Author Topic: Any room for kindness?  (Read 8777 times)

Riev

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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.  ;)
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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
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.

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

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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

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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?