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Subject: Using Story / Theme / Flavor - Rank the Factions / Identities from Good to Evil rss

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David H
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I have players who "only want to be the good guy" or revel in being the "bad guy" and thought it'd be an interesting question to pose to BGG for ANR's dystopian setting.

Use whatever metric, qualifications, disclaimers, assumptions, etc. you like... this is just for fun. The only restriction is that it not be based purely on in-game efficacy or mechanical effect (although that can be part of your assessment).

Weigh in on either Corporations vs Runners in general, specific factions, or even identities.
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Ben Finkel
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Oh, don't you know? It's all a matter of perspective. From first blush, though, it's most intuitive that the morality is Shapers>Anarchs>Criminals and HB~NBN>Jinteki~Weyland.
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Keith Searfoss
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While I can agree with Azeltir's ranking, I don't think it's so much "good to evil" as "playful to asshole".
 
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Trevor Schadt
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Azeltir wrote:
Oh, don't you know? It's all a matter of perspective. From first blush, though, it's most intuitive that the morality is Shapers>Anarchs>Criminals and HB~NBN>Jinteki~Weyland.
I'd go S>C>A for the Runners. Anarchs are in it for the destruction; Criminals are in it for the money. I suppose which one of those is considered "less moral" than the other is a matter of personal opinion.
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Bob Smithy

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Azeltir wrote:
Oh, don't you know? It's all a matter of perspective. From first blush, though, it's most intuitive that the morality is Shapers>Anarchs>Criminals and HB~NBN>Jinteki~Weyland.


Because we at Haas-Bioroid are so nice, we're the only people that make sure you 'remember' our new Janus models.
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Grant Cain
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Shapers are definitely the "more" pure-minded of individuals, making sure the Corps don't get too powerful for the good of the people.
Anarchs are next and mostly run for kicks or infamy. Not necessarily mean spirited, just like to have fun.
Criminals are purely out for themselves in the sense of not giving a flip what people even think or if people see them. They'll do anything to bankrupt the Corps and benefit themselves (compromised employee anyone?)

To me Corps go Weyland>HB>NBN>Jinteki and here is how I look at them.
HB and Weyland are simply power hungry, wanting to control anyone and everyone. They don't care who they smash or do damage to in order to get what they want. They are more underhanded in the damage they do (read the scorched earth text as a great example for Weyland). I gave Weyland the nudge here since they seem to feed off the masses more rather than HB which doesn't even care about the masses as long as it's next line of robots gets up and running ahead of schedule.
NBN to me will spin things until people see them as good and benevolent, even if it means violence or force (Big Brother is a good example of this).
Jinteki to me is the least of the four (evils) and represents the idea of making people "better" through experimentation. It often goes wrong and the collateral damage ensues, but their overall goals are not particularly as horrible as the others.

My 2 cred.
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Alex Rockwell
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Clearly, our dear Gabriel Santiago, a Robin Hood-like figure trying to make his way in a world ruled by oppressive giant mega-corporations who treat everyone like slaves, is the good guy here.
He is helping to fight these evil corporations my attacking them at their heart: financially. Helping to bring them down so that their reign of tyranny over the common man will end, and humanity can emerge into a brighter future.





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Brian Bankler
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Done!

Anarchs -- Evil
Shapers -- Evil
Criminal -- Evil
Weyland -- Evil
HB -- Evil
NBN -- Evil
Jinteki -- Evil
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Ben Finkel
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Hdnggrnchrg wrote:
Azeltir wrote:
Oh, don't you know? It's all a matter of perspective. From first blush, though, it's most intuitive that the morality is Shapers>Anarchs>Criminals and HB~NBN>Jinteki~Weyland.


Because we at Haas-Bioroid are so nice, we're the only people that make sure you 'remember' our new Janus models.


Man, everyone can kill the Runner - NBN needs PSF or out-of-faction stuff, but they're *insidious*. HB's default turtliness and nonaggression push me to put it on the "good guy" side. I also like just about anyone who makes androids, so call me biased.
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Alex Rockwell
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Google (NBN identity)
45/22. You may not play 'Black Ops' cards.
"Dont be evil".


(Freelancers, neural katanas, and brain damage still acceptable!)

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Ian Kelly
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I'd align the factions something like this:

Shapers - Chaotic Good
Criminals - Chaotic Neutral
Anarchs - Chaotic Evil

Haas Bioroid - Lawful Neutral
NBN - Lawful Neutral
Weyland - Lawful Evil
Jinteki - Neutral Evil

(Edit: changed Jinteki to Neutral Evil per comments below)
(Edit: and Weyland to Lawful Evil)
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Big Head Zach
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ryudoowaru wrote:
Anarchs are in it for the destruction;


Not necessarily.

