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The D&D Alignment Thread.

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  • AiolarAiolar Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Good doesn't just mean "not bad." Good means you are actively "good." In other words, a character that sometimes enjoys taking advantage of the less bright or more needy wouldn't be "good" because those actions are very selfish. A character who consistantly does those things would be Evil.

    However, a character who helps those in need if the pay is sufficient, doesn't mind the occasionally thievery or financially advantageous mischief, will follow the party's decision in those times when the party decides to do a good deed for no pay, and evenly splits the loot among the full party, would be Neutral.

    In this case, the character doesn't (almost) exclusively act for just their own good, or (almost) exclusively for the 'greater' good. They will sometimes behave in a selfish/underhanded manner, and they will sometimes behave altruistically. Therefore, he/she would be a "Neutral" character.

    Aiolar on
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    Also, this.
  • DeepQantasDeepQantas Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Wanna start a revolution against the oppressive tyrant?
    Hell yeah!

    Wanna save this damsel in distress?
    You bet! (Is she hot?)

    Wanna help us save this poor village who can't afford to pay us?
    Would I let you get killed all by yourself?


    Wanna blackmail the mayor with this letter he sent us to retrieve?
    Sure thing!

    Wanna torture this guy for information?
    You got it, buddy!

    Wanna earn some money trafficking illegal and harmful substances?
    Sounds great!


    You know it's true. Chaotic Neutrals have the most fun. ;)

    Also comes with Portable Moral High Ground (BtDRE pg. 77) that allows for instant cynicism and critique of the people in power.

    DeepQantas on
    m~
  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Aiolar wrote:
    Good doesn't just mean "not bad." Good means you are actively "good." In other words, a character that sometimes enjoys taking advantage of the less bright or more needy wouldn't be "good" because those actions are very selfish. A character who consistantly does those things would be Evil.

    However, a character who helps those in need if the pay is sufficient, doesn't mind the occasionally thievery or financially advantageous mischief, will follow the party's decision in those times when the party decides to do a good deed for no pay, and evenly splits the loot among the full party, would be Neutral.

    In this case, the character doesn't (almost) exclusively act for just their own good, or (almost) exclusively for the 'greater' good. They will sometimes behave in a selfish/underhanded manner, and they will sometimes behave altruistically.
    Again, you just described chaotic good.
    Wanna start a revolution against the oppressive tyrant?
    Hell yeah!

    Wanna save this damsel in distress?
    You bet! (Is she hot?)

    Wanna help us save this poor village who can't afford to pay us?
    Would I let you get killed all by yourself?


    Wanna blackmail the mayor with this letter he sent us to retrieve?
    Sure thing!

    Wanna torture this guy for information?
    You got it, buddy!

    Wanna earn some money trafficking illegal and harmful substances?
    Sounds great!
    Even with the last two, this character could also easily be chaotic good, although the circumstances, and extent of those two would be the deciding factors.

    Gabriel_Pitt on
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    A chaotic good character doesn't behave any more selfishly than any other good character would. The Chaotic part means they don't care about rules and don't like authority.

    DisruptorX2 on
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  • Eela6Eela6 Registered User
    edited November 2006
    But True Neutral (in the Second Edition sense) isn't "Completely Stupid."

    It's just very difficult. The way I think about it, True Neutral doesn't hold that Evil as worthwhile as Good - it just believes that Good is just 'good' unless it's an actual, reasoned choice.

    There has to be a concrete and difficult choice between Evil and Good for either alignment to mean anything. A True Neutral character or Rilmani is about choices. He doesn't begrudge LG characters, and he certainly doesn't love CE characters. But if the Archons and Eladrin won out completely, there would be no point to mortal existence - to the ability to choose Good or Evil.

    Playing True Neutral as... "Oh shit, Fiends are losing, better go work with them" is stupid. Playing True Neutral as... "Archons, back off. The Fiends need to exist because there needs to be a *test* for Mortals"... not so. That's not saying I agree with it, so much; but it's certainly a valid viewpoint.

    Now, Chaotic Stupid (Defined here as "I'm Chaotic Neutral, I do what I want!" - I don't know. But TN is an option.

    Eela6 on
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  • AresProphetAresProphet I see a darkness in my fate I'll drive my car without the brakesRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Eela6 wrote:
    Chaotic Stupid

    Title'd!

    AresProphet on
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  • DeepQantasDeepQantas Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Even with the last two, this character could also easily be chaotic good, although the circumstances, and extent of those two would be the deciding factors.
    I suppose. Point being that CN can "play ball" with good and evil parties quite easily. At times they might not like what the evil people are doing but hey... they're friends, don't judge.

