• Announcements

    • That Which Mourns Soundly

      Logging in   05/10/2017

      If you had an account and can't log in as of 5/9/17, this may be because of a change in logins with new forum software. You can log in using your publicly displayed name (not your username) or your email address and the password you used before.   If you have problems with this, please ask any of the mods or admins. 
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
idonotexist42

Who would side with the Shapers? (SPOILERS OK)

65 posts in this topic

GF1&2 I almost always side with the Awakened; they're the only ones who I have no ideological dispute with whatsoever, they're almost too easy. In GF2 I have played the Barzites as well, even though they're sort of crazy and they don't treat creations any better than the shapers do, but at least they treat YOU, the PC much better than any of the other factions. You're not an errand boy, you're Barzal's right hand man and you get enthusiastically rewarded with wealth and power and in the end you ascend to practical godhood. My head cannon is always that my character pushes for the serviles to be treated decently and runs my holdings in an egalitarian fashion but taken at face value the Barzites don't really have any kind of moral high ground at all, the motives for joining them are purely for personal gain. I also have a hard time stomaching the way he killed Shanti, I'm glad you get to duel and strike down the guardian who killed her like the scum he is.

 

Idk how much you already know about what happens in the later games, and I'll try to avoid doing any explicit spoilers and be as vague as possible, but I'll ask you this: Do you ever side with the Takers in G1&2? Like the Shapers are oppressive, but what lengths are you willing to go to depose them? If you're cool with the Takers, then I suspect you will continue to side with the Rebels. If you're more of an awakened kind of guy, you might find yourself siding with the shapers in the later games despite your policy disagreements with them.

 

In G3, I find the rebels have almost no redeeming qualities whatsoever and the Shapers don't do much that's terribly offensive. In G4, you start as a rebel, and for most of the game they seem decent enough, but you might change your mind towards the end. I think starting as a rebel makes it easier to stick with them throughout the game because you'll probably have a moral issue with betraying the people who you're told are your team, but I'll also note that the Shapers in G4 are largely quite reasonable and don't do anything terribly unpleasant either.

 

G5 the dichotomy breaks down and you have multiple factions again; there's technically only two Rebel Factions (The Main Rebellion and these guys called the Trakovites who have their own agenda not connected to the Rebellion, both the Shapers and Rebels want them all dead, actually. Personally I sympathize with them but think their goals are ultimately futile) But there's a shaper faction that leans more towards an Awakened type viewpoint that wants to sue for peace and end the carnage. Then you've got two hardline factions, one is the typical sort of shaper you see in G1-4, another is going even farther and is, in my opinion, a little nuts. The main rebel faction is the same one that's been around since G3, with the same leader.

 

If you hadn't played G3/4, and don't have any of the rebellion's past transgressions in your mind, they doesn't seem that objectionable at all. Neither side, with the exception of the extremist shaper faction, seem to be doing anything at all out of the ordinary for a war, it's almost just a stalemate when you come on to the scene, their methods are roughly the same so it comes down to who you back ideologically. I generally lean towards taking the liberal shaper faction's side in G5, but I have sided with the rebels just because the Shapers piss me off by how they treat ME, and I want to wipe the smug arrogance of their faces (you will likely despise Rawal in particular, getting to kill him was the main thing that swayed me to the rebel side). Much as I joined the Barzites in G2 because they didn't' treat me like an errand boy and indulged my ego, I joined the Rebels in G5 for the same reason, with the additional mountain of spite towards the shapers for being so bloody condescending the whole game, whether I agree with their political views or not.

 

I find, that as I get older and more mature, and as I replay the series more and more times, my opinions actually soften instead of cementing. The virtues and flaws of each side become more readily apparent and in the grand scheme of things they start to look pretty similar, like there's not much of a difference between the Shapers and Rebels at all besides the lip-service they pay to their supposed ideals. Of the games past G2, only in G3 do I have really strong feelings one way or the other, I only played the Rebel side once, just to see the content and I could still barely bring myself to side with them.

 

 

I find it fascinating how the Geneforge series is able to evoke such strong, strong emotional and moral reactions, it does it more than any game I've played. The whole genuinely philosophical element and the moral quandaries it brings up is really novel and cool. It's why Geneforge is not only my favorite Spiderweb franchise, it's also one of my favorite RPG series of all time (despite my numerous minor complaints). It also forces us to realize things about ourselves as we make those choices, which is pretty cool and unique for a video game. Do you favor order and stability at the cost of oppression? Or do you favor liberty at the cost of anarchy and carnage? where do you draw the line balancing Ends and Means? will you side with a faction who you disagree with ideologically over one you sympathize with because the latter's methods are just going too far for you to stomach? It's brilliant, truly brilliant.

 

Also the whole fantasy/sci-fi hybrid setting and overall premise/world are really unique and well constructed too. I don't think I've ever seen a game series, or even a book series that had anything close to the Geneforge world. And I read a lot of fantasy and sic-fi. Spiderwebs world building is really one of their main strengths and I think that Terrestria is the best one Jeff's come up with so far.

