Lawful good vs. Lawful Stupid

We’ve moved over to the paradox forums. Please come visit us there to discuss:
You can still read the collective wisdom - and lolz - of the community here, but posting is no longer possible.

Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Lawful good vs. Lawful Stupid

This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  HarbingerLeo 7 years, 8 months ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #123875

    HarbingerLeo
    Member

    There are at least two other threads on Good Vs. Evil. According to the index they are found here, and here. I am not going to touch them for their age, and general content being a different nature.


    Good is not soft!

    The current good vs. evil system is very annoying to me. Not because I want to quote C.S. Lewis, Dwight L moody, or Billy Graham. It annoys me because it tries to not offend someone and ends up being simple to a fault. If is changed to something bad, then it may be bad, but at least it will not be broken. My case are around two stereotypes. Lawful Good and Lawful Stupid.

    Two key points off hand about razing cities & migration. I apologizes in advance for the cynicism.

    1)Raging hordes are about to take a city that can not be defended. They burn, pillage, and rape as a standard practice of war. Anyone left behind can expect to be dead, die in short order, or be maimed and used as a idle plaything.

    Lawful Good says: “Heroic deaths are someone dieing for their ideals. I am here to save lives, not be remembered. I can not defend the city, and can not retake it in adequate time. I will not leave it’s people to brutalized. My people, We are leaving with what we can take, and burning the rest so it may not be used to evil ends.”

    The game says: “I’m sorry, razing the city means you kill or condemn it’s people to starve, and you’re evil for even thinking about. Don’t you dare try to keep those people out of enemy hands!”

    Lawful Stupid say: “Well, I want to help, but I the law says I have to burn everyone at the stake before I raze the city. I guess I’ll just have to leave them to their fate, and this pile of gold here to help fund the evil hordes so they can attack me again quicker!”

    The game says: “Well done, left those people to their fate! After all I’m sure the hordes coming to kill their families are just misunderstood!”

    2)You’ve captured a city. You can migrate the populations to another location to allow this city to house another race. And by migrate we mean brutally murder them, not actually move them someplace.

    Lawful Good say: “These people supported the wholesale genocide of those I protect. I will not murder innocent families just protecting their homes though. Instead I will install my own imperial citizens to rule fairly govern them while end this war. I will draw my forces from this imperial population, and allow the city to otherwise go about their lives fairly. I will however enforce good and just rule on them.”

    The game says: Nope, you have to keep the city as is or kill them all. You can’t even do something mildly evil and force relocate them to a single ‘sanctuary’ city. You have to let the murders that oversaw the death of your family live or kill everyone!

    Lawful Stupid: “They did wrong, but I can’t fault them for that. They were just following their leader after all. It’s not like the leader put people in charge that agreed with him or anything. I must work with their lawful rulers. Nope everything will be fine!”

    the game says: Good job, you didn’t murder everyone!

    3)You have conquered a enemy city, but you do not have the forces to hold it and pausing to employ carvery tactics to defend it or station a guard force would simply draw the war out.

    Lawful Good:”For this time onward, these people are my prisoner. I will appoint court to find those guilty, and pardon those not. I can not hold this city, Nor can I allow it to continue fuel evil ends any more. It will be emptied and burned until such time as I can rebuild and restore those I have wronged to their lives.”

    The game says: Nope, sorry. See above. It’s draw out the war tallying far greater suffer, or put the town and everyone in it to the torch!

    Lawful Stupid:”I have no right to deprive these people of their land and livelihood. I must allow them to go on, even it if means going on to kill my own people an hour from now while I have to watch.”

    The game says: Good job, you didn’t murder them all.

    #123880

    Gloweye
    Member

    I like your points, and I believe cynism to be a higher form of humor. However, have you yet spend any thoughts of how to implement changes that would alter/completely revamp the alignment system to what would be a good way?

    I’d love to hear them.

