Glomdoring and sacrifices

CrekCrek Member Posts: 238 Fabled
Some individuals have expressed discomfort with the idea of killing a baby to summon Mother Night. The plant baby made by Amhika Rotwood does not currently work (as far as I'm aware it never has) and some individuals still express discomfort. This prevents people from enjoying the epic quest line for Glomdoring.

What would be some suitable alternatives to show just how far a person can demonstrate the idea of nothing mattering but Glomdoring to some evil Spirit?
The Divine voice of Ianir the Anomaly echoes in your head, "You are a ray of sunshine in a sea of 
depression. I just wanted you to know that."
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Comments

  • VersaleanVersalean Member Posts: 990 Transcendent
    1) Kill yourself instead. Make this an option, perhaps with an increased essence/experience loss.
    2) Sacrifice your spouse.
    3) Sacrifice a communemate.
    4) Sacrifice a level 12 beast. Like the Unsullied.
  • MoiMoi Member Posts: 1,188 Transcendent
    Well, the sacrifice to repair the Drums of the Dead is a unicorn, so...
  • CrekCrek Member Posts: 238 Fabled
    I agree, @Ayisdra. But there have been enough people expressing great OOC discomfort with the idea of doing so. To the point that one considered changing orgs despite enjoying the commune and others turn off CT during the event. Others refuse to do the questline completely. This stops them from completing the Glomdoring epic. I'm just looking for suitable alternatives without removing the spirit of what is being done.
    The Divine voice of Ianir the Anomaly echoes in your head, "You are a ray of sunshine in a sea of 
    depression. I just wanted you to know that."
  • EnyaEnya Member Posts: 200 Adept
    edited January 14
    Who is suggesting that the sacrifice is removed? Adding an alternative doesn't force anyone else's roleplay to change
  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 5,997 Transcendent
    Here's another idea too (an enhancement to the blood-baby thing).

    For a while at the beginning, one of the benefits to the blood baby was that it didn't jump out of your arms / try to crawl away.  At some point it was adjusted to do that.

    So my idea would be to create some form of pen or other container in the Glomdoring in which a blood-baby can be dropped, and it will just stay in there (like the Stewartsville baby stays in Stewartsville).

    This allows people who want to provide an alternative to go grind out Amhika's quest, leaving the plant baby available for others to use.  If it's there and convenient, my bet is people would use it, if not the Stewartsville baby is right around the corner.  But this would at least provide those with an objection something to do other than "CT OFF" and again, it doesn't really change anything about the quest as far as how it is currently intended to be used (with the plant as an alternative).
    image
  • RancouraRancoura the Last Nightwreathed Queen CanadaMember Posts: 1,372 Transcendent
    Enya said:
    Who is suggesting that the sacrifice is removed? Adding an alternative doesn't force anyone else's roleplay to change
    The sacrifice of an innocent infant is a heinous act, one which anyone truly dedicated to Glomdoring is required to perform for the epic quest. As Ayisdra mentioned: 
    Ayisdra said:
    But it also goes into the whole 'nothing matters but Glomdoring'. That the life of an innocent is nothing compared to glory of the forest. As well as that a person can put aside their discomfort in the act too if it means helping the forest by seeking the wisdom of Mother Night.
    My understanding from Crek's original post (and from ongoing conversations since the topic originally came up some months ago) is that some individuals would prefer the baby-sacrifice to be removed completely and replaced with something else. That would change the essence of the ritual, and so indeed, change the roleplay required of those who perform it. 

    We could consider a non-baby-related alternative that is just as heinous, but what's the point?
    Tonight amidst the mountaintops   
    And endless starless night   
    Singing how the wind was lost   
    Before an earthly flight
  • EnyaEnya Member Posts: 200 Adept
    Yes, I've completed the Glom epic quest actually, I'm very aware. 
  • CrekCrek Member Posts: 238 Fabled
    Eritheyl said:
    > HELP GLOMDORING

    "Those weak of heart and mind have nothing to seek in the forest of no mercy."

    Crek said:
    This stops them from completing the Glomdoring epic.
    Correction: they are stopping them from completing the Glomdoring epic. I don't endorse setting fire to wild bovines, grinding their remains into powder and smoking it, but I'm not going to complain that Gaudiguch's epic isn't PETA friendly and needs to be changed because I'm uncomfortable. That's just asinine.


