General Thaumaturge Guidelines

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Re: General Thaumaturge Guidelines

Postby Elystole » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:54 pm

xavier wrote:Elystole wasn't being attacked by those highwaymen when I was standing in the room. He saw them and went on the offensive . I know because I was standing in the same room and I wasn't being attacked either, until I attacked them. I think this particular "we'll only be aggressive to the guy sent out to deal with us was implemented because of newbies walking along the road and getting taken out by the stray arrow during a task, not sure.

I've actually had to train myself to not ride past highwaymen when I see them but engage, overriding my previous concerns about kill-stealing inherited from other games, because I think the sentiment of "not my task, not my problem" is terribly OOC.

xavier wrote:Templars drive off the foe and give them an opportunity to change, yes this isn't always successful and could potentially result in the same foe turning around and doing his evil again. On the other hand, a vigilante walking into the room and outright slaughtering said criminal really makes the vigilante not much better than the criminal. Does the fact that you only outright murder bad guys make you a good guy?

Yes. Yes, it does.

People seem to be really casual about the idea of the highwaymen or whoever else going off and repeating their crimes. If a highwayman escapes, more innocent people die. It's that simple. How does that weigh on your conscience? I want to know how Templar feel when some grieving widow comes up to them and asks why they didn't stop their husband's murderer when they had the chance. "Oh, the Church teaches that people deserve a second chance - even if those people have murdered in the past and are trying to murder you now."

I find it kind of funny that Templar used to be upset when highwaymen escaped. I imagine there was a reason for that. Did everyone just forget what it was now that their fancy powers will get dinged?

preiman wrote:I really do feel that under no circumstance should the church take on the role of judge. if they bring someone in, and someone else judges them that is a very different thing. however if they are allowed to just say on the road that this person deserves death, then they become something terrible. it's like a cop, if they must kill someone in the line of duty to protect themselves or others then that is regrettable, but if they just say this person is worthless and takes the shot when they don't have to that is monsterous. it is sometimes a thin line, but if you can't walk it, or can't be bothered you shouldn't be doing the job.

This isn't about Templar being judges. When someone is actively trying to kill you, there isn't a lot of confusion there as to their guilt. They're murderers. It's highly doubtful that it is their first time killing, and it is highly doubtful that it will be their last. And even if it was that first and last time, just the fact that their reaction to "a Templar is coming to discourage us from preying on the innocent" is to try and kill that Templar says a lot about their character. Namely that if any of those poor travelers have tried to defend themselves that they're lying in a ditch somewhere.

Lae wrote:My problem with the way that you're thinking is that you're pretty much saying "well this is what they're thinking, so it's okay if I teach them a lesson or kill them". You don't know what they're thinking or if you've seen them before or will again on a road

Except we do know what they are thinking. They are thinking, "How dare this Templar try to stop us? Let's kill this shmuck and get back to robbing people." I'm not saying that simply driving them off is hard. I'm saying that it's profoundly unwise and that it makes the Templar look like a bunch of naive idealists who value their Inner Light over people's safety.

Lae wrote:You want to help people? You're helping them by driving off the threat.

All that does is delay the inevitable. You haven't actually solved anything. They run off, lick their wounds, and get a little bit smarter about picking their targets next time.

A quick lesson in what I affectionately refer to as "body count math":

1 captured highwayman = 0 deaths (assuming they don't just get hanged by the town). Huzzah.
1 dead highwayman = 1 death. This is regrettable because any loss of life is regrettable, but if anyone has to die I vote for the guy who goes around preying on the innocent.
1 fleeing highwayman = 1 + n deaths where n is the number of innocent people that highwayman kills before they finally come across someone who puts them in the ground. This is worse.

If highwaymen start surrendering when they get smacked around enough, cool. Great. Bring them in. But then I hope the task switches to "Capture them if you can. Kill them if you must. Do not let them escape." Because "driving them off" just so that they can go right back to doing what they were doing because the Inner Light gets upset if you kill them sounds a whole lot like this:

Rias wrote:Mm. Sorry, people - I'd fight to keep you safe from these highwaymen, but there's a chance I might have to deal with some side-effects. Maybe a mercenary will come help instead, if you offer a good enough reward. Good luck.

And it took me a while to realize it, but that is why this change really bugs me. When the Church's leaders are telling their members to let murderers escape rather than risk dimming their Inner Light it means that the Church now values the Inner Light over innocent people's lives. It's taken the premier group of Good Guys in the Lost Lands and turned them into hypocrites. And that sucks.
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Re: General Thaumaturge Guidelines

Postby Lae » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:14 pm

I understand body count math, and a whole bunch of other stuff but that doesn't necessarily refer to CLOK. This isn't the real world. I don't hear the death knell ringing every ten minutes because someone got jumped by a highwayman. The creator of CLOK wants this task to be done by templar a certain way. You don't agree with it, and that's fine. But that doesn't mean that the Church are hypocrites. It means that they value all human life instead of the life of an "innocent."

