Corpse Pose: B&W Film Photography
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2016, 11:31:34 AM »
Yes, there is room for kindness. Zalanthans are people, not and cartoonish movie villains.

FTFY

"You will have useful work: the destruction of evil men. What work could be more useful? This is Beyond; you will find that your work is never done -- So therefore you may never know a life of peace."

~Jack Vance~

Barzalene

  • Posts: 7731
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2016, 12:03:59 PM »
While there is plenty of room for kindness, I don't think kindness should be indiscriminate.
Varak:You tell the mangy, pointy-eared gortok, in sirihish: "What, girl? You say the sorceror-king has fallen down the well?"
Ghardoan:A pitiful voice rises from the well below, "I've fallen and I can't get up..."

valeria

  • Posts: 5450
    • I have a writing blog.
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2016, 01:03:40 PM »
I think the setting is very oppressive and so people are often nasty, brutish, and with short lives. But societies are never homogeneous. These are aspects of the setting, not requirements for each character. People, even in horrible settings, are often wildly variable.

As long as you don't expect "justice" or being treated well, it's fine to play a nice character. Just don't expect the setting to adjust to you.

ShaLeah

  • Posts: 4926
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2016, 01:35:46 PM »
I'm gonna sit this one out.
Ginka sees your tears...



....and thinks they are delicious.
Quote from: Cenghiz
And ShaLeah's evil, by the way.

whitt

  • Posts: 1625
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2016, 02:11:57 PM »
I'm gonna sit this one out.

That's kind of you.   :o
Quote from: BadSkeelz
Ah well you should just kill those PCs. They're not worth the time of plotting creatively against.

ShaLeah

  • Posts: 4926
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2016, 04:03:20 PM »
Ginka sees your tears...



....and thinks they are delicious.
Quote from: Cenghiz
And ShaLeah's evil, by the way.

Yam

  • Posts: 7573
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2016, 04:44:17 PM »
I doubt that pure altruism exists in humans in the Real World let alone in the Known World. However I think self-interested "altruism" would be pretty common.

If you have plenty of water and find someone thirsting to death in the desert, you'll probably give them a sip with the subconscious expectation that they might reciprocate. Armageddonn is harsh, but humans are still human. However when passing the throngs of wasting beggars in Meleth's Circle you probably wouldn't even think about sharing water because they're already half dead and essentially useless to you. Some poor sap in the desert might be useful in the future while a dime-a-dozen, dehydrated beggar will probably never be able to reciprocate your favor.

Pale Horse

  • Posts: 4226
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2016, 09:55:32 PM »
Despite the tag for the game, in the actual setting of Zalanthas there would absolutely be kindness and people whom you would consider "nice" from any perspective.  Human variance is human variance and it will show up all the time.

That said, we're products of our environment as well as breeding.  Zalanthas is a harsh environment, be it in the wilderness or in the pockets of civilization.  Acts of altruism might well be held back for fear of unwanted consequences, despite what an individual might feel.  Bandits abound.  Everyone is looking for an angle, and advantage for themselves or for those/those things closest to them and that angle might be found in a manner that is against the interest of you and those/those things you hold dear.

It's the same as any situation you have in reality, just..distilled and with a greater risk to your ability to survive or that of your group.  Think Middle Eastern societies of the time period that is anologus to the period we see IG.  It's a harsh world where death is everywhere.  Doing things to "poke the reaper" invites harsh consequences brought on you, either by the nature of what you are doing or by those around you seeing what you are doing and how it endangers them as well and they move to prevent this threat..namely you.

Amplify this more, because there is no moderating/unifying belief to connect different tribes/cultures, like Islam was in our world.  There are some beliefs in Zalanthas that are universal but they are mostly the negative sorts.  That universal negativism only adds to the "lack of kindness" you might experience.

So, yes, there is kindness in the world but I would argue that is would not be as recognizable to those brought up in a Western society (if we are all actually from Zalanthas instead of a group of nerds playing like we were), and only allowed in certain circumstances or by those in a position where they feel "safe" enough to show it.  Additionally, I do agree that some people take the "murder, corruption, betrayal" schtick to an unbelievable level.  But, it is a game and if someone is playing to be that "unbelievable, jerky-type character0", they're free to do so.
Quote from: Dalmeth
I've come to the conclusion that relaxing is not the lack of doing anything, but doing something that comes easily to you.

Dar

  • Posts: 1137
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2016, 10:10:00 PM »
Was Leon: The Professional a kind man?

evilcabbage

  • Posts: 1733
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2016, 10:11:48 PM »
leon was absolutely an amazingly kind man.

he saved a little girls life and left all of his money to her.
I could give a shit about wholesome.

nauta

  • Posts: 2150
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2016, 10:16:07 PM »
Code: [Select]
>get kindness zalanthas
You get your handful of kindness from a harsh desert planet.
>put kindness zalanthas
There's no more room for that here.
>think shit
You think:
  "Shit."
>drop kindness
There's no more room for that here.
>quit
But you are too excited to leave just yet!
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8216
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2016, 10:34:18 PM »
I agree with Yam's "selfish altruism" model on most of my characters.

Otherwise I'm using the D.E.N.N.I.S. system. I've only ever bought fruit from that gigantic waif vendor to demonstrate my character's value to potential mates.
Quote from: janeshephard
You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

Persona for GDB use only. Results in game may vary.

Large Hero

  • Posts: 561
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2016, 11:01:53 PM »
Almost any character trait is fine if you have a reason. That's the key: the reason.

An extremely cruel character would be lame if there wasn't a good reason for it (on Zalanthas, those reasons are easy to come by).

I recently played an extremely 'kind' character. He genuinely tried to help people, and hated it when people betrayed others and generally acted like Zalanthans.

There was a reason: he had a violent and abusive upbringing, and would have flashbacks/emotional breakdowns when being exposed to more of the same. So he tried to stop more of the same from happening.  His conscious thought process was "people should be kind," but his subconscious thought process was "I can't bear to see more of this, because it takes me back to when it happened to me."
It is said that things coming in through the gate can never be your own treasures. What is gained from external circumstances will perish in the end.
- the Mumonkan

Tulana

  • Posts: 189
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2016, 12:30:19 AM »
Code: [Select]
>get kindness zalanthas
You get your handful of kindness from a harsh desert planet.
>put kindness zalanthas
There's no more room for that here.
>think shit
You think:
  "Shit."
>drop kindness
There's no more room for that here.
>quit
But you are too excited to leave just yet!

