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Author Topic: Elfworld = EVIL  (Read 17676 times)
Dav
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« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2001, 09:50:00 AM »

Raven, just to let you know, though I doubt you need it: This is all in the spirit of "cheerful argument" from my end.  I don't want to think that you are staring at your computer screen swearing at me though I may be hundreds of miles away.  If this is hitting you too close to where you live (I have no idea where you live), we can stop.  I don't want to start a flame-thing (whatever the Hell the appropriate term is).  Just let me know if this is going too far in your eyes.

Dav

(Still loving evil... 'cuz it loves him and gives him nice toys)
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John Wick
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« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2001, 10:30:00 AM »

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Evil is kick you when no one's looking and you're already down.  Not walk into Central Park and draw your guns.  I'm not cavalier, and my courage for violent situations is intrinsically linked to how confident I am that I can win.  
If that isn't evil tell me what it is, because that's where I stand in life.  


I take it you don't have many friends, then? :wink:
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Carpe Deum,
John
JSDiamond
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« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2001, 11:13:00 AM »

Respondong to Dav and Raven I offer this:
'Progress' doesn't necessarily have to mean advancing technology (or whatever).  Perhaps Dav means 'improvement' as an expression of progress.

Nazis and rascists suck.  No ground to defend there.

But evil is still a dead end.  Wick has already agreed with my point (in another post) that evil is akin to fuel. What I wonder is how this will play out in a game.  I think that you will *need* to have protaganists to make the evil elf characters matter.  Dav wants to play an evil elf (a la Wick).  But you will need the gm or another player to provide you with someone 'good' to play off of.

I doubt John Wick is re-writing something 'like Vampire only with pointed ears' or whatever.  Likely it will be very original and tough to define.  

1. Initially, you can't go with the 'fish out of water' thing if *everyone* is ultra evil.  So mark off that premise (because any Ork or Human worth his guts is going to slay 'em on sight).

2. These elves clearly aren't of the D&D variety so don't think this is going to be like D&D 'evil'.  Or Vampire for that matter, with people just hanging out socializing and making fun of mortals while dressed in the latest Hot Topic gear they bought with their mom's visa card.
       

So, when will we get more details?  I've been to your site four times this week.  I want to know more about Elfworld.

Jeff Diamond
http://www.geocities.com/allianceprime">Origins 2002 Game of the Year



 







   
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JSDiamond
John Wick
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« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2001, 12:42:00 PM »

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I think that you will *need* to have protaganists to make the evil elf characters matter.


Great cliche: Good needs evil and vice versa. Without one, the other cannot exist.

A cliche is an assumed truth. Everyone assumes its true without ever thinking about it.

Think about it for a while, then get back to me.

Take care,
John
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Carpe Deum,
John
JSDiamond
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« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2001, 01:35:00 PM »

How is needing an antagonist cliche?  It could be anything and any theme, really.  In this case it just happens to be an emphasis of evil vs. good in Elfworld.

If it were Appleworld I'd be asking about the oranges.

Jeff Diamond
http://www.geocities.com/allianceprime">Click here for HOT ALIEN TEENS!

[ This Message was edited by: JSDiamond on 2001-07-13 17:58 ]
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JSDiamond
Dav
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« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2001, 01:44:00 PM »

All arguments set aside in regard to the nature of good/evil, I think that a need for an antagonist character may not be so powerful.  Rather, to support cliche: "evil feeds on evil".  Even in a group of elves.  

Wuthering Heights, Soap, and even Elfs (to a lesser degree) have a strong sense of antagonism that runs through the game without specifically requiring the "evil" empire to come tromping through.  The other PC's tend to give forth this nice little bit all by themselves.  I see Elfworld running that direction.

Elves may be the top of the food chain.  Which means that their antagonists are anything that they choose... which is great fun.  

Dav
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greyorm
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My name is Raven.


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« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2001, 02:32:00 PM »

John,

A couple points for clarification:

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Life and living is all about conflict, and the Strong eating the Weak.

Every animal feeds on another animal to live.
If you can show me "cooperation" between dolphins and the meat they eat, I'll buy your argument.

Actually, John, this reason is specifically why I said "packmates" and not "prey", why I talked about social empathy, and spoke about the organism as itself, not about other organisms or groups outside the defined collective (species, society, organism).

