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Socinus
I have a character who is a Buddhist monk (yes, you read that right).

With all the strictures on what Buddhist monks may do and must not do, I figured it was right for a Code of Conduct but for the life of me I cant really seem to put one together.

Buddhism has several key ethics:
To refrain from taking life (non-violence towards sentient life forms), or ahimsā
To refrain from taking that which is not given (not committing theft)
To refrain from sensual (including sexual) misconduct
To refrain from lying (speaking truth always)
To refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness (specifically, drugs and alcohol)

Any ideas?
Yerameyahu
I mean… do all of those? smile.gif What's the question, whether those are correct?

Incidentally, what's non-sentient? Plants and fungi?
Traul
No stealing, no lying, no killing,... what exactly are you going to do in a run? And which runs are you going to accept?
Socinus
The character is a pacifist who works for the Lotus Throne sect of Tibetan Buddhist monks. He works to recover Tibetan and Buddhist artifacts and other historical treasures and documents important to Tibet and Buddhism.

He has some flexibility about his beliefs, but generally abides by a "I wont start something but I will finish it" policy. He cannot stop his teammates from doing bad things, but he can knock people out, do some pretty impressive movement, etc etc.

It helps that the character is in a VERY black trenchcoat game where we're unlikely to be handed an assignment that requires we blow up a school bus to take out the driver who is really a crime lord.

It will be a difficult play, but I like the idea of the challenge.
Seriously Mike
QUOTE (Traul @ Sep 12 2011, 10:59 AM) *
No stealing, no lying, no killing,... what exactly are you going to do in a run? And which runs are you going to accept?

Technically, spoofing computer systems ain't lying... *twiddles thumbs* And even if it is, there are other methods of gaining entry. Hacking monk, now that one's quite interesting.
Traul
Is the whole campaign about recovering Tibetan artifacts? If so, I could see how this does not constitue stealing for your character since he sees his monastery as the rightful owner.

If not, then you need a very strong reason for him in the shadows. It is not only about how he performs his runs. This code of conduct should lead him to refuse most jobs up front, including basic datasteals. Shadowrun is not the right game to play Lawful Good. It is mostly the "no stealing" part that bothers me.
Mardrax
QUOTE (Traul @ Sep 12 2011, 11:32 AM) *
If not, then you need a very strong reason for him in the shadows. It is not only about how he performs his runs. This code of conduct should lead him to refuse most jobs up front, including basic datasteals. Shadowrun is not the right game to play Lawful Good. It is mostly the "no stealing" part that bothers me.

Copying data isn't stealing it, like taking a photo of someone isn't abduction.
suoq
This process would be easier if you simply make up a religion based on how you imagine Buddhism to be instead of trying to be accurate to Buddhism. Some group of Mystical monks in Tibet with their own belief system. Yetiarians. Order of When the Eternally Surprised. Whatever. It doesn't matter.

Silly mode: You could take all the restrictions you want to take and then make him a member of some new religion based off of Cargo Cultists. That sound spectacularly fun.



Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Mardrax @ Sep 12 2011, 06:17 AM) *
Copying data isn't stealing it, like taking a photo of someone isn't abduction.


Breaking into a facility unlawfully is still "Taking" Acces that is not yours.
Playing a Buddhist is nigh Impossible if you go by the strictures. Additionally, there are a lot more strictures than the 4 Socinus listed that will have a bearing on how the character is played, if he wants a true rendering of Buddhism anyways.

Had a guy at our table that tried it. It was an abysmal failure. He was so "Flexible" with his interpretation of Buddhism that he should not have ever been a Buddhist. He would have fit right in at a Bund meeting.
kzt
It's a more flexible religion than people think. Medieval Japanese ninja and samurai were both Buddhists.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (kzt @ Sep 12 2011, 09:53 AM) *
It's a more flexible religion than people think. Medieval Japanese ninja and samurai were both Buddhists.


But they were not Good Buddhists if they Lied, Stole or Killed. smile.gif
Admitte, only the Monks are held to the highest standardsand strictures, but that is what the OP mentioned he was creating.
Socinus
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Sep 12 2011, 06:23 PM) *
But they were not Good Buddhists if they Lied, Stole or Killed. smile.gif
Admitte, only the Monks are held to the highest standardsand strictures, but that is what the OP mentioned he was creating.