Haha.

Thank you for so many thought-provoking replies. You folks are bloody intelligent.

Confession: I've got post hippie blues. (Post- Burning man blues)....

Yam

  • Posts: 7573
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2016, 02:15:11 AM »
Code: [Select]
>get kindness zalanthas
You get your handful of kindness from a harsh desert planet.
>put kindness zalanthas
There's no more room for that here.
>think shit
You think:
  "Shit."
>drop kindness
There's no more room for that here.
>quit
But you are too excited to leave just yet!

Haha.

Thank you for so many thought-provoking replies. You folks are bloody intelligent.

Confession: I've got post hippie blues. (Post- Burning man blues)....

Play in a tribe. It's basically Burning Man.

RogueGunslinger

  • Posts: 18760
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2016, 06:27:02 PM »
Sometimes I find players are too kind. But it's not something I tend to worry about.

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1041
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2016, 07:45:09 PM »
I find there is a good mix of kindness, Having been exposed to both sides of the coin.

MeTekillot

  • Posts: 9192
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #31 on: September 15, 2016, 06:51:36 PM »
I'm gonna sit this one out.
Me too, I just want to point out my absence to everyone.
Where have you buried the body, MeTekillot?

path

  • Posts: 1432
    • they fight crime
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2016, 07:17:20 PM »
You guys are harshing my mellow.

whitt

  • Posts: 1625
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #33 on: September 15, 2016, 07:31:33 PM »
You guys are harshing my mellow.

Can i post it here? I'd love to.  It's not a long scene. Screw it, I'll just do it anyway.

Quote
Above a Colossal Cavern [U, D]

A few shards of sandstone clatter into the yawning abyss below as the scarified, hard-featured man shimmies between handholds.

The scarified, hard-featured man thinks:
“Just... a lil' closer...”

Straining, the scarified, hard-featured man reaches with a calloused hand for a tattered papoose precariously dangling from a projection of stone.

There's a grinding of stone as a lump of sandstone cracks and crumbles from beneath the scarified, hard-featured man.

The scarified, hard-featured man feels his heart stop.

Gritting his teeth, the scarified, hard-featured man hops, his ragged sandcloth gear flapping in the wind.

Hitting the rock-face hard, the scarified, hard-featured man finds purchase, cutting his hands on a jagged hand-hold.

The scarified, hard-featured man thinks:
"Krath...”

A small noise from the papoose attracts the scarified, hard-featured man's attention and his expression shifts from pain to wonderment.

Reaching out as far as he can, the scarified, hard-featured man takes a tattered papoose, quickly bundling it against himself and the wall.

The scarified, hard-featured man looks inside a tattered papoose, his eyes widening noticably.

The scarified, hard-featured man thinks:
“I don't fuckin' believe it...”

Shhing the papoose, the scarified, hard-featured man begins to climb towards a nearby platform and his waiting scavenging gear.

Quickly scooping it from the papoose, the scarified, hard-featured man soaks a bit of sandcloth in water and offers it to the sunburnt child, which suckles greedily.

Showing surprising tenderness, the scarified, hard-featured man brushes back the child's hair and squints up towards the gash of light overhead.

The scarified, hard-featured man mutely watches the child suck the sandcloth dry, his windswept visage indecisive.

The scarified, hard-featured man sighs and offers the child a wry, world-weary smile, slipping it back into the papoose, which he slips over his shoulder before taking to the wall, climbing toward the light...

Good luck with your next character.
Rathustra


Quote from: BadSkeelz
Ah well you should just kill those PCs. They're not worth the time of plotting creatively against.

Beethoven

  • Posts: 1323
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2016, 07:44:00 PM »
You guys are harshing my mellow.

You're marshing my mallow.

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8216
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2016, 07:44:27 PM »
How do we know he didn't eat that baby.
Quote from: janeshephard
You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

Persona for GDB use only. Results in game may vary.

path

  • Posts: 1432
    • they fight crime
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2016, 10:54:24 PM »
Spoilers.

He ate it. The look of wonderment was just relief in finding a food source.

whitt

  • Posts: 1625
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2016, 11:09:04 PM »
How do we know he didn't eat that baby.

Much more profit in selling it to Borsail.

Just saying.
Quote from: BadSkeelz
Ah well you should just kill those PCs. They're not worth the time of plotting creatively against.

Hashi

  • Posts: 63
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #38 on: September 16, 2016, 10:58:13 AM »
The problem with being a nice person is that it just isn't realistically sustainable.  Eventually, you will interact with enough people who abuse or simply don't understand your attempts at kindness that your only realistic reaction is to give up.  That being said, I've played chars who started out trying to be nice with the OOC foreknowledge that the Known will inevitably break their hearts if they live enough. And I've found that to be enjoyable.

Dunetrade55

  • Posts: 402
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #39 on: September 16, 2016, 11:56:03 AM »
The problem with being a nice person is that it just isn't realistically sustainable.  Eventually, you will interact with enough people who abuse or simply don't understand your attempts at kindness that your only realistic reaction is to give up.  That being said, I've played chars who started out trying to be nice with the OOC foreknowledge that the Known will inevitably break their hearts if they live enough. And I've found that to be enjoyable.

This kind of thing can sometimes be enough to provoke a merciless backlash of cruelty. I think hitting that breaking point makes for some interesting character development and RP. When nice guys go bad.
I'm asking for evidence, not telling you all to fuck off.

No, I'm telling you to fuck off, now, because you're being a little bitch.

Raptor_Dan

  • Posts: 313
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2016, 01:52:33 PM »
The problem with being a nice person is that it just isn't realistically sustainable.  Eventually, you will interact with enough people who abuse or simply don't understand your attempts at kindness that your only realistic reaction is to give up.  That being said, I've played chars who started out trying to be nice with the OOC foreknowledge that the Known will inevitably break their hearts if they live enough. And I've found that to be enjoyable.

This kind of thing can sometimes be enough to provoke a merciless backlash of cruelty. I think hitting that breaking point makes for some interesting character development and RP. When nice guys go bad.

100% agreed.
I'm just looking for a general consensus. Or Moe's opinion. Either one generally can be accepted as canon.