    Playing ball with Lawful Evil is a whole another matter completely of course. With the "power corrupts and establishment sucks" attitude I'm sure they see all Lawfuls as the source of everything wrong with this world. The Evil part just proves them right. ;)

    DeepQantas on
    m~
  • Anthrax! Please.Anthrax! Please. Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Ardent wrote:
    Litejedi wrote:
    One of the most fundamental tenets of being "good" is respect for the lives of other creatures.
    False.

    Being good doesn't require a respect for the lives of other creatures, it simply requires an apathy towards their continued existence (i.e. you can't go out and kill wantonly).

    This is part of why alignments are so dumb; morality is a flexible issue even in black and white.
    A neutral good character can, in all fairness, go through an entire campaign never going out of his way to help anyone and maintain his alignment by virtue of the fact that he never went out of his way to hurt anyone.
    That'd just be Neutral. :\
    Ardent wrote:
    That'd just be Neutral. :\
    Provided the character started out as neutral.

    I'm saying that if they don't do anything that can't be quantified as anything besides neutral, they will safely remain within whatever alignment they selected to begin with.

    That's why alignment is flawed IMHO.

    This belongs here. I will edit in more in a bit.

    Anthrax! Please. on
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  • Anthrax! Please.Anthrax! Please. Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    The DND system of alignments is an attempt to codify actions into a certain set of subcategories in order to be able to allow for the moral rights and wrongs, highgrounds and pits of hell, that a fantasy setting usually entails.

    Sauron does not have a moral grey area in this system. Sauron is just evil. So, there are a limited number of these alignments. Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral, and Lawful Evil. Neutral Good, True Neutral, and Neutral Evil. Finally, there is Chaotic Good, Chaotic Neutral, and Chaotic Evil. These are objective moral states. While there is a little word jockeying possible in terms of elements within a given alignment, your alignment determines whether or not a spell of arcane patterning or divine justice will affect you or not. These are stapled to your character's being. Sure they can change, but they are a part of your character as much as his heart, his armor, etc. It's an element of what he objectively is.

    To Ardent I have to point out that it specifically says in the PHB, "Good characters and creatures protect innocent life. Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or for profit" (104, Player's Handbook).

    Later it says, "People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent but lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others" (104, PHB again).

    So, flat out, the text disagrees with your position.

    Anthrax! Please. on
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  • ArdentArdent Down UpsideRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Define "innocent." You see how, even in black and white, there's gray?

    Besides, a CG Ranger who chooses to defend a farmer from lizardmen who are raiding the farm isn't penalized, alignment-wise, when he finds out that the lizardmen were stolen from and attacked by the farmers regularly. He has, in effect, done something that isn't good, but he doesn't suddenly become Chaotic Neutral because of it...or even a long line of such occurrences.

    He's "doing the best he can," right? The book contradicts itself.

    Ardent on
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  • Anthrax! Please.Anthrax! Please. Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Disagree. The Ranger will have to make recompense with the lizard men unless he's got a very good reason not to, or else his alignment changes (begins to change). You can't condone evil acts after the fact simply because you didn't know the gun was loaded. DND is objective moral law.

    Innocent: 1 a : free from guilt or sin especially through lack of knowledge of evil : BLAMELESS b : harmless in effect or intention.

    The ranger was innocent, but he acted wrongly in accordance with his alignment. The farmers weren't innocent because they were profitting from the weakness of the lizardfolk. Unlikely? Yes. Lizardfolk are evil creature. That means, on average, when you cast 'detect alignment' on them, the majority of them will show up as evil.

    If both farmers and lizardfolk are objectively evil, your CG Ranger does have a dilemma, but he doesn't have to help either.

    Anthrax! Please. on
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  • DeepQantasDeepQantas Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Up there in quotes it seems like Ardent is describing the problem alignment has in CRPGs.

    The farmer example, on the other hand, is just dumb. The ranger didn't choose between greedy farmers and innocent lizardmen. He chose between innocent farmers and evil lizardmen.

    Even tho the facts were later revealed to be wrong it doesn't change why he made that decision. I fail to see where the book says otherwise.


    ...

    Actually, which one of you is arguing which side there?

    The recompense for the lizardmen afterwards is a separate decision. Choosing to suck it up and just feel bad while continuing on your way would be weakly neutral action, imo.

    Besides, who really gives a fuck about lizardmen?


    ...

