Monday, April 8, 2019

Equality of Opportunity, Not Outcome

For some, it's a difficult concept to grasp.  How can things be essentially equal if one person has advantages that another does not?

Well, it's kind of like rolling 3d6 in order, six times.  Everyone has the opportunity to be a titan of strength, intelligence, etc. but we all know that it's random.  You get what you get.  Sometimes the Gods favor you, other times they kick you in the balls.  That's life.

Now, if you were to make everyone's stats pretty good but not great, regardless of what was rolled, that would be equality of outcome.  This is attractive to some because they don't want the risk.  They want an easy "B."

But then, of course, everyone in the party pretty much has the same stats.  You lose individuality.  You also lose any sense of scale.  If everyone has the same thing, then that "B" might as well be a "C" or even a "D."  Without the highs and lows, those stats are relatively meaningless.

That which is attained without struggle has less value.

Especially when you consider the GM's plight... or obligation.  One of his many jobs is to challenge the PCs.  If everyone has good stats, then some villains will have to have even better stats to compensate.

Anyways, what we're after in life and in gaming is a fair shot, a decent chance.  Don't hand your players good ability scores just because you don't want anyone to feel bad.  Make them work harder to compensate for their PC's shortcomings.

What about the super-rich kids that inherent all their parents' wealth?  They didn't have to roll the dice in life.  True, but someone always gets really lucky.  Anyway, overconfidence and a sense of entitlement are their own weaknesses.

Actually, that reminds me of legacy PCs in the Knights of the Dinner Table comicbook.  Ensuring that newly generated PCs get certain advantages from the very beginning... and that shall be the topic for my next blog post!



  1. All very well and good, but half of the world's wealth is locked in the hands of about 20 people. I forget the exact stats, but it's about that.
    Now you consider that these people can make 10% more wealth by just loaning the cash out to the actual people who work harder - creating businesses from scratch - or by simply buying the businesses that others make and harvesting 80% of the wealth created by the employees. So next year, they'll have 52% of the wealth, then 54%... and of course they have the $ to bribe the politicians (sorry, "free speech") to make laws that favor them. So year after year, the wealth concentrates more and more and more, until finally you have 2 or 3 families that own all the land on the planet, all of the factories, all of the resources, and everyone else has to slave in sweatshops just to earn enough to pay rent to the rich.
    Then the rich start replacing the workers with robots... you see where this is going, right?
    Now look at the alternative: Robots doing all of our drudge work, but all the wealth created going to provide for the basic needs for all of humanity. Humans dont actually NEED to work any more. But they will want to - and they can make games without being homeless if they dont sell, and so on. Its a choice humanity has to make. StarTrek future or a return to feudalism.
    The problem is that $ is power, so it inevitably concentrates, and geometrically. Walmart kids and Bezos kids will rule and billions will slave. Not my idea of a great future for mankind.

  2. The usual bullshit that some people are entitled to something for nothing. Get a job, hippie.