Blxz likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to say SPOILERS AHEAD

 

 

that there are two rebel factions in GF5 (hardcore rebels and moderate rebels under a Shaper councilor), two Shaper factions (hardcore Shapers and Shapers so hardcore that most other shapers oppose them) and ... Trakovites that are not rebels at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Er, no. There are some serious global distinctions between the one rebel faction and the three shaper factions in G5, like who you can get away with pissing off. Astoria's faction also isn't a rebel faction thematically -- she works within the existing shaper system, from within that system. She's an opposition faction certainly, but in no way is she a rebel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

idk whether you're correcting me or alhoon, Hermeneutikos, but I did take care to point out that Astoria's faction IS a shaper faction (even though mechanically it shares reputation with the rebels in terms of questing and stuff) just a moderate/liberal one.

 

Also, Alhoon: I call the Trakovites Rebels because they are. They aren't associated with the main Rebellion that's called the Rebellion, but by definition they are rebels since they oppose the incumbent Shaper Government, they are rebelling against the shapers, they meet the textbook literal definition of rebel. I can see how you might have misunderstood me as meaning that the Trakovites were somehow a part of "The Rebellion" instead of just being a separate, also rebellious faction. They are certainly a third party with a very different agenda than the main "rebels".

 

Assuming the Rebels either win completely, or end up forging a truce and gaining their own sovereign territory, I wonder what they'd call themselves since they're no longer technically Rebels, what would they name their state after the war is over and the rebellion is finished? What sort of government would they end up establishing? The Later point is addressed a little in the G5 endings depending on which one you get but I don't recall it going into much detail or giving a new name to anyone or anything. It's not really relevant to the plot I guess, since the story is over and seeing as you already know who all the players are you really only need to hear who won or did what, titles are a side issue. But Say there were ever a G6 and the rebellion ended 10 years ago, it'd be a little odd if the serviles, Drakons, allied humans and other creations were still calling themselves the Rebellion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was responding to alhoon.

 

Also, the Trakovites might be lowercase-r rebels, but the word "rebel" has a very specific meaning in G3-G5, so I wouldn't use it to describe them, personally.

idonotexist42 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even in the first game, there are some reasons to take a pro-Shaper stance, at least in some regards. One that seems to be generally overlooked is that Shaper society has changed (as noted by the narration in places such as the Arena) nearly as much since Sucia was abandoned as the Serviles of Sucia themselves. The Takers want revenge on the people who raised them as slaves and then left them to fend for themselves in a hostile environment, but they can only reach their more humane descendants.

 

While Serviles "clearly have thoughts and feelings", that doesn't mean that they should be allowed to live autonomously. The Shaper line, which I believe is largely shown to be true, is that Serviles do a poor job of taking care of themselves and don't become more sophisticated than small children - except for some of the Serviles of Sucia, who had two centuries of tremendous pressure to whip them into some kind of shape (not a good one, in my opinion). I mean, a bunch of them turned to banditry (as I recall) not because they were too lazy to work or too poor to survive otherwise, but because they learnt about banditry from a book or something and thought "Wow, that's cool!" - as children might.

 

Shapers have all of the power and take upon themselves all of the responsibility. That may be wrong of them, but... would you trust a people who you've previously thought of as six-year-old children to live on their own? Would you give them the lighter and gasoline that they ask for, just because they say they know how to use them?

 

Also, there's more than the Serviles to consider. There's an unknown people learning how to use a power even the Shapers wouldn't trust, and the most powerful faction of Serviles thinks that's just swell and wants to hitch their wagon to these strangers. If this is what Servile freedom leads to, can you really say there's no case for Shaper control?

Blxz likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well that raises the point of whether or not it's moral to create a being like a servile that's incapable of taking care of themselves. They occupy this weird space between the fully animalistic creations and a sentient being that's …uncomfortable, to say the least. Regardless of whether they have full autonomy or not, or whether that's even a good thing, I do think that they need to be treated better than they tend to be, either way. Even if Shapers are owed absolute obedience by their creations, that obedience comes with a responsibility to care for them and not abuse them.

 

Even though I am very much for creation-rights, I am equally supportive of the idea that shaping itself needs to be tightly controlled. The entirety of the events of the series are a testament to all the horrors that can result otherwise, chaos, carnage, and destruction on a massive scale. It's really not a power to be handled lightly, not everyone can be trusted with it, the shapers are totally right about that. I'm not so sure whether I think self-shaping like the canisters and geneforge is inherently bad or not, but even on an individual scale, the side effects are readily apparent. Even if it were to be allowed, self-shaping should probably be even more strictly regulated than shaping in general. Even the power-mad Barzites were smart enough to pick and choose who got to use the canisters, and to wait and see how people responded before giving them more. Shaping is like the atom bomb, a lot of people will say that it's "unfair" that the US has the most powerful nuclear arsenal in the world and tries to keep other countries from getting their own nukes. I always ask these people if they really think anything good could come of Kim Jong Un having atomic bombs, I ask them whether they think it's "fair" if North Korea uses that nuke to bomb our country, or even, say, south korea. Was it fair to let NK have nukes? even if it was fair, it wasn't exactly wise. Such vast power can only be entrusted to those who won't abuse it, and while we can argue over whether the Shaper's treatment of their creations counts as abuse or not, I think we can all at least agree that they had the collective wisdom not to create anything like the Unbound and gleefully raze an entire continent to the ground.

