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Drow morality discussion

Drow morality discussion

Postby blackshade10 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:53 am

[moderator]
This originated in the topic about berserkers. Keep that in mind when reading the first post.
[/moderator]

First of all, there seems to be a gross misunderstanding. Individuals in this world are individuals. Due to the recent arguments, people seem to have misunderstood that drow in this World Setting are "evil". That is quite off the mark.

They are tenacious, yes, but for the most part, aren't inherently evil. In other words, people seem to think that ALL drow are Vloz'ress. That all drow would sooner stab a dwarf/orc/human than say hi. This is incorrect.

If you are not in their way, a Drow is just as likely to greet you normally, ignore you because they don't want to talk to you, or whatever. I can promise you; every character I have active in the RP would treat non-fae with a good measure of respect. They might have some pride, to feel superior over the lesser race, but they would treat you with respect. Why? Because as a character, it would not make sense, and I, as a player, am not an asshole.

To make a character that will purposely cause problems, like a Berserker or someone who harshly goes against the norm in drow society, doesn't just disturb the world setting, they disturb the roleplay. They annoy players with their antics.

Some of the most fun RP I've ever done has been with a lesser race. I can remember a very fun conversation I had between a Drowolath and a Dwarf in a Game Tavern RP that fit nicely with the Drowtales setting. The characters were very different in nature, but didn't glare against the setting horribly, and had an interesting conversation.


The Drow will only hate you if you do dumb crap. Remember that.
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Re: Beserking?

Postby Hetros » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:13 am

blackshade10 wrote:Um, yeah, no.

First of all, there seems to be a gross misunderstanding. Individuals in this world are individuals. Due to the recent arguments, people seem to have misunderstood that drow in this World Setting are "evil". That is quite off the mark.

They are tenacious, yes, but for the most part, aren't inherently evil. In other words, people seem to think that ALL drow are Vloz'ress. That all drow would sooner stab a dwarf/orc/human than say hi. This is incorrect.

If you are not in their way, a Drow is just as likely to greet you normally, ignore you because they don't want to talk to you, or whatever. I can promise you; every character I have active in the RP would treat non-fae with a good measure of respect. They might have some pride, to feel superior over the lesser race, but they would treat you with respect. Why? Because as a character, it would not make sense, and I, as a player, am not an asshole.

To make a character that will purposely cause problems, like a Berserker or someone who harshly goes against the norm in drow society, doesn't just disturb the world setting, they disturb the roleplay. They annoy players with their antics.

Some of the most fun RP I've ever done has been with a lesser race. I can remember a very fun conversation I had between a Drowolath and a Dwarf in a Game Tavern RP that fit nicely with the Drowtales setting. The characters were very different in nature, but didn't glare against the setting horribly, and had an interesting conversation.


The Drow will only hate you if you do dumb crap. Remember that.


No, blackshade, let's be under no illusions. The Drow are by current western morality, evil. and I will list the ways.

1) They are racist. Yes. They are. The fact they believe that anything without an aura has no soul, and thus is an animal, is how we arrive at this point. That is canon fact, Ariel's racism is pointed out time and again, especially in how she treats her feral, thinking of it as an animal and not a sapient being.
2) They have little or no compunctions about torture. That might just be Sillice, but from what I understand, torturing someone into insanity just because it's fun is considered distasteful, but not utterly abhorent as long as it's not flaunted.
3) linking into the whole racism thing, Drow have utterly no problems with wiping out entire civilizations if it suits their immediate needs. Case-and-point, the Dwarven kingdoms very early on in their race's beginning, as well as any human cities they run across on the surface (We actually see this happen in two incidents. Once with our Emberi friend's home, and once when the highland raiders retake a fortress they abandoned for a few decades).
4) Drow keep slaves. Sorry, but there's no justifying that under western morality, in any way shape or form.
5) What part of the fact that vast majority of drow have no problem with people utilizing magic that basically DESTROYS YOUR SOUL (from the Drow perspective anyway) doesn't come off as evil? If only by default?
6) Stabbing others in the back, provided they aren't family(and even then sometimes), for personal ambition is seen as a matter of course and something to be accepted. Might Makes Right is truly the rule of law in Chel and I suspect further abroad.

