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[D&D Discussion] What makes a man turn neutral?

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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    I'm running a game tonight

    I've done zero prep

    Long story short it's going to be The Cube with four players, it leads in to Strahd, two players are one off evil peeps because their mains are already in the campaign

    I need trap ideas


    Electrified room
    When they drop into the room and the door closes behind them chains with handles drop from the ceiling and initiative is rolled. at the beginning of their turns if they are standing on the floor or touching a wall or the ceiling they take lightning damage and have to make a save vs being stunned till the beginning of their next round. They'll have to use athletics checks to move around the room on the chains unless they have some means of flight. Especially difficult will be climbing the chains to the door in the cieling (it is the only safe room exit).

    QuidJPants
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Lance room
    once again as they enter the room initiative is rolled, the room strikes at both initiative 20 and 10. When the trap goes off a random assortment of half the floor tiles exploding with spikes that reach from floor to cieling, anyone in those squares must make a dexterity saving throw or take piercing damage

    QuidJPantsElvenshae
  • A Dabble Of TheloniusA Dabble Of Thelonius It has been a doozy of a dayRegistered User regular
    Started my Fantasy Grounds session today. Few things

    Dear God I love Fantasy grounds

    Dynamic fog of war and line of sight (including opening and closing doors and windows! ) combined with the mask tool to section off maps is a godsend. I have the tokens on lock so that they can path out movements and then I can approve or deny the move.

    Months ago, I decided I was running Frostmaiden. Then I wavered and wanted Strahd so I said I was still considering, just make fun characters. I decided on Strahd but didn't tell anyone. Then in session 0, someone noticed a file name and guessed the we were doing Strahd. So session one began with en media res "You've spent the last week traveling north from Neverwinter. Your patron has tasked you with investigating the mysterious winter storms that have besieged the Ten Towns of Icewind Dale". It was, fantastic. . When the ship hit the storm wall around the sea of ice, it sank / disintegrated. The party woke up in a frosty forest cliff overlooking some ruins. The ruins held some baddies, a body, and a set of freestanding oak doors near the body. After some brief puzzling, (spoiler below) the entered a portal and appeared in front of a decrepit house. Two floors in they find the first letter from Strahd. Friends, there was an uproar.
    Two doors one with a handle of iron carved to look like an arm bone. One with a bone handle carved in a vaguely beastial shape. Open the arm, skeletons spawn. The beast bone, giant rats. Closer inspection reveals carvings on the base of the handles, a broken chain on each one pointed towards the other. < > Open both doors at once, you get a portal.

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited March 28
    A solid session of Avernus down: I wanted to preserve the intelligence of my animated object (after giving it a circlet of intellect) so I made a hasty deal with an Imp, I had a full soul coin and it agreed to fix the situation by combining the headband of intellect and the now empty soul coin to create a kind of wifi hotspot for my animated object's intelligence so I could go back to using my ability and not kill this intelligent lifeform I created

    the party paladin really wanted to know what about the soul in the coin but we kind of glossed over that

    I animated my clothes so I could fly and we went onward, ignoring the moral implications of whatever just happened, and entered the next quest space.

    As a consequence of my animated object being intelligent now, it can Help me on mental skill checks, and the DM still has it talk exactly like Janet from the good place. it can now create objects like I can, but at a more limited extent (artificer was asking for diamonds and my shirt kept producing potted plants and saying "here you go!")

    I am happy with this development

    Edit: Hrm I didn't read the contract with the imp, I have to report to someone called mad maggie now, who I know that is but my character doesn't. I WANT A MOTORCYCLE

    override367 on
    ElvenshaeTerrendos
  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    I'm running a game tonight

    I've done zero prep

    Long story short it's going to be The Cube with four players, it leads in to Strahd, two players are one off evil peeps because their mains are already in the campaign

    I need trap ideas

    That room from The Cube where guns are set off if the volume in the room gets too high, with a single lever in the middle of the room

    The players have to coordinate one of them pulling the lever but they can't talk to each other, in or out of character

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
  • Mongrel IdiotMongrel Idiot Registered User regular
    There are some rumblings in my real-life crew about doing a campaign this summer, and I've been kicking around a character idea that I'd like some brainstorms on, if the thread is willing.

