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  • Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
    Actually, it kind of does. Why in the holy hells would a DEMON LORD create a race with the capacity for empathy, mercy, generosity and love? They're supposed to be the very embodiment of raw, unmitigated evil, and creating anything that is not single mindedly focused on spreading that kind of mayhem makes absolutely no sense within the context of the setting.
    As pointed out earlier while the Outer Planes are made up of concepts, and those concepts are intrinsic to the creatures who exist there, the Prime Material Plane is made up of elements of all of those different planes. I'm sure if Lamashtu had been able to do so she would have preferred to make every goblin and gnoll thoroughly and irrevocably devoted to her and her beliefs. However, when making them, since they were creates of the Prime Material Plane rather than demons from the Abyss, there was little choice but to give them free will. That said, even the foulest of demon lords are capable of exhibiting kindness, mercy, etc and transcending their base nature (Nocticula is a good example of that) so it's no surprise that the creations of a demon goddess might be able to do the same thing.

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    • Like, you know, people can respect their makers without actually worshiping or agreeing with them. Sure, they can reject them completely, and many do. There is a reason that "My god is evil so I burned their temple and killed their priests while escaping the evil society to a world of light" is a common backstory for a non evil character from an evil race. It makes sense in a world where the gods are present, their priests speak in their name and souls are judged before them after death. But even in a world like this, you can accept that the god which made you and your people is evil, but may have some non evil tendencies. And you may even believe that by strengthening those non evil aspects of your deity, it would eventually become non evil. Or that you could accept that your god is evil, but respect its place in the world while worshiping other, non evil gods. Perhaps there was a prophet ages ago which searched after non evil gods which would offer their divine protection to your race. Or a group of ascended heroes which gained power by trying to guide their race for redemption. Heck, you may even be that prophet or future hero. And you could still, while worshiping good deities, pays a respect to your evil creator while knowing they are evil, because they were the ones which made you. They may even have their own holiday- all while emphasizing that yes, they are evil, and no, you shouldn't be evil like them, but you owe them a debt for bringing you to existence and remembering from where you came from, so you won't fall so low in the future.

      Even in a setting where the gods are involved and objectively good/evil/lawful/chaotic, you could still have societies which reject them, accept them or find a different way to worship them. For a general fantasy setting used as the "core setting", which is meant to serve as simplistic basis for DMs to start their adventure and giving players ideas for their characters, it makes sense that they would focus on the "evil races worship evil deities" kind of thing, as it gives the players a clear definition for who is evil and who is good. In a more complex campaigns, you may add non evil individuals and make some monsters as player choices. If you want to challenge your setting, you make whole non evil societies next to evil societies of the same race (yes, that also means an evil kingdom of non drow elves. It happens). But the core book is meant for beginners, and the core setting should help them make easy and clear character concepts, because some people have some really hard time at making characters.

      The thing is, that D&D especially is a kind of a game where you should make your own adjustments to the setting. It encourages you to do so, if not to make an whole setting by your own (I mean, most of my D&D games as both a player and a DM were using completely homebrew settings). The DM is meant to change the world for their own adventure, if not to create one all by themselves. If you like Golarion but want to have a land of non evil goblins which still worships Lamashtu, and you and your DM (unless you are the DM) have talked about it, then why not? Expecting that a certain setting would for 100% be just as you wanted it to be is not really realistic- settings are frameworks, you as a player and DM add the moving parts.

      I mean, I love Dragonlance to the point I simply adore the setting, but there are still things I would have done differently in it, and I have my own "head canon" for its future events. Thankfully, due to the time splintered nature of the setting, any version of Dragonlance is canon and so is mine. Another reason I like the setting so much :P

      But seriously, if you want to play a non evil goblin which worships Lamashtu as the goddess of fertility without getting spells from her, what is stopping you? Heck, perhaps you ARE getting spells from her, and no one knows why (if you could have only made them understand your point of view about the subject). Just leave it as a plot hook and let your DM think about the reason. Just think about the possibilities!