 

In G1&2 the scope of the games is small enough that you might not get the sense that shaping is as dangerous as it's made out to be, even with the events of G2, they were, as far as we knew at that point, contained into a tiny remote region in the mountains. But in G3, we first start to see uncontrolled shaping really wreak havoc with the lives of innocent civilians on a bigger scale. In G4&5, the whole continent is an active war zone and the damage is plain to see. From what I gather, it'd been centuries at the very least since anything like that happened in Terrestria and a period of peach and prosperity lasting that long is no small accomplishment. The shapers are no saints, they are full of hubris, they are callous even when they are not outright cruel, and they could, I think, stand to be a little kinder without overly compromising their security but they are not without their wisdom. They're kind of dicks, but they're right about a lot of things.

 

 

I suspect that perhaps, long, long ago, there was another rebellion, and it was the damage done by that conflict that inspired the shapers to so tightly control their art, even though they suppressed all knowledge of that revolt and it made their caution appear as avarice. The Shapers seem like they are actually capable of learning from their mistakes, but wholly incapable of admitting them to outsiders for fear of breaking the illusion of omnipotence, and they're bad at PR, they just tell the civilian populace to shut up and get in line instead of making any attempt to explain why they act the way they do except in the very vaguest of terms.

Blxz likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allright thrice born phoenix. But exactly on the first game with natural selection forcing the serviles into sentiency you may not agree with their actions but you cannot discard them, they thought it through and reached conclusions. Which are not all that bad, i mean, you a trainee shaper can still be influenced by said unknown people. And a 10 year old can run away from home and start a life on his own if he comes from an abusive household. Sure a 10 year old doesnt have a great shot at survival but you cant say they had no right to run. Specially if there are no protective services. Specially in a society where if you complain about it to other authorities you can be labeled as a rogue and killed because you are supposed to obey and enjoy obeying.

On the first game the only reason to be pro shaper is pitty for the obeyers which otherwise would be ill treated or dead. But on the first game shapers have no redeeming factors. Still on the second game the only shapers around sorta created the problem. Which easilly labels them as hypocrites on that game but in that case you can strongly argue for shaper laws.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...(lots of stuff)...

 

This is spot on. I agree whole-heartedly with much of what you have said and you have put it in a far more eloquent fashion than I could.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There are some serious global distinctions between the one rebel faction and the three shaper factions in G5

 

Well, we're talking about different things. :) When I say "Trakovites are not rebels" and "Astoria's faction is rebel faction" I meant... as far as reputation goes. It was probably not clear cause I then described the other factions as too Shapery etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Well, we're talking about different things. :) When I say "Trakovites are not rebels" and "Astoria's faction is rebel faction" I meant... as far as reputation goes. It was probably not clear cause I then described the other factions as too Shapery etc.

Im almost sure you need pro rebel lean to join the trajkovites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There are some serious global distinctions between the one rebel faction and the three shaper factions in G5

Well, we're talking about different things. :) When I say "Trakovites are not rebels" and "Astoria's faction is rebel faction" I meant... as far as reputation goes. It was probably not clear cause I then described the other factions as too Shapery etc.

 

 

 

I'm not so sure whether I think self-shaping like the canisters and geneforge is inherently bad or not, but even on an individual scale, the side effects are readily apparent. Even if it were to be allowed, self-shaping should probably be even more strictly regulated than shaping in general.

 

 

First thing first, even from GF4, you see people reluctant to make Drakons or Gazers cause they're too powerful. Litalia herself says at a point "hmm... what to make to bolster our numbers? Gazers are too independent, Rots are bad for morale..."

So yes, the Rebels realize by that time the dangers of Shaping and that control is required. The Drakons don't see the need to put a cap on individual power, not the need to control who can shape.

After all, it's the HUMAN side that tells to every random guy "Welcome to the citadel! There's a Geneforge here, two stairs to the left, climb a step of stairs. It's a colored pool. Put your hand in there and if you survive come to us for details". The Drakons don't do that. They don't allow everyone to use GForges just because they asked nicely.

 

Now, on other things...

Spoiler warning:

 

 

SERIOUSLY, That's a big spoiler. Like discussing the finales of GF5.

 

 

xuerebx and Blxz and everyone that didn't finish GF5 should not read it. Like, really not. It's not worth spoiling the endgame just to see one's point in an argument.

 

And yes, it's a "O_O" moment. You will regret reading below if you haven't ended GF5 with the REBELS.

I will talk about the rebel ending of GF5.

