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Ust Natha or Just Nasty?

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Comments

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,448
    in the case of minority report the psychic people see a fact, don't guess that the fact can happen, so the person is judged for a fact. but both in rl and for the party in the game this is not possible, they know that the drow city is attacking an elf city in the surface, and this is a fact, but they can only guess that a single drow will be personally involved and they can guess even less about the fishes.
    a charname able to see the future and know exactly which ship a certain fish will attack would judge him for a fact, even if that fact is not yet happened, but charname has not that power.

    about the other examples them are a certain failure of a particular rl justice system, in my country there is not a thing like technicality, at least not like in usa.
    or other failures of justice systems due to corruption, racism or bias of who has to judge and so on.
    the fact that the justice can fail sometimes does not change the fact that the people is condemned for committing acts, not for being evil or because maybe being evil they can in the future do evil actions.

    to condemn in advance is typical of oppressors, like when some nations that have an inventory of mass destruction weapons that can destroy the whole planet did a preemptive war against an other nation because it had, or was supposed to have as them had never been found, a small amount of mass destruction weapons.
    and this is certainly an evil way to act. my country participated and i am not certainly proud of it, i feel guilty every day for it as that nation attacked with false proofs is suffering much more now then with their former leader, that by the way was not a good person, i never liked mr. hussein. probably also your country was involved as you talk of some usa way to deal with justice.

    if you approve preemptive actions and such things then we have a completely different opinion about what is justice and goodness.


  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    @gorgonzola I agree mostly with you on how you should not kill for the nature or alignment of people. However, since we are discussing DnD, we have to accept that certain things are slightly different from reality.
    Vampires will kill regularly. They have to. I think that killing vampires to protect potential future victims is valid.
    Drow are not that clear-cut, but you would make a mistake if you just dismissed their future evil as mere speculation.
    Not all Drow will murder surfacers, but their culture ensures that as a society they will attack and murder surfacers regularly. Unless you can effect some sort of intervention on the level of a super nanny who has such a scary face of disapproval that the Drow will be compelled to listen to her, a breathing Drow society is a serious problem.

  • VeristekVeristek Member Posts: 114
    edited May 7
    In DnD, there are people or entities that can see the future. Take Bhall for example. He foresaw his own death, so he set up the whole Bhaalspawn plan in hopes of resurrecting himself. Bhaal died just as he foresaw. He didn't plan on CHARNAME using Bhaalspawn powers for Good, or wanting to become the new Bhaal himself, though.

    There are some prophecies written by people who could see the future. Some prophecies do happen, while others do not, or are too vague. The Candlekeep prophecy and fish prophecy comes to mind.

    There is also some form of time manipulation. The Time Stop spell, although it's a time freezing effect, who's to say that mages couldn't research or expand upon that kind of time magic? Create a "see the future" spell, similar to what we see in Minority Report movie? Also, I read in DnD lore somewhere about an elven city island being present in the past, present, and future at the same time. I think it was called Evermeet and had giant dragon turtles or sea creatures guarding it plus a magical reef that blocks ships.

    In RL, we don't have any time magic or time distortion anomalies. We don't have any real psychics either. Maybe technology will give time stuff in the future, but not right now.

    Back to DnD: Irencius stole the dragon eggs and made a deal with the Drow to allow Drow passage to the surface to attack the Elven city. Now, what's to stop these Drow from destroying the Elves, then go on to massacre Athkatha, Trademeet, and Innesvale? Then Nashkel, Berghost, and Baldur Gate? That's a lot of potential deaths, enslavement, and "evil truimphs over all" atrocities. Would a Good party be willing to risk such tremendous evil and destruction to ensue, or avoid killing the Drow and letting such rampage occur?

    Conversely, if Irencius never stole the dragon eggs or made the deal with Ust Natha, then the way would never have been opened for the imminent Drow rampage from the city.

    The USA / Saddam WMD situation. While I do indeed agree that Iraq posed no realistic threat to the USA, they didn't have ICBM's or nuclear power plants (to get weapon grade nuclear fuel from or hide in), and didn't have intercontinental bombers like B52's to attack USA mainland. Most of the Iraqi people weren't bloodthirsty murderous ax-crazy maniacs (while most of the Drow are).

    A better RL example would be USA and Japan in WW2. The USA had just beaten the Japanese Navy, and had control of the Pacific. However, invading the Japanese Home Islands would cost hundreds of thousands of soldiers, or even millions of lives on both sides. The USA decided to drop the two atomic bombs to prevent such a catastrophic urban warfare casualty rate. The bombs killed between 150,000 to 230,000 people, while a ground invasion would have involved 2.3 million Japanese military personnel and 20 million civilian militia.

