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    AistanAistan Tiny Bat Registered User regular
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    What alignment best represents Guards? Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, or Chaotic Evil?

    since this is the tabletop games thread and it came up in the context of a fantasy rpg setting, why would the guard need to have the same failings as police in the USA. EG: say something like the night watch in Terry Pratchett's novels.

    one might argue that it is not the time to make any law-keepers or thief-takers into anything but villains. and I can see the appeal there. but you could also look something like Pratchett's night watch as fantasy that in a better world things do not have to be as they are here. a lot of the stuff with Vimes in those books is about how a policeman should be and Vimes and fighting against the the legacy of the city watch that failed to measure up.

    edit: by which I mean (if you haven't read them) the books about the night watch involve the slow rehabilitation and reform of the watch that a generation previous had been corrupt and violent. at the start the watch had been nearly disbanded, was down to just a few of the lowest ranking people, and is built back up into something good for society (and not by somehow fixing or reforming the corrupt officers and rank-and-file, it has to be rebuilt from nothing).

    The city our game takes place in had a really bad fire 15 years or so ago, it destroyed a lot of the city. After that there was a group called the fire watch that was created, to patrol around and make sure no fires grow out of control again. The time of our game has the fire watch as taking up generic town guard activities as well.

    And the events of the past several weeks have made me wonder why this group of fire fighters also enforces laws and takes on militia roles.

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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited June 2020
    Assuming they independently decided to start taking on law enforcement/militia roles without like, a city council/mayoral mandate and additional funding, I would assume they’re doing it as a protection racket.

    Anyways I don’t actually think anyone can be Lawful Good because if you follow laws above all else you will inevitably compromise your morals. “Good” cops would be Neutral Good.

    admanb on
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    ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    Aistan wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    What alignment best represents Guards? Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, or Chaotic Evil?

    since this is the tabletop games thread and it came up in the context of a fantasy rpg setting, why would the guard need to have the same failings as police in the USA. EG: say something like the night watch in Terry Pratchett's novels.

    one might argue that it is not the time to make any law-keepers or thief-takers into anything but villains. and I can see the appeal there. but you could also look something like Pratchett's night watch as fantasy that in a better world things do not have to be as they are here. a lot of the stuff with Vimes in those books is about how a policeman should be and Vimes and fighting against the the legacy of the city watch that failed to measure up.

    edit: by which I mean (if you haven't read them) the books about the night watch involve the slow rehabilitation and reform of the watch that a generation previous had been corrupt and violent. at the start the watch had been nearly disbanded, was down to just a few of the lowest ranking people, and is built back up into something good for society (and not by somehow fixing or reforming the corrupt officers and rank-and-file, it has to be rebuilt from nothing).

    The city our game takes place in had a really bad fire 15 years or so ago, it destroyed a lot of the city. After that there was a group called the fire watch that was created, to patrol around and make sure no fires grow out of control again. The time of our game has the fire watch as taking up generic town guard activities as well.

    And the events of the past several weeks have made me wonder why this group of fire fighters also enforces laws and takes on militia roles.

    Pre-empire Rome is a good example of this. The closest they had to "cops" was a fire watch and city guard. They, notably, had no actual "police" power though. They didn't enforce city laws against citizens, that job fell to the citizens themselves as whole.

    Twitter! | Dilige, et quod vis fac
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    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    edited June 2020
    Aistan wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    What alignment best represents Guards? Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, or Chaotic Evil?

    since this is the tabletop games thread and it came up in the context of a fantasy rpg setting, why would the guard need to have the same failings as police in the USA. EG: say something like the night watch in Terry Pratchett's novels.

    one might argue that it is not the time to make any law-keepers or thief-takers into anything but villains. and I can see the appeal there. but you could also look something like Pratchett's night watch as fantasy that in a better world things do not have to be as they are here. a lot of the stuff with Vimes in those books is about how a policeman should be and Vimes and fighting against the the legacy of the city watch that failed to measure up.

    edit: by which I mean (if you haven't read them) the books about the night watch involve the slow rehabilitation and reform of the watch that a generation previous had been corrupt and violent. at the start the watch had been nearly disbanded, was down to just a few of the lowest ranking people, and is built back up into something good for society (and not by somehow fixing or reforming the corrupt officers and rank-and-file, it has to be rebuilt from nothing).