 

****** You've been warned *****

 

The rebels soon realize idonotexist42 is right. Geneforges are drained and even Drakons accept it. Even if the Rebellion wins, the Geneforges are gone.

Sanity prevails. The Humans and Serviles rebel against the Drakons and bring them to heel, and beat some humility and sense to them.

 

The rebellion is totally validated. The serviles are liberated and Shaping is controlled, but creations have rights in some parts of the world. If Litalia survives, Trakovites get "no-Shaping" lands.

 

Did I know that when I was playing GF? No. But I knew there's a possibility for that Utopia.

Could it have been "And the contra-rebellion against the Drakons fails. Bolstered by self-shaping, the Drakons were too powerful, too disciplined. And they could make more like themselves. In the end, the serviles and the humans bent the knee to the Drakons that just replaced the Shaper tyranny with an even more cruel Drakon tyranny."

Yes. I hoped it wouldn't but I didn't know it wouldn't. I actually hoped there WOULD be such an ending if you played GF5 and helped the Drakons too much.

That's why I was fighting for the Rebellion and that's why I was sabotaging Drakons when I could.

 

The Trakovites under Litalia? Not rebels. Terrorists. The most evil faction in the whole game series, and I say that without playing the first 2 games. Cause there can't be any faction worse than that.

Litalia has gone completely bonkers. Taygen made a disease? Unleash it. Drakons made bugs that destroy crops? Unleash them. There's a control center to control creations? Destroy it so they go rogue. I wonder why she didn't ask me to just unleash the two Unbound that were in the Drakon city... probably didn't know of them thank God, cause that's totally her M.O.

AND LITALIA WAS A SHAPER.

So was the Monarch that decided he didn't really need other people. At all. "Let's kill everyone that I didn't make" guy.

Taygen is not too much behind and he hasn't touched a cannister.

 

The most powerful and evil people have come from the ranks of the Shapers.

That proves that Shapers are not able to weed out the power-mad. Not that the Rebels can, mind you. But Rebels give rights to creations.

So, from three of smoking addicts in a room with a leaky gas cuisine... one is against slavery while the other is pro-slavery.

The pro-slavery guy tries to smoke about 40 cigarettes and opens an window. Still the kitchen will blow up, just later.

 

Why three people in the room? Cause one is a smoking addict AND a pyromaniac (Litalia & Monarch).

idonotexist42 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will talk about the rebel ending of GF5... The rebellion is totally validated. The serviles are liberated and Shaping is controlled, but creations have rights in some parts of the world.

Except that pretty much exactly the same thing happens in the Astoria and Trakovite endings, as happens in the Rebel ending. The differences are small. So this doesn't really validate the rebellion so much as Astoria and Greta, the moderating forces within each opposing side.

 

And totally validated... lol. If you believe that the end justifies the means, I suppose you could come to that conclusion. But in this case, the end is not really all that amazing, and the means are pretty horrific.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also pointing out on ends justify the means thing, calling trajkovites terrorists and the most evil faction in the game series is sort of a hypocrite move since they don't do any worse than the rebels themselves. Actually the only horrifying thing they did is make sure a rebel plan came through. The rebelion in g5 is not validated at all, the ending was unrealistic, silly and rather moot and pointlesz with better options with less bloodshed available.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to remind everyone here that there's a reason I put so many spoiler warnings in my post. :) There are two people in this thread that don't have finished GF5.

 

 

SPOILERS AHEAD

 

 

 

 

 

No really, it's spoily

 

 

 

I actually don't think the end justify the means. You're correct about that. What I meant was more in line with: "I was right to hope that Cooler heads would prevail if the rebels win". And "totally validated my efforts to help the moderate rebels".

You're both correct that the terrible destruction was not and should not be justified because after 100 atrocities, the moderates had enough.

 

 

calling trajkovites terrorists and the most evil faction in the game series is sort of a hypocrite move since they don't do any worse than the rebels themselves

 

?!?

 

The Trakovites ask you to:

 

- Release the shredbugs, something that fanatic rebels made.

- Release Taygen's disease, something that gets Taygen banished from the Shapers in all endings I've seen. Something fanatic shapers did and Rebels didn't do. THere's no Drakon in the game working on a disease that kills humans.

- Break Alwan's Line, to prove a point and have Unbound terrorize the people.

 

Aside of being downright evil quests, the very purpose of the whole quest line is to terrorize people and their leaders to make them fear Shaping. That's why they are terrorists.

Before Litalia gets Ghaldring killed for the rebellion they started together. On the other hand, even mention of harming Litalia got a Drakon in trouble from Ghaldring.

So, Trakovites do all the bad things each other faction does. Astoria betrays the Shapers by having you destroy the Line so Alwan can taste defeat. Litalia does it too (and betrays Ghaldring). Rebels make shredbugs (and never ask you to release them). Litalia has you release them. Shapers make the disease. Litalia has you release it.