    The origin story is that our dude was a soldier in a truly ancient empire inspired by Pharonic Egypt. When the emperor died, tradition had it that members of a certain royal military unit were entombed with him, and our dude happened to be the absolute lowest-ranked soldier to be sealed into a crypt for all eternity, to awaken again only when the empire had need of its greatest heroes. Something went terribly wrong, however, and the young soldier awoke many thousands of years later, not in a paradise afterlife but alone in a black tomb where the bones of his comrades and beloved emperor were still, their flesh stretched tight. Emerging into the blinding sun, he found nothing but waste and sand where once the fair cities had stood. Now he travels the world, seeking to discover the fate of his homeland.

    So here are the places I'm still looking for some input on:
    1. Languages. Obviously, his first language is long-forgotten, and whatever is spoken in his geographic homeland is so far removed that any connections are tenuous at best. But he also needs some way to communicate with the party. I'm not sure what the best way is to strike a balance of maximum roleplaying interest with minimum keep-the-game-moving frustration.
    2. Character class. Soldier is the obvious background, and fighter an obvious class. But it could also be interesting to grab some levels of warlock, reskinning some patron or other as a spirit or god of the ancient empire who is constantly pushing the soldier to restore its glories, but also understands the modern world even less than the soldier does. Could provide some engaging moments.
    3. Little homebrew tweaks to make him feel like a man out of time. Stuff like giving him advantage on truly ancient history questions, but disadvantage on anything that happened in between the empire and the current day. I wouldn't want anything game-changing, but just little bits of flavoring to bring out the backstory.

    I also, of course, have several tabs of stuff about ancient Egypt open for inspiration.

  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    There are some rumblings in my real-life crew about doing a campaign this summer, and I've been kicking around a character idea that I'd like some brainstorms on, if the thread is willing.

    The origin story is that our dude was a soldier in a truly ancient empire inspired by Pharonic Egypt. When the emperor died, tradition had it that members of a certain royal military unit were entombed with him, and our dude happened to be the absolute lowest-ranked soldier to be sealed into a crypt for all eternity, to awaken again only when the empire had need of its greatest heroes. Something went terribly wrong, however, and the young soldier awoke many thousands of years later, not in a paradise afterlife but alone in a black tomb where the bones of his comrades and beloved emperor were still, their flesh stretched tight. Emerging into the blinding sun, he found nothing but waste and sand where once the fair cities had stood. Now he travels the world, seeking to discover the fate of his homeland.

    So here are the places I'm still looking for some input on:
    1. Languages. Obviously, his first language is long-forgotten, and whatever is spoken in his geographic homeland is so far removed that any connections are tenuous at best. But he also needs some way to communicate with the party. I'm not sure what the best way is to strike a balance of maximum roleplaying interest with minimum keep-the-game-moving frustration.
    2. Character class. Soldier is the obvious background, and fighter an obvious class. But it could also be interesting to grab some levels of warlock, reskinning some patron or other as a spirit or god of the ancient empire who is constantly pushing the soldier to restore its glories, but also understands the modern world even less than the soldier does. Could provide some engaging moments.
    3. Little homebrew tweaks to make him feel like a man out of time. Stuff like giving him advantage on truly ancient history questions, but disadvantage on anything that happened in between the empire and the current day. I wouldn't want anything game-changing, but just little bits of flavoring to bring out the backstory.

    I also, of course, have several tabs of stuff about ancient Egypt open for inspiration.

    So for language I honestly wouldn't bother. Assuming this is a standard fantasy setting you probably have elves alive today whose parents existed when the tomb was built. Creating a language barrier probably isn't going to do much besides add an extra step to every conversation. If you really want to do this, just say he can speak Elvish and assume it hasn't changed much in 3 Elven generations.

    You could also be a priest of some long-forgotten god, which might also explain your presence in the tomb as a voice of the divine to the king. In FR and other D&D settings, a god's power is often tied directly to the strength of belief that exists for them, the number of people who pray to and remember them. This makes the god-worshipper relationship transactional. ("If you pray hard enough, then I can afford to show you favor!") Perhaps reviving you was the best chance for reviving his own worship. After you were entombed, some heretic took over the religion and made their followers stray from the path.

    As for game tweaks representing the deep gulf between the knowledge of your PC compared to others, talk to your DM. That's the kind of thing that could become way good or a massive hindrance depending on the kind of story your DM wants to tell. He or she can probably suggest something.