Dunetrade55

  • Posts: 402
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #41 on: September 16, 2016, 02:16:54 PM »
I mean, they're still the same person, and they don't have to pick random targets. Makes for a more satisfying bad-guy/villain experience for me, and I hope so for others, when the motives are something other than simple body-count, or power for the sake of power. Why do they want that power? Maybe they saw what happens when other bad-guys get the power first. Perhaps they didn't even want that level of significance, content to lead a humble servant's existence, but see it as their duty to insure that someone more dirty than them cannot have it, because we all remember the last time this sort of thing happened. Perhaps those around them know it, so excuse the occassional wickedness or deviant behavior as necessary to prevent future tragedy.

There are plenty of very good reasons for good guys to do bad things. It makes for an interesting internal experience when they have to live with the knowlege of what they've done, and alternate in their ambivalence toward the act that was a very good, bad thing to do. Eventually, it all goes grey and balances out. This is the essence of beneficial corruption, when one isn't focused merely on corrupting others, having the knowlege that they also corrupt themselves. This is also the point where your god possibly revokes your cleric powers, and just maybe smites you with fire from heaven. Whoops.

So, is there room for kindness? Absolutely, so long as it's not suicidal, or doesn't jeopardize the greater good. Reckless acts of kindness are, not sustainable or realistic. Sometimes the greater kindness is, in the short term, seemingly cruel acts, even torture, murder, betrayal, dishonesty... I am of the opinion that absolutes are bonkers, that moral polarity is unreasonable. Your milage may vary.
I'm asking for evidence, not telling you all to fuck off.

No, I'm telling you to fuck off, now, because you're being a little bitch.

Delirium

  • Helper
  • Posts: 11375
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #42 on: September 16, 2016, 02:20:46 PM »
There's plenty of room for kindness and humanity... unless you're talking to a <insert hated race and/or classification here>.

What I mean is that the best characters - as they're fully rounded people - are multi-faceted and may be kind to one person and cruel to another.

There is a big difference between being giggly and huggy and sweet to everyone you meet, and being willing to give a stranger some water and a helping hand.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

you've seen more than they could ever know
no matter what they say, you've earned the right to be so bold

RogueGunslinger

  • Posts: 18760
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #43 on: September 16, 2016, 02:46:01 PM »
There is a big difference between being giggly and huggy and sweet to everyone you meet, and being willing to give a stranger some water and a helping hand.

Amen.

Refugee

  • Posts: 1479
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #44 on: September 16, 2016, 06:06:51 PM »
There's plenty of room for kindness and humanity... unless you're talking to a <insert hated race and/or classification here>.

What I mean is that the best characters - as they're fully rounded people - are multi-faceted and may be kind to one person and cruel to another.

There is a big difference between being giggly and huggy and sweet to everyone you meet, and being willing to give a stranger some water and a helping hand.
Exactly.

solera

  • Posts: 1743
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #45 on: September 16, 2016, 06:46:15 PM »
I found it hard being a psychopathic level egoist, because self interest demanded she played nice. An axe against her throat, held by a furious Kurac stump sergeant, had to be personality changing.

The Lonely Hunter

  • Posts: 742
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #46 on: September 16, 2016, 09:47:41 PM »
There is no room for kindness as we on earth understand it. Zalanthas is a place where people will (or are supposed to) slit your throat over a drink of water or a pair of boots without holes in them. If someone is being nice to you, you would damn sure suspect them trying to use you for something.

I believe that kindness as we understand it would be a completely foreign concept in Zalanthas.
"People survive by climbing over anyone who gets in their way, by cheating, stealing, killing, swindling, or otherwise taking advantage of others."
-Ginka

"Don't do this. I can't believe I have to write this post."
-Rathustra

Beethoven

  • Posts: 1323
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #47 on: September 16, 2016, 09:51:11 PM »
If kindness is a foreign concept, there would be no use in even trying to pretend to be kind to someone. It would be like declaring loudly to the world that you want to screw this person over.

The possibility of true kindness leaves more room for deception and betrayal.

Tuannon

  • Posts: 1284
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #48 on: September 17, 2016, 10:42:32 AM »
A little kindness gives your cruelty more bite.

Large Hero

  • Posts: 561
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #49 on: September 17, 2016, 12:01:56 PM »
This post turned out too long and rambling. I will edit it later and practice what I preach about avoiding wall of text posts on the gdb.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2016, 12:08:02 PM by Large Hero »
It is said that things coming in through the gate can never be your own treasures. What is gained from external circumstances will perish in the end.
- the Mumonkan

Beethoven

  • Posts: 1323
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #50 on: September 17, 2016, 12:23:25 PM »
If there was no kindness, beggars wouldn't bother.
If there was no kindness, that fruit-selling girl in Allanak wouldn't try to inspire pity in people by saying the things she does.
Etc.

Dunetrade55

  • Posts: 402
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #51 on: September 17, 2016, 12:31:43 PM »
A little kindness gives your cruelty more bite.

Indeed, nothing quite enhances a lecture, or even murder, like someone who's coddled and cared for you rounding on you with sudden harshness. That you have warm feelings, fondness, and respect for their station and beliefs makes it all the more staggering.

Welcome to Armageddon.
I'm asking for evidence, not telling you all to fuck off.

No, I'm telling you to fuck off, now, because you're being a little bitch.

Case

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  • Posts: 3034
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #52 on: September 17, 2016, 04:16:46 PM »
There is no room for kindness as we on earth understand it. Zalanthas is a place where people will (or are supposed to) slit your throat over a drink of water or a pair of boots without holes in them. If someone is being nice to you, you would damn sure suspect them trying to use you for something.

I believe that kindness as we understand it would be a completely foreign concept in Zalanthas.
Society still exists, it's not anarchistic, and it's not rampantly shedding blood. That would be unsustainable. Nobody really wants to live in a murderous hellhole - instead, they feel entitled to be the one who makes decisions or take things. That is not an absence of kindness.

Kindness has a poor connotation. What's really going on is collective survival. The collective part involves some personal sacrifice and unity. That's not being weak, that's being strong. Whether you do it for a reason or not, you are displaying your power through ability to protect or give sacrifice, control over the lives of another and ensuring your species/people/society continues.

The idea that people are so randomly callous and shallow as to kill for trivial reasons flies in the face of all logic and the theme itself, since we have many clear examples where that is not acceptable. I think it's just weak justification for selective murderous behavior and should be seen like that IC and OOCly.

Dunetrade55

  • Posts: 402
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #53 on: September 17, 2016, 04:22:21 PM »
There is no room for kindness as we on earth understand it. Zalanthas is a place where people will (or are supposed to) slit your throat over a drink of water or a pair of boots without holes in them. If someone is being nice to you, you would damn sure suspect them trying to use you for something.