Criminals are defined distinctly as being self-serving, using running to obtain personal wealth or recognition from outside themselves. They could be independent contractors who will run anything if the reward matches/exceeds the perceived risk. They may care nothing for the consequences of their actions as pertaining to the corp they hit, as long as they get paid and stay out of the crosshairs. That would make them distinctly indifferent, which many would consider a form of evil.

Shapers run as a challenge to their own skills (and to other runners, sure) and to stimulate innovation. They get their ego stroked like Criminals do, but in a less material sense. And if a corporation suffers as a result, then it's either 1) collateral damage or 2) the price they paid for software-development hubris.

Anarchs run for a cause, and that cause can be either unrelentingly destructive or it can serve a sense of justice (real or imagined). And some simply want to watch the world burn.

If you were to grab a random runner concept out of each of the three factions, I'd figure that Shapers would be the most likely to be seen as "good", Anarchs being slightly less tilted (due to the propensity for "kicks" if they're not going all cyber-vigilante), and Criminals the least because it's all about them and not so much who they're going after.

A "Robin Hood" archetype would be an Anarch (resisting the system because they perceive it as corrupt) that splashes a lot of Account Siphon / Bank Job cards, and possibly runs a Desperado.
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Big Head Zach
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If you've read the novel "Free Fall", you'll find it difficult to put Jinteki anywhere near the good side of the spectrum, if you have strong feelings about slavery of sentient beings and corruption of nature. Comparatively speaking, all H-B is ethically guilty of is innovating skilled labor much faster than the world economy can realistically keep up with. The technological utopia that H-B foresees is a world where all labor is bioroid-managed, leaving humans to live idyllic, creative lives where they can pursue what they want, rather than what society demands in order to maintain itself. A similar leap occurred when mankind first developed agriculture - with the ability for people to get more food for less effort, not everyone had to be a farmer, which means other philosophies could flourish. There inevitably would have been a certain subculture of farmers who lacked the insight, motivation, or imagination to do something other than farm, and would have objected to having their hard work be devalued in favor of irrigation and crop rotation.

The trick is to support those who would be obsolesced as opposed to just leaving them unemployed and destitute. The "evil" in H-B is that they really don't care about that so long as they are the ones being paid for that labor upgrade, and not Jinteki.

Jinteki doesn't want you to know how the sausage is made, and furthermore, would prefer the sausage to do your job instead, because sausage doesn't complain about poor treatment...because it's sausage.
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William Frank
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Anarchs are freedom fighters looking to break the chains that bind us. Or, Anarchs are terrorists, who revel in destruction.

Criminals are champions of the downtrodden, heroes who attack the corporate moneyocracy and liberate the poor. Or, Criminals are self-centered greedy sons-of-bitches.

Shapers are old-school hackers, pushing the edge of the digital revolution, creating the future with each new program. Or, Shapers are frustrating little buggers who get into secure systems and muck them up, causing untold millions in damage and mess, for a joke.

Haas-Bioroid is breaking the world from its reliance on human labor and freeing our minds. Or, Haas-Bioroid is creating a new slave race.

Jinteki is expanding the boundaries of humanity and unlocking our potential. Or, Jinteki is shackling humanity's birthright.

NBN is providing the greatest access to information for all. Or, NBN is seeking to control what we hear, see, know, and believe.

The Weyland Consortium is expanding humanity's reach in the solar system, creating economic opportunities for all. Or, the Weyland Consortium seeks to own the world.

Take your pick.
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Kevin Lambert
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Christkid5 wrote:
Shapers are definitely the "more" pure-minded of individuals, making sure the Corps don't get too powerful for the good of the people.
Anarchs are next and mostly run for kicks or infamy. Not necessarily mean spirited, just like to have fun.
Criminals are purely out for themselves in the sense of not giving a flip what people even think or if people see them. They'll do anything to bankrupt the Corps and benefit themselves (compromised employee anyone?)

To me Corps go Weyland>HB>NBN>Jinteki and here is how I look at them.
HB and Weyland are simply power hungry, wanting to control anyone and everyone. They don't care who they smash or do damage to in order to get what they want. They are more underhanded in the damage they do (read the scorched earth text as a great example for Weyland). I gave Weyland the nudge here since they seem to feed off the masses more rather than HB which doesn't even care about the masses as long as it's next line of robots gets up and running ahead of schedule.
NBN to me will spin things until people see them as good and benevolent, even if it means violence or force (Big Brother is a good example of this).
Jinteki to me is the least of the four (evils) and represents the idea of making people "better" through experimentation. It often goes wrong and the collateral damage ensues, but their overall goals are not particularly as horrible as the others.

