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Is Shadowrun really this brutal?

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Patrick Goodman

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« Reply #30 on: (09:02:51/10-27-15) »
There is no good and evil in Shadowrun, only which side of the gun you're facing.
Then you're doing something wrong.
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Dinendae

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« Reply #31 on: (09:16:52/10-27-15) »
There is no good and evil in Shadowrun, only which side of the gun you're facing.
Then you're doing something wrong.

Yeah, I have to side with Patrick. There are most definitely forces of evil in Shadowrun: Shedim, Blood Magic, Toxics, etc.

CitizenJoe

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« Reply #32 on: (10:33:00/10-27-15) »
I will fight you on all three of those.

Shedim aren't evil any me than we are evil for eating dead baby chickens.  People are a food source and host for shedim.  That doesn't mean I like them or want to be eaten, just that we have mutually opposed survival conditions.

Blood Magic is sacrifice magic.  The good and evil is determined by which end of the sacrificial dagger you are looking at.

There are two types of toxics, avengers and poisoners.  Avengers are like Green Peace, striking back at humanity for the wrongs it has done to Mother Nature.  Poisoners accept the change as the new natural order.  I don't want to be part of either agenda, but they aren't doing what they are doing to be evil, they are doing it to accomplish their goals.

Shedim and ghouls are looked down upon because we haven't yet solved the problem of sustaining them artificially.  Solve those dietary requirements and the good/evil question vanishes with the conflict.

Reaver

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« Reply #33 on: (10:39:33/10-27-15) »
I will fight you on all three of those.

Shedim aren't evil any me than we are evil for eating dead baby chickens.  People are a food source and host for shedim.  That doesn't mean I like them or want to be eaten, just that we have mutually opposed survival conditions.

Blood Magic is sacrifice magic.  The good and evil is determined by which end of the sacrificial dagger you are looking at.

There are two types of toxics, avengers and poisoners.  Avengers are like Green Peace, striking back at humanity for the wrongs it has done to Mother Nature.  Poisoners accept the change as the new natural order.  I don't want to be part of either agenda, but they aren't doing what they are doing to be evil, they are doing it to accomplish their goals.

Shedim and ghouls are looked down upon because we haven't yet solved the problem of sustaining them artificially.  Solve those dietary requirements and the good/evil question vanishes with the conflict.
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O-kaaaaay.....  ::)
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rcaugust

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« Reply #34 on: (10:40:33/10-27-15) »
I'm no expert on the SR setting but my feeling was always that good and evil weren't useful concepts in the 6th world. Are the Corps evil? For a certain index of evil, sure. But if you're working for them and their seedier actions keep you and your family safe, who cares? I think most rpg settings are better and more vivid when morality is entirely fluid and perspectival; it should depend upon choices, choices the player's make, choices the GM makes.

Plus, if the players are convinced of their righteousness, a good GM can always flip things to confront them with the consequences of those choices. I love that style and tone of play- I understand it isn't for everyone but I have always though SR was conducive to that style of play and narrative. That's one of the reasons I think its so cool!
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Jack_Spade

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« Reply #35 on: (11:44:22/10-27-15) »
Good and evil are matters of perspective - mine aligns with Kantian ethics and therefore all three examples are definitive at least non-good if not outright evil.

There is a reason earlier editions had good and bad karma scores. 4th and 5th have distanced themselves from that concept somewhat but there is still the cold-hearted bastard run which costs you karma while the hooding-style will give you bonus karma
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MijRai

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« Reply #36 on: (12:09:23/10-27-15) »
I will fight you on all three of those.

Shedim aren't evil any me than we are evil for eating dead baby chickens.  People are a food source and host for shedim.  That doesn't mean I like them or want to be eaten, just that we have mutually opposed survival conditions.

Blood Magic is sacrifice magic.  The good and evil is determined by which end of the sacrificial dagger you are looking at.

There are two types of toxics, avengers and poisoners.  Avengers are like Green Peace, striking back at humanity for the wrongs it has done to Mother Nature.  Poisoners accept the change as the new natural order.  I don't want to be part of either agenda, but they aren't doing what they are doing to be evil, they are doing it to accomplish their goals.

Shedim and ghouls are looked down upon because we haven't yet solved the problem of sustaining them artificially.  Solve those dietary requirements and the good/evil question vanishes with the conflict.

Yeah, no.

Shedim are inherently malevolent and cruel.  They explicitly want to bring their buddies over to kill us all and destroy life.  It isn't about inviting their friends over to have a vacation out of the astral. 

While there is 'pure' blood magic around (somewhere), the kind most everyone uses at the moment is corrupting and evil, taking from others to fuel yourself.  It creates those nut job blood-mages who have 250,000 nuyen bounties on their heads.  People who become psychopaths or sociopaths.  Not to mention blood spirits themselves.