Shaolin monks were Buddhist as well, they trained for fighting their entire lives and were not unknown to kill someone.

These were also ideals of behavior.
TheOOB
Proper buddist monks don't become shadowrunners, they become...monks. Being a shadowrunner, apart from the skill required, requires some moral flexibility that monks don't have. A vegan wouldn't take a job as a steak house food critic, and a monk won't take a job that involves stealing stuff and shooting people in the face for money.
Dr.Rockso
I think he could have some flexibility as a mage. That way you can aid the team by providing buffs/debuffs in combat situations, without committing violence yourself. But as it has been said, you'll have a hard time associating with a team of morally questionable criminals.
nezumi
Firstly, remember that there are different branches of Buddhism, and those branches change over time. Also, Buddhists (like all people) can draw upon greater moral causes when necessary; for instance, a Buddhist may mislead in order to save another person's life (is this a violation of the 'lying' rule? I'd think so.) If the Buddhist is helping the poor, he's justified in entering facilities which have been unjustly stolen from those people.
Backgammon
Now I may be completely wrong here and I hope my comments offend no one if I misunderstood things, but based on readings I did quite some time ago, Buddhism is fundamentally based on the principle that "All is sorrow", meaning everything - any physical object, any person, any animal - EVERYTHING, is just pain and suffering. You are just trying to push yourself reincarnation to reincarnation until you're no longer reincarnated, you attain a state of nothingness.

As such, there is not REALLY any such thing as a sacred temple artefact. It's just a THING and if someone steals it, you certainly aren't going to waste time trying to get it back. If you attached importance to an object, you failed.

But that's like the pure, undiluted version. Like Nezumi says, if I may paraphrase, theory and implemention are two different things. People are people, and our emotions and the gazillion OTHER things that influence our bahaviour aside from religion can be at odds with each other.

If anything, in a campaign based around this, I would just through all the conflicting theories at the character. "You shouldn't steal", "It's not stealing", "You shouldn't care", "I can't let them walk all over us", etc. Conflicts make good stories.
suoq
QUOTE (nezumi @ Sep 13 2011, 09:18 AM) *
Firstly, remember that there are different branches of Buddhism, and those branches change over time. Also, Buddhists (like all people) can draw upon greater moral causes when necessary; for instance, a Buddhist may mislead in order to save another person's life (is this a violation of the 'lying' rule? I'd think so.) If the Buddhist is helping the poor, he's justified in entering facilities which have been unjustly stolen from those people.

I'm probably going to regret this, but I have to ask. Do you actually have some reference to all of this? Was there something I missed in the sūtras that led you to this conclusion? Or did this come from watching action films?

---------------

Edit: It occurs to me, as I write that, that maybe action films can serve to bridge the gap instead of creating a larger gap. To this end, I will point to the man who makes films about breaking and entering, stealing, beating people up, killing people, ect, and his views on Buddhism.

http://jetli.com/jet/index.php?s=spirit&am...p;l=en#buddhism
Draco18s
QUOTE (Mardrax @ Sep 12 2011, 08:17 AM) *
Copying data isn't stealing it, like taking a photo of someone isn't abduction.


Read the stricture again.

"Not taking that which is not given."

Copying data which wasn't given to you, is in fact, stealing.
Mardrax
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Sep 13 2011, 06:28 PM) *
Read the stricture again.

"Not taking that which is not given."

Copying data which wasn't given to you, is in fact, stealing.

Even though you're not taking anything, just creating something new as an exact replica of something existing?
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Mardrax @ Sep 13 2011, 10:57 AM) *
Even though you're not taking anything, just creating something new as an exact replica of something existing?


Even Still...
Of course, you can rationalize anything. And that is the Trap in such a situation; you start to rationalize everything away, and now the Code that you claim to follow means absolutely nothing.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Mardrax @ Sep 13 2011, 11:57 AM) *
Even though you're not taking anything, just creating something new as an exact replica of something existing?


Correct. Because what you are copying wasn't given to you. It was obtained through subterfuge.