My 2 cred.


I disagree. I think Shapers are the people that do it because they can, they want to the fame(Notoreity) and want to be the heroes(Public Sympathy). Anarchs are exactly whats listed on the tin. Destruction because they can(Demolition Run), Bring down the Corporations with very few thoughts to the consequences(Stimhack). Criminals are in it for themselves, they don't care about the moral implications, they just see an opportunity to benefit themselves and take it(Bank Job, Account Siphon).

Weyland is your typical corporate evil that you see in the real world timeframe-Works within the established system with corrupt governments(Government Contracts), a monopoly on the Beanstalk, Semi-legal to outright illegal practices(Scorched Earth, Aggressive Negotiation).

NBN is what would happen if the majority of the world's media providers became a conglomerate. It probably didn't start out evil, just as a money making venture, but as they acquired increasing amounts of control they began to use all the information at their disposal for increasingly shady ventures(Psychographics, Sea Source). They are the most adept at tagging since Geographical location is another component of their business which sells advertising, programming, etc.

Jinteki has been delving into the human body and mind for probably a little too long and the ethics that would already be questionable have been blurred altogether. The vast majority of their research has yielded boons in applications other than genetic perfection(Precognition, Neural Katana). All of their attempts to flatline the runner are byproducts of their research into biology and neurology in particular.

Haas-Bioroid is efficiency and automation taken to the extreme. They care nothing for morals or influence, only selling better products(Adonis Campaign) and making more efficient ai's and machines(Experiential Data, Mandatory Upgrades). Their Ice uses the tactics they do since it is the most efficient way to prevent entry into their servers.

On a list, i'd have Shaper as most good and Weyland as most evil
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Ian Kelly
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bhz1 wrote:
If you've read the novel "Free Fall", you'll find it difficult to put Jinteki anywhere near the good side of the spectrum, if you have strong feelings about slavery of sentient beings and corruption of nature.


I'll move Jinteki to Neutral Evil then. HB stays where it is because it's still a Corp and so can't really be Good (you'll also notice in my list all Runners and no Corps are Chaotic).
 
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William Frank
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Peristarkawan wrote:
bhz1 wrote:
If you've read the novel "Free Fall", you'll find it difficult to put Jinteki anywhere near the good side of the spectrum, if you have strong feelings about slavery of sentient beings and corruption of nature.


I'll move Jinteki to Neutral Evil then. HB stays where it is because it's still a Corp and so can't really be Good (you'll also notice in my list all Runners and no Corps are Chaotic).


I'd make Weyland Lawful Evil. They have teams of lawyers to make sure they don't violate any laws--except when they do by conscious effort, of course. But they have their own codes, their own laws, their own ways.
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Grant Cain
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twylite wrote:


On a list, i'd have Shaper as most good and Weyland as most evil


Yeah, when I did the Corps that's how I had them, Weyland most evil. Sorry if it was confusing. Like your comments.cool

 
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David Jensen
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Anarchs revel in destruction of any sort. They are low tech, low income misfits simply out to wreck a little havoc wherever they'd generate the most 'noise'. They don't necessarily align themselves as evil but because of there terrorist style tactics and destructive hacks the populous mistrust there reach.

Kate and Chaos tend to attract a lot of attention and are well received every time they attend an underground rave. Despite every attempt to locate these parties the Corps (especially NBN) seem to only find Decoys. The Corps has for a long time been trying to locate a certain illegal credit generator, known as Magnum Opus. They came close to destroying it once, but the Shapers with creative ingenuity built some sort of sacrificial construct. Shapers continue to show some mystique and 'psi' or mutant abilities. The citizens of New Angeles want to like them but the unknown strikes a hint of fear. Other than the cute rebel celebrities Shapers one the streets are generally mistrusted.

Criminals seemed to have established an underground network with an unknown reach. Inside Job, Bank Job and stories of Comprimised Employees frequently make the news. The media has done such a good job plastering these 'modern Robin Hoods' and receive very little support. Gabriel Santiago has become some what of a legend but the media has recently made false reports that he's no longer the leader as recent attacks point to a lesser known identity they call Anrdomeda. Every time there is a report of an Account Siphon the world goes into a panic and the Criminals must find a new hideout as they've been tagged and are quickly reported to authorities.

All together the hackers have been trying to gain Public Sympathy in order to expose the Corporations dominance over freedom in New Angeles.
 
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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Anarch > Shaper > Criminal > HB > NBN > Jinteki > Weyland.

Anarchs are obviously more good than Shapers, because Shapers are just playing around while Anarchs are actually out there doing good (by taking down a corrupt system). Maybe someone can slip a Shaper a copy of Appeal to the Young (http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/appe...) and he/she can stop his/her intellectual masturbation for a bit.