    The city our game takes place in had a really bad fire 15 years or so ago, it destroyed a lot of the city. After that there was a group called the fire watch that was created, to patrol around and make sure no fires grow out of control again. The time of our game has the fire watch as taking up generic town guard activities as well.

    And the events of the past several weeks have made me wonder why this group of fire fighters also enforces laws and takes on militia roles.

    What laws do they enforce? Where do those laws come from? Who empowers them to enforce those laws?
    admanb wrote: »
    Assuming they independently decided to start taking on law enforcement/militia roles without like, a city council/mayoral mandate and additional funding, I would assume they’re doing it as a protection racket.

    Anyways I don’t actually think anyone can be Lawful Good because if you follow laws above all else you will inevitably compromise your morals. “Good” cops would be Neutral Good.

    Personally I like to think of the alignment grid as a circle, rather than a square. Still divide it into nine parts, more or less - they won't be equal in size, but that's okay.

    Now looking at that, the most good you can be is at the top of the circle, right? So in order to be the most good, you would have to be neutral good. Similarly the most lawful/chaotic/evil. So if you're lawful good, even if you're at the very edge of the circle, you aren't as lawful or as good as the person who is the most lawful or the most good.
    But also, most people who are neutral good aren't the most good, they're just somewhere in that section. Some of them might only be as good as someone who is the most good they can be while also still being lawful good, y'know?

    Straightzi on
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    ZonugalZonugal (He/Him) The Holiday Armadillo I'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
    edited June 2020
    I guess I'd ask what form of government the guards are tied to as well as their primary purpose.

    If its your traditional fantasy monarchy, the guards are a physical extension of their monarch. Being charitable they're maybe lawful neutral but they can't be lawful good. They lack the freedom, oversight, and community-constituency to ever be good.

    As to their primary purpose... Well, are the guards there to maintain peace? Because that's just maintaining the status quo. They're only lawful neutral (at best), again.

    Zonugal on
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    AistanAistan Tiny Bat Registered User regular
    edited June 2020
    There's a senate comprised of the leaders of various regions of the city (docks, farms, crafters, mages, etc) that makes rules about the city but also during the night of fires the first people to respond to it in a coordinated fashion were the various criminal organizations, and as a result they gained a lot of good will with the people, so there's a semi-official group of the 12 thief leaders. Also the main defense of the city against its border with the Underdark is necromancers and their undead minions.

    So it's an oligarchy with a strong organized crime influence and an ever-present threat that can be used to justify more spending on defense issues.

    The place sucks, so absolutely what the fire watch has become will include abuses of power.

    My cleric is starting to set up the groundwork to organize a communist revolution.

    Aistan on
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    ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    edited June 2020
    Robert Evans' Behind the Bastards podcast is doing a mini-series "Behind the Police" and the first episode goes rather a bit into how policing worked throughout history, and the reality is, it didn't meaningfully exist for a long time. And the first civil law enforcement that was implemented was largely a function of trade guilds and markets hiring guards to protect their stuff. So city guards are little more than career caravan escorts, in one sense. It wasn't considered a powerful position and rather the opposite, was looked down upon.

    e: things like city guards weren't law enforcement, they were perimeter watch/enforcement. Fire patrols sprang up as well, but were similarly not law enforcement. And both were usually treated a bit like jury duty. Everybody contributed, and nobody really wanted to do it or gave much of a shit about the job, as long as it didn't get their ass in a sling.

    Tox on
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    ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    edited June 2020
    Also also, if you're looking for a good, generic concept of how guards would actually work, I'd refer you to the US Army's Three General Orders:
    - I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.
    - I will obey my special orders and perform all my duties in a military manner.
    - I will report violations of my special orders, emergencies, and any thing not covered in my instructions to the commander of the relief.

