Author Topic: Dwarven dishonesty.  (Read 579 times)

Dwarven dishonesty.
« on: September 02, 2017, 10:33:26 AM »
First off, hello GDB-ers, I'm a long-time lurker and first-time poster here. I dabbled with Arm back when Tuluk was around, and then came back around three months ago and so far have been unable to pry myself away.

Right, now that's out of the way - I've played very few dwarves so far, citing (as many do) the relative complexity of the roleplay, but I still find enjoyment in them. However, in the docs for dwarven roleplay, there is one particular paragraph (the 5th, actually), that states dwarves have a hard time being deceptive. Or, from what I gather, they *can* be deceptive but only if they plan exactly how and with who ahead of time.

If this is true, I've certainly missed the mark a good few times myself so far, but given that lying is a cornerstone of Zalanthan interaction, I thought I'd ask how the rest of you generally approach this issue.

One aspect that makes me a little uncomfortable is to what extent this is true - could a dwarf tell a white lie? Could they simply omit the truth, or would that be classed as deception? Suppose a dwarf stole a roasted scrab head, and someone immediately said "Hey, did you steal my scrab head?" would they say "Yes, I stole it" or could they say, for example, "I think I did see someone take it", ect?

Any and all input is welcome, cheers in advance. :)
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Strongheart

  • Posts: 54
Re: Dwarven dishonesty.
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2017, 11:28:42 AM »
Dwarves are still people in the long and short of it. While they are bound to their RP restraints, they should still be unique!

In the document it states: "Very few dwarves are deceptive. The overwhelming nature of the dwarven focus makes all dwarves very single-minded. Deception requires subtle thought, lies, and trickery. A dwarf has infinite patience and determination when it comes to their focus. It will be difficult for a dwarf to be deceptive, due to the subtle thought involved, but the dwarf will think and think and think about it for seven years, and then they will know what they have to do. While an elf will use deception as a reflex, it is something that takes immense effort for a dwarf. If unprepared or surprised, a dwarf should not be deceptive. But the dwarf should, by all means, spend a long time dwelling on it - forcing their single-minded intelligence to think about being subtle - and then acting with absolute deception."

With this all in mind, let's pay attention to how "very few dwarves are deceptive" because that is important. Imagine if a dwarf's Focus were to, I dunno, lie as much as they can. It would sort of dismantle how it may take "immense effort" for a dwarf to be deceptive, as when their Focus is concerned, that is what takes priority. On a side note, something I have noticed that has become somewhat annoying is that half-giants and the occasional dwarf lack their own uniqueness because the player focuses too much on being the stereotype. While these stereotypes exist for a reason, I think it is best to use the RP doc as a guideline rather than a staple of rules that must be followed unless it is a literal racial limitation. For example, I have seen elves who are stuck-up pricks, thieves to their core, silent conniving bastards, or a complete romantic for family, each being an intricate part of the elf RP docs. Another example would be that just because a dwarf is single-minded it does not make them unwise, because in a sense they are more methodical. We could go onto how half-giants have to all be insufferable idiots who compare everything to their size, or how half-elves are either emotional wrecks or emos, or how muls are pissed off at life because they are infertile, but I digress. I love that you are discussing such specifics, Hi Tech Lowlife, and glad to see you post.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 11:39:28 AM by Strongheart »
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Jihelu

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Re: Dwarven dishonesty.
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2017, 11:52:05 AM »
I feel like every dwarf has certain ways of going about their goals.
It's why every dwarf that wants to 'kill lots of things' isn't limited to the warrior guild.
If a dwarf thinks being subtle/low key/lying about something would help their focus, I'd say dwarves would be able to lie about it.
If that dwarf is generally the kind of guy to punch people to death and throw chairs across the room...I'd say he probably isn't the best liar, simply because of his basic behavior.
I think this differs from the other races as you can be the loudest elf in the world and still be coy.
That's just how I think of it though.
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Re: Dwarven dishonesty.
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2017, 11:54:16 AM »
While these stereotypes exist for a reason, I think it is best to use the RP doc as a guideline rather than a staple of rules that must be followed unless it is a literal racial limitation. For example, I have seen elves who are stuck-up pricks, thieves to their core, silent conniving bastards, or a complete romantic for family, each being an intricate part of the elf RP docs. Another example would be that just because a dwarf is single-minded it does not make them unwise, because in a sense they are more methodical. We could go onto how half-elves are either emotional wrecks or emos, or how muls are pissed off at life because they are infertile, but I digress. I love that you are discussing such specifics, Hi Tech Lowlife, and glad to see you post.