    Mongrel Idiot
  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    Languages, perhaps have a magic item - his tomb was disturbed by treasure hunters that spoke some strange foreign dialect. But after you slew one of them that was holding a crown/amulet, and picked it up, you found you could understand their tongue and kept it as you ventured forth. The crown (of comprehend languages) originally belonged to one of the Living God's Visiers, who served as a translating meaning the god never had to hear the utterings of the base classes but would understand everything that was said.

    Alternatively either pick GOO warlock as the first class and then move into fighter, so you get the Awakened Mind power* which not only gets around the language issue but also adds a nice bit for role play and even perhaps a tool for encounters, and rather than being a low ranking soldier you're just a soldier and might even have been a high ranking bodyguard. However whatever has brought you back didn't bring back all your memories, and you're going to have to relearn those talents - would help as well if you picked Battlemaster in explaining where these abilities come from when you go up a level, they're memories coming back.

    Skip eldritch blast and go for more spooky cantrips (mage hand actually being various household spirits and lesser undead that dwell in some of the other canopic jars and relics you've taken with you, and minor illusion is partly you replacing the appearance of this reality with that of the afterlife and the ancient times. They're good cantrips that will still be useful as a fighter both in the dungeon and in between.

    As for spells, Protection from Evil/Good is down to some of the rituals you learnt in preparation for your role in the afterlife (forcing disadvantage on weirder stuff like fiends and undead is definitely useful) and Expeditious Retreat as something you learnt in order to serve as a bodyguard in those ancient and more magical times (being able to move at supernatural speed to interpose yourself between your charge and your enemy).
    Starting at 1st level, your alien knowledge gives you the ability to touch the minds of other creatures. You can telepathically speak to any creature you can see within 30 feet of you. You don't need to share a language with the creature for it to understand your telepathic utterances, but the creature must be able to understand at least one language.

  • valhalla130valhalla130 13 Dark Shield Perceives the GodsRegistered User regular
    edited April 1
    I'm trying to come up with ideas for a Lost World adventure. My idea was Vikings and Dinosaurs.

    Here's the beginning. A year ago, a local Viking celebrated warrior/adventurer sailed west in a longship with a full crew to find a new land and never came back. The local jarl wants to find him, but not wanting to throw good people away, has settled on sending a smaller ship with some of the local... undesirables.

    Everyone in this group has chosen a character already that is kind of edge-lordy. So the idea is if they also disappear, no loss to the community, and if they find and return the previous guy, all the better. They are given enough supplies and a small boat and told to sail west for 10 days, and then return. That should translate to about 750 miles or so, based on old longships.

    My plan is to have them reach this, with a couple occurences on the ocean, then a huge storm engulfs them and sinks the ship killing everyone but this group. As they awake, on land, they find themselves in a prehistoric land, with two halves. South is jungle, with lizardfolk and dinosaurs. North is cooler, with prehistoric mammals and cavemen.

    Just off the beach, near a river, they find a runestone left behind by the man they are looking for, and they follow a series of clues, probably more runestones, inland to finally find his final resting place in a cave he was inhabiting.

    I plan to have them dogged by something, either a t rex, or a carnotaurus. Plus, I have several types of minis on the way, for dinos, mammoths, sabretooth cats, and other prehistoric animals.

    I also plan several scenes with giant insects, spiders and other D&D monsters that might fit like the carrion crawler

    Anything ya'll might add?

    valhalla130 on
  • zekebeauzekebeau Registered User regular
    I'm trying to come up with ideas for a Lost World adventure. My idea was Vikings and Dinosaurs.

    Here's the beginning. A year ago, a local Viking celebrated warrior/adventurer sailed west in a longship with a full crew to find a new land and never came back. The local jarl wants to find him, but not wanting to throw good people away, has settled on sending a smaller ship with some of the local... undesirables.

    Everyone in this group has chosen a character already that is kind of edge-lordy. So the idea is if they also disappear, no loss to the community, and if they find and return the previous guy, all the better. They are given enough supplies and a small boat and told to sail west for 10 days, and then return. That should translate to about 750 miles or so, based on old longships.

    My plan is to have them reach this, with a couple occurences on the ocean, then a huge storm engulfs them and sinks the ship killing everyone but this group. As they awake, on land, they find themselves in a prehistoric land, with two halves. South is jungle, with lizardfolk and dinosaurs. North is cooler, with prehistoric mammals and cavemen.