    Tox on
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    AistanAistan Tiny Bat Registered User regular
    The thing is, this isn't a historical recreation. It's a fantasy world created by us the players and the gm, so since we live in this society in real life the shorthand becomes town guard = police. And if the systems in the city we have created are different from that it needs to be a conversation we have, because right now in the head space I have the details of this stuff matter a lot.

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    MrMonroeMrMonroe passed out on the floor nowRegistered User regular
    edited June 2020
    AGAB

    edit - this seems glib but also I'd love to run like a one shot centered around this idea.

    MrMonroe on
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    Grey GhostGrey Ghost Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    Assuming they independently decided to start taking on law enforcement/militia roles without like, a city council/mayoral mandate and additional funding, I would assume they’re doing it as a protection racket.

    Anyways I don’t actually think anyone can be Lawful Good because if you follow laws above all else you will inevitably compromise your morals. “Good” cops would be Neutral Good.

    I think lawful good is entirely possible if the law you follow is a personal code

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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    Assuming they independently decided to start taking on law enforcement/militia roles without like, a city council/mayoral mandate and additional funding, I would assume they’re doing it as a protection racket.

    Anyways I don’t actually think anyone can be Lawful Good because if you follow laws above all else you will inevitably compromise your morals. “Good” cops would be Neutral Good.

    I think lawful good is entirely possible if the law you follow is a personal code

    How is that different from neutral or chaotic good?

    (I don’t necessarily disagree with you and I think either way we’re gonna get in the weeds of alignment, which is always a mistake, but I’m curious.)

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    ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    edited June 2020
    Aistan wrote: »
    The thing is, this isn't a historical recreation. It's a fantasy world created by us the players and the gm, so since we live in this society in real life the shorthand becomes town guard = police. And if the systems in the city we have created are different from that it needs to be a conversation we have, because right now in the head space I have the details of this stuff matter a lot.

    Then I guess I'm just not sure what, if anything, you're asking us? Sounds rather like you want to have a conversation with your group, which is almost always the best idea.

    e: to be clear, I mean no snark by this, I'm guessing I just got caught up in the middle of the discussion without fully realizing where it started.

    Tox on
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    AistanAistan Tiny Bat Registered User regular
    Yeah not really asking anything. Was just sharing where my game was at and typing it out helps think things through. We're going to have a conversation about what exactly the role of the fire watch is next session.

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    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 2020
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    AGAB

    edit - this seems glib but also I'd love to run like a one shot centered around this idea.

    I've been rereading the D&D 4E setting book The Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond recently. The city guard and government of Gloomwrought is so evil and corrupt that there's actually a rival "villain" organization trying to stir up enough chaos in Gloomwrought that benevolent adventurers will hopefully be drawn to the city by their antics. The idea is once the party is actually in Gloomwrought the "villains" will approach the party, explain they were just trying to draw the attention of heroes, and explain how fucked up the status quo in Gloomwrought is.

    Even beyond the incredibly corrupt guards, most factions in Gloomwrought are outright bastards. Not even the nobility trust the guards that much, leading most of them to employ a mercenary company called the Crimson Sashes (said company will also secretly arrange for wealthy-looking newcomers to the city to be assaulted so that a Crimson Sash representative can offer their protection services). The Tenebrous Cabal teaches the children of the nobility evil magic and how to assassinate enemies. One of the wharfmasters, a half-elf named Kamourn, has a Vecna worshiping necromancer collect corpses to reanimate as free labor (individuals upset that their deceased loved ones are being forced to load and unload ships as zombies have to pay a fee to have the zombie put down). The local temple of the Raven Queen is run by extremists who want to ban worship of all other gods, and the brother of the Raven Queen's high priestess is the head of a shadar-kai racial supremacist gang called the Ghost Talons that wants to drive all other races out of Gloomwrought. There's a flourishing temple to Zehir, god of assassination, operating out in the open as the temple of Erathis, goddess of civilization, crumbles from supernaturally advanced disrepair. Food grown in the Shadowfell is bland and unfulfilling, but the rich are able to eat good food imported from the natural world thanks to a noble house that jealously controls a portal to their garden in the natural world. About the only faction that isn't despicable is the Legion of Risen Blades, an organization of intelligent undead led by a skull lord named Turaknal whose purpose is to self-police the city's undead population so that they'll be allowed to continue their existence in Gloomwrought.

