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Old 10-23-2018, 06:47 AM   #11
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Killing Slavers

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Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
Basically, if it doesn't depend on the setting, there's something up with your players.
Pretty much.

On one hand, I figure that when my players agree to play in a campaign, they have agreed to accept the world where the campaign is set. If slavery is a feature of that world, then their characters will know that slavery exists, and the players will have agreed to play such characters, just as, if I run a campaign set in the 21st century, the characters will know that taxation exists.

On the other hand, in general, I expect my players to realize that my campaigns are likely to have some level of historical realism; if I say, for example, that a campaign is set in the Roman Empire, then there will be slaves and distinctive laws regarding their treatment. If I'm dealing with new players, I'll spell this out more, but established players should know my style.

On the gripping hand, unless the campaign is defined as one where a specific mission statement applies, the players are in principle free to create characters who are opposed to slavery, even fanatically opposed to it. But they're free to face the consequences, too, from being condescended to as cranks to being hunted and killed as terrorists.
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Old 10-23-2018, 07:04 AM   #12
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Default Re: Killing Slavers

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Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
I have to ask why they would attack the slavers any more than they would murder and rob any other merchant? If they play people from a society where slavery is legal then ... well, it's possible for them to have arrived at an anti-slavery position, but they'd need to explain to me very carefully how their character became so massively alienated from his own culture.
Playing hostile foreigners of course, is a different matter, in which case raiding a slave owning state and cutting the slaves loose is entirely congruent, in the same way that burning homes and stealing property and livestock would be - and if slavery is a bone of contention between the nations then so much more congruence.
Basically, if it doesn't depend on the setting, there's something up with your players.
Going with that, if the slavers are from a hostile tribe and the slaves are from yours, you have reason to target them. Whether or not you have a generic abolitionism. It's not about justice then, it's about not picking on the family.
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Old 10-23-2018, 07:06 AM   #13
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Default Re: Killing Slavers

Does the term slaver refer only to those who capture free people and introduce them into slavery, or also people who purchase or inherit slaves?
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Old 10-23-2018, 07:14 AM   #14
Turhan's Bey Company
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Default Re: Killing Slavers

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
In your games, how do your players deal with slavers in societies where slavery is legal?
I tend not to bring it up. Yes, slavery is part of the social picture in many historical periods, as are any number of aspects of culture and society in any place and time. On the other hand, I usually run games for people with thoroughly modern sensibilities who are approaching the game for some casual escapist entertainment. In that context, slavery, sexism, racism, and the like qualify as "not fun," so I don't include them.

And, of course, for any not-strictly-historical fantasy, I don't have to include it at all. The magical kingdom of Foo may have superficial qualities in common with various historical locations, but being entirely fictional, there's nothing there which I don't want to put there. So if there's anything my players or I will find not-fun, I get to leave it out. And so I do.
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Old 10-23-2018, 07:15 AM   #15
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Default Re: Killing Slavers

Slaver refers to anyone engaged in the commerce of slaves, so it could be to person purchasing slaves, the person transporting slaves to market, or the person selling slaves. Someone who inherits slaves would not necessarily be a slaver, though they could still be an objectionable person unless they, at a minimum, treated their slaves humanely, paid them a decent wage, and allowed them to purchase their freedom. Purchasing slaves is always morally reprehensible, though it is possible in some settings to acquire slaves in lieu of payment of a debt or to receive them as a gift from another.
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Old 10-23-2018, 07:15 AM   #16
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Default Re: Killing Slavers

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Basically, if it doesn't depend on the setting, there's something up with your players.
Yes and no. I agree with this to a point, but at the same time would hesitate to create a setting that required players to accept, as a cultural baseline, values and beliefs that would make them uncomfortable because I fear that it would potentially make the game less fun.

If I'm introducing an element like slavery, misogyny/misandry, or racism to a game world, I'm almost always going to do it in a way that players can realistically choose to have their character's values be opposed to such things, even if there are social consequences for doing so. I guess the difference is between "That attitude isn't common." to "That attitude is unheard of - your character wouldn't believe that.