    The Japanese didn't believe in surrendering. They did suicide Banzai charges to die with honor, which sometimes cost the Allies more troops trying to defend against such suicidal charges. They also had propaganda that basically brainwashed their civilian population into believing the Allies were demonic invaders who wouldn't show any mercy, even to innocents. The civilians would believe it would be better to die in glory than submit to "demonic invaders". Japan refused to surrender when their Navy was destroyed and air force decimated, so the Allies had to decide between nukes or a multi-million death toll ground invasion. 200,000 deaths from nukes, or 100 times more deaths from a slow conventional urban warfare ground grind. Who's to say those 200,000 atomic bomb deaths wouldn't have died anyway during a conventional invasion, either from combat or starvation or disease?

    My point is, preventative measures to save a greater loss of life or a worse evil outcome does have valid merit. In the Japanese and Drow examples, yes. Iraq, not so much.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,448
    edited May 7
    vampires are undeads, not a species but an abomination, so there is a reason to kill them, but demons are a good example of an all evil race. as we (party, not players) know it there is a good reason to kill them, as they can only do evil in the future.

    for drow and fishes we know from the lore and the game clues (some fishes don't glow red) that it is not so, this is the difference, you would kill them as members of a specie or because maybe in the future they can do some not stil determined evil act, is a preemptive action based on assumptions that can be wrong, not the right punishment for a specific evil action, done or prevented before that specific action is done.
    there is a difference in killing some drows as they are marching towards a village to kill its population and kill the same drows in their own town because they in the future may be will attack a not determined village.

    in the forgotten realms some deity and some others can see the future, but not the party. so the party must act according to it.

    about the nuclear bombing of japan i think that it was an evil act, for many reasons.
    because atomic bombs are something that would better be never used as are an escalation in the warfare that can bring the war to a completely different level of destruction and a precedent was established, because them could be dropped on some less inhabited area, at least the first one, all that was really needed was to show their power, not to kill so many civilians and to have other ones die for cancer in the following half century, and because imho to deliberately target civilians, with atomic or conventional bombs, is utterly evil, and this is obviously as true for the atomic bombs and for the conventional ones used by germans and english.

    but talking of the atomic bombs is not the point, as they was used as a war was going on and i am specifically talking of preemptive actions. like to attack a nation because it have some mass destruction weapons, not because it has used them or there is a proof that is going to use them against other nations.
    the preemptive war i am talking about is even more evil because usa and some of his allies actually have huge stock of chemical weapons and atomic bombs, probably also of biological weapons, they have icbm's and are potentially a much greater treat to the resto of the world, if to have mass destruction weapons is a good enough reason to be attacked by other nations.

    the assumption that usa can have the most destructive power, both nuclear and conventional, but is entitled to have it, while other nations should be attacked if they can potentially cause any damage to the us homeland is only arrogant and has nothing to do with (international) justice, is a selfish and arrogant way to think.

    should i kill every us, english, isralel , french, russian or chinese citizen i meet because their nations produce and stock nuclear bombs?

    surely not. and for the same reason i as charname don't feel entitled in committing genocide of other species if there is a chance of redemption, if there are not evil members, while i would happily slaughter any vampire, lich or demon i meet.

    EDIT: i forgot indians pakistani and coreans, and i forgot to really thank south africa that afaik is the only nation that had a nuclear capability and decided to revert to conventional weaponry only, that nation was a bad example for its racism, but should be taken as example by everyone when talking of mass destruction and atomic weapons.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,589
    edited May 7
    ONLY planar beings tied to an elemental plane (whether godd/evil or law/chaos) are alignment tied. Any race on the prime material plane can be any alignment. Certain races TEND more towads one alignment or other, but any aligment is open to them.I am amazed at how people are arguing in favor of genocide here. Just think about that for a moment.

    gorgonzolaArtona
  • VeristekVeristek Member Posts: 114
    I don't dispute that there can be non-evil exceptions to the Drow and fishies. The Drow have Drizzt and Solaufein, while fishies have these Priestesses. If you side with the fish prince, the priestess daughter gets to live, but her mother dies no matter what side you choose. If you do mercy and refuse to kill Solaufein when Phaere asks you to, Solaufein helps you with fake eggs and escapes the city, not taking part in the war with the Elves or the city battles. He wants the Drow to stop being genocidal ax-crazy maniacs. Again, I'm not denying those exceptions.