    The ruler of Gloomwrought, Prince Rolan the Deathless, has a limited ability to control the structure of the city. Rolan once dealt with a peasant uprising by causing the poor part of the city to physically break off from the mainland into several islands in an event called the Sever. Then he installed bridges from these islands to the mainland part of the city equipped with multiple portcullis gates, traps, and gargoyles to prevent future uprisings.

    Gloomwrought is a living city, by the way, that actually rewards the privileged by magically generating estates for them to live in (so the rich don't even have to pay to build their mansions). Struggling merchants, in contrast, might be able to sense the building housing their business shrinking and crumbling with them in it whenenever they fail to make a sale.

    TL;DR Gloomwrought is a fantastic setting for Chaotic Good adventurers to fuck the establishment. Plus, it's established that the living city has been known to react to riots with buildings spontaneously exploding, so that's neat.

    Hexmage-PA on
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    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 2020
    Aistan wrote: »
    Lawful Evil. Believing in a strict hierarchy. Twisting the laws of the land to punish those they don't like while shielding those they do from any consequences of lawbreaking. 'Those they don't like' are often categories of people by race and class.

    Personally I'd think a Lawful Evil organization would be more likely to purge lawbreakers (who are presumably Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil) from their ranks to try and retain an air of legitimacy and prevent backlash against them. I'd be more willing to generalize guards as Neutral Evil, with some truly believing in and prioritizing the enforcement of pitiless, unjust laws (like a devil), others just wanting an excuse to exploit their position for personal profit (like a yugoloth) and others who want an excuse to lord over others (like demons).

    For a more cosmic example, the Nine Hells punishes lawbreakers among the devils with demotion, imprisonment, exile to the battlefield of Avernus, curses, or restrictions on their power. There are strict rules in place, laws forbidding greater devils from harming lesser devils, and even a caste of bone devils who police other devils. The devils follow the law, bending it sometimes but (almost) never breaking it, because the lesser devils believe they're all temporarily embarassed archdevils and want the system to exist so that they can hopefully benefit from it someday.

    In contrast, demons can have hierarchies and rules, but it's less that the demons believe in the system and more that if you don't comply with whatever Demogorgon or whoever's will is at the time you'll be threatened with annihilation.

    BTW, the Nine Hells is arguably more valuable for the Multiverse than a city guard is for mortal cities. The city guard just maintains the status quo, protects the interests of the wealthy at the expense of the poor, and maybe fights monsters from time to time.

    The Nine Hells takes souls who were destined for damnation anyway and repurposes them as devils to wage an eternal war to prevent the demons of the Abyss from overwhelming the entire multiverse. Someone who sold their soul for material wealth or to get petty revenge in life becomes a soldier in the Blood War to protect all existence after death. This likely frees up good gods and celestials to do good works throughout the Multiverse rather than fight demons constantly. Even archdevils must, by law, take to the battlefield of the Blood War from time to time. Glasya, daughter of the god of the Nine Hells, once invaded and killed a demon lord in their own Abyssal layer (she later attempted to kill the former archdevil-turned-demon prince Graz'zt, too, but was forced to retreat).

    Hexmage-PA on
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    Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    Assuming they independently decided to start taking on law enforcement/militia roles without like, a city council/mayoral mandate and additional funding, I would assume they’re doing it as a protection racket.

    Anyways I don’t actually think anyone can be Lawful Good because if you follow laws above all else you will inevitably compromise your morals. “Good” cops would be Neutral Good.

    I think lawful good is entirely possible if the law you follow is a personal code

    How is that different from neutral or chaotic good?

    (I don’t necessarily disagree with you and I think either way we’re gonna get in the weeds of alignment, which is always a mistake, but I’m curious.)

    Lawful Good: Follows a code that is (at least in dumb alignment discussions) something that works for the good of the people.

    Neutral Good: For the good of folk but no particular code or rejection of it.

    Chaotic Good: Actively enjoys breaking rules, bending ideals and being flexible but is still doing it to help people.

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    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    I personally don't care for the personal code interpretation of law/chaos.