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      • On the subject of Law and Chaos- I remember how it always surprised me how in 3e Wu Jen, a class which was based around taboos and self regulation, was banned from being lawful. That made me consider that law vs chaos is not as much as about rules/laws, as it is about society. In short, if you put yourself and your rules before those of your society, you are chaotic. If you put society before yourself, you are lawful.

        For example- where you work, everyone come with closed shoes. That's the norm- no law forbids you for wearing something else, but that's just how things go in your workplace. You decide to come with sandals. If you do it because it is hot and just say to yourself "well, one time won't kill anyone" but would still usually come with closed shoes, you are neutral. If you come with sandals all the time, either just because it against the mainstream or because you wear sandals all the time and you won't let other people tell you what to do, you are chaotic. If you want to wear sandals, but you won't do so because you fear what everyone would think of you, you fall into the lawful territory.

        That's why Lawful Good is the "paladin alignment" and Chaotic Evil is the "murderer alignment". LG character both puts society before themselves and is willing to make sacrifices to protect others. CE character both puts their wills above others and is willing to sacrifice others for themselves. Neutral characters just try to get along, trying to blend their way of life with that accepted by society and avoid situations where they'll have to make a sacrifice or become one (unless you go with the old "balancer" attitude where you actively try to maintain the right equilibrium between law/chaos/good/evil, but that's more of a philosophical attitude than an everyday alignment). Lawful societies usually puts the collective before the individual, chaotic societies are the ones where the individual is free to act as they please. Chaotic societies may have rules, but the individual will is always emphasized to come before the law, encouraging you to break or bend them.

        At least, that's how I treat the subject.
        Last edited by LostLight; 08-11-2019, 06:26 PM.


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        • Well said, LostLight. I agree with your assessment.


          Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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          • Does PF2E actually take steps to portray "monster races" as people? I was derisive when they made goblins a PC race, because I felt it was a "drow situation". As in, goblins are popular, so they'll get promoted to being actual people, but the other similar races stay where they are. But it seems like I was wrong, which would be quite welcome.

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            • Goblins are still generally antagonists, but the very first Adventure Path module for 2e features a goblin worshipping Desna. Seems to be a stated goal across all monster races to “humanize” (I need a better way to describe that) them a bit, although it will likely take time. Seems lizardfolk may be getting that treatment soon too, if you read between the lines.


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              • Originally posted by Morty View Post
                Does PF2E actually take steps to portray "monster races" as people? I was derisive when they made goblins a PC race, because I felt it was a "drow situation". As in, goblins are popular, so they'll get promoted to being actual people, but the other similar races stay where they are. But it seems like I was wrong, which would be quite welcome.

                Hmm, well according to the videos I've been watching that go over what's in the book, the humanization of monsters (i.e Goblins in this case) seems to be something that's happening only recently in Goblin society, rather than something which has always been present. Goblins were traditionally chaotic little monsters, but something currently unexplained has been causing them to deviate from their roots and adapt themselves to different forms of society and government.

                The other core races still don't trust them, though. Just due to their historical reputation. But I'm glad to see that the changes to monsters are something which has only recently begun to manifest, instead of the developers choosing to retcon their entire history, like D&D did with Half Orcs...

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                • Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
                  Goblins are still generally antagonists, but the very first Adventure Path module for 2e features a goblin worshipping Desna. Seems to be a stated goal across all monster races to “humanize” (I need a better way to describe that) them a bit, although it will likely take time. Seems lizardfolk may be getting that treatment soon too, if you read between the lines.
                  Yeah, I knew that goblins were getting that treatment. That other races get it too is a surprise. I generally like goblins but very much dislike Pathfinder goblins, so it was kind of a wash on its own.

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                  • Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                    I'm glad to see that the changes to monsters are something which has only recently begun to manifest, instead of the developers choosing to retcon their entire history
                    Why would that be a bad thing?


                    Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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                    • Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                      Why would that be a bad thing?

                      Because, as we talked about before, you'd have to likewise retcon the entities who brought them into existence in the first place, before I'd consider that to be believable.

