From the Ashes of The Great Convergence
Discussion Page 3
I think you have a little inconsistency with your alignment system that make it confusing and almost impossible to be chaotic. I also don’t agree with the Killing of Aeron was extreme evil or extreme lawful… Below is my explanation
An example of an extreme evil act would be one with no regard for lives of anyone else; for example I find a known good person sparing and accidentally injures their sparring partner. I know no one is at risk of the person who swung the practice sword but I take it as my responsibility to rescue the injured person and strike the first person down.
In the case of Aeron it was evil to kill him but at the same time I was protecting the life of the rest of the people in the party which was a good act. The action was not without redemption so not an extreme of evil. Aeron was known to be evil, even if not all his evil acts were known, he was very secretive, had a questionable profession and past. When he no longer showed loyalty to the rest of the party that jeopardized the lives of the rest party especially in a hostile environment. He was an entity in the universe being a PC or not should not be a factor in the alignment shift caused. My action of killing him was also protecting the lives of others so not an extreme evil. Had it been Hector or other members of the party I may be inclined to agree but not Aeron.
As far as it being lawful it might have been but I wouldn’t consider it an extreme example of that either. For example in your description of law and chaos states: “Chaos” is conversely a lack of respect for laws, traditions, and even keeping your word! Actions that promote order and stability in society reflect well upon a lawful Character; While operating “Off the Grid” or without a respect for “Due Process” can reflects well on a Chaotic Character.
I don’t think I followed Due process in the decision and I undermined stability at the same time I promoted order. So it was some of each so not an extreme.
Here’s the way that I’ve seen the ‘alignment’ thing working (mind you I HATE alignment as it is too constricting to ‘reality’ of a personality):
Law implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness can include closed-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, judgmentalness, and a lack of adaptability. Those who consciously promote lawfulness say that only lawful behavior creates a society in which people can depend on each other and make the right decisions in full confidence that others will act as they should.
Chaos implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them.
Someone who is neutral with respect to law and chaos has a normal respect for authority and feels neither a compulsion to obey nor a compulsion to rebel. They are honest but can be tempted into lying or deceiving others.
Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.
Evil implies harming, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient or if it can be set up. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some malevolent deity or master.
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. Neutral people are committed to others by personal relationships.
Lawful Good is known as the “Saintly” or “Crusader” alignment. A Lawful Good character typically acts with compassion, and always with honor and a sense of duty. A Lawful Good nation would consist of a well-organized government that works for the benefit of its citizens. Lawful Good characters include righteous knights, paladins, and most dwarves. Lawful Good creatures include the noble golden dragons. Lawful Good outsiders are known as Archons.
Lawful Good characters, especially paladins, may sometimes find themselves faced with the dilemma of whether to obey law or good when the two conflict—for example, upholding a sworn oath when it would lead innocents to come to harm—or conflicts between two orders, such as between their religious law and the law of the local ruler.
Neutral Good is known as the “Benefactor” alignment. A Neutral Good character is guided by his conscience and typically acts altruistically, without regard for or against Lawful precepts such as rules or tradition. A Neutral Good character has no problems with co-operating with lawful officials, but does not feel beholden to them. In the event that doing the right thing requires the bending or breaking of rules, they do not suffer the same inner conflict that a Lawful Good character would.
Chaotic Good is known as the “Beatific,” “Rebel,” or “Cynic” alignment. A Chaotic Good character favors change for a greater good, disdains bureaucratic organizations that get in the way of social improvement, and places a high value on personal freedom, not only for oneself, but for others as well. They always intend to do the right thing, but their methods are generally disorganized and often out of alignment with the rest of society. They may create conflict in a team if they feel they are being pushed around, and often view extensive organization and planning as pointless, preferring to improvise.
Lawful Neutral is called the “Judge” or “Disciplined” alignment. A Lawful Neutral character typically believes strongly in Lawful concepts such as honor, order, rules and tradition, and often follows a personal code. A Lawful Neutral society would typically enforce strict laws to maintain social order, and place a high value on traditions and historical precedent. Examples of Lawful Neutral characters might include a soldier who always follows orders, a judge or enforcer that adheres mercilessly to the word of the law, and a disciplined monk.
