Author Topic: Elven ethics  (Read 2393 times)

ShaLeah

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Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2019, 11:36:24 PM »
I'm also interested in tribal responses to threats. Would elves typically sacrifice their own to save the tribe itself (as I've usually seen done)? Or is this quite a fluid cultural element?

Again. Depends.
The black and white of a tribal is 'family forever' but the individuals WITHIN that family are sometimes fucked up and need to die. So...

What happens when you have one kin yapping like they talk for the tribe, making decisions that are against the nature of an isolated, wilderness family like... oh I don't know... kanking city folk. They're heading into the city, renting apartments, got themselves a nice piece of elven ass from the rinth, they're telling templars sure, they'll help in their war, they'll shoot that raider... If I were playing a delf I'd follow the chain of command, talk around the fire, what does everyone think, let's talk to them. They don't listen? Go to the elders. They're in charge for a reason. Can't get the elders on your side? NOW you gotta make a decision.

The tribe is above any individual. In order for that tribe mentality to be kept alive, you have to live and breathe it. You are not an individual first, you are a member of the Soh Lana Kah first, her blood runs through your veins. You will keep her alive. It is your duty. If ANYONE or ANYTHING threatens that? It's fair game.

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Barsook

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Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2019, 08:28:30 AM »
The problem is taking a trait that is foreign to us, like never being willing to ride and then expanding that out to the most absurd circumstances, like wagons or silt skimmers. Im sure we all agree that it would be stupid if an elf refused to roll or slide down a hill because not using their own legs for locomotion is faux pas. Should elf whirans never fly? Do elf babies refuse to crawl? Do elf mothers refuse to carry their children? Do all elves have irreparable ptsd from the 9 months they were forced to be to be carried around in a womb?

Sure these examples are absurd. But its also absurd to think an elf trapped on a silt island would never be willing to swallow their pride and ride a skimmer home.

edit: Also simply stating "thats how they are  written and how we expect you to play" is a nonstarter. This discussion is about if they should be written that way. Not wether or not players should follow the rules.

This maybe a absurd example or something else but what do elves think when they climb up something?

SmashedTregil

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Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2019, 09:55:43 AM »
Perhaps it's a matter of trust as well.

When you're using your own limbs to move around, you trust yourself. But trusting an animal? trusting a construction built by humans?
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Barsook

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Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2019, 10:02:41 AM »
I think you hit the hammer on the nail there.

Armaddict

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Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2019, 04:43:50 AM »
Perhaps it's a matter of trust as well.

When you're using your own limbs to move around, you trust yourself. But trusting an animal? trusting a construction built by humans?

I would say that's maybe some component but not as large of one as the pride, otherwise there'd be justification after a few goes to start learning to trust the things.  The same way they do with friends.
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

ShaLeah

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Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2019, 09:20:32 AM »
Perhaps it's a matter of trust as well.

When you're using your own limbs to move around, you trust yourself. But trusting an animal? trusting a construction built by humans?

I would say that's maybe some component but not as large of one as the pride, otherwise there'd be justification after a few goes to start learning to trust the things.  The same way they do with friends.

Long ago there was this elf bynner who had a "trusted" human friend. Said elf almost got dead in whatever shenanigans they were into and the human friend, being a good friend, took said passed out elf and either subdued and dragged him or tossed him onto the argosy, I can't remember which. That was the end of that friendship and the eventual murder of that "friend". That taught me a lot.
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In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so.

kahuna

  • Posts: 229
Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2019, 09:56:31 AM »
In Dark Sun they handled the situation well: Elves /could and would ride/ if they were dying or too injured to. They are prideful beings who are extremely proud of their running, but they wouldn't be caught doing it. But they also aren't suicidal or stupid.

I don't know about this. Here is a link to the original Elves of Athas documentation, it's 100 pages so plenty of information on the topic. Of course this isn't applicable since Armageddon uses its own documentation, I'm just linking the original source material to clear up any confusion on the whole riding thing. There are a few other things but this was always the go to docs for elves in Darksun.

https://filebin.ca/51fvWy6pc4CP/elvesofathas.docx

Jihelu

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Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2019, 12:22:27 PM »
You might be right the only source I can find is some shitty 5e conversion

Narf

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Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2019, 02:04:51 PM »
I can understand why staff makes the policy the way they do. It's not realistic in every circumstance because it's not designed to be realistic in every circumstance. I suspect the policy is designed to establish and maintain an elves particular cultural norm in the metagame, something that needs to be done because if the cultural norm isn't maintained in the metagame its in game effect will quickly degrade.

