The D&D Alignment Thread.

Anthrax! Please.Anthrax! Please. Registered User regular
edited November 2006 in Critical Failures
Okay, listen up guys, I am a philosophy major. I know this stuff... like ethics and shit, right?

So, since we have been suffering from chronic derailments of threads all over the place (like the IC world building thread, and the evil PC thread), I have decided to make this thread as a forum for all discussions of alignment.

The basic rules still apply: No ad hominem, except against someone's mom because that's cool. That is all.

So. Here are some of the opening volleys fired in the war of DND alignment ideology.
Casket wrote:
Of the nine alignment types, there are two extremities, Lawful Good, and Chaotic Evil. These two alignments are generally pretty rare, because they require the most prerequesites. Especially Chaotic Evil. A chaotic evil character generally results in as much chaos as possible. Often, this chaos goes unchecked, and if it does so for a very long time, then the Chaotic Evil ultimately meets it's horrible demise by it's own chaos. Chaotic evils should never favor the calculated, well-planned evil plots if they can cause more mayhem through another more haphazard method that is available. The only time a Chaotic Evil doesn't appear stupid, is when by some miracle all the plans manage to work, despite the shit poor planning and lack of forethought.

In the case of dieties or entities in a vacuum of existance, there are also 2 hidden alignments, True Good and True Evil, which branch off of True Neutral.

Also, *birdseeds* *birdseeds* olol
Casket wrote:
Talonrazor wrote:
It has been my opinion that the entire idea of "alignment" is pretty much one of the stupidest things in RPGs. The idea that your character is confined to a set of ethics is dumb.

That being said, I don't see at all what Casket is saying...
You're looking at it the wrong way. Your alignment doesn't confine you or define your actions; your actions define your alignment. I don't mind it so much in hack-and-slash games, where it's just another value on a sheet, although it can get in the way for RP.

Casket doesn't seem to understand that Chaotic Good is just as extreme as Lawful good or Chaotic Evil (and True Neutral is just as sever and any other) and Neutral Good can be just as extreme as Lawful Evil or Lawful Good...

There is no alignment that is more 'extreme' or 'severe' than any other. Claiming otherwise is just slapping 'I don't get it' onto your face.

Neutral carries no charge. Lawful and Good both carry positive charges and Chaotic and Evil both carry negative charges. And now your going to tell me there are no extremes? There are 2 extremes and 2 alone.

No. You DON'T UNDERSTAND. LAWFUL is not POSITIVE. CHAOTIC is not NEGATIVE.

You can be so severely LAWFUL that you will kill anything that threatens to bring change. You can be so moderately chaotic evil that you've never bothered to organize your binder and you join in when you see people picking on others.

but, you know, the chaotic evil person who is just a little unorganized and a bit odd at times is far more negative than the Lawful Neutral who murders people for going against his idealized vision of the world.
If the PC's are playing evil characters, you really shouldn't make any big changes to what you are doing. It is up to them to play their characters according to alignment.

This is one of the things I absolutely hate about alignments. Everyone has a fucking apeshit whenever you bring up evil characters. I've had parties with mixed alignments that worked out just fine. It's not that an evil character is automatically going to kill a good character or vice-versa. Anyone who plays those kinds of idiot knee-jerk reaction games really needs to find themselves another hobby.

My advice is not to change anything. The trick is, if they are evil, they won't do a job just "in the service of the King" or whatever, they'll do it more for personal interests. It also will depend on the kind of evil characters they play. Remember that to a certain extent, a Lawful Evil will tend to agree more with a Lawful Good than a Chaotic Evil. The methods of the Lawful Good and the Lawful Evil or the end goals will just be different.

This is just some fodder for the inevitable debate. Start fresh or work off points that are already here.

Casket, INeedNoSalt, Talonrazor, and Pkmoutl, sorry if I misrepresented you.

- Signature Code -
Anthrax! Please. on
«1

Posts

  • MadJackMadJack Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    if you ever have a questions about alignment and lawful good being the most positive alignment then i sudjest you pick up any dragonlance book that deals with the cataclysm on Istar. a huge lawful good society that the gods ended up smiting from the planet because of how wrong good was becoming.

    the problem with the alignments is imagination, they are not solid pieces of black and white right there in your hands objects. they are ideas, concepts, and above all must be concidered to the persons point of view. a lg character could seem like a tyrant while a chaotic evil guy seem like a kind person.