    Read the previous sentence in what you quoted please. 

    Crek said:
    Others refuse to do the questline completely. This stops them from completing the Glomdoring epic. I'm just looking for suitable alternatives without removing the spirit of what is being done.
    They are the ones who choose to not do the quest. I acknowledged that.
    The Divine voice of Ianir the Anomaly echoes in your head, "You are a ray of sunshine in a sea of 
    depression. I just wanted you to know that."
  • LeradLerad Member Posts: 2,405 Transcendent
    I'm also in the camp of preferring baby sacrifices (not that I play nowadays). As for the subject of providing an alternative... it doesn't hurt, yes, but it tends to open a bag of worms that if it were up to me, I would personally want to just avoid completely.

    First problem: Unintended behavior. The entire point of an alternative like this is to salve or give due consideration to the OOC feelings of players. This is completely valid - not just Lusternia, but most, if not all, MUDs declare taboo certain topics or situations that would otherwise be normal in a middle-ages or fantasy setting for this very reason. However, once something is implemented in the game, attempting to police what people can do with it is going to be a lost cause. There are going to be people who will use this alternative method to baby-sacrifice to drum up drama and conflict, even though that is not the intention of the implementation. And who's to say what they will do is wrong? It's unintended, sure, but if a character (not player - the distinction is important), comes along to argue that since there is an alternative, sacrificing babies should be outlawed completely... you're going to have to respond in an IC manner. If you put in the alternative, you're going to have to be prepared to deal with that example, and other variations of it, on a however-often-it-pops-up basis.

    Second problem: Internal unhappiness and conflict. Even if we assume that first hurdle is cleared, that we can stomach the occasional member who would sabotage the alternative instead of co-opting into it, how tough is your RP compensation/punishment/reaction to that going to be? The first example that comes to mind which warns against attempting to tackle this is the caste system of Hallifax when it was first released: (though there's been worse cases since, and probably before that as well) an adherence to such an RP-based simulacrum of a society and its "punishments" on people who voice dissenting opinions will always result in unhappiness, no matter how well-intentioned the idea or implementation. Even the most experienced mentor guiding a new person who chooses the alternative can take a mis-step with the RP'd punishment, and sour the entire experience without meaning to. Being treated as a second-class citizen for your RP choice is fine and all as a concept, but if you institutionalize it, there's always going to be someone who would step across your red-lines of what is fun and what is not. 

    As an example, when I still played Lerad, any one who tried to get a mentorship from him will get the same spiel of "I'll tear you to shreds if you betray us" as an intro RP. Harmless fun and all, and no teeth behind it at all. (I certainly wasn't going to spend my online time trying to "punish" a player who wanted to try another org). But I still had to be careful to try and convey that it doesn't mean they are not allowed to switch orgs - it's a game, they can damn well switch orgs as much as they want. It's a balancing act that has to be customised to each individual player. As personal RP, I can police myself, and if I mis-step (no such case in my years of playing, thankfully), the drama is confined to my relationship with that one person. But if you institutionalize it, you're going to have to field the difficulties that come with that on an org level.

    Third problem: A change to RP. Even if we assume the first two hurdles are cleared, that we're able to both shrug off the occasional unwanted behavior as well as give proper social support to players who opt into the consequences of harsher RP, the org is going to have to come to terms with the fact (yes, fact) that this will change their RP. No, implementing an alternative will not directly force anyone's personal RP to change - but Lusternia is a contextual world, where ignoring org RP is far harder than it seems. This is the same argument for implementing the alternative, of course - you can't just tell someone to "ignore that RP if it doesn't suit you" and expect them to suddenly become completely happy and comfortable with it. But if you implement an alternative, you have to be cognizant of the fact that you ARE changing the org's RP, and forcing other members of that org to respond accordingly. Even non Glomdoring characters (not players - again, this is important) will respond to the change - and will be completely justified. However much "RP'd" stigma you attach to the alternative in order to retain the ruthlessness RP behind sacrificing a baby, or however ruthless you make the alternative be in a different way... - but the fact remains that a Glomdoring member does not have to sacrifice a baby anymore, if they don't want to. People are going to react to that in various ways, and it's going to change the org in various ways as well.