I'm sorry that you don't agree with the guidelines or the tasks, but that doesn't mean that they are wrong. It just means that someone out there thinks differently than you do.
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Re: General Thaumaturge Guidelines

Postby Sneaky » Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:04 am

I think what people are forgetting is the compassion part of the guidelines. Other than being part of the guidelines, it's one of the basic requirements to channel isn't it? Deciding to kill this person because you've Discerned that they're not going to change their ways based on the few words that they speak to you before the battle begins is not showing any amount of thought or compassion. . It's showing self righteousness; holding power over someone else just because you feel your thinking is always correct and just. For all you know that bandit could have been trash talking you because they were trying to sike themselves up, or so that they didn't show any weakness to their friends. Perhaps they just underestimate the abilities of the Templar. All of the examples I've seen so far have been giving every single one of these individuals the same template murderer cut out. The fact is very few people even in real life kill simply for the joy of killing. Many have traumatizing experiences growing up, others are forced to due to survival, and yet others are just messed up in the brain. These are very different circumstances, but they are all tied to murder, so does this fact mean that all should be held under the same judgement? I.E. person A murdered because he wanted to see how loud he could make someone scream, gets sentenced to death,, person B was just trying to fight for their life and killed their attacker, death sentence, person C. left a knife on the table and a friend lost their balance and fell on top of it fatally wounding them, death sentence. This is what I've been reading so far in this thread. The only thing that's tying these individuals together is that they happen to be highway robbers, and this means they are murderers, rapists, and hell why not, poop throwers every single one of them. In an area like the lost lands passing judgement over someone who's just trying to survive the way they know how wouldn't be a very understanding and kind thing to do. The job of the Templar is to guard the ways so the robbers are discouraged from going that route, to redirect their paths to a more constructive future.
There may be times when the target in question shows no signs of remorce and show no signs of turning back. At these times the Templar is faced with a decision, to take care of them with violence, or by some other means. These decisions should not be decided on a moment's notice, they should be deliberated upon and carefully thought through. For a Templar, taking a life should not be an easy decision. For every action they take they should stop and consider how it would affect the people around them, the person in question, and themselves. If your character feels that this person should be killed, then go for it, however they should be willing to accept any consequences that may come about due to such a decision. Sort of a self sacrifice for the greater good.
Sometimes a person will be slayn accidentally, the Templar may have been able to pull some punches as it were, but their control is not always perfect, and this can lead to fatal injuries. These accidents should be viewed as tragic insadence, and warrent a brief time in which the Templar contemplates his or her actions, and ways to prevent them in the future.
I personally don't view compassion as weakness, I view it as being strong willed, strong minded, and completely hell bent on the belief that people are good. This is exactly how I view the Templar and monks should be. If your character views it as weak, or ignorent or naive then that's their thinking. It does not mean that's how everybody else thinks however. If you want to call them out on it, then do it. It'll be a way to test their resolves and their disaplen. Being part of an organization which such strong beliefs shouldn't be easy by far. If I've stated something here that's incorrect I'd ask that a GM inform me. However I think this is a huge chunk that's been missing from the discussion. And lastly I've not slept all night so if something doesn't make sense I apologize and I'll return to edit it once it is pointed out.
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Re: General Thaumaturge Guidelines

Postby Lavi » Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:59 am

There are a few things I’d like to point out on this. First the glance and lecture was from Lavi, and Xavier’s character was there. But, this idea that the lecture was undeserved is a bit off. It would be one thing to say that Lavi, or Xavier’s character wasn’t there, and that Elystole killed these highwaymen on his own. But it’s another thing for Elystole to kill one, have a person ask you to hold your fire, then Elystole make the statement, “Bad move,” to a guy who could barely stand. The intent was to kill them even after you were asked not to. Anyone who is trying to avoid that result is going to be a bit upset. You killed the first one, which I could’ve let slide and in my mind did because you can’t control everything, and while it is unfortunate, it sometimes happens. But, the second was a conscious effort to put the guy out after a request not to. If you want the exact quote on what Elystole said, it’s in my logs, but I can get it if necessary, and it’s not really my intent on writing this post, but I didn’t want this idea that elystole was just happening to travel through and wasn’t able to leave the area. That is the only clarification on that point.
As for this idea that it’s hard to do the tasks now, I’m doing them in leather and sometimes I die, but if I were in plate this wouldn’t really be a problem. I generally can run off two highwaymen in about a minute and a half sometimes a bit longer getting them moderately wounded. I have to be doubly careful, because I don’t have disarm, and I generally use two short-swords, but I’ve not had difficulty with two of them. At first i was doing it with two people, then I slowly started doing them myself. Not sure how difficult with three highwaymen it is, but I’m sure it’s a bit more annoying. Still, I don’t really see it as hard.

