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Reasons to (not) kill all the crusaders in the DC courtyard?

I was looking at some of the SoD walkthrough guides and did a quick walk around the Dragonspear Castle courtyard map, and it looks like there's at least a couple groups of crusaders I can trigger fights with in the dialog. I'm wondering though is there any particular reason to: A) avoid killing anyone, B) only kill the ones I can trigger fights with, or C) do all the interactions and avoid triggering fights but then kill all the crusaders "in cold blood" before leaving.

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Comments

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 595
    There are a number of side-quests in Dragonspear Castle (Courtyard) that you can only complete while you're there before the actual siege begins, so unless you're really gunning for every single last bit of XP you can squeeze out of the expansion, I'd suggest keeping things peaceful until there's really nothing left to accomplish there. Then, if you're Evil-aligned, feel free to slaughter everyone before leaving, but beware that it will be a tough fight. XD

    JuliusBorisovStummvonBordwehr
  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 1,014
    @Zaxares I do not understand. Why would it be evil to kill soldiers of the enemy army?

    MERLANCE
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,137
    @Zaxares I do not understand. Why would it be evil to kill soldiers of the enemy army?

    It depends on your motivation. I believe that a LG or NG character would find it dishonorable and prefer a fair fight , or perhaps he would think of a way to reach Caelar without killing her soldiers. Other alignments could find it necessary or fun .


    However, If a character intends to confront the whole castle by himself (and his party) there is no roleplaying there as it is , pardon my french, a silly roleplaying decision. Only a character who knows he's a protagonist (by crossing the 4th wall) would attack an army all by himself because it is suicidal no matter what level you are. Even high level characters care f9r their lives enough to avoid making powergaming choices based on their power.

    I don't know , maybe a int 3 , wis 3 character would do it willingly?

    ArtonaThacoBell
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,069
    @Zaxares I do not understand. Why would it be evil to kill soldiers of the enemy army?

    I don't think it would evil per se, but character could recognize, that wars usually are won by breaking the morale of the enemy, destroying enemy leadership and so on, and not by physical elimination of entire enemy army.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 1,014
    @DJKajuru What is dishonorable or unfair about attacking the enemy with a tiny group where the enemy is at their strongest? (after all, you just called it suicidal)
    You have already employed subterfuge to sneak into the castle regardless of what you do now, so that point does not really apply here.
    As for thinking of a way to reach Caelar without killing her soldiers? You have a set of explosives, but rather than using it to open up a way into the castle's inner sanctum (where you might meet her), you are using it to get into that same courtyard that you already snuck into, and kill the people there. You would have a point if it were possible for the protagonist to choose a path of less bloodshed.
    But the game offers no option of the kind. Therefore your protagonist is actively pursuing battle.
    Killing the Crusaders ahead of time can only reduce the total number of victims as it makes it easier for your army to defeat the remainder.

    As for how stupid/suicidal the attack is in-character, that is a bunch of unpleasant topics bundled together.

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,137
    @Humanoid_Taifun if you read my comment again you'll notice that my second paragraph started with "if you intend to attack the whole castle" , I didnt mention attacking tiny groups. Cheers.

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,716
    War. War never changes.

    Sorry, wrong game.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 1,014
    @DJKajuru I said "attacking the enemy with a tiny group", not "attacking tiny groups". The point being that the enemy is clearly in the majority in the case we are discussing, so I cannot see what might be dishonorable about the fight.
    If you look at my last line, I was not planning on disagreeing with you on the topic of whether the action would actually be SMART in character. I was only discussing the morality of it.

    @Artona While what you say has merit, I do not think that you have many alternatives to violence to end the siege. You could starve them out or hope that Caelar sees the error of her ways and gives up.
    Reducing the enemy forces would go towards the goal of taking the castle, would it not?

  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,069
    @Humanoid_Taifun - but the point isn't to take enemy castle, but to restore peace in Dragonspear. Death of every single Cealar's soldier in one to do it, but you are risking your most valuable asset - Bhaalspawn (other than that mage that appears when you attack Flaming Fist). Chances of success seem slim, in comparison to other options, so it may be worthwile to try something else.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 1,014
    edited November 5
    I understand that it might be unnecessary to take the castle, but I do not see you suggesting an alternative.

    For the purpose of this discussion I am completely disregarding the feasibility of such an attack. Whether or not your protagonist should be killed by the castle's defenses or understand that getting killed is the logical outcome of starting a fight in the middle of the enemy base is not my concern right now.
    If the survivability is the basis for your stance, I am not in disagreement with you. I am merely distancing myself from that particular question.

