Welcome to Wyrd Forums

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more!

This message will be removed once you have signed in.

Greentinsel

Trying to convince my friend to play

54 posts in this topic

Alright, alright, alright I think I got it.

.... Yep I got it.

Sometimes you are the bad guys. You play the Guild, or the Empire, or the Imperium. And you are bad guys. But it's cool. You hang out with the other bad guys at the bar, you play nice with their kids when they invite you over for the game, and you kick in heads with your shiny jackboots on occasion, but you try to stay cool with it.

ByBYBxk.gif

And then, sometimes you are the bad guys. You play the Neverborn, or the IG-88 series, or the Dark Eldar. And you are the bad guys. And what you do is just not cool. But you don't care. Because it's not about "them" or what "they think" or "their rules"; it's about you. It's about your plan, your vengeance, your power. And you are gonna be bad; worse than bad, EVIL even. But more than anyone else, more than the heroes, or the villains, or the antiheroes - you are free

That guy pisses you off? Kill him. Tear his arms off! Relish in his screams!
You like that girl? Put her soul in a jar and use it as a reading light!
You want the last Oreo but your sister said she wanted it? YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO.

You know this has a cost. One day they guy's son will kill you with a magic sword, or the girl's soul will get out and drive you mad, or you'll buy a package of Oreos and when you turn away your sister will eat every one out one out of spite. But until that day you have complete and utter control over your life; so remember to enjoy it, you magnificent bastard. :D

13745029362120.gif

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, all this talk of souls.. I can't think of any actual major lore examples of Neverborn using soulstones... gameplay/story segregation aside.

Seriously, the Guild are literally invading, slaving soul-merchant war-profiteer fascists. But what's worse? They're also comically inefficient and compromised - Lucius and his Mimics have infested the ranks, every horror McMourning lets loose can be blamed on them putting him to studying necromancy, arguably the most powerful necromancer is the city undertaker, the Acanists are operating right under their nose and the can't stop them due to P.R. nightmares because they've made themselves so utterly despised by everyone.

So while the Neverborn are rather vicious - though not nearly to the mustache-twirling level you want to suggest ;)- the basic fact is that for everything they do, the Guild and humanity does something equally heinous or worse.

Factor in who the invaders are here....

And that being honest, the behavior humanity in the Malifaux-verse has demonstrated with industrial-level magic and the fact we've survived decently enough in ours without it shows 'but magic is dying on Earth" is a bit of a thin excuse for the cost - both to the invaded world and its denizens, and the human one.

Plus, remember that the residents of Old Malifaux were, essentially, human as well - and that Neverborn do have humans in their ranks. 'Neverborn' being a pretty broad human-assigned label for several races.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Wolfpact Are there Neverborn who are still human? I was under the impression that e.g. the guys from the starter set are ex-humans, transformed by the black blood. I can't think of a bona fide human among them... (except for (ruleswise) Jakob Lynch and his bunch, who are dual faction)

Also, how much of the whole labour-camp-facist stuff is actually the Guilds doing (as an organization) and not that of Lucius (who is a Neverborn)? I always had the impression that the earthside Organization only cared about the soulstones, and didn't care how they got there - and the former GG and his secretary chose to go that way. And much of the inefficiancy/buerocracy may be blamed on Lucius undermining them as well - RoF seems to suggest that in Hoffmans Vignette.

 

 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, OneKelvin said:

That is definitely an option. Let's all just go back to earth, let magic die out, and never practice wizardry again. Yep, definitely an option...

But then again, and think about this: maybe we don't. Maybe we stay, kick the teeth out of these man-eating daemons, mine our fill of soulstones, and secure the future of magic on Earth for centuries to come!

 

So....


All in favor of going home and letting magic die raise your hands. *Crickets*

All in favor of killing the daemons, rebuilding the city, and keeping magic alive raise your hands. "HUZZAH!"



It's just more interesting to stay. :P

Either there is some irony here I'm not getting or there is some seriously scary stuff going on in this post... :-/

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Wolfpact said:

Actually, all this talk of souls.. I can't think of any actual major lore examples of Neverborn using soulstones... gameplay/story segregation aside.

Seriously, the Guild are literally invading, slaving soul-merchant war-profiteer fascists. But what's worse? They're also comically inefficient and compromised - Lucius and his Mimics have infested the ranks, every horror McMourning lets loose can be blamed on them putting him to studying necromancy, arguably the most powerful necromancer is the city undertaker, the Acanists are operating right under their nose and the can't stop them due to P.R. nightmares because they've made themselves so utterly despised by everyone.

So while the Neverborn are rather vicious - though not nearly to the mustache-twirling level you want to suggest ;)- the basic fact is that for everything they do, the Guild and humanity does something equally heinous or worse.

Factor in who the invaders are here....

And that being honest, the behavior humanity in the Malifaux-verse has demonstrated with industrial-level magic and the fact we've survived decently enough in ours without it shows 'but magic is dying on Earth" is a bit of a thin excuse for the cost - both to the invaded world and its denizens, and the human one.