Thanks, Strongheart! It's been a long time coming, and I very much agree with your point on exceptions to the rule. I've seen people on GDB comment that it can get a bit snowflakey, but I think (or hope) there's room for subtle changes, rather than just flying in the face of all stereotype and thereby almost creating a second stereotype as a counter.

But even if I was to follow this aspect of dwarven RP to the letter, my original point is that I'm somewhat unsure how it would actually play out. If a dwarf was to have lying wherever possible as a focus, that'd presumably be a sound solution, but in other cases the docs make it clear that it has more depth than simply to say they can't lie - I figure, being new as I am, hearing out various approaches might help to handle this better if and when I do roll up another dwarf. :)
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Molten Heart

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Re: Dwarven dishonesty.
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2017, 12:58:29 PM »
If the deception was furthering their focus, a dwarf could be the best of deceivers. Otherwise, the dwarf wouldn't care, but getting thrown in jail or making enemies can make a focus problematic. I think it'd be okay for a dwarf to lie if not just to keep themselves from becoming entangled by other things that would be distracting from their focus. I think it mostly depends on what kind of person the dwarf is and the approach they choose in perusing their focus.

Grapes

  • Posts: 59
Re: Dwarven dishonesty.
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2017, 04:22:34 PM »
Dwarven deception is an interesting topic. Let's look at it like this, when you OOCly log out your PC is still ICly doing things, they don't just vanish. This may sound like cheating, but this is probably the time period your PC is doing something mundane and droll enough that it doesn't require their full attention and can meditate. There are situations where a dwarf will need to lie to achieve their focus, a dwarf with average wisdom would know that, and be constantly planning around contingencies, so that when the time game to lie, or skirt the truth, they'd have the surest chance of achieving their focus in the long run, this shouldn't be willy-nilly, this should come off as cold, ruthless, calculated for a particular effect. It takes a lot of effort for a dwarf to lie, but they'll do anything for their focus, and they're not about to half-ass it.

You don't have to type think X to think a thing. In fact, if someone were capable enough to tap the undercurrents of constant subconscious thought going through the minds of multitudes around them, they would quickly go stark-raving mad from overload. Thought is not always on the surface, but it is always running even, especially, as you sleep. There's no hard and fast rules about what you may be considering or thinking about at any one time, conscious thought is the result of these drifting mindstorms bubbling to the surface.

That said, keep in mind that no matter what the dwarf is doing, it's somehow calculated in their mind to increase the odds of achieving their focus. This can take some interesting twists and turns that may seem unrelated. A dwarf, is not "stupid", just slow. Think "Forest Gump". And by all means be willing to slip and pratfall when given the opportunity with which to do so. If you ask, "Would my dwarf be caught flat-footed by this?", the answer is yes, probably, unless it somehow impacts their ability to achieve their focus, which they've been dwelling on since the moment it was formed. As long as you're not playing a dwarf for coded bonuses, but for the RP opportunities the dwarven mindset provides, then you're not doing it wrong, imo.

Dwarves are not machines, when playing a dwarf, be ready to make some really dumb, potentially fatal mistakes and miscalculations, and it will be easy-ish to be deceived as well. There's really no hard and fast rules as long as while you're playing you're thinking about the racial documentation. I'd think "Monk" a good sort of model for dwarven behavior as well.

