View Full Version : A tricky dicussion

2007-07-31, 05:00 PM
When camping two weeks back, we all agreed to play D&D. After a fight with some Elven psychopaths insistent on torture of a Vampire (not something the LG Cleric and Paladin were going to let pass) the Half-Elf Fighter is introduced (another player who came in late). On seeing the Half-Elf, I say "Ach, a half-breed" absent mindedly, and without thinking, it just seemed to be roleplaying- and yes, I can accent female Dwarves in Scottish quite well. :smallsmile:

The DM says '10 Evil Points for your racism.' I prepare to argue, but shut my mouth. It's said in the PHB that Dwarves distrust Half-Elves and me and the DM are on touchy ground anyway, so that's why I didn't argue for other players sakes. (if you've read any of my previous threads, it's Whiny Player/Former DM.) I'm liking his quest and like the party, but surely we can't judge using Real World standards. I wasn't being racist, I didn't say 'Oooh, won't travel with him. He's a goddamn Half-Elf scum'. So I'm wondering- was the act I did 'evil'? And, considering I attempted to save a Vampire from torture, despite being faced with overwhelming odds, I gained no Good points at all for that act.

Share your thoughts.

Kurald Galain
2007-07-31, 05:06 PM
To me this simply underlines the fallacy of the alignment system.

2007-07-31, 05:16 PM
I'm not seeing how identifying and stating that a person has mixed heritage would have any effect on your alignment, on the moral axis at least. If you acted on it in one way or another, that'd be a different story.

Or maybe if your tone of voice implied some measure of worth (or lack thereof), but I'd consider it a stretch to make that into an alignment issue.

2007-07-31, 05:20 PM
Maybe it was a little racist, but it wasn't evil racist. After all, everyone's a little bit racist.

Just remember,

Everyone's a little bit racist
Doesn't mean we go
Around committing hate crimes.
Look around and you will find
No one's really color blind.
Maybe it's a fact
We all should face
Everyone makes judgments
Based on race.

2007-07-31, 05:23 PM
You...use points?!

Alignments are only workable if used sensibly and only enforced when glaringly out of line. Anything else is willingly throwing the game out of whack.

One, 'surly and not very nice' certainly isn't analogous to evil, and if the DM isn't capable of running a mature game where people of various races and backgrounds don't sing kumbaya around the campfire after every politically correct questing that rewards cooperation and sportsmanship over combat ability, then they should at least be open to discussion.

My advice? Since you apparently cannot accomplish anything by talking to the DM (by the tone of your post) either toe the line or volunteer to DM for a while, and do it right.

Fax Celestis
2007-07-31, 05:30 PM
This is the problem with moral alignment over ethical alignment.

2007-07-31, 05:31 PM
Without knowing what an "evil point" adds to the game, I don't know if the result was warranted or not. But if he gives out such points for kicking a stray dog, insulting the help, and similar infractions, I'm not sure there's an issue.

Or, possibly, the issue is in differing expectations. The DM may be expecting a black and white world with all the PCs lily white. I'd hope the DM would say so before starting the game to ensure everyone is on the same page, but it doesn't necessarily mean he's being malicious.

2007-07-31, 05:32 PM
That wasn't evil.

I won't offer suggestions on what to do about it, since you didn't ask.

2007-07-31, 05:33 PM
I think that's just stupid. An off-hand remark an evil act? WTF?!

but then, I've had a DM knock me from nuetral to evil for selling a fallen party member's equipment to raise money to get raise dead cast.

2007-07-31, 05:33 PM
You...use points?!

I'm afraid so. It's not good, is it.

2007-07-31, 05:44 PM
...what in the blazes is an "evil point"?

It wasn't an evil act regardless, and frankly it wasn't even racism.

10 Stupid Points awarded to DM, but I don't recommend you deliver them personally. I'm getting a "control issues" vibe here, and I don't think he'll take it gracefully.

2007-07-31, 05:51 PM
...what in the blazes is an "evil point"?

It wasn't an evil act regardless, and frankly it wasn't even racism.

10 Stupid Points awarded to DM, but I don't recommend you deliver them personally. I'm getting a "control issues" vibe here, and I don't think he'll take it gracefully.

Too much NWN makes Jack addicted to regulating alignment.

