A question about Necromancers...

General feedback and discussion of the game.

Moderator: Forum Moderators

User avatar
Dragonchampion
Posts: 758
Joined: November 6th, 2007, 7:46 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: A question about Necromancers...

Post by Dragonchampion »

In a perfect war-world, wars would be fought with unsouled mechanical contructs, with no participation with humans.

In a perfect utopia, there owuld be no war.

In my opinion, Necromancers are thought of as "cool", but some people hate being the bad buy when they play as them. My question was to implement the thought that Necromancers could be good guys, and also stay good. The only one in the entire Wesnoth game that I have seen is none other than Malin, who turns bad in DiD, and then turns good again (technically) in IftU.

My idea, as Jorma suggested, sounds like Saruman, but unlike him, you will get to make the ultimate choice: Give in to your hatred and become an evil nacromancer, or stay the path of the light and continue to "educate" other Necromancers how to act. This will ab a branch in the camapign, where you can turn to evil or stay good.
Ehhhh... don't mind me, I'm just the annoying little modder who gets on peoples nerves. I'll just lurk till Someone says my name. :P

Oh, and also Creator of The War Of Terrador
Velensk
Multiplayer Contributor
Posts: 3991
Joined: January 24th, 2007, 12:56 am

Re: A question about Necromancers...

Post by Velensk »

Orcish Shyde wrote: On what grounds? Unlife is reversible; death is not.
I don't see what that has to do with anything. I'm also not entirly sure how you would argue the other way. People have been justifying sending people of to fight and die for forever, nobody that I know of has ever tried to justify pulling people out of wherever spirits reside to fight unwillingly in a painful existance.

People die naturaly. People only undie un-naturaly. I imagine that the second would be much more unplesant.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."
User avatar
Orcish Shyde
Posts: 303
Joined: October 13th, 2008, 6:13 pm

Re: A question about Necromancers...

Post by Orcish Shyde »

Velensk wrote:
Orcish Shyde wrote: On what grounds? Unlife is reversible; death is not.
I don't see what that has to do with anything.
The whole reason we have a taboo against committing murder, over and above other physical assaults, is that death cannot be undone. If your boy dies, you are never getting him back. Period. You have just lost an intelligent, rational person forever. If your undead skeleton re-dies, you've lost a mindless robot that can probably be re-reanimated if it's really worth the bother.
Velensk wrote:I'm also not entirly sure how you would argue the other way. People have been justifying sending people of to fight and die for forever, nobody that I know of has ever tried to justify pulling people out of wherever spirits reside to fight unwillingly in a painful existance.
Nobody in real life has tried to justify pulling people from the afterlife to fight again because in real life, you can't. However, in Wesnoth, you can, so it becomes a moral issue. As I said above, I'd rule in favour of dragging people out of the afterlife rather than this one because wherever they were, they can go back even if they 'die' again in war - something which I must re-emphasise, the living can never do. Once dead, never living again; once undead, just a dispel away from being dead-dead again.
Velensk wrote:People die naturaly. People only undie un-naturaly. I imagine that the second would be much more unplesant.
And if we're going to say unnatural = unpleasant... Nature's law is you have a heart attack you die, you develop diabetes you die, you get cancer you slowly and painfully die, lose a leg or two you get caught by predators and die, you catch HIV you die... pretty much, modern medical science is no more natural IRL than necromancy in Wesnoth, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Shameless Crossover Excuse
Necromancer (campaign)

You are a Dwarvish Berserker: you're freaking crazy and enjoy it.
Velensk
Multiplayer Contributor
Posts: 3991
Joined: January 24th, 2007, 12:56 am

Re: A question about Necromancers...

Post by Velensk »

Human souls are immortal according to the Wesnoth text. So no, when someone dies you don't lose a rational intelegent person forever, they just go somewhere else.

I wasn't talking in real life, I was talking strictly in the gameworld. I've never seen any necromancer get rid of usefull minions once he has them.

I would say, that compared to being a partialy decomposed body without any say in what you do but the full ability to comprehend/feel your wretchedness, having a painfull disease that slowly kills you is a minor problem.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."
Joram
Posts: 366
Joined: September 2nd, 2008, 5:36 am

Re: A question about Necromancers...

