Page 1057 - Moral Panic

28th Apr 2018, 6:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 1
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Moral Panic
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 28th Apr 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
Players rejecting your presentation of morality and substituting their own: It happens a little more often than you'd think, and not even always in the murder-hobo abandonment-of-reason sense.

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Guest 28th Apr 2018, 6:03 AM edit delete reply
Give them a clear, obviously evil enemy like a necromancer, and players will build a new empire on cheap labor instead.

What other kinds of villains have fallen victim to the whims of morally flexible parties like this?
LibbyLishly 28th Apr 2018, 6:38 PM edit delete reply
As a player, I actually struggle with trying to understand why necromancers MUST be evil. Reanimating corpses is totally a skill that could be used for good, yo. I'm also usually the one protesting killing the owlbear and the goblins... and I'm a non-evil rogue.

Basically what I'm trying to say here is that I'm 100% in Pinkie's corner.
Thor 28th Apr 2018, 8:32 PM edit delete reply
It all depends on how necromancy works. I many settings it traps the soul of whoever is raised as an undead in their ex-body. That's 100% evil if you don't have their permission.
LibbyLishly 29th Apr 2018, 7:54 AM edit delete reply
That's true, though everyone I've seen from zombie lore is that a reanimated corpse is completely soulless, just a shell. If that's consistent with the setting lore then I'd argue it's as neutral as any other magic.
Guest 29th Apr 2018, 1:47 PM edit delete reply
One of the explanations I've seen for D&D in particular is that necromancy links the body to the negative energy plane, which is basically the anti-life plane. Sure, you aren't doing anything to the original person's soul, but the thing piloting the body now is something else entirely (even if it has their memories), and will actively attack life and open more conduits to the negative energy plane. Which is bad.

Basically, undead want to supplant living things, wear their bodies like skin suits, and invite all their friends over for the party. Not that far removed from working with demons/devils, all things considered, even if undead are generally less intelligent.
Freelance 29th Apr 2018, 10:26 AM edit delete reply
The 2nd ed. Complete Mage's Book splat talked about the various school focuses. In the necromancer's case, you're dealing with the dead, the dying, and a whole lot of negative energy. Either you have a strong moral compass to center you, or the energies eat at you--there are practically no neutral necromancers.

Also, you know, lots of cultures see messing with their dead in such ways as sacrilegious.
ANW 28th Apr 2018, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
"Let's do it to it"?
Wow, Discord is already affecting them.
Greenhornet 28th Apr 2018, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
"...if he's going to be a big jerk about it..."
Good to see that Pinky has her priorities straight.
Waffle Sorter 28th Apr 2018, 7:51 AM edit delete reply
Mm. Maybe. I'm reminded...

In the second puzzle of "Logical Journey of the Zoombinis", there are four piles of sentient rock with preferences for or against certain zoombini features. One of the rocks, if it's got no objection to the zoombini approaching it, will sometimes say "Move it to it."

I never had any idea what that was about, but maybe it's a verbal tic that certain groups have, that I've just never encountered anywhere else.
Klimpaloon 28th Apr 2018, 3:11 PM edit delete reply
Actually, according to the captions, the stone guard in Zoombinis says "Move it, toots."
ChaoticBrain 28th Apr 2018, 8:45 AM edit delete reply
I'll just leave this here.
BackgroundNPC 28th Apr 2018, 11:24 AM edit delete reply
Actually, "Let's do it to it" is a common turn of phrase meant to convey commitment or enthusiasm for the task at hand, like "Let's get it done" or "Let's get it on" or the ever-present "Let's go" in anime dubs and whatever its original Japanese equivalent is.

If you've never heard of it, it might be a regional thing. I hear "Let's do it to it" pretty common where I'm from.
ZhonLord 28th Apr 2018, 4:37 PM edit delete reply
It was also popularized in the 90's by the Sonic SatAM animated series which still holds up in quality today. Sonic and Sally would say it to each other all the time as they're about to spring into action.
Pablo360 28th Apr 2018, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
I remember a group chat for a tabletop game club recently had a conversation about making an undead party. A bunch of people from the club were coming up with ideas for an evil campaign.

“No,” clarified the original poster. “They're the good guys.”
Winged Cat 28th Apr 2018, 9:49 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
I have actually played in a campaign where the PCs were technically undead - specifically, ghosts. (They started alive, but were ritually slain in the first session so as to infiltrate the underworld and correct some wrongs that were affecting the living world.)
Chakat Firepaw 29th Apr 2018, 9:15 PM edit delete reply
I have a lich king NPC in my stable who would qualify as a good guy at the political level. Sure, he wants to rule the world, but it's not like he's forcing this on anyone.