Characters of this alignment are neutral with regard to good and evil. This does not mean that Lawful Neutral characters are amoral or immoral, or do not have a moral compass, but simply that their moral considerations come a distant second to what their code, tradition, or law dictates. They typically have a strong ethical code, but it is primarily guided by their system of belief, not by a commitment to good or evil.
Neutral alignment, also referred to as True Neutral or Neutral Neutral, is called the “Undecided” or “Nature’s” alignment. This alignment represents Neutral on both axes, and tends not to feel strongly towards any alignment. A farmer whose primary overriding concern is to feed his family is of this alignment. Most animals, lacking the capacity for moral judgment, are of this alignment. Many roguish characters who play all sides to suit themselves are also of this alignment.
Some Neutral characters, rather than feeling undecided, are committed to a balance between the alignments. They may see good, evil, law and chaos as simply prejudices and dangerous extremes. Mordenkainen is one such character who takes this concept to the extreme, dedicating himself to a detached philosophy of neutrality to ensure that no one alignment or power takes control of the Flanaess.
Druids frequently follow this True Neutral dedication to balance, and under Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules were required to be this alignment. In an example given in the 2nd Edition Player’s Handbook, a typical druid might fight against a band of marauding gnolls, only to switch sides to save the gnolls’ clan from being totally exterminated.8
Chaotic Neutral is called the “Anarchist” or “Free Spirit” alignment. A character of this alignment is an individualist who follows his or her own heart, and generally shirks rules and traditions. Although they promote the ideals of freedom, it is their own freedom that comes first. Good and Evil come second to their need to be free, and the only reliable thing about them is how totally unreliable they are. Chaotic Neutral characters are free-spirited and do not enjoy the unnecessary suffering of others, but if they join a team, it is because that team’s goals happen to coincide with their own at the moment. They invariably resent taking orders and can be very selfish in their pursuit of personal goals. A Chaotic Neutral character does not have to be an aimless wanderer; they may have a specific goal in mind, but their methods of achieving that goal are often disorganized, unorthodox, or entirely unpredictable.
Lawful Evil is referred to as the “Dominator” or “Diabolic” alignment. Characters of this alignment see a well-ordered system as being easier to exploit, and show a combination of desirable and undesirable traits; while they usually obey their superiors and keep their word, they care nothing for the rights and freedoms of other individuals and are not averse to twisting the rules to work in their favor. Examples of this alignment include tyrants, devils, undiscriminating mercenary types who have a strict code of conduct, and loyal soldiers who enjoy the act of killing.
Like Lawful Good Paladins, Lawful Evil characters may sometimes find themselves faced with the dilemma of whether to obey law or evil when the two conflict. However, their issues with Law versus Evil are more concerned with “Will I get caught?” versus “How does this benefit me?”
Neutral Evil is called the “Malefactor” alignment. Characters of this alignment are typically selfish and have no qualms about turning on their allies-of-the-moment. They have no compunctions about harming others to get what they want, but neither will they go out of their way to cause carnage or mayhem when they see no direct benefit to it. They abide by laws for only as long as it is convenient for them. A villain of this alignment can be more dangerous than either Lawful or Chaotic Evil characters, since he is neither bound by any sort of honor or tradition nor disorganized and pointlessly violent.
Examples are an assassin who has little regard for formal laws but does not needlessly kill, a henchman who plots behind his superior’s back, or a mercenary who switches sides if made a better offer.
Chaotic Evil is referred to as the “Destroyer” or “Demonic” alignment. Characters of this alignment tend to have no respect for rules, other people’s lives, or anything but their own desires, which are typically selfish and cruel. They set a high value on personal freedom, but do not have any regard for the lives or freedom of other people. They do not work well in groups, as they resent being given orders, and usually behave themselves only out of fear of punishment.