    Just off the beach, near a river, they find a runestone left behind by the man they are looking for, and they follow a series of clues, probably more runestones, inland to finally find his final resting place in a cave he was inhabiting.

    I plan to have them dogged by something, either a t rex, or a carnotaurus. Plus, I have several types of minis on the way, for dinos, mammoths, sabretooth cats, and other prehistoric animals.

    I also plan several scenes with giant insects, spiders and other D&D monsters that might fit like the carrion crawler

    Anything ya'll might add?

    What is the character goals? It doesn't sound very treasure full, and they sound like a group where saving a man isn't a big motivation. What is the shiny gem at the finish line?

    Also, highly encourage making dinosaur body parts useful somehow, let those tool proficiencies that everyone eventually gets and never use actually be useful for something.

  • valhalla130valhalla130 13 Dark Shield Perceives the GodsRegistered User regular
    edited April 1
    Hmmm. I hadn't thought much about treasure. I was thinking of a weapon made out of a meteorite. But I'm not sure how I want to go about that. That would also only apply to one person. What would be a good, prehistoric style treasure?

    One of the PC's is a sorceror who is trying to be a healer, and got roped into sorcery instead of clericdom. Maybe the dino parts could help her achieve her goals of being some kind of healer?

    valhalla130 on
  • WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    There could be prehistoric herbs there that are super rare. Or a fungus that only grows on the hide of a particular gigantic turtle or other large lizard. Dino eyes could make great potions.

    valhalla130
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    If not a treasure of some sort, maybe a trip to the Hollow Earth is a coming of age ritual for their village? They have to go do the thing to be considered adults or something.
    Maybe they could collect meteoric iron or dino chunks in order to forge weapons at their village. This way, they all get goodies, even if they don't get them in the game.

    What level are the characters? That can help determine why they're adventuring. A lvl 2 PC may be fighting for a handful of treasure or to make a name for themselves. But a lvl 20 PC should have enough treasure/land/reputation that they're adventuring for a cause, or to kill a god, or save the world..

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • valhalla130valhalla130 13 Dark Shield Perceives the GodsRegistered User regular
    They're starting out at level one. And finding the remains of the meteor was to be a treasure to take back. I've decided meteoric iron in my world is a treasure.

  • ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    Could be Vibranium Mithril.

  • LindLind Registered User regular
    I DM a group of friends in Rime of the Frostmaiden atm and while we are early on still they are actually more or less "The Good Guys". I don't know how this happened, the party backstory is that they are basicly pirates and we always end up the bad guys in all games we play... Now I'm just waiting for them to start random mayhem.

  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    They're starting out at level one. And finding the remains of the meteor was to be a treasure to take back. I've decided meteoric iron in my world is a treasure.

    Heck meteoric iron is a treasure in real life. Space metal is super cool.

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  • A Dabble Of TheloniusA Dabble Of Thelonius It has been a doozy of a dayRegistered User regular
    Speaking of "good guy" parties. I actually started using a new session zero DM rule, it's kinda aimed at one of my players in particular but I'll probably keep it in all my games.

    No assholes. Simple as that. No evil characters, no kerrrraaazy chaotic characters whose response to a failed attempt to bargain is just to murder the shopkeeper or steal everything.

    The real world is awful. My job forces me to deal with the worst possible people 48-60 hours a week. So, no, you get to be heroes or you can fuck off out of my game.

    It's working quite well

    vm8gvf5p7gqi.jpg
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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited April 1
    Session zeros to set expections are always a good thing. I don't usually do them, but I always spend at least an hour with everyone prior to starting a game 1on1 to go over things and set expectations, which can often involve others getting involved and turning into a quasi-session zero anyway. Such a great way for everyone to end up having a good time (even the DM, who also deserves to have a good time)


    my main rules are 1. under no circumstance is a character to be a vehicle for a sexual fetish 2. if your character is an asshole, don't be an asshole to the party 3. This goes with the others but "what my character would do" is why you fireball the villain without letting him finish his monologue because he killed your sister, or why you refuse to wear platemail despite being mechanically able. It is NOT a reason to be a dick to everyone else at the table, rob people's characters, initiate PVP, or generally derail the campaign on purpose

    going with #3, it's not the DM's job to motivate your character to be with the party, choose a character that would want to adventure with the party or don't play

    override367 on
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  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    There are some rumblings in my real-life crew about doing a campaign this summer, and I've been kicking around a character idea that I'd like some brainstorms on, if the thread is willing.