I believe that kindness as we understand it would be a completely foreign concept in Zalanthas.
Society still exists, it's not anarchistic, and it's not rampantly shedding blood. That would be unsustainable. Nobody really wants to live in a murderous hellhole - instead, they feel entitled to be the one who makes decisions or take things. That is not an absence of kindness.

Kindness has a poor connotation. What's really going on is collective survival. The collective part involves some personal sacrifice and unity. That's not being weak, that's being strong. Whether you do it for a reason or not, you are displaying your power through ability to protect or give sacrifice, control over the lives of another and ensuring your species/people/society continues.

The idea that people are so randomly callous and shallow as to kill for trivial reasons flies in the face of all logic and the theme itself, since we have many clear examples where that is not acceptable. I think it's just weak justification for selective murderous behavior and should be seen like that IC and OOCly.

A-fucking-men. This, much better worded and more concise than I could possibly manage. There's an old saying, don't mistake my kindness for weakness. Never think someone who appears "nice" is a pushover. Know that if you fuck them over, there's a good chance they will fuck right back ten times as hard out of sheer personal outrage. Know that one who sacrifices pieces of themselves for the well-being of others will be well-regarded in numerous circles, some known, some unknown.
I'm asking for evidence, not telling you all to fuck off.

No, I'm telling you to fuck off, now, because you're being a little bitch.

Refugee

  • Posts: 1479
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #54 on: September 17, 2016, 05:48:01 PM »
We learn to behave nicely because generally you get on better in the world by playing well with others.  It's rewarded.  That's not always true in Zalanthis.  Sometimes it works out, and sometimes you get screwed royally.  That happens IRL too but the frequency with which it happens in Arm is much much higher!

How each PC judges that and arranges his own behavior is probably at the core of the character and what all the rest is built on.  I think that each time you roll a PC you'll decide that for him, and then events unfolding will modify it as he goes on.

Death is so familiar and constant around Zalanthans that it's hard to think any of them would value all life.  But it's also hard to think that very many would value -no- life.  I think the vast majority would value some lives and not give a damn about most.

Rokal

  • Posts: 408
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #55 on: September 22, 2016, 09:35:25 PM »
When I paly a good, kind character thats genuine, and not doing so to manipualte.. well... I like to play upon it as someone who has good values, hardened by the reality of the world they're in.

Someone tries to rob them - they defeat them and they surrender. They let them go. Thats a mercy. But its the only mercy they give - the same people try it again, they're dead.. But if the fight leads to the death of the robber. They move on.

Basically, a good person in zalanthas to me draws a line into how much kindess they're willing to give - they're aware that people will take advantage of it.

They stand by their values of being kind, and good, but don't allow people to take advantage of them, either.

A good/kind character would often be one of the people that ubilds trust in others the slowest - becuase they're looking out for like minded people, and those are few and far between.

gotdamnmiracle

  • Posts: 382
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #56 on: September 22, 2016, 10:43:09 PM »
Also you have to realize a big part of being good depends on for whom you represent and who writes the rules, what's good for the House may not be for the city, what's good for the commoner may not be for the highblood, what's good for the tribe may not be for the individual, and so on.

Morality in Zalanthus is based off no single set of virtues either.
He is an individual cool cat. A cat who has taken more than nine lives.

Suhuy

  • Posts: 891
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #57 on: September 23, 2016, 03:08:15 AM »
There is no room for kindness as we on earth understand it. Zalanthas is a place where people will (or are supposed to) slit your throat over a drink of water or a pair of boots without holes in them. If someone is being nice to you, you would damn sure suspect them trying to use you for something.

I believe that kindness as we understand it would be a completely foreign concept in Zalanthas.
Society still exists, it's not anarchistic, and it's not rampantly shedding blood. That would be unsustainable. Nobody really wants to live in a murderous hellhole - instead, they feel entitled to be the one who makes decisions or take things. That is not an absence of kindness.

Kindness has a poor connotation. What's really going on is collective survival. The collective part involves some personal sacrifice and unity. That's not being weak, that's being strong. Whether you do it for a reason or not, you are displaying your power through ability to protect or give sacrifice, control over the lives of another and ensuring your species/people/society continues.

The idea that people are so randomly callous and shallow as to kill for trivial reasons flies in the face of all logic and the theme itself, since we have many clear examples where that is not acceptable. I think it's just weak justification for selective murderous behavior and should be seen like that IC and OOCly.

Very eloquently put.

Dunetrade55

  • Posts: 402
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #58 on: November 08, 2016, 04:26:01 PM »
Indeed. Being strong enough to present unity and mutual respect in the face of deadly opposition takes some real guts, it also takes a certain strength to admit possible mistakes, it takes strength to say "You know, I don't need this as much as I thought I did, but this person does." and pass a thing on. "I kill for teh lolz" takes little strength beyond a simple calculation that yes, you could get away with it easy, as things presently stand, with little backlash. That, imo, is weakness, a sort of poisonous, craven weakness that speaks of the soul of an angry victim, rather than a victor. Zalanthans are supposed to be much stronger than IRL humans, and virtue, as someone wisely pointed out, is a matter of priorities.

Machiavelli wrote much about virtue, but it's not the same kind of virtue we think of when we think of modern civilization... still, to just, paint the whole of his works black as night because they attributed his name to the devil himself is to miss the point. Machiavelli WAS kind, he was just realistic with his kindness, and had his priorities.

EDITED TO ADD: Before anyone chimes in like I'm calling out specifics, it's something that's happened time and time again, and will continue to, even I have seemingly senselessly killed PCs, though I and my PCs always regretted it, deeply. What I am saying is, it's not what should be the norm, lest "Murder, Corruption, Betrayal" be condensed down to a cartoon semblance of what's realistic. Of course you're going to have to smash things every once in a while, knowing when to, and when not to, this is a difficult thing... and sometimes, your PC might not be up to the challenge, so your PC does what they feel best in the moment. Killing is not an end in itself, it is done to gain an advantage that would otherwise not be available, or prevent a potential catastrophe.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2016, 06:22:46 PM by Dunetrade55 »
I'm asking for evidence, not telling you all to fuck off.

No, I'm telling you to fuck off, now, because you're being a little bitch.