    MadJack on
    forumsig.jpg
  • DeepQantasDeepQantas Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Chaotic Evil being stupid is obviously wrong. Intelligence score is there to measure stupidity.

    Of course there is the cultural tendency for barbaric and stupid people to find the CE more easily but that's cos democracy, justice and all that good stuff is more work than rule by the sword and vengeance. Tribes of monstrous humanoids being an example. Gangs of thugs and criminals and bandits being another.

    A CE character isn't compelled by his alignment to discard a good plan, however, if it works for his selfish interests (unless he's some sort of extremist zealot serving a CE god who demands irrational behavior or something). A corrupt politician comes to mind.


    The extreme alignments I can't agree with either. Your alignment is only as extreme as you make it. If you follow the rule of law and generally try to be nice to people that makes you Lawful Good. If you back down from your stand when threatened that might make you a coward but not any less LG.

    Likewise if you as a CE don't do murder, mayhem and pillaging in cities because you'd get thrown to jail that doesn't make you any more lawful or good.

    DeepQantas on
    m~
  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Personally, I think that True Neutral is a huge fucking cop out for people who don't want any kind of restraint on their character. These are the people who want to play fucked up, asinine characters every god damn time.

    Or maybe that's just my experience.

    MegaMan001 on
    I am in the business of saving lives.
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    MegaMan001 wrote:
    Personally, I think that True Neutral is a huge fucking cop out for people who don't want any kind of restraint on their character. These are the people who want to play fucked up, asinine characters every god damn time.

    No restraint at all is Chaotic Neutral, not true neutral.

    Alignment is silly and should be dropped from the rules, anyhow.

    DisruptorX2 on
    1208768734831.jpg
  • INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt with blood on my teeth Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    MegaMan001 wrote:
    Personally, I think that True Neutral is a huge fucking cop out for people who don't want any kind of restraint on their character. These are the people who want to play fucked up, asinine characters every god damn time.

    Or maybe that's just my experience.
    Plus, that's retarded, because as we should all goddamn know, actions define alignment, not the other way around.

    INeedNoSalt on
  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I like Alignment. The reason I like it? Planescape. I never properly understood the ideas behind some alignments until I read up on the planescape setting.

    It gives you a great idea of what they all represent and how the philosophies can be used (and used to the nth degree)

    -SPI- on
  • INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt with blood on my teeth Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    -SPI- wrote:
    I like Alignment. The reason I like it? Planescape. I never properly understood the ideas behind some alignments until I read up on the planescape setting.

    It gives you a great idea of what they all represent and how the philosophies can be used (and used to the nth degree)

    Planescape gives some beautiful examples of how any given Alignment can be horribly twisted.

    INeedNoSalt on
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Planescape is the only setting alignment makes any sense, because its filled with outsiders from planes that embody those alignments. Mortals don't work like that.

    DisruptorX2 on
    1208768734831.jpg
  • PkmoutlPkmoutl Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I FEEL MISREPRESENTED!

    My later post had funnier lines in it.


    Now, what were we talking about?

    Oh yeah, Alignment.

    The thing is, even way back in the early days of D&D, they said that Alignment was a guideline. Too many people tend to take it as this written-in-stone way to portray your character. Yes, you do have to act a certain way if you are Lawful or Chaotic, and you would have certain ethics if you are Good or Evil or whatever. However, the thing is, with a mixture of Alignments and concepts like Neutral Evil, you have to realize that you have a large area of behaviors to cover. Evil makes you selfish to a certain extent, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you would kill for something, or even steal for that matter. You may do one or the other, but that's pretty much up to you as a PC.