    Your personal code, to whatever extent it exists, is the good/evil axis. That's how you define your beliefs and your internal life with regards to alignment.

    The law/chaos axis is external, it relates to how you put those ideas out into the world, how you attempt to do good/evil.

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    DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    So if we want a shorthand for character personalities, but not with the problems of law/chaos and good/evil, what could we use instead?

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    DrascinDrascin Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    Anyways I don’t actually think anyone can be Lawful Good because if you follow laws above all else you will inevitably compromise your morals. “Good” cops would be Neutral Good.

    ...that seems like an extremely silly take?

    Like, let's look at it from the other side. "I don't think you can be Chaotic Good because if you above all else don't follow laws you're inevitably going to hurt people".

    You can be Lawful Good and not be a law robot that goes "must follow the law every time unerringly", in the same way you can be Chaotic Good without having to be some chaotic stupid contrarian little fuck.

    Steam ID: Right here.
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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Denada wrote: »
    So if we want a shorthand for character personalities, but not with the problems of law/chaos and good/evil, what could we use instead?

    Myers-Briggs.

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    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 2020
    I will say that a funny thing about Paizo's statement is that it implies groups of vigilantes with no official accountability or oversight who very often resort to violence and ignore due process (ie many adventuring parties aka "murderhobos") are not the problematic part. It's not the actions themselves that are of concern, but whether the PCs are part of a law enforcement organization that is supposed to enforce a standard of behavior but instead turns a blind eye. So long as the PCs are vigilantes and answer to no one there's no problem.

    Of course, I understand we don't have a large scale societal problem with vigilantes in the real world, as far as I'm aware of.

    Hexmage-PA on
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    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    Denada wrote: »
    So if we want a shorthand for character personalities, but not with the problems of law/chaos and good/evil, what could we use instead?

    Hmm...

    Ends/Means?

    Ends being their ambition, what they want out of life, their goals. Making The World A Better Place, Getting Rich, Revolution Against Authoritarianism, that sort of thing.

    And Means being what they're willing to do to get that, or the way that they're attempting to proceed. This falls closer to the law/chaos axis, I think, but you could do some similarly more descriptive ones here too. As Long As Nobody Gets Hurt, As Long As The Guilty See Justice, By Any Means Necessary.

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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Drascin wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    Anyways I don’t actually think anyone can be Lawful Good because if you follow laws above all else you will inevitably compromise your morals. “Good” cops would be Neutral Good.

    ...that seems like an extremely silly take?

    Like, let's look at it from the other side. "I don't think you can be Chaotic Good because if you above all else don't follow laws you're inevitably going to hurt people".

    You can be Lawful Good and not be a law robot that goes "must follow the law every time unerringly", in the same way you can be Chaotic Good without having to be some chaotic stupid contrarian little fuck.

    You could argue you can't be truly Good because "... you're inevitably going to hurt people." But my claim isn't about absolutes but about compromise: if, when the law comes into conflict with "goodness", you err towards goodness, you're far closer to NG than LG. If you do the opposite, you're LN. If you can't uphold the two aspects of your alignment without them coming into conflict, how can that be your alignment?

    Anyways, I agree that it's an extremely silly take because all takes about an extremely silly system will, by definition, be extremely silly.

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    3cl1ps33cl1ps3 I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    I actually think Lawful-Chaotic works as an axis even if the names are silly because it describes the extent to which a character does or does not follow the rules of society slash social contract. For a second axis, I think Selfish-Selfless maybe works better than Good-Evil (because what do those even mean), since you're interrogating "does this character primarily work for their own benefit, primarily for the benefit of others, or both."

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    UrielUriel Registered User regular
    If you aren't chaotic good what are you even doing

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    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 2020
    To elaborate on my previous post:

    Some players want to treat D&D like GTA or something, where NPCs are largely just ragdolls to shoot or run over for fun, while others want to pretend every NPC is a real person with real feelings.

    I remember a comic from an old print issue of Dragon magazine where one character wanted to tie-up an orc and take him to the nearest settlement for a trial. The other party members protested having to deal with escorting the orc all the way to civilization. Once they reach the gates of a settlement the character who wanted to turn the orc over to the authorities for a trial explained his intentions to a guard. The guard incredulously replies "A trial?! For an orc?!"