In this case, the characters like your own Blackshade are the outliers, not the rule, for drow society. The vast majority of other races are seen as resources, not as sentients, who are bargained with only when it is easier to do so than to simply take what they want. While I would point out that they have their reasons for doing these things, and it is mostly due to their own moral codes which are certainly not human, and the fact they effectively have a 2000 year technological gain on everyone else (humans would likely act in a similar manner, and have done so in our own history), on the whole, I would point out that by RL western morality, the drow come of steadily as a Neutral Evil race at best, and Chaotic Evil at worse.
Last edited by Hetros on Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beserking?

Postby blackshade10 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:14 am

Drow are prideful, arrogant even, without a doubt. But yes, they are not "above" being civil to someone who means them no harm.

And yeah, you got those odds balls in the Vloz. XD

Gotta love our Philosopher Gorilla. :]

No, blackshade, let's be under no illusions. The Drow are by current western morality, evil. and I will list the ways.

1) They are racist. Yes. They are. The fact they believe that anything without an aura has no soul, and thus is an animal, is how we arrive at this point. That is canon fact, Ariel's racism is pointed out time and again, especially in how she treats her feral, thinking of it as an animal and not a sapient being.
2) They have little or no compunctions about torture. That might just be Sillice, but from what I understand, torturing someone into insanity just because it's fun is considered distasteful, but not utterly abhorent as long as it's not flaunted.
3) linking into the whole racism thing, Drow have utterly no problems with wiping out entire civilizations if it suits their immediate needs. Case-and-point, the Dwarven kingdoms very early on in their race's beginning, as well as any human cities they run across on the surface (We actually see this happen in two incidents. Once with our Emberi friend's home, and once when the highland raiders retake a fortress they abandoned for a few decades).
4) Drow keep slaves. Sorry, but there's no justifying that under western morality, in any way shape or form.
5) What part of the fact that vast majority of drow have no problem with people utilizing magic that basically DESTROYS YOUR SOUL (from the Drow perspective anyway) doesn't come off as evil? If only by default?
6) Stabbing others in the back, provided they aren't family(and even then sometimes), for personal ambition is seen as a matter of course and something to be accepted. Might Makes Right is truly the rule of law in Chel and I suspect further abroad.

In this case, the characters like your own Blackshade are the outliers, not the rule, for drow society. The vast majority of other races are seen as resources, not as sentients, who are bargained with only when it is easier to do so than to simply take what they want. While I would point out that they have their reasons for doing these things, and it is mostly due to their own moral codes which are certainly not human, and the fact they effectively have a 2000 year technological gain on everyone else (humans would likely act in a similar manner, and have done so in our own history), on the whole, I would point out that by RL western morality, the drow come of steadily as a Neutral Evil race at best, and Chaotic Evil at worse.



And here is why Alignments in 3.5 were stupid.

And in Chel, yes, you will be looked down on, but if you cause no problems, they don't care. To fall under "All drow are evil" is a stupid argument. It's pointless and only good for causing ridiculous problems for people to bitch about.


Would you prefer that characters in the RP saw others and just tried to kill them? Would that make for enjoyable RP? I would say no.


What people need to drop is that Drow are a Species of Hats in TVtropes language. That ALL drow fall under the SAME morality, the SAME goals, the SAME in almost everything. They. Don't.

Are a Sullisin'rune and a Vloz'ress comparable with how they treat their slaves? Of course not. A slave of the Vloz'ress has a average life expectancy of a week. A slave of the Sul can expect to live to old age in highly comfortable conditions.

This morality argument is pointless. Under western morality, yes, as a whole, drow are "evil". Seeing as "the western morality" doesn't even exist in Drowtales, it's a pointless comparison.
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Re: Beserking?

Postby Paladin Tim » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:21 am

How about a compromise? Philosophers smarter than we are have been arguing the nature of good and evil for millenia with almost no consensus. Can we agree that DT Drow are LESS evil than standard DnD Drow? Can we furthermore agree that their morals would be considered highly questionable by the standards of modern Western society? Can we finally agree that "good apples" are common enough to not be a huge surprise when they appear?
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Re: Beserking?

Postby blackshade10 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:22 am

Paladin Tim wrote:How about a compromise? Philosophers smarter than we are have been arguing the nature of good and evil for millenia with almost no consensus. Can we agree that DT Drow are LESS evil than standard DnD Drow? Can we furthermore agree that their morals would be considered highly questionable by the standards of modern Western society? Can we finally agree that "good apples" are common enough to not be a huge surprise when they appear?