    On the adverse side, a Chaotic Good may be inclined to steal, but it would usually be for the greater good of the party or the town or whatever. Or, in the case of something like a Kender, it may just be an innocent form of their socialization. Kenders don't believe in ownership, so taking something you like or need isn't technically bad. However, if you accuse a Kender of stealing, it's an insult. Stealing is an evil, malicious act done with a purpose, and they don't stand for that. Hence the reason most Kender are Chaotic Good or Neutral Good. But I'm kind of getting off on a tangent here (I kind of like Kender).

    We had this discussion in my group a couple of years ago when we were building our own world with its own Pantheon of gods, and we decided to base the Pantheon on Alignment. So there is one Lawful Good god, one Lawful Evil god..all the way around (except that we made two True Neutral gods. The God of Death and the God of Nature are both True Neutral). So someone brings up Lawful Good vs. Lawful Evil. One thing someone brought up is that as a Lawful, no matter if it's Good, Neutral or Evil, the Law is the final word. So a Lawful Good and a Lawful Evil would be more likely to agree on something, although their ethics for getting to that same point might be rather different. They may both agree that someone should be executed for an infringement of the law, but the reasons behind their decisions may not be the same. The Lawful Evil one may be doing it for a more personal reason. Or maybe they're just sadistic and tyrranical. The Good person would be doing it to keep the accused from harming others, or possibly even in the belief that in the next world or life or whatever, that this person will have the chance to redeem their actions in this life.

    I kind of forgot what my final point on all this was.

    Shit.

    But I hope you all see what I'm getting at here.

    Because I sure don't. I lost myself about ten minutes ago when I had to stop to answer the damn phone.

    Pkmoutl on
    gray.jpg
  • DeepQantasDeepQantas Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Alignment is silly and should be dropped from the rules, anyhow.

    But then what would we talk about? :|

    DeepQantas on
    m~
  • naporeonnaporeon Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    In my opinion, alignment has a place in role-playing.

    First, in most D&D settings, alignment is based on a more or less codified set of axes, represented and enforced by forces of varying transparency. These are ineffable ideas, beyond the ken of man, bound only by the capriciousness of the pantheon in question. Whatever forces, known or unknown, responsible for crafting the plane in question and designing its inner workings, labeled some ideas and actions Good or Evil, some modes of behavior Chaotic or Lawful, and keyed some abilities to these axes. In this way, on these planes, alignment is simply another attribute, much like race or skin color. It can be changed, true, but the precepts forming its architecture are beyond the influence of the creatures inhabiting these planes.

    Second, as someone who's played with several titanically inexperienced players, I can say that I fully support alignment's usefulness as a tool. Some new players need a little bit of architecture, if you will, to support and provide consistency to their nascent character concepts.

    Does alignment always make perfect sense? Of course not. Does it belong in all systems and all games? No, that's just silly. But on most planes in D&D, it simply exists.

    naporeon on
  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited October 2006
    The problem mostly comes from people thinking Lawful Good is all about killing evil dudes, and Chaotic Evil is all about killing good guys. Once you move away from there (my personal favorite exercise to get players used to this idea is to take some famous people, and give them an alignment, and explain why), it's easier for people to understand that it's anything but a black and white world.

    Vincent Grayson on
  • ArdentArdent Down UpsideRegistered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Alignment is an out-moded way for players to summarize their character's motivations with two words instead of a seven page backstory with bibliography. You can play DnD without alignments and it changes the gameplay only slightly; alignment-based special abilities like Smite and Detect or Aura continue to work as they did before, instead now a character is "devoted to the ideals of truth, justice and righteousness" instead of "lawful good."

    The biggest problems comes with axiomatic effects and how you determine whether they apply. The DM usually just has to arbitrarily decide; some players get ticked when their old tricks don't function quite the same, but most of them adapt and overcome.

    Personally, I prefer the Allegiances system from d20M. Of course, I prefer d20M period, so take that with a grain of salt.

    Ardent on
    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Ardent wrote:
    Alignment is an out-moded way for players to summarize their character's motivations with two words instead of a seven page backstory with bibliography.

    Exactly, which is why I dislike it. Most people define their actions by their alignment, rather than vice-versa, even though the player's handbook specifically reminds players not to do this. (at least the 2nd ed. one did, I think 3rd does, too).

    If players use the alignment properly, its a helpful tool for the DM to know generally how players should react to an encounter, nothing more.