You're trying to say that sneaking into a locked room and taking pictures of documents found in a secret drawer to be "legal" by Buddhism's strictures, whereas it isn't.
nezumi
QUOTE (suoq @ Sep 13 2011, 10:01 AM) *
I'm probably going to regret this, but I have to ask. Do you actually have some reference to all of this? Was there something I missed in the sūtras that led you to this conclusion? Or did this come from watching action films?


Are you asking how are there different branches of Buddhism, and it's quite feasible they'll change significantly with the rise of metahumans and magic? Or how people justify their ethical behavior based on circumstances?
suoq
QUOTE (nezumi @ Sep 13 2011, 03:47 PM) *
Are you asking how are there different branches of Buddhism, and it's quite feasible they'll change significantly with the rise of metahumans and magic? Or how people justify their ethical behavior based on circumstances?

I'm asking how you, and for that matter, most of this thread, has such a codified view on Buddhism and yet with that view, they attempt to speak with authority, as if by trying to codify it, by defining it by something it isn't, they believe they understand it.

Reading this thread has been like watching Orthodox Jews talk about how to make the best BLT.
Yerameyahu
In the end, it's just fluff. It needn't be historically accurate/realistic. It's not like historical Buddhists were. smile.gif
Redjack
I realize this is mostly in context to Shadowrun and everyone is mostly playing nice, I just feel this thread is dancing on the edge of cliff... Please continue to play nice and keep it related and the mods will be smiling too. wink.gif
suoq
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Sep 13 2011, 04:42 PM) *
In the end, it's just fluff. It needn't be historically accurate/realistic. It's not like historical Buddhists were. smile.gif

And I'm fine with that. It just felt like he was asking for a code for "historically accurate/realistic Buddhism" as opposed to (for example) a code for "Martial Arts Movie Monk". I probably should have walked away and ignored this thread then.

I need to let people pour Pepsi into a teacup filled with Red Bull and think that, because it's a teacup, it has tea in it. My bad.
Yerameyahu
smile.gif You do. Deep breaths. Try some meditation: "Fantasy games are funů fantasy games are funů".

If you do have real-world expertise, go ahead and share it. People love that crap, it gives things ambience. wink.gif
nezumi
QUOTE (suoq @ Sep 13 2011, 06:34 PM) *
And I'm fine with that. It just felt like he was asking for a code for "historically accurate/realistic Buddhism" as opposed to (for example) a code for "Martial Arts Movie Monk". I probably should have walked away and ignored this thread then.

I need to let people pour Pepsi into a teacup filled with Red Bull and think that, because it's a teacup, it has tea in it. My bad.


Yeah, I think we got it, you're awesome.

My understanding is, he's looking for a way to marry a character concept with a workable character. You can run with 'action movie Buddhist monk' or 'fictional special Shadowrun Buddhist branch' or 'moral apologetics to justify necessary behaviors' and so on. That'll all work. 'I refuse to lie, use violence, or go anywhere without permission' does not work. If you are contributing on how to make the character concept functional, that's handy, regardless as to what the source is (although qualifying it as factually accurate or not is certainly good, and more factually accurate gets bonus points). If you don't have anything to add on making a functional character, yeah, it's probably better to just walk away because you have nothing to contribute.
Draco18s
QUOTE (nezumi @ Sep 14 2011, 10:05 AM) *
My understanding is, he's looking for a way to marry a character concept with a workable character. You can run with 'action movie Buddhist monk' or 'fictional special Shadowrun Buddhist branch' or 'moral apologetics to justify necessary behaviors' and so on. That'll all work. 'I refuse to lie, use violence, or go anywhere without permission' does not work. If you are contributing on how to make the character concept functional, that's handy, regardless as to what the source is (although qualifying it as factually accurate or not is certainly good, and more factually accurate gets bonus points). If you don't have anything to add on making a functional character, yeah, it's probably better to just walk away because you have nothing to contribute.


I was in a group once with a pacifist. He'd made it all the way through the Bug City campaign (killing insect spirits was OK as far as he was concerned).

Didn't last two weeks in the group in Seattle.

We systematically murdered a bunch of gangers, kidnapped one of the unconscious ones, broke into an empty apartment flat, tortured the guy (ball peen hammer, tent stake, and a blow torch and all without actually TOUCHING the guy) whereupon he spilled the beans before his remote controlled R1 cranial bomb killed him.