2007-07-31, 06:04 PM
Too much NWN makes Jack addicted to regulating alignment. And all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:The_shining_heres_johnny.jpg)

At least he realizes he has houseruled over the entire alignment system, rather than believing that NWN was true to the rules, right?
Right? :smalleek:

2007-07-31, 06:16 PM
Huh. That seems like going a bit too far; it depends on how severe an "evil point" is. Severe racism seems to me like it would probably be verging on Evil, but this wasn't severe. Is 10 evil points severe evil, moderate evil, or minor evil?

And giving you no good points for arguing against torture? I would just take the DM aside when you get a chance and asking him what he thought about the morals of the situation. This will hopefully give him a chance to state his views without you telling him you thought you should have gotten good points.

2007-07-31, 07:13 PM
Ditto on the not evil, lack of good points for arguing against torture, and puzzlement over the use of points in general. I'm going to keep my mouth shut about my personal issues with the alignment system this time around.

If you were at my table and I was DMing, I would have given you 25 bonus XP for quality role playing. Make that 50 since you can apparently pull off a Scottish accent. Bravo!

2007-07-31, 07:23 PM
Points are from NWN. Alignment is rated on a scale from 0-100, good/law.

So 0,0 is Chaotic Evil, 100,100 is lawful good, 0,100 is lawful evil, etc. 10 evil points is a LOT in NWN though. 10 good is like a level 5 donating 500 gp to the coffers of a city.

2007-07-31, 07:25 PM
So, in short, this DM appears to believe that noticing someone's species--not actually taking action against them, just commenting on its existance--ten times would make you as evil as the spawn of the deepest pits of hell.

Lovely. :smallwink:

2007-07-31, 07:28 PM
I believe the standard method of handling evil points is to say Pazuzu three times and redeem them for a prize.

2007-07-31, 07:31 PM
Actually, the points seem to vary depending on your current alignment. I can't recall exactly how it works, but it's easier to change significantly, than to reinforce your alignment.

I seem to recall a paladin running around in people's houses and taking stuff out of drawers. He got 3 chaos for that. Why the people (who were slaves to a dracolich, incidentally) had 300 gp worth of magic items in their houses is beyond me.

Generally, getting points was significant, as it required programming on the part of the designers. Randomnly killing things willing to parley, giving people large amounts of money, betrayal, killing commanders, accepting pay for jobs to kill people to further private intrests, etc.

Interestingly, I ran into most of those situations playing NWN. It's actually a pretty good game.

2007-07-31, 07:32 PM



Now, I certainly wouldn't encourage you to exacerbate the situation with your DM.

That being said, earn those points back with an iron fist. Express your overwhelming, sycophantic, mindless adoration and lust over both all actions made by the half-elf, and the half-elf themselves. They're the greatest thing that EVER walked Oerth, Their every action is god-wrought, their culture is greater than any other, and they, themselves, are a SCION of perfection and wonder.

Over the top, wide-eyed GUSHING, EARNEST adoration. No sarcasm, no bitterness. Make everyone at the table sick over your manic love of all things half-elf.

Think of the kind of person that will forgo Oreos for Pocky, who wears a Naruto Headband earnestly and openly.... And emulate THAT enthusiasm.

Of course, this would ruin the game for everyone involved, and I in no way endorse it.

2007-07-31, 07:59 PM
Of course, this would ruin the game for everyone involved, and I in no way endorse it. Honestly, having read that and given it a bit of thought, I would endorse it--for a few minutes. Don't keep at it, since that would spoil the game for others, but a few minutes of a halfelf lovefest might be exactly what the situation warrants. The other players will probably chuckle, and the DM might have something to think about after the session ends.

2007-07-31, 09:03 PM
what are evil point? Are they like brownie points of darkness?

2007-07-31, 09:28 PM
Tell him he gets 10 stupid points for overreacting.

By the way, every stupid point drops your IQ by 1.

2007-07-31, 09:52 PM
Of course, racism works in DnD... well, racism towards orcs and goblins, anyway. If anything, I'd say that would give you maybe... 1 Evil point and 3 Law points (for following dwarven tradition regarding half-elves). It's a mildly evil act, but your DM massively overreacted.

2007-07-31, 09:55 PM
Evil points?!?!

Man, I'm having Stormbringer flash backs over here.
10 points? That seems like a lot for the Diet Cola of evil there.