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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    Default [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Ok. I hope this is in the right place and makes sense.

    I just started DMing a game last Tuesday, and I just wanted to get some outside opinions before gaming again.

    One of my players is playing a ranger, and in the last five minutes of the game night she spent her time trying to convince two of her comrades, while they were intoxicated, to sell her their souls. She said it in character, and I questioned her afterwards if she actually meant it and her reply was "Well, I just wanted to see if they'd actually sell me their souls."

    I was informed later that she made another in character comment about how she'd burn down some trees with their bandit prisoners tied to them, to let the guards at the fort know where to find the bodies, and didn't seem to mind when it was mentioned that it'd probably take the rest of the forest they were in with it. That story has been confirmed by several of my other players.

    So I'm just wondering what to do. She said that her character was a Neutral alignment, and made no mention of wanting to be evil. I'm just looking for ideas right now, do I leave it and see where it goes before taking action, try and head it off now by telling her that she's acting evil and rangers shouldn't be threatening to burn down forests, or what?

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    Sstoopidtallkid's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Ranger burning down forests is an issue. That's definitely not in line with nature, but I don't think Rangers can fall. Even if they could, the only things I could see her losing are the AC and the spells.

    As for being Evil, eh. Most players are essentially rich violent hobos anyways, alignment just declares which color your lightsaber is.
    [/sarcasm]
    FAQ is not RAW!
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    I play primarily 3.5 D&D. Most of my advice will be based off of this. If my advice doesn't apply, specify a version in your post.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlankStare View Post
    So I'm just wondering what to do. She said that her character was a Neutral alignment, and made no mention of wanting to be evil. I'm just looking for ideas right now, do I leave it and see where it goes before taking action, try and head it off now by telling her that she's acting evil and rangers shouldn't be threatening to burn down forests, or what?
    Actually, Rangers in version 3.5 D&D can be any alignment. And do not lose powers by not revering nature (only Druids do).

    Also, Forest fires are a natural and beneficial thing: stopping forest fires is more unnatural and California learned this the hard way (last major blaze was a result of not letting old fires occur).

    Some trees need fire to grow (for the seeds and such).

    And did the other PCs sell their souls? What was her offer?

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Well I am a player in this game and her alignment is Chaotic Neutral, no one sold her their souls all though their charater where highly intoxicated. We had managed to make super wine.

    And yes forest fires are natural, but those fires happen by nature and are not set by things in them, they happen when they NEED to happen not when someone thinks its a good idea. And her only protest to burning down the trees where..."It would make to much noise."
    Last edited by Silvana; 2009-11-22 at 01:36 AM.

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    Sstoopidtallkid's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silvana View Post
    Well I am a player in this game and her alignment is Chaotic Neutral, no one sold her their souls all though their charater where highly intoxicated. We had managed to make super wine.

    And yes forest fires are natural, but those fires happen by nature and are not set by things in them, they happen when they NEED to happen no when someone thinks its a good idea. And her only protest to burning down the trees where..."It would make to much noise."
    1: Spell check.
    2: Forest fires start when certain conditions are right. Those only sometimes are the same as the conditions when they need to start. A human would at least be no worse than random chance, and might, because of her knowlege of the forest, be better able to make it useful.
    3: CN /= CE!
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    RedKnightGirl

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Maybe I should respecify. My question is should I intervene on a non-evil character desiring to steal the souls of her party members with no further goal than "I want to see if they'd actually do it." And on the issue of burning the forest, she was not talking about a purging or cleansing fire, but a fire in which to consume two helpless people tied to them.

    She told me she wanted to hunt demons and devils because she hates what they do and took outsider(evil) as her favored enemy to place a better emphasis on that fact. It feels to me she's not following through on the original concept.

    On a related note: She fired into combat at an enemy that was being grappled and held by one of her allies(the way the grapple was done it gave her target almost complete cover), and she struck her ally in the back. Her response was "Yay! I finally hit something."