Putting something in documentation about a culture, or putting examples of that culture in game will have some impact on the culture of the game, the far bigger influence is going to be what players actually do with their characters. Players characters by their very nature are going to be more dynamic and impactful on the world around themselves. They talk, they interact, they do things, and those things are constantly effecting othe player characters.

You cannot rely on docs and NPCs to overwhelm the PC zeitgeist.

This means that in order for any cultural norm to maintain itself in the game you have to have a large number of PCs following that cultural norm. The more important the norm is, the more PCs you need to conform to it. The problem with this is that you have four separate populations of characters that will usually choose not to conform to most cultural norms in the game:

1) The newbie. They haven't read the documentation to a significant extend and they're just doing whatever. This group is pretty much unavoidable, but probably the least numerous. Still, they add to the pile.

2) The snowflake. These people want to play something outside (usually above) the norm, and they will violate cultural norms for the sheer thrill of it regardless of whether or not it benefits them. This group usually isn't numerous enough to dash a cultural norm by itself, but again they add to a pile of other players who are all dragging down the norm for their own reasons.

3) The powergamer. If a cultural norm is in the way of acquiring power they'll probably try to come up with a way around it.

4) The conviencegamer. If the kids need to be fed and the chores need to be done IRL they'll probably come up with a means and excuse to expedite play at the sacrifice of any cultural norms the designer is trying to establish.

As a designer coming up with a way to stop a large enough build up of players from these four different groups from destroying the culture and feel of a race or group can be incredibly daunting, and the easiest solution is to just ban the behavior for PCs. There are sacrifices involved in going this route, people have pointed out more than a few on this thread, but honestly I think people underestimate the difficulty of other solutions from a designer's perspective.

Riev

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Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2019, 03:42:01 PM »
4) The conviencegamer. If the kids need to be fed and the chores need to be done IRL they'll probably come up with a means and excuse to expedite play at the sacrifice of any cultural norms the designer is trying to establish.

CONVENIENCE gamer.

How dare they.

They have things to do, but choose to spend their time here? AND THEY FADE CULTURAL NORMS?

Fuck these people.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Hauwke

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Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2019, 04:55:39 PM »
How very dare I have kids and a life. Shame on me.

Narf

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Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2019, 07:24:00 PM »
How very dare I have kids and a life. Shame on me.

Whether or not a player's behavior is morally justified isn't really relevant to whether or not it presents an obstacle to a game designer.

These factors are not correlated.

Hauwke

  • Posts: 2044
Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #37 on: December 12, 2019, 08:30:42 PM »
Well you called out that people who can't play a lot are essentially bad, so regardless of anything else, I am going to entirely ignore any point you try to make from here on out.

Dar

  • Posts: 1543
Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2019, 10:15:35 PM »
Really? People take offence to that? I understand him completely and I am a convenience player. A person who will suddenly gain instant knowledge of the sewers, just because I need to quit out and I don't have the time to explore randomly for a quit room.

A person who will eat raw flesh, just because I gotta be somewhere else fast and the character is starving, but I don't have time to cook the dish.

I did all that. I don't feel particularly guilty. Life trumps game every time.

Way to take offense over nothing.




Narf

  • Posts: 876
Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2019, 11:19:39 PM »
Really? People take offence to that? I understand him completely and I am a convenience player. A person who will suddenly gain instant knowledge of the sewers, just because I need to quit out and I don't have the time to explore randomly for a quit room.

A person who will eat raw flesh, just because I gotta be somewhere else fast and the character is starving, but I don't have time to cook the dish.

I did all that. I don't feel particularly guilty. Life trumps game every time.

Way to take offense over nothing.

I've been all four at one point or another.


Jarvis

  • Posts: 188
Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #40 on: December 15, 2019, 06:59:38 PM »
In that case is it safe to say that an elf will much rather die than tarnish his race's pride?

(in the hypothetical scenario of both his legs are broken, he can ride or get turned into little mush by a mek who's not all too happy)
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Gentleboy

  • Posts: 113
Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #41 on: December 15, 2019, 08:51:54 PM »
Hey all! Do elves feel the same way about magick as humans do?