    Also what would in your opinion be Good action in the scenario? Letting the farmers die because they deserve it? :shock:

    DeepQantas on
    m~
  • LitejediLitejedi New York CityRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Yes. Lizardfolk are evil creature. That means, on average, when you cast 'detect alignment' on them, the majority of them will show up as evil.

    Actually, in the newest version of D&D, lizardfolk are "Usually Neutral," which means that a majority of the society is neutral, with equal numbers of good and evil members. Much like human society.

    Litejedi on
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  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Litejedi wrote:
    Yes. Lizardfolk are evil creature. That means, on average, when you cast 'detect alignment' on them, the majority of them will show up as evil.

    Actually, in the newest version of D&D, lizardfolk are "Usually Neutral," which means that a majority of the society is neutral, with equal numbers of good and evil members. Much like human society.

    Lizardmen have always been neutral, not just in the newest edition. That still doesn't mean an encounter with them would be pleasant, however.

    DisruptorX2 on
    1208768734831.jpg
  • RankenphileRankenphile Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood.Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited November 2006
    The way I've always seen it, alignment was dictated by the motivations for your actions. If you are motivated to help someone because it is the nice or right thing to do, to protect them from an attacker, for example, then you are performing a good action. If you shrug and allow it to happen because you are not connected to either and have no major motivation to protect them, then you are neutral. If you grin wickedly and allow it to happen, then kill the attacker afterward once he is weakened to you can loot them both, you are evil.

    In the example above, even if both the farmers and the lizardmen were evil, the ranger would still be justified, as he performed his action to protect the life that he was led to believe was innocent. Even if he were to find out later that he was tricked, his actions would not be suddenly evil, because his motivations to help them were pure.

    Rankenphile on
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  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    For case 5; Medieval battles were brutal affairs. While you might question the famers as to why they are slaying the wounded, you wouldn't necessarily assume they were at fault. I mean, as someone who came across the scene.

    DisruptorX2 on
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  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jdarksun wrote:
    For case 5; Medieval battles were brutal affairs. While you might question the famers as to why they are slaying the wounded, you wouldn't necessarily assume they were at fault. I mean, as someone who came across the scene.
    Slaying the wounded is a pretty evil act. I wouldn't consider that acceptable for a Good character to do, unless we're talking about "irredeemably" evil creatures (demons, devils, spell casters).

    Oh, I agree. What I mean is that if, I, a good character, came across the scene, I wouldn't run out to find some lizardmen to ally with. I'd probably talk to the farmers, ask them why they are being particularly brutal and try to get them to act less so. Farmers are, afterall, simple people and probably do not see the lizardmen as anything but barbarians. Heck, my good character would probably see them the same way. I'd probably sympathise a bit with the farmers, even if I didn't agree with their actions, because they were of the same race as I, and would try to seek a compromise or such.

    Even if that failed, I seriously doubt and I'd turn and join the lizardmen.

    DisruptorX2 on
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  • LitejediLitejedi New York CityRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Litejedi wrote:
    Yes. Lizardfolk are evil creature. That means, on average, when you cast 'detect alignment' on them, the majority of them will show up as evil.

    Actually, in the newest version of D&D, lizardfolk are "Usually Neutral," which means that a majority of the society is neutral, with equal numbers of good and evil members. Much like human society.

    Lizardmen have always been neutral, not just in the newest edition. That still doesn't mean an encounter with them would be pleasant, however.

    Yeah, I never dealt with lizardfolk in 2nd edition, and 1st edition was out before I existed. My impression was that in the previous editions, though, that lizardfolk were very "neutral hungry" because they had a penchant for eating the flesh of humans.

    Litejedi on
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  • Anthrax! Please.Anthrax! Please. Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Litejedi wrote:
    Litejedi wrote:
    Yes. Lizardfolk are evil creature. That means, on average, when you cast 'detect alignment' on them, the majority of them will show up as evil.

    Actually, in the newest version of D&D, lizardfolk are "Usually Neutral," which means that a majority of the society is neutral, with equal numbers of good and evil members. Much like human society.

    Lizardmen have always been neutral, not just in the newest edition. That still doesn't mean an encounter with them would be pleasant, however.

    Yeah, I never dealt with lizardfolk in 2nd edition, and 1st edition was out before I existed. My impression was that in the previous editions, though, that lizardfolk were very "neutral hungry" because they had a penchant for eating the flesh of humans.

    Poor assumption on my part. What I'm saying is, if you find out that the farmers are the evil (read, evil, not both neutral vying for land or something) ones, you can't just walk off whistling. The CG ranger should act in order to prevent them from doing it again. Yes, the ranger walking in is probably going to act on previous prejudices (IE, helping the humans, or helping the obvious underdog), but that's in the character and less in the alignment. Much like the Half-Orc listed above.