Plus, remember that the residents of Old Malifaux were, essentially, human as well - and that Neverborn do have humans in their ranks. 'Neverborn' being a pretty broad human-assigned label for several races.

Alright, look. I give no figs about who invaded who. Someone is always the defender, and someone is always the invader. 

Ice Age Migrations -Invasion
Expansion of Rome - Invasion
Colonization of the Americas - Invasion
D-Day Landings - Invasion
Steelers vs Patriots - Invasion

Being invaded does not give you moral high ground. Being moral gives you moral high ground.

I don't know what this is about the Guild slaving people, and they aren't war profiteers. War profiteers sell weapons and keep a war going for money. The Guild is fighting to keep the stone flowing, and would probably be perfectly happy to stop paying the guardsmen and buying weapons for them if the threat subsided. In their monthly spreadsheet the war is an expense, not a source of income.

As for Fascist, that doesn't make them evil. I know what you're going to say; and my reply will be along the lines of "Well if the Guild is evil because they're Fascist, the Neverborn must be evil because they're demons." Fascism is at its core, (from what I've read) a system of government that seeks to create an autarky through loyalty to a group with a set of ideals, lead by a single autocratic figure.

And that's about it. To quote: "Being asked to define fascism is probably the scariest moment for any expert of fascism."- Lachlan Montague. The word carries nice evil overtones from its use during the war, overtones useful for creating an oppressive atmosphere in your "steamhorrorsamurigothopunk" world, but in practice all it means is there's a leader, and they value loyalty to their group.

Livescience did an article, so whether or not you think they're a decent source here are the shared characteristics that most fascist states possess:

  1. The primacy of the group. Supporting the group feels more important than maintaining either individual or universal rights.
  2. Believing that one's group is a victim. This justifies any behavior against the group's enemies.
  3. The belief that individualism and liberalism enable dangerous decadence and have a negative effect on the group.  
  4. A strong sense of community or brotherhood. This brotherhood's "unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary."
  5. Individual self-esteem is tied up in the grandeur of the group. Paxton called this an "enhanced sense of identity and belonging."
  6. Extreme support of a "natural" leader, who is always male. This results in one man taking on the role of national savior. 
  7. "The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group's success in a Darwinian struggle," Paxton wrote. The idea of a naturally superior group or, especially in Hitler's case, biological racism, fits into a fascist interpretation of Darwinism. 

http://www.livescience.com/57622-fascism.html

You can walk down the list and check it off for the Guild.

1. The Guild comes first. Duh.
2. They have plenty of enemies that actively seek their destruction. 
3. Like unlicensed mages? Necromancers?
4. Plenty of brotherhood and unity. It is a Guild after all.
5. A guardsman is faceless, the Guard is legion.
6. Your mask m'lord? :mask
7. They definitely have some beautiful warriors that are devoted to the group's success. And they even have real biologically different races to compete against; not just human palette-swaps, real ogres and goblins and demons to boot!

That's the fascism for you. Not much evil except for the last one, which is kind of justified depending on your point of view.

22 minutes ago, tmod said:

Either there is some irony here I'm not getting or there is some seriously scary stuff going on in this post... :-/

There is irony, and it is intentional.  ^_^

That doesn't mean I wouldn't still pick the colonization option over slowly letting the Earth become magic-less forever.
(To be honest, I'm not sure what the "seriously scary" stuff you're seeing is. It's all there in the lore - earth, magic, demons. And it is supposed to be a bit of a horror game, so maybe being scared isn't a bad thing? You have seen the game yes?:mellow:)

WYR20222-RogueNecromancy.jpg yan+lo4.jpeg 71quYnkAsJL._SY355_.jpg 

I feel no shame in killing such things for money. :) Most of them were dead once anyway, so dying isn't anything they haven't done before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot going on here, but a more general reply...

There are no truly good guys in Malifaux, just like in the real world. Some try to do more good than bad, succeed some of the time, fails other times, whereas others don't give a shit. On an individual level every single character in Malifaux is perfectly happy to kill small orphans, so they are all a children-killing bunch of maniacs. On an individual level everyone is willing to do evil. If we are to look at morality in any meaningful sense we would have to look to how they justify the evil they do (or could justify it if they bothered).

Ressers as a group comes out pretty poorly here, the ultimate goal seems to be to make sure everyone is dead. Not necessarily the goal of everyone, I don't think Kirai/Molly/Reva are aware for example, but the overarching goal anywayn. Murdering as many as possible innocents for the heck of it is the means, so they come out on top of the evil list.