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Also, Forest fires are a natural and beneficial thing: stopping forest fires is more unnatural and California learned this the hard way (last major blaze was a result of not letting old fires occur).
    Forest fires are natural, arson is not. Just because natural fires are beneficial to to the health of woodlands doesn't mean that randomly setting a forest on fire because it was kind of convienient is something a nature-loving ranger should be expected to do.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogardan_Mage View Post
    Forest fires are natural, arson is not. Just because natural fires are beneficial to to the health of woodlands doesn't mean that randomly setting a forest on fire because it was kind of convienient is something a nature-loving ranger should be expected to do.
    Doesn't mean that arson isn't beneficial, though.

    And OP, don't worry about her alignment. It rarely matters anyways, and when it does, CN has about as much a chance of being beneficial as CE.
    [/sarcasm]
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    I play primarily 3.5 D&D. Most of my advice will be based off of this. If my advice doesn't apply, specify a version in your post.

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    We where just talking about it because we where thinking about explaining the alignment chart to the large group of players we have...we have about 10
    people playing this game and we had to bring up the problems after the session was over. And we couldn't think of anything to do really...

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    My suggestion is to talk to the player and see if she understands the class first off. If she does, then talk to her and see what she's going for, have her explain her concept. Yes, controlled arsons, if done correctly can be beneficial. However, that is a fairly difficult thing to perform without too much of a backfire as it were. Also, if that was said case, then the player's comment aftwerwards seems to go against a rangers supposed belief system.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Here's a question. Why does it seem like most people aren't actually even trying to answer the OP and instead of complain about each other's posts? I realize that by asking this, this post is as well, and I believe that gives me just cause to ask.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    So, OP, have you spoken to the player about said things prior?

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    RedKnightGirl

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    I haven't talked with her since the time immediately following the session.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    While it is in no way relevant to the questions, interestingly enough, 2e ranger could fall by not being good. They were sort of a nature's paladin.

    Anyway, as for the actual questions, I would say that as long as the behavior of said player doesn't break down the fun of the game, let him be as "evil" as he wants. It can work, and sometimes it makes it even more fun.

    Talk to him about it though. Mainly, he needs to know that burning down a forest is hardly rangerish, and probably classified as good either. Nor is getting someone to sell their souls while drunk.

    And to you guys saying that the alleged arson could have been beneficial, well, you're practically arguing the same thing that Celia was doing the trial in Oots. So in one way, kudos, in another, duude.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    It sounds like your player is more interested in playing an evil character. Burning two people alive (which is considered quite a gruesume way to kill someone) isn't exactly non-evil. In fact, causing someone to burn slowly could be considered a form of torture, which quite frankly is evil. If she's going to kill them anyway, then theres little need for throwing such pain on top of it.

    My advice might be to talk to your player. Normally (in my games at least), even great evil acts aren't enough to change your alignment if it's just a one-off, though if events like this are a regular occurence, I'd speak to your player about possibly changing her alignment.

    If she objects, simply ask what her character would have done differently in those situations if she was evil, or better yet, compare her actions to demons/devils etc, since I can see them doing the same thing (letting someone die slowly and painfully, not caring about hitting allies in the back, attempting to steal souls).

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    As for being Evil, eh. Most players are essentially rich violent hobos anyways, alignment just declares which color your lightsaber is.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    I don't see the soul thing as an issue. "Just wanting to see if they would" seems about par for CN; "because I want dominion over their mortal husks" would a more concerning answer. And it's not like the Ranger has any mechanical use for one's soul, nor does it have any means of even acquiring one in the first place (unless I'm missing some splat content to the contrary).

    If you don't like the idea of the Ranger haphazardly setting a forest ablaze, then use in-game repercussions that have nothing to do with alignment or class. Perhaps she becomes the mark of the resident elven population, or an organization of furious Druids? Maybe the displaced population of predatory animals instead turn to nearby humanoid settlements, and she must carry the blame?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Agreed on the souls bit. Trying to buy some ain't evil, it's stealing them that would be worrying. Also on forest bit, as rangers don't have to care about nature at all - they just live in it.