On this idea of Lawful stupid: I do not view myself as lawful stupid, I view myself as trying to have empathy. I am a huge believer in the death penalty, I don’t think that we can rehabilitate everyone, but there is this idea that because I choose to give people the opportunity to live, that I in some way, don’t see the consequences of my actions. The guys may go out and do it again, they may kill someone, I might have to hear from a grieving mother about how her son was murdered by the same men that I drove off, that doesn’t mean I change my thought process because someone doesn’t like what I do. It also doesn’t mean that I don’t empathize with that mother. I should feel bad that the men I tried to change didn’t, I should grieve with her and extend what help I can. She may not want that help, or may not like me, but when a Templar says, “A Templar should be compassionate,” he agrees to a double edge sword. He has to give compassion even when a person doesn’t deserve it.
It’s a choice the player has to make, and no one is forcing you to say I’ll keep them alive. But, if you get dimmed that’s on you. You choose to kill the highwaymen, you choose to hunt for the sport of it, you choose how you treat others. If you can’t harness your inner light as well, then that’s fine, but that is your choice because you know the consequences. Just because something is unpleasant doesn’t mean it’s a reality. Because I chose to let someone live—I’ve even gone as far as healing them up so they can walk off—someone may die from that, but I chose to be a compassionate person, and 9 times out of 10 I try and keep from killing them. I ask anyone who goes with me to try and avoid killing them. It doesn’t always work, but my intent is to make an attempt. I have no problems making that decision, because I know what I’m choosing. I can’t begin to see how that makes me “Lawful stupid” when I know the results of the actions I take. It’s only lawful stupid if you do something without considering the consequences and follow the herd. But, I know what I agreed to, and so throwing this term around like we’re all dumb idiots, is like saying you can’t believe a certain way because it’s vastly different from how people usually act. I however view it as something that can be a good challenge to myself, and to my thoughts. I’m not saying I’ll never kill, I Killed an acolyte, coming out of that crypt, because I needed the torch and because if he saw me, it could be more trouble then what was already started, but I expect to get dimmed for that as a Templar. I needed something to complete a vital assignment, and to protect others, and if I were a Templar at the time I would’ve totally expected to sacrifice my inner light for the action.
The only thing I can see being lawful stupid is to say let’s kill someone and say he deserved it, and then not expect to get consequences. We can’t have it all. We can’t be justified in everything, that’s why we have a choice.
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Re: General Thaumaturge Guidelines

Postby Rias » Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:45 am

Elystole wrote:
Rias wrote:Mm. Sorry, people - I'd fight to keep you safe from these highwaymen, but there's a chance I might have to deal with some side-effects. Maybe a mercenary will come help instead, if you offer a good enough reward. Good luck.

And it took me a while to realize it, but that is why this change really bugs me. When the Church's leaders are telling their members to let murderers escape rather than risk dimming their Inner Light it means that the Church now values the Inner Light over innocent people's lives. It's taken the premier group of Good Guys in the Lost Lands and turned them into hypocrites. And that sucks.

What I said in that quote was in response to your suggestion that Templar not deal with highwaymen at all. It would be ridiculous for Templar to deign not to deal with highwaymen just because it put them at personal risk of some relatively minor side-effect (potential temporary difficulty in harnessing their inner light).

I've said multiple times now, Templar should judge themselves when a killing is appropriate or necessary or when it is not. The point is that they think about it. Whether you believe it's right or wrong, effective or ineffective, the Templar encourage their members to carefully consider before they take a life, regardless of that life. That is not the same as saying they should never ever do it. They need to think. Consider. Analyze. If they just decide "every highway robber is deserving of death" that's a big step toward Might Makes Right, I Know Better Than Everyone Else, I Know People Without Ever Having Known Them, and so on. Heck, read the TV Tropes page on Knight Templar. That's what people tend to expect, and that's what I'm trying to avoid. Apparenty that makes the CLOK Templar a bunch of pussy pushovers because they actually think about things instead of just deciding they know best and murdering people without hesitation because "hey, there's a chance they might have caused trouble again" or "I just assume every highway robber is a serial killer, rapist, and puppy-kicker". They're not against killing - they realize sometimes it's necessary. They're against broad-sweeping-judgmental, mindless impulse killing.

Where's the line? Nowhere. It's not a line. It's like a hazy undulating swath of zig-zagging fog that varies vastly in broadness along its length and over time. There is no clear-cut line! Situations differ. Various factors cause differences in seemingly-similar situations. How can the Templar be expected to know what's right every time?! They can't. I don't expect it. Their leaders don't claim to know the "right" course of action in every situation. I sure as heck don't claim to. Here's the thing I keep pounding at: They need to think about it, and try, regardless of the impossibility. I know that's hard. It may even seem mean to give these guilds an impossible task, knowing they'll fail time and again. I think the major issue here is that people get so upset or offended when it turns out the inner light seems to disagree with them in a situation.

I've said multiple times: I expect every thaumaturge to have their light "dimmed" at some point, at multiple points. This doesn't mean they're bad. This doesn't mean they should be kicked out of their guild. This doesn't mean they're unfit to be a thaumaturge. Dwaedn don't get all pissed off or think they should quit the organization when the Animal Spirits ignore them if they've been depending too heavily on the Spirits. That's just how things work with the Animal Spirits and the Dwaedn (yes, this is a thing that happens and is implemented). Templar (or any other thauamtaurge) should not get all pissed off or think themselves unworthy of their affiliation because they had to do something that caused a penalty to their ability to channel thaumaturgy. It's just how things work. The point is that it makes them think about their actions, or at least it should - it more often seems to lead to people throwing up their hands and saying "screw this BS!".