At the same time, I recognize that I'm in the minority on this sort of thing to some degree. I don't replay my computer RPGs just to see the content created for the "evil" choices -- I don't enjoy the experience of playing a character who would make those choices.
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Old 10-23-2018, 08:23 AM   #17
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Default Re: Killing Slavers

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Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post

I tend not to bring it up [...] slavery, sexism, racism, and the like qualify as "not fun," so I don't include them.
Pretty much this.

I'm not a fan of gaming in 100% historical settings, but inasmuch as I've ever had anything to do with it, I've left uncomfortable social topics unexplored and focused the campaign on action and adventure: mysteries that need solving, plots that need exposing, wars that need fighting, whatever.

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Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post

And, of course, for any not-strictly-historical fantasy, I don't have to include it at all [...] if there's anything my players or I will find not-fun, I get to leave it out. And so I do.
And this.

Stuff my players won't enjoy doesn't become part of their characters' society. I either omit it completely from the campaign or I reserve it for use as a part of a foreign society that can serve as a source of enemies and a target for missions paid for by the heroes' homeland.

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Originally Posted by Brandy View Post

I agree with this to a point, but at the same time would hesitate to create a setting that required players to accept, as a cultural baseline, values and beliefs that would make them uncomfortable because I fear that it would potentially make the game less fun.

If I'm introducing an element like slavery, misogyny/misandry, or racism to a game world, I'm almost always going to do it in a way that players can realistically choose to have their character's values be opposed to such things
Exactly.

For instance, in my fantasy campaign where the PCs lived in a continental empire formed when Roman-inspired people conquered Greek- and Mongol-themed lands, I ignored the fact that the Greeks, Mongols, and Romans took slaves, and I did the same with any other social element I knew the players would find uncomfortable: human sacrifice, rampant sexism, you name it. I cherry-picked the cool stuff and kept only the historical elements my gamers could live with. Then I had all the rival powers of the world keep slaves, burn people on altars, treat women as property, and so on. This made it easy for me to convince the players that their characters wanted to work within and for their society, not be complete murderhobos . . . because their society was happy to use them as a pack of 007s against pretty much all the nasty empires around them.

There's no especially great reason why every society in a setting would have the same values. On the contrary, differences in basic values are one explanation for national borders. So I just make sure the values my players don't like are on the other side of the border, which means that when they want to tear down an oppressive society they can do so freely and be labeled patriots at home for doing so.
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Old 10-23-2018, 08:39 AM   #18
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Default Re: Killing Slavers

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Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post
. In that context, slavery, sexism, racism, and the like qualify as "not fun," so I don't include them.

I'm fond of RPG's as a way to explore history, and I do play in fairly historical games that feature some of the nastier elements. Most of the time my players try to take up sympathetic but non-revolutionary positions in society (In a recent game we had a roman praetor free and marry his former slave. The scandal was a big deal, but not campaign disrupting). If they want to waive a specific condition (sexism is the most common) we will do that. But I have this innate resistance to portraying historical humanity as modern cosmopolitanists. But we find exploring history fun, and the culture we're playing in is part of that. I understand not everyone wants to do that.
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Old 10-23-2018, 01:10 PM   #19
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Default Re: Killing Slavers

I've had a DnD campaign when the main Human kingdom (Lawful leans Good) has slavery, but only in the form of Criminal Punishment, it was seen more strict "Community Service" so no my player didn't attack "slavers" in the setting any more they didn't attack the Queen's men.
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Old 10-23-2018, 01:48 PM   #20
Glimmerman
 
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Default Re: Killing Slavers

It depends on treatment and who asks for help:
- serfdom, how local lord treats his serfs
- how the head of the family arranges forced marriages and child labor (Social Stigma: Valuable Property)
- how violent criminals are magically brainwashed to docile servants
- how "monster" races are subjugated
- how strict are laws and how heavy are fines to prevent mistreatment
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