Dunetrade55

  • Posts: 402
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #59 on: November 08, 2016, 06:45:36 PM »
For example, let's take a moment to reflect on the first season of Game of Thrones. It wasn't clear to me at first why the son of the King's Hand was shoved from a tower, or why the previous King's Hand was eliminated at first glance (nor did it seem just then Frost was executed, but that was Joefry *shudders*)... Why was the child shoved to what would ordinarily have been his death (in his Father's village even, for cripes sake)? I mean, it was callous and all, but the guy was trying to protect his relations with his sister under wraps, as they'd been unexpectedly spied upon. It wasn't just, oh, look, a kid, check this out!

If I had to be that guy, I would have bribed the kid with candy and booze, then got some dirt out of him his family didn't want getting out, and used that as leverage. I would have been the kid's best friend, provided he knew, never to speak of this incident. I would have gone with corruption, rather than murder and betrayal, and perhaps gained a lifelong ally, instead of fucking things up royally, pun intended. In Feudal Japan, it wasn't that odd to keep the family members of a potential rival in your estate on an "extended vacation", which is a polite way of saying "well-treated hostages" "But that could change if you fuck up.". This is te kind of approach I would have preferred, personally.
I'm asking for evidence, not telling you all to fuck off.

No, I'm telling you to fuck off, now, because you're being a little bitch.

Hashi

  • Posts: 63
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #60 on: November 11, 2016, 11:22:14 AM »
If I had to be that guy, I would have bribed the kid with candy and booze, then got some dirt out of him his family didn't want getting out, and used that as leverage. I would have been the kid's best friend, provided he knew, never to speak of this incident.

I am sure that would have been Tyrion Lannister's solution.  But not Jamie's.  Totally IC.

Dunetrade55

  • Posts: 402
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #61 on: November 11, 2016, 12:02:49 PM »
If I had to be that guy, I would have bribed the kid with candy and booze, then got some dirt out of him his family didn't want getting out, and used that as leverage. I would have been the kid's best friend, provided he knew, never to speak of this incident.

I am sure that would have been Tyrion Lannister's solution.  But not Jamie's.  Totally IC.

Totally IC. If it wasn't, it wouldn't have made a good book/show. It wasn't some campy kick the dog moment where the bad guy does a thing JUST TO SHOW HOW BAD HE IS. Short-sighted? Yes, but Jamie's a shallow, self-absorbed prick. He still had his reasons for doing it, whether I agree with them being the best option really isn't the point, sorry, was just musing.

The original question was if there's any room for kindness in Zalanthas, given how harsh the world is supposed to be... some have chimed in with what seems to be absolutely not. My personal opinion is there is, provided, just like when you're a royal shit to people, there are adequate reasons to be. Chances are you can't afford to feed the masses unless you're a Highborn, and even if you did it would have to benefit the house in some way, which it very well could. If you're a commoner, others are going to start eyeing you wondering where all that coin is coming from and how they can take a slice for themselves... so you really can't hope to save the world, aspire to it all you like, just know, OOCly, realisticly, that it's going to bite you in the ass.

Individual to individual, yes, there /is/ room for kindness. You don't have to be a saint to be kind. I'd imagine you would reasonably stop being kind to someone who does unkind things to you. It can all come back to the question "What is genuine kindness? Does kindness where I gain something from my investment really count?", to which I'd say, yes. Usually this is the way I've found things to be IRL, more often in the crappier parts of town. I haven't seen it as much where people are better off, but that's all anecdotal.

It's precisely /when/ the situation gets dire that one stands to gain the most from an act of kindness, as people must pull together, combine resources and abilities, and make the most of a crappy situation. Sometimes, realisticly, desperation causes unkind things to happen, so it's not all unicorns crapping friendship rainbows across the sky, so there's room for both, I think. When you're in the desert and Amos has a skin of water and you don't, for example, simply gutting him for it is not quite the process. Your first question is, what does Amos bring to my continued survival or benefit? What are our chances of making it to a supply of water in the near future? Are there other options? If, after those considerations, you decide Amos doesn't need the water as much as you do, and won't consider sharing if you ask, and won't hand it over if you coerce or offer incintives, then by all means, get to stabbin'. Feel free to fuck up somewhere in that chain of considerations if it makes for a more compelling and realistic story.

Honestly, a lack of concern for the well-being of the group as a whole, and a resulting betrayal of said group, might realisticly cause an even /greater/ backlash from the group than would ordinarily happen when resources are plentiful. In a well-to-do household, stealing the last cookie from the cookiejar is a trivial offense. If you're in a fallout shelter waiting for a poisonous, toxic world to return to normal, taking the last cookie might mean drawing back a nub... so stabbing Amos might piss off someone who knows where your mate and child reside, and they might resolve to get even if it's somehow discovered. You just /might/ be better off giving Amos's promised source of water just ahead a try, because there's more at stake there. One day Amos might save your bacon on a trip somewhere, or maybe has before, which would reinforce that maybe he'd do it again. There's a lot more to it than just, need water, stab dude.
I'm asking for evidence, not telling you all to fuck off.

No, I'm telling you to fuck off, now, because you're being a little bitch.

Lutagar

  • Posts: 263
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #62 on: December 11, 2016, 04:53:53 AM »
I'm not sure the concept of altruism would exist in Zalanthas. Most races aren't biologically capable of empathy.

Elves are literally a race of sociopaths that aren't capable of caring about anyone outside of their immediate tribe and exploit everyone else because MUH PRIDE.

A dwarven moral compass is whatever helps them achieve their focus.

Half giants aren't altruistic so much as they're hungry for approval. This can actually make them incredibly unsympathetic and unkind if their best friend happens to be a raider or a corrupt soldier.

Which leaves humans and muls. But I'm a little doubtful either would see altruism (as in where you do something for nothing) as a virtue rather than weakness.

Raptor_Dan

  • Posts: 313
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #63 on: December 11, 2016, 09:17:16 AM »
I think the debate here has been mostly whether or not kindness is actually 'something for nothing', or if there is a benefit to being kind, when you can afford, in expectation of returned kindess, when you can't.
I'm just looking for a general consensus. Or Moe's opinion. Either one generally can be accepted as canon.

boog

  • Posts: 10414
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #64 on: December 11, 2016, 11:56:40 AM »
There's a capacity for kindness in everyone, I think, in Zalanthas. It might be really minute and situational, but I think it exists. An elf might have 'super pride' for instance, but what if they were scouring the wastes and saw a parched elf from another tribe who looked like their dead daughter?

Or what if a half-giant was in the same situation and the victim in question looked like a person the half-giant was really intent upon emulating for aforementioned approval years back?