    My point made yet? I apologize for the lack of clarity.

    Anthrax! Please. on
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  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    jdarksun wrote:

    5) It's a slaughter; lizardmen lay everywhere, dead and dying. Several farmers cluster around a twitching object making sounds of distress, while others deliver lethal blows to the remaining living (but wounded) lizardmen.

    Wandering in to situation 5, you're certainly not going to assume the farmers are good people.

    Why not? What are they supposed to do with the wounded lizardmen? They're farmers, not the town guard. Where are they supposed to to put them? Let's say that they have enough healing supplies to treat the lizardmen as well as they're own wounded; what are they supposed to do when they have a bunch of healthy, but still belligerent lizardmen on their hands?

    Gabriel_Pitt on
  • INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt with blood on my teeth Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    cross-posting
    Ardent wrote:
    That'd just be Neutral. :\
    Provided the character started out as neutral.

    I'm saying that if they don't do anything that can't be quantified as anything besides neutral, they will safely remain within whatever alignment they selected to begin with.

    That's why alignment is flawed IMHO.
    Except you're ignoring that, while alignment is, overall, a 2-axis scale, there are no points being kept. If you write 'Neutral Good' on your character sheet and never help anyone, you're neutral, and it's up to your GM to declare you as such.

    INeedNoSalt on
  • LardalishLardalish Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    This seems like a good place to post about an allignment question.


    Im making a pyrokineticist so I have to be chaotic, thats a requirement of the class. But what about the other one? I do plan on being a pyro, but basically good. I dont know if me setting fires would push me into evil or anything.

    Lardalish on
  • DeVryGuyDeVryGuy Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Lardalish wrote:
    This seems like a good place to post about an allignment question.


    Im making a pyrokineticist so I have to be chaotic, thats a requirement of the class. But what about the other one? I do plan on being a pyro, but basically good. I dont know if me setting fires would push me into evil or anything.

    I suppose it depends on what it is you're setting on fire.

    DeVryGuy on
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  • LardalishLardalish Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    DeVryGuy wrote:
    Lardalish wrote:
    This seems like a good place to post about an allignment question.


    Im making a pyrokineticist so I have to be chaotic, thats a requirement of the class. But what about the other one? I do plan on being a pyro, but basically good. I dont know if me setting fires would push me into evil or anything.

    I suppose it depends on what it is you're setting on fire.

    I guess thats true, I think it would be fun to be a pyro, basically solve any problem I could with setting fire to it. Bad guy holed up in his hide out? BURN IT! So that kinda stuff... it doesn't really sound good but Im not sure what it should be.

    Lardalish on
  • Anthrax! Please.Anthrax! Please. Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Pkmoutl wrote:
    You, sir, are wrong. Good does not equal Apathy, Neutrality and Evil do. Good is about being sympathetic, generous and virtuous. Anyone who tells you that Good is apathetic really needs to have his fucking head examined.

    Remember that having respect for all living things does not mean that you won't kill something when attacked. However, you won't go ripping through a town, killing, pillaging and raping either. You also wouldn't necessarily let your party get away with such actions either, no matter what their Alignment is--particularly if you're a Cleric or a Paladin. Remember that a Paladin is a self-proclaimed Avatar of Good. He is supposed to exude the inherent qualities of Good.

    Now, let's look at a history of Belief and Religion for a moment.

    Are there any religions that say that Apathy is inherently "Good?"

    The answer is NO. There are not. And don't tell me Buddhism or Taoism either. That is a retarded Western misnomer. Fuck, even Zoroastrianism and Satanism see things like Respect for Life, Generosity and Sympathy as "Good" qualities. Apathy is usually seen as the willingness NOT to take action out of either selfishness or indecision. Indecision goes with Neutral (a really bad Neutral, all said). Selfishness is always on the part of Evil. This is basic ethics here, not even D&D.

    Again, pkmoutl with the shithot stuff. Agreed.

    Anthrax! Please. on
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  • INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt with blood on my teeth Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Lardalish wrote:
    DeVryGuy wrote:
    Lardalish wrote:
    This seems like a good place to post about an allignment question.


    Im making a pyrokineticist so I have to be chaotic, thats a requirement of the class. But what about the other one? I do plan on being a pyro, but basically good. I dont know if me setting fires would push me into evil or anything.

    I suppose it depends on what it is you're setting on fire.