Next is Guild. They are fascist (and yes, in most definitions of evil that's pretty much spot on, never mind wars; inherent in fascism is the devaluation of others, of individual freedoms, the value of human lives etc for the benefit of one's own group. They glorify violence and diminish the value of human lives and individual opportunities. Doesn't mean that all fascists as individuals are inherently any more evil than others, mind). The Guild is an amalgam of the worst in 18th century British imperialism, 18th century American exceptionalism (Manifest Destiny), the worst of early German Nationalism coupled with the worst excesses of modern multinationals, just without any checks on their power Earthside (before the arrival of the Burning Man). Power is their only motivation, and dominating/killing/exterminating other just in order to be perpetuate your ability to do so is also pretty much text book villainy. The Guild IS bent on extermination of Gremlins and Neverborn, ie all other races they cannot fully control, (read all the earlier books), and the only reason they lost world domination Earthside was events in Malifaux. Basically the local threats (Gremlins, Neverborn, Ressers) put them in a weak enough position that allowed the M&SU (and Arcanists), Outcasts and later the Thunders to establish themselves and create a complex power balance. This weakened the Guild on both sides of the Breach, and caused the GG to try to manifest, eventually causing Guild control Earthside to collapse. The only thing Guild has going for them is making and keeping the law. This might seem like a big deal, but keeping the law is only a good action as long as the law is good. The Gestapo was helping keeping the law in Nazi Germany, but is considered a criminal organization having committed crimes against humanity doing so.

Note that Sonnia of the guild's perhaps most inherently evil subdivision (witchhunters) is also one of the most heroic good characters in the game. Yes, she's ruthless and willing to go to any measures to reach her goals, but those goals are to save the world(s), and she's perfectly willing to make huge sacrifices herself for no personal gain...

Next is ihmo Outcasts, not because they are inherently evil, but because they are inherently willing to do evil for a coin. Also, Tara and Hamelin fight for Tyrants, who would rank pretty near top on this list if they were a faction. Leveticus is probably the most cruel and selfish character in the game (shout out to all other Levi players out there!), yet seems to be aware of having a big role in saving the world at some point in the future. The others are simply without morals more than anything, though not incapable of heroic deeds (Vics).

Next is Thunders, who seem to have two goals: stop the apocalypse and accumulate as much power as possible in the process. In other words they have some notion of responsibility, but are mainly there for coin/power. Total ruthlessness adds to their villain index.

 

Arsonists are a bit of a puzzle. They are also ruthless, but mostly more caring than the other factions. Their goal of freedom from oppression is a good one, but the machinations at the top seems to make it clear that they don't really want freedom, they want a continued freedom fight where they can play the role of the good guys (tm). Raspy has a Tyrant contained, but like Sonnia she struggles to keep him that way. A lot of unpleasant characters and habbits are tolerated/encouraged, from protection money to cannibalism seriously stains their reputation.

 Next up is Neverborn, who is a generally unpleasant bunch. Some could probably fit right in with the worst (ie Nekima), but the leaders of the faction scheme to make the world of Malifaux safe for themselves AND Earth safe for humans. This bit is kinda important: if no one keeps the Guild/Ressers in check ALL HUMANS WILL DIE. The sisters, Lilith, Pandora and Zoraida, is the only group fully committed to stop this (most others are also unaware/unwilling to believe). If ends can ever justify means this gotta be it! The others are a mixed bag, but none have a directly evil grand scheme. Collodi is probably worst, driven by a thirst for vengeance, which is definitely evil, but pretty tame compared to some others. The Dreamer isn't aware of what he's doing, so though destructive it's problematic to dismiss him as evil. Titania's plan brings her on a collision course with saving the world, but probably due to lack of knowledge. She's also the tragic hero if Old Malifaux, so not all bad... Lynch is just a pitiful creature, unable to control his own life because of the squeeze he's in. He's a victim more than anything. So overall pretty close to a good guys faction, but the individual cruelty of most of them kinda makes sure they are more best of the bad guys than truly good guys. They are not human (anymore), and tend to look ugly/scary; that doesn't make them evil. Their violent culture kinda does though, but not more so than the other factions.

For me I agree that Gremlins are the least evil faction. They have a cruel culture, but they are more chaotic than evil. They are only just self-aware, and mot truly capable of knowing the difference between good and evil, hence neutral seems right.

So there it is, my summary of the factions. Again let me draw attention to the fact that this assessment is of factions and trends, not of individuals. I think Hoffmann is pretty close to an all-around good guy, even as he's part of the Guild. The new governor seems to be pretty ok, and we'll have to see if events Earthside change the goals and methods of the Guild. I also think that not being the aggressor doesn't prevent you from committing atrocities, but being the aggressor IS IN ITSELF an atrocity under international law, and hence pretty evil under modern standards. Also, economic justifications for war are also by definition an atrocity, and hence evil. This means that magic disappearing or losing power is not a justified reason for anything. Otherwise EVERY single offensive action by anyone would be justified...

Finally, this is just a game, and I think one of the really cool things about Malifaux is the cathartic feel one inherently gets while playing out the role of one of.the game's many villains. That doesn't mean one cannot sympathise more with some than others. Personally I sympathise most with the freedom fighting Arcanists. I have a certain admiration for people willing to give up their (more or less) comfortable lives to fight for something they believe in. Doesn't mean I play them all that much or believe they are justified. In fact, while I started out with Neverborn, the more I realised they weren't all that bad the less interesting they became to me. Poor Lynch, my first master, hasn't seen the table in ages...