It is not compulsory for a Chaotic Evil character to be constantly performing sadistic acts just for the sake of being evil, or constantly disobeying orders just for the sake of causing chaos. They do however enjoy the suffering of others, and view honor and self-discipline as weaknesses. Serial killersand monsters of limited intelligence are typically Chaotic Evil.
If you look at it this way:
Jin = Lawful Neutral: He cares little for what’s actually going on, and wonderlust is not chaotic. It’s what he sees as correct according to his tradition and code.
Hector = Lawful Evil: He’s doing what he does to profit himself and if it helps others on the way so be it. He’ll take care of what needs to be done when it needs to be done.
Sonja = Neutral Evil: She’ll help people only when it benefits her and gives her more power. If that means stepping on toes, so be it.
Crucious = Lawful Good: He wants to go home to protect his people. He puts himself in harms way to save even random people.
Feuer = Lawful Good: Goes out of his way to help, even if he really can’t or shouldn’t. Tries to hold things together no matter the chaos that insues. Author = Lawful Evil: Greed and selfishness is his main outward appearance. The deeds maybe ‘good’ but only if it benefits him.
Educe = Neutral Good: He’s another ‘for profit’ type, but he’s more helpful than greedy. The warlord portion is simply ‘doug’.
Rune = Neutral/Chaotic Good: Not inherently evil, just random and off kilter. The battle cry of “FOR SCIENCE!” gives him wiggle room as to Good/Evil/Chaotic acts (think about the tribesman we caught).
This is just my .02. Again, I HATE alignment because you’re ‘not allowed’ to do things that humans would do. Remember, Galahad almost had an orgy and even Bruce Lee lost his temper a few times.
Oh, I forgot a point of contention…Aeron: Lawful Evil. Why? He saw you all as comrades and would not have put you in harms way unless he was there. Completely self centered yes, but randomly turning on you all (without magical assistance) no. Like I’ve argued (but no one listens) he would’ve given the stone up. He didn’t care about the stone. He DID care that while he was holding the stone he didn’t get crushed…ie self preservation. That’s what he was negotiating when he died. The room of gargoyle things? A set up? Nope. He was calling for back up (he didn’t get you all ‘killed’ btw). Why do I miss that character? He’s the only one I had a reasonable back story for. I was a little attached. It’s kinda freaky that all the characters that are ‘lawful’ would have turned on the only one that was openly ‘evil’ when the ‘evil’ was loyal to the ‘lawful’.
Yeah, I mean, the characters were unsure and none were at the point of killing you over that squabble, save Author. If you like Aeron, I would say there’s no reason he can’t come back as a PC earth genasi or something.
Secondly, D&D alignment is a really tough system. Abe did a good job rationalizing it, but I think a more “indy-game” approach makes more sense. Characters have 5 “Aspects” that colorfully describe their background and personalities (this comes from FATE and Dresden Files). In that game, the GM can ‘compel’ you to do something based on one of these Aspects, but you get a a Fate Token (think force/destiny point) and you can call on those same aspects and use your Fate Tokens to get bonuses.
Most characters have Five Aspects. Some come from back story, and all can change through play. Hector, for example would have:
1. Family First (Crucius, Haimish, and his parents are his primary concern, for good (Crucius) or ill (revenger on Haimsh))
2. Smooth Tongue Scoundrel (Hector makes others do what he thinks best benefits him) 3. Disreputable (Later replaced by “Perfect Being” Plot Point that includes his unwanted charm on ladies)
4. Magnificent Banking Bastard (scheming to set up a bank to better control the world/politics)
5. What am I ? (Hector is defined by his mimicry, which lets him adapt, but deep down wonders who and what he really is)
Everyone is playing well-developed characters. I think this more accurately encapsulates Hector than “LE”, but that being said, there is no penalty for having an alignment so its not much to fight about.
