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Author Topic: Good Fantasy Species?  (Read 1640 times)

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Offline Faolchu

Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2013, 07:09:17 PM »
Hmmm. If they are morally good, then why are they demons? Demons are *evil* spirits almost by definition...

Not necessarily. There's several ways you can have a 'good' Demon.

1) Demons are the spirits that existed in the void before God created things. In other words, they existed before order was brought into existence. Therefore, they can bee seen as beings of chaos, with morality being separate. See the Chaosians in Roger Zelazny's Amber series for a good example of this.

2) Another theological possibility involves the view of Christianity vs. Satanism. When you boil everything down, the principle of Christianity is 'selflessness'; therefore, it's polar opposite in Satanism would be 'selfishness'. Not really good or evil, just focusing on personal pleasure and satisfaction rather than how the individual can benefit society.

Now, that's not to say that all demons in these two lights would be good, it's simply a way of showing how you could have 'good' natured demons

Offline RedPhoenix

Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2013, 08:07:14 PM »
I find the idea of non-evil demons to be pretty silly myself. If they aren't evil they aren't demons and you can call them whatever.

Offline Moraline

Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2013, 08:25:33 PM »
Many cultures particularly before the advent of Christianity saw the concept of demons as less a construct of evil and more one of indifference. Much like the old Greek Gods that simply saw humans as pawns. There really was very few good or evil gods. They were just gods and humans get caught up in their stories. In a way they almost all did evil things to some extent considering the callous disregard that they so often showed towards humans. Demons were more good then them.

The Demons in some myths represented aspects of nature - often that meant things like illness, storms, etc... But those weren't seen as evil, they were just a part of life. A person wouldn't think the demon of the wind as "evil" because it blew his ship off course, he would accept it as something that he got caught up in. The wind is indifferent to man's presence and blows whether he is there or not. (If I'm correct, I believe the Japanese had similar beliefs with the Oni but I could be wrong. They were just the first ones to pop into my mind.)(Scratch that last part, I had the Oni wrong.)

Demons are much like our definition of Elves which is very much influenced (for many) by things like Tolkien, the original Elf legends were much different.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 08:29:30 PM by Moraline »

Offline Shjade

Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2013, 08:52:09 PM »
The concept of "morally good" is sorta useless anyway, since being "morally good" just means being good according to morality, which is subject to the individual. It basically just means you're good according to the standards of your society. So yeah, I'd imagine in demon society, most demons are "morally good." At least among demons with similar values.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2013, 09:51:04 PM »
The word 'daemon' simply meant 'spirit' in Greek.  A writer's muse was referred to as his 'daemon'.  There were agathodaimōn (αγαθοδαιμων: "noble spirit") as well as kakódaimōn (κακοδαίμων: "malevolent spirit")  It wasn't until about the second century CE that 'demon' took on the sense of an evil being.

Offline XenphirTopic starter

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Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2013, 09:54:58 PM »
Interesting. I see demon as dark, not evil. Devil's though I see as evil.

Offline Lancelot

Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #31 on: September 28, 2013, 12:47:45 PM »
Again, I would like to put forward perspective as fodder to this discussion: surely a Devil's "good" is what we perceive as "evil", and therefore through this a Devil is good, by being evil?

Offline XenphirTopic starter

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Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #32 on: September 28, 2013, 01:07:13 PM »
Perhaps. Many saw Hades as evil, though he was just doing the job he was forced with, taking care of the afterlife.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #33 on: September 28, 2013, 01:10:48 PM »
Again, the Greeks didn't see Hades as particularly evil.  The underworld was home to both Tartarus (where the damned were tormented) and the Elysium Fields (where the blessed were rewarded).

Offline Lancelot

Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #34 on: September 28, 2013, 01:15:29 PM »
To be fair, the Greeks were not the only people to have a perspective opinion about Hades. Xenphir's point is very valid - take a look at Disney's depiction of Hades, for example; though with inaccuracies, each has their own opinion to something, and rightly so. There's nothing wrong with seeing Hades as evil.

