Rape in D&D

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Fox Lee:
So basically, the game is happy for PCs to act however their player wants, but they must expect to face the consequences?

In a case like that, there seems to be no reason to stop a player from having their character do this (unless one of the earlier "rules" gets in the way). I'd visit equally terrible retribution on them for it, of course; there aren't many crimes that outrage a civilised society like rape, and with good reason. Making a habit of it probably warrants getting your own personal bounty hunters/paladin avengers, at the least. And it's not just the good guys; since this is a crime which does terrible things to an individual person, even the most evil and ruthless of characters might wish to avenge one of the few people they care about.

If there are negative reactions to this amongst the other players, I'd certainly ask the player you're worried about to tone it down; at the very least keep it to suggestion and "fade to black" scenarios. I'm assuming the other PCs will be free to react in kind, should they be aware of anything untoward which takes place.

Kuroimaken:
Quote from: Fox Lee on December 02, 2008, 06:26:59 PM

So basically, the game is happy for PCs to act however their player wants, but they must expect to face the consequences?

In a case like that, there seems to be no reason to stop a player from having their character do this (unless one of the earlier "rules" gets in the way). I'd visit equally terrible retribution on them for it, of course; there aren't many crimes that outrage a civilised society like rape, and with good reason. Making a habit of it probably warrants getting your own personal bounty hunters/paladin avengers, at the least. And it's not just the good guys; since this is a crime which does terrible things to an individual person, even the most evil and ruthless of characters might wish to avenge one of the few people they care about.

If there are negative reactions to this amongst the other players, I'd certainly ask the player you're worried about to tone it down; at the very least keep it to suggestion and "fade to black" scenarios. I'm assuming the other PCs will be free to react in kind, should they be aware of anything untoward which takes place.


One interesting (and somewhat disgusting) point to raise is that in spite of how advanced some civilizations get, second- and third-class citizens are more often than not found to be an OK target for rape. Back in the 1800s, when Brazil still used slaves, it wasn't considered a crime to rape a slave. Depending on how "realistic" (to use a sarcastic adjective) your campaign world is, the raping of commoners is not usually considered a crime. In fact, in medieval societies, the crusaders who raped and pillaged were considered heroes. And it still goes on today in some places (prostitutes, for example, very often are not taken seriously when it comes to rape charges, as do drug dealers).

"Mechanically" speaking, PC to NPC rape tends not to carry drastic consequences unless the NPCs are important. If you wish to stress the consequences of rape, make this different. Otherwise, the act alone should get enough of a grind from the players themselves such that the player won't be getting graphic about it.

Straw_Man:

  Seconded. rant Modern Western societies react badly against rape, not very many older or non-Western ones. And we are talking about a civilisation which till this day still ends up treating the victim like the criminal. /rant

  But D&D worlds also are very idealised - rarely have I seen a game with obvious sexism or intra-human racism.

Fox Lee:
Quote from: Kuroimaken on December 02, 2008, 11:09:46 PM

One interesting (and somewhat disgusting) point to raise is that in spite of how advanced some civilizations get, second- and third-class citizens are more often than not found to be an OK target for rape. Back in the 1800s, when Brazil still used slaves, it wasn't considered a crime to rape a slave. Depending on how "realistic" (to use a sarcastic adjective) your campaign world is, the raping of commoners is not usually considered a crime. In fact, in medieval societies, the crusaders who raped and pillaged were considered heroes. And it still goes on today in some places (prostitutes, for example, very often are not taken seriously when it comes to rape charges, as do drug dealers).

Point taken, but in D&D there are absolute right and wrong as well as societal standards and laws. Of course, individuals may adjust their campaign worlds to be more realistic, but at its core D&D says that good is good and evil is evil. Rape is irrevocably evil (yes, even in that bloody Dominic Deegan example), and even if a society finds it acceptable, a good person (especially a paladin or good cleric) will not.

Kuroimaken:
Quote from: Fox Lee on December 04, 2008, 07:17:40 PM

Quote from: Kuroimaken on December 02, 2008, 11:09:46 PM

One interesting (and somewhat disgusting) point to raise is that in spite of how advanced some civilizations get, second- and third-class citizens are more often than not found to be an OK target for rape. Back in the 1800s, when Brazil still used slaves, it wasn't considered a crime to rape a slave. Depending on how "realistic" (to use a sarcastic adjective) your campaign world is, the raping of commoners is not usually considered a crime. In fact, in medieval societies, the crusaders who raped and pillaged were considered heroes. And it still goes on today in some places (prostitutes, for example, very often are not taken seriously when it comes to rape charges, as do drug dealers).

Point taken, but in D&D there are absolute right and wrong as well as societal standards and laws. Of course, individuals may adjust their campaign worlds to be more realistic, but at its core D&D says that good is good and evil is evil. Rape is irrevocably evil (yes, even in that bloody Dominic Deegan example), and even if a society finds it acceptable, a good person (especially a paladin or good cleric) will not.


Point equally taken, Fox Lee. I was just pointing it out as a YMMV example, especially because the whole Evil-Good axis may be enforced by the game but it may not necessarily be so by players. D&D can be bafflingly unspecific on how a character of a certain alignment views an act (example: Core D&D NEVER explained the age-old question of whether it's okay for a Cleric to cast Holy Word in a devil's nursery).

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