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I don't have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you.

Social animals tend to be more "noble" in this sense that they won't run and leave their weak members to fend for themselves; most times, they won't leave a companion behind to be devoured and save themselves.

As an example, wolves will viciously defend their cubs from grizzly bears.  Do they have a chance against a grizzy?  Hel's skirt no, not individually, maybe as a large pack (it takes at least twelve wolves to bring down a grizzly).  They don't run, though, and leave the weak members behind.  They go at it and try to tear the thing's throat out until it gets the idea and goes away, or kills and eats them, or until the pups get to safety.

(Note, this is a generalization, some wolves are more or less cowardly, more or less devoted to the pack than others (just like humans in a social environment)...but it is still a valid generalization).

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Appeals to authority are the #3 most used non-valid argument technique, and they don't save you from being wrong. :wink:

[thunk!]  I can't win!  The last time I made this argument, I didn't quote my sources, so I was bitched at and called a lunatic with no real evidence to back up my claims.

I'm not appealing to authority with this, I'm citing sources.  It's only appeal when the argument's belivability hinges on who said it (otherwise every science book I have in my library is an appeal to authority...they all cite sources and build on known, trusted sources to confrim their arguments and data).

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I'll agree with your definition of "empathy." (It's a good one, too.)

Hm... maybe I don't agree with your definition of empathy. I prefer to use the Socratic definition of: ability to sympathize with others. Hannibal Lector can think like other people, but it's because he can't feel what they feel that makes him a sociopath. Just because the wolf can think like the deer doesn't mean it sympathizes with it when it rips its throat out.

I, too, use the Socratic definition of empathy normally, but that's why I pointed out that in this case I was specifically defining it only as an ability to perceive the world from another's perspective.

Sure, a wolf doesn't Socratically empathize with a deer it is eating (at least we assume so), but they can and do empathize with their packmates.

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From my own observations, I tend to agree. I don't think animals have the capability to "Empathize." When an ape child dies, the mother carries it around for days, completely unable to recognize the child is dead. Eventually, it leaves the child behind. The ape mother shows no signs of mourning or grief. That's because apes don't know or understand death. They understand danger, but the concept of "He was here, and now he's not here anymore" just escapes them.

Um, you're wrong, wrong, wrong. [grin]
Honestly, John, the above is completely not true.
Ape mothers will carry a dead child around for days out of emotional grief.

Ever lost a child, John?  If not, you probably can't understand where this comes from...the brain shuts down and latches onto keeping close as much of what has been lost as possible.
That's why if a human mother loses a child, usually she'll hang onto it unless they pry it out of her grip; sometimes human mothers even go a little batty and think the child is still alive, though they rationally know it to be otherwise.

Would you say "humans don't understand death because the parents of dead children keep the children's room exactly as it was when the child died and they talk to gravestones"?

Another note about this, wolf packs that lose members can and will shut down for days in depression as the pack tries to cope with the loss.
There was even an example a few friends pointed out to me a few years back, where pack being studied lost its omega and did not function for days, acting lethargic and snappy...in other words, they displayed all the symptoms of depression and grief.

In that vein, I've bred dogs for years.  We had one dog we'd bred whose owner died, big hulking thing (the dog, not the owner); it lay down and died itself, out of grief, out of the knowledge of the loss.

This is a common thing.  Animals DO, quite clearly, understand death and loss and feel grief.

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I think that's a very limited definition of intelligence. Because I don't agree with the definition, I won't make any arguments in that direction.

Obviously intelligence contains alot more than the simplistic definition I gave; but it was necesarily limited by the constraints of the discussion and argument.

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I completely disagree with your premise. There are thousands of species on this planet that don't have any kind of "social structure."

Hence why I said "...as it gains intelligence, power and socialization..."  It may be you skimmed alot of the important, defining criteria in some of what I wrote.

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Hundreds of thousands of crimes are committed every day? Why? Because people believe they can get away with it.

I'm afraid I disagree.  I think that is a terrible simplification of the issue.  People don't commit crimes simply because they think they can get away with it...there are complex cultural and social issues at work, as well as strong psychological ones brought out by those former issues.

That, in fact, is where I would agree that elven EVILness comes from...a social/cultural meme, not biological or psychological.