I'm going to address this one more time, and then I'm just going to drop out of this repeating aspect of this thread because a broken record gets old after a while. The big issue here appears to be Highwaymen tasks. Here's the text Templar get for the task (it's different than the one Mercenaries get):

"There are reports of highwaymen robbing and harassing travelers along the road in the [areaname] area. Please see to driving them off. You should attempt to drive off or subdue the offenders if possible, rather than kill them."

First off, note it says "robbing and harassing." If they were murdering and raping and kidnapping and throwing puppies into wells, it would probably be noted in that little intel report. Yes, I'm more of an idealist when it comes to human nature. I like to think that the people that are murders and rapists are the rare exception to the norm. If I wanted a task for Templar to take care of a murderer or a rapist, I would likely hand-tailor it, rather than put it in the automated task system, because otherwise holy crap, what kind of crapsack world is this where murderers and rapists are so rampant that multiple people are gettng multiple tasks every hour to go take them out? I like to think that these automated-task highwaymen are more along the lines of intimidating opportunist thugs. They're not leaving piles of corpses on the roads of the people they kill and loot. They're jumping out at people along the roads and saying, "All right folks, hand over your valuables and nobody gets hurt!" I have no idea if this is historically accurate, but in my mind (and thus related to how I portray the CLOK world) I imagine - for instance - train robbers don't just slaughter everyone on the train and pick the bodies clean. They jump in, flash their guns and yell threats a lot, get people to hand over their wealth, then leave the train and ride off into the sunset with their ill-gotten gains (yeehaw!!). Most of the robberies I read about in the news involve criminals doing the same - flashing weapons, yelling threats, getting people to hand over money, and leaving. They don't go in, gun everyone down, and then help themselves. I'm sure that happens on occasion, but it seems to be a relatively rare thing.

Now, yes, these highwaymen go on the full offensive when the Templar arrives (though as someone else noted, they ignore other people - they could just be another group of adventurers on the road, for all anyone who sees them knows). This is primarily because I'm lazy. It's easier for me to give them the stock "attack until foe dies or you are moderately wounded - in the latter case, flee" AI. There's no AI that says "Demand money and/or expensive possessions and await compliance, and counterattack if attacked". I should write one up one of these days. As things currently stand, I chalk it up to "Well crap, this person is heavily-armed/armored, they're probably not going to just give in to our usual "Hand over your money" initimidation schtick - we'll just straight up mug them and take their stuff, I bet we could take em." Again, due to AI limitations (my own fault) there's no "beat someone to unconsciousness, then loot them" AI for these robbers, and there's no way to put your hands in the air and say "I surrender, take my stuff and let me live!" so they just go straight for the kill. And look, they don't even take the riln that drops if they succeed in their attack! They just stand around all, "Duuuhhhr, duuuhhrr." Silly highwaymen. AI limitations strike again!

Okay, so we've got a Templar who's beset by robbers, and they're clearly attacking full force. Here's where the Templar can make a decision. Do I just kill them all and wash my hands, or do I try to subdue these guys and bring them to some kind of authority/justice figure? If you're a Templar, you're expected to at least try to do the latter first. After all, you're the elite one-man army damage-ignoring self-healing warrior in the situation. Yeah, it can be harder and more dangerous than just killing them all and ending the conflict swiftly. Templar are hardcore that way. Now again with the broken record: There's currently no way to capture these guys. There's also no way for them to willingly surrender to you. This makes me sad, and yes, I will work on it. So while you can try to roleplay wanting to subdue/capture them, the only way to complete the task within current mechanically-possible means is to kill them, or hurt them enough that they run away. Yep, it's not ideal. I'm working on it. This is the primary reason why the task includes the suggestion to "drive them off" - that's the only mechanical way to complete the task without straight up killing them.

So okay, you've decided you'll see if you can disarm, subdue, and capture these clowns first (as far as your RP - mechanically and OOCly, you know they'll just run away since capture isn't coded in yet - yay alpha!) - make them re-think their lives while they sit in a cell or wherever they end up. But oh dear, look at this - you've taken a serious wound, and these guys don't look like they're easing up. You're in real danger of losing your life, here (let's not get into the fact that you're Undying right now). Is it understandable that you would then respond with lethal force in turn? Sure. You could also retreat, but then the troublemakers would likely get away. Of course, the motivation for this possible change in tactics is preservation of you own life in the first place, and if you're on the losing side of the battle and your goal is to stay alive, retreating is probaby the better option. The Templar don't expect their members to throw away their lives in battles of steep odds against some highway robbers (who as noted, aren't known to be murderers (until they attacked you) or rapists or otherwise archvillain material). Take serious risk in losing a Templar, or let some thugs get away temporarily? I don't know if this is bad, but I think the Templar would prefer the Templar retreat and live to apprehend those thugs another day, rather than fight against steep odds and more likely than not die in a relatively minor-consequence fight. Not to say that staying and fighting to the bitter end is necessarily a bad choice for a Templar to make - you know those Templar, with their self-sacrifice and their valour and all that. Sometimes you just can't talk them out of it.
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Re: General Thaumaturge Guidelines

Postby Rias » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:18 pm

And a quick afterthought I had:

Let's say criminals Bob and Larry are here in Eagle Mountain, UT (where I live). They park their truck across a stretch of road between still-developing communities so travelers have to stop, and they hold the travelers up with their shotguns until the travelers hand over their wallets, luxury cars, and other stuff. (For some reason, they seem to particularly target produce trucks, but that isn't relevant to my current point.)