Criminals are the most evil Runners. All Runners are more good than Corp, if only because at least a Criminal's theft and destruction is limited in scope, compared to that of a multi-billion dollars engine of death.

Anarch: Chaotic Good
Shaper: Chaotic Neutral
Criminal: Neutral Evil
HB/NBN/Jinteki: Lawful Evil
Weyland: Chaotic Evil

And there is no such thing as Lawful Good. Only Lawful Stupid.
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Evan
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XDarkAngelX wrote:
Anarch > Shaper > Criminal > HB > NBN > Jinteki > Weyland.

Anarchs are obviously more good than Shapers, because Shapers are just playing around while Anarchs are actually out there doing good (by taking down a corrupt system). Maybe someone can slip a Shaper a copy of Appeal to the Young (http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/appe...) and he/she can stop his/her intellectual masturbation for a bit.


Finally...I thought I was gonna be the only one who thinks the Anarchs are the good guys. I mean, if we agree that the Corps are evil slavemongers, then why do so many of you think that the good guys aren't the ones who are waging war on them, but rather the ones who turn a blind eye to all this oppression because they're more interested in playing with the light switches at Gila Heights and calling it "art"?

As for the corps, yeah, they're all pretty bad...for what it's worth, NBN at least doesn't bomb people (much) or sell "labor solutions." As for that, I'm not convinced that what HB does is any better than what Jinteki does. It's an interesting problem, really; both bioroids and clones are sapient beings with no rights who are forced to work for their owners (and were conditioned to want to do so), but we're more likely to recognize the oppression of the clones because they seem more like "people" (even though bioroids' minds were created using much the same braintaping technology).
 
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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Well, being an anarcho-communist and not an anarcho-primitivist, I actually have a soft spot for HB's shtick. Gimme some of that sweet automated labor! To paraphrase Bob Black, the old labor unions wanted full employment, I'm more of a full unemployment kind of guy. (As long as the spoils of making human labor obsolete ends up feeding the entire human species instead of a few fatcats.) Hard work isn't a virtue. It's a necessary evil.

So yeah, I'm fine with HB. We can just expropriate the bastards later, when they're done ironing out the kinks. Jinteki clones, though, are sapient. (I don't buy that androids are, they're basically just a Xerox of a human brain that fools itself into the illusion it is sapient. And if the current batch actually are, we can simply work out how to make a new batch that isn't.)
 
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Greg Lott
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XDarkAngelX wrote:
Anarch > Shaper > Criminal > HB > NBN > Jinteki > Weyland.

Anarchs are obviously more good than Shapers, because Shapers are just playing around while Anarchs are actually out there doing good (by taking down a corrupt system). Maybe someone can slip a Shaper a copy of Appeal to the Young (http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/appe...) and he/she can stop his/her intellectual masturbation for a bit.

Criminals are the most evil Runners. All Runners are more good than Corp, if only because at least a Criminal's theft and destruction is limited in scope, compared to that of a multi-billion dollars engine of death.

Anarch: Chaotic Good
Shaper: Chaotic Neutral
Criminal: Neutral Evil
HB/NBN/Jinteki: Lawful Evil
Weyland: Chaotic Evil

And there is no such thing as Lawful Good. Only Lawful Stupid.


Well... I know this is just a game, but you really shouldn't be so quick to label. To say all anarchs are 'good' is kinda naive. This is cyberpunk, and one of the defining characteristics is that the lines between good and evil are typically pretty blurry. Although most corps are pretty evil.

There was a cool article I read once that large businesses, if viewed by a psychologist as if they were a person, are sociopathic in nature. In other words, they do things as a collective for reasons and motives that are similar to how a sociopath would think and act. Basically, the responsibility of empathy is diluted in a large group and the only motive for doing anything becomes "to make more money". The meat food industries are a great example of this. Most people would be appalled at the things that go on in slaughterhouses. But, the decisions to run things this way are made because it's the most cost effective way to do it. Suffering is a non-factor.

Sorry for the tangent...
 
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Christkid5 wrote:
Jinteki to me is the least of the four (evils) and represents the idea of making people "better" through experimentation. It often goes wrong and the collateral damage ensues, but their overall goals are not particularly as horrible as the others.


Haha.


Read Free Fall.
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William Frank
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XDarkAngelX wrote:
(I don't buy that androids are [sapient], they're basically just a Xerox of a human brain that fools itself into the illusion it is sapient. And if the current batch actually are, we can simply work out how to make a new batch that isn't.)


Paging Capt. J. Picard to the defense table, Cmdr. W. Riker to prosecution...

(Sorry.)

(No I'm not.)
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