We then stuffed his body into a garbage bag and tossed it off the balcony to one two floors lower and one to the right and called it a job well done.
LurkerOutThere
Paging DocTatsu to the thread, Doctatsu to the thread.

Just because I have some dog tags that say Buddhist doesn't mean that I feel real qualified to answer but:

By necessity any moral code in Shadowrun is going to have to allow some level of Shadowrunning. I've played a fair number of Christian Shadowrunners of various levels of adherance, i've ran tables from vodoo hougans and mambas and even a sufi mystic (who actually did a surprising level of research on his characters beliefs). Some level of justification of what is and is acceptable is going to have to go off.

I do think Buddhism would be a harder one to pull of then most as the core ethos is to shun the trappings of the material world and we've recently hit up against in my home group if your not running for money why really are you running.
Mardrax
QUOTE (LurkerOutThere @ Sep 14 2011, 05:24 PM) *
I do think Buddhism would be a harder one to pull of then most as the core ethos is to shun the trappings of the material world and we've recently hit up against in my home group if your not running for money why really are you running.

Excitement, challenge, ideals, goals, fame, contacts, knowledge. And that's not an exclusive list of options.
LurkerOutThere
Except for most of those are by definition an opposite to the Buddhist ideal so they don't hold here at least.
suoq
Parts I'm not comfortable with:
One problem with a Buddhist "code of conduct" and a shadowrunner is that even if the character follows the 5 precepts in a minimal fashion ("I will not") they are still deliberately surrounding themselves with people who don't choose such a path and as such they may well be condoning, even encouraging such behavior.

The character has to be built to be non-lethal, not have a fake SIN or fake license, and is going to be a liability in many of the common actions of a face, a hacker, a street sam, etc. It puts a huge burden on the rest of the tea to have to work around this character.

Read http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/The_Fiv...Thich_Nhat_Hanh for more.

---------------------------

Another possibility (in addition to the ones I mentioned earlier).

Rumspringa/Walkabout Buddhist. There might be a sect that requires it's candidates to "be part of the world" before they come of age and return to Buddhism. It may be that they believe to follow in the footsteps of Gautama, the believer has to experience what it is he will be abstaining from. This creates an unusual code of conduct in that the character may feel obliged to learn how to kill, drink, screw, lie, steal, ect. In short, he may have a set of beliefs and a code forcing him to act against those beliefs.
Traul
QUOTE (suoq @ Sep 15 2011, 02:41 AM) *
Rumspringa/Walkabout Buddhist. There might be a sect that requires it's candidates to "be part of the world" before they come of age and return to Buddhism. It may be that they believe to follow in the footsteps of Gautama, the believer has to experience what it is he will be abstaining from. This creates an unusual code of conduct in that the character may feel obliged to learn how to kill, drink, screw, lie, steal, ect. In short, he may have a set of beliefs and a code forcing him to act against those beliefs.

Interesting, but not to put in every player's hands.

"I am sorry, I have to load my FA grenade launcher with kittens: it's my religion."
Backgammon
All religions have nice "don't do this, don't do that precepts", and ALL religions have fervent followers who gladly break all those precepts in the name of some holy cause or other.

It's not remotely a stretch to make a character that follows a "do not kill" precept but breaks it every 5 minutes because "that guy doesn't count" and quite literally believes it, and even his superiors and peers back home agree with him.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Backgammon @ Sep 16 2011, 05:23 AM) *
All religions have nice "don't do this, don't do that precepts", and ALL religions have fervent followers who gladly break all those precepts in the name of some holy cause or other.

It's not remotely a stretch to make a character that follows a "do not kill" precept but breaks it every 5 minutes because "that guy doesn't count" and quite literally believes it, and even his superiors and peers back home agree with him.


Then why follow the precept. You are, at best, paying lip service only at that point. Better to avoid the whole situation entirely.
suoq
QUOTE (Backgammon @ Sep 16 2011, 06:23 AM) *
It's not remotely a stretch to make a character that follows a "do not kill" precept but breaks it every 5 minutes because "that guy doesn't count" and quite literally believes it, and even his superiors and peers back home agree with him.

If someone is going to take a disadvantage for points and then ignore that disadvantage, I feel free to remove the points. Edge is a good place to start.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (suoq @ Sep 16 2011, 07:25 AM) *
If someone is going to take a disadvantage for points and then ignore that disadvantage, I feel free to remove the points. Edge is a good place to start.