This is highly reasonable.


To add an edit: I shouldn't have really posted about that anyway. It is off-topic. My mistake. Bring the topic back on track if there is anything else to discuss.
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Re: Beserking?

Postby Inquisitor » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:33 am

Essentially morality and it's various tangents are blurred into a very obscure, gray line. Drow are not human beings, and can not be held to a human way of thinking. You have immortal beings with a culture on the whole as similar, and dissimilar to our own as you can get.

Blackshade is, on this note, 100% correct.

Drow are different than humans. Which means you can't treat how we see something, and they do as being one in the same. You have to separate yourself completely from personal belief to appreciate it.

Amongst the Drow culture of Chel, Vloz are typically frowned upon, which means they are on the `average` even more different than `normal` drow.

For the most part the comic is morally gray and ambiguous, and you know, I love that. It's a completely separate species with their own history, heritage, and way of doing things. You have to love it.
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Re: Beserking?

Postby Hetros » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:37 am

blackshade10 wrote:And here is why Alignments in 3.5 were stupid.

One, if you just read those last lines and thought it was anything but a summery, then you missed the entire point.

And in Chel, yes, you will be looked down on, but if you cause no problems, they don't care. To fall under "All drow are evil" is a stupid argument. It's pointless and only good for causing ridiculous problems for people to bitch about.

It goes a bit beyond that, we're talking like reconstruction era levels of racial disdain. And the people who are actually of a more "Abolistionist" mind set are few and far between. They are the exception, not the rule.

Would you prefer that characters in the RP saw others and just tried to kill them? Would that make for enjoyable RP? I would say no.

did I ever say that? No. Don't put words in my mouth. But I'm not going to be real impressed if all drow are going to be respectful of other races. Not when they have a superiority complex the size of jupiter. I'd expect MOST drow who aren't slave class to consider any one weaker than them, which includes most untrained non-fae, to be unworthy of serious amounts of respect. The only reason you don't kill them is that it's more effort in the long run than it is too simply bargain with them.

What people need to drop is that Drow are a Species of Hats in TVtropes language. That ALL drow fall under the SAME morality, the SAME goals, the SAME in almost everything. They. Don't.

Are a Sullisin'rune and a Vloz'ress comparable with how they treat their slaves? Of course not. A slave of the Vloz'ress has a average life expectancy of a week. A slave of the Sul can expect to live to old age in highly comfortable conditions.

This morality argument is pointless. Under western morality, yes, as a whole, drow are "evil". Seeing as "the western morality" doesn't even exist in Drowtales, it's a pointless comparison.

One. No. It is not. I can give you a well constructed moral philosophical argument for exactly how and why the Drow are morally deep into the "Evil" zone when taken as a race. I will not do so here for three reasons. 1) You don't have the back ground to seriously understand the methodology I will be using, nor how the conclusions are reached. 2) It is ultimately pointless not because "the western morality" doesn't exist in DT, but because you will constantly use that as an excuse for their actions regardless of the set of morals we live by. I could use the same excuse to brush off the actions of the assyrians, that makes their empire no less vile and evil. 3) I'm fucking tired, and refuse to go through the Kantian test method for the drow over and over.

Now. on distinctions between clans. The treatment of slaves merely changes the degree of evil. The Vloz, taken as a clan, are more evil than the Rune's, taken as a clan. This doesn't change the fact of the bellow examples of how a drow would answer these questions.

Q) Is Slavery Wrong?
A) Nope
Q) Is it wrong to take from those who do not have the strength, or the backing of those who do have the strength, to protect it?
A) Varies, but the vast most drow would answer No I bet.
Q) Is there any reason, beyond the usefulness and cost/benefit analysis of a situation, not to simply kill Nonfae (AKA: is there some reason beyond the actual, physical, use of a person, to refrain from killing them? Even if it would be less costly for you to simply kill them or otherwise force them to give you what you want regardless of their wishes?)
A) No.

While I will accept that from their point of view this is not wrong, since they hold it to be true that anything without an aura is animal, this holds is morally sound for them. But under kantian analysis, this, regardless, falls apart due to the "Will Test" portion of his method. Not going into it just yet. I might in the morning.
Last edited by Hetros on Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beserking?