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                      • Originally posted by Morty View Post
                        Does PF2E actually take steps to portray "monster races" as people? I was derisive when they made goblins a PC race, because I felt it was a "drow situation". As in, goblins are popular, so they'll get promoted to being actual people, but the other similar races stay where they are. But it seems like I was wrong, which would be quite welcome.
                        The next book adds playable lizardfolk (now Iruxi, their own name) and hobgoblins, and the big player book next year is making orcs a full PC option as well; all have nations in the setting that are at least Neutral, and some outright good. The 2e Bestiary notes that not all gnolls are slavers or revere demons, and that outsiders misunderstand their tradition of eating the dead. This goes hand in hand with them explicitly trying to decolonize their handling of the nonwhite cultures of the setting. James Jacobs, the creative director, has talked about a distinct push in the writing to handle all Ancestries as people.


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                        • Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                          Because, as we talked about before, you'd have to likewise retcon the entities who brought them into existence in the first place, before I'd consider that to be believable.
                          I mean to be honest, I'm not certain anything has drastically changed. You always goblins and gnolls and kobolds other such creatures who were non-evil alignment back in 1st edition. They weren't common, but they always existed in the setting. The big change in second edition is presenting them as more common than they were, and importantly are more readily available as player characters. But generally speaking outside of the change to Goblins to make them a core race, I don't think there were any major changes or retcons to the setting or the rest of the monster races. Rather, it's more in the way the game is simply presenting a more nuanced approach to traditional monster races and making it clear that while there is a mold, it's not unheard of for members of that race to break that mold.

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                          • Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                            Because, as we talked about before, you'd have to likewise retcon the entities who brought them into existence in the first place, before I'd consider that to be believable.
                            But I mean, a.) why would retconning those entities too be a problem, and b.) again, that seems like a personal hangup of yours.


                            Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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                            • So on a different subject- in the game I run I kinda needs to add more classes due to plot reasons. The Artificer, Mystic/Psion and the Blood Hunter are already a part of the setting, so they can't be used for this. Does anyone have good suggestions for homebrew classes? I kinda thought about 5e versions of the Incarnate, Witch, Shaman, DL's Mystic, PF's Oracle and some form of warrior- mage, but I'm still open for suggestions about the exact classes which could be incorporated and for good adaptations of the classes above.


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                              • Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                                But I mean, a.) why would retconning those entities too be a problem, and b.) again, that seems like a personal hangup of yours.

                                A) It wouldn't be a problem. That's what I'm trying to tell you. If they want to change monsters, they need to change their deities, too.

                                B) I don't see it that way, and I think that if you insist on such, then you aren't considering the way these races have had their cultures presented in the game's past.

                                Yes, the core races are nuanced people, but that's because the gods they worship are also a nuanced people. There's no singular, overarching alignment that the human pantheon exhibits. They've got good deities, evil deities and everything in between. So when you have characters that fill a wide range of alignments and cultural mentalities, it makes sense.

                                Monsters, on the other hand, were created by pantheons who are almost utterly devoted to the service of evil. Monstrous deities who espouse anything close to neutrality or goodness are an exception to the norm; and more often than not, those who turn to these deities for worship are killed on sight by the majority of their fellow monsters. This stands to reason that monsters who abandon their evil ways would be too scarce to gain any kind of significant momentum in monster society as a whole, and would instead be living as outcasts, in constant fear of being labeled as a heretic by their own kind.

                                It would be like an Elf turning their back on whoever the elven gods are in your setting, and swearing themselves to Moradin / Torag as they adopt a life in accordance with Dwarven customs. It's not impossible, obviously, but that Elf is going to need a damn good backstory to explain why that happened, or else they're just going to come across as gimmicky for the sake of being unique.


                                So to reiterate, I'm glad that Goblins changing their ways is something that has only recently begun to manifest itself, instead of having always been present. And I'm also glad that they aren't being instantly accepted with open arms into mainstream society by the other core races who remain keenly aware of the Goblin's past reputation.
                                Last edited by Nyrufa; 08-13-2019, 06:35 AM.

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