    Given how most players do not even understand what each alignment represents, its hardly even useful for that.

    DisruptorX2 on
    1208768734831.jpg
  • TalonrazorTalonrazor Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Ardent wrote:
    Alignment is an out-moded way for players to summarize their character's motivations with two words instead of a seven page backstory with bibliography.

    This right here sums up my entire argument about alignment. It just isn't a good system compared to understanding a character and really representing that line of thinking. Players tend to use alignment as a lazy way of defining their character. Sure, it works good for those players who are more into hack-and-slash then story settings. But when trying to represent a really fleshed out character, it's just a weak system.

    Talonrazor on
    sig4.jpg
  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Talonrazor wrote:
    Ardent wrote:
    Alignment is an out-moded way for players to summarize their character's motivations with two words instead of a seven page backstory with bibliography.

    This right here sums up my entire argument about alignment. It just isn't a good system compared to understanding a character and really representing that line of thinking. Players tend to use alignment as a lazy way of defining their character. Sure, it works good for those players who are more into hack-and-slash then story settings. But when trying to represent a really fleshed out character, it's just a weak system.
    That's why I've never used it as a straight out "you are Lawful or you're not, you are good or you are not" system.

    To me, it's always been more along the lines of those political tests, the straight alignments only signifying a greater quadrant of many smaller, different personalities and motives. And really, it's always been a secondary concern, a character's placement has only been for the purposes of game mechanics.

    Der Waffle Mous on
    Steam PSN: DerWaffleMous Origin: DerWaffleMous Bnet: DerWaffle#1682
  • ShortyShorty JUDGE BROSEF Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I usually just say Fuck It and play chaotic neutral. I do as I please.

    Shorty on
  • INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt with blood on my teeth Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Shorty wrote:
    I usually just say Fuck It and play chaotic neutral. I do as I please.
    And that completely defeats the point.

    INeedNoSalt on
  • DeepQantasDeepQantas Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Hm. What if the DM was to read/hear/discuss the char backstories, watch how the players play the chars and then decide the alignment for the characters... but keep them secret?

    Might be kinda interesting. Especially when players aren't sure whether or not they're of pure enough heart to enter some ancient temple, etc. ;)

    DeepQantas on
    m~
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    DeepQantas wrote:
    Hm. What if the DM was to read/hear/discuss the char backstories, watch how the player play the chars and then decide the alignment for the character... but keep it secret?

    Might be kinda interesting.

    I essentially did that last time I DM'd, except I did it based on in-game actions. Everyone in the party turned out to be pure Chaotic Neutral, and I guess that makes sense, thats how they played. Their reign of chaos eventually came to a brutal end, but they had a great run.

    DisruptorX2 on
    1208768734831.jpg
  • ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA
    edited October 2006
    the way i always thought of it was more evil was a stand-in word for selfishness and, to a point, the alignment system is a sliding scale of how selfish a character really is, rather than how likely a character is to kill something

    so, like it always describes, the good characters are, to a greater or lesser extent within the law, selfless and always looking to help others, whereas the 'evil' characters are not rapists or murderers by definition but are rather just looking out for number one to greater or lesser degrees within the law

    the neutral character is one i always think is most interesting if played right because they shouldn't (again, i think) be looking out for others or for themselves. they're more in tune with the big picture, as it were. the ol' cosmic balance.

    i guess basically i've always thought of it as three different categories, selfless, selfish, and a, i dunno, 'balance-seeker', if there's a more graceful way of saying that. the lawful/chaotic thing just define how willing they are to break the law in service of themselves, others, or a cosmic balance

    I THINK

    Servo on
    newsigs.jpg
  • DeepQantasDeepQantas Registered User
    edited October 2006
    The whole Balance thing is pretty much attributed to True Neutral... which is just a subset of regular Neutral.

    Generally speaking Neutral folks are just people who don't have a strong moral view one way or the other. They don't try to make sure everyone they know follows the laws, but they're not especially motivated to Stick it up to the Man either. They won't risk their necks for strangers unless there's a good reason but they don't really fancy the idea of hurting people either.

