Author Topic: Any room for kindness?  (Read 8727 times)

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

Case

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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: 1579
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: 411
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: 439
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: 953
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: 65
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: 10484
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

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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

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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.
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nauta

  • Posts: 2206
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: 379
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.

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Armaddict

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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.
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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.
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Delirium

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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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