    #123884

    marlowe221
    Member

    I’m not sure exactly how to do it but I would love to see some way of migrating that didn’t give me Dark Side points.

    After all, as the game gets longer, those racial unit production centers are farther and farther away…

    #123891

    JIntegrity
    Member

    Easy.

    Add Raze and Migration options at aren’t evil. Balance them out by making them take additional time with the idea that mass exile or murder is a lot faster that the more benevolent, peaceful methods good would employ.

    #123915

    Draxynnic
    Member

    What you’re essentially describing there is choosing between a lesser and greater evil. Your “Lawful Good” example is someone who’s willing to commit a lesser evil to prevent a greater one, while the “Lawful Stupid” example is someone who’s not willing to commit an evil act even if it’s for the greater good – for them, the principle is important.

    Truth is, razing or migrating a city IS imposing hardship on the population there. In neither sense are you necessarily killing the populace – but you certainly ARE making them refugees and sending them homeless into an uncertain future. Arguably you could have a camp set up somewhere, yes, but you’ve still got a population of thousands, including sick, elderly, and young children, making a long trek that they may not all survive, especially since in a medievalesque setting they likely will not have portable rations that will last more than a month or two. Sure, one could argue that in your first scenario it’s better than being conquered by raging hordes that are going to kill them all entirely… but the game doesn’t have a means of telling what the likely conqueror will do with the city. In game mechanical terms, the worst the attackers can do to the city is what you’re proposing to do – raze it.

    In your third scenario – as mentioned above, you are indiscriminately imposing a hardship on a populace that may have been serving an evil leader, but not necessarily willingly. You mention the idea of your Lawful Good character burning down the city now intending to rebuild – well, you’ll notice that rebuilding a destroyed city is a Good act, so while it may not come out entirely even, if the Lawful Good character carries out his intentions to rebuild eventually, than it does somewhat balance out. I’d also point out that, unlike a paladin failing to live up to the Paladin’s Code, one evil act doesn’t flip you from Pure Good to evil – if you generally behave in a good manner, you can afford a few indiscretions for the greater good.

    Your second scenario, though, I strongly object to:

    The whole concept behind the ‘absorb’ mechanic is that you’re identifying the people who don’t share your views and removing them from power, putting into power people who are a good fit with your empire (whether found among the locals or brought in from elsewhere), educating the populace about your morals, and, from the perspective of a fight between good and evil, sorting out the innocent (who are allowed to continue living their lives in peace) from the guilty. The only distinction between using the absorb mechanic and what you describe the Lawful Good character is doing is that in the end you’re recruiting from members of the original population that you’ve persuaded to fight for a just cause. Or, to put it in terms of what defines a good character – they’re people you’ve given an opportunity for redemption.

    Migration, on the other hand, represents not just changing a few leaders among the most guilty of collaborating with an evil regime, but turning out the entire population from their homes regardless of innocence or guilt. In which case, see my above comments on how this is inflicting hardship and death among the population.

    #123960

    Marcus
    Member

    @harbingerleo nice examples and sarcasm is much appreciated (sincerely), but I should probably remind even though AoW3 has some RPG elements it is definitely not an RPG. And we have only 2 alignment to play with (Do-gooder and Diabolic).

    Would love to see more options in game, but it probably will never happened.

    #123965

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Another thing to note is that the alignment you have is less about what alignment you actually have, and more about what alignment others perceive you as having. All the good intentions in the world don’t help if you’re known as the one who created a massive refugee problem, particularly since in the OPs second and third scenario those refugees are probably going to be badmouthing the person who forced them from their homes.

    (The first, as I noted, is something which the game engine simply can’t cope with – there is no way for the game to handle the idea that person A destroying a city is evacuating it for the good of its citizens before they fall into the clutches of person B doing it because they like to watch innocents burn.)

