Question the "Totally Loyal" troops from RAR's

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Question the "Totally Loyal" troops from RAR's

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2019-01-09 11:01pm

So originally I was going to post this in the current “ISD RAR!” thread, but I figure the line of conversation may warrant its own thread, and didn’t want to hijack.
But one of the basic aspects of most “RAR’s weather they are Fantasy or Sci-Fi, is the condition of “Total Loyalty” from any forces you have control over. Mostly this is done as a general assurance that, say you are put in charge of an Army of Orcs, they don’t question that you are not an Orc, or more basically, to ensure you do not have to worry about your forces rioting, so you can sit back and focus on the RAR at hand.
But… If one begins to question the Logical outcome of what “Total Loyalty” means, you end up with a couple of unpleasant situations. None of us want mindless slaves as it were, you want free thinking individuals. As expressed in the RAR, the importance of knowing just how “Free” people are your command can be a matter of life and death. After all “You” may not know that the castle you are having your orcs attack is ruled by a Wizard who can blast them all without lifting a finger, your orcs may know this, but will they be able to tell you?

At the far end, the most extreme form would be the “TOTAL LOYALTY” People who will walk happily off the edge of a cliff with NO THOUGHT of their own safety or lives. The concept that following the order kills them would never occur to them, only that they obey.

The next step down one imagines would be a person that DOES recognize the order will kill them. These would hesitate and at least THINK about having their lives end, and sadness for anyone they know who will miss them, BUT they still obey.

The next step would be someone who both recognizes they bad order and will voice it, but still obey. That would be someone who will actually tell you a decision is bad and voice their opposition to it, maybe even directly ask you PLEASE DON’T DO THIS, but again still will obey that order.

After some consideration, the NEXT step down from loyalty would be somewhat similar, but it would have to be someone who doesn't just see the bad order, and say so, but then becomes aware that they are still following the order. This would be the point that "Danger of Betrayal" starts. This is the person who would begin to realize they thoughts are being "edited" that no matter how deeply they feel against an order, they realize "Something" is still pushing them to obey that order.

Below this, is the point I imagine a sufficiently "disgruntled" person would begin to be able to think about actively causing harm to the person in charge? Perhaps they are still compelled to not flat out shoot them in the back, or declare they are unfit for command, but enters into a gray area of possible sabotage, trying to sow dissent amongst others, or openly speaking out against the person in charge.

To be honest, I would like to hope that if placed in charge, I could lead effectively, and efficiently enough that even IF someone were not "totally loyal" they would choose to follow me on their own free will. You cannot force everyone to be happy all the time after all.
That said, it is an interesting thought exercise to explore at what degrees and states someone can be “forced” to be loyal, and yet still maintain freewill in other regards.
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Re: Question the "Totally Loyal" troops from RAR's

Post by LaCroix » 2019-01-10 05:10am

I think you are reading too much into it.

I always took it as:

1. They accept you as their legitimate *ruler/officer in command/ authority* and will obey your orders.
2. There is no immidiate mutinity to be expected.

Which needs to be clarified, because usually the RAR! starts with "you are now the commander/ruler/whatever" and the first question is usually "Why would the people do what I say, since they are suddenly in this strange situation, and have an unknown person thrust upon them as their commander, on top?"
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Re: Question the "Totally Loyal" troops from RAR's

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-14 05:52pm

This has bugged me for a while too.

Simplest way around the moral issues is just to say that your troops in x scenario are non-sapient robots programmed to serve you faithfully (though that doesn't work for every scenario). Gets around the moral slavery/brainwashing implications. Though its still doesn't solve the pragmatic aspect of exactly where the line is drawn in terms of your troops having initiative, being able to question misguided orders while still be fundamentally loyal, etc. Only insecure egotists and paranoiacs want mindless yes men.

But yeah, its probably often meant just the way LaCroix describes.
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