Sure, he'll take his share of the spoils when helping to defend his neighbours. OTOH, if you aren't willing to do that more than fair land swap, (some islands that would be useful to you for that barren panhandle with a good, but food-short, port location), fine. Perhaps your grandson will see how good of a deal it is.

To quote him: "I have time."
Discord 28th Apr 2018, 6:16 AM edit delete reply
While I wait for for my big reveal, I think I'll change the show a little bit.
Let's see what happens when Spike doesn't fall for Rarity's grace.
But for Fluttershy kindness instead.
Can't tell from here, you guys mind telling me what happened ?
you know that guy 28th Apr 2018, 6:32 AM edit delete reply
Spike is no longer being taken advantage of by Rarity. Instead, he is trying to deal with the fact that Fluttershy has many animals, plus Discord, and only so much time for each of them.
Discord 28th Apr 2018, 4:00 PM edit delete reply
That's it?
What about those diamond dogs.
The cursed book.
The time he went big.
Winged Cat 28th Apr 2018, 9:50 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Rarity brings another friend, who goes to get help and cause her rescue.

The book goes more or less the same.

When he goes big is less of a problem: Fluttershy's Stare is practically made for that sort of situation.
Frission 28th Apr 2018, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
Sadly my current D&D group is firmly in the murder-hobo abandonment-of-reason camp, and I seem to be the only 'good' character left in the bunch. D:

It's been a long road to get to this point, but the morality of most of our party's characters has always been straddling the line. We started practically as paupers. A good mage and cleric, neutral rogue, and a pair of fighters of indeterminate alignment. Through a series of adventures and misadventures, including dealing with a backstabbing employer who turned out to be murder-robbing his own stagecoaches, a deal struck with the island's major church to spy on an evil army, fighting an evil wizard to a standstill and forging a deal with him instead, taking on his even more evil apprentice who keeps getting away, and conquering through espionage two of the evil army's border fortresses, we've managed to lose all but two of our original characters, and have been refilling the ranks with re-rolls over the span of about 7 months of gaming.

At this point we all have two characters, and I find myself with the only good one left in the bunch, a chaotic good mage. My neutral thief is still alive as well—surviving is what they're good at, after all.

So we've been building up to this for a while, but in the very next session we're going to have to deal with our contact from the church, "one way or the other." -- See, Chaz, a half-orc ranger and church spy, was sent as our contact to help us infiltrate these evil army outposts. Now that we effectively own the forts (and none are the wiser that we're, well, SUPPOSED TO BE the good guys), Chaz wants to start helping the church sneak up their own guys to start filling the ranks of the mercenaries that are supposed to be training up at these camps, as well as some church advisers to oversee things. However, the other three members of the party now see this as a threat, and want to kill Chaz in our next encounter with him. And since it's been implied by the GM that he's already been sneaking church members into the ranks without our permission, based on how ambivalent they reacted to the idea when he presented it... we're going to be due for a big murdery fight with a high level ranger-spy and a bunch of church soldiers. Nothing I've said has been able to convince anyone to turn from this course of action, so it all comes to a head on monday.

Hankroyd 28th Apr 2018, 7:37 AM edit delete reply
Sometimes things backfire incredibly.

In a future setting, the big bads are in a corporation that officially help the poor and the needy but in reality brainwash the most physically apts into brainless slaves and sold them to the richest.

Heroes stumble on this, saw the horror of the brainwashing, saw how none of the bad guys has problem to silence someone who would want to talk about that.
Then they decide of their course of action which was "We join them."

After a "What" from me, they explained : The world they were on is dying and killing the bad guy won't save the planet. BUT temporary slavery to build engine and cultivate vegetable could be used as a latch ditch effort to save the world.

So yeah, in the hope of doing good my players allied themself with the most despicable one-shot villains I have made.


In the end it was a bad thing, I reworked the campaign so the planet's catastrophes weren't natural but caused by the player's 'allies' ... Then in the following session I make them slowly discover the truth to see how much they would accept before deciding to turn against the bad guys.

In the end, the campaign went in a completly unexpected direction, but it was for the better.
Evilbob 28th Apr 2018, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
Sometimes I wished my players would substitute the GM's morality with their own.

Would make for a more interesting and different-persepctive story.
All too often, once players pick on the subtle hints that pursuing their proposed course of action would put them on course to being one of the big-name villains in the universe/campaign setting, they seem to backpedal pretty quick.

It's sad, lol.
Digo 28th Apr 2018, 1:12 PM edit delete reply
Never forget that players have goals above saving the world. XD
Robin Bobcat 28th Apr 2018, 7:47 PM edit delete reply
The current LARPing campaign I'm in has a 600-year old lich king controlling the lands to the far south. He rules his lands with an iron fist, raising the dead freely...