    True Neutral on the other hand... Well, I never really got a good grip on that idea. Supposedly they want to somehow keep the cosmic forces in balance but I really don't see how that'd be a fun way to spend your time unless you're starting to reach the Epic Levels or regularly visit Sigil. That whole idea is just alien to me. Any other alignment I can sympathize with.


    If you're aligned on one axis (NG, NE, LN, CN) then that pretty much gives you enough "purpose" to ignore the Neutral you have on the other axis. If you're devoted to Law then it takes precedence over the wishy washy questions of good and evil.

    If you're Chaotic you usually have a certain tolerance towards evil actions and people... Good and evil? Who gives a fuck, life's a party!

    If you're Good then people's well-being is more important arbitrary and exploitative laws, but if the laws keep people safe then they're a good thing.

    If you're Evil then only the best method to get rich and powerful matters.

    By the by, evil isn't always all about selfishness either. Sometimes it feels pretty damn warm inside to give other people... let's say... things to remember you by. Being happy is always nicer when others aren't. ;)

    DeepQantas on
    m~
  • GanzidanGanzidan Registered User
    edited October 2006
    If someone is playing a PC as true neutral then shouldn't they seek balance in all of their actions as well as the actions of others. Say for example, they save a Paladin then they must do the same for a Shadow Knight (sorry old EQ habit); or alternatively kill both and bring balance about that way.

    This is all just personal thought but playing a character like that would be quite interesting because you can save people's lives and then rob them blind or just play the judge jury and executioner and pick which people from a party you save from the orcs, and which die. If they don't all die, well then you kill some to balance the act out.

    I guess playing as true neutral you're not going to be making many friends, or if you do manage to you're going to have a hit list with their names on it for later.

    Just my two cents on the matter.

    Ganzidan on
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    That's the 2nd edition description of True Neutral, and a really, really silly one. No one would actually act like that. Unless they are a complete nutcase.

    DisruptorX2 on
    1208768734831.jpg
  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Ganzidan wrote:
    If someone is playing a PC as true neutral then shouldn't they seek balance in all of their actions as well as the actions of others. Say for example, they save a Paladin then they must do the same for a Shadow Knight (sorry old EQ habit); or alternatively kill both and bring balance about that way.

    This is all just personal thought but playing a character like that would be quite interesting because you can save people's lives and then rob them blind or just play the judge jury and executioner and pick which people from a party you save from the orcs, and which die. If they don't all die, well then you kill some to balance the act out.

    I guess playing as true neutral you're not going to be making many friends, or if you do manage to you're going to have a hit list with their names on it for later.

    Just my two cents on the matter.
    That's not how it works at all. True Neutral doesn't act like there's some sort of cosmic scale they have to balance, so for every kitten they save, they have to go out and butcher a puppy.

    True Neutral might side with an evil faction, because while they're evil, and do lots of nasty things, they occupy most of the attention of the zelous good faction, who would be going out into the world and causing all sorts of problems with their zealousness. The neutral faction is working to maintain a balance where the good and evil keep eachother neutralized.

    However, the core books themselves note that neutral will tend to side with good because Good people tend to make better neighbors.

    Gabriel_Pitt on
  • DeepQantasDeepQantas Registered User
    edited October 2006
    I suppose for Druids it makes sense. Best thing for forests is maintaining status quo. Small villages with people who respect the nature are pretty much OK in their books but if there's a real threat of civilization steamrolling in then they won't shy away from teaming up with evil in order to drive out those people.

    But for other classes "maintaining status quo" doesn't sound very interesting. Hm hm.

    Actually, one thing that comes to mind is Lady of Pain and Lord Vetinari type of city rulers. :P

    DeepQantas on
    m~
  • WhiteicewindWhiteicewind Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Morality in D&D terms and in real life are not the same thing at all (even notice why the D&D alignment table is not a respected moral theory? ;) ). Too many problems are caused in games where people come to the table with different ideas for morality (for the game) in mind. Some might come with the 'Lawful stupid' paladin who slays evil wherever he finds it in order to make the world a greater place. Someone else might see the world in far greater grey tones. This leads to inevitable infighting and arguments. If there's likely to be disputes then a level of morality should be agreed upon beforehand.