    #124028

    Socratatus
    Member

    This is always the problem with games that strictly define good and evil. It simply is not black and white when you get down to the intricacies. There are always the greys. It would take a whole new AI dedicated into differing Good and evil correctly for it to work. Fallout 3 also makes this mistake in trying to define good and evil in everything. To be honest no one can follow the Law and be perfectly good.

    Perhaps that’s it!

    No one can be perfectly good, just like in real life. We are all sometimes bad at some time or another, even when we mean not to be. Perhaps this game is smarter than I thought!

    #124105

    HarbingerLeo
    Member

    @gloweye “[…]I’d love to hear them.”

    Sorry, My idea was implicit and forgotten my righteous furry. 😉 My suggestion is setting up a imperial population (AKA occupation.) The city can stay orc, high-elf, or any other race. Production, and gold are drawn from the host city. Unit creation and bonus are drawn from the imperial population as long as it’s there. For example, The city can stay orcs, and will be orcs if I every lose control; However, but as long as I own it the game treats it as a high-elf city. In affect I’m not “migrating” it, but possibly being somewhat elitist about who rules. No one is actually moved or -baring some war crime- no one actually executed. Thus no acts of evil coming directly from ‘migration’.

    A ability to evacuate a city would be nice. For example, razing it at _cost_ and at a slower pace while transferring it’s population would be nice. There is a script command for adding and remove population somewhere I believe.

    @marlowe221 “I’m not sure exactly how to do it but I would love to see some way of migrating that didn’t give me Dark Side points.[…]”

    Dito, but as someone else pointed out there is no real nice way to give the old guard the boot. (See below above and below about the nature of ‘lawful good’.)

    @draxynnic “What you’re essentially describing there is choosing between a lesser and greater evil. Your “Lawful Good” example is someone who’s willing to commit a lesser evil[…]”

    Ok, this is a little heavy and I probably need to look for and answer a question or two before I get it right. We have a disagreement over the nature of good. (and why I made a third thread)

    If I’m fitting people in a box -and I am- I will agree most people -my self included- that aspire to lawful good, are at best lawful neutral. Good can not commit a lessor evil and still be good. My first real link, good is not soft, is the primer for that. Good apposes evil, and rarely that mandates the use of force as a first resort. Doing less then apposing evil in all it’s forms is not good. Not because “Those blasted heathens are at it again, and dare defile <insert believe here>!”. Because the end result of good seeks the health of a person. Evil is evil because the end result seeks to kill, maim, or destroy. Paragons of each annihilate each on contact because their general methods react in the same way matter and anti-mater do in science fiction. If your not seeing this your not seeing good vs evil. Your seeing good vs. good or evil vs. evil.

    Lawful Good doesn’t follow the law it’s just what they do. They follows the law because it describes what is good, and following the law results in what is good. Therefore the law should be followed. If the law does not result in good, then it is not worthy of being a principle and must be amended or discarded. Failure to do so means a person is not lawful (and/or) not good.

    “[…]Truth is, razing or migrating a city IS imposing hardship on the population there.[…]”

    No contest. My problem is there are cases were failing to do so is a greater hardship. With the game’s system it equates set actions as evil in all cases and under all headings. I’ve a game where someone declared war after wiping the map clean of every one else. I’ve cities on more then one landmass, and movement restricts keep me from defending properly.

    I could not just declare war to stop him -thus failing to appose evil and costing lives-, and being unable to evacuate cities I know I will just end up feeding evil because I can’t currently hold them -thus supplying evil and costing lives. In my point of evil the game has given me the options to allow evil or commit evil. Edit: Neither option falls under the heading of ‘good’ to me.

    Also have a point, you lose as much as you gain for razing and then later rebuilding cities. I will concede this.

    #124113

    Draxynnic
    Member

    This is always the problem with games that strictly define good and evil. It simply is not black and white when you get down to the intricacies. There are always the greys. It would take a whole new AI dedicated into differing Good and evil correctly for it to work. Fallout 3 also makes this mistake in trying to define good and evil in everything. To be honest no one can follow the Law and be perfectly good.