 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, OneKelvin said:

Alright, look. I give no figs about who invaded who. Someone is always the defender, and someone is always the invader. 

Ice Age Migrations -Invasion
Expansion of Rome - Invasion
Colonization of the Americas - Invasion
D-Day Landings - Invasion
Steelers vs Patriots - Invasion

Being invaded does not give you moral high ground. Being moral gives you moral high ground.

I don't know what this is about the Guild slaving people, and they aren't war profiteers. War profiteers sell weapons and keep a war going for money. The Guild is fighting to keep the stone flowing, and would probably be perfectly happy to stop paying the guardsmen and buying weapons for them if the threat subsided. In their monthly spreadsheet the war is an expense, not a source of income.

As for Fascist, that doesn't make them evil. I know what you're going to say; and my reply will be along the lines of "Well if the Guild is evil because they're Fascist, the Neverborn must be evil because they're demons." Fascism is at its core, (from what I've read) a system of government that seeks to create an autarky through loyalty to a group with a set of ideals, lead by a single autocratic figure.

And that's about it. To quote: "Being asked to define fascism is probably the scariest moment for any expert of fascism."- Lachlan Montague. The word carries nice evil overtones from its use during the war, overtones useful for creating an oppressive atmosphere in your "steamhorrorsamurigothopunk" world, but in practice all it means is there's a leader, and they value loyalty to their group.

Livescience did an article, so whether or not you think they're a decent source here are the shared characteristics that most fascist states possess:

  1. The primacy of the group. Supporting the group feels more important than maintaining either individual or universal rights.
  2. Believing that one's group is a victim. This justifies any behavior against the group's enemies.
  3. The belief that individualism and liberalism enable dangerous decadence and have a negative effect on the group.  
  4. A strong sense of community or brotherhood. This brotherhood's "unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary."
  5. Individual self-esteem is tied up in the grandeur of the group. Paxton called this an "enhanced sense of identity and belonging."
  6. Extreme support of a "natural" leader, who is always male. This results in one man taking on the role of national savior. 
  7. "The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group's success in a Darwinian struggle," Paxton wrote. The idea of a naturally superior group or, especially in Hitler's case, biological racism, fits into a fascist interpretation of Darwinism. 

http://www.livescience.com/57622-fascism.html

You can walk down the list and check it off for the Guild.

1. The Guild comes first. Duh.
2. They have plenty of enemies that actively seek their destruction. 
3. Like unlicensed mages? Necromancers?
4. Plenty of brotherhood and unity. It is a Guild after all.
5. A guardsman is faceless, the Guard is legion.
6. Your mask m'lord? :mask
7. They definitely have some beautiful warriors that are devoted to the group's success. And they even have real biologically different races to compete against; not just human palette-swaps, real ogres and goblins and demons to boot!

That's the fascism for you. Not much evil except for the last one, which is kind of justified depending on your point of view.

There is irony, and it is intentional.  ^_^

That doesn't mean I wouldn't still pick the colonization option over slowly letting the Earth become magic-less forever.
(To be honest, I'm not sure what the "seriously scary" stuff you're seeing is. It's all there in the lore - earth, magic, demons. And it is supposed to be a bit of a horror game, so maybe being scared isn't a bad thing? You have seen the game yes?:mellow:)

WYR20222-RogueNecromancy.jpg yan+lo4.jpeg 71quYnkAsJL._SY355_.jpg 

I feel no shame in killing such things for money. :) Most of them were dead once anyway, so dying isn't anything they haven't done before.

Don't feel shame for killing anything, it's just a game! :-)

I meant that the argument that these things are alien/scary/ugly/not belonging to my group (human) and thus killing them are good/not evil, is, if taken seriously, a lot more scary than nine foot tall monsters hidden under my bed...

There's evil (or capability for evil) in us all, and the only way to keep it in check is to be aware so we can bat it down ourselves whenever it rears its ugly head. I truly believe games like Malifaux with complex antiheroes everywhere has a cathartic effect and allows us all (potentially) to learn more about ourselves and grow as human beings. If there where stand-up good guys in the game these nuances would be lost and the game poorer for it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, tmod said:

Don't feel shame for killing anything, it's just a game! :-)

I meant that the argument that these things are alien/scary/ugly/not belonging to my group (human) and thus killing them are good/not evil, is, if taken seriously, a lot more scary than nine foot tall monsters hidden under my bed...

There's evil (or capability for evil) in us all, and the only way to keep it in check is to be aware so we can bat it down ourselves whenever it rears its ugly head. I truly believe games like Malifaux with complex antiheroes everywhere has a cathartic effect and allows us all (potentially) to learn more about ourselves and grow as human beings. If there where stand-up good guys in the game these nuances would be lost and the game poorer for it...