 

I would also like to remind you that using terror as a weapon was Litalia's M.O. even in the part of GF3 I've played.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, okay. Still, keep in mind that cooler heads do not prevail if the rebels win in G3, or in G4... while the cooler heads that prevail in the G5 rebel ending, also prevail in two other G5 endings. So I think this connection may be a bit of a stretch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ah, okay. Still, keep in mind that cooler heads do not prevail if the rebels win in G3...

 

A game I haven't finished...

I am tempted to ask whether you mean what I know, that the rebellion starts in earnest or if good people that weren't fast enough to accept the rule of people placing spawners next to their houses were butchered.

I will NOT ask though, cause I prefer to find out myself... So don't answer. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I detailed the reasons why I think they do twice as bad as the rebels themselves.

May I ask why you think they don't go further than the Rebels?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

on the other hand, the fact that the Shapers are consistently hopeless at enforcing their own laws

to the point where a Shaper Council member keeps a working Geneforge in his back room

doesn't exactly inspire confidence that they're the right people to be in charge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's more or less what I've been saying... Shapers are really bad at controlling shaping. Look at ... several of them in the later games I've played.

 

 

 

Litalia started as Shaper.

Taygen is Shaper.

The Monarch started as Shaper.

Moseh, before going cookoo was a Shaper.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The rogue shapers in G2 were more "venal and disloyal" rather than "useless" (he's finished most of G2 so no harm). If I remember their system had been working successfully for centuries, and the suppression of Sucia had also worked just fine, before the first PC showed up. But in any case, if you see the Drakons of G2 (and what they have done and are trying to do) as a threat to all humanity...what are your real options? You have to work with somebody to stop them. It's not enough to say, "You guys failed to protect mankind. So I will help these other guys destroy it." Siding with the Shapers makes sense in that light.

 

As for the Awakened....their goals are noble, but in both of the first two games, you have to let yourself be shaped in order to support them, and they rely on “geneforged” shapers to support themselves. Since the main effect of canisters and geneforges is to make the user arrogant and uninhibited in the use of power…you’d expect more Barzahls every few years, and thus a constant stream of threats.

Edited by Alberich

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might expect that, but based on what happens in the G1 and G2 Awakened endings, it doesn't actually happen. Ultimately, the endings show that they are capable of briefly using that power as leverage to come out on top in the geopolitical situation, but not going any further than that, just as they hoped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The poster was asking why anyone would side with the shapers, from the viewpoint of someone who hadn't seen the endings. The Shapers had a much longer track record to go by, and the Awakened's method, of defending themselves with "shaped" shapers, is inherently less stable....even if it does last out the PC's lifetime.

Edited by Alberich

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can control shaping without being a shaper. I don't see any particular reason you couldn't replace the Shaper Council with a Grand Council made up of drakons, serviles and humans (the three species known to be capable of shaping), give the drayks and gazers a legal right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", and then go on rigidly controlling shaping just as the Shapers did before. This is, sort of, what happens in Astoria's ending of GF5.

 

I'd agree that the GF5 Trakovites are terrorists. I'm not sure that makes them wrong, however. It's possible to have dodgy methods but still hold good principles.

 

For me, no matter how reasonable individual Shapers might be, they still want to commit literal genocide by wiping out drayks, enslave the serviles, and force outsider humans into a kind of serf-labour. The rebels may have dubious methods in 3 & 4, but how else were they going to get the shapers to listen? For all that I love the Awakened, there was no universe in which the shapers were going to sit down and treat their creations as equals. Shaping created a corrupt and militaristic dictatorship, and, for me, the rebellion's ends really do justify their means.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, considering the death, destruction, and hardship when the shaper's rules are broken, I think the Shaper's ends really do justify the means.

Nim likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For me, considering the death, destruction, and hardship when the shaper's rules are broken, I think the Shaper's ends really do justify the means

 

The Shapers break their own rules all the time though.

In GF4, the Shaper generals (including Alwan) break the rules (Moseh, training the character). In GF5 every councilor in the game EXCEPT Alwan breaks the rules and Alwan is skirting them. And by breaking them I mean allowing rebels and rogues to settle in their lands unmolested, creating a geneforge in the basement and canisters to making weapons worse than the Unbound.

Sure, bad things happen when these Councilors break their rules.

However the fact that so many do in stress-times along with the myriad examples of breaking them in more peaceful times, clearly shows that Shapers are not reliable to yield their power without causing a calamity or more every so often.

 

In the end it comes to this IMO: A power-mad, controlling magocracy that is enslaving sentients or wipes them out and creates unspeakable horrors vs a congromelate of people that oppose them that range from moderate to equally power-mad and immoral and try to even the odds against that magocracy by creating unspeakable horrors.

Both break the laws of common sense to gain an edge. The first side is just more hypocritical about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd agree that the GF5 Trakovites are terrorists. I'm not sure that makes them wrong, however. It's possible to have dodgy methods but still hold good principles.

