(Taking a cue from DMMike's evil post.)
Any good alignment, within the broad range of goodness from too-good-to-be-real to just-good-enough-to-be-called-good can be hard to play in a setting where killing is par for the course. And fantasy settings include a lot of violence/combat, where death is a regular occurrence (for the monsters, at least).
What makes playing a good character fun?
Is it just roleplaying that make believe ideal of goodness?
Where do you draw the line at where good starts in your game?
I think playing a new character is fun when you actually go about the world and do some good acts. Take the time and RP some tough moral questions, like prisoners and torture, berate the neutral halfling for not donating. You don't have to go overboard because very few people like to listen to that stuff all the time.
I think that although some players say their characters are Good, they don't play them good enough. They may have good days - just like a normal person - but they are usually a little self (or party) centric.
I think good should involve a little bit of sacrifice (not the bad kind of sacrifice though), a character should perhaps donate to a charity or have some good backstory or side profession that ca be used to further Good during their downtime.
Most people and PCs are neutral and that is OK by me.
For me, a good character is fun as a roleplaying challenge. Good characters must make the hard choices: which is the lesser of two evils? What Would Ehlonna Do? Will I hate myself tomorrow if I eat the cookie that prostitute is offering?
Originally Posted by ronpyatt
Otherwise, I prefer neutral characters, because they can seek gold, fame, fortune, Magic Items to Aid in Their Quests, etc.
Good starts where neutrality ends - when evil approaches 0%. I'd leave enough wiggle room for self preservation, but very little. Maybe not - humanoids can still choose to be pacifists, which is one step Gooder (new word, thank you very much) than killing or hurting someone else.
The evil percentage comment gave me an idea - if neutrality (for some) is just a mixture of good and evil, then Protection from Good and Protection from Evil should both affect neutral characters. Nice...
To paraphrase the incredible Jack Kirby: "We believe in heroes because, ultimately, we believe in ourselves."
I think people are so drawn to heroes and the "heroic" because we would like to think that somewhere, deep down, we have the ability to cling to something good even in the midst of a world full of gray. It is so easy to make the "wrong", selfish choices, and we would like to think that we can have the strength of character to make the "right", selfless choices when it really counts.
It is a role playing challenge in its own way to play "good". You have to make tough moral choices pertaining to the fates of those other than yourself. You have to think beyond yourself and your own desires and work for the betterment of others. You have to risk your well-being to inspire hope and courage and to protect those who cannot protect themselves. You have to accept the idea that you will do what you do not for reward or reknown, but out of a sense of responsibility and duty. It is irresponsible for you not to take a stand for others. If you don't do it, who will?
I find playing "good" fun because I like exploring these ideas. I like playing the guy who stands before the demonic legions as says, "No! I will not let you hurt a single soul...even unto my dying breath!" That dramatic heroism is a lot of fun to play for me. I think it's fun because it is dramatic and not something that you see in "real life" that often. The idea that some people will not crumble and betray their sensibilities in the face of adversity or mortality.
That said, I don't always play characters of that sort. It is fun to explore other personality types as well. But when all is said and done, even my more "neutral" or "selfish" characters have at least a spark of goodness somewhere within them that will manifest under the right kinds of circumstances. I don't play characters without a conscience...good, neutral or evil.
I dunno if that would even fall under the good or evil spectrum, but thats just me. I dont consider it an evil act, maybe chaotic(or lawful depending on the society). For all you know they could be a priestess/worshiper of like Sune(FR) or somthing, and it falls in their religion.
Originally Posted by DMMike
i think its a common missconception that good has to look down apon those who maybe forced into a profession such as prostitution, or even those who choose it. even using their services, i dont think constitutes an act that would break a paladins vows(unless said paladin took a vow of chastaty), at least when it comes to the good side of things(and depending on the deity).
Now helping the girl by showing kindness or helping her out of that situation is a good act; and i think not judging that person is the most important thing, even if you think it a bad thing.
and to look at it another way, you pay for it any way; just minus the commitment, the nagging and the possibility of childrearing, but thats just me :D
Um, dalenvec, who said the prostitute was female? Apparently you haven't been to the Red Golem District.
There's a <snark> in there somewhere.
Red Golem District, lol
Could be male too, gods knows we cant discriminate gender wise any more.
still isnt evil; and it would be a good act to help him out.
and hey there's female paladins who need love to right ;)?
[thread drift]It's the 8-year-old prostitutes with stiff work-ethics that you have to watch out for! If you see one, just walk right on by...you'll save yourself time and sanity...[/thread drift]
Okay, where were we again?...:D
Originally Posted by ronpyatt
I'll start with the last question. Game world rule. Good is Creation. That is the total description, make something that is good. Anything that increases the general happiness is a good act.
Now based on that it started get fuzzy. Why is good good? Well I think everyone likes to be seen as the Hero. Positive feedback a good reputation and so forth. It's built into our culture.
I think I'll stop and revist this. What is fuzzy is my brain at 3:00 AM.
Please do revisit - because killing and murdering are particularly happy acts for those bad guys who go by the capital E for Evil. Also, making pens for slaves, hangman's nooses, and sacrificial altars fall under Creation. Or is there a difference with the capital C?
i think that most systems of good take into account the purposes and intent of the person taking an action. despite someone building a destructive implement technically being "creative", if the intent is to use it for evil, then it is still counted as evil... for that person. now a scientist who is trying to prove that energy can be liberated from atoms, purely as a search for knowledge, that can be good/creative... but the uses to which it is put might not be so.
Sophises have a field day with intent. Happy isn't creative. Being happy makes nothing. So happy is outside of Good/Evil.
Originally Posted by DMMike
Making a noose isn't evil, it is a greater order, a very small good. Taking a life with it is evil, a great evil.
It points out that even the most vile beings do not do 100% evil. Even the most pure Good do not do all good.
Philosophically cooking a meal is fought with dichotomies.
again, it really comes down to what is good and what is evil and what is neither? and over that argument, adventures, parties, campaigns, countries, religions and worlds have risen or fallen.
a lot of it is context. what is good in one context is not so good in another. for examples: helping someone else is generally considered good. unless they are committing an evil act, in which case, helping them is generally considered bad.
bowling a strike, or not, can generally be considered neither good nor evil.
it's when people say that this set of rules (insert set of rules here) are the only right set of rules, following them is good, not doing so is bad, and now lets make everyone else do the same... that's when the problems start happening.
even amongst ourselves we cannot agree upon what is right and good, and what is bad and evil. and what is neither or unaligned.
That is why, for the game I define it. And being that the game universe is mine, and being the all powerful DM of that universe I can declare what is right and proper, for the game.
Originally Posted by nijineko
my feelings precisely, sir! well stated, and i still think that is one of the better solutions available to all gms everywhere to resolve this particular thorn. state it up front and in advance, for all to see and know.