Well I can't say I'd feel much shame if it were real either. I mean, I don't feel shame for eating a pig and it didn't do me any wrong; I'm certainly not going to feel shame for deadifying a beast with a penchant for doing the same to humans.

Also the argument has never been that the things are o.k. to kill just because they are arbitrarily scary. The things are scary because they are known to do unthinkable harm to humans of the innocent persuasion on a regular basis; and that is why removing the threat their existence poses to decent folk is less-than-morally-challenging. Reluctant dragons they are not.

I do agree that all people are evil at their core and must fight it to remain good; a function of the responsibility of intelligence and the urges of instinct, kept in check by a solid will and an understanding of right and wrong. But if you are consistent with your behavior then you shouldn't worry over it too much; worry dulls the mind. Keep your intentions pure, and be willing to change if you make mistakes. Simple.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, tmod said:

On an individual level every single character in Malifaux is perfectly happy to kill small orphans, so they are all a children-killing bunch of maniacs. 

Wait, what?

Also I've heard the same "the Neverborn are good because they are defending their homeland" nonsense a dozen times. They were evil well before humans got to Malifaux.

Like the Aztecs in Mexico they got invaded by a bunch of morally-questionable adventurers looking for loot. And like the Aztecs they were sodding rotten of their own accord long before the adventurers kicked the door down. 

And the means don't draw justification from the ends, means are justified of their own merit or they are not. Self-defense and defense of another is not characterized as an assault justified by the protected safety of an individual; the defense is a just action, and the ends are irreverent. The act of defending yourself doesn't become unjust if you die and fail to provide a proper ends to justify your attempted defense. Just as it doesn't become just when you survive and have the ends to show for it. It is a just action, with variable consequences.

The Neverborn could kill all these humans, and still fail to save the world. What then would justify the actions they took? Nothing, that's not how it works.

What they are doing is evil, and good may result of it. Which makes them... evil. Necessary evil perhaps, but evil nonetheless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The choice of specifically orphans was due to the Malifaux Child being an orphan available to all factions, ie all are willing to use children as their agents and kill them in the service of others. 

I agree, the Aztecs didn't become nice guys because they were attacked by the Spanish, but relatively speaking they were the lesser evil in a theoretical Aztec vs. Spanish comparison. The Spaniards' native auxiliaries were perhaps the closest thing to good guys in that story, but hey, that's another discussion.

All factions in Malifaux are evil, except perhaps Gremlins who are possible not self-aware enough to distinguish between the two. I'm not arguing that not being aggressors somehow makes the Neverborn into Dalai Lama. I'm arguing that the Guild is as evil or worse, and arbitrarily killing Neverborn does not make you a good person.

Let's compare them:

Actions are similar, they kill one another in a complete war of extinction. The Guild has an active and official eradication policy, whereas among the Neverborn there are sub-factions with the same intent. The leaders among the Neverborn have decided to tolerate the existence of humanity for now, which is more than can be said of Guild leadership attitude towards Neverborn SO FAR.

Aims:

Guild wants total worlds domination (both worlds), whereas Neverborn want to control Malifaux for themselves and keep both worlds safe. Impossible to say whether Lilith might want to invade Earth after a complete victory in Malifaux, but absolutely nothing to support it so far. Hard to see Guild in a good light in this comparison...

 

Alternative options:

Guild's alternative to the war is to accept a magic-starwed world, and loss of totalitarian control over Earth. Basically go home and compete for power like any other group without a equilibrium-breaking advantage unavailable to all other countries and organisations. Neverborn alternative is to accept loss and for, knowing full well that their entire species, as well as humans WILL GO EXTINCT in the process.

The only thing Guild has going for it is that it's an organisation og evil HUMANS and as humans we connect to them better. The Neverborn are big, scary-looking, different/weird not-humans, and thus commands less sympathy. Fine, sympathise with Guild and the humans, I probably would as well if I had been living in Malifaux. But that doesn't mean the humans are the good guys. Both are bad, but on a whole different level. The only thing that makes the Guild look better is just that; how they look. It's fine to identify with the Guild because their race, but let's not conflate that with good/evil, or it can quickly get more than a little scary...

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Greentinsel

Go qith your first ibatinct. LadyJustice is probably the most straight up good character even if you question the motives of the guild. I think thia discuasion reflects that the game doeab't have a clearcutgood or bad faction.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Ludvig said:

@Greentinsel

Go with your first instinct. Lady Justice is probably the most straight up good character even if you question the motives of the guild. I think this discussion reflects that the game doesn't have a clear-cut good or bad faction.

Which is honestly one of the best parts of the setting. Fairy-tale black-and-white morality is for fairy tales. The rich moral ambiguity and good people fighting for bad causes and groups and bad people fighting for good causes and groups is a good part of what makes Malifaux  a fantastic setting.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my 2c on the Neverborn/Guild goodie/baddie debate...

