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Thread: Character Alignment

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdmcbride View Post
    In D&D, the paladin or conqueror will immediately know if their actions are right, if they only care to find out. They can summon an angel and ask. Even if they blunder ahead without consulting the powers that be, once they do the action they will either retain their paladin abilities or they will lose them. Either way, moral uncertainity is vanquished.
    See, that cries out to my subversive mind, "Make the gods wrong."

    Maybe each religion (not necessarily god) has its own version of the Alignment Chart. Justicus, sky god of absolute justice, can justify extermination of all traces of "evil", so "Lawful Good" paladins of Justicus are murdering bastards. Pacifex, transcendent god of peace, would never condone taking of sapient life even in cases of self-preservation, so clerics of Pacifex risk defrocking every time they raise their maces.

    Or maybe clerical energies emanate not from dogmas or gods but from some other source. The first time a lowly acolyte transgresses a dogma expounded by the High Holy Hierarch himself, he may be surprised that his powers don't fade ...

    Or we could toss the whole system out and write adventures that explore moral ambiguity and ideologies in conflict. Yeah, let's go with that.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    In my normal campaigns, I allow only good and neutral characters. It keeps people from going too far. As a player I prefer good alignments, because this is what I want of the game (heroic roleplay).

    That said, I don't mind the system at all. It's just a tool that can add to the game if used well. Or ignored when it is not of great use.
    --
    Grimwell

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    As a DM I don't really allow the evil allignments except under special circumstances, and even then it's rare. I only have two players at the moment, and play is sporadic at best, but we get by. I know one of my players would love to be an evil type character, but as I know what he'd do with it, I don't allow him to play them.

    As a player I prefer Chaotic Good/Neutral. I lean more towards CG most times because I'm morally good myself, but I sometimes play a CN becaus there's less pressure to 'do good' all the time and more be about the self, without being selfish.
    "Though many a road I have traveled, always at a crossroads my life does stand..." ~ Traveler's Lament

  4. #19
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    A gaming discussion I had with other players a few days ago revolved around good vs. evil alignment. The DM seemed adamant that stealing was evil. I'm under the impression that under D&D rules, stealing falls under the chaotic category. Stealing to feed an orphan is CG. Stealing for the fun of it is CN. Stealing to kill/starve someone is CE. Since intent seems to play a major role in determining the type of chaotic activity, my opinion has not changed. Is there some tome that shines lite on this topic?

  5. #20
    Ed Zachary Guest
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    Stealing is not chaotic, unless it is against the law as declared by an authority that the character recognized. It would not be a chaotic act if a lawful evil thief stole for his guild.

    Stealing is usually an evil act, with exceptions made for intent. Stealing back a stolen item is not necessarily evil, nor is removing a powerful artifact from the hands of a dangerous opponent.

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    I think your two posts exemplify that there are no black and white answers here. Alignments (IMHO) can't be looked at from the perspective of the individual character or NPC in the game. They need to be looked at from a 10,000 foot perspective where there is a moral right and wrong, and a natural order.

    Most people resist creating such absolutes in games -- Ed's example of a thief stealing for their guild being a lawful act... he's right from the perspective of the thieves guild, but the person stolen from and the local law and order would consider it a chaotic act. Which is why you aren't supposed to look at them so closely (this would also stop 100000000's of internet flame wars! ;p ).

    A palading killing orcs in their homeland in the name of his God is a lawful and good act, unless you are an orc.

    Now then, who gets to set the 10,000 foot level version of the absolutes? The individual GM does. It's always arbitrary. This may not be the one single *right* way to handle alignments in the game, but it is a means to make it work a lot easier for me as a player and GM.
    --
    Grimwell

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    I let all alignments in my games.i mean nothings better than a couple evil characters running around with a paladin of a goodly god. i once played this halfling who was an evil sorcerer he followed lolth(i was being a smart ass while talking to the DM and was like can i follow lolth i mean my charcter crazy like a drow and he said sure so i stuck with it) i eventually convinced most of the party of the greatness of the spider queen and our to holy characters had a hay day keeping us out of trouble with the authorities.