If the police response was to send a team to shoot these robbers in the head in order to resolve the situation, I'd be profoundly horrified. I would hope said team would, say, kneecap them or gas them or otherwise subdue them, and bring them in, despite my lack of contentment with the U.S. justice system.

Just thought that would help express my feelings on this subject. I'm not saying how I feel is how everyone else should feel or "right", just trying to help express my point of view and hope others can relate to it better this way.
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Re: General Thaumaturge Guidelines

Postby Elystole » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:59 pm

Lae wrote:I understand body count math, and a whole bunch of other stuff but that doesn't necessarily refer to CLOK. This isn't the real world. I don't hear the death knell ringing every ten minutes because someone got jumped by a highwayman.

So which is it? Am I supposed to act like NPCs are people and imagine the world is bigger than portrayed, or am I supposed to only care about PCs and what rings the death knell?

Rias wrote:What I said in that quote was in response to your suggestion that Templar not deal with highwaymen at all. It would be ridiculous for Templar to deign not to deal with highwaymen just because it put them at personal risk of some relatively minor side-effect (potential temporary difficulty in harnessing their inner light).

I know. And I was using the same quote to point out the ridiculousness of letting a murderer escape because putting an end to them would risk dimming the inner light.

First off, note it says "robbing and harassing." If they were murdering and raping and kidnapping and throwing puppies into wells, it would probably be noted in that little intel report. Yes, I'm more of an idealist when it comes to human nature. I like to think that the people that are murders and rapists are the rare exception to the norm. If I wanted a task for Templar to take care of a murderer or a rapist, I would likely hand-tailor it, rather than put it in the automated task system, because otherwise holy crap, what kind of crapsack world is this where murderers and rapists are so rampant that multiple people are gettng multiple tasks every hour to go take them out?

You've got a pretty crapsack world: Civilization was all but wiped out by a plague and has barely made a comeback. Mind-controlling fungus destroys entire towns and turns people into grotesque, suffering monsters enslaved to some sort of hive mind. A different mysterious disease turns other people into animals with a taste for human flesh. An unknown substance dissolves just about everything it touches, reanimates and mutates the dead, and exhibits an alien intelligence of its own. Bandits and brigands roam the lands and are secure enough to have forts. Cultists kidnap people to sacrifice them in hopes of empowering their crazy blood god. If you don't live in one of two major towns, you stand a pretty high chance of being invaded by infested, cultists, canim, or whatever else and killed. Not that residing in one of the fortified towns is a guarantee of safety. And then the worst elements of society have this nasty tendency of coming back from the dead.

I like to think that these automated-task highwaymen are more along the lines of intimidating opportunist thugs. They're not leaving piles of corpses on the roads of the people they kill and loot. They're jumping out at people along the roads and saying, "All right folks, hand over your valuables and nobody gets hurt!" I have no idea if this is historically accurate, but in my mind (and thus related to how I portray the CLOK world) I imagine - for instance - train robbers don't just slaughter everyone on the train and pick the bodies clean. They jump in, flash their guns and yell threats a lot, get people to hand over their wealth, then leave the train and ride off into the sunset with their ill-gotten gains (yeehaw!!). Most of the robberies I read about in the news involve criminals doing the same - flashing weapons, yelling threats, getting people to hand over money, and leaving. They don't go in, gun everyone down, and then help themselves. I'm sure that happens on occasion, but it seems to be a relatively rare thing.

Historically, highwaymen did kill people and their careers ended at the gallows. I'm not saying they wholesale slaughtered people, but they are the origin of the phrase "Your money or your life!" and if you were one of those people who didn't willingly part with the former then you lost the latter. Being a stagecoach or a train guard was dangerous and today's muggers will still stab you if you don't hand over your wallet. Which is why when I and others hear "highwaymen" we automatically think they've killed someone at some point in their career. What do they do when they say "All right folks, hand over your valuables and nobody gets hurt!" and someone says, "But I need this riln to feed my family! No! You can't take it!"?

But, yes, it does make more sense that the Templar are content with running them off if, in your world, highwaymen don't kill people. Or maybe when Templar hear about them they are still new and haven't crossed that line yet.
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Re: General Thaumaturge Guidelines

Postby Rias » Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:41 pm

Elystole wrote: And I was using the same quote to point out the ridiculousness of letting a murderer escape because putting an end to them would risk dimming the inner light.

You'll want to re-read if you think they're intentionally letting people escape because they're worried their superpowers will suffer otherwise (or that the escapees are necessarily murderers). I'm not going to bother going over it yet again at this point.