    The origin story is that our dude was a soldier in a truly ancient empire inspired by Pharonic Egypt. When the emperor died, tradition had it that members of a certain royal military unit were entombed with him, and our dude happened to be the absolute lowest-ranked soldier to be sealed into a crypt for all eternity, to awaken again only when the empire had need of its greatest heroes. Something went terribly wrong, however, and the young soldier awoke many thousands of years later, not in a paradise afterlife but alone in a black tomb where the bones of his comrades and beloved emperor were still, their flesh stretched tight. Emerging into the blinding sun, he found nothing but waste and sand where once the fair cities had stood. Now he travels the world, seeking to discover the fate of his homeland.

    So here are the places I'm still looking for some input on:
    1. Languages. Obviously, his first language is long-forgotten, and whatever is spoken in his geographic homeland is so far removed that any connections are tenuous at best. But he also needs some way to communicate with the party. I'm not sure what the best way is to strike a balance of maximum roleplaying interest with minimum keep-the-game-moving frustration.
    2. Character class. Soldier is the obvious background, and fighter an obvious class. But it could also be interesting to grab some levels of warlock, reskinning some patron or other as a spirit or god of the ancient empire who is constantly pushing the soldier to restore its glories, but also understands the modern world even less than the soldier does. Could provide some engaging moments.
    3. Little homebrew tweaks to make him feel like a man out of time. Stuff like giving him advantage on truly ancient history questions, but disadvantage on anything that happened in between the empire and the current day. I wouldn't want anything game-changing, but just little bits of flavoring to bring out the backstory.

    I also, of course, have several tabs of stuff about ancient Egypt open for inspiration.

    If you can possibly get hold of "A History of Ancient Egypt: Egyptian Civilization in Context" by Donald Redford that is one of the best general intro sources I've ever read. Redford in general is a great source. Even his older books from the 80s have held up very well. Usually you should never trust any source on ancient history written prior to the mid 90s at the earliest. After that one "Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times" is really good.

    The History of Egypt podcast is also a great source: https://www.egyptianhistorypodcast.com/
    Has lots of pictures and maps and such on the web page to go with each episode.

    As for the question of "class" and such, I am very very strongly of the opinion that the stuff in the players handbook is for players. NPCs should not have to follow the rules in the books nor have a carefully statted out character sheet. Definitely give him some spells or abilities that players could never have.

    DEFUND THE POLICE
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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited April 1
    Hard agree, NPCs often have spells that are theirs and theirs alone (unless you kill them and find their spellbook, which might not be on them) in games I run. On the flip side, there are many player abilities that just kind of don't crop up among my npcs

    I've had like players talk about "Well we have enough money for a True Resurrection" in my SKT game and have to remind them their characters have literally never heard of it because there's like 3 clerics in all of Exandria that can cast that spell and the closest one is thousands of miles away on a continent none of them have been to

    similarly, Wish will generally not be available on NPC wizards. WIzards like Elminster and Acererak have Wish, "Archmage Dude Duderson" that owns the local mage tower does not have Wish. If every archmage had the breadth of spells PC wizards do, none of them would ever pursue lichdom, after all, and while a Lich probably knows it, good luck getting anything out of a Lich.

    Shit, I don't even treat most of the archmages as having access to Clone, and wizards that know these spells guard them *zealously* - I determine on a case by case basis how common spells are and tend to have spells like True Polymorph and Time Stop be the most common 9th level spells

    like I actually got into an argument about my game with my roommate because he wants to buy a scroll of True Resurrection and I told him, out of game, that *no one* in the entire world is capable of creating one of those without using a Wish and risking their own life and he got mad because he says that is a stupid decision on my part, but, hey it's how I run my game. You need to be an arcanist to make scrolls, and there are literally no characters capable of true resurrection who are arcanists who would spend half a year scribing a scroll in my interpretation of Exandria.

    override367 on
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  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Good treasure in a dinosaur land: a dinosaur.