I stand pretty firmly in the camp of the invaders are generally always bad.  Look at their motivations and see if you can give me one example that's not utterly selfish.  The Romans didn't expand to help their neighbours, but to conquer them, look all high and mighty and feel pretty chuffed/self-important and make life better for Romans.  Same could be pretty much said of the British Empire.  They certainly didn't invade/colonise (personally, I don't see a difference here) India, Oceania, the US for the natives benefit...

That said, that doesn't make the natives good, as you pointed out, the Aztecs were pretty horrible, but on the whole, the Australian Aboriginals tended to be pretty chilled, as the the American Indians (yes they had a fair bit of internecine mix-ups, but which culture (especially a tribal one) hasn't?).

Putting this back into the setting of Malifaux & the Otherside.  The Guild are totalitarian jerks, they don't care for naught but their own power, maintaining a stranglehold on everything they control and exterminating everything they can't.

Sure, the Neverborn aren't exactly the most friendliest of critters and out of all of them, I'd actually say that Lynch (one of the HUMANs) is actually the worst.  Sure he's in a giant pickle, but it's basically entirely as a result of bad decisions he's made and now he's consciously spreading a horrifying corruption through his own kind that poisons their mind, warps their bodies and ultimately leaves them as burnt-out husks. 

Lilith, Pandora & Zoraida are actively trying to save both worlds and protect their own kind.  Titania is set to trying to putting a long-overdue final nail in the Tyrants' coffins.  They also had no intention of ever invading Earth.

By saying the Guild are justified in raping the World of Malifaux of Soulstone because Earthside magic was dying is like saying someone who loses all their money at a casino is justified to break into someone's home, kill the owner and live happily ever after.

So yes, while the Neverborn aren't necessarily good (note, as far as I'm aware, there's been no fluff about what the neverborn were up to between the end of the war with the Tyrants and prior to the opening of the first breach. Perhaps they were dancing around the fire toasting the Neverborn equivalent of marshmallows?)  From what we know of Neverborn history (to my knowledge)

  1. Titania ruled the Fae through a set of ancient laws and traditions.
  2. A group of Fae left the Autumn Court and built the city of Malifaux and founded the arts of Science.
  3. through the arts of science, there was no disease and some extended their own lives almost indefinitely.  For the most part, up toll now, this was the Golden age.
  4. those select few got bored and put their "genius" to new and rather unpleasant pursuits.
  5. the rest of the Fae battled against these new tyrants, but such was their power that their victory seemed assured.
  6. Titania made her pact with the Grave Spirit, Kythera was build.
  7. The phsyical forms of the Tyrants were destroyed, their souls imprisoned
  8. The Fae don't like Titania's dealings with the Grave Spirit, Nythera is built, Titania imprisoned & Kythera switched off.
  9. The throwback of the magics cause much of the remaining Fae to devolve into the Neverborn (suposition on my part here)
  10. An indeterminate amount (but I've inferred it was a long while) of time goes by where we have almost no idea what the Neverborn get up to
  11. ...
  12. ...
  13. ...
  14. ...
  15. The first Breach opens... From this point we kinda know what happens

So really, none of the Neverborn's acts as a whole seem inherently evil.  Sure the Tyrants were utter jerks, but so were Hitler, Starlin, and most rulers the world has seen (including all those invading Roman Emperors/British kings).

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great rulers have a tendency to be horrible rulers in the history books of the opposing nations. I also have a hard time seing how the neverborn are at fault for trying to defend against obvious aggression. Their tactics might not adhere to the geneva convention but if you look at the world of malifaux it's pretty far removed from the world we know today so you can't really make too direct comparisons to today or even our history.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While the Guild may seem so to the unenlightened, it is not a fascist organisation, its more of a benign corporation. 

First of all the Guild is a business, whose primary goal is to make the Earth side parent company a profit by selling Soul Stones.

And while the Guild is happy to run their operation in peace, murderous Neverborn and deranged people and war profiteers try to seize and/or destroy both the peaceful Humans who want to settle in Maifaux, and also Guild assets, at any given opportunity for various nefarious reason.

Luckily the Guild have hired competent guardsmen to protect both the people of Malifaux, and their hard working employees.

While ensuring that Earth receives the Soul Stones it so desperately needs, the Guild also deals with the local M&S Union who have been given plenty of lucrative concessions.

It should also be added that the Neverborn have invaded Earth, to kill all humans I might add.

So whatever moral high ground some may have attributed to the Neverborn, they have now shown their true colors.

Thus it is now kill or be killed against the most heinous and vile enemy ever known to man, and Earths best hope and first line of defence is The Guild. 

 

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Jernmajoren now I know who your favourite master is ;)

You forgot to make up some fantabulous words but stylepoints for staying in character!

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By my reading of the lore, the guild seems heavily inspired by the dutch east india trade company which wouls probably not be described as benign. 