Interesting perspective! Litalia certainly does want to induce fear (of shaping) and use it to change the behavior of a government or civilian population (the shaper council), so she meets the typical statutory definition…

But she doesn’t really tweak like a terrorist. The terrorists I know about, whatever they say about the world they want to build, always seem to have a good head of revenge or resentment on. Yes, yes it’s all for a bright tomorrow, but regardless of that those burgeois/imperalists/infidels/Joooos are going to get theirs for defeating us/keeping us down/humiliating us. Kind of like the Avadon character

Miranda…who doesn’t really seem to care if her country is overwhelmed or enslaved by a ruthless empire…just as long as she gets her revenge on Redbeard.

.

Litalia, by contrast, has gone through two kinds of crazy and come out calm on the other side. Or at least that’s how she appears; she tells you the blue glow faded and clarity returned after she stayed off the canisters for a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahem, she's pretty hell-bent to punish shapers in GF4 and as I said in a very spoily reply in another thread, I really don't think what most people call "clarity" ever returned to Litalia whatever she says.

 

 

 

Oh, and to be clear, I find Litalia fascinating as a character.

 

 

As of the Shaping dangers:

I would totally TOTALLY get behind a movement in Terrestia that doesn't ban shaping, but prohibits Shapers from holding positions of power and institutes a kind of inquisition that checks on Shaper researchers to make sure they stay within the law. Shapers should take an oath to never hold office aside of serving as councilors.

Abolish the damn magocracy and half the problems will be gone with it.

 

 

That way you won't have Rawal-kind people with the ability to create loyal monsters. He would have to ascend a different way to become lord of all.

You wouldn't have Taygen-kind people with nearly unlimited funds for their dangerous research and power to enforce terrible and cruel laws.

 

You would still end up with Monarchs, Litalias and oath-breakers but Shapers unburdened with rulership would be better to deal with them.

Alberich likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was referring to her GF5 mentality only...in the earlier games, I killed her every chance I got.

 

Abolish the damn magocracy and half the problems will be gone with it.

 

 

But if they’ve still got the power…especially if they can self-shape to make an individual super-powerful…what’s to prevent a coup d'etat? Especially if they could use canisters and geneforges to make their “civilian” masters into instant shapers themselves…the Emperor Bennhold (shudder shudder).

 

 

 

You’re lucky if the other Shapers have a strong ethic of not taking power....but inducing them to think that way is tricky. If they’re self-shaping or simply a hell of a lot more powerful than their ostensible masters…then they start as Redbeard and get worse from there. (And I say this as a Redbeard supporter.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd agree that Litalia probably isn't interested in revenge. Much. But I can't see her taking orders from anyone in GF5, can you? I'd suggest she's sincere in her beliefs, but doesn't want her authority challenged any more than Ghaldring or Shema or any of the rest of them. I seem to recall she pushes out all the trakovites who don't support "her tactics" before GF5 starts?

 

Abolish the damn magocracy, and half the problems will be gone with it

 

Maybe I'm too much of an idealist, but wouldn't democacy be a simple solution? Let shapers (And drakons, for that matter) run for authority if they wish, but they'd better earn their right to rule through something better than just power. I agree though that shapers would never submit to a "weaker" authority. Which is why I think the best, most stable system requires shapers, drakons and serviles coexisting, with each keeping each other in check, with some kind of elected council above all of them. The shapers would have every incentive to prevent their peers abusing their power, and vice versa. See also: Astoria's ending (although that's slightly different, as they divide into two nations rather than one consisting of several factions).

 

Note: This does assume that more insane members of each side get quietly sidelined in favour of moderate. Tholoss for high councillor, anyone?

 

Edit: People exist who actually support Redbeard? Seriously? (major tangent, should probably discuss in the avadon forums instead)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But if they’ve still got the power…especially if they can self-shape to make an individual super-powerful…what’s to prevent a coup d'etat? Especially if they could use canisters and geneforges to make their “civilian” masters into instant shapers themselves…the Emperor Bennhold (shudder shudder).

 

No, no, no! I didn't mean "Shapers taking an oath to stay out of temporal power and shape themselves to Godhood"

I meant that Shaper law regarding not shaping one self, about not shaping creations that can Shape etc remain in place!

And then, restrictions like "you need written permission by your civilian leader to have an essence pool* so you don't go Monarch and of course have the inquisition check your place for CMDs (Creations of Mass Destruction) after you make one"

and "You need permission by your civilian leader to make anything as powerful as battle alphas or stronger to make sure you don't show up with 12 war Tralls and overthrow him after cutting through his guards"

 

etc

 

 

* Seriously, these are extremely dangerous too. I would camp next to one, and send inexhaustible armies of creations to kill everything.

I killed Rawal extremely easily that way. Got into his compound, went for the essence pool and started shaping high level stuff. I may have lost like 15 expendable creations that way. So what?

At one point I thought to kill everything with Cryoras to just add insult to injury. Send 100 Cryoras to their death. I could do it, but it would take a lot of time.

 

 

Astoria's ending: This is the one I went for officially. However I doubt peace would hold forever. The disgruntled Drakons, probably feeling betrayed by the humans and Serviles would cook up something sooner or later in Sucia nation. It doesn't have to be EVERY dracon. A fanatical 5% going for something like Ghaldring's plan 40 years later would be bad enough.