    My point about the Japan example and nuclear bombs is that it can be considered a preemptive strike to deter or prevent a extremely costly ground war that would in all likelihood kill 100 times as many people as the nuclear bombs themselves killed. The ground war most likely would have killed many of the same people who died from the nuclear bombs if the bombs weren't dropped. If a ground war could have done the job with fewer casaulties than the nuclear bombs, then the bombs wouldn't have been dropped.

    The reason I think WW2 Japan is a better comparison than Iraq is because Japan would be much more similar to the Drow than Iraq. Japan's military and civilians were brainwashed into believing that the Allies were absolute evil, and to surrender to them would be extremely dishonorable. They believed it was better to die taking down the enemy than to surrender. WW2 Japan held POW's in very low regard. Because of this, a far higher proportion of Japanese were willing to fight to the death compared to Iraq.

    In DnD terms, your party is the "nuke". They get in-character knowledge of an imminent Drow genocide of the Elves. They get firsthand experience of what a Drow empire or occupation of the surface would be like, during and after the genocide of the Elves. The party sees the slave pits, and the spiders eating the slaves for Drow amusement. They learn how the Drow use slaves as sacrifices or spider food for the temples. The party sees the widespread Drow cruelty such as mothers killing their own kids, kids killing their own mothers, actual public tortures (the genie), exploding slaves by runes for the evil LOL's (in tavern), and more. The party even witnesses the Drow summoning a Daemon Lord (irredeemably evil entity) for the express purpose of having said powerful creature help them in their invasion of the surface.

    A Good party would look at all that blatant and obvious evidence all over the city. They would infer that the Drow would inflict such things on cities like Athkatha, Trademeet, Innesvale, Nashkel, Baldur Gate, etc. during or after their genocidal war upon the Elves. They know that Irencius would make it easier for the Drow to win against the Elves. So the party has to make the decision with the information they have.

    Do they "nuke" the Drow city to slow, blunt, or stop the invasion to save the Elves, and the other surface cities from slavery, genocide, murder, torture, daemon summonings, becoming spider food for LOL's, etc? Or stand by and let these Drow live and risk that invasion succeeding and then live with the guilt knowing that they could have prevented the flood of atrocities on the surface?

    Irencius acts as a "nuke" to the Elves, so why shouldn't a Good party act as a "nuke" to the Drow to prevent a drastic shift in evil's favor?

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,448
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    to kill drow or sahaugin cause they are evil or cause the in future can... is not justice, and is an evil thing.
    to kill the drows of usth natha cause they are actively at war with the surface populations and invading an elfic city is a different thing, but then you don't kill them cause they can in the future do something, you take a position in a war that is in the present, not in the future, and you side with he surface elves.
    as i told to kill the drows because there is a war and you decide to side with the surface elves has its reasons, but you don't do it because they are evil and so they deserve it for their alignment, or for a preemptive reason, you do it cause you decide to be involved in a war that is on and you side with the other side.
    as well as the nuclear attack against japan wan not a preemptive attack, but the last of many battles in a war started by the japanese attacking pearl harbor without a declaration of war before (even if is possible that the declaration should have been done but the japanese ambassador messed up with time as it had to be done just a little before the surprise attack.

    the attack to iraq and killing the sahaugin are preemptive not justified attacks as both iraq and the sahaugin city are not involved in any war at the moment the attack is done. the fact that sahaugin assault ships is true, but is not a war and is not a reason to commit a genocide. also the pirates attack ships, saemon is clear about it in the plot, but it is not a good reason to kill everyone in brinnlaw...

  • VeristekVeristek Member Posts: 114
    DnD:

    Irencius allied himself with the Drow, and use the Drow in his crusade against the Elves. That makes the Drow your enemy because they are helping Irencius, your sworn enemy, in his goals. Therefore, you are already at war with the Drow by the time you enter Ust Natha. By wartime rules, by eliminating or greatly weakening the Drow, you would be taking out Irencius's support and weaken his goals Drow engage in Total War and Genocidal / Purification War policy. The Elves, and other major powers like Amn, Baldur Gate, Waterdeep, etc. do not.

    Another way of looking at it. Your party, the Elves, and the surface civilizations are fighting for survival against the Drow. The Drow overwhelmingly want to destroy you and your way of life, destroy your surface civilization or race (Elf, Human, Dwarf, etc.). The Drow have the numbers and ability to do this, if they set aside their infighting for a Great Crusade or similar.

    In a fight or war for survival, you don't have the luxury of morality or playing nice. You have to do everything you can to stay alive, or prevent your race / civilization's extinction.