    Perhaps that’s it!

    No one can be perfectly good, just like in real life. We are all sometimes bad at some time or another, even when we mean not to be. Perhaps this game is smarter than I thought!

    This is pretty much my thought. If you’re mostly good, you can do a few evil things without it impacting your alignment. And vice versa.

    Because the end result of good seeks the health of a person. Evil is evil because the end result seeks to kill, maim, or destroy.

    Yyyyeah, you’re taking a fairly extreme view of evil there. You may get the odd moustache-twirling villain who actively seeks to kill, maim or destroy as the end result, but few people who do evil are actually such cardboard cutouts. Usually, evil happens not because someone seeks to do harm as an end, but because someone seeks some other end and doesn’t care about the harm their means does.

    To give a possibly controversial example – today is World Climate Day. The people who are blocking action to prevent climate change probably aren’t waking up every morning by rubbing their hands together and planning out how they’re going to pollute the world today. They’re just looking to make a profit, and don’t care about (or don’t want to think about, which comes down to much the same thing) the possibility that what they’re doing is causing damage.

    I generally define good as the willingness to make a genuine sacrifice for others, while evil is people who don’t care if people get hurt while pursuing their goals. Neutral people generally have a certain sense of goodwill that means they’ll avoid actively harming others and will help them if it’s convenient, but won’t make a real sacrifice for others.

    The distinction is that there are times when good has to accept or even commit a lesser evil. Choosing whether to go to war against a tyrannical regime is a classic example – if you do, people are obviously going to get hurt, and there’s going to be collateral damage, and if you don’t, you’re accepting that the tyrannical regime is going to continue causing harm. The good-aligned leader in that position than has to decide whether more harm is going to come from action than inaction… but odds are that whichever choice they make, there will be some other good people who think it was the wrong one. However, there are people who will decry those who go to war even for the best reasons as evil, while people typically don’t think of someone who simply fails to act as evil (although they may have other, no more complimentary adjectives).

    My suggestion is setting up a imperial population (AKA occupation.) The city can stay orc, high-elf, or any other race. Production, and gold are drawn from the host city. Unit creation and bonus are drawn from the imperial population as long as it’s there. For example, The city can stay orcs, and will be orcs if I every lose control; However, but as long as I own it the game treats it as a high-elf city. In affect I’m not “migrating” it, but possibly being somewhat elitist about who rules. No one is actually moved or -baring some war crime- no one actually executed. Thus no acts of evil coming directly from ‘migration’.

    What you’re describing is essentially turning the old population into second-class citizens regardless of their innocence or guilt. In installing enough of your “imperial” citizens into the city to draw military recruits from, too, you will likely be forcing locals from their homes to accommodate the new arrivals.

    From a good perspective, the absorption mechanic does everything that your ‘imperial citizens’ idea would: it sorts out the innocent from the guilty, punishes the guilty and removes them from power, and puts the day-to-day administration of the city into the hands of the righteous. The only distinction between your idea and that is that your idea allows you to continue producing units of a race you chose, at the hidden cost of the subjugation of the original population. That’s not something you’re doing to be good, you’re doing it because it’s convenient to you: if you want to be good, you have to be willing to make the sacrifice of doing what’s not convenient.

    Admittedly, though, there have been times I’ve migrated a city to move a population out of a terrain they hate, and thought of that as an act of mercy.

    At the bottom line, though, it really comes down to my point about how alignment is mostly how you’re perceived. You may have perfectly valid reasons why destroying a city is a lesser evil, but the gold dragon that you had leave the charge may still be regretting having helped you to deprive a city of people of their homes and if you were truly a good leader, you would have found another way that didn’t result in creating thousands of refugees. That hypothetical gold dragon might be being completely unfair, but hey, life isn’t always fair.

    #124566

    HarbingerLeo
    Member

    Warning:Massive context shifts.