Post by Joram »

...Did you miss the bit where Jetryl said he was shooting for moral ambiguity with the necromancer descriptions? By definition, that means they're deliberately written to leave room for an interpretation that includes good necromancers.
Whatever the purpose was, that has nothing to do with the result. What is morally ambiguous to one person will not necessarily be morally ambiguous to everyone else.

Unless you have already defined all morals as well. :wink:

And apparently the manual was written in a way that left room for interpretations of good necromancers. Otherwise, we wouldn't be arguing the point. :)

I'm merely arguing my opinion based on the evidence we have available. If you remember, the only part where I expressed a definite conviction was the ghosts and ghouls. The skeletons and WCs were my opinion based on the evidence at hand which I stated that I was willing to see reason on.
Spoiler:
As for the dwarves... it's an example not so much of bias, as of gaps in the in-character manual's knowledge. The point of the thunderstick descriptions isn't so much to show that we're too fantasy-ish to say "guns" as to show that the writer actually has no idea how thundersticks work; he could have made reference to an "explosive black powder, which they place in a long barrel and light to propel balls of metal at the enemy" if he was meant to be truly omniscient.
Obviously he isn't intended to be omniscient. I've never expressed a desire for him to be.

However, he can be 1) unbiased, and 2) accurate without knowing everything. For instance, when he says that ghouls are created from men, it is expected that ghouls are created from men; not that this is the common view held by superstitious peasants.

While the descriptions about dwarves don't give all the information, what it does give is 100% accurate (except for special tag lines such as "some people say"). I am merely postulating that the same is true about the undead.

If one looks at the description for Thunderguards, the manual does say that there are reports of dwarves pouring black powder into their sticks, which some say is to feed the creature within. Note the clause "Some say".

What would have been wrong with including such clauses in the undead category? It would have been simple for the author to say "many people believe these abominations to be created from men. It is because of beliefs like this that Necromancy is condemned with an almost primal hatred etc."

When the manual says "some people say ghouls are created from men", "it is commonly believed that ghosts are the enslaved spirits of men", etc. I take it with a grain of salt. When the manual says "ghouls are created from men", "ghosts are the enslaved spirits of men", etc. I believe it.
The Fires of Pride 0.3, a heavily story based campaign.
On hold while I try and finish my book
Joram
Posts: 366
Joined: September 2nd, 2008, 5:36 am

Re: A question about Necromancers...

Post by Joram »

Orcish Shyde wrote: Finally, I postulate the following. You need to raise an army, and fast. What is more morally defensible, recruiting the living and sending them to their deaths, or recruiting the dead and sending them to go back to sleep?
What do I need it for?

If only for my personal gains, then neither is morally defensible.

If for the benefit of the people concerned, then I shouldn't have to force or coerce them into fighting, so don't need to assemble a moral justification.

If you mean "is it morally all right to recruit a dead army if it will save the lives of the living?", then I would have to say, based on my previous assumptions (which, I grant, may be incorrect), that it is not. It is simply an extension of "the ends justify the means", which I don't believe in.

If my previous assumptions are wrong, then my conclusion is also wrong.

And I find it highly unlikely that someone will spend a life-time learning Necromancy on the off-chance that they will eventually need to raise an army fast. :)


One minor correction...
And if we're going to say unnatural = unpleasant... Nature's law is you have a heart attack you die, you develop diabetes you die, you get cancer you slowly and painfully die, lose a leg or two you get caught by predators and die, you catch HIV you die... pretty much, modern medical science is no more natural IRL than necromancy in Wesnoth, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.
He didn't say that. He said unnatural --> unpleasant; which does not necessarily mean unpleasant --> unnatural.




@Dragonchampion: Sorry to be de-railing your thread into a bunch of rants.
The Fires of Pride 0.3, a heavily story based campaign.
On hold while I try and finish my book
User avatar
Dragonchampion
Posts: 758
Joined: November 6th, 2007, 7:46 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: A question about Necromancers...

Post by Dragonchampion »

Actually, this is what I wanted: A discussion on the morality and severity of Necromancy, and if Good guys can use it.
Ehhhh... don't mind me, I'm just the annoying little modder who gets on peoples nerves. I'll just lurk till Someone says my name. :P

Oh, and also Creator of The War Of Terrador
Skizzaltix
Posts: 1114
Joined: December 9th, 2005, 2:38 am

Re: A question about Necromancers...