EDIT: If by chance you ARE caught flat-footed in an unexpected situation where you need to lie, you don't have to tell the truth, just tell a really, REALLY dumb lie, something obviously unbelievable.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 04:30:18 PM by Grapes »
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Re: Dwarven dishonesty.
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2017, 06:12:58 PM »
A lot of interesting responses so far! Noticed a lot of people speculating that it might be easier/harder for a dwarf depending on personality or mindset, much like any other individual, which is an interesting idea, as is the idea they might be thinking about potentially deceptive ways to handle situations that relate to a focus, which makes sense.

Also liking the idea Grapes put forward about about perhaps just being very bad liars when put on the spot. I suppose the bottom line that comes out of it is that dwarves would be more likely to put time into a deception if they have something to gain, much like any individual, except where a dwarf is concerned "something to gain" would most likely be in relation to developing a focus.

Dwarves are not machines, when playing a dwarf, be ready to make some really dumb, potentially fatal mistakes and miscalculations, and it will be easy-ish to be deceived as well.

This is another interesting angle, since it would make sense for dwarves to equally be easy to deceive if they are not expending as much mental energy to analyse the motives of other people. Again, I suppose I'd assume this would change depending on whether the situation or individual plays into their focus at all.  :)
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Lizzie

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Re: Dwarven dishonesty.
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2017, 09:27:01 PM »
I think there's a difference between "telling a lie" and "being a naturally deceptive person." My interpretation of this is:

A dwarf would absolutely tell a lie, if it served their focus. But if their focus was to "fool the world into thinking...blah blah blah" - they wouldn't likely achieve it, because deception isn't their forte.  They might be good at coming up with explanations for their behavior, or for events. They're capable of creative thought, in other words. But they wouldn't excel in it. They would likely not make a living at deception. They'd probably not make very good spies. However, they might be trustworthy with a secret - again, if it served their focus or at the very least, didn't interfere with it.
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Grapes

  • Posts: 59
Re: Dwarven dishonesty.
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2017, 10:15:39 PM »
I mean, dwarves can LIE on the spot like, where were you? "I was watching my youngest brother?" *looks hopeful* "YOU ALREADY TOLD ME YOU'RE AN ONLY CHILD, RUNNER!"

It's ok to lie or deceive as a dwarf but you should always be looking for reasons to get caught, imo... unless, it's essential to your focus not to get caught.

EDIT: If you like restrictive roleplay but dwarves are difficult to play (they are), then there's also city elves, who have roughly two foci and a plethora of phobias, except, they're pretty much more or less universal to the race. If you can't handle cringe-worthy faceplanting when you try to lie on a dime, elves are keen tricksters who almost always lie.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 10:21:47 PM by Grapes »
Quote from: Is Friday
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Jihelu

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Re: Dwarven dishonesty.
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2017, 10:22:47 PM »
There's a fine line with being narrow minded and being stupid like a HG.

I feel like people are describing how Half giants should be lying, TBH.
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Hauwke

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Re: Dwarven dishonesty.
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2017, 11:03:55 PM »
HG lying is the best lying when done properly.

Inks

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Re: Dwarven dishonesty.
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2017, 07:52:10 AM »
Dwarves are not HGs. It takes them a long time to come up with a complex lie, like it takes them a good while to formulate any plans. Dwarves are perfectly capable of lying, but in terms of intricate webs of deception, not really. Focus is what drives dwarves. Ornate lies are not common at all to dwarves unless that is their focus, of course!


Hgs are far different, they are incapable of forming their own lies or decieving unless specifically told what to say, or trained to a specific lie with rote and repetition. They are incapable of using aliases consistently and changing accents like secret agents in different locations without making mistakes all the time. They ARE capable of not telling something they are told not to tell, sometimes. They AREN'T capable of formulating a lie to replace whatever it is, or to pretend they know nothing about it without acting obviously. For example. "Giant, who murdered this soldier?" "Not telling." "Why not?" "Malik told me I am not supposed to tell who killed the soldier."
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 11:10:13 AM by Inks »
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sleepyhead

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Re: Dwarven dishonesty.
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2017, 11:07:40 AM »
I have some fun ideas for dwarven foci but I've always hesitated because they would require quite a bit of active, complex deception and I'm not sure if I'd be playing against the docs.