Yes, he was a devious little bastard and he was an ASSASSIN. His actions should have been ‘off the grid’ otherwise he’d have been dead like he was when he went face to face with the raptor thing. He still wouldn’t have betrayed any of you unless you betrayed him first..but if you had been paying attention to what he was saying, the gem would’ve been given up as soon as Aeron’s safety was secured. he didn’t even finish his sentence before being cut down…and the only reason I’m a bit twisted over it was because there was NOTHING I could do about it. Even now, there’s nothing he could have done…There’s nothing ANY of my toons can do (as shown by the singling out with the illusion). My request is that we stop talking about stupid shit (the reason he swiped the gem in the first place) and get on with things. Why does Jin wander off? He gets bored. Why do I charge into combat? Politics aren’t my thing…
I’m not trying to pick a fight with you and i didn’t mean to send the last email to you alone. I’m trying to defend my character alignment because unlike you I haven’t been granted special deviation to keep barbarian status when being lawful. This is the reason I’m bringing this up not to rehash an old fight but to characterize the action realistically in terms of the defined guidelines constructed at the start of the game so it doesn’t nurf my character. I think my character is tending towards neutral but not lawful and I’m trying to back that up.
My tending to neutral is more because Abe is favoring law at late game by characters generated wealth and xp from institutional structures. This would make a chaotic character be overshadowed late game.
As much as I also hate the way Abe has been doing this alignment system, I am starting to understand that it mostly shows the alignment that everyone else sees that person as. Just because I don’t think I am Neutral Evil doesn’t change the fact that most other people in this world believe that I am. The only problem that comes into play from looking at it this way, however, is when you have to consider the Gods that the person may be worshiping. If I believe I am Neutral Good and am worshiping the God of that alignment but everyone else, including that God believe I am Chatotic Neutral, I could get smote to no fault of my own because I am simply following my own morals and ethics.
To kjm256: I didn’t take it personally, I just feel like no one trusts any of my character concepts. Some more vocal than others. The characters that we have in this game are EXTREMELY difficult to classify with the law/chaos good/evil grid. Arthur is a Lawful character by act. He’s good in the fact of not inexplicably doing ‘evil’ things. He’s evil with (almost everyone else’s) greed and lust for power. It’s kind of like a good guy gangster. You and TheMainEvent have the same thing going in my opinion…being like the Godfather or the Supranos, both ‘good’ guys but bad from society’s POV. As for the deviation, I think that Jin shouldn’t have any of his powers if that is the direction that he is going. He isn’t chaotic by nature, nor are his acts meant to be. He’s just ignorant of the world and wants to go go go. If he’s no longer Lawful, I’ll be happy to give up his powers. He’ll just wander away and I’ll figure something else out (even though my last 3 concepts were not well received). My issue with the campaign (as I’ve talked with Abe) is that I have no direction…no destiny. My story line was killed (oh well) and now I’m struggling to figure out what I can do to get a place in the world. SashaWarlord, that’s EXACTLY what happened to Aeron and probably will get Jin killed eventually.
I really like palladium’s alignment system for this reason…
Palladium uses a system where alignments are described in detailed terms with alignments describing how a character acts in a certain situation; whether they will lie, how much force they will use against innocents, how they view the law, and so on. The alignments are organized into three broad categories: Good, Selfish, and Evil. The seven core alignments are Principled (Good), Scrupulous (Good), Unprincipled (Selfish), Anarchist (Selfish), Aberrant (Evil), Miscreant (Evil), and Diabolic (Evil). An eighth alignment, Taoist, was introduced in Mystic China, but has not seen wide use.
Each category contains answers to a set of questions on moral behaviors. For example, given the question “Would you keep a wallet full of cash you found?”, most selfish or evil alignments would keep it, while most good alignments would seek to return the wallet to its owner. The categories are not organized into a pattern like Dungeons & Dragons. The system specifically does not include any sort of “neutral” alignment on the grounds that a neutral point of view is antithetical to the sort of active role heroes and villains should play in a story.
I think that after the battle you should have a character you feel has a destination. If that is not Jin, then by all means, bring back Aeron or whomever.