Post by Skizzaltix »

So does Northern Rebirth explain what exactly is involved in Necromancy and raising skeletons and ghosts?

If not, then what you should say is "A NECROMANCER WHO USES HIS POWERS TO DO GOOD THINGS." Which does not logically equate to "Necromancy isn't an evil action".

I haven't played Northern Rebirth, so don't know.
So, what you're saying is, it's an evil act that can, in theory be used to do good? Like politics ;)
Joram
Posts: 366
Joined: September 2nd, 2008, 5:36 am

Re: A question about Necromancers...

Post by Joram »

Skizzaltix wrote:
So does Northern Rebirth explain what exactly is involved in Necromancy and raising skeletons and ghosts?

If not, then what you should say is "A NECROMANCER WHO USES HIS POWERS TO DO GOOD THINGS." Which does not logically equate to "Necromancy isn't an evil action".

I haven't played Northern Rebirth, so don't know.
So, what you're saying is, it's an evil act that can, in theory be used to do good? Like politics ;)
Yeah.

But also like politics, it never has that I am aware of.
The Fires of Pride 0.3, a heavily story based campaign.
On hold while I try and finish my book
User avatar
Orcish Shyde
Posts: 303
Joined: October 13th, 2008, 6:13 pm

Re: A question about Necromancers...

Post by Orcish Shyde »

Joram wrote:I'm merely arguing my opinion based on the evidence we have available. If you remember, the only part where I expressed a definite conviction was the ghosts and ghouls. The skeletons and WCs were my opinion based on the evidence at hand which I stated that I was willing to see reason on.
I agree wholeheartedly that ghosts are evil unless you have some extreme mitigation, like turin's door-to-door salesman method. Essentially the issue is whether anything else necromantic requires the enslavement of the soul, and I don't think that's the case.
Spoiler:
Joram wrote:
As for the dwarves... it's an example not so much of bias, as of gaps in the in-character manual's knowledge. The point of the thunderstick descriptions isn't so much to show that we're too fantasy-ish to say "guns" as to show that the writer actually has no idea how thundersticks work; he could have made reference to an "explosive black powder, which they place in a long barrel and light to propel balls of metal at the enemy" if he was meant to be truly omniscient.
[...]
When the manual says "some people say ghouls are created from men", "it is commonly believed that ghosts are the enslaved spirits of men", etc. I take it with a grain of salt. When the manual says "ghouls are created from men", "ghosts are the enslaved spirits of men", etc. I believe it.
I believe the key words here are "for fact it appears to be" in the Necrophage description, referring to the idea that ghouls are made from living people. If it was intended to be unambiguously true that ghouls are made from living people, they wouldn't have put in that line.

On the other hand, I'd be in favour of redoing the descriptions of individual undead to make even more room for irritating debates like this, and might even do so myself one day. xD
Shameless Crossover Excuse
Necromancer (campaign)

You are a Dwarvish Berserker: you're freaking crazy and enjoy it.
User avatar
Orcish Shyde
Posts: 303
Joined: October 13th, 2008, 6:13 pm

Re: A question about Necromancers...

Post by Orcish Shyde »

Joram wrote:What do I need it for?

If only for my personal gains, then neither is morally defensible.