You've got a pretty crapsack world: (snip)

I was speaking in regards to the state of humanity on a large scale. There are pockets of horrible as with the Blood Cult, and plenty of individuals that are horrible, but that doesn't mean the Lost Lands is swarming with men who are mindless killers, rapers, and so forth. By far the biggest threats are non-human - nethrim, infested, and (arguably non-human) canim.

Historically, highwaymen did kill people and their careers ended at the gallows.

Hopefully my explanation cleared up for you that in regards to CLOK, a highwayman is a term for someone who harasses travelers in some unspecified way. The may or may not be murderers, rapists, poisoners, politicians, blacksmiths, miners, horse-breeders, ale-brewers, court jesters, or part-time interns at the infirmary learning about poultices and herbalism to take up the family business. None of that can safely be assumed. Maybe it's their first day as a criminal, robbing to feed their family or pay ransom for their kidnapped daughter. Maybe they're vicious scumbugs who enjoy the thrill of establishing dominance over others and taking their things. Maybe they got caught up in a bad situation that got out of hand when all they wanted to do originally was get enough money to join the Western Coalition. Maybe they're horrible cultists who kidnap and torture people. How can you know? All you're told is that they've been robbing people, so why assume they've got this elaborate history strewn with inhuman evil? Presumably if they have additional crimes, you'd be informed of as much. If someone's a horrible torturous murderer, I'm probably not going to tell you you're going after a pickpocket (because that's what he was most recently caught at) and omit the previous.

What do they do when they say "All right folks, hand over your valuables and nobody gets hurt!" and someone says, "But I need this riln to feed my family! No! You can't take it!"?

Anything from having a rare moment of mercy and letting them go, to thwacking them on the head to try and futher initimidate them, to killing them, I'd imagine. People and situations are strikingly diverse.
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Re: General Thaumaturge Guidelines

Postby preiman » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:15 pm

OK seriously let it go. Elystole if you can no longer respect how the church does things, then great play that. but for now please let it go. we get it you see thing a particular way. some others agree, and some don't it happens. I personally think how the church views the world is valid. not saying it's right or wrong, but valid. you don't have to abide by it. you don't even have to respect it. but please show a little respect for those around you. stop treating people who disagree with you like we are stupid. and seriously stop wining about everything that happens that you don't like in a game that some people are putting a lot of work into so that you can play it for free. If it really bothers you so much go play something else.
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Re: General Thaumaturge Guidelines

Postby preiman » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:20 pm

I am sorry if my comment comes off as combative. I am just tired of seeing this sort of thing constantly. so much complaining, and so very little gratitude. it kind of makes me sick, and it's not even directed at me. I kind of get why a lot of people chews not to come to the boards anymore.
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Re: General Thaumaturge Guidelines

Postby Rias » Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:22 pm

I don't mind discussion, comments, questions, or complaints. I do get a little frustrated having to repeat some things when they don't seem to be acknowledged or accepted, but that's likely largely my fault because I'm not always the best communicator, and I often forget how much knowledge is just in my head and thusly not available to others.

I've actually enjoyed many aspects of this recent discussion, just because it helps clarify things for others, and helps me solidify my own thoughts on the matters, and of course I like to know what people think.
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Re: General Thaumaturge Guidelines

Postby Elystole » Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:32 pm

Rias wrote:I don't mind discussion, comments, questions, or complaints. I do get a little frustrated having to repeat some things when they don't seem to be acknowledged or accepted, but that's likely largely my fault because I'm not always the best communicator, and I often forget how much knowledge is just in my head and thusly not available to others.

And I'm not the best about acknowledging things like that which doesn't help. Usually I just go, "Oh, okay," and move on.

Rias wrote:Hopefully my explanation cleared up for you that in regards to CLOK, a highwayman is a term for someone who harasses travelers in some unspecified way.

Yes, it did. That's what I meant by "But, yes, it does make more sense that the Templar are content with running them off if, in your world, highwaymen don't kill people. Or maybe when Templar hear about them they are still new and haven't crossed that line yet," though I can see what I said wasn't very clear. I kind of like the idea of Templar getting the "new" highwaymen, meaning the ones who have just started preying on travelers who then made it to town, rushed to the church, and told Nuncio about it. Then Nuncio tasks the Templar to go show the highwaymen the error of their ways in a less-than-lethal fashion so that hopefully they do go, "OW! Damn! This is too dangerous for my liking! I though we were going to be picking on bumpkins!" and skulk back home to do whatever.

If the highwaymen persist in their careers and cross that line into being murderous terrors, give them to the Outriders. We'll bring rope.
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Re: General Thaumaturge Guidelines

Postby Rias » Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:30 pm

Templar concern themselves with with any threat to the people. They don't just handle the wet-behind-the-ears ones, and choose to leave the more severe threats to "the big boys" or something. They're completely capable of dealing with murderous terrors, and they're absolutey expected to. People are free to agree or disagree with their preference to try and determine if they can capture and deliver the target to appropriate justice officials, investigators, or whoever, before deciding to simply snuff the target's life.