After all, if elves are just spirits inhabiting bodies, the biological urges of the body might still dominate...that could easily make a very interesting twist.
Sure, elves as spirits are utterly evil and corrupt, but they can't completely deny the biological realities and workings of the forms they inhabit.

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How about 0%?

People would still commit crime on those days.  There'd just be less...you said it yourself, "If they believe they can get away with it." or "If they're desperate enough."

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Give people the opportunity to do evil, and they will. Give people the opportunity to do good... and they generally won't.

I don't agree.  It was that I used to agree with that stance; but I don't anymore.  Unless either of us can cite a study, however, I think this is an area of "difference of opinion."

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And we'd probably walk into a bank and steal a million dollars. Why not? Who's gonna miss it? The bank? And I did stop that rapist, and help the police with that serial killer... I deserve a little payback, don't you think?

I hardly consider stealing money from a financial institution "evil", especially given the captialist, money-and-goods driven culture we live in.

Would I steal a million dollars from someone who could take the hit financially if I had the chance and there was no chance of me being caught or incriminated?

Let's see, my family has been in poverty before, I've experienced what it is like to not eat for a week (and not by my own choice), and money = less stress in this society...hrm, give me a minute...[whack] You'd better believe I would do it because it would ensure my family would survive and we'd never starve again.
And not only that, I could use the money to help other people in dire straits.

I'd never steal from someone who couldn't take that kind of hit, though...so, let's hope Bill Gates drops his pocketbook around me.

Keep in mind that I turned in a $50 at a gas station last month that someone thought was mine.  I denied it and gave it to the teller in case someone came back for it.  I could have desperately used the money, but I didn't take it because I don't know if the person who dropped it might have needed it more.

"Stealing = good/evil" is just too simplified.

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In short, what would you do with it? And be honest.

What would I do with it.  Good question...first, I'd take all the credit for Orkworld, then I'd...

Seriously, get me an invisibility ring and I'll tell you.

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If you give someone the power of a god... they'll probably act like your average god. Like Yawah for instance.

Yaweh is not your average God.  IMO, he's a petulant, overbearing child masquerading as a God.

Most Gods are far less petty, idiotic and masochistic.  I'll note that the Greek Gods are often petty, however; but the exception is not the norm.

Take a look at Norse and Teutonic mythology and how the Gods view and interact with their children; particularly Odin, Thor and the other Ase.

All-powerful Gods, particularly the High Father, and they treat their children the way any enlightened parent would..."Rise up and succeed me.  Here is my wisdom, here are my tools, learn to use them."

Odin sacrificed himself on the world tree to gain the power of the runes, then passed them out to his children to improve their lot.

He ain't no "Don't eat that fruit, I don't want you to be wise and immortal like me" kind of schmuck.

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You give people enough power, they hang themselves with it.

IMO, that depends on the person.

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All right, I've babbled enough on this one. If you want to read more, go check out the Elfworld page. The chapter on Orkworld Elves is there, with more details on why they're so BAD.

Me too; I'll definitely go do that, now!

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And thanks for the discussion. It's nice to see respectful disagreement on the web. It's refreshing.

Indeed.  Thank you!
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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greyorm
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My name is Raven.


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« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2001, 03:09:00 PM »

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Progress for the sake of progress is not idiotic.  You see, there is this idea... widespread really... Hell, I don't know many people that haven't delved into it...Progress is, to me, the core trait that keeps me going.  I love progress.  I love clering away the old and ushering in the new.

And?  What's so great about progress?
You like it...so?
Explain to me why progress is the best thing ever, why progress for the sake of progress is a good thing?

The above doesn't do that...I understand the sentiment (I used to think scientific advancement was our birthright and destiny).  But the above, and the defense in regards to "a thing is a thing", is simply restating, "We should progress because progress is good."

Yeah?  Prove it.

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"Good" beings are discriminatory against "evil" beings.  That puts them in the same boat as racists.

Hardly.  For what should be obvious reasons.

Further on, you pick nits on the Nazi issue, this is not constructive, so I'll avoid it as I also understand it.

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Child abusers, people who go "columbine", and the like are not evil.  They are fucked-up.  Evil would be trying to get away with it in a rational sense, and having a personal gain/fulfillment principle.  