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  • A Dabble Of TheloniusA Dabble Of Thelonius It has been a doozy of a dayRegistered User regular

    going with #3, it's not the DM's job to motivate your character to be with the party, choose a character that would want to adventure with the party or don't play

    Dear God this

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  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    Wooo my animal adventures kickstarter just arrived and once again it is exceptionally high quality. I'm blown away by the detail in the minis. The ONLY complaint is they have the base be part of the mold, which makes it impossible to paint some of the animals bellies. The couple I've painted so far from the last kickstarter I had to cut off the base first.

    Also one of the addon packs I got comes with a "white Wolf" miniature. I love how tongue in cheek it is.

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  • chosenofsotekchosenofsotek Registered User regular
    Speaking of "good guy" parties. I actually started using a new session zero DM rule, it's kinda aimed at one of my players in particular but I'll probably keep it in all my games.

    No assholes. Simple as that. No evil characters, no kerrrraaazy chaotic characters whose response to a failed attempt to bargain is just to murder the shopkeeper or steal everything.

    The real world is awful. My job forces me to deal with the worst possible people 48-60 hours a week. So, no, you get to be heroes or you can fuck off out of my game.

    It's working quite well

    Yep. Had one too many issues with assholes playing evil or chaotic characters for the sake of being an asshole. My only exception would be if it was a descent into evil through character development that happened over time, like Anakin falling to the Dark Side and becoming Darth Vader.

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited April 1
    I straight up have some players who I allow to be evil and others whove lost the privilege

    One player who thought chaotic evil meant that his character could say "Huh I guess I'll have rape for dinner"
    Another who went straight murder hobo

    the rest understand that evil people are not crazed murderers by definition, Raistlin is evil and loves his brother, Hannibal Lector is evil but he doesnt kill and eat people in the middle of a conversation (if you want to play an assassin who comes back later and cuts their throat, I actually LOVE that, especially if the party has no idea you did it in character), you can be evil and still have some goddamned manners

    My favorite is a vivisectionist artificer (I ported the spirit of the class from pathfinder). His character is evil as all get out, but he's very polite and very much cares what people think of him. It would really depress him if people thought of him as evil so he makes sure to dress everything up in lies or subterfuge. He once created a poison from demon ichor and used sleight of hand to poison a holy woman so that the party could get in good with her and the refugees when he miraculously had the antidote on him (must be the gods!)

    override367 on
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  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    I played in an online game for a bit where I rolled a 1st level fighter that I imagined as basically an 11 century knight down on his luck. He still has his armor and his spear (because fuck D&D's absurd overvaluing of swords / undervaluing of spears) but had lost his land, horse and was reduced to mercenary work / "adventuring". In my mind any member of the landowning class in a medieval european society was almost certainly going to be evil. So wrote down lawful evil as alignment. Man it took a bunch of explanations to the other players to reassure them that no this isn't some George RR Martin esq worthy rapist (I very much agree with the guidelines override noted above) or chaotic-stupid character or someone not able to work with the group or whatever. Of course he's working well with the group! He needs the money from these adventures to regain his proper place in society and can't do it alone.

    He is a knight. A warrior-aristocrat. Of course that means he's fucking evil! Knights were, by the standards in 5e D&D, evil!. The standards in the books for the alignments are very very much based on modern ideals of morality the ain't no knight going to live up to.

    DEFUND THE POLICE
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    on paper a knight is lawful neutral, after all if your lord tells you to do something you do it, regardless of the morality - where as lawful evil implies you go out of your way to cause harm because you enjoy it, it's an actual perk of the job to be able to abuse your authority

    but in reality that describes the vast majority of the medieval aristocracy, and the modern day aristocracy for that matter

    in D&D since the gods are real and knights can literally get magic powers from being good, I'd say goodly knights are a lot more common, so yeah playing an *authentic* knight probably would be evil

  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    edited April 1
    on paper a knight is lawful neutral, after all if your lord tells you to do something you do it, regardless of the morality - where as lawful evil implies you go out of your way to cause harm because you enjoy it, it's an actual perk of the job to be able to abuse your authority

    but in reality that describes the vast majority of the medieval aristocracy, and the modern day aristocracy for that matter

    in D&D since the gods are real and knights can literally get magic powers from being good, I'd say goodly knights are a lot more common, so yeah playing an *authentic* knight probably would be evil

    that first part reminds me of that line from Rick and Morty: "Rick you're like Hitler but at least Hitler cared about Germany". Or how in LOTR Gandalf calls our that Sauron was the lesser evil because for so long he served another power besides himself.

    edit: that is to say, by modern standards (which are what is described in 5e D&D for alignment), "I was just following orders" isn't a good excuse.

