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ChomZ
2007-09-21, 06:11 PM
I have a question about alignment in general:

if a chaotic good character, who makes a living as a magician, runs into rough times and feels the only way to get by is through stealing (even though they hate committing the crime, they don't have any other marketable skills), would they still be chaotic good, or would their alignment change?

Mewtarthio
2007-09-21, 06:16 PM
The "Good" alignment does not state that you must suffer and die rather than inconvenience others.

Thinker
2007-09-21, 06:19 PM
Stealing isn't evil, its unlawful.

The Duskblade
2007-09-21, 06:21 PM
Hell be reasonable about it. (Aka take from those that can afford it.) And that is basically the stereotype of Chaotic good. Even if you aint starving. (See Haley.)

goat
2007-09-21, 06:21 PM
Stealing from people who can't afford to lose what you're taking, that would be evil.

Stealing from people who are endangering themselves/others with the item you've taken, that would be good.

Otherwise, I'd say chaotic neutral.

Saph
2007-09-21, 06:22 PM
if a chaotic good character, who makes a living as a magician, runs into rough times and feels the only way to get by is through stealing (even though they hate committing the crime, they don't have any other marketable skills), would they still be chaotic good, or would their alignment change?

It's generally a moot point, since most PCs have more marketable skills than Indiana Jones. The whole 'I must steal to eat or I'll die!' thing is unlikely to happen to your character unless you want it to.

However, the answer is the same answer you usually get to alignment questions: "it depends". Who is your character stealing from? What are the consequences of her stealing? Does she steal only as much as she needs to survive, or more? Is she going to try to make up for it in the future somehow? What's she going to do if she gets caught stealing? Is she willing to attack the owners of the property, or the town guard, if they get in her way? Is she willing to kill them?

Depending on how you answer those questions, the answer could be yes or no.

- Saph

NecroRebel
2007-09-21, 06:23 PM
It depends on how they go about it. "Good" in no way implies either following the law nor not stealing; it implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. So, a person who stole from people while minimizing harm and with concern for the mental well-being of the victims could be Good very easily, particularly if they made a point to take only what they themself needed or what the victim could afford to lose.

I'm guessing you're not wondering about changing "Chaos" in this instance, but again, Chaos in no way implies either following the law nor not stealing (though it ALSO doesn't imply breaking the law or stealing).

From the SRD:

Chaotic Good, "Rebel"
A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but hes kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society.

Again, nothing that prevents a Chaotic Good character from engaging in criminal acts when they deem it necessary for survival.



Alignment really is what you make of it. You can perform virtually any action and remain within the bounds of any alignment if you go about it in the correct manner.

de-trick
2007-09-21, 06:27 PM
ID say CN or CG because chaotic going against the law, good for feeling bad, neutral for only caring about your self

if it was to feed your family or someone else who needs food

bignate
2007-09-21, 06:42 PM
along time ago i read something that is simple and has really stuck with me.

the good vs evil axis is:

good: motivated by helping people

evil: motivated by helping people

neutral: usually motivated by helping yourself

then the law vs chaos axis is:

law: favors organization(ie: does things the way they are "supposed" to be done even if it isnt the best way)

chaos: favors freedom(ie: does whatever they feel is the right thing reguardless of how it is "supposed" to be done)

neutral: follows the rules if possible but is not affraid of breaking them if nessesary.


that being said, stealing is not an evil act unless you are actively doing to to hurt someone else so in your case at the very worst a neutral act but because he feels remorse for what he is doing and would not take more than he needs to survive i would not consider it anything that would harm his good alignment unless you didnt work to correct the problem. i also feel he is even better off being chaotic because he would be even more inclined to break the law as long as it is for the greater good.

Shas aia Toriia
2007-09-21, 06:57 PM
If you steal from the rich, you're still CG. Like Robin Hood or Haley, you know?

horseboy
2007-09-21, 07:05 PM
Why with the stealing? How'd your character been kicked out of Pelor's soup kitchen?

Lemur
2007-09-21, 07:24 PM
If you steal from the rich, you're still CG. Like Robin Hood or Haley, you know?

It also really helps if the rich people you're stealing from are evil, or at the very least, nongood.

Also, if you kept all the money to yourself, you'd probably shift towards Chaotic Neutral after a period of time. If, like Robin Hood or Haley you use some of your earnings to help others in need, you'd be able to easily maintain a good alignment.