So, yeah, maybe most kindness in Zalanthas might be selfish and in an effort to be owed a favor in return, but I think there's a capacity for kindness in everyone, ever. I mean, even serial killers spare victims sometimes, though I guess whether or not that's kindness is up for debate. ;)
Case: he's more likely to shoot up a mcdonalds for selling secret obama sauce on its big macs
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Lutagar

  • Posts: 263
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #65 on: December 11, 2016, 12:53:02 PM »
Still, in both of those cases it's more out of a selfish desire to soothe a past regret than a 'this person needs help' or 'what if it were me?'

If someone is doing something kind for you in Zalanthas, it's almost certainly because they expect something in return. Imo, helping without clearly having something to gain for having done so could come across as suspicious.

Miradus

  • Posts: 1685
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #66 on: December 11, 2016, 01:47:01 PM »

Do you think that mercy and kindness are inherent parts of the human character? Or not?

Raptor_Dan

  • Posts: 313
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #67 on: December 11, 2016, 02:27:33 PM »
As purely the quality of being friendly, generous, or considerate, I think kindness exists in Zalanthas. As an idealized virtue of doing what's best for your fellow man, you'd have to be a freak to be that way in most interactions. When argued to too fine a point, we began debating the motivation for kindness, and the exact definition of it, instead of debating whether or not there is a degree of being 'good to others' that exists in people on Zalanthas.
I'm just looking for a general consensus. Or Moe's opinion. Either one generally can be accepted as canon.

Fathi

  • Posts: 4515
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #68 on: December 11, 2016, 03:12:52 PM »
I think kindness would definitely exist, but charity would often be frowned upon as a frivolous waste of resources.
Out of all those kinds of people, you got a face with a view
I'm just an animal looking for a home
Share the same space for a minute or two

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My preferred form of birth control is still rough circle.

nauta

  • Posts: 2150
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #69 on: December 11, 2016, 03:19:41 PM »
Kindness is just as much part of human nature as jealousy and cruelty.  Its manifestation, though, will depend upon what culture you grew up in.

There are many different (human) cultures in Zalanthas, from tribals on up to the Allanaki and Tuluki cultures, but I would think that a human who has no capacity for kindness, in any of these cultures, would be viewed as a psychopath -- which is fine to play!
« Last Edit: December 11, 2016, 03:22:39 PM by nauta »
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

650Booger

  • Posts: 315
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #70 on: December 12, 2016, 02:14:49 PM »
I don't think true, pure altruism should exist in zalanthas, but then again I don't think it really exists IRL either.
people who donate to NPR just love to display their bumper stickers.  And teeny boppers volunteering at the local soup kitchen are really just trying to earn points on their college applications.

I've always been a bit of a cynic.
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Armaddict

  • Posts: 5867
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #71 on: December 12, 2016, 06:07:16 PM »
I think there's plenty of room for kindness.  Chimpanzees, elephants, cats, dogs...all of them show some element of pleasure or interest in showing kindness when feeling non-threatened.  There's a natural element to it.

I think the main issue is confusing kindness for trust.  -Trust- is what has a hard time flourishing in zalanthas, not kindness.  I think showing little bits of gratitude and helpfulness would be commonplace, but you'd never attach any deeper meaning to it like we do in real life, i.e. 'He's a nice guy, he helps me bring in my groceries every week' turns into 'I'm glad for his help, but I need to be sure he's not after something.'

In a sense, the elven tests of loyalty are extreme for elves, but most people in Zalanthas are probably pretty damn wary about having their kindness turned against them.  It's not that they won't do it, but they'll guard against it being a bad thing.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Raptor_Dan

  • Posts: 313
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #72 on: December 12, 2016, 06:30:19 PM »
Quote from: The festively garbed crone
He was the last person you'd expect. He was so blunt and emotionless, hated elves and those filthy gickers, and he was always scanning. One time I asked him to help my move some of my belongings, and he just kept speedwalking. So normal and nice, who knew he was anything but a twink?

Genuine trust is for mutants and northie freaks.
I'm just looking for a general consensus. Or Moe's opinion. Either one generally can be accepted as canon.

Shoka Windrunner

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Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #73 on: February 01, 2017, 02:26:02 PM »
Just, when you can tell someone is new to the game...try a little kindness with them.  Well...at least don't straight up pk them.

Make it fun.  Kindness to newbies is always good I think.  Well till their 3rd character or so.
At your table, the badass dun-clad female says in tribal-accented sirihish, putting on a piping voice, incongruous not the least because it doesn't get rid of her rasp:
     "'Oh, I killed me a forest cat!' That's nice; I wiped me bum after taking a shit.

Delirium

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  • Posts: 11375
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #74 on: February 01, 2017, 02:30:06 PM »
No way! People being "mean" to my first PC was what made the game memorable.

One of the moments that got me hooked was being sassy to a high ranking Kuraci. He grabbed her friend, threw him in jail, and casually insinuated that she'd better learn respect or else.

Profuse apologies later, they set her friend free and my character and I had learned a very important lesson.
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you've seen more than they could ever know
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Riev

  • Posts: 4566
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #75 on: February 01, 2017, 02:31:49 PM »
I have an account note that states I was 'intentionally mean to an obviously new player and refused to help them'.

I don't remember doing it, but it DOES sound like me to not just cave in to a newbies wants and needs, but to send them on their way with the name of someone who can help. Usually, when I'm mean, I make sure its obvious its a gameworld thing... you can be mean and not DISMISSIVE.
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Shoka Windrunner

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Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #76 on: February 01, 2017, 03:26:25 PM »
No way! People being "mean" to my first PC was what made the game memorable.

One of the moments that got me hooked was being sassy to a high ranking Kuraci. He grabbed her friend, threw him in jail, and casually insinuated that she'd better learn respect or else.

Profuse apologies later, they set her friend free and my character and I had learned a very important lesson.

Yeah, but they didn't straight up kill ya.  That's the kindness I mean.  ;)
At your table, the badass dun-clad female says in tribal-accented sirihish, putting on a piping voice, incongruous not the least because it doesn't get rid of her rasp:
     "'Oh, I killed me a forest cat!' That's nice; I wiped me bum after taking a shit.

IAmJacksOpinion

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Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #77 on: February 02, 2017, 02:06:09 PM »
Simple answer; there's room for just about any kind of action you want to take, so long as you can justify it.