JohnMichaelHenry

  • Posts: 210
Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #42 on: December 16, 2019, 06:18:48 AM »
Not all humans, nor all elves, feel the same way about magick. Depending on where you are. And don't forget, you always have quite a bit of flexibility in how YOUR character feels about magick, although sometimes playing the exception can lead to persecution of your PC. I know that sounds pretty vague, but it's better than saying, find out IG. :)
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― Michael Scott, The Warlock

Armaddict

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Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #43 on: December 16, 2019, 05:17:39 PM »
Hey all! Do elves feel the same way about magick as humans do?

Talked about this in my why I play a city elf write up.  I do believe they see it differently, but not in a way that makes magick 'likable'.

Quote
Elven History, Oppression, and -Magick-
Most documentation of city elven tribes, all that stuff that we don't really use today, included some sort of long-standing history of the tribe; they aren't brief surges of a family, they are usually a very long term memory, some of them predating the consolidation of tribes in Gol Krathu and Vrun Driath into what we now know as Tuluk and Allanak.  Simply put, elven society has a rich history, coming from a place of what could be conceived as elven dominance into what they are now; second class citizens.  A large part of this has to do with the neutering of their ability to fight other powers through the eradication of their tribal sorcerers.

I know that sounds extreme, but that's actually written into documentation; sorcery was outlawed as a means of securing power.  This is something that tribal humans also experienced...but for them, that lack of ability to fight back was not translated into oppression and second-class citizenry.  Thus, it is my opinion that elves, while suffering from the same fear and distrust of magick as everyone else, are very possibly more able to view a reliable magickal tool as useable, insofar as they can control it.  Think of it as a very pronounced realization among some of their populace that they are at a constant disadvantage to those who use it, and so some cases, they will bend a little farther to use it than the average commoner.  Importantly, that is not done lightly, nor without caution; they don't build parties, they don't immediately jump to it, but for a rogue mage or dissatisfied mage, an elf is probably a prospect for alliance more than we'd care to admit, purely because of the history of elven tribes and where they came from, to where they are now.  This familiar oppression of elves that we -all- know and acknowledge, often turn directly into real racism, is long lived and has molded elves into an entirely new methodology which will be discussed at length in other topics; the gist of it is?  Elves play a lot of stealthy roles or shady roles for a reason.  It's adaptation for the treatment of mainstream society.

Basically, think of if everyone hated guns, but the powers-that-be used guns all the time to shove your face in the muck.  Other people sometimes get their face shoved in the muck, but by and large are treated as 'normal' citizens, while you get the brunt of it all.  You still don't like guns.  At all.  But your tribe used to use big guns to defend itself from other big guns, so occasionally you might carefully take a small gun out of a lockbox to get something done, insuring that no one uses guns to keep you down during it.

It doesn't mean you apply guns to all scenarios, it doesn't mean you love the things, it just means that you recognize the status quo as putting you at a disadvantage on purpose, and you, fortunately, don't care much for their laws regarding such.  You will sometimes even the playing field.

EDIT:  Important to note that this is my personal opinion and I was still very reserved about magickal relations in game.  It's a very slippery slope when you make an allowance one time for a character.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2019, 05:22:08 PM by Armaddict »
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

HavokBlue

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Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #44 on: December 17, 2019, 01:28:12 PM »
Hey all! Do elves feel the same way about magick as humans do?

This is gonna vary regionally and culturally.

Elves in Allanak are probably going to regard mages the same way humans in Allanak do, maybe with some added fear since the only legal mages are effectively slaves to the Templarate.

Tribal elves will have varying beliefs on magick between tribes. What the Two Moons think about magick will be different from what the Akei'Ta'Var think about magic, which is different from the Sun Runners and the Soh Lanah Kah etc.
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Scrumpkin

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Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #45 on: February 24, 2020, 12:50:13 PM »
One thing that I have always questioned is if you save an elf in battle, subdue them and ride them back to safety, do they love you or want to kill you?  I have been in this situation more than once where I saved an elf from death by this measure.  I think it's been 100% they loved me.  Sometimes friendship and comradery outweighs inbred beliefs.  A good friend goes a long ways when making a choice.   
« Last Edit: February 24, 2020, 12:54:50 PM by Scrumpkin »

Doublepalli

  • Posts: 304
Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #46 on: February 24, 2020, 01:04:43 PM »
Something I've seen that city elves like to do -

Attack and provoke massive conglomerates and defend the elves threatening extinction of their tribe.