Inks

  • Posts: 1077
Re: Dwarven dishonesty.
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2017, 11:16:29 AM »
That is possible, for sure. While dwarves aren't quick to adapt a lie, for instance there are few dwarven confidence tricksters, if your dwarf plans something and then executes as planned it is definately a possibility.

Dwarves have the most alien mindset (in my opinion) of all the playable races, focus above all. Which is why I think picking a focus that you as a player will enjoy pursuing is so important. It is their bread and butter in all things, and if that is to become a dwarven spymaster you can be sure they will plan their actions and lies in advance meticulously.
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I hate to break it to you noobs, but penetration isn't the only way to achieve orgasm.Do I have to fucking explain everything here?
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Re: Dwarven dishonesty.
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2017, 08:11:38 PM »
Dwarves have the most alien mindset (in my opinion) of all the playable races, focus above all. Which is why I think picking a focus that you as a player will enjoy pursuing is so important. It is their bread and butter in all things, and if that is to become a dwarven spymaster you can be sure they will plan their actions and lies in advance meticulously.

Having had at least some chance to engage with the various non-karma races in the short time I've been around, I'd definitely have to agree - that was in part the inspiration for this post, really. I've also noticed it tends to be the primary reason some players have voiced the opinion that perhaps they should be a karma race rather than baseline.

But assuming the idea of dwarves not being good at producing short-notice deception is a given, is that something that'd come to be somewhat known amongst other races, having lived alongside dwarves for X amount of time? I can't say I've ever seen the issue touched on besides in the docs.  :-\
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Patuk

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Re: Dwarven dishonesty.
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2017, 11:49:18 PM »
Dwarves have the most alien mindset (in my opinion) of all the playable races, focus above all. Which is why I think picking a focus that you as a player will enjoy pursuing is so important. It is their bread and butter in all things, and if that is to become a dwarven spymaster you can be sure they will plan their actions and lies in advance meticulously.

Having had at least some chance to engage with the various non-karma races in the short time I've been around, I'd definitely have to agree - that was in part the inspiration for this post, really. I've also noticed it tends to be the primary reason some players have voiced the opinion that perhaps they should be a karma race rather than baseline.

But assuming the idea of dwarves not being good at producing short-notice deception is a given, is that something that'd come to be somewhat known amongst other races, having lived alongside dwarves for X amount of time? I can't say I've ever seen the issue touched on besides in the docs.  :-\

You can play your PC as you want, of course, but remember that most people just aren't going to interact with dwarves very much.

Dwarves are a very low percentage of the virtual population, to the point where even half-elves are more common than they are. Furthermore, dwarves are enslaved even more than humans are, which means most of them work off where commoners don't interact with them much, in the obsidian mines, farming fields, and the like. There's not many dwarves to go around for people to know.

Additionally, I like to believe that virtually, races form their own communities a bit more than PCs tend to do. Dwarves buy food from dwarven grocers and hire dwarven guards to protect their businesses and hire other dwarves to help with shaping their clay. Zalanthas is not an enlightened world, and forming communities like such has been very common with humans, whom are much more alike than the races of Zalanthas are.

So, given these two facts, I guess I'd say that most people just never really interact all that much with dwarves in the first place.

As per the OP, I like to think that dwarves operate according to plans they draw up, and tend to kind've fall back on their focus if unforeseen circumstances happen. A dwarf whose focus is something like 'kill every soldier to avenge my parents' death' would anticipate very quickly that he might need to lie about any murders, and so would indeed, upon being questioned, tell lies.

Suppose your dwarf's focus is just 'care for my family', though, and a cadre of soldiers breaks into their shop because apparently their brother is a rogue magicker. I think that while dwarves can prepare for lies just fine, they wouldn't be able to come up with them on the fly as well. A dwarf is going to be very distracted by thoughts of their focus, of 'the fuck is this what now', and any lies they'd tell would probably be very unconvincing, given that you'd be dealing with a dwarf who's stressing out.
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