Companies in general are a lot more like fascist oligarchies than democracies in their makeup. Assuming you also need to be a mage to reach the highest echelons of the organisation and it has some parallels to various rascist/theocratic fascist states.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of people who fancy playing the Good Guys pick Lady Justice. From the past track record, that's a good fit.

Picking a master here seems to be the trick of finding out the tragic flaw of each one and knowing whether it's something you can live with, or not. And those who fancy playing the Good Guys, like the Lady herself, seem to have little concept of the ideas of 'collateral damage' or 'overkill' (so we burnt down the entire building and your life's work in it just to be certain the taint of that resurrectionist on a different floor was gone, and your complaint is?...), so that's also a good fit.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guild's behind the curve on propaganda--that's the M&SU's specialty, thank you Ramos--but we're catching up!

Now if we could work on our collective insensitivity to subtext...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just happy that he will at least try to play malifaux. Right now there is only two of us malifaux players so we have a lot of master boxes without the added figures from the blister boxes. I have lady j, Tina, and Lilith boxes and the other malifaux player has perdita and mei feng.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Greentinsel said:

I'm just happy that he will at least try to play malifaux. Right now there is only two of us malifaux players so we have a lot of master boxes without the added figures from the blister boxes. I have lady j, Tina, and Lilith boxes and the other malifaux player has perdita and mei feng.

Well have fun! 

Learn new tactics, play new masters, and don't let the dream-invading demons try to convince you that they're the victims in all of this. ;)
 

"The city of Malifaux is a dangerous place, but it seems as cozy as a hearth when compared to the horrors that roam the southern Badlands. Every nightmare in every monster story ever told has its counterpart in a Neverborn creature that lives somewhere beyond the relative safety of the city's walls. The abilities of these horrors are as terrible as any nightmare, since many spawn from the same dark sources that gave rise to these nightmares in the first place.

The Neverborn are terrible monsters that brutally prey upon the humans who have appeared to claim Malifaux for their own. The Neverborn take many shapes, from the winged Nephilim to the ghostly Sorrows. Some are deceptively similar in appearance to humans, able to walk among them, and these are by far the most dangerous, as their unknown designs are far more subtle and far-reaching. Where many Neverborn are satisfied by grizzly, indulgent murder, these human-looking monsters wage a campaign of terror on mankind through grand organized raids and clever attacks on human settlements. Despite this focus on the bigger picture, most of these Neverborn are not above the occasional indulgent murder.

Malifaux-Guild-City.jpg?format=500w

The origin of these creatures is uncertain. Many believe that they are created by some maligned force, and thus, they were dubbed Neverborn to help mankind explain away their complete lack of human empathy and mercy. Slowly, however, as the mysteries of Malifaux are revealed, its human settlers have been granted glimpses of the world's distant past. The appearance of monsters in this world seems linked to a great cataclysm, occurring ages ago, that transformed it from a place not unlike Earth into the ruined splendor seen today.

This cataclysm marked the death of a world ruled by logic and reason, replacing it with one fraught with passion, madness, and death. The Neverborn are the people of this new age, a people completely foreign and unknowable by man. Savage and ruthless, they are prone to fits of murderous madness and capable of incredible violence. Beyond that, they are creatures possessed of a terrible secret, of sins committed in the distant past. They have endured the death of their world and will not tolerate man's trespass upon its ashes.

The Guild has tried everything possible to diminish the Neverborn threat. Willing to deputize anyone, the Guild frequently sends groups of hunters on Neverborn raids; most of these deputies fail to survive their first encounter. The Ortega family, with their matriarch, Perdita, has proven the most effective deterrent to Neverborn proliferation. This family is credited with hundreds of slain monsters, and their success has led to fame among the people of Malifaux. The Ortega family are the heroes that the people idolize and the threats that the Neverborn, despite their best efforts, just can't seem to destroy."

https://www.wyrd-games.net/malifaux-neverborn/

Soon they'll be saying that the official lore is Guild/Union propaganda. :P

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Hoffman comes before Justice in the Good Guy Dept. as he is not balancing on the edge of Dark Arts. While he has a hidden agenda (save Ryle), I believe there are limits to what he is capable of.

 

As for Guild, they are not perfect but they didn`t invade Malifaux to kill Neverborn. They were sent there to collect soulstones, and most of the force they have is mostly a defensive force and not an offensive force. Most of the Guild units are used to keep Malifaux and its citizens safe and not to wage wars. If Guild would really want to obliterate the NB they would probably slow its grip on the Soulstone trade and work out some international contracts to bring in an Abyssinian army and mop the floor with the Neverborn ;)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As has been mentioned the Guild is not "just a company" like Microsoft or Wyrd are companies; they are modelled on the Dutch and British East Indian Trading Company. In that sense they are closer to Indonesia, Rhodesia (modern South Africa and Zimbabwe) and indeed India than they are to Ford or Volkswagen. In the 17th-18th century a lot of colonization was organized by organizations set up by (or in cooperation with) the Government (king) of a European country with the mandate to conquer territory abroad. This was the beginning of the stock market, but they were also very different organizations than modern companies.