  8. #23
    Vimachipal Guest
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    Evil characters don't have to be monsters, they can be just selfish and greedy.

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    When I DM I am hesitant to allow players to be CN, NE, or CE. I find those three alignments the most disruptive to play. I don't out forth hard and fast rules about alignment but I like my characters to get be able to work together. Even in a campaign where the typical pc alignment is not good I tend to suggest my players stay away from CE.
    As to my personal favorites, I enjoy NG, CG, and LE. An odd combination I know. I like the general benevolence of NG, the good hearted free man's lifestyle of CG, and the utter methodical viciousness of LE.
    Also, a number of years ago my friends and I added three alignments to the system. They were never used but existed as a kind of gag. They were: Awful Good (beyond lawful good these guys were true annoying jerks), Neutral Stupid (too dumb to make any real alignment choices), and Just Mean (the guy who kicks puppies, knocks over old ladies, and steal candy from kids for fun).

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    Alignment was always a pain in my back side when it came to the local gaming group.
    One person in particular always claimed he was neutral good or lawful good. Even though he wanted to poison a river upstream from a local orc camp to kill them off. It didn't matter to him that he would be killing all the adjacent flora and fauna along with the orcs.

    He was quickly realigned to chaotic neutral.

  11. #26
    Ed Zachary Guest
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    Quote Originally Posted by starfalconkd View Post
    When I DM I am hesitant to allow players to be CN, NE, or CE. I find those three alignments the most disruptive to play. I don't out forth hard and fast rules about alignment but I like my characters to get be able to work together.
    Perhaps that is because disruptive people are drawn to those alignments. My chaotic evil drow would be a boon to any party. He's greedy, self serving and doesn't pay much attention to local laws (not in a blatant manner). But he knows that the party is his bread and butter, and he will be more successful if the others are successful (wealthy and powerful). He has gone out of his way to help party members (covertly) clean up their messes, because it served his interests. Perhaps you could still use those alignments, but limit them to certain players who could still be valuable party members.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Zachary View Post
    Perhaps that is because disruptive people are drawn to those alignments. My chaotic evil drow would be a boon to any party. He's greedy, self serving and doesn't pay much attention to local laws (not in a blatant manner). But he knows that the party is his bread and butter, and he will be more successful if the others are successful (wealthy and powerful). He has gone out of his way to help party members (covertly) clean up their messes, because it served his interests. Perhaps you could still use those alignments, but limit them to certain players who could still be valuable party members.
    I make exceptions to almost all of my rules. If I thought someone could play a particular alignment without destroying the party I would most certainly allow it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Zachary View Post
    Perhaps that is because disruptive people are drawn to those alignments.
    Any questions on this, see Horde side of WoW. Every 13 year old boy in this gaming world plays some disruptive l33t wannabe evil wearing black on the outside because he wants to be black on the inside punk kid.

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    Had one of the other members of our group make a comment about the neutral evil fighter, named Worg, I was running in the last game, compared to my neutral good fighter, named Greywalker, I'm running in our current game. He said, "At least with Worg, we knew where we stood. We could be sure how he'd react when we needed to get something!"

    It got a good laugh from all of the players at the table.
    Skunk
    a.k.a. Johnprime



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    The only two alignments i dont play are LG and CE. That said, from my experiance the evil alignments are not neccisarily a bad thing in a party. it all depends on several factors. 1) the type of game(RP,Hack'n'Slash,ect.) 2) the person playing the charicter 3) the general makeup of the rest of the party. It's pretty much a judgement call on the part of the DM/GM weather or not to allow a spacific indiviual to play a particular alignment.

    As to the whole use don't use argument. The current DM i play with uses them more as a tool/notation on the charicter sheet to help her remember what charicter has what kind of tendancies.

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