    For me, I feel that it's just too much trouble altogether, for the established players, for the admin, and even for those who would use the alternative as well.

    All that said, as far as alternatives go, if we must have one, then my personal suggestion would be to sacrifice something of true value to the character - in an RP way. Their loved one, their spouse, their child (grown or not), their pet, their right arm etc. Put in a requirement that it must come with a betrayal of that thing or person's trust, or something. Or maybe that it must bring some benefit to Glomdoring (RP'd benefit). An artist losing his ability to see colours to make one of the trees of the forest have rainbow coloured leaves or something etc. Losing five such things through the course of the epic would be interesting to RP - I would probably make a character lose his humanity and become a cold-blooded killer over the course of the sacrifices, if it were me. Would be fun for some people, I guess.

    How to mechanically implement that... well, make it be something a ruling council member can press a button to activate. Ie. at the stage of sacrificing a baby, a ruling council member enters a command and that step becomes "fulfilled" in the quest, with a generic line instead of the baby dying line. Everything in between being RP'd out. Of course, that requires policing so that people don't game the system (another potential variation of problem #1). But if you're going to take the step of making an alternative like this, might as well go all the way with making it meaningful.

    Alternatively, players can also add more stigma to choosing the alternative instead of the baby, of course - like a stunted version of the fingerblade (RP'd only, no mechanical changes etc). But this leads to problem #2, so I would personally shy away from it. But if the above idea is too convoluted, you can always just make it sacrifice some baby animal (a fawn or a buck would fit, I guess?) but make it come with some org-implemented stigma.

  • DaedrothDaedroth Member Posts: 54 Capable
    edited January 14
    It's just a text baby. Honestly, if their real life convictions are against fictional baby killing and it interferes with their character's convictions, that's just bad choices on the player's part to join the "evil forest" org. When I think about it, I'm surprised things are fairly innocent in the "evil" orgs of Lusternia. It could be much, much darker than it is.
  • ArixArix Member Posts: 1,144 Mythical
    Glomdoring matters more than your delicate sensibilities
  • EritheylEritheyl ** Trigger Warning ** Member Posts: 1,670 Transcendent
    Crek said:

    They are the ones who choose to not do the quest. I acknowledged that.
    bb I know, I'm not arguing with you or coming for you. Was just using your post as reference.
  • MaligornMaligorn Windborne Member Posts: 2,789 Transcendent
    I have expressed this before in a different thread on the same topic, but the bloodroot baby is probably the single most legitimate statement of "we're not a forest that fucks around. We will kill this innocent and defenceless thing for the wyrd." To remove that would really undermine the whole Merciless thing.

    However, I, the player, am not -that- heartless. It sounds like an alternative has already been tried to be made for this? I mean, there's only so far you can go without undermining the forest's RP.

    image
  • MoiMoi Member Posts: 1,188 Transcendent
    Daedroth said:
    It's just a text baby. Honestly, if their real life convictions are against fictional baby killing and it interferes with their character's convictions, that's just bad choices on the player's part to join the "evil forest" org. When I think about it, I'm surprised things are fairly innocent in the "evil" orgs of Lusternia. It could be much, much darker than it is.
    I'm going to object here. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to personally act out the darker parts of the game, and there should be no mechanical consequences for declining to do so.

    When your character is a Nihilist devoted to Nifilhema, nobody demands that you to go around talking about cutting people's skin off. Your character can have children without a single emote about the conception or the pregnancy. If you were offline during a raid, nobody yells at your character for 'abandoning their post' after the fact. A character who heartstops does not have to roleplay out being traumatized by their own suicide. A character who is loyal to Glomdoring and willing to do anything for the forest, but who's player isn't willing to roleplay out multiple child sacrifices 'on screen' falls into that same category. People don't play out the darkest things that are implied by Lusternia's lore because doing so would be depressing and honestly kinda creepy when you get into all of the implied torture and incest.

