Monday, March 9, 2015

Like to Help You Out... Can't!

Last week I was approached by a homeless person. He asked for help... you know... like they do. We recently received our tax refund, so I was feeling pretty blessed and wanted to pass some along. I decided I would help him out to the tune of $20. I drove him to the local thrift shop and let him pick a few articles, then drove him back to the parking lot of my workplace (where I knew I was visible to cameras). The experience changed the way I think about helping homeless people.

This person was initially friendly, but as our association dragged on, he quickly grated on my nerves. He was clearly of the pushy victim persuasion. I tried to be cordial as I bid him farewell, but my compassion was spent... I feel certain that my irritation was evident. I have a tendency to leak my true feelings through my facial expressions. He had the nerve to ask for a cigarette. Then he asked me to give him some of my snacks "for his kids". That's when I halted all conversation.

When he got out I wished him well, but knew he wouldn't be well. I was angry. Angry that a person would degrade themself by begging as a lifestyle. I know some people have rough patches, but I believe this one was a professional. A conversation about the incident with a co-worker confirmed this. Apparently he hangs around the dollar store parking lot all the time and his situation never seems to get any better.... and he smokes. If you've got money for smokes, you got money for food.

Seems to me he needs to man up, and get some self-respect and humility. If he thinks getting a job mopping floors or washing dishes is beneath him... and doesn't realize that he's already well beneath that.... his logic is messed up.

I thought about this for a long while. I considered the root causes of homelessness... and concluded that if you don't have family to take you in, you must be a real a-hole (maybe from a family of a-holes). I considered the super-heroes dilemma... the fact that no matter now much power you have you cannot save everyone.

... and don't need to. You should only do what you can. You cannot reasonably expected to do anything beyond what you are capable... and willing.

So, I concluded that helping the homeless is not something I can do. I really want to say otherwise, but I just shouldn't. Great for anyone who can, and God bless them... but I cannot. This is not my fight. I will fight elsewhere.

The video for this is weird.... so I just go with the lyrical version.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Enemy in the Party

Just noticed a poll on Facebook in the Pathfinder group.
"can an evil character work in a good party doing a good quest?" Yes/No
The response was overwhelmingly Yes.
Of course, on Facebook I've noticed that people are overwhelmingly moronic.

I will now explain why this is bullcrap. The OP is asking if an evil aligned character can cooperate with a group of good aligned characters to accomplish a quest that is beneficial to others. I would say that situation is highly unlikely unless everyone in the party is roleplaying poorly. The evil character would be uninterested in doing something that benefits others, unless they saw some benefit for themself.... proverbially "doing it for the money". However, why would a "good party" suffer the presence of this selfish degenerate in their ranks? They can't realistically count on him to help the party. They know he's in it for his self interest.

However, let's face it... it's not the PC that's the problem... it's the Player! If they are willing to attack or steal from party members for their own gain it should be seen as a flaw not in the Player Character, but in the character of the player. Assuming you knew ahead of time that a player in your group was playing an evil character, why would you go along with it? You know he's only looking for a chance to be disruptive. The type of person who wants to play an evil character is invariably a selfish, disruptive person who doesn't care about wasting the group's time.

Therin lies the inherent problems of gaming with asshats. I have never understood people who game with folks they can't stand outside of gaming. I have a theory that it has to do with past mental abuse. Battered-spouse syndrome, in which a person is protective of their abuser, and assumes that if someone is being a jerk to them, it's for their own good. They're kinda addicted to being treated like dirt. Kindness is anathema to them. They've grown to distrust kindness and are drawn to abuse instead.

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20

Sure, I've played in an "evil game" for a while, but apparently I did it wrong, and it was far more stressful than it was worth. You see, I played lawful evil. Furthermore, I played it intelligently. Haruka was no bloodthirsty killer who slaughtered people for enjoyment. Haruka was an assassin, willing to kill for money. Ideology simply wasn't a factor. She was an empty person. I planned to be more threatening and manipulative, a calculating menace, Of course, that really never came up. All the group wanted to do was slaughter innocents for no good reason. Haruka was being dragged down by partnering with a group of idiots.

The reason I say I apparently did it wrong, was because the GM couldn't recognize evil that wasn't stupid. I helped another party member survive who was left for dead by the rest of the party (after an inevitable PVP altercation). Haruka recognized his uses, and basically said "you owe me your life. You work for me, you'll be rewarded and you get to live. Screw me, and I take you down myself." This was a meaningless effort. It was a PC the player was retiring anyway. For my trouble, the GM gave me a 100xp penalty. I showed him... I dind't record that penalty on my character sheet... so HA! Evil!

Really... xp penalties? Who ever really thought those worked? Thanks for coming over and participating... but I took away some xp because I didn't like the way you played. Gee... thanks a pantload. What a great game!