I think Abe’s alignment system is the best explained one I’ve seen, but D&D alignments mostly suck. I like doing Aspects, Nature/Demeanor, whatever rather than alignments because most discussion about alignment involves arguing about what alignment someone is rather than it enhancing their character’s role playing opportunities.
Every character is well-developed and I would be in favor of grafting in a system to encourage roleplaying more.
Karl does bring up a point about organizations being XP generators, though and thus forcing people towards law. I mean, is it possible (by our rules) to have a chaotic organization? Anarchists United would probably be Lawful.
Chaotic organizations….Dictatorships, Mafia, Yakooza, Communism? They are all “Lawfully Chaotic” but not really “Good” per say. Even Merril Lynch was a “Lawful” and “Good” company with a whole graveyard’s worth of “chaotic” skeletons in their closet.But yes, I agree that first the alignment system is tricky at best. The only real way to play into it is to be extreme one or the other…either stupidly good or horrifically evil. And Anarchists United would most certainly be Lawfully Chaotic…but fun as hell.
I was trying to make my argument on Abe’s system of how other see the person:
Others felt threatened in the situation and drew their weapons too, other were not confident of the decision. Thus it was not epic evil or epic law. It wasn’t a drastic alignment changing event how Abe has identified the alignment system working. It only drastic in the sense because of PC kill.
I understand it to be perception not motive as is what determines alignment as well.
Good and Evil is pretty simple:
Evil: Destroying life or getting joy in the act of destroying life
Grey : protecting life by destroying other life (which is what a Author was doing with Aeron)
Good: protecting life by not destroying life and repentant about the lives you destroyed, (makes it extremely hard to be good for an adventurer).
However perception depends on who you are so the absolutes would see us as outright evil but any one who thinks the absolutes pose an emanate risk to other life would not see us as outright evil by attacking them.
Author does not outright kill for the joy of killing or kill without an attempt to protect with the following exceptions:
-killed the baron at the duel
-dueled the hobgoblins in their tent
He was repentant of the loose of life in the following situations:
-after Khous’s sacrifice he picked up Khous’s cause to a degree
-after the destruction of the village next to darkmoon he returned wealth to village and tried to save another village.
Law /chaos is more complicated i think:
Opposing traditions, customs, authority and rule of law pretty much means to be chaotic you have to be solitary and appose all groups collection or collaboration of people. Not very playable in the game:
I think the only way this is playable is if:
Following the customs and laws and rules of your own society counts less towards law then respecting the laws and traditions of other societies.
Breaking the laws and customs of your own society counts more towards chaos then breaking those of others.
Thus in situations where you promote the welfare and and continuation of institutions of your own society at the expense of another that would be chaotic:
examples would be:
signing unfair treaties that give you an advantage
maybe installing or imposing a foreign institution in a land (but once established maintaining would be lawful)
Also maybe corruption from (making tax loop holes or using bribery to go around the system) may be perceived as chaos. victomless crimes.
Also chaos may include:
Promoting change (new laws, removing laws, new leadership, new faith, migration, new technology). Even if this change actually strengthens society as a hole.
Law would be promoting fair traid, even terms, protecting and obeying establishment and respecting all cultures…
I think I can clear my position if there were two conditions. The act of making a plan or collaborating with others isn’t necessarily lawful (just indicates motive which isn’t suppose to count in a perception base system) the actual end act should be what counts.
Having loyalty shouldn’t be treated as a cardinal direction shift or equate to good or law. Since people are social beings, the bond of loyalty should actually reduce the effects of an act if it is done to protect a party you are loyal too.
In contrast if the act is a hindrance to your loyalty it should increase the cardinal shift.
For example running into a burning building to save your child is less of a good act than running into a burning building to save a stranger.
Basically even the most chaotic warlord would still have loyalty to his war party and would treat them good and fairly as long as he felt they were loyal to him.