Longer answer; I think it's more about exposure than anything. Think about the first time you saw a homeless person begging for money. Now think about the one hundredth time. This might be different for everyone. For me, I grew up in a small town in the midwest, so probably the first time I encountered a homeless person was when I moved to Madison when I was 25. It was sad, and it stuck in my mind for hours afterwards. Now-a-days though, that kind of thing is just a fact of life. If I want to go downtown, I'm going to get asked for change. I hardly notice it anymore.

Now pretend you grew up in a world where like 25-30% of the people were homeless, or slept in some kind of squatters den or bar backrooom. Hell, you're homeless, and so is your Ranger buddy (wearing 4,000 sid worth of equipment). Not only that, but it's violent. Everyone's favorite past time is feeding elves to bugs the size of automobiles.  On your way here you watched a blind beggar get slaughtered in the street because he, unknowingly, grabbed at the hem of a noble lady's skirt when she walked past. You also crossed an alley where a guy was being mugged by a pair of shady rinth rats. Also, human rights don't exist. There's laws against theft and murder (without paying Templars for the privilege first), but you don't have the right to educate yourself as you wish, or to think as you wish, or to question this system. You're not entitled to safety or even the freedom to choose what happens to your body in many cases. 30% of the people you pass are slaves, working for 1% of the people who are undeniably better than you in all regards.

With that in mind, would you:
  • Care that someone is starving? (Hell, you're a bit hungry too.)
  • Care that someone is thirsty? (Shit, when was the last time you had a full waterskin?)
  • Care that someone is being treated unfairly? (You just had to pay a 200 sid fine for not bowing low enough!)
  • Care that someone is being attacked? (Better get away while they're distracted, you're probably next!)
  • Care that someone's loved one just died? (You can count your living loved ones on one hand, and you're even missing fingers because of a cut that got infected and required amputation!)
  • Care that someone is being punished in the arena, or by whipping, or by "hugging". (Shit yeah, free entertainment!)

Yes, if the circumstances are right, you could say yes to any number of these. But your average character isn't going to be terribly moved by any of this - he sees every single one of these things happen at least once a week. I don't think Zalanthans are incapable of kindness, they're just indifferent to suffering, which would make it hard for them to care about strangers.
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Hauwke

  • Posts: 1041
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #78 on: February 02, 2017, 04:03:24 PM »
In my mind this quite nicely sums it all up. Well said.

wizturbo

  • Posts: 2476
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #79 on: February 04, 2017, 03:43:39 PM »
Yes, if the circumstances are right, you could say yes to any number of these. But your average character isn't going to be terribly moved by any of this - he sees every single one of these things happen at least once a week. I don't think Zalanthans are incapable of kindness, they're just indifferent to suffering, which would make it hard for them to care about strangers.

I'm not sure I agree with this.  I've watched a lot of documentaries about North Korea out of sheer curiosity, and without exception those who've managed to defect said that they found North Koreans to be warmer, more caring people than anyone they met outside.  I don't think North Korea is that dissimilar from the conditions in Zalanthas, with famine and poverty being what they are, and a Supreme Leader that might as well be Tektolnes.

I've been really curious as to why this is the case.  It's a bit counter intuitive to me.  My current theory is that rich people value and invest in possessions and status whereas the poor have none of these things so they invest their time and energy into people.  People are their assets and their safety net.  If they're starving, they look to their friends and family for help.  If they get wounded, they go to a family member who used to be a medic in the army for help because they can't afford a doctor.  The poor need each other more than the rich. 

Now that isn't to say all poor people have some kinship with other poor people.  Racial tensions make a lot of sense.  Where you grew up being a dividing factor makes a lot of sense.  But caring about the suffering of a peer isn't out of place, even in Zalanthas, though I think it would be rare that assistance would be offered without an expectation that person would return the favor in the future.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 03:46:34 PM by wizturbo »

BadSkeelz

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Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #80 on: February 04, 2017, 05:06:38 PM »
Kindness is a survival mechanism. If you have nothing but a system of kindness and empathy that you help reinforce by participating in, you stand a better chance of survival. If you have nothing (no wealth, no martial advantage, no influence over others) and you're a dick, you probably won't last very long.

It isn't that poor people are kinder, it's just a cost effective, lower risk survival strategy. It does, however, require most people you would interact with on a daily basis to ALSO buy in to it for it to work. Depending how society evolves you're just as likely to see the knives come out when people stop believing in others and decide to secure their own futures.

It isn't a single axis of behavior between "charitable" and "raider" either. Showing kindness (whether to curry future influence or just subconsciously reinforce a social safety net) and taking what we "need' by force are just two of many cards we all have bin our survival deck. Individuals can play them at will according to what they think is most effective/less likely to be dangerous. Or just personal inclination
 Someone who is charitable all the time in zalanthas probably has as short a life expectancy as someone who tries to raid everyone.
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bardlyone

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Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #81 on: February 04, 2017, 05:11:05 PM »
Someone who is charitable all the time in zalanthas probably has as short a life expectancy as someone who tries to raid everyone.

Well put.
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IAmJacksOpinion

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Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #82 on: February 05, 2017, 03:47:25 PM »
Valid points Wizturbo.  I feel like your comparisons to North Korea are more about a sense of community amongst the down trodden, where as mine was more about the setting and how it might dull your sense of empathy towards strangers. If you're just going from one end of the bazaar to the other, you're likely to pass a dozen beggars, orphans, or lepers. You can be sorry for them, but you'd go broke fast trying to help all of them. So where's your motivation to help any of them?

Community, on the other hand, is something that I think is very richly represented in the game. Elves or tribals are the obvious example, but there's also clannies who often take on each others problems, lend each other money, try to smooth over hostilities between third parties for each other, etc. Or, my personal favorite, West and Eastsiders in the 'rinths dropping their plans to backstab twitchy later and instead helping each other hunt down a Bynner who was seen in the allies trying to backstab twitchy. ("Around 'ere, only we gets ta kill each otha's"! I'm not being sarcastic. This is my favorite example.)

I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. There's a time and place for both. A character can certainly have empathy for strangers (unless their half-breeds), but I don't see Zalanthas as a place where many people act on that empathy.
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wizturbo

  • Posts: 2476
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #83 on: February 05, 2017, 04:47:08 PM »
Yeah, that's all true as well.  It's a complicated subject really.

Jihelu

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Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #84 on: February 05, 2017, 05:05:32 PM »
One of the things that got me into this game was when a player was guiding and kind to my first characters.
At the same time I began to understand how nobility, atleast in Tuluk, functioned and began to see some nobles as great people and came to the realization that these great people were probably assassinating evil doers.
Which I grew to love.