    D&D alignment traditionally constricts itself to a black and white system (with the neutral in there to mess things up a bit). The universe itself supports this, with powers representing good, evil and (sometimes) neutral. A paladin is gifted by his god to detect evil for a reason. It's possible to start greying alignments up a bit (which I personally prefer [yay philosophy degree]) but this can cause problems for planar travelling (whoops, the guy who doesn't organise his day just stepped into Mechanis) and people who's prefer a simpler 'evil slaying' game.

    Whiteicewind on
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jdarksun wrote:
    It pretty much always turns into "my character is such-and-such alignment, so I'll have to act this way". It should be a hidden modifier based on actions, not something you choose when you create your character.
    Why not? You pick how your character spent their free time, what they studied, what jobs they had - their hair color, eye color, weight, height, race, class, age. Why should their outlook on life, and a general descriptor of their actions, be any different?

    Well, that is exactly what it is supposed to be, a general description of how a player will react to a given situation. What always happens in my experience is that players react to every encounter with the logic that they must always follow their alignment, rather than what they feel like doing. If you're just doing hack and slash, it doesn't really matter, but if you want to have anything interesting going on otherwise, its annoying to have the players react based on what the player's handbook says, rather than what they would say. They substitute the alignment blurb in the handbook for their character's personality.

    With the group I played, the only way I could them to play interesting characters was to remove the alignment, other than a hidden modifier that only I knew. When I play a PC, I assign my character a fitting alignment, then ignore it otherwise, it doesn't really mean anything as far as I am concerned, its too simplistic for my liking.

    DisruptorX2 on
    1208768734831.jpg
  • DeVryGuyDeVryGuy Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Tonight will be an interesting night for one of the games I'm in. It seems that our group is arguing constantly over how to handle the bad guys, because my character is a pacifist, and as such wants to spare everyone's life, and there is a Chaotic Evil bugbear warmage who is all "Boom!" on everything.

    The DM told me today (he probably shouldn't have) that there will be a cursed item that identifies as a headband of intellect +2 which is actually a headband of opposite alignment, which can only be removed by a wish or miracle.

    I imagine the newly lawful good bugbear might see my side of things a little more.

    DeVryGuy on
    Pokemon Diamond: 5369 6910 9799
    FFTSig.jpg
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Purpose of alignment in the player's case was mostly just for amusement. There are some game mechanics that use it, though, yes. I normally only allow alignment specific spells and effects to target outsiders unless the character is extremely representative of the alignment. So the party would have been affected by effects that affect Chaotic aligned targets, as they were the epitome of Chaotic Neutral.

    I don't use the monk class, as its wapanese, and don't particularly like the paladin class (too many prime stats), but were I to play a Paladin, I would follow the laws and code of my deity or religion to the letter, yes, as well as act honorably in accordance to the code of honor that my order followed. Thats part of being a paladin, though, I wouldn't consider it acting in alignment so much as following the paladin code, which coincidentally mirrors the lawful good alignment. I do love the paladin archetype, though, so I often play a Cleric or Fighter who acts as a paladin.

    I don't like the hardcoded "Player is Lawful Good", so much as "said action is Lawful Good", and the character is behaving in a lawful good manner.

    Though, if the setting were something like Planescape, where alignment actually means something, or any other setting making use of the upper and lower planes, then it would make sense to use alignment in a more strict sense.

    In actual game terms, though, my opinion doesn't really make that much of a difference, unless the DM makes absurd alignment changes for single actions or something.

    DisruptorX2 on
    1208768734831.jpg
  • DeVryGuyDeVryGuy Registered User
    edited November 2006
    jdarksun wrote:
    jdarksun wrote:
    It pretty much always turns into "my character is such-and-such alignment, so I'll have to act this way". It should be a hidden modifier based on actions, not something you choose when you create your character.
    Why not? You pick how your character spent their free time, what they studied, what jobs they had - their hair color, eye color, weight, height, race, class, age. Why should their outlook on life, and a general descriptor of their actions, be any different?