    I guess thats true, I think it would be fun to be a pyro, basically solve any problem I could with setting fire to it. Bad guy holed up in his hide out? BURN IT! So that kinda stuff... it doesn't really sound good but Im not sure what it should be.
    As long as you're not burning people because you love the sound of their screams or something...

    Killing enemies != evil, remember. Destroying objects is not evil. Taking pleasure in something chaotic like burning random stuff isn't evil. It's the why and the what of it that's relevant.

    INeedNoSalt on
  • LardalishLardalish Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Lardalish wrote:
    DeVryGuy wrote:
    Lardalish wrote:
    This seems like a good place to post about an allignment question.


    Im making a pyrokineticist so I have to be chaotic, thats a requirement of the class. But what about the other one? I do plan on being a pyro, but basically good. I dont know if me setting fires would push me into evil or anything.

    I suppose it depends on what it is you're setting on fire.

    I guess thats true, I think it would be fun to be a pyro, basically solve any problem I could with setting fire to it. Bad guy holed up in his hide out? BURN IT! So that kinda stuff... it doesn't really sound good but Im not sure what it should be.
    As long as you're not burning people because you love the sound of their screams or something...

    Killing enemies != evil, remember. Destroying objects is not evil. Taking pleasure in something chaotic like burning random stuff isn't evil. It's the why and the what of it that's relevant.

    Ok cool, I think Ill go with Chaotic Good then, Ill go out of my way to help people, and Ill do it by burning things. Awesome.

    Lardalish on
  • Anthrax! Please.Anthrax! Please. Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Lardalish wrote:
    Ok cool, I think Ill go with Chaotic Good then, Ill go out of my way to help people, and Ill do it by burning things. Awesome.

    That's pretty cool. It'll be interesting for a character who wants to help people finding out that his powers of good keep burning people's houses down.

    Hope he feels bad about it anyway. :lol:

    Anthrax! Please. on
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  • DeepQantasDeepQantas Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Yeah!

    You have a great opportunity there for making a really conflicted character. Make him love burning anything, anyone and everything down... and then make him feel guilty for even feeling that way.

    Make his rational side be the Good side. He avoids people and inhabited areas because he doesn't trust himself not to burn them all down.

    You don't necessarily have to make him all-out insane, but something along those lines. Maybe think of it as an addiction.


    Also, I wouldn't worry about CG alignment too much. If your party members constantly put you in a position where your temptation to burn stuff can take over they deserve a CE pyromaniac on their hands. If they take time to persuade and encourage you to control those urges reward that in-party roleplaying by trying to stay/go back to CG.

    DeepQantas on
    m~
  • LitejediLitejedi New York CityRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Litejedi wrote:
    Litejedi wrote:
    Yes. Lizardfolk are evil creature. That means, on average, when you cast 'detect alignment' on them, the majority of them will show up as evil.

    Actually, in the newest version of D&D, lizardfolk are "Usually Neutral," which means that a majority of the society is neutral, with equal numbers of good and evil members. Much like human society.

    Lizardmen have always been neutral, not just in the newest edition. That still doesn't mean an encounter with them would be pleasant, however.

    Yeah, I never dealt with lizardfolk in 2nd edition, and 1st edition was out before I existed. My impression was that in the previous editions, though, that lizardfolk were very "neutral hungry" because they had a penchant for eating the flesh of humans.

    Poor assumption on my part. What I'm saying is, if you find out that the farmers are the evil (read, evil, not both neutral vying for land or something) ones, you can't just walk off whistling. The CG ranger should act in order to prevent them from doing it again. Yes, the ranger walking in is probably going to act on previous prejudices (IE, helping the humans, or helping the obvious underdog), but that's in the character and less in the alignment. Much like the Half-Orc listed above.

    My point made yet? I apologize for the lack of clarity.

    Sure. :)

    Litejedi on
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  • LardalishLardalish Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    DeepQantas wrote:
    Yeah!

    You have a great opportunity there for making a really conflicted character. Make him love burning anything, anyone and everything down... and then make him feel guilty for even feeling that way.

    Make his rational side be the Good side. He avoids people and inhabited areas because he doesn't trust himself not to burn them all down.

    You don't necessarily have to make him all-out insane, but something along those lines. Maybe think of it as an addiction.


    Also, I wouldn't worry about CG alignment too much. If your party members constantly put you in a position where your temptation to burn stuff can take over they deserve a CE pyromaniac on their hands. If they take time to persuade and encourage you to control those urges reward that in-party roleplaying by trying to stay/go back to CG.


    Hmmm.... I like this, I was trying to figure out my backstory and this sounds like a good place to start! Thanks!

    Lardalish on
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