I think it was patuk or some shit? The guy who helped me.

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IAmJacksOpinion

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Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #85 on: February 05, 2017, 09:37:02 PM »
Yeah, that's all true as well.  It's a complicated subject really.

IMO, the "right answer" to these threads is almost always "do what makes sense for your character." The rest of this is just food for thought. :)


One of the things that got me into this game was when a player was guiding and kind to my first characters.

The first player I ever met with my first PC sold me a "clumsy flint knife" for 300 sid, offered me a large to assassinate Lord Someone Or Other, and gave me basic directions to Allanak. I died in the rinth a few hours later. I can see how that might not help some people stick around, but it's something I look back on fondly, personally. My first interaction in Arm was to get totally duped.

Now-a-days, whenever a new player wanders into the Gaj, every PC in the bar says, all in unison, "You need to join the Byn." as if it's generally accepted in Allanak that the best place for mentally incompetent people is the front line of a battlefield. Me, if I'm playing the right kind of character (which I usually am) I invite them to follow me to an ominous sounding location, or offer to give them a tour of the bazaar for a fee. I always do this very obviously (all but twisting my curled and oiled mustache while flipping a nickle in the air) and they almost always realize what I'm trying to do. I'm not interested in taking advantage of newbs, and if one actually agreed to follow me to an alley around the corner, IDK what I'd do because I'm not about to actually mug a noobie. I just feel that that part of the world needs represented also. *shrug*
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Hauwke

  • Posts: 1041
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #86 on: February 06, 2017, 04:26:07 AM »
You could do it twice and every second time stab the newb in its face. Only so many times folks can get away with dumb mistakes

Raptor_Dan

  • Posts: 313
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #87 on: February 06, 2017, 05:12:09 AM »
...idk what I'd do because I'm not about to actually mug a noobie. I just feel that that part of the world needs represented also. *shrug*

Kudos for this, JO....

...But I mug and rob them every time I can, or otherwise make them terrified of gickers, dark alleys, smiling militia, and anyone willing to 'help you out, fella'. That's just me.
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solera

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Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #88 on: February 06, 2017, 05:19:19 AM »
I would be happy to mugged by you, if I was brand spanking new.  Being left senseless in a storm south of Allanak, or being provoked to trigger the half giant horde would take the shine off things, but otherwise, I'm sure I'd be happy.

Armaddict

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Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #89 on: February 06, 2017, 12:01:54 PM »
...idk what I'd do because I'm not about to actually mug a noobie. I just feel that that part of the world needs represented also. *shrug*

Kudos for this, JO....

...But I mug and rob them every time I can, or otherwise make them terrified of gickers, dark alleys, smiling militia, and anyone willing to 'help you out, fella'. That's just me.

Heh.  This reminded me of how it used to be actually popular to invite people to hunt with them so you could get mugged.  It only took once or twice before you weren't a noob about it anymore.  Trusting other players hurts. :P
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Shoka Windrunner

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Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #90 on: February 06, 2017, 12:15:47 PM »
I guess, when I can tell they are SUPER brand new, that first encounter I'm pretty kind and help them get used to the code through some OOC, ask if they have any code related questions, like how to do this or that, or the emotes.  Also ooc point them to the helper chat on armageddon.org.   I still use this when something suddenly doesn't work like I remember or thought.  Kudos to everyone who runs that chat.  You da real MVP. 

The 'Byn is a really good place for new players.  The Fist, the Arm even, just a combat clan, since I imagine most people make a combat character of some sorts, well they will be mundane at the least, and your first character has to be in 'Nak I guess?  (not sure on that but I think I read someone say that)

Anyway, being PKed when you are so new you don't even know how to do the basics, I think could easily turn a lot of people off.  So let them get their feet under them, then go for all the Murder, Corruption & Betrayal you want.

That's just my feelings and how I handle it.   :D
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Riev

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Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #91 on: February 06, 2017, 12:26:48 PM »
It hasn't happened to me specifically, but I wouldn't be totally averse to a "lets go explore the city together for a fee" kind of thing, and then show them your 'favorite alley'. Don't KILL them, but make it look like you tried.

Then they can make some fun finding the Arm, explaining their case, the Arm caring (or not) about their plights.
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Patuk

  • Posts: 4139
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #92 on: February 07, 2017, 04:18:50 AM »
One of the things that got me into this game was when a player was guiding and kind to my first characters.
At the same time I began to understand how nobility, atleast in Tuluk, functioned and began to see some nobles as great people and came to the realization that these great people were probably assassinating evil doers.
Which I grew to love.


I think it was patuk or some shit? The guy who helped me.

I love you.

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Jihelu

  • Posts: 2494
Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #93 on: February 07, 2017, 08:36:24 AM »
One of the things that got me into this game was when a player was guiding and kind to my first characters.
At the same time I began to understand how nobility, atleast in Tuluk, functioned and began to see some nobles as great people and came to the realization that these great people were probably assassinating evil doers.
Which I grew to love.


I think it was patuk or some shit? The guy who helped me.

I love you.

ilu2. Let's have beautiful, beautiful babies together

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The Lonely Hunter

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Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #94 on: March 11, 2017, 10:15:53 AM »
Great post, Jack.
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Akaramu

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Re: Any room for kindness?
« Reply #95 on: March 11, 2017, 10:41:19 AM »
If you want to play a long-lived character who doesn't suffer a complete emotional breakdown one or two years in, you need to choose your friends carefully. Have loose relationships at best with most people, and only develop deeper bonds with a select few. I have a feeling the same would be true for most Zalanthans. If you start caring about random people you're going to be miserable all the time.

I'd say there are certain sub-groups and communities of people who are more tight-knit, like...

People of the same tribe (obviously)
Families (obviously)
Gemmed of the same temple
People who live within small apartment building community and share the same cooking fire, for instance
Gangs of street kids banding together

Etc.

Nobles (and their wealthy servants) might display kindness because they're better people and everyone knows it. Their relationship with commoners is the very reason templars need nobles, so they might want to nurture that relationship by feeding the poor in a grand display of generosity. Or throwing public parties. Or employing that rag-clad homeless girl into their services so she can become a proper person (and be very loyal and useful, but shhh).

I tend to play fairly 'nice' people, for Zalanthan standards, because that's just what I prefer and I don't think I'd enjoy roleplaying a true villain. However, even my 'nice' PCs tend to be RACIST AS HELL. Tribals? Pffffft. Breeds? Kick them to the curb! Elves? There's already too many of them, what's a few less?