    Well, that is exactly what it is supposed to be, a general description of how a player will react to a given situation. What always happens in my experience is that players react to every encounter with the logic that they must always follow their alignment, rather than what they feel like doing. [...] They substitute the alignment blurb in the handbook for their character's personality.
    Isn't that more of a problem with the players than the system?
    With the group I played, the only way I could them to play interesting characters was to remove the alignment, other than a hidden modifier that only I knew.
    What's the purpose of alignment at that point? So you know if characters would be effected by Anarchic / Axiomatic weaponry?
    When I play a PC, I assign my character a fitting alignment, then ignore it otherwise, it doesn't really mean anything as far as I am concerned, its too simplistic for my liking.
    So your Monks and Paladins have no problems breaking rules, not following orders, and generally revolting against their established orders? Do your Barbarians and Bards frequently enter in binding legal arrangements, worry about giving their word, or what the local law says is right?

    Alignment - and the restrictions in place for various classes - can be a roleplaying "crutch" to help players figure out what their character might decide to do, instead of just relying on what "they" think.

    In general, this is one of the things that makes Eberron great, as it allows for you to enter into grey areas without having to alter your alignment.

    DeVryGuy on
    Pokemon Diamond: 5369 6910 9799
    FFTSig.jpg
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    DeVryGuy wrote:
    Tonight will be an interesting night for one of the games I'm in. It seems that our group is arguing constantly over how to handle the bad guys, because my character is a pacifist, and as such wants to spare everyone's life, and there is a Chaotic Evil bugbear warmage who is all "Boom!" on everything.

    The DM told me today (he probably shouldn't have) that there will be a cursed item that identifies as a headband of intellect +2 which is actually a headband of opposite alignment, which can only be removed by a wish or miracle.

    I imagine the newly lawful good bugbear might see my side of things a little more.

    Out of curiosity, are you an intellect class as well?

    jothki on
  • SUPERSUGASUPERSUGA Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    With the group I played, the only way I could them to play interesting characters was to remove the alignment, other than a hidden modifier that only I knew. When I play a PC, I assign my character a fitting alignment, then ignore it otherwise, it doesn't really mean anything as far as I am concerned, its too simplistic for my liking.
    I think having alignment be hidden to the player makes a lot of sense. For example I think most people would like to think that they act in a "good" manner but how many of us are actually good? But then you have the problem of deciding which almighty force decides on everyone's alignments for the purposes of game mechanics that require it.

    SUPERSUGA on
  • ArdentArdent Down UpsideRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jothki wrote:
    Out of curiosity, are you an intellect class as well?
    Probably not. I'd guess he's a Wisdom-based class.

    Ardent on
    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
  • DeVryGuyDeVryGuy Registered User
    edited November 2006
    jothki wrote:
    DeVryGuy wrote:
    Tonight will be an interesting night for one of the games I'm in. It seems that our group is arguing constantly over how to handle the bad guys, because my character is a pacifist, and as such wants to spare everyone's life, and there is a Chaotic Evil bugbear warmage who is all "Boom!" on everything.

    The DM told me today (he probably shouldn't have) that there will be a cursed item that identifies as a headband of intellect +2 which is actually a headband of opposite alignment, which can only be removed by a wish or miracle.

    I imagine the newly lawful good bugbear might see my side of things a little more.

    Out of curiosity, are you an intellect class as well?

    Monk, so no. However if it wouldn't have ruined my future as a monk I would have put it on anyways.

    Interestingly enough, the Bugbear's player didn't come tonight, and the True Neutral Bard ended up putting it on. They rolled randomly for her new alignment.

    DeVryGuy on
    Pokemon Diamond: 5369 6910 9799
    FFTSig.jpg
  • siliconenhancedsiliconenhanced __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2006
    I find it to be more of a problem when everyone chooses a good alignment, and ends up just being chaotic neutral. The two alignment sourcebooks, Exalted Deeds and Vile Darkness, seem to cover this really well: What is good and what is evil? They go into issues of redemption and corruption, and that killing everything good or killing everything evil isn't a simple way to go to fulfill your alignment.

    siliconenhanced on
  • AiolarAiolar Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Some interesting ideas here... I'm only familiar with the D&D alignments, but I've played every edition from 1st to 3.5.