I think some assumptions about these highwaymen with these tasks are being made. What we know: There are reports of people being robbed by highwaymen in a certain area recently. What we don't know: Anything else about these highwaymen. There's no information available about their names, their habits, their history, their previous crimes, etc. The Templar don't want their people to get overzealous and just go straight to kill them based on assumptions ("You're a robber, some robbers kill people, thus it's possible you might also kill people, thus I am justified in killing you now without further contemplation or concern." Yikes!). Subdue them and bring them in - maybe more can be found out. Maybe they can be dissuaded from their life of crime (after due punishment dealt out by local justice officials). Maybe they can be sent to their parents for a sound whooping. Or maybe it'll be discovered they're Malicious Marvin, long-time killer and kidnapper, and he gets sentenced to a hanging. Upon assignment of these tasks, the Templar has no way to know which will be the case. Their immediate duty is to go out, neutralize the threat (peacefully if possible - if that's not possible, try to forcibly subdue them and bring them in - if that's not possible and you judge it appropriate, use lethal force to remove the threat), and bring them in to individuals or organizations more concerned with and capable of gathering that information and making those judgments. Neutralize the immediate threat, hand them over to those responsible for seeing to further handling and dispensing of justice.

Sure, there's a chance they could escape, or weasel their way out of punishment somehow. It's your choice if you wish to hold the Templar responsible for that. Personally, I don't hold it against the police, for instance, that they don't just shoot any robber or mugger or high-speed-chase target, just because there's a chance the guy might escape somehow while attempting to take them into custody and back to the station. On the other side of the coin, I didn't have any issue with, say, Bin Laden having been killed by the team sent after him. To me, in that case it was an acceptable option.

I know the task currently says "drive off" (it also says subdue) and not "capture". As explained multiple times, this is because there's no mechanic yet to capture or take prisoners, and I don't want to mislead people to think they're supposed to take them prisoner in order to complete the task when that mechanic isn't finished yet. We can choose to take that as "Templar let people escape on purpose!!" or we can understand that this is only because of OOC mechanical limitations that will be fixed. Just like we can say "All these highwaymen are braindead because they don't actually take any riln from the people they prey on, they just stand around", or we can realize "Hrm, I guess that's because there's no code yet to make them take the riln and split."
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Re: General Thaumaturge Guidelines

Postby criticalfault » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:28 am

Which is to say that Templar's have a code of conduct that is perhaps difficult to understand for someone who is taking the stance of Punisher. Regardless, they have a standard of conduct and hold themselves to it because they are expected to be above that ideal, that EVERYONE deserves a chance at redemption. This is of course entirely my opinion, but I've always seen them as people who have more power than most because they have those restrictions (seen to me as responsibility). They do these things because they have to be better than the rest of the Lost Lands standard responses to troubles. Yes the world is harsh (It IS a Demilitarized War-zone more or less), and most people have just become killers because its more or less the easy way out, they don't get to do that because of religious ideals. I'm sure they are a lot of Templar who do start looking at these problems and do fall from grace because they start taking that attitude and actions.

"But those people will kill or kill again"
Yes, but they may not, and the fact that they may not, is just enough of a reason to give them a chance. If you want a PERFECT example of a Templar, read the Dresden Files. There is a character in it who holds a sword of faith, his name is Michael Carpenter. He has be given the chance to kill literal demons who've done harm through CENTURIES, but he has to play by some strict rules, such as Christ's infinite mercy. He wields unbelievable power, but its always measured. He has never killed unless it absolutely could not be avoided and in most of those cases it was because they were at that point going to harm an innocent before him (He doesn't even included himself in that category, threats to himself wasn't considered enough) and when he does kill, he grieves for the loss of a human soul to darkness that couldn't be turned to light by his words, feeling that he had failed himself because he had to do something so final.

Again, completely my opinion, Templar is an easy guild to play if you stick to the rules and understand your the shining example of human mercy while still carrying a blade. You can deliver justice, you can be just as dangerous if not more so than most other guilds, but you have the responsibility to yourself and the world to never let that sword fall unjustly, you being a person without the ability to understand why someone is performing a crime, you just have to try to redeem every person you can.

Just my two cents!
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Re: General Thaumaturge Guidelines

Postby Karasi » Thu Oct 09, 2014 4:28 pm

Elystole wrote:
Rias wrote:Members of the Knights Templar must carefully control their aggression. A Templar is not a mercenary or trained killer. A Templar seeks always to disarm, subdue, and pacify dangerous individuals, rather than solving a problem by inflicting death. In the cases of mindless nethrim and infested, slaying is acceptable. In the case of wild beasts, one should attempt to avoid them. Many can be dangerous, but this is part of the natural order. All animal life and the wilderness should be respected. (It is understood that slaying of fellow man is occasionally unavoidable - however, the Templar cannot dictate the ways of the Inner Light. Slaying of your fellow man, even by accident or out of necessity, may still negatively affect one's Inner Light.)