Hawriel
2007-09-21, 10:38 PM
Robin Hood = Chaotic Good

Back when D&D gave examples of peaple from fiction. Mr. Hood was the example of CG

Mewtarthio
2007-09-21, 10:52 PM
Also, if you kept all the money to yourself, you'd probably shift towards Chaotic Neutral after a period of time. If, like Robin Hood or Haley you use some of your earnings to help others in need, you'd be able to easily maintain a good alignment.

Actually, Haley's only used her earnings for herself and her father, as far as I'm aware. Sure, she lent the dirt farmers a hand, but that was just a minor diversion (for level 10+ adventurers, taking out an ogre encampment is like us level 1-5 folks picking something up at the library for someone), and it didn't decrease her personal wealth at all (minus the negligible cost of arrows).

As far as "robbing the rich" goes, I'm not sure if simply robbing the rich and giving to yourself would qualify you for "Chaotic Neutral." Redistributing wealth from the corrupt rich to the oppressed poor is CG, but just plain stealing money from rich targets is a little more hazy. It's decidedly non-Lawful, but other than that it's a matter of context.

dyslexicfaser
2007-09-21, 11:10 PM
along time ago i read something that is simple and has really stuck with me.

the good vs evil axis is:

good: motivated by helping people

evil: motivated by helping people
What?:smallconfused:

TheOOB
2007-09-21, 11:35 PM
An evil person is someone who is willing to harm others for personal gain, so as long as you are not stealing enough from anyone to cause them any real harm you are not evil, stealing is still a bad thing, but that doesn't make you evil, however I could see argument that you wouldn't be good. A good person is willing to take risks and make personal sacrifices to help others, and someone who steals for a living is clearly doing what they do for themselves and not others.

I would say they are likely chaotic neutral, but it's really a hard thing to say without more info, alignment is the total moral and ethical sum of your characters actions, it's not based off of any one instance.

Machete
2007-09-21, 11:49 PM
Depends. If you are stealing from a rich nongood lawful, then its not such a big deal, you can stay CG but better watch it with the rest of your activities. Stealing from a fellow chaotic good or any good, especially one that is in need would slip you to CN.

Stealing ill gotten gain is a bit better and doesn't net you any bad karma if you share more than 51% with those who are in need or deserve it.

Dervag
2007-09-22, 12:43 AM
It would probably be a good idea to be doing other good things, so as to keep a sort of karmic reserve. A person who steals and does no good for anyone is likely to slide into Chaotic Neutral over time.

But you really should be able to find some marketable skill. There are plenty of ways to use even trivial spells to make the bare minimum of money required to stay alive.

ChomZ
2007-09-22, 04:35 PM
wow thanks everyone.. I'll just clarify a few points here to try and minimize some of the ifs.. I think I understand now though =P

1 - the guy is more rouge-ish, focus on dexterous skills and HUGE emphasis on slight of hand (started of as a street performer specializing in slight of hand card tricks)

2 - the guy failed as a street performer due mainly to his abysmal charisma

3 - the guy then found himself poorer than dirt and only really good at doing things with his hands that nobody noticed, so he started stealing to get by, although his conscience didn't really like it

4 - every time he stole, although from a random mark, he stole only what he needed to get by, and promised himself that when his chance came he would pay it back in some manner

5 - when his chance did come, he pounced on it and..... *start campaign*

there we go.. I think that covers it

Starsinger
2007-09-22, 04:45 PM
Why with the stealing? How'd your character been kicked out of Pelor's soup kitchen?

That soup is tainted with the souls and blood of the innocent.. If the character had sense, it wouldn't be kicked out so much as walked out :smalltongue:

KillianHawkeye
2007-09-22, 08:41 PM
The thing about alignment is that it generally changes slowly over time when the character consistently takes actions that fall outside his current alignment. This is why a single act won't change your alignment unless it is made in the most dramatic and climactic of situations. These situations also produce the most extreme shifts in alignment (Lawful to Chaotic, skipping Neutral, for example).

psychoticbarber
2007-09-22, 09:22 PM
To be fair, Robin Hood stole from the rich because they were oppressing the poor.

I think that needs to be remembered when throwing Robin Hood around in CG terms.