Or, better yet, treat it like a geas and start stripping abilities when strictures are broken (Magic/Edge is always a great place to start as you indicated) until the Character atones. Hell, might even make it permanent if he continues to break strictures. he will be unplayable in short order I am certain.
Yerameyahu
Exactly: your character can 'believe' anything you want, but you only get BP/karma for actual functional sacrifices. Kinda like religion, actually. wink.gif
Backgammon
That's true, I had actually forgotten this was in the context of a disadvantage. Yeah, if there's points involved, it really should cramp your liberty a bit. Which brings back the the earlier points of if you're REALLY following all the tenants and you're a good boy, that's gonna make it hard to play Shadowrun with such a character unless the GM crafts the campaign to be a sort of G-rated movie where only people's feelings get hurt.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Sep 16 2011, 08:16 AM) *
Then why follow the precept. You are, at best, paying lip service only at that point. Better to avoid the whole situation entirely.


I have a story you should read, one by Isaac Azimov (that guy who wrote the three laws of robotics).

There was a planet that the main characters encountered where humans had changed so much over time (as to be very few in number and had the physical apearence of a prepubescent child, but displayed both sexual characteristics as they were hermaphroditic--not that it mattered, no one had sex anymore anyway) and the robots on this world attempted to kill the main characters because "they weren't human."

It all comes down to how you define "people."

If "people" is "those of my faith" then he's good.
Traul
Thou shalt not kill
Unless it can save more lives
Or the victim is evil
Or he really pissed you off
Or you don't like him
Or you're bored.
Yerameyahu
Still, that's a pretty deranged and decidedly non-standard definition. Characters wouldn't accept that, and the GM obviously wouldn't (when BP are involved).
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Sep 16 2011, 11:16 AM) *
I have a story you should read, one by Isaac Azimov (that guy who wrote the three laws of robotics).

There was a planet that the main characters encountered where humans had changed so much over time (as to be very few in number and had the physical apearence of a prepubescent child, but displayed both sexual characteristics as they were hermaphroditic--not that it mattered, no one had sex anymore anyway) and the robots on this world attempted to kill the main characters because "they weren't human."

It all comes down to how you define "people."

If "people" is "those of my faith" then he's good.


Sounds familiar, Believe that I have read it already.

I do not agree with you on the semantics, however. If your religious precept is to not kill (Buddhists don't just care about People, remember), and you choose to kill, YOU ARE NOT FOLLOWING THE PRECEPT. It is really that simple. You cannot claim to follow the precept and then ignore it for convenience. Either you follow it or you don't. If you are a Buddhist Monk, you will follow your precepts, otherwise, you are not performing your duties as a Buddhist monk.

EDIT: Forgot what I was going to say after I was booted from my machine. Must not have been all that important.
Draco18s
Two things:

1) Yes, Buddhists don't kill anyone. Not really the point I was getting at.
2) You forgot
suoq
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Sep 16 2011, 06:16 PM) *
Not really the point I was getting at.

What was the point you were getting at?

I can see a code against killing people of your own religion (or motorcycle club, race, Humanis lodge, whatever). But that doesn't mean it's a disadvantage worth points. None of my characters has (as far as I recall) directly killed any helpless innocents or children, and I have no intention to start killing children, but I'm not taking any points for not being a complete psycho. As an example, at least one of my characters was a pacifist without taking the disadvantage of the same name.

My questions would be:
1) How do you recognize them? (in order not to kill them)
2) How common are they? (if you want any points for this code)
3) How does your character react when they do screw up?

The more the code actually restricts your behavior, the more BPs it's going to be worth. A big complicated code that, in the end, means nothing and lets your character do what they want is worth bupkis.
LurkerOutThere
The biggest thing that sets Buddhism apart from Abrahamic/Book religions, which are where most of my familiarity comes from, is that in those relgions the biggest distinction is adherance to god is the central point of belief and all others are second where in Buddhism the central belief is radically divergent from normal Shadowrunner behavior.

In any case it shouldn't take a code of conduct and BP's just to have a character be religious or not be a complete sociopath, but if your going to make the code a centralized part of the character then sure it's worth points but it should also be somewhat restrictive..
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