    In character, Nothing Matters but Glomdoring. But in real life, lots of things matter more than text games.
  • EritheylEritheyl ** Trigger Warning ** Member Posts: 1,670 Transcendent
    I mean, I expect to be able to use fae corpses instead of birdseed for the Seren epic. There should be no mechanical consequences for me not wanting to align myself with my org's RP.
  • EnyaEnya Member Posts: 200 Adept
    I'd be curious to hear the opinions of posters in this thread about a hypothetical questline requiring committing sexual violence against minors. Everything is like everything else and afterall, if a character would do it..
  • EritheylEritheyl ** Trigger Warning ** Member Posts: 1,670 Transcendent
    Enya said:
    I'd be curious to hear the opinions of posters in this thread about a hypothetical questline requiring committing sexual violence against minors. Everything is like everything else and afterall, if a character would do it..
    literally could not roll my eyes any harder, gurl bye
  • ZirnoeyaZirnoeya Member Posts: 2 Inept
    Moi said:
    Daedroth said:
    It's just a text baby. Honestly, if their real life convictions are against fictional baby killing and it interferes with their character's convictions, that's just bad choices on the player's part to join the "evil forest" org. When I think about it, I'm surprised things are fairly innocent in the "evil" orgs of Lusternia. It could be much, much darker than it is.
    I'm going to object here. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to personally act out the darker parts of the game, and there should be no mechanical consequences for declining to do so.


    It's not a mechanical consequence. People aren't required to get this epic item, and they aren't denied any sort of advancement if they don't get it. It's a token, a trinket. Their gameplay isn't lessened if they don't have it.
  • MoiMoi Member Posts: 1,188 Transcendent
    edited January 14
    Eritheyl said:
    I mean, I expect to be able to use fae corpses instead of birdseed for the Seren epic. There should be no mechanical consequences for me not wanting to align myself with my org's RP.
    There's a very basic difference between wanting to not play out lore friendly actions while assuming that those actions still happened in the background, and wanting to do something that directly contradicts the lore front and center for no reason other than that it will shock and offend the other players in your org.
    Zirnoeya said:
    It's not a mechanical consequence. People aren't required to get this epic item, and they aren't denied any sort of advancement if they don't get it. It's a token, a trinket. Their gameplay isn't lessened if they don't have it.
    The mechanical consequence is a whole bunch of power and a fast travel artifact that's functionally worth a couple hundred credits in terms of utility. No other organization has this gated by the player's IRL squick factor.
  • EnyaEnya Member Posts: 200 Adept
    edited January 14

    There are arguments to be made for preserving the RP - allowing over the top cackling evil PCs is fine, after all that stupid "literal fetuses dangling from it" viola/violin exists (existed?). It's gauche, but whatever. It's the difference between saying "Having seduced the barman, my character takes him upstairs for the night" and going into a detailed description of the entire encounter.

    One of those arguments isn't, "well, if we allow people to get around this RP, might as well just through all RP out the window, it's all the same!" Clearly there are lines and things that, even though you can assume some NPC probably does it, you would not require a player to buy in on or commit. At least, I hope.  

    It wouldn't even be difficult to implement an "alternative" to sacrificing a baby that is the same from the character's point of view but softens the buy in from the player. As I remember it, the baby dies after it takes any damage. Hint in an optional SACRIFICE command that instead takes it into a cutscene, pretty easy. Perhaps Brennan/Rowena is the one to actually murder the child, whatever. 
  • EnyaEnya Member Posts: 200 Adept
    Zirnoeya said:
    Moi said:
    Daedroth said:
    It's just a text baby. Honestly, if their real life convictions are against fictional baby killing and it interferes with their character's convictions, that's just bad choices on the player's part to join the "evil forest" org. When I think about it, I'm surprised things are fairly innocent in the "evil" orgs of Lusternia. It could be much, much darker than it is.
    I'm going to object here. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to personally act out the darker parts of the game, and there should be no mechanical consequences for declining to do so.


    It's not a mechanical consequence. People aren't required to get this epic item, and they aren't denied any sort of advancement if they don't get it. It's a token, a trinket. Their gameplay isn't lessened if they don't have it.
    Orgbixes aren't useless trinkets.
  • EritheylEritheyl ** Trigger Warning ** Member Posts: 1,670 Transcendent
    edited January 14
    Wait wait wait, people are just upset because they have to be the ones to punch the baby? And they'd be less upset if they could just pass it off and watch Rowena stab it instead?