Toxics are more iffy, this is true.  That's partially because of how insane they've gone.  I wouldn't hesitate to call them evil, though.  There may be a cause, but the results are telling.  Twisted examples of normal traditions are a better example of 'evil' among magic users. 

Shadowrun is explicitly quite gray in regards to evil; it suits the setting.  One of the scariest parts about insect spirits is that it was never personal when they started coming over (though Ares might have changed that).  That said, there ARE a few things that are evil. 
Would you want to go into a place where the resident had a drum-fed shotgun and can see in the dark?

CitizenJoe

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« Reply #37 on: (13:01:51/10-27-15) »
We're the colonists evil when they invaded north america and killed the indigenous population?  Shedim require our bodies or they die from effervescence.   If we could provide them with hosts, they wouldn't have to take them  they feed off of emotions.  From what little we know, they feed off of pain and suffering, but we don't know if there are other emotions they can feed from, nor do we know if there is an artificial substitute.  Instead of looking, we just call them evil and kill them.

I can't begrudge a hungry animal for trying to feed, but I also can't begrudge someone defending them self against it.

Moonshine Fox

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« Reply #38 on: (13:08:41/10-27-15) »
I will fight you on all three of those.

Shedim aren't evil any me than we are evil for eating dead baby chickens.  People are a food source and host for shedim.  That doesn't mean I like them or want to be eaten, just that we have mutually opposed survival conditions.

Blood Magic is sacrifice magic.  The good and evil is determined by which end of the sacrificial dagger you are looking at.

There are two types of toxics, avengers and poisoners.  Avengers are like Green Peace, striking back at humanity for the wrongs it has done to Mother Nature.  Poisoners accept the change as the new natural order.  I don't want to be part of either agenda, but they aren't doing what they are doing to be evil, they are doing it to accomplish their goals.

Shedim and ghouls are looked down upon because we haven't yet solved the problem of sustaining them artificially.  Solve those dietary requirements and the good/evil question vanishes with the conflict.

Um, Shedim don't eat the dead. They possess the corpse so they can have a physical body to carry out their plans with, all of which revolve around causing death, destruction, and war. They are filled with nothing but hatred and malice, desiring to go to where life is only so that they can extinguish it. Hell, their singular goals are the reason why so many speculate them to be the forerunner for one of the lesser Horrors.

If all you ever used was your own blood, or the blood of perfectly 100% consenting people, then I can mostly agree with you (ie, the old Earthdawn Life Magic I believe). But no-one yet heard about in Shadowrun has followed the sacrificing path for long and not walked down the road of simply taking what they want. Considering the biggest continues practitioners of in the Sixth World show themselves time and again to be evil as all hell (to the point of mustache twirling absurdity sometimes). Hell, blood magic is more powerful when taken from an unwilling sapient creature, that alone says all you need to know.

Um, you do realize that a lot of people consider Green Peace a terrorist organization right? They may want to save the planet, but blowing up power-plants and burning down lumber yards causes more environmental damage then simply leaving it alone. Avengers seek to help stop pollution, by killing anyone who pollutes or contributes to pollution, which is everyone on the planet. They may not want to further spread pollution, but they are not 'good' by any means. Hell, someone walking the toxic path loses all their ties to magic. Their old tradition is gone, and any mentor spirit they have leaves.

Mana springs from the natural world as it is in a more pure form. The various dark arts twist and corrupt the local mana out of tune with the natural world, this is why the practitioners of such paths so often end up insane. It doesn't have the nice grey area of subjectivnes that our own thoughts of 'Good' and 'Evil' can have.

Moonshine Fox

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« Reply #39 on: (13:20:06/10-27-15) »
We're the colonists evil when they invaded north america and killed the indigenous population?  Shedim require our bodies or they die from effervescence.   If we could provide them with hosts, they wouldn't have to take them  they feed off of emotions.  From what little we know, they feed off of pain and suffering, but we don't know if there are other emotions they can feed from, nor do we know if there is an artificial substitute.  Instead of looking, we just call them evil and kill them.

I can't begrudge a hungry animal for trying to feed, but I also can't begrudge someone defending them self against it.

Ok, gotta ask Joe. Are you talking from an in-world in-character perspective or not? You seem to have a real problem with distinguished between the two in all the posts I've seen you make both here, on Reddit, and other forums over the years. From a purely in world perspective, I can see why you would have that view (though I sure wouldn't work with you thinking your an agent for some nasty groups). Out of game however they have spelled out for as long as the Dark Arts have existed just how evil these paths are to follow, to the point of making anyone who follows it an NPC.

MijRai

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« Reply #40 on: (13:24:20/10-27-15) »
Did the colonists cross the Atlantic in order to purposefully kill any and all indigenous people they found out of sheer loathing? 

Like I said, this isn't a vacation getaway for the Shedim; they explicitly hate all life and go out of their way to get rid of it when possible.  They are intelligent enough to masquerade as humans, which obviates them being 'hungry animals' (that'd be a good motivation for most insect spirits, though).  Their auras make plants wilt and small critters die.  They cause destruction and chaos to further their aims, which is more chaos and destruction. 