    I guess my point is should Good player characters be non-lethally subduing humanoids, escorting them to a settlement, and submitting them to the authorities for a trial? Do they need to prepare for such possibilities by bringing along transportation and supplies to keep the prisoners fed? What if the authorities would likely be biased? Does the party just leave the unconscious antagonists alone and go on their way? What if said antagonists wake up only to resume their evil ways and attack others who can't defend themselves?

    Hexmage-PA on
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    DrascinDrascin Registered User regular
    edited June 2020
    admanb wrote: »
    Drascin wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    Anyways I don’t actually think anyone can be Lawful Good because if you follow laws above all else you will inevitably compromise your morals. “Good” cops would be Neutral Good.

    ...that seems like an extremely silly take?

    Like, let's look at it from the other side. "I don't think you can be Chaotic Good because if you above all else don't follow laws you're inevitably going to hurt people".

    You can be Lawful Good and not be a law robot that goes "must follow the law every time unerringly", in the same way you can be Chaotic Good without having to be some chaotic stupid contrarian little fuck.

    You could argue you can't be truly Good because "... you're inevitably going to hurt people." But my claim isn't about absolutes but about compromise: if, when the law comes into conflict with "goodness", you err towards goodness, you're far closer to NG than LG. If you do the opposite, you're LN. If you can't uphold the two aspects of your alignment without them coming into conflict, how can that be your alignment?

    Anyways, I agree that it's an extremely silly take because all takes about an extremely silly system will, by definition, be extremely silly.

    I mean, again, it applies just the same to the other side. You can't be purely chaotic and also good, in the same way you can't be one hundred percent all laws must be followed and still good. Pure chaoticness makes you straight up inimical to society. Characters are never pure alignment paragons by definition.

    Drascin on
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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    To elaborate on my previous post:

    Some players want to treat D&D like GTA or something, where NPCs are largely just bystanders to shoot or run over for fun, while others want to pretend every NPC is a real person with real feelings.

    I remember a comic from an old print issue of Dragon magazine where one character wanted to tie-up an orc and take him to the nearest settlement for a trial. The other party members protested having to deal with escorting the orc all the way to civilization. Once they reach the gates of a settlement the character who wanted to turn the orc over to the authorities for a trial explained his intentions to a guard. The guard incredulously replies "A trial?! For an orc?!"

    I guess my point is should Good player characters be non-lethally subduing humanoids, escorting them to a settlement, and submitting them to the authorities for a trial? Do they need to prepare for such possibilities by bringing along transportation and supplies to keep the prisoners fed? What if the authorities would likely be biased? Does the party just leave the unconscious antagonists alone and go on their way? What if said antagonists wake up only to resume their evil ways and attack others who can't defend themselves?

    Oh my god you've taken the Alignment discussion and added the Monster Races discussion. Everyone run. Save yourselves.

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    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    Yes, Lawful Good characters should be attempting to bring their enemies to trial rather than killing them outright.

    But Chaotic Good characters shouldn't. For them it would likely come down to their fundamental beliefs on reform and capital punishment, I guess.

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    UrielUriel Registered User regular
    To be honest I hate alignments tho

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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    D&D fucking sucks.

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    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    Also damn it, I've thought about the Ends/Means system of alignment for slightly too long and I think I really like it.

    I'd still want to come up with a discrete list of each, probably, even if it's just to use as a baseline (especially for Ends, where I imagine things could get pretty personal), but I'm imagining a party where characters have a mix and match of both - two people attempting the same Ends with different thoughts on the Means, or two people who both believe in trying to do opposing Ends, but also refuse to seriously hurt anyone in the process.

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    DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Straightzi wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    So if we want a shorthand for character personalities, but not with the problems of law/chaos and good/evil, what could we use instead?

    Hmm...

    Ends/Means?

    Ends being their ambition, what they want out of life, their goals. Making The World A Better Place, Getting Rich, Revolution Against Authoritarianism, that sort of thing.