    Really?

    Is this really a discussion that's happening on these forums right now?

    L o L. I'm gone, good luck.
  • MoiMoi Member Posts: 1,188 Transcendent
    Enya said:

    It wouldn't even be difficult to implement an "alternative" to sacrificing a baby that is the same from the character's point of view but softens the buy in from the player. As I remember it, the baby dies after it takes any damage. Hint in an optional SACRIFICE command that instead takes it into a cutscene, pretty easy. Perhaps Brennan/Rowena is the one to actually murder the child, whatever. 
    This would not fix the basic problem of 'people not wanting to read about dead babies recreationally'.
  • EnyaEnya Member Posts: 200 Adept
    edited January 14
    It helps. There's a qualitative difference in the details of something. The difference between pulling the lever to kill one/save five and pushing the one off a bridge yourself: With thought many people will readily do the first, but have a harder time in the thought experiment doing the second, the direct personal agency DOES have a different impact, even in a non-real scenario. Certainly there will still be someone who in theory gets squicked out by anything, but it's a good alternative that threads the needle described in this thread. That, and fixing the fakebaby quest - the alternative that's already in the game and evidently hasn't destroyed player's lives yet.


  • LeradLerad Member Posts: 2,405 Transcendent
    Just to try out the thought experiment a little:
    Enya said:
    I'd be curious to hear the opinions of posters in this thread about a hypothetical questline requiring committing sexual violence against minors. Everything is like everything else and afterall, if a character would do it..
    Lerad said:
    ... not just Lusternia, but most, if not all, MUDs declare taboo certain topics or situations that would otherwise be normal in a middle-ages or fantasy setting...
    Your example falls under that category.

    Now, if you're asking why sexual violence against minors in the game is taboo, but killing babies in the game is not? You might as well ask why institutionalized racism (Elves being second class citizens in Mag, and Viscanti similarly in Celest - or any number of other examples) is not taboo.  You might as well ask why cruel and unusual torture (like Nifilhema's RP, for example) is not taboo. Or why military desertion is not taboo. Or why religious intolerance and zealotry is not taboo. Or why political dissension is not taboo. Etc etc. After all, all of the above are legislated against, and can come with hefty criminal punishments if convicted of, in the real world.

    The answer is simply: It is arbitrary. Because this is an imaginary world and a roleplaying game, where we draw the line depends on ourselves as a community, as a group. As fantasy buffs, most of us are willing to close an eye (or multiple eyes) to things like murder and incineration and torture and a plethora of other things. And in the same breath, most of us would agree that we are not willing to do the same for things like sexual violence against minors in the game.

    In other words, like it or not, killing babies in the game simply isn't as taboo or offensive to Lusternia's collective social sensitivities as sexual violence against minors in the game is. That's all there is to it. Where that puts our community's collective moral compass may be a topic for private self reflection, and some might be more disturbed than others about the way things are - but things are what they are. 

    Now, the "majority rules" status quo doesn't have to completely reject exceptions. The majority can still have consideration toward the minority, and we do! Across a multitude of topics too. But it is a balancing act between how close to modeling the fantasy world we are creating that we want to be (our adherence to RP), versus how much we want to be sensitive to others' discomfort. This is why we have conversations, sometimes controversial ones, about topics like killing babies in the game and institutionalized racism, and military desertions in the game. Afterall, there was a time when not turning up to defend raids was met with mechanical consequences. And even today, it still is, under certain circumstances. And, as a matter of fact, much as we may or may not like it on a personal basis - that is an example that is considered of importance and significance to more players than killing babies in the game for an orgbix is.

    To compromise, we need to recognize that what might not be kosher for a person could very well be completely okay for another, and vice versa. And that, if at the end of the day, the majority decides that we shouldn't have the change, for whatever reason, then, well, at least you can say there's been an honest discussion about it. Whereas if you start equating the topic on hand, the act of killing babies in the game, with practices and situations like sexual violence against minors in the game that are already black-and-white to us as a community, then what little common ground we have for discussion will start to disappear - you're just going to end up with two camps (yes-i-agree-they-are-the-same vs no-i-disagree-they-are-different) who are unwilling to compromise because of how black-and-white the invoked example is.

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