    RL:

    It doesn't change the fact that dropping two bombs that killed around 200,000 people *prevented* the deaths of 10, 15, 20 million more people via ground invasion by bringing the war to a quick end before the ground invasion had to be launched.

    USA and Iraq. There's a huge difference between them and a society like the Drow. Americans get to do mass anti-war protests and elect different leaders. They can voice open dissent. They are far more pacifist compared to the Drow. The majority of the Drow want to fight and conquer everything, enslave every creature, murder for the LOL's, etc. Conversely, a very tiny number of Americans are outright like that. The same goes for Iraq. A tiny number of Iraqis were Saddam fanatics or joined ISIS or participated in terrorism or "kill all Westerners" behavior. The huge majority of Americans and Iraqis don't want to genocide each other or any other nation in the world.

    Again, conversely, the huge majority of Drow people do want genocide and destruction of the surface dwellers. No protests or open dissent with Drow. If you go against your Matron Mothers, you get killed or tortured. Their public taverns have people murdering each other in duels, or forcing slaves to walk over a rune to make them chunky explode purely to amuse Drow bar patrons. You encounter 2 decent Drow, Drizzt and Solaufein out of about 40 - 50 utterly evil Drow (both military and civilians). That's less than 10% "exceptions" in the Drow population. Compare this to less than 10% utterly evil / genocidal people (Ted Bundy, John Gotti, Jeffrey Dahmer, Hitler, Nazi SS, Saddam, Saddam fanatics, ISIS terrorists, etc.) in American, Iraqi, German, etc. populations.

    To put that in RL perspective. Suppose an alien race landed on Earth (since in DnD, there's multiple sentient races, while RL there's only one on Earth), and overwhelms humanity and eats humans or enslave, murder, genocide, etc. The humans would fight as dirty as they can to destroy those aliens and prevent humanity from going extinct. If such dirty or despicable acts are considered evil, would the humans pause and yell condemnations at each other or imprison each other for them? Or not bother judging these acts as Good or Evil because they're directed against homicidal human-eating aliens that wants humanity crushed or extinct?

    =================

    Sorry folks if these debate posts are becoming big blocks of text. Its not often a RPG or a game fosters healthy and intellectual debates.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 10,718
    Veristek wrote: »
    the party has to make the decision with the information they have.

    Do they "nuke" the Drow city to slow, blunt, or stop the invasion to save the Elves, and the other surface cities from slavery, genocide, murder, torture, daemon summonings, becoming spider food for LOL's, etc? Or stand by and let these Drow live and risk that invasion succeeding and then live with the guilt knowing that they could have prevented the flood of atrocities on the surface?

    Irencius acts as a "nuke" to the Elves, so why shouldn't a Good party act as a "nuke" to the Drow to prevent a drastic shift in evil's favor?

    Pro tip: "evil dudes do this, why shouldn't I do it too?" does NOT make you "good." In fact it literally makes you just like the evil dudes.

    gorgonzolaThacoBell
  • VeristekVeristek Member Posts: 114
    edited May 8
    Pro tip: "evil dudes do this, why shouldn't I do it too?" does NOT make you "good." In fact it literally makes you just like the evil dudes.

    Stepping back and saying "Hey Drow, go on right ahead and massacre everyone on the surface, I'm not gonna stop you cuz I'm a Good party and I refuse to murder you" is just as evil, because you'd be knowingly allowing the Drow to go free to commit utter evil acts like murder, slavery, and torture on the surface.

    Especially with all the evidence you see everywhere in the Drow city to show their intentions towards the surface.

    I doubt the Elves, Dwarves, Humans, etc. would condemn their own people killing Drow. In fact, the Drow-killers would most likely be welcomed and praised as heroes, with no prison or punishment, no matter if killing Drow is evil. They'd be happy the "killers" stopped or severely disrupted an incoming Drow invasion.

    Does CHARNAME and his party get tossed into prison, get punished, cast out of society, or such for killing off all the Trolls that took over De'arnise Keep? Or the Orcs terrorizing Innesvale in the Umar Hills? Or the slavers in Copper Coronet and the Slaver lair? Or genociding the bandit camp way back in BG 1? Killing those Orcs, Trolls, Bandits, slavers, etc. is an technically evil act of taking lives, but the public and authorities don't care. They consider it a good act.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 131
    Bad comparison. The trolls and umber hulks were an invading party that got repelled. You were a "guest" of Ust Natha (sort of). The bandits, and their camp, had been terrorizing everyone in the area, including you, prior to your cleaning the place out (and that was optional in the same way Ust Natha was by the way - you could get what you needed without killing more than a few bandits in that one tent). Slavers? Well, they weren't going to let you free the slaves without a fight, and slaves are both illegal and immoral. Zero problem cleansing that whole area of them, especially when you get to give a little girl and boy their freedom and a few coins.