Its like a Soh Lanah Kah attacking a blackwing and the Soh back the Soh up.

- how should elves treat other, more powerful tribes?
At what point is an elf exiled from the tribe? Murdered by the tribe?

Inks

  • Posts: 1309
Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #47 on: February 24, 2020, 04:36:25 PM »
Something I've seen that city elves like to do -

Attack and provoke massive conglomerates and defend the elves threatening extinction of their tribe.

Its like a Soh Lanah Kah attacking a blackwing and the Soh back the Soh up.

- how should elves treat other, more powerful tribes?
At what point is an elf exiled from the tribe? Murdered by the tribe?

Clearly you aren't the one playing elves here or don't understand celf, because your post sounds like vapid complaining.

There is a point, but past a certain point it is often all for one.

Past that point of trust, that is the true strength of elven tribes.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2020, 04:41:02 PM by Inks »
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Armaddict

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Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #48 on: February 24, 2020, 06:52:37 PM »
Something I've seen that city elves like to do -

Attack and provoke massive conglomerates and defend the elves threatening extinction of their tribe.

Its like a Soh Lanah Kah attacking a blackwing and the Soh back the Soh up.

- how should elves treat other, more powerful tribes?
At what point is an elf exiled from the tribe? Murdered by the tribe?

Well.  To point 1...remember that there's a lot of shadiness and underhandedness, that desire for the upper hand, for the 'superiority' of the elf.  The same as with theft, just remember that daring is rewarded...but the big deal is -not getting caught-.

Point 2 is actually pretty complicated.  The first distinction I'd make for the players of city elves is that gangs are -not- tribes, but something in between...that loyalty is there, but not to the degree of a tribe.

As far as a tribe, killing another member is a huuuuge deal.  Exile is pretty much the worst punishment for most scenarios, barring the impetus of an external force (i.e. 'Unless this member is executed, I will exterminate your tribe.')  In this scenario, you'd have elven leaders making very hard decisions...they're more likely to exile than execute, then just tell the aggressing faction that the member is no longer a member, and they can hunt them down as they please.  In rare cases, that leader might decide to do the execution, but that would put them on a shaky foundation with other tribe members.  It's a family member committing fratricide, and saying it's for the good of the family.  If it's a bad decision, it may result in the leader being usurped down the line by someone who didn't agree...though even in the usurpation, it would be an exile, in more cases than less.

As far as a -gang-, it is a business venture.  A survival venture.  This is not family, this is not tribe.  This is a loyal group to do things with, but any leader would need to make that appraisal if a member of the gang is threatening either the overall business or survival of all members.  You'd still be very very hard pressed to get them to turn on their associates since there -is- a high degree of loyalty involved...but any leader worth their salt will make that hard decision.
Edited to add here:  Just to be clear, 'make that hard decision' doesn't mean kill them, necessarily.  It just means it's way more 'on the table' since the whole point of the group forming was not to make a family; it was mutual benefit, with elves who had developed some system of trust with each other.  I think they'd be very hesitant to straight up 'end' another elf in the group unless that elf had not just fucked up once, but made a habit out of ignoring the group's benefit as a whole.  In a tribe, this would be exile.  In a gang, your trust level doesn't hit the point that you're confident that with the mutual benefit gone, they won't just turn into a knowledgeable enemy.

In whatever case, the problem most players make, in my opinion, in trying to deal with 'elven threats' is that they try to beat them up and put them in their place on their own.  This is just more of the same for an elven group, even if you mop the floor with them it will only make them a bigger enemy unless you can manage to completely eradicate it.  Arrangements and business are far better alternatives; if you can get the leader or prominent members regulating the group for you, you're doing it better.

Just my opinion.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2020, 08:02:19 PM by Armaddict »
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

Inks

  • Posts: 1309
Re: Elven ethics
« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2020, 08:41:41 PM »
Or saying they are no longer a member to powerful force x then continuing business as normal is far more likely. It's elves. But I like Armaddict's post.

Another thing, a southside celf group would be much more likely to have to react to certain threats than an eastside group. Because hunting elves eastside is generally a dangerous prospect oocly codedly and icly gameworld wise.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2020, 08:50:22 PM by Inks »
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