    Yes, it used to be that True Neutral meant that the character always sought a neutral balance and standpoint - this made it almost impossible to play, because invariably there would be situations in which a True Neutral character would side with the "bad" side, or whoever the PCs were fighting.

    There is nothing about Chaotic that suggests Evil, and nothing about Lawful that suggests Good. The Chaos-Law and Good-Evil scales aren't related. And, Chaos doesn't mean messy, or entropy. It means you can't be trusted to keep/respect/uphold oaths, promises, and society's laws. Or, if you do care, you can't be depended upon to stick to these bounds. Lawful is the opposite - you keep your promises, your oaths, and follow society's rules. It has nothing to do with how organized your binder is, or how sparkly clean and shined you keep your shoes (unless your organization expects this of you).

    Lawful evil = an evil baron/lord. They follow the rules, but they sure ain't good.
    Chaotic good = Robin Hood. He was an outlaw, but for the greater good.

    Anyway, the reason a Paladin must be lawful is because their nature is to hold to their oaths and promises, and to respect authority. The reason monsters are Chaotic is because they couldn't care less what your king/emperor/whatever says is law.

    Good = works towards the wellbeing of others/society. Evil = purely selfish. Neutral is what most of us are - we don't usually inconvenience ourselves to help society, and we don't usually act so selfishly that we think of nobody else before ourselves.

    Aiolar on
    <erno> hm. I've lost a machine.. literally _lost_. it responds to ping, it works completely, I just can't figure out where in my apartment it is.

    <TRON> if my calculations are correct SLINKY + ESCALATOR = EVERLASTING FUN

    Also, this.
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    SUPERSUGA wrote:
    With the group I played, the only way I could them to play interesting characters was to remove the alignment, other than a hidden modifier that only I knew. When I play a PC, I assign my character a fitting alignment, then ignore it otherwise, it doesn't really mean anything as far as I am concerned, its too simplistic for my liking.
    I think having alignment be hidden to the player makes a lot of sense. For example I think most people would like to think that they act in a "good" manner but how many of us are actually good? But then you have the problem of deciding which almighty force decides on everyone's alignments for the purposes of game mechanics that require it.

    The DM? :lol:

    DisruptorX2 on
    1208768734831.jpg
  • AiolarAiolar Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I find it to be more of a problem when everyone chooses a good alignment, and ends up just being chaotic neutral.

    :P I, too, usually prefer Chaotic Neutral as an alignment. The first allows my character to do whatever the hell they want. They aren't selfish and evil, but they don't have to go rescue the king's son and face likely death with no pay, and they don't have to go two days out of their way to help the little old lady cross the street. Also, because of the Chaotic bit, I can say as I please, and do as I please, without regard to past promises or the rules of the land.

    Chaotic Neutral is really the most do-whatever-the-hell-you-want alignment that exists. Since I'm really nothing like this in real life (I fall somewhere between Lawful Neutral and Lawful Good, leaning far towards the Good side), it is fun to be able to play this in games.

    Aiolar on
    <erno> hm. I've lost a machine.. literally _lost_. it responds to ping, it works completely, I just can't figure out where in my apartment it is.

    <TRON> if my calculations are correct SLINKY + ESCALATOR = EVERLASTING FUN

    Also, this.
  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Aiolar wrote:
    I find it to be more of a problem when everyone chooses a good alignment, and ends up just being chaotic neutral.

    :P I, too, usually prefer Chaotic Neutral as an alignment. The first allows my character to do whatever the hell they want. They aren't selfish and evil, but they don't have to go rescue the king's son and face likely death with no pay, and they don't have to go two days out of their way to help the little old lady cross the street. Also, because of the Chaotic bit, I can say as I please, and do as I please, without regard to past promises or the rules of the land.

    Chaotic Neutral is really the most do-whatever-the-hell-you-want alignment that exists. Since I'm really nothing like this in real life (I fall somewhere between Lawful Neutral and Lawful Good, leaning far towards the Good side), it is fun to be able to play this in games.
    You just described a choatic good character.

    Gabriel_Pitt on
Sign In or Register to comment.