    Also, most good characters would save Viconia from the band of zealots who were about to burn her at the stake. I know I did, even though I had no intention of taking her as a party member. Yes, she was drow, but she had chosen to leave the underdark, as have many other drow it seems.

    Now, I know you could make the argument that you were made aware of Irenicus' deal with the drow thanks to the cut scene. However, even with that knowledge, you couldn't know that they were any more important than a distraction to the surface elves. Like the bandit camp, you can "resolve" much of the issue with the drow killing very few in the process. In fact, if you are going the pacifist route, I believe you can get through Ust Natha with *zero* drow kills to your name if you play your cards right. You do have to mow down a neighboring enclave as part of the quest, but in that case, you are maintaining your cover as a drow.

    All in all, it could be argued that the drow are a threat, but I'm not sure you could argue the "good" path involves genocide. It's bad enough that you are required to participate in one at all.

    gorgonzolaThacoBell
  • Gatekeep3rGatekeep3r Member Posts: 91
    edited May 8
    I'm not sure I'd agree with that. Killing everybody in Ust Natha can be considered CG. It would only be LG if it would happen during some sort of crusade. But a CG charname could easily consider leaving alive the militaristic and brutal Drow in Ust Natha a liability. A detect evil would suffice to rule out the rare neutral or good inhabitants of the city.

    Killing the commoners as well as the warriors is another matter. They are unarmed, uneffective in combat and therefore don't pose any threat to the good party or the surface world. Also killing the purely evil Matron Mothers and their minions and exterminating the spiders would potentially 'free' these people. They're not living in a democracy and they are routinely tortured and murdered for minor offenses. Completely destroying the Matriarchy could be a boon to them.
    Then again, without their warrior caste, they'd be easy prey for the other Underdark races and even certain surface Elves (they can't possibly all be good aligned) who could prey upon them very easily, murdering or enslaving them. Perhaps killing all the Matron Mothers and the entire Lloth clergy would suffice. That could go both ways as well, of course. The warriors, free from the control of the House rulers, could start a huge civil war or bring a halt to the infighting and pose a greater risk to the surface.

    In any case, I always exterminate the entire Drow city, the mind flayers, the beholders and the Kua-Toa for good measure. My charnames are very often CN and get pissed off by the rudeness and superiority complex of the Drow.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,448
    edited May 8
    Maurvir wrote: »
    In fact, if you are going the pacifist route, I believe you can get through Ust Natha with *zero* drow kills to your name if you play your cards right. You do have to mow down a neighboring enclave as part of the quest, but in that case, you are maintaining your cover as a drow.
    Potentially you can complete the blood of an other race requirement of the plot killing a single beholder, if you can sneak though their area and kill only the one that gives you the blood.
    you don't even have to kill the mind flyers and humber hulks to rescue phaere or the worshipers of an other god as asked by a drow priestess as you can turn them to stone, so the plot can progress as they are considered killed, but you can come back later and turn them back to flash.
    So possibly you can complete usth natha with only one kill if you have a strong arcane casters party and the level needed.
    And this ultra pacifist choice is much more difficult to implement then slaughtering 4 different underdark areas committing the genocide of 4 different species, thing that gives the maximum possible XP and loot.
    to turn to stone the mind flyers and hulks before they kill phaere or their statues are destroyed by her and sola is not an easy thing...

    I don't regard as a valid ultra pacifist way to have someone killed because of your spells even if some other one kills them, so you can not use feeblemind or a disabler, you have to use flash to stone or imprisonment, and to have the latter in this soa chapter is not possible in a pacifist run.

    Edit: having a sorcerer in the party and turning to stone many times dragons to get the kill xp multiple times then turning them back to flash before leave the dungeon it is possible, and is not difficult at all, as you need only to feeblemind them once then to turn them to stone and back to flash how many times you want needs only many rests.
    So in the end is possible to complete the whole underdark with only a kill as the creature you have to kill to get the help of Goldander Blackenrock can be imprisoned and maybe also turned to stone. But according tot he nature of that creature you probably don't really kill the Baloor but only his avatar in the realms, if what is true for the demon prince is also true for minor demons (that are gated and not summoned so probably is so).