You haven't worked much with or studied disturbed individuals, then.  They do rationalize it, they do get something personal out of it.  The actions are evil.

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That they choose suicidal means to fight their little wars is not evil,

You are aware that terrorists kill OTHER people, not themselves?

(or not just themselves)

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Evil is a commitment to personal satisfaction and advancement at the expense of anything that gets in the way.  Evil is do what you have to and fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.  

Yep, exactly.  Pretty perfectly describes everyone and everything I said.

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"what is in it for me", and "what is the down side"?  Feelings of others, statements of belief, anything else, is not a factor unless it will, in the future, impede that person from continuing to experience happiness.

What I said before about not understanding evil...you are talking about selfishness.  You are not really discussing evil.

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I don't even know what the hell you mean by vampires and buzzwords.  Vampires are people you only have to worry about half as often as most people.  

Read it again, then.

Vampires are evil, people play them because "evil" is a cool thing right now.  Vampires are cool because they're evil.  Evil is a buzzword that no one has a clue about the real meaning of and so they play around pretending they're linked to this thing called "evil."

That's what I'm talking about when I bring up vampires and buzzwords.  People wearing t-shirts that say "Evil Inside", when they don't have a real clue about evil.

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I'm not a nice guy, I'm not sympathetic.  I am completely unconcerned with the suffering of others.  Yes, children are kidnapped, hurt, and other unfortunate things... They aren't my kids, and I don't know them.

You're not evil, you're just not nice.  You're selfish and unempathic.  That's not evil.

Go experience some real evil in your life, then come back and tell me what kind of friend evil is.

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Evil is kick you when no one's looking and you're already down.

Like I said, enjoying suffering and pain, and even working to cause them.  If that's you, you're sad and pathetic; actually, you're disgusting.  Selfishness by itself is sad and pathetic.

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I'm not cavalier, and my courage for violent situations is intrinsically linked to how confident I am that I can win.

I didn't say evil was stupid.

BTW, don't get the idea that I'm swearing at my monitor or you.  I understand cheerful argument, but also understand that I find your position, and the position of evil, deplorable, so there's really no way to politely cushion my opinion!
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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greyorm
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My name is Raven.


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« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2001, 03:11:00 PM »

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Great cliche: Good needs evil and vice versa. Without one, the other cannot exist.
A cliche is an assumed truth. Everyone assumes its true without ever thinking about it.

Evil doesn't need good to be evil.  Two evil beings can be evil to one another.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2001, 04:16:00 PM »

Uh, navel-gazing and point-by-point replies aside, I'm not sure that Elfworld is going to explore the concept of "evil" so much as provide for a fun way to stab people in the back, sow the seeds of discord and in general NOT play the hero (or even a particularly nice person) for a change.  Which is good.  But from what I know of it, it's not going to be Orkworld 'cept from the Alvsees' point of view.  I don't even think it takes place on Ghurtha (tho' if it does, this is the time for John to start bitch-slapping me). :smile:

- J
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Gordon C. Landis
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« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2001, 06:23:00 PM »

A few quick thoughts, mostly in support of greyorm.  First, my understanding of the scientific evidence in support of biological altruism (and Pug, are there a bunch of words there that each need a book to be clear about what is precisely meant by 'em) is that it is pretty strong.  Conclusive?  No.  But neither is the "Strong shall always prey on Weak" claim.  Second, on the ape mother . . . yes, John's description is wrong, wrong, wrong :wink:  Ignoring for the moment the difficulties involved in projecting human linguistic concepts onto a non-linguistic species, it is now generally accepted by those who study animal behavior that many species are entirely capable of "grieving".  My personal experience with animals matches this, and I'm REALLY wary about projecting human concepts onto non-human creatures.

I've lost track of what, exactly, this is telling us about Evil and Elfworld . . . oh, wait, the Strength vs. Weakness thing.  I re-read the Elf section of Orkworld last night, and on the one hand I found that whole bit marvelously exempleray of important principles of reality/behavior . . . but on the other hand, I found it lacking in depth and sophistication to really form the basis of Elf philosophy.  What if Steven King never got published  - was his struggle a sign of Strength or Weakness?  What about if he dies after getting word that his first book would be published?  What about if he died after the 10th?  After a widely-reviled 900th book deemed to be the latest failure from a once-promising author?