  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,069
    I think the problem is that when we remove all other factors (such as feasibility, etc.), then we end up with something similar to idem per idem. If the question is "is it moral to kill enemy soldiers", the best answer I can come up with is "yes, if your morality allows this kind of act".
    This is not productive answer, and that's why I brought up external circumstances. Sure, killing entire Dragonspear will end the war, but there may be option to end it all with less bloodshed. Cealar herself even proposes that: disbanding crusaders for getting Bhaalspawn as captive.
    I'm still a little bit salty that we can't take that option. :(

    StummvonBordwehrThacoBell
  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 1,014
    Our conclusions on the morality are largely in alignment. You are dissatisfied with the limited scope of my perspective (ignoring feasibility); I am dissatisfied with the prospect of having to dissect the various aspects of the horribly represented castle defense while at the same time discussing morality. So we can only ever come to grudgingly acknowledge the other party's position while reminding everybody that we really want to discuss something else.
    Let us just put this to rest.

  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 711
    I'll be honest, I never even thought that the courtyard was an accessible area before the siege actually happens. There's nothing outside indicating it's safe, and no sidequests outside of it that involve entering the courtyard itself (Except maybe that person fencing items? I never did find where those were... probably there, then?)
    Regardless, in a in-universe perspective, assaulting a castle with 6 people is suicidal until you get to ToB-like levels. At that point, you could probably win that fight with nothing but summons.

    DJKajuruBlackraven
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 595
    @Humanoid_Taifun: Remember that a large part of Caelar's army is comprised of people who were conscripted into her army as they swept through the Sword Coast. What's more, a large number of her commanding officers and staff are actually Good-aligned (although this doesn't become clear until you talk with them while in the castle). Slaughtering them all to achieve peace on the Sword Coast, while it might be justified, is still not a Good act. Good characters generally only resort to violence and death as a last resort when all other avenues of resolving a conflict have failed, and even then, they will try their best to minimize any pain and suffering while carrying it out.

    StummvonBordwehrArviaThacoBellDJKajuru
  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 953
    edited November 6
    Just try to aggro the whole crowd by accident
    (like me, when I had to get the scroll or what it was against the radiation poisoning at the fort, and foolishly thought I'd have to let Imoen pickpocket the mage),
    totally unprepared, and you'll see how unrealistic it is to take on the whole army with your five companions.

    Also, seconding what others thought, you hear that many good people were either convinced that Caelar is Good, or forcibly recruited. Slaughtering them all is not Smiting Evil. I don't believe many real life wars were won by extinguishing the entire enemy army, and if they were, they wouldn't be the praised ones in history books...

    ArtonaThacoBellDJKajuru
  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 1,014
    @Zaxares @Arvia My argument is not that the enemy is comprised of evil men who deserve death. I have said before that your wiping out the people in the courtyard will actually reduce the total number of victims.
    Please remember that you will meet the enemy army on the battlefield. It would be a different matter if the game gave a thief protagonist the opportunity to sneak into the donjon and try to end the fight without bloodshed, or [any protagonist] to stand at the gates and demand to speak Caelar. But this sort of activity is not part of the game. As far as the protagonist is concerned - just as far as the player is concerned - things are headed for a grand-scale battle.
    You have said (correctly) that there are many good men among Caelar's army. Are there no good men in your own army?

    I will make this point again (it seems I am making many of my points repeatedly in this thread): If your protagonist had a way of steering away from the great battle - even if the protagonist were unsuccessful in their endeavors - then having them at the same time show mercy to enemy combatants would be good thing.
    But that option is missing. The only "peaceful" options you can pick are first an act of treason as you permit caught enemies to rejoin with the enemy army and second an act of weakness that likewise only serves to bolster the lines of the enemy army.
    Considering that castles are traditionally considered to be defensive positions where a single defender can take on a multitude of attackers, both of these options, once taken, will increase the total amount of victims (assuming you are not planning on having the alliance lose the final battle). You may be having a warm and fuzzy feeling your your bellies as you do it, but the fact of the matter is that you are killing your own allies.

    Getting back on track. The people in the courtyard are soldiers. They are part of the enemy defense. You can kill them now or you can kill them later.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,739
    @Humanoid_Taifun "Getting back on track. The people in the courtyard are soldiers. They are part of the enemy defense. You can kill them now or you can kill them later."

    OR you can duel the general and have them all surrender when you win. Its both faster AND safer this way. You allies are exposed to less fighting, preserving the strength of your own army. The conscripts and rank and file soldiers of the enemy either flee, or are taken into custody when they surrender. Leaving Caelar with a small handful of her most loyal soldiers. Both ethically AND practically, this is the best option. The enemy is routed wihtout mass slaughter, and you preserve your own troops that would be lost in a protracted battle.