  • VeristekVeristek Member Posts: 114
    Interesting perspective about killing only the Drow leadership and clergy.

    A few issues though.

    1) If a Good party kills the spiders to save the slaves from being eaten, that would raise the alarm, turning the whole city against you.

    2) How can a Good party allow the Drow slave guy in the tavern live, after forcing slaves to walk over the exploding rune? Wouldn't Then that would lead to more Drow hostilities.

    3) If you refuse the Abeloth mind fish's demand to kill the priestesses, and don't know or have courage to bully him into silence, he would telepathy and raise city alarm. Considering the marketplace is a crowded place with multiple Drow there, they aggro you, and you'd have to defend yourself and kill them.

    In these cases, a pacifist route won't work. You'd end up having to kill Drow and/or their pet spiders to save the lives of slaves, or yourselves. You'd have to kill to get the key to the egg chamber, assuming the city turns hostile before you get the key from Phaere.

    Drow civilians should run away the instant they see your party, or after seeing your party strike down armed Drow like these Drow warriors, wizards, or guards. When I fight in surface taverns or stores against hostile people, like bounty hunters or adventurers that aggro me, the civilians in these places do run away instead of suicidally attacking me. You could shout "Stop it!" at these attacking Drow civilians, but to no avail. Only alternative would be to Imprison them, but you'd be wasting level 9 spell slots for that, and you don't even have Imprison spell scrolls by that point in the game.

    And as for evidence and cutscene, setting aside all the other atrocities you witness in the city while strolling around, you're forgetting that, assuming you keep your cover the whole way through to the end, you see the Drow summon a Daemon Lord. They even ask the Daemon to help them attack the surface and wipe out the Elves. Explicit and no vagueness. At that point, how can a Good party with any conscience allow such an invasion to proceed, with or without Irencius or info about him? If that Drow House summoned the Daemon Lord, then other Houses in the city could. For all the Good party knows, there's other Daemon Lords or lesser demons waiting elsewhere with the Drow soldiers we don't get to see in-game.

    To stop that invasion, the Good party would have to kill as many Drow soldiers and wizards as possible, and any civilians who take up arms to "replace" these soldiers and wizards. Most Drow civilians have weapons already such as swords or daggers, combined with their suicidal "charging instead of fleeing" tactic, and that makes them into combatants. Hence that leads to genocide or semi-genocide, leaving only the non-armed and non-aggressive civilians alive.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 131
    You all are convincing me to nuke Ust Natha from orbit when I get there on this next play through. I just hope Isra doesn't lose it, and Arie doesn't blow it, before the time is right.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,448
    @Veristek
    1) an ultra good party can believe, like mahatma gandhi believed, that an evil action can not bring good results, so killing even to save the slaves from spiders is not an option. the ultra good charname will fast and hope that the spiders become less evil or at least feel satiated and stop to feed themselves with the slaves.

    2) same

    3) an ultra good charname will face the abeloth and will refuse to kill for him, no matter what is the price he has to pay, and in the end the abeloth will not alert the drow population to avoid to be exposed himself. ultra good is not ultra coward, is the opposite. mahatma gandhi had no fear when he faced the english empire armed only of his determination and his will to don't use any even slightly evil way.

    about the drow civilians as well as the drow fighters the solution is easy, mass invisibility and no one will attack the party as they find their way to the surface.

    about the demon the result of not killing soulafein is that both the egg the mother and phaere give to him are fake ones so they will both be killed by the demon, and the demon will not help the drow.
    obviously charname will fast also hoping that it can help the remaining drows, the abeloth and the demon to become less evil.
    and maybe fasting and refusing to use any evil mean really works, possibly it worked with the english empire as india got independence and after it the english empire and the other european nations gave independence to most of their colonies.

    it is probably really possible to complete the whole underdark plot killing only a single beholder.

    StummvonBordwehr
  • VeristekVeristek Member Posts: 114
    That's the problem. That type of Good character wouldn't survive in DnD world or BG.

    He would end up fasting himself to death, because daemons, Beholders, Mind Flayers, etc. will never turn Good or stop doing pure evil acts. The Drow would probably laugh at the fasting hero and ignore him while he dies from starvation, or drag him off to be fed to the spiders. He wouldn't try to chase down and kill Irencius or Bodhi, meaning he would never retrieve his or Imoen's souls, leading to death and Irencius / Bodhi ruling as gods. Hell, a Gandi-like CHARNAME would have died long ago back in BG 1 to the first bunch of assassins Sarevok sent after him in the Friendly Arms Inn, the wilderness, or Bergeost / Nashkel.