Insights from Plasmacoils and a few thoughts of my own:
1. Social exploration of your home town has lagged behind the exploration of other Civilizations.
2. There seems to be no negative reprecussions when your team screws up from the council.
a. Summary Excecution of Aeron Vortrix.
b. Failure to protect Councilman Ebers, and general failure of the Moot.
c. Being lost for weeks in Cloud Forest. (Bear in mind that you don’t remember the Orb)
d. Losses among the Caravan from the Decapus and other Abberation Attacks.
3. The allignment system if badly flawed for myriad reasons.
a. A couple of players are rightly concerned about alignment-based losses in class abilities.
b. I was wrong to exempt Jin from such – I wrote the rules on alignment, I should own them.
c. Roleplaying focused systems have been set forward as substitutes.
d. As much as I love the Palladium allignments, they have similar flaws… :(
4. There seems to be no incentive to roleplay, this has led to:
a. Your characters are largely characatures of yourselves with little personality of their own.
b. A lot of ridiculous metagaming.
c. A loss of focus on interacting with society.
5. Aeron and Khous are Dead, and their plotlines linger).
a. The Darkmoon ‘House Vortrix Arc’ is headless.
b. The ‘Frost Dragon King’ arc has no champion.
c. Due to the sandbox nature of the world, these elements keep getting encountered.
Solutions and Such…
1. The Shrike’s Perch City Council and other Political entities will be assigned a Faction Score just like what we had in Star Wars. The ‘Moral Compas’ system will be used as a basis for how these factions see you, based on the lense of each society’s values. (Individually, and as a group.) What a Moonie sees as a good act, might be reprehensible to a Cloud Leopard! Further: Your actions will reflect on how other Factions feel about Shrike’s Perch. (You ARE the face of the City!) This means that the council will take your deeds far more personally than they have been.
a. Information control now becomes important: If no one sees you do it, and the effects are invisible – it never happened to that faction. ;)
2. With the Moral Compass being used to determine factions, the Allignment system as you know it will be abolished. As such many spells, effects, and restrictions will need to be re-written on a case by case basis.
a. Classes with allignment restrictions will get Codes of Conduct similar to those of a Cavalier, and based on the character’s home society/faction.
b. Spells with allignment restictions will be restructured around specific beings, and require specific foci/ materials to function. EXAMPLE: Protection from Allignment will become Protection from Outsider, and you must memorize the correct version for the target subtype. (i.e. Protection from Angels, or Protection from Archaeons, etc.)
c. The Gods will now have ‘Codes of Conduct’ for thier priests.
3. JohnathanDrake has been authorized to create a new charcater to fulfill Aeron’s Destiny. This Character ’ Zel Vortrix’ is a mercenary ‘procurement specialist’ that was previously employed by Sonya and Author to retrieve Garnimos’ soul gem from House Baron. (Which he did with aplomb!) Zurai wishes to have an agent that will take his place as a member of the Expeditionary Force (Since he runs the trade route full-time now), who has no dierct ties to the House Zurai power structure. (It’s just safer that way…)
a. Since he has been employed by Author and Sonya in the past he is known. He has Garnimos’ gratitude for his safe return. He is bound to assist the party by House Vortrix contract, which is good as gold even in darkmoon society! O_o` This should build the grounds of trust, allow JohnathanDrake to continue his destiny, and provide the party with a much-needed infiltrator specialist.
4. Deklar42 will get back to us on the Khous Destiny – But reccomends that Author look into it for fun and profit. :D
5. To encourage roleplaying, and in response to reccomendations form several of you: A modified version of White Wolf’s ‘Nature and Demeanor rules’ will be put into effect as a Roleplaying Aid. Nature and Demeanor The ‘Willpower’ Points used in WW will be replaced with a Story Point which will likely allow re-rolls, Temporary HP, and/or Hints from the GM, etc. (They WILL NOT save you from certain death like FP though…) >:(
Thoughts, Feelings, Feedback?
4. If ever became possible i was going to resurrect Khous to be my henchmen. Allowing this plot to be completed