Sure, they need hosts to survive extended periods of time outside of the metaplanes; it's like needing a space-suit to survive vacuum.  That has no bearing on why they're here. 

You're attaching concepts to the Shedim that aren't there.  They aren't poor or desperate refugees; they're malevolent extra-planar threats that want to kill everything. 

Maybe you want your shedim to be poor, mindless spirit critters that are like an invasive species; that's not what they are in the Shadowrun setting.  They make insect spirits look cuddly. 
Would you want to go into a place where the resident had a drum-fed shotgun and can see in the dark?

CitizenJoe

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« Reply #41 on: (13:48:56/10-27-15) »
Or the natural world doesn't care about our opinion of good and evil and just abides by its own rules.  How much death and destruction has Mother Earth inflicted on its population?  That doesn't make her evil. How many soldiers have gone into battle to create pain, destruction and more war?  That doesn't make them evil, just soldiers following orders.  My metric for evil is pretty clearly different from most.  But my metric means that you can't justify actions on a good/evil basis.  You have to take every action and consider it as it relates to yourself.  i.e. which side of the gun are you.  Just know that at some point, you might be on the other side of that gun. The Shedim are evil because they are pointing a gun at us.  When we point that same gun at let's say a tasty pig, then we are the good guys. 

The big issue I have with blood magic is actually the same with using reagents (some of which are parts of sapient creatures by the way).  We in the sixth world are using what the 4th world called Raw Magic.  Raw magic is tempered in the 6th world by drain.  We don't use too much power because it hurts.  Blood magic, and reagents, lets someone else pay the price (either in pain or in labor).  What that does is dump a whole lot of energy into the manasphere, which in turn attracts astral denizens.  The Great Ghost Dance wasn't bad or evil because it was blood magic, it was bad because it was so powerful.  Of COURSE dragons don't want us lesser species using it, that would put us on par with them. 

A similar thing happens with toxics.  Hey, look, we figured out a way to manipulate astral space so that we can use it and dragons can't.  Dragons didn't like it in the 4th world, but it was difficult back then (see Ritual of the Thorns).  Now, we can create special magic zones over night.

Both of those examples involve mundanes helping to boost the strength of magicians.  Humanity has figured out ways of fighting magical creatures by using their numerical mundane superiority... and the dragons are pissed.  So of course THEY think it is evil, the gun is pointed at their heads.  And who is coming out and calling Toxics and Blood mages evil, to the point of putting illegal bounties on their heads?  That's right, dragons.  Did you notice that same dragon didn't put a bounty on insect shamans... even though the Chicago incident happened like a year earlier?  Why is it that humanity boosted magic techniques are evil, but alien, other worldly boosted traditions are given a pass? 

Moonshine Fox

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« Reply #42 on: (14:02:02/10-27-15) »
Seriously?! When the frag did we start talking about dragons? They don't have anything to do with this conversation.

If your asking who is casting the Dark Arts as evil, it's THE GAME DESIGNERS!!!!!!!!

You want to play some in-world RP game with your posts, take it to the role-playing forums and cut the crap in this one  >:(

Jack_Spade

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« Reply #43 on: (14:05:55/10-27-15) »
@CitizenJoe

This isn't a new question. Quite a lot of philosophers have asked it and it all comes down to intent.

Personally, I think Terry Pratchett did say it best: Evil starts when you start treating people as things.

Which neatly explains why most dragons, shedim, blood mages and toxics are evil: They don't care about the suffering their actions cause (or they even enjoy it)

 
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CitizenJoe

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« Reply #44 on: (14:06:22/10-27-15) »
There is a little bit of chain yanking going on, yes.  I personally don't believe in good and evil as justification for any action.  Those are manipulation words used by people in power to get others to do their bidding.  I lose respect for a politician every time they use the word 'evil'.  You get a quagmire like the Vietnam war when you use that term.  I fully love my country, but I don't delude myself into thinking that it does things because it is good or even for what is best for the country.  There are many reasons and justifications for going to war, or just being dickish in general, but none of them have to do with 'evil'. 

To that end, when a game has to explicitly say "This is EVIL" like I'm a five year old, then I get personally offended by it.  If it is evil, it should be obviously evil to the point that you don't have to say so.  That is why when they say it explicitly, when the whole game is all about gray and grayer morality, I think that they are lying to me.   And guess what, I'm usually right.  As a GM and a player, I don't allow toxics or blood mages.  It isn't because they are evil, it is because I've yet to see someone pull it off convincingly.  I also don't allow technomancer or mystic adepts either, but that's for cheese reasons.  The moment you accept evil as being a legitimate term, every mother fragger out there is evil.  And to paraphrase the great philosopher, "When everyone is evil, nobody is evil."