    That leaves us with more conventional ranges of Good, like Keldorn, Mazzy, "Sir" Anomen, Aerie, etc. These characters don't object to killing a whole city of Drow. Keldorn says "kill fishes!" and he didn't become a Fallen Paladin, or had his alignment change. Aerie did advocate against Keldorn's genocide of the fishies, but didn't do that regarding Drow, Beholders, Kua-Tuo, and Mind Flayers.

    Finally, would Athkatha, the Elves, Baldur Gate, etc. decide to imprison or execute adventurers who killed hordes of Drow or a whole Drow city? Would the gods of Good like Lathander or Torm strike down the adventurers or condemn them for such a deed? Or would they, instead, praise those adventurers as heroes with no prison or condemnations for saving slaves and stopping an empire of great evil from spreading across the land?

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,448
    edited May 9
    yep, the gandhi like charname would have try to deal the whole bg1 plot with a gandhi like strategy, and possibly or probably would have died by the hand of an assassin.
    but this is not the point.

    also mahatma gandhi died by the hand of an assassin, at 80 years age only, in a circumstance where there were serious clues that it would have happened. he refused the advice of the police to don't meet the crowd that wanted to see him as there were clues of the plan to kill him.

    still, even if he never fought a war, never was in a leadership position, as he refused any political rule (by the way the gandhi line of politics are relatives of nehru, not of mahatma gandhi, even if they surely did benefit to share the same family name of the mahatma) his influence on the destiny of india and of the world is somehow greater then the one of great politicians and generals.

    empires rise and die, ideas never die, always evolve. and ideas and the research of the truth, that for him was a synonymous of god and an absolute, not a relative thing, our perception of it is relative, was his main weapons.

    he also told that he did not believe that his way would have lead to a victory in short terms, he guessed that at least 300 years are needed and only a fraction of it is elapsed, still we see that humanity is slowly changing, the attitude of many people on matters like human rights, animals rights, our relation with the planet and the biosphere, and many other things is changing in a direction similar to the one he told about.

    if a charname would have survived to the first assassins, as in the game there are means that in rl are not there. like invisibility spells and potions, possibly he would have deal with the whole bg saga in a completely different way. thing that in a pnp is possible, not in a computer game that is not designed for it.

    in the computer game to play a pacifist playtrough, trying to beat the game with the less kills possible, is a challenge of the same type of the poverty run, where only a mundane staff, a stick of wood, is allowed.
    it has been done in the past, even if is far less common, and is as challenging as a great part of the xp come from kills and some optional quests and their related xp need killing to be completed.
    to play with extreme leveling limitations is as hard as playing with extreme limitations on the use of items.
    the mundane staff is used as other way is impossible to beat the game, some creatures are immune to the spells and to the magical weapons, so also some kills should be allowed. the one that are really indispensable for the main plot, ie you have to bring the blood to the matron mother.

    i would regard to go trough the whole underdark with only a kill a great achievement for a player, and maybe it is really possible, i would say that the best classes to do it are sorcerer, illusionist and C/M.

    as this discussion is about the topic of morality and about if to kill all or only some of the drows i think that to introduce also that way to play the plot is not too ot.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 44
    All right, how would you minimize killing in the underdark sequence?

    First step: get the light gem. The standard way to do it is to kill a demon for the gnomes. Can the gem be pickpocketed instead?

    Then, you enter Ust Natha, and have to do a chain of quests before the temple will even let you in. First, you rescue Phaere, which requires killing a group of illithids and umber hulks. You have Solaufein as an ally for this one - is it possible to buff him enough so that he wins that fight on his own?

    While you're in that corner, you might as well dip into the beholder den. The Elder orb in the entrance room drops the eyestalk, and you're good for that quest.
    As a side note, getting to that corner requires passing by some Kuo-Toa - which see through invisibility to attack you. That's a pain to handle without killing.

    Second, Phaere demands that you kill a beholder in the city. Again, you have an ally you can buff to hopefully avoid directly fighting.

    The remaining two quests she demands have standard peaceful resolutions. You'll haave to run by some hostile monsters, but you've been doing that anyway.

    Then you're let into the temple, and you can set up the egg trickery. There are some guards that will go hostile to avoid here, but no mandatory player violence. The demon handles the plot-critical killing for you.

    Then you leave the city, Adalon teleports you to the exit, and you just have to dodge some Drow war parties on the way up.

    This definitely seems like a viable challenge. It can even be tracked in game with the "kills in chapter" statistic.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 131
    Yes, it would be a real challenge, however I believe stinking cloud is non-lethal and you can compound that with web to handle the Kuo-Toa. IIRC, they are also susceptible to sleep and charm.