So it's been a few weeks since the rules came out, and the more I think about it the more this rule really bugs me. It's actually made Elystole think less of the Church and the Templar specifically because it makes them hopelessly naive. Which is unfortunate as one of my earliest memories of the game and something that really set in Elystole's mind that the Church is a good organization is when he teamed up with Alexander and Gad to take down Golyat. He was impressed that Alexander took care of the problem instead of doing something Lawful Stupid like challenging Golyat to a duel or letting him live with a warning.

There is no shortage of examples from stories and reality that I can point to that illustrates the fact that when you spare the villain they don't turn over a new leaf and join the good guys. They just go out and do what they were doing before you caught them. In many cases they go out and do something worse because now they have something to prove ("I'm not going to let those Templar intimidate me! This'll show them!"). How many of those highwaymen that the Templar have purposefully allowed to escape go on to steal, mug, or kill again?

Or, as I recently asked one of the creators of a webcomic that's dealing with this very issue this week, "How many innocent people just died because (the hero) wussed out?"

Does that weigh on a Templar's conscience as much as killing a highwaymen? Does that dim their Inner Light?




Elystole, thank you! Everything you've said on the first page of this thread so far, I have been nodding vigorously to. You are expressing my own concerns with what could be taken as legalism.

Look at Ecclesiastes, or look up part of the words to "Turn, Turn, Turn".

A time to kill, a time to ... whatever it may be.

I could, for example, accept that killing might be a last resort (I'm thinking the Jedi, too, as an example). But to never kill highwaymen or other crooks who clearly only mean evil for others is worrisome.

Also, that was an awesome example about the rabbi and his wife! Wow! And beautifully handled, whether it was a true story or not.

As someone who "grew up" early in my life as a Christian at a very, very, very legalistic church (think hell, fire, brimstone, scaring people into belief), my natural inclination is to balk at a lot of rules set forth. I see them as problematic if taken to extreme, and it concerns me if there are a lot of rules, because then people will find ways to legalize them in a moral sense, and that is when abuse happens. (Case and point, my time as a teen in a harmful church environment. Nothing we did was good enough. I know the truth now, and suffice it to say, their version was simply not it.)

But rather than go off on a theological discussion, let me implore some form of layer in the church. In real-life, there are major and minor theological issues. I know Clok des not have coded-in deities. I also know that most people who have been asked do not want deities. Leave that aside for a minute. Regardless of whether we have them or nont, the church is an entity unto itself, therefore, it is going to have major and minor issues--things that make or break whether someone is "fit" to be a monk or Templar.

I did not know that so many people were doing lapidary on the side. And I haven't gotten past the post I quoted above, so this may have already been discussed. Poor Gad! That mine is huge and must have taken for-freaking-ever to dig and maintain. I think it would be wrong to expect him to give that up. (I know Rias said that mining is not an issue by itself.)

I am bothered by the fact that there are rules about which crafting or hobby activities are allowed. I appreciate and fully understand the need for strength of character, the absolute focus on compassion, kindness, humility, love, etc. But when you dictate whether a person can do one thing or other, in my opinion it's getting a bit too close to a line that probably should never be crossed.

This may be comparing apples to oranges, but let me throw out some examples.
Should modern-day Christians not run jewelry stores, because they will get wealthy and it'll get to their head?
Should a person of any faith have it demanded of them to give up literally every single thing they own in order to feed the poor? (Stick with me, going somewhere.)
Should a person only listen to a certain type of music, because they should only ever "think upon what is lovely," etc? (Philippians 4:4-12-ish).

I'm not meaning to turn this into a Christian discussion at all. I use those examples because they are where I can accurately compare from. Please understand.

There have been groups in the past, and present, who have sequestered themselves in convents and/or monasteries for the sake of only living a certain way.
I respect that this is likely where Rias is going with this monk/Templar/thaumaturge thing. I would just like to see a group of people who have less stringent rules, because not everyone with Inner Light is going to want to be that strict.

I know this could open up a huge gray area, and for that I'm sorry. Life has a lot of gray areas, and as someone who used to be an extremely black-and-white thinker, I appreciate the gray perhaps more now than I ever did fifteen years ago.

There is a time and place for many things, and I'd like to open up, or contribute in some way to, dialog about these gray areas. I feel they need to be addressed.

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Re: General Thaumaturge Guidelines

Postby Rias » Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:41 pm

I would recommend reading to the end of a thread before posting in it.
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Re: General Thaumaturge Guidelines

Postby Karasi » Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:50 pm

I read it all. Aren't you proud of me? :P

A lot of what was said overall makes sense. A few things I don't agree with, but other things I do. Rias, once I got the clarification on not having to be just so every single time, that helped a lot.

Dean, I like what you said. I've never read what you referred to, but it sounds like very good reading, and like what a Templar should be.

I'm an idealist, but through the years I've also gained a certain cynicism about humanity, human nature, etc. Therefore, I see points on both sides of certain issues.

I, too, thought highwaymen were murderers, hardened criminals. Suggestion: IF they are robbers, perhaps change their names sometimes to reflect that possibility. Or wait, better yet, don't. That way the possibilities are endless as to what the highwayman actually could be.

I agree with you still a lot, Elystole, but I also like the clarifications from Rias.
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