Anyway . . . I was going to say something about progress, too.  But it's time to leave.  I'm sure I'll be back, though - interesting thread, and I admire that everyone can discuss widely divergent viewpoints without blowing up.

Gordon C. Landis

[ This Message was edited by: Gordon C. Landis on 2001-07-13 22:25 ]
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greyorm
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My name is Raven.


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« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2001, 07:48:00 PM »

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I've lost track of what, exactly, this is telling us about Evil and Elfworld

Nothing really, beyond the basis for elven evil; John asked a question about my disagreement with his contention in that regard, so I clarified.

What I think will really help define "evil" and maybe contribute (somehow) to the philosophy of Elfworld is how the discussion between Dav and I turns out, if it goes any further or needs to.
We apparently have slightly divergent views of what "evil" entails, but I think we're also shooting at the same target.

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interesting thread, and I admire that everyone can discuss widely divergent viewpoints without blowing up.


Me too.  I've said what I needed to in order to respond comprehensively enough, and hopefully been clear on my position, and at least partially on why I take it.
Nothing more really needs be said, as we'll all make up our seperate minds now.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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John Wick
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« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2001, 09:58:00 AM »

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On 2001-07-13 20:16, Jared A. Sorensen wrote:
Uh, navel-gazing and point-by-point replies aside, I'm not sure that Elfworld is going to explore the concept of "evil" so much as provide for a fun way to stab people in the back, sow the seeds of discord and in general NOT play the hero (or even a particularly nice person) for a change.  Which is good.  But from what I know of it, it's not going to be Orkworld 'cept from the Alvsees' point of view.  I don't even think it takes place on Ghurtha (tho' if it does, this is the time for John to start bitch-slapping me). :smile:

- J



Well said, Jared.

And no, Elfworld doesn't take place on Ghurtha (although I'll include a chapter on how to do so).

And Jared, I don't need a reason to bitch slap you.

(Oops. Getting too far into character. Must back off....)

Take care,
John
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Carpe Deum,
John
Uncle Dark
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« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2001, 08:17:00 PM »

So, I was just over at John's site, reading the Elfworld page.  Wow.  Beautiful.  I can't wait to actually play...

And I started thinking about how evil my character could be.  A scene involving the torture and rape of a human prisoner, with the intention of creating a child for his next body.  The child will be pampered and cared for, educated, denied nothing.

Or so he said.  Actually, the whole thing is a disinformation scheme.  The new body is all prepped, and held somewhere else.  The kid, and all the elaborate preperation, is a red herring.

Then the thought occurred to me: What kind of sick bastard am I?  (Actually, I know the answer to that one...)

I thought about it, and it gelled with some other stuff I've been thinking.  I game to enact fantasies of power and control.  Not very original, I grant you, but bear with me.

I'm not talking about power-gaming here.  To me, power-gaming has always meant twisting the letter of the rules to gratify one's ego regardless of the wants and needs of the other players.  Screw them, who cares if they have fun, just so long as I get to do whay I want.

What I'm talking about is fantasies of Power.  Of being able to work my will, of haivng the world on my terms.  It's why I like GMing... a whole world (or more) set up just as I want it.  It's why I like Sorcerer and Amber and superhero games.

The difference is important.  I'm perfectly happy to screw over the other players' characters, but it would severly limit my enjoyment of the game to have to get paranoid about what the players are up to at the gaming table.

Which is getting to the point (About time!)-- John, when you talk about rules loopholes left for the players to exploit against each other, I got to worrying.  Just how much of the game is about players screwing each other, as opposed to characters screwing each other?  And will it run just as well with an agreement between players to not screw each other OOC?

Lon
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Reality is what you can get away with.
Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2001, 08:50:00 PM »

I like your idea, but I would forgo the torture/rape stuff -- it's distasteful to me, and a little too human in its depravity.  No, I w ould do more of a "In the Company of Men" thing where I'd treat the human like a queen, profess my undying love, give her everything she asked for and then after the kid is born, dump her back in her village, naked and shivering with cold, ache and confusion...

After all, you have eternity...why get your hands dirty?  Minds are so much more pliable then weak old flesh (ick).
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