    For the purposes of this argument, I would say that demons don't really count, so the gnome problem isn't an issue. The Phaere rescue and beholder jobs are a bit more challenging, as you would have to find a way to get the locals to do your dirty work and not get killed too quickly in the process. Mass heals won't get the job done because they aren't actually allies, which means you will have to buff your stand-ins individually. Web should still help limit the rate of damage, however.

    Still, I think it's doable, just not with a no-reload campaign.

    gorgonzola
  • VeristekVeristek Member Posts: 114
    Interesting strategy to do a no-kill run through except for the Beholder.

    I would have a much harder time with such a challenge because of my feelings. I would feel like total shit if I didn't save the slaves from being eaten by spiders (or become spider food if I don't free them) or stop the "walk on exploding rune for LOL's" in the tavern, letting that Drow lich live, or risking / letting Solaufein die to the Mind Flayers or the smuggling Beholder. Especially considering that I can actually do something about these things. Would be a different story if I couldn't do anything about these.

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,448
    edited May 9
    jmerry wrote: »
    All right, how would you minimize killing in the underdark sequence?

    First step: get the light gem. The standard way to do it is to kill a demon for the gnomes. Can the gem be pickpocketed instead?
    possibly it can be pickpocketed, but as i already told the nature of a demon is special, if you kill him in the material plane you don't really kill him, but kill only his manifestation in the plane. this is the reason why to "kill the wk boss get you less xp then sealing him again and why demons like celestials are gated and not summoned. you only send him back to his demonic plane.
    jmerry wrote: »
    Then, you enter Ust Natha, and have to do a chain of quests before the temple will even let you in. First, you rescue Phaere, which requires killing a group of illithids and umber hulks. You have Solaufein as an ally for this one - is it possible to buff him enough so that he wins that fight on his own?

    While you're in that corner, you might as well dip into the beholder den. The Elder orb in the entrance room drops the eyestalk, and you're good for that quest.
    as i told you can cast imprisonment or turn to stone the foe and the game see it as a kill so the mission is completed. you can come back later to cast a freedom spell or turn them back to flash, no kills at all.
    it is probably the hardest part as is not easy to neutralize the flyers and hulks that way.

    then the orb has to be killed, and is the only kill that can not be avoided in the underdark. i never claimed that is possible to do it with 0 kills.
    jmerry wrote: »
    Second, Phaere demands that you kill a beholder in the city. Again, you have an ally you can buff to hopefully avoid directly fighting.

    Then you're let into the temple, and you can set up the egg trickery. There are some guards that will go hostile to avoid here, but no mandatory player violence. The demon handles the plot-critical killing for you.

    Then you leave the city, Adalon teleports you to the exit, and you just have to dodge some Drow war parties on the way up.
    for the beholder flash to stone or imprisonment can be used as before, for the rest mass invisibility or invisibility potions is the very easy solution, if they don't see the party they don't follow it and don't attack.

    no other quest is mandatory and at least 2 of them can be done with no kills, save the silfbrin child and heal an other one you find activating that giang gem that trap them. both are good actions even if need meta knowledge about what facet of the giant gem is to be activated.

    invisibility let you also skip the encounters you have moving around, in some of them spells are cast to dispel invisibility if i am not wrong (i am too used at tactics mod...), but a thief hidden in shadows and with the cloak of non detection can make all the true sight memorizations ineffective, then the invisible party can walk trough the enemy groups with no problems.

    Post edited by gorgonzola on
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,448
    @Veristek i agree with you, to don't save the slaves from the spiders or to don't save other people
    like the ones in the mind flyer city
    brings some RP problem and make the minimum kills possible way more a technical challenge then a real RP choice, like there is no real RP reason to do a poverty run, or a run with limited amount of rests, that can be done, and had been done, up to rest only when the game forces you to do it.

    still it is an interesting option, not appealing for everybody and not to be done at the first run, but it needs knowledge, planning, skill and can be interesting after beating the vanilla and hard modded game many times to bring a completely different feeling.

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 910
    The fastest way through the Underdark would be to head directly to the exit once you're disguised as a drow and bribe your way out.

    A stealthing run would be more attractive with modifications to the xp system. One roguelike I play, Sil, gives experience for encountering monsters as well as killing them and causes monster xp to degrade with each death so grinding becomes less viable. In BG you'd probably have to reduce monster killing xp and raise quest xp using the EET Tweaks mod.

    gorgonzola
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