On the problem of killing orcs, etc.

mindstalk

Does the math.
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If the PCs "know" that every illithid or whatnot is a evil backstabber, and one in play is "saying 'I come in peace' and gesturing for you to sit down at the table decked out with food and wine"", and then it turns out to be an evil backstabber, is that playing fair or foul?
 

ESkemp

Registered User
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If the PCs "know" that every illithid or whatnot is a evil backstabber, and one in play is "saying 'I come in peace' and gesturing for you to sit down at the table decked out with food and wine"", and then it turns out to be an evil backstabber, is that playing fair or foul?
It's definitely a case of conditioning players to kill first and ask questions later.
 

NobodyImportant

Registered User
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If the PCs "know" that every illithid or whatnot is a evil backstabber, and one in play is "saying 'I come in peace' and gesturing for you to sit down at the table decked out with food and wine"", and then it turns out to be an evil backstabber, is that playing fair or foul?
I mean... what’s the context here? Who is this illithid? Have they encountered it in the past?

I feel like any player who sits down to eat with an unfamiliar illithid is committing a very foolish act, and should be prepared to make some saves vs poison.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
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It's definitely a case of conditioning players to kill first and ask questions later.
And its not like players haven't in many cases been conditioned to distrust of NPCs as a default state anyway; anything that feeds that at all is going to produce results well out of apparent frequency at best.
 

Fabius Maximus

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THere's also the danger of the "gotcha" ending. "The illithids can be good, but they must eat the brains of intelligent beings, so you have to kill them! Woe is you! Here, have some angst."

While that works in a literary sense--many good sci-fi stories have used the premise of meeting entitites that are just incompatible with us, it's very much a "tails I win, heads you lose" situation for a gaming table, which makes players... Cranky.
 

Elfwine

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I'm not sure it's even necessarily a question of mistrusting NPCs in general or "kill first and ask questions later" as such as "This is a mind flayer. Why should I treat it the same way my half-elf PC treats Bob's gnoll PC's kin?"

If the GM wants people to assume mind flayers are "just weirdo aliens" who may or may not be hostile, relying on "good people use force last" is not enough, I think. Beings like mind flayers or trolls or (without elaboration) vampires and werewolves suggest a lot more "monsters in the sense monster is traditionally used in English are real in this world" than a finely dressed orc does.
 
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LoneWolf23

Registered User
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Well, obviously the real question here is "why is the Illithid operating openly, rather then working through a mind-controlled thrall, or using a magical disguise?"
 

DavetheLost

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If the PCs "know" that every illithid or whatnot is a evil backstabber, and one in play is "saying 'I come in peace' and gesturing for you to sit down at the table decked out with food and wine"", and then it turns out to be an evil backstabber, is that playing fair or foul?
In that case it is perfectly fair and not a gotcha at all. The players know going in that Ilitids are evil backstabbers. Would you trust a known evil backstabber just because it asked you to join it for beer and munchies?

If it was some other creature that was not absolutely known to be an evil backstabber in all case then it might be a bit of a gotcha.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
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I'm kind of wondering why we have to have sapient-brain-eating illithids? It kind of feels like we're trying to justify a problem by coming up with a solution.
 

Aesthete

A for Aeffort
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If the PCs "know" that every illithid or whatnot is a evil backstabber, and one in play is "saying 'I come in peace' and gesturing for you to sit down at the table decked out with food and wine"", and then it turns out to be an evil backstabber, is that playing fair or foul?
Depends on all kinds of context, IMO, but my goal as a DM would be to shift that "fair or foul" perception and decision to the in-game context rather than an clashing-of-assumptions context.
 
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