The Guild's goal is power, not just profit. The Guild is just what the name suggests, a guild of mages and their organization. Using the shortage of soulstones after the closure of the first breach as leverage they were able to control most governments Earthside prior to the opening of the second breach. The real threat for the Guild with the second breach is that smuggling threatens their monopoly, which is what kept them in power Earthside. With the last few books it has been revealed that some powers Earthside (Abyssinia notably) managed to stay out the Guild's grip all the time, and others used the turmoil spilling over from Malifaux (the emergence of the Burning Man) to break free from the shackles, and the Guild's political control Earthside has pretty much been shattered. It seems like they have returned to being a guild for mages and a commercial enterprise, but I guess the fluff in The Other Side will tell us a lot more...

When it comes to descriptions of Malifaux/Neverborn in the official fluff it's pretty obvious that when no view-point is given then we should assume the information comes from the Guild/human point of view. To relate to the above text, no Neverborn storyteller would say of themselves something like:

"The appearance of monsters in this world seems linked to a great cataclysm, occurring ages ago, that transformed it from a place not unlike Earth into the ruined splendor seen today."

This is the voice of humans describing the unknown.

Furthermore, just like the Guild call the Ortegas "Neverborn hunters", not "Neverborn murderers", whereas the Neverborn are not "above indulgent murders", Neverborn voices are likely to describe Nekima as a "alien hunter" (or maybe rather "vermin exterminator") rather than "indulgent murderer". Humans in Malifaux are scared of Neverborn, and with good reason; they are vicious and violent and more than capable of shredding most humans to pieces. The Neverborn are terrified of the humans, and with good reason; they meddle with things they don't understand, and have almost destroyed the world several times over in the last decade or so.

A point on propaganda... Of course anything said by the Guild has to be treated like propaganda, and the same anything uttered by Lilith or Ramos. Doesn't mean there isn't some truth to it. Good propaganda is always telling the truth, or at least a version of it, what makes it propaganda is which parts of the truth are emphasized and which are censored. The guild are likely to repress what exactly happens to "Arcanist criminals" when the witch hunters get their hands on them, but will tell it exactly like it is when a rogue mage cause havoc in a failed experiment. The Guild will NOT tell you that the necromantic magic used by the Death Marshalls is pretty much identical with the magic practised by Ressurectionists, but WILL pass on any gory details on the horrid exploits they have done at the cemetaries...

Finally a point on the "official descriptions". Most "neutral" fluff seems to be from the perspective of ordinary citizens well connected with rumour-mongers. Thus most of the information seems to come from Guild propaganda, and most of the rest seems to be propaganda/rumours sourced from the M&SU. This is actually quite cool, as it helps put us in the shoes of the regular human inhabitants of Malifaux, and as humans those are the ones we are most likely to connect with. It does mean that the Neverborn, Gremlins and Ten Thunders are more "shrouded in mystery" than the better known Outcasts, Guild and Arcanists, and Ressurs become more alien/evil than mysterious.

If you read all the books, all the Chronicles stories, all the campaign stuff and TTB material the total picture becomes extremely complex, and it's clear no faction is all "good" or all "bad", and neither are individuals. They are all capable of great evil, and more likely to commit evil then not, and thus no one can be said to be good because they oppose those who are evil. It's all shades of grey...

 

 

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Necromantic magic my ass, in that case, where are my summons?! ;)

LJ should go off the deep end and become a summoner!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Ludvig said:

Necromantic magic my ass, in that case, where are my summons?! ;)

LJ should go off the deep end and become a summoner!

Haha, why not? Take Captain Dashel and summon to your heart's content... ;-)

Necromantic fluids can be used for more than summoning, and apparently making dimension-gates-in-a-box is one of them... 

On a more serious not, if anybody is not familiar with this part of the fluff, it's mentioned several times that Death Marshalls decay over time, due to the necromantic magic they use, and it's also mentioned by the old GG before he became the Burning Man that he knows that all the Special Divisions are tainted; Perdita have some form of Neverborn connection (who is her mother? just how did Papa go Loco?) that is the reason she's s effective at hunting them (check out her old Avatar model with her riding a Neverborn monster if you won't bother to read through all the fluff), Sonnia draws her power from using the same forbidden lore everyone else get turned into Witchling Stalkers for even thinking about, and Lady Justice and the Marshals using the same Necromantic magic as ressurs to fight them. The same goes for Hoffman using Amalgation to fight against the steamfitter's part of the Arcanists. The guild very much has a fight fire with fire attitude to the threats it faces, and the desire to end all this was much of the motivation for the previous Governor General to try to ascend and become a Tyrant so he would be the only "abomination" needed in Guild Service. Spoiler alert: it didn't exactly work out they way he intended...

Again, there are no black and white in Malifaux, just shades of grey; and most of the shades are a lot closer to black than white...

2 people like this

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