    Yyyyeah, you’re taking a fairly extreme view of evil there.[…]I generally define good as the willingness to make a genuine sacrifice for others, while evil is people who don’t care if people get hurt while pursuing their goals.[…]From a good perspective, the absorption mechanic does everything that your ‘imperial citizens’ idea would: it sorts out the innocent from the guilty, punishes the guilty and removes them from power, and puts the day-to-day administration of the city into the hands of the righteous.[…]

    Ok. I know there is such a thing as evil, and if one pole exists so too must the other.

    Do you believe I separate acknowledging there is such a thing as righteousness and separate it from self-righteousness?

    ME: “They’ve broken the law! Bring out the hellfire and brimstone! BURN THE HERETICS!
    Minion:”What did they do boss?”
    ME:”They stirred the tea the wrong direction at my tea party!”. 😛

    I’m not upset with someone because they disagree with me. I’m upset because I view ‘The Law’ as good, and I get bent out of shape over what that says about someone us disagreeing with it. I also agree not everyone that disagrees with it is seeking world domination. However, if it has the same affect (even on a tiny scale) what’s the point of apposing world wars if you don’t also appose the other?

    To give a possibly controversial example[…]Choosing whether to go to war against a tyrannical regime is a classic example[…]

    I have zero issues with disagreeing with them, walking away, and leaving them in peace. (Unless you stir the tear the wrong way, HERETIC! 😉 )The problem with age of wonder’s III morality automatically escalates to armed conflict. I don’t have to jump right to hanging people, it was there before I started.

    My core issue I can’t apply mercy. I have to let the AI(or players) run rampant or commit to total genocide.

    […]The distinction is that there are times when good has to accept or even commit a lesser evil.[…]

    In this I disagree. This ‘lessor evil’ is actually a good thing, or the actor was never really good to start with. In that I am extreme.

    […]there will be some other good people who think it was the wrong one. However, there are people who will decry those who go to war even for the best reasons as evil, while people typically don’t think of someone who simply fails to act as evil (although they may have other, no more complimentary adjectives).

    Then I’d say that’s one of two things (assuming a general good):
    1)They don’t believe there is such a thing as evil. Thus nothing worth fighting for.
    2)They don’t believe what a war is over is actually fighting evil.

    The difference would be information, not character. Not helping a little old lady across the street wouldn’t be evil. (In fact mandating it maybe Lawful Stupid.) I think the difference between us is I equate evil with threats. How I act depends on the scale, but for me the word ‘evil’ and the phrase ‘clear and present danger’ are interchangeable. I’m not going to bludgeon someone to death smoking, but that doesn’t mean I will not appose them poisoning themselves or those around them.

    […]What you’re describing is essentially turning the old population into second-class citizens regardless of their innocence or guilt.[…]

    You don’t trust master thieves to run banks do you? It’s not that I object to being able to start a war, I object to being unable to execute and finish a war.

    Classic examples are at the end of War World II are Berlin and Tokyo. There where people that were more or less defending their homes, and could care less for Hitler or Hirohito. There were people fighting the war because their only alternatives were starvation. It can also safely be assume that a non-trivial portion of the population would have actively apposed the wars given a ‘viable’ option. By this point though there’s no shortage of proof they were unwilling will or able to tell their leaders to leave people in peace. Your missing that implicit point.

    Not putting a firm hand on the situation to sort it out would be negligent. I am not a ‘conquering hero’ or ‘liberator of the people’. So, yes, I would make them “second class” citizens, but not to the point of mistreatment or even disenfranchisement. I make them second class citizens because I’m the evil mustache twirler or the the system is self evidently failing.

    Yes, it would be very convenient for me to use the AoW II migration system. Being convenient to me doesn’t means that’s why I want to do it though.

    […]At the bottom line, though, it really comes down to my point about how alignment is mostly how you’re perceived.[…]

    Hm. It’s true ,yes, that can be said about me. You can call a circle a shape and be correct. It’s not true in so far as I don’t think that’s the whole truth.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.