3 Drakon Shapers to make 12 spawners each and you have chaos again.

 

And the Shaper Empire? There would be Alwans in the future that would strike for more land.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edit: People exist who actually support Redbeard? Seriously? (major tangent, should probably discuss in the avadon forums instead)

 

My understanding is that generally you find people who support shaper's also tend to view Redbeard in a more favourable light as well, and vice versa. You yourself fit this generalisation pretty well from the very limited engagement I've had with you.

 

And yes to all those deviant to this observation out there, I used the terms 'generally' and 'tend' to describe 'my own observations'. Be gentle with me if you do decide to rebut any points.

Alberich likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I explained my pro-Redbeard views in this old thread -- http://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/index.php?/topic/15219-fighting-redbeard-a-poll-spoilers-within/#entry194696 – now, mind you, I prefer an arrangement where Hanvar’s Council performs its duties of oversight, but in light of the constant dangers the Pact faces, throwing Redbeard away looks crazy to me.

I meant that Shaper law regarding not shaping one self, about not shaping creations that can Shape etc remain in place!

And then, restrictions like "you need written permission by your civilian leader to have an essence pool* so you don't go Monarch and of course have the inquisition check your place for CMDs (Creations of Mass Destruction) after you make one"

So in a way it would be an Avadon-like arrangement, with the Shapers in the role of Avadon itself, and the non-shaper sovereigns in the role of Hanvar’s Council…though exercising lots of oversight. I could get behind an arrangement like that. But mind you, I think they key to a safer future is the enforcement of the laws you’re talking about…regardless of whether the sovereign power is in the hands of shapers or civilians.

I wholly agree on the power of those shaping pools. If I remember, that’s how I beat the “trials” in G3…kept running back to the pools to make more roamers while the golems beat up the ones I left behind. It took a while but supplies were unlimited.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not even read a synopsis of what Avadon is, so I can't comment on that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About those essence pools. I have found a couple given to OUTSIDERS for all things. There are people working with pure-steel that have an essence pool nearby. Shaper facilities are full with those, unsupervised. At least, in the Azeraph fort of GF4 (Monarch's area) the pools were in the open with General Crawley and that Shaper woman that you trick to shape you in order to give you +1 spellcraft. Since you can't shape in combat that would mean I couldn't defeat them all.

On the contrary most places that have essence pools, have them undefended.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My understanding is that generally you find people who support shaper's also tend to view Redbeard in a more favourable light as well, and vice versa. You yourself fit this generalisation pretty well from the very limited engagement I've had with you.

 

Makes sense. I guess it's a similar theme of freedom vs. safety. Mostly, my objection to Redbeard is that he's terrible at his job, although I admit to supporting greater oversight for Avadon (just as I wouldn't like GCHQ operating completely independently and above the law).

 

 

I think there's evidence in the text to suggest that essence pools aren't actually infinite - they just get restocked "behind the scenes" within gameplay. So you couldn't quite conquer Terrestia from a single essence pool. I agree that shaping equipment generally is what makes shapers so dangerous though - which suggests the regulating the outsiders who make them is probably just as important as regulating the shapers themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, essence pools are not infinite and they need to be fed and all.

But with one essence pool you could realistically have the equivalent of 50+ essence pods per day without endangering the pool. That's more than enough to cause a hell of trouble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That doesn't change the fact that if fed and not over-used they could provide essence required for hundreds of creations each day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The limit on Shapers seems to be how quickly they can get new permanent creations out of vats and how many creations they can control at once without risking them going rogue, not the availability of raw materials.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeap.

See the fight in the end of GF5 in particular. There are 3-4 Shapers and 8 Drakon lifecrafters. They have probably 100s of pods each. The battle could go on forever... This dozen of lifecrafters makes over 500 creations.

 

What I'm saying is that if there's no shaper around to counter a Shaper with an essence pool, he could send 5 by 5 by 5 creations out to fight and die. I have emptied whole zones that way.

I defeated the whole Rebel army in GF5, that's in the border with the 4 Unbound that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The obvious in-world response, which the game AI is obviously not made to take, is to actually go to the essence pool with more than five creations, and overwhelm the Shaper who is only doing five at a time. :p

 

This is actually how the PCs - and in several scripted sequences, NPCs - respond to things like spawners, which are functionally a limitless creation factory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, but that assumes another shaper and one that knows where the monsters are coming from and the forces mastered to be able to overtake the Shaper going berserk in the pool. Of course there are counter measures. But that could be said for anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In G1 they talk about how the pools survive from sunlight. Many have lasted the ~100-200 years that the island was abandoned.

 

Was this retconned in a later game so that they need feeding?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Substitute "dudes with swords" for creations if you want. Doesn't have to be a Shaper.

 

And, probably, you could follow the trail all those creations are leaving back to the essence pool.