He is considered the more desirable of the neighbors to the south. The one between our nation and his is basically deliberatly trying to sabotage itself and all other nations to appease an elder god.
Story Time 29th Apr 2018, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
"Please Heroes, defeat the great evil / Demon Lord / Villain" "Ummm... Is s/he really evil?"

Any story when the heroes doubted if the "enemy" was really that evil that they need to take him?
Steeevee 29th Apr 2018, 12:58 PM edit delete reply
not D&D but was creating Anthro wolves for a .. thing and swapped the normal hero/villain pallete.

white furred one turns out evil and power hungry to the point of crazy and traitor-y

and the one with the ink black fur is ... the good guy. more of anti-hero then hero.. hero but still the good guy.
BackSet 29th Apr 2018, 4:15 PM edit delete reply
A "thing"?

What is this "thing"?

(This post has been edited)
Aeshdan 4th May 2018, 11:00 AM edit delete reply
I think this is a good example of "Pinkie Logic", the sort of thing that sounds ridiculous but turns out to be surprisingly logical and well-reasoned.

I mean, Pinkie has a good point that the prospect of a world in which hunger, shortage, and need has been eradicated must be seriously considered.
HappyEevee 4th Jun 2018, 2:19 PM edit delete reply
To be fair, it's never said or particularly implied that Discord ever *killed* any of the ponies when he was ruling. While it would certainly be unpleasant to live in a land of complete chaos controlled by an all-powerful ruler whose top priority was his own amusement, we're given no solid proof that Discord did anything worse to the ponies than making them live in perpetual chaos. Discord acts a lot more Chaotic Neutral than Chaotic Evil and while it doesn't justify him, it's at least a point in his favor. I mean heck, I'd sooner party with him than with most of the rogues I've had to team up with. At least he'll only backstab the party when it's funny to do so.

Which brings me to the story of our ill-fated Brogue... the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

So Fred joined the group and was told to roll a level three character. He rolls a Bard/Rogue; sounds useful, right? Well, in theory it was. He was very sneaky and could buff the party and cast Sleep, which in turn let him coup-de-gras his enemies. It started so promising... then, while we were trying to determine who was sabotaging the local fair, he spots some performers doing some subtle spellcasting.
The Party: "Okay, you're telling the party, right?"
Fred: "No, I'm going to follow them."
The Party: "On your own?"
Fred: "Yes."
The Party: "Why don't you let the rest of the party know?"
Fred: "I don't think my character would do that."
The Party: "Ooookay. Bob, you're nearby in the crowd, do you see Fred leave to follow the performers?"
Bob: *rolls Spot* "19."
GM: "Okay, you see Fred heading off through the crowd."
Fred: "I make a Hide check."
The Party: "WHY??"
Fred: "I don't want to be followed."
Bob: "Oookay, I cast Dancing Lights in the air over myself so the Party can see where I am and I try to follow Fred."
Fred: "Hide check... 22."
So Fred takes off sneaking after the 3 suspicious and caster-y performers. By himself.
Bob, the Wizard, is trying to follow his trail and the rest of the party is trying to catch up to Bob.
Fred follows the 3 performers to an abandoned house on the edge of town; while the rest of the party begs him to wait for backup, he decides to sneak up to the window and look inside.
GM: "Okay. Make a Will save."
Fred: "Um, 6."
GM: "Nope. You are hit by a blast of magic and Stunned. One of the performers drags you inside the house and ties you up."
Fred: "I'll wait till they look away, then use Escape Artist - "
GM: "You are stunned for *rolls* 6 turns."
Fred: "That's cheap. Isn't somebody going to help me?"
The Party: "We WOULD, but we don't know WHERE YOU ARE."
Eventually, Bob managed to track him to the house and as the party caught up we eventually took down the evil performers and rescued Fred, who was still tied up and helpless. Fred spent the time complaining about how useless the rest of the Party was. The Party spent the time quietly debating whether or not Fred would survive his ordeal.
We finally let him live, but our other (smarter) rogue offered several times to quietly coup-de-gras him while the Paladin wasn't looking.
"Oh my gosh, they killed Fred! How evil they are!"

Fred didn't stay with the party long... he decided we weren't his kind of players.

We agreed.
RuBoo 27th Nov 2019, 12:22 PM edit delete reply
I'd imagine that Celestia would be the type to let Discord roam free were it not for the obviously evil bits. Maybe with an occasional line-drawing to keep him away from the slippery slope. And, given her actions and reactions in episodes such as Keep Calm and Flutter On and Make New Friends but Keep Discord...