    And Means being what they're willing to do to get that, or the way that they're attempting to proceed. This falls closer to the law/chaos axis, I think, but you could do some similarly more descriptive ones here too. As Long As Nobody Gets Hurt, As Long As The Guilty See Justice, By Any Means Necessary.

    Like kind of a Fate-style Aspect system? I think I would like this. 5E almost got there with their random tables that you could roll on for background and personality elements. I feel like if they dropped alignment and just had those instead the game would be better off. They're much more informative for getting into the mindset of a character than the current alignment system, and they can be more easily applied to NPCs. Just a quick line for an NPC that gives you a glimpse into what they're all about.

    Sheriff of Nottingham
    CR whatever-it-doesn't-matter-anyway
    Alignment: "Profit Before People"

    Robinhood
    CR who-cares
    Alignment: "Eat the Rich"

    Random McShopkeep
    CR just-a-dude
    Alignment: "I've Got Five Kids to Feed"

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    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 2020
    admanb wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    To elaborate on my previous post:

    Some players want to treat D&D like GTA or something, where NPCs are largely just bystanders to shoot or run over for fun, while others want to pretend every NPC is a real person with real feelings.

    I remember a comic from an old print issue of Dragon magazine where one character wanted to tie-up an orc and take him to the nearest settlement for a trial. The other party members protested having to deal with escorting the orc all the way to civilization. Once they reach the gates of a settlement the character who wanted to turn the orc over to the authorities for a trial explained his intentions to a guard. The guard incredulously replies "A trial?! For an orc?!"

    I guess my point is should Good player characters be non-lethally subduing humanoids, escorting them to a settlement, and submitting them to the authorities for a trial? Do they need to prepare for such possibilities by bringing along transportation and supplies to keep the prisoners fed? What if the authorities would likely be biased? Does the party just leave the unconscious antagonists alone and go on their way? What if said antagonists wake up only to resume their evil ways and attack others who can't defend themselves?

    Oh my god you've taken the Alignment discussion and added the Monster Races discussion. Everyone run. Save yourselves.

    My broader point was about humanoids in general, humans included.

    As for the comic I referenced, it could just have easily been a human cultist of Graz'zt or a green dragon or a troll or a hill giant or an awakened giant poisonous snake.

    Hexmage-PA on
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    3cl1ps33cl1ps3 I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    In 20 years of playing D&D across 4 editions I've never, ever been in a game where alignment was ever referenced by any player or the DM or had any obvious effect on someone's RP. Ever once. It might inform peoples' choices during character creation but it could be completely removed and have zero effect on the system.

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    3cl1ps33cl1ps3 I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    Anyway, WotC has announced they're changing how stats work for races to reflect pretty much what folks in this thread have indicated they'd like to see, so clearly they agree that the current implementation is dumb.

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    UrielUriel Registered User regular
    3clipse wrote: »
    In 20 years of playing D&D across 4 editions I've never, ever been in a game where alignment was ever referenced by any player or the DM or had any obvious effect on someone's RP. Ever once. It might inform peoples' choices during character creation but it could be completely removed and have zero effect on the system.

    You're lucky!

    My table used to get into arguments about things like why it's not chaotic good to torture an attempted assassins to death and why the other player characters would object to such action.

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    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    Straightzi wrote: »
    Yes, Lawful Good characters should be attempting to bring their enemies to trial rather than killing them outright.

    But Chaotic Good characters shouldn't. For them it would likely come down to their fundamental beliefs on reform and capital punishment, I guess.

    To be honest every D&D game I've played in or run has 99% of the time assumed enemies fight to the death and that PCs kill them (I guess this could be circumvented if enemies fled more often). I'm curious what the hypothetical Chaotic Good or Neutral Good alternatives might be for handling defeated villains.

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    ZonugalZonugal (He/Him) The Holiday Armadillo I'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
    3clipse wrote: »
    Anyway, WotC has announced they're changing how stats work for races to reflect pretty much what folks in this thread have indicated they'd like to see, so clearly they agree that the current implementation is dumb.

    And let me tell ya, some fans are livid about it.

    Ross-Geller-Prime-Sig-A.jpg
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