Offline XenphirTopic starter

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Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #35 on: September 28, 2013, 01:20:21 PM »
I never said the greeks :o I mean because of, like lancelot said, say Disney's perspective, even kids see hades as some blue evil guy. My point was that no matter how it seems, someone that is 'evil' isn't neccesarily.

So to add another one a personal example~ In an rp I'm doing MC is being guarded and protected by a demon, but has also been kept captive in the demons home, though it is for his protection. I think the demon probably has just a darker more unusual (Nothing a human would do to protect another human) way of protecting. It isn't really evil since MC isn't in pain, and actually has 'love' for the demon, but other humans besides the one I play, like NPC's walking the streets etc would see it as evil or a crime.

Offline Moraline

Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #36 on: September 28, 2013, 01:20:36 PM »
Interesting. I see demon as dark, not evil. Devil's though I see as evil.
(Note: Hades and the Devil are not one in the same. The Devil is a construct of several mythological figures or he is the absolute Devil (Anti-God) of christian religion, depending on your personal religious perspective.)

I think because the Devil is strictly a construct of Christianity that when referenced alongside that, "The Devil" is evil by that value systems description. Although because it's strictly a christian thing there really are no devils. Just the one Devil. So, it can't even considered a fantasy race.

If you were to recreate it as a fantasy race of "devils" then there is little reason that it couldn't be something entirely different and have completely differing values/morals. You could make them flower loving, non-violent, two foot tall creatures if you wanted to.

I feel that's the biggest flaw with this entire thread. There is no good to use race for fantasy/Sci-Fi settings of any kind. Each race is usually something you can completely rewrite and make your own. Limiting yourself when most "known" races have wide and varied mythology anyways seems kind of silly to me. Unless you really happen to like the very specific aspects of one very specific race from one very specific set of stories. Then there needs to be qualifiers to the reason for choosing any specific race.

The topic would do better as a question of what physical traits you like to see in fantasy races. IE: Pointy ears, tails, fur, fangs, scales, human sized, tiny sized, giant sized, one eye, or three eyes.  And/or whatever traits you like to see - such as mental, moral, cultural etc...


Offline XenphirTopic starter

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Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #37 on: September 28, 2013, 01:26:24 PM »
(Note: Hades and the Devil are not one in the same. The Devil is a construct of several mythological figures or he is the absolute Devil (Anti-God) of christian religion, depending on your personal religious perspective.)

I think because the Devil is strictly a construct of Christianity that when referenced alongside that, "The Devil" is evil by that value systems description. Although because it's strictly a christian thing there really are no devils. Just the one Devil. So, it can't even considered a fantasy race.

If you were to recreate it as a fantasy race of "devils" then there is little reason that it couldn't be something entirely different and have completely differing values/morals. You could make them flower loving, non-violent, two foot tall creatures if you wanted to.

I feel that's the biggest flaw with this entire thread. There is no good to use race for fantasy/Sci-Fi settings of any kind. Each race is usually something you can completely rewrite and make your own. Limiting yourself when most "known" races have wide and varied mythology anyways seems kind of silly to me. Unless you really happen to like the very specific aspects of one very specific race from one very specific set of stories. Then there needs to be qualifiers to the reason for choosing any specific race.

The topic would do better as a question of what physical traits you like to see in fantasy races. IE: Pointy ears, tails, fur, fangs, scales, human sized, tiny sized, giant sized, one eye, or three eyes.  And/or whatever traits you like to see - such as mental, moral, cultural etc...



Didn't say there were the same.

Though that is true about the 'Devil' I think this debate is a good one. Hearing how people see the darker side of beings not being evil after all is nice to what I'm used to hearing on other sites. I think if we all just sat here naming off traits of fantasy races it wouldn't be as interesting :3 Though that is also open for discussion if they wish. It is not just based off whether a species or race is good or bad, I made this thread to get opinions of all features of races, not just one point of them.