 

The effectiveness of one Shaper making five creations at a time from safety and winning by attrition is an artifact of the game. I can't imagine that ever being much more than a nuisance to any serious target. The real power of Shapers seems to be their ability to create endless large semi-independent armies with the aid of installations and machinery, creations which can then be given to handlers. Not so much their ability to make five leashed creations at a time which they lead personally.

 

A Shaper making waves of creations with which to harass the surrounding area would be dangerous, sure, but not the kind of thing that razes cities and crushes armies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

" A Shaper making waves of creations with which to harass the surrounding area would be dangerous, sure, but not the kind of thing that razes cities and crushes armies "

Monarch. :)

 

 

But yes, aside of that crazed old loon, you are right. Of course a lone shaper sending waves wouldn't raze cities but Shapers in the game in forts etc can handle shaping 7-10 war tralls or rots aside of a few creations around them. Those can defeat 30+ soldiers in open battle. Add in walls and turrets for the defenders and the soldiers would win, but with casualties. By the time the dust settles and all those rots are dead, the soldiers would be wounded while 10 more rots would arrive in 10-15 minutes. And then 10 more. And then 10 more etc

If the surviving soldiers get OUT of the fort/town to attack the shaper they would be caught in the open and killed.

 

 

So, of course a moderately skilled shaper with a pool won't be able to destroy a kingdom 8 Vlish\battle alphas at a time. But a competent shaper could overcome a town with 1000-2000 people with practically no casualties.

 

 

"Substitute "dudes with swords" for creations if you want"

There's another problem with this: A dude takes ~20 years to be competent with a sword. A battle Alpha takes a few seconds...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting perspective! Litalia certainly does want to induce fear (of shaping) and use it to change the behavior of a government or civilian population (the shaper council), so she meets the typical statutory definition…

But she doesn’t really tweak like a terrorist. The terrorists I know about, whatever they say about the world they want to build, always seem to have a good head of revenge or resentment on.

...

Litalia, by contrast, has gone through two kinds of crazy and come out calm on the other side.

 

Very heavy spoilers follow:

 

 

No really, heavy GF5 spoilers.

 

 

 

What Litalia herself says (the relevant parts):

- Is it really possible to get a member of the Council to reject Shaping?

- None are so angry as a spurned lover. All we need to do is make sure that the Shaping art hurts them as much as it has hurt others.

NOTE: That reeks of revenge and resentment

 

- Wait ... Did you say to release the shredbugs?

- I did. They will do great harm, but that is nothing compared to the horrors that will be created if the war continues.

NOTE: Even in this no-judging game, the answer is astonishment by a person that could be played a cold-hearted murderer.

 

- Are you sure I can convince Astoria?

- No, but I think, when she sees the disaster that has resulted from her action and inaction, that you have a chance of moving her slightly. That is the best we can do at this point.

NOTE: The "action and inaction" that results in disaster, includes a Trakovite pressing the big red button.

Litalia admits she would sacrifice a good part of Astoria's people with bio-terrorism for a possible slight shift in Astoria's views.

 

- Now we must reach Alwan, that bitter old cripple.

NOTE: Resentment

 

- This belief is all that sustains his tormented form. We will take that hope from him.

NOTE: Cold. Chillingly cold. And vengeful.

 

- What will this do to the Shaper army?

- It will give them a very unpleasant time. Especially the humans. It will be gruesome, but this is what will be required to teach those still loyal to the Shapers that the safety and wealth provided by the creations is an illusion.

NOTE: Again, this "illusion" requires a Trakovite to sabotage a well guarded military installation.

 

- General Alwan seems unshaken.

- Oh, how I loathe that man. He will be a fanatic, crazed and unbroken, until the day he dies.

NOTE: Slaughter and pain to destroy one man's hopes. Failed. And it's the one man's convictions that are at fault.

Keep in mind that is LITALIA here decrying fanaticism and madness. More like "I flip my world view like a coin every few years leaving a pile of corpses. Why can't he be the same?!"

 

- Do this. Create temporary, nightmarish chaos. Enough that even a madman like Taygen can see where Shaping research leads.

- What do you want the disease to do?

- Cause enough pain to make us all fear Shaping as much as we should. But not enough to scourge Terrestia of life.

NOTE: That's more or less the definition of Bioterrorism IMO.

 

- I have Shaper Rawal's control tool in me.

- She laughs. "Rawal is not the first to have this idea. Ghaldring and I made the same thing. Then discarded the design. It is just too unreliable. "

NOTE: She didn't say "it's a disgusting evil thing". Nooope. Unreliable because it kills your best abusable tools. It prematurely kills your best servants.

 

And after aaaaall these:

- I am through killing. I have no more use for these. I will never take another human life.

Riiiiiiiiiiight Litalia. Shredbugs, an army of rogues and an imperfect disease will do that for you.

 

 

She started the Rebellion and she is the one to end it.

 

 

 

And another thing: If you kill the madwoman she breaks apart to slime and essence. She hasn't deshaped herself. She just thinks she did. Why? Because she's mad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0