    DJKajuruArtona
  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 1,014
    @ThacoBell I am not sure if it is just my personal way of playing or if you are misremembering, but in my game that duel happens AFTER the big fights, when you would basically be only mopping up small pockets of resistance anyway (and I seem to remember that there were a bunch of guys in the area where I previously met Valis & Corinth who attacked me after the surrender).

    I would like to point out that it really bothers me how rarely enemies in RPGs surrender. The few times it happens in SoD are nice, but being scripted events rather than actual AI behavior they barely make a difference in the overall bloodshed. And because there is no scripted surrender event for the pre-assault courtyard, the people there will all fight to the death.
    In my current game I was tempted to replay the final fight of the prologue dungeon when I accidentally killed Korlasz before she could surrender.
    But it is not my protagonist's responsibility to know which battles have scripted surrenders and what characters and conditions are required to trigger them. The fact that some enemies surrender is nice, and I will accept surrenders when I can (unless I have reason to believe that the people in question will just continue doing vile deeds). But I will thank you for excusing me from the meta-game of using OOC knowledge to steer confrontations into the direction of least visible blood.

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 595
    My reply was mainly responding to your initial question of "Why would it be evil to kill soldiers of the enemy army?" I was just explaining my rationale for why simply walking into the enemy camp and laying waste to every single enemy soldier would not be a Good act. At best, given your explanation of your intentions and the thoughts and motivations running through the mind of CHARNAME as they did it, it would be a Neutral act. A sort of "The health and well-being of my tribe is more important than your tribe" mentality. I acknowledge that some truly dispassionate CHARNAME's could conceive of and carry out such an act, although I still think that sort of act would come more easily to an Evil Bhaalspawn who just relishes the opportunity to cause more slaughter and bloodshed.

    DJKajuruArtona
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,739
    @Humanoid_Taifun You can trigger that duel immediately when the sige starts.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 1,014
    @ThacoBell Do you just run past the huge army to do it?

    @Zaxares I think I can let that stand.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,739
    @ThacoBell Do you just run past the huge army to do it?

    @Zaxares I think I can let that stand.

    No, I stealth and scout the edge of the battlefield to find the enemy commander, I don't just "run past" ;)

    DJKajuru
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 595
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    No, I stealth and scout the edge of the battlefield to find the enemy commander, I don't just "run past" ;)

    Well, I gotta admit that's one idea that didn't occur to me. XD Given that Ashatiel broaches the offer of a duel to settle the battle, I strongly suspect that Ashatiel is Lawful, so yeah, popping up in the enemy commander's tent and challenging her to a duel right there and then might work (as opposed to her simply scoffing and ordering her troops to swarm you ;) ).

  • NervaNerva Member Posts: 133
    edited November 8
    This an interesting moral debate, but actually the point of my question was just the mechanics of how killing some or all of the crusaders would change the plot, quests, or other opportunities in the game -- the game lets you sneak into the camp without having to fight anyone, but also gives you options to trigger fights with some of the crusaders -- I'm wondering what the game consequences are. Then once I know the practical consequences, I'll ponder the moral and roleplaying aspects of it. This is my first play-through of SoD, and I won't have time for a second play-through, so I don't want to "break" the game, and I don't see any help in the walkthrough guides regarding what the pros/cons are of fighting the crusaders now vs. the big battle.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 1,014
    @Nerva If you kill too many opponents at once, then your character will suffer from an XP rush and may have trouble falling asleep during your next rest. If this happens repeatedly, they may even develop an XP addiction.

    Besides that, there are no technical problems with clearing out the courtyard. The people there are nice, but ultimately irrelevant to the plot.

  • NervaNerva Member Posts: 133
    @Humanoid_Taifun how does killing the crusaders in the courtyard before the big battle affect the battle itself? Would it be killing crusaders that would normally be fighting the allies?

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 595
    Quite a few of the crusaders that are in the castle courtyard do show up again in the big battle, so presumably yes, if they're dead via your actions they wouldn't show up again come time for the actual siege, but I couldn't say for certain as I've never tried it.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 333
    Wow. I just assumed the whole castle would be hostile, so my SoD party never got close to the courtyard. I had no idea there was so much you could do before the actual siege.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,268
    @Zaxares I do not understand. Why would it be evil to kill soldiers of the enemy army?

    it's chaotic and tending towards evil if they're not worthy of extermination (evil) and you can avoid bloodshed (d&d ethics here, not real life).

    DJKajuru
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