If for the benefit of the people concerned, then I shouldn't have to force or coerce them into fighting, so don't need to assemble a moral justification.
...Yes you do. Even if they are willing to fight for you, if you can use the undead instead without committing crimes worse than murder, then you have a share of the guilt for causing every single death your side suffers, because you could have fought without risking any lives at all. Even in Wesnoth, once someone's been killed, their immortal soul might be stuck in limbo sleep somewhere, but they will never be alive again.
Joram wrote:And I find it highly unlikely that someone will spend a life-time learning Necromancy on the off-chance that they will eventually need to raise an army fast. :)
Pretty much correct. The impression I got was that the reason spend a lifetime learning necromancy - the goal for which dark adepts risk everything in a land where they can be executed for their arts - is not to have power over the dead, but to escape death as an immortal being. The lich is a step in that direction, but further research is very much justified until they can truly grant eternal life, not merely eternal undeath.
Joram wrote:
And if we're going to say unnatural = unpleasant... Nature's law is you have a heart attack you die, you develop diabetes you die, you get cancer you slowly and painfully die, lose a leg or two you get caught by predators and die, you catch HIV you die... pretty much, modern medical science is no more natural IRL than necromancy in Wesnoth, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.
He didn't say that. He said unnatural --> unpleasant; which does not necessarily mean unpleasant --> unnatural.
Eh. I apologise for getting that semantic detail wrong, but nonetheless, I believe rattling off a list of medical achievements is enough to disprove unnatural --> unpleasant, though certainly not to prove natural --> unpleasant.
Velensk wrote:Human souls are immortal according to the Wesnoth text. So no, when someone dies you don't lose a rational intelegent person forever, they just go somewhere else.
You might not lose a rational, intelligent mind, no - assuming that the entirety of the mind is actually contained in one's soul, which is too big a tangent for this thread. However, that mind is never going to be alive again. If you're quick you might give it eternity as a lich, but we've all seen how that usually turns out - an eternity of being rejected and betrayed by everyone just because you're biotically challenged is even less conducive to sanity than an eternity of temporal power as the Lich-Lords of the Wesfolk had.
Velensk wrote:I wasn't talking in real life, I was talking strictly in the gameworld. I've never seen any necromancer get rid of usefull minions once he has them.
It's a wargame. If they got rid of minions, they'd do so at the end of the campaign when the war was over. Mechanics-wise with the level-up system there's a very good reason not to get rid of your undead veterans, too.
Velensk wrote:I would say, that compared to being a partialy decomposed body without any say in what you do but the full ability to comprehend/feel your wretchedness, having a painfull disease that slowly kills you is a minor problem.
You're assuming that the original person's soul is in any way involved in necromantic arts involving the body. I got the impression from the descriptions that the souls of the dead come into play only with the Ghost line. Everything else is either willing (Dark Adept) or too mindless to matter.

I propose a situation. One necromancer has raised a person's soul as a ghost, because he thinks the ghost line is better than any other undead presumably. Then a rival necromancer comes and raises that person's body as a skeleton. What would you have happen if you were writing that scene?
Shameless Crossover Excuse
Necromancer (campaign)

You are a Dwarvish Berserker: you're freaking crazy and enjoy it.
AThousandYoung
Posts: 87
Joined: February 3rd, 2007, 2:54 am

Re: A question about Necromancers...

Post by AThousandYoung »

A good necromancer...

He knows when he's needed. He shows up when appropriate, as you lay on your deathbed, some crucial task unfinished...like rescuing your daughter from the clutches of some villain. He will change you to undead if you ask, and send you on your mission. You tell him exactly what commands to give to your zombie/ghost/whatever, and he, being honorable, gives advice but in the end gives the exact commands suggested - or he refuses to do the animation at all.
Velensk
Multiplayer Contributor
Posts: 3991
Joined: January 24th, 2007, 12:56 am

Re: A question about Necromancers...

Post by Velensk »

I don't see why I shouldn't assume that souls come into play for any necromancy. I've always assumed that that was exactly what necromancy meant. If you arn't useing a soul then you arn't creating undead, you are creating a golum or a construct. I do not see any reason to believe this is the case in Wesnoth.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."
User avatar
Orcish Shyde
Posts: 303
Joined: October 13th, 2008, 6:13 pm

Re: A question about Necromancers...

Post by Orcish Shyde »

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on that point Velensk - the way I see it undead = construct made from a thing that was once alive.

Indeed, I don't even agree one hundred per cent with the poster that people all feel bad about playing the bad guy. The Dark Hordes is one of my favourite campaigns partly BECAUSE Gwiti is one hundred percent Evil, and knows it.

"At last! This is it! Now I must laugh crazily as a true villain always does!"
Shameless Crossover Excuse
Necromancer (campaign)

You are a Dwarvish Berserker: you're freaking crazy and enjoy it.
Velensk
Multiplayer Contributor
Posts: 3991
Joined: January 24th, 2007, 12:56 am

Re: A question about Necromancers...

Post by Velensk »

I'll agree to disagree.

I will also agree with you on the point that I don't mind playing villians in games. I wrote a campaign where you are a villian who spends a good deal of the campaign enslaving people.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."
Post Reply