    RiemannLives on
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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited April 2
    on paper a knight is lawful neutral, after all if your lord tells you to do something you do it, regardless of the morality - where as lawful evil implies you go out of your way to cause harm because you enjoy it, it's an actual perk of the job to be able to abuse your authority

    but in reality that describes the vast majority of the medieval aristocracy, and the modern day aristocracy for that matter

    in D&D since the gods are real and knights can literally get magic powers from being good, I'd say goodly knights are a lot more common, so yeah playing an *authentic* knight probably would be evil

    that first part reminds me of that line from Rick and Morty: "Rick you're like Hitler but at least Hitler cared about Germany". Or how in LOTR Gandalf calls our that Sauron was the lesser evil because for so long he served another power besides himself.

    edit: that is to say, by modern standards (which are what is described in 5e D&D for alignment), "I was just following orders" isn't a good excuse.

    I mean "I'm just following orders" is about the most succinct possible way to describe a lawful neutral character, IMO, since "lawful" should really be retitled "order" (which doesn't have any relationship with justice)

    someone who can't look the other way when it comes to how that order is achieved would be lawful good, and someone who doesn't want to look away because they like every part of this is lawful evil

    Going back to the knight example, most of the time are left to their own devices and have a great deal of power, and would be highly unlikely to lower their own standard of living to make that of those underneath them better, even though they could- lawful evil all the way

    but hey alignment is relative and an antique anyway

    override367 on
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  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular

    going with #3, it's not the DM's job to motivate your character to be with the party, choose a character that would want to adventure with the party or don't play

    Dear God this

    Absolutely this. But there times when a player comes to the table with a great and well formed character concept ready dive in to the DM's planned adventure... and then meets the other characters at the table and thinks, "Damn, I really want to go save this princess and slay this dragon... but not with these asshats."

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    To use the business parlance, Alignment should be a lagging indicator rather than a leading one.

    Also Override those rules are basically my exact ones, though I phrase things differently. Works extremely well!

    override367Elvenshae
  • LindLind Registered User regular
    My group kinda ignore alignment. It’s just never made much sense to us. That said while the group often is evil in that they want to loot everything they can and steal if nobody catches them they .. usually don’t just straight up murder npcs unless they think there are reasons (not good reasons but still).

    SleepShawnasee
  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    on paper a knight is lawful neutral, after all if your lord tells you to do something you do it, regardless of the morality - where as lawful evil implies you go out of your way to cause harm because you enjoy it, it's an actual perk of the job to be able to abuse your authority

    but in reality that describes the vast majority of the medieval aristocracy, and the modern day aristocracy for that matter

    in D&D since the gods are real and knights can literally get magic powers from being good, I'd say goodly knights are a lot more common, so yeah playing an *authentic* knight probably would be evil
    that first part reminds me of that line from Rick and Morty: "Rick you're like Hitler but at least Hitler cared about Germany". Or how in LOTR Gandalf calls our that Sauron was the lesser evil because for so long he served another power besides himself.

    edit: that is to say, by modern standards (which are what is described in 5e D&D for alignment), "I was just following orders" isn't a good excuse.
    I mean "I'm just following orders" is about the most succinct possible way to describe a lawful neutral character, IMO, since "lawful" should really be retitled "order" (which doesn't have any relationship with justice)
    Which just demonstrates that Neutral as an alignment doesn't make sense. Being neutral in a system where status quo is evil isn't neutral, it's just passively evil.

  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited April 2
    My preferred use of alignment is for it to be completely irrelevant until it isn't. At the start it's just a rough guide for the player to start thinking about who their character is, but after that people change and act how they want to. It's easy to see how the bitter orphan who has just escaped the thief's guild might have a very self-interested way of thinking at first but over time in a party with people who have sacrificed many times to save them and willingly shared their prizes with them will start to slip into a more heroic mindset. Or who an idealistic but sheltered squire might become a little more ruthless after falling in with a bad crowd.