Postby Sword Goddess » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:05 am

The Drow are a completely separate species than the Human race. Biologically, Ethically, Spiritually, Historically. You can not compare them. You can try to draw parallels, comparisons, and lines in the sand about our own moral dogmas.

The fact remains Drow are a separate, independent species and culture.

They are not Evil, because the word Good, and the word Evil are human terms applied to what we as a culture believe. Which I'll be blunt, there are many different perceptions on what is `right` and what is `wrong`.

My beliefs may for example be in the minority of human society when you consider the world as a whole. Would I even have those beliefs if I were born somewhere else, with a different name, and a different family?

Maybe. Maybe not.

But the terms of `right and wrong` may be considerably different.

The Drow live in a world some of us might consider `wrong` - but only in the sense that you, or I, as a person would not agree with it from our own view point here.

If you were born a Drow (I know far fetched), you would more than likely have a completely different thought process than what you have now.

As for looking at Drow culture. As a whole? Human beings, if you want to get down to it, are on a self-righteous pedestal, we think we're the cream of the biological crop, the ethical and the civilized.

Here's the problem. What human group is ethical and civilized? Can you really define that when for example, half the planet might not agree with what you say? And then, within that massive cultural group we have hundreds of groups who think differently, and within that, each individual may have a slightly separate belief than his peers?

Does this mean said person is `evil`? Hard to define evil when so many social, political, religious and ethical groups might have a different definition of evil.

Look at human history, by our very existence we have a greater capacity for `evil` than any drow city.

Things like Morality, Ethics, and the concept of `Good and Evil` are really better left to an obscure gray mist.

If anything from what I've seen in the comic. The Drow are more tolerant of each other, than human beings are. Or are, on the whole, socially speaking groups are more tolerant of groups. If not true tolerance, they are capable of masking it. Which I say, is pretty good.

Better than, "Said social, religious, or ethnic group comes into a country. They feel offended by the LOCAL practices and whine about it. Let's throw money at them to appease them,"

Drow: "Whut? We let you into our fortress and you have the audacity to complain about OUR practices?" *PUNT*
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Re: Drow morality discussion

Postby suntiger745 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:42 am

Just a note. If you are going to discuss whether they are evil or not, you must first establish a common baseline for how to define what is evil.
Otherwise you are just arguing past each other, using different definitions. :)

So far this reads a bit like person A arguing that not all horses are brown, while person B argues that mules aren't proper horses, allowing for a bit of exaggeration. :P
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Re: Drow morality discussion

Postby TrueDarkBlade » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:33 pm

Here's some food for thought...

http://www.ted.com/talks/sam_harris_science_can_show_what_s_right.html

It's a video and it's interesting.
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Re: Drow morality discussion

Postby Sir Malifact » Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:13 pm

=I

Mass genocide against a peaceful race (Which to them was perfectly acceptable, as they were mere animals and needed to be expunged. The Nazi's held the same belief). Pillaging, butchery and enslavement. Everyone seems to be doing it.

I'm not a philosopher, but that seems pretty evil to me...
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Re: Drow morality discussion

Postby Shanna66 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:30 pm

i still say they are as evil as we are but its just part of their culture to accept it while we try to hide it.

most of the horrible things they do are the same things we do. rape, slaves, pedophilia, thievery, and yadda yadda yadda.
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Re: Drow morality discussion

Postby Sir Malifact » Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:33 pm

Shanna66 wrote:i still say they are as evil as we are but its just part of their culture to accept it while we try to hide it.

most of the horrible things they do are the same things we do. rape, slaves, pedophilia, thievery, and yadda yadda yadda.


Correction

It's in both of our races nature to commit evil. While we struggle to repress that instinct (most of us, anyway) the Drow actively encourage it.
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Re: Drow morality discussion

Postby kylefiredemon » Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:04 pm

And how the hell, does a choatic race build civilzation?! Don't actually have laws against doing this stuff openly?
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Re: Drow morality discussion

Postby Sir Malifact » Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:11 pm

kylefiredemon wrote:And how the hell, does a choatic race build civilzation?! Don't actually have laws against doing this stuff openly?


Well, that means you need someone to actually enforce those laws... ;D

And there would be no way for all the clans to share authority in such a way. A joint police force would be impossible... and can you really see them all letting one clan hold that authorative power? None of them would stand for it.
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