So anyone could easily join in saying they prefer elves' for their wonderful pointy ears in which makes them cute. ^^

Offline Beorning

Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #38 on: September 28, 2013, 02:04:27 PM »
Though that is true about the 'Devil' I think this debate is a good one. Hearing how people see the darker side of beings not being evil after all is nice to what I'm used to hearing on other sites.

Ha! Define "dark", though. Do you mean that in the Hades sense? He is, indeed, dark but not evil.

Offline XenphirTopic starter

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Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #39 on: September 28, 2013, 03:03:43 PM »
Ha! Define "dark", though. Do you mean that in the Hades sense? He is, indeed, dark but not evil.

That's what I mean. Dark isn't always evil. By dark I mean vampires/demons. Creatures of the shadows or death etc.

Offline Blythe

Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #40 on: September 28, 2013, 03:19:12 PM »
Hmmmm, as for fantasy races I've always liked...I've always had a fondness for centaurs. Demons and drow are also favorites of mine.

I play a lot of D&D, and I really liked devils (baatezu) in D&D.

I've always liked dwarves, too, and I usually like them better than elves. They have tenacity, and I like that.

Oh! And nagas. I love nagas. <3

Offline XenphirTopic starter

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Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #41 on: September 28, 2013, 04:09:11 PM »
Centaurs are always forgotten by me xD Though they seem like awesome creatures to me ^^

Offline ofDelusions

Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #42 on: September 28, 2013, 05:00:30 PM »
The word 'daemon' simply meant 'spirit' in Greek.  A writer's muse was referred to as his 'daemon'.  There were agathodaimōn (αγαθοδαιμων: "noble spirit") as well as kakódaimōn (κακοδαίμων: "malevolent spirit")  It wasn't until about the second century CE that 'demon' took on the sense of an evil being.


So you mean demons got...

 8-)

..Demonised?

Offline RedPhoenix

Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #43 on: September 28, 2013, 05:30:10 PM »
Oh! And nagas. I love nagas. <3

Yes this is true, never saw a version of nagas I didn't like for some reason or another!

Ooooh nagas and goblins working together. My minions are getting stronger. *rubs hands together and plots*

Offline Oniya

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Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #44 on: September 28, 2013, 05:35:43 PM »


So you mean demons got...

 8-)

..Demonised?

*ba-dum-tish*

Also worth noting along those lines:  The word 'satan' is Hebrew for 'adversary' in the sense of 'opposing counsel'.  So you might say that Lucifer (the light-bearer) is a

( •_•)
( •_•)>⌐■-■
(⌐■-■)

Devil's advocate.

Offline Blythe

Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #45 on: September 28, 2013, 05:36:26 PM »
Ooooh nagas and goblins working together. My minions are getting stronger. *rubs hands together and plots*

....I really really want to see an army of goblins and nagas working to overthrow the more common fantasy races. This would be kind of badass. <3



So you mean demons got...

 8-)

..Demonised?

....*gigglesnort*

Offline XenphirTopic starter

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Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #46 on: September 28, 2013, 07:00:21 PM »
Nagas are cool :O

Offline Sasquatch421

Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #47 on: September 28, 2013, 08:00:18 PM »
I've always been partial to Dragons, Teiflings and Halflings... Oh and Kender! Tasslehoff Burrfoot always brightens up my day... The interaction between Tas and the Gold Dragon Evenstar in Dragons of the Dwarven Depths was golden! Erin Evan's Brimstone Angels books are awesome as well..
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 08:17:30 AM by Sasquatch421 »

Offline Koyume

Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #48 on: September 28, 2013, 08:07:00 PM »
Doesn't seem like anyone's said Dhampir yet, so I'll go with that. Granted, I don't know of many actual established dhampir characters that I like (one that I do like is D, from Vampire Hunter D), but the premise is cool, and has all kinds of smexy potential.

Offline RedPhoenix

Re: Good Fantasy Species?
« Reply #49 on: September 28, 2013, 10:17:55 PM »
Some motherfuckers always tryin' to ice skate uphill.