    No worries about whether characters would do something or not, but occasionally there might be a holy place that rejects those with evil in their hearts, or a magic weapon that can only be wielded by righteous hand - should things or characters be getting a little too bad, or as a reward for still being/or becoming Heroes.

    Also Lawful Neutral in an Evil system will split in two ways, whether they value lawfulness or oppose evil more. The very lawful solider might hate what they are doing, but thinks that they perhaps don't have the whole picture or that this is the lesser evil (better to have some corruption in society than anarchy), but might try to mitigate the worst of their orders, perhaps report back that one one is left alive in the village, knowing that actually many were allowed to escape. Or they might work against individuals they see as corrupting the society, rather than society itself as being corrupted - especially if they are believes in Law and strongly oppose Evil (but remain Neutral as they think that being Good will also lead to the end of society, or open things up to take over by Lawful Evil, by making too many exceptions for people who fall foul of the rules).

    But people don't all have the same strength in their convictions, so your basic peasant in an evil society might be very mildly passively evil for not doing something about one of the major wrongs in society - but they might still do a good act, like hide the heroes in their barn.

    Tastyfish on
  • ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    There's a word for "opposes evil"

    The word is not "neutral"

    Smrtnikspool32
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    It's also not "lawful"

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  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    I don’t do alignments, but when it comes up I like to think it radiates out into intensity. Like, your good allows for flexibility, only an angel is Good.
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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    For me it depends on what we're playing on the day and if we've agreed on a tone for the group/characters we're using.

    Like I generally consider our rich, jousting, knightly, noble type characters to be evil by the very nature of how much money they are hoarding, and the way they play with the lower economic classes without care. A very lawful evil as it were. I'm very front up about calling out when they or the people around them are doing unethical shit that their characters would definitely try to spin into some kind of heroism or normalcy. They're pretty opulently evil and the royal court they belong to is not the best on workers rights in the penal colonies, especially the house in exile that operates in the salt flat desert. We do quick trips through their arcs to get an eye on the politics and societal shifts happening around the other characters we're playing (and to open up the mechanical play space for those mechanical character options and scenarios, like a medieval tournament set dressing with knights and kings and lords and ladies and stuff like that).

    It's actually been really useful. Pretty much every one of their other characters that aren't part of that royal court really fuckin hates that royal court and just does not give one last fuck about any of em. They'll bow to that power when they have to, but outside certain jurisdictions pretty much no one has any patience for them and they're pretty much never the side of the fight anyone chooses to be on unless it's like a fuckin slaad, and then everyone's on team "not a slaad".

    Other than that I'll only really let a select few people play chaotic evil style characters in my games because I've been playing with the same folks for over a decade now and I know which of them can play that without fuckin up the game majorly.

    Even better because everyone's multi sheeting to a hilarious degree in my game (I've talked about it before but there's at least 100 character sheets into this game) they've started becoming their own heroes and villains. Like the last chaotic evil character to show up in the game, when they finally went full bore cackling super villain about it they got cold knocked out by that player's other character in the location. One person has been playing as a brother and sister caught in a pact with an old god that's pitting them against one another, figuring out which of them is the super hero and which is the super villain has been a fun plot arch.

    I'm totally fine with someone making an asshole of a character so long as they are front up about what kind of asshole that character is, and they acknowledge that character might not last too long because of it. Also don't get fuckin weird on this, we're keeping it below an R rating as far as any sexual themes go but we've been playing for years everyone knows that.

    Also yeah if we're gearing up to head out on a long journey kind of campaign where we need the classic party structure to work out everyone better be designed to get on the railroad for the proposed adventure. For instance we've got a character that just got himself sent to the penal colonies, that's actually the beginning of a whole play arch there. I'll have folks make fellow criminals that are to be swept along this inciting character's story in casting off the imperial rulership on a penal colony and taking it over.

    JPants
  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    Tox wrote: »
    There's a word for "opposes evil"

    The word is not "neutral"

    The forces trying to preserve the balance are pretty much a staple of settings where there is a clash of Good vs Evil (especially when that also takes on shades of Law vs Chaos). Neutrality (especially with the Great Wheel cosmology) can be against any extreme.
    Though 'opposed' is probably not the right word outside of a specific circumstances (like our aforementioned LN character who is opposed to the corrupt rulers of the city, because they are evil.)

    Elvenshae
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