    Randomly deciding to set fires and buy souls sounds like she's playing that CN alignment perfectly.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlankStare View Post
    Maybe I should respecify. My question is should I intervene on a non-evil character desiring to steal the souls of her party members with no further goal than "I want to see if they'd actually do it." And on the issue of burning the forest, she was not talking about a purging or cleansing fire, but a fire in which to consume two helpless people tied to them.

    . . .

    On a related note: She fired into combat at an enemy that was being grappled and held by one of her allies(the way the grapple was done it gave her target almost complete cover), and she struck her ally in the back. Her response was "Yay! I finally hit something."
    Yeah, she sounds a lot more Evil than Neutral at the moment. However, moving a PC's status to the deep or shallow end of the alignment pool generally requires actual action, not just talking.

    As long as she's just making randomly destructive suggestions she's still in the CN camp. It's only once she starts following through on them that she tips over to Evil.

    As to whether you should intervene, that's completely up to you. There's nothing stopping a CE ranger from adventuring with the rest of the party as long as she co-operates, but from what you've said so far she's sounding an awful lot like the CS alignment (aka Chaotic Stupid). If that's the case, then the rest of the party will probably gank her out of sheer frustration sooner or later, so it's just a matter of whether you want to deal with it yourself or let the PCs work it out in-character.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    You know, she could Prc into Pyrokinecist (one of requirements is setting things on fgire just to see them burn) in the SRD.
    Although, she'd have to gain power points (feat: Wild Talent or Hidden Talent; multiclassing into a psionic class works too).

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    1) She can burn down the forest for all it matters. Good and preservation of nature have little correlation. Rangers are not required to revere nature unless in an organization of some sort, which she isn't.
    2) Burning the sentients to death would be exceedingly painful. Causing pain is generally evil. However, this may be offset by the fact that the ranger seems to be Chaotic Spastic and therefore is not entering into this realizing the pain her actions would cause.
    3) She was drunk and had no way to actually collect the souls. This is too far divergent from reality to matter.

    So these actions don't seem terribly evil. But CN played this way has a good chance of spiraling into evil later.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    It all depends on what you, as the DM, really want....my groups tend to ban Evil characters off the get go...but we're also not afraid of changing alignment if you earn it.

    As for the souls bit, her character doesn't actually have a way of doing this...so, not very evil. Now, if she were to try and find one and then go about using it gratuitously or (arguably) at least on anything but an Evil bad guy....that's a lot more Evil. In the end, that's up to you as a DM and how you view life beyond the mortal coil.

    As for the fire....yeah, not a very ranger-ish thing to do, but they're not paladins. If you wanted to house rule something (such as penalities for not following a proper ranger code of nature or what have you), that wouldn't be uncalled for...The White Knight's suggestion of in-game non-class/alignment punishments is very good...though be prepared as the rest of the party is going to shout in unison, "We're not with her!", and this might cause a party split in-game.

    Now, as for the bandits tied up and potential slow death by fire...I would treat that as an inherently Evil act...but depends on the character's alignment. Any Good character in the party that doesn't stop it or try to stop it just lost a lot of Good points. As for her being CN....they're helpless, and there are better ways to kill them...she still leans towards being Evil.

    Killing helpless anything is something I treat as very Evil and not easily justified, but that's just me.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Maybe she is trying to lure some demons out. Wants the souls for bait, or to act just eeeeeevil enough to be approached by a demon herself?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    Doesn't mean that arson isn't beneficial, though.

    And OP, don't worry about her alignment. It rarely matters anyways, and when it does, CN has about as much a chance of being beneficial as CE.
    My TN wizard's gotten along great with our party's CN Barbarian Centaur. Highlights included some dramatic dialogue involving a friend of the party with our other two players ruined when we, completely in character, started up a silent game of rock-paper-scissors.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Quote Originally Posted by The White Knight View Post
    I don't see the soul thing as an issue. "Just wanting to see if they would" seems about par for CN; "because I want dominion over their mortal husks" would a more concerning answer. And it's not like the Ranger has any mechanical use for one's soul, nor does it have any means of even acquiring one in the first place (unless I'm missing some splat content to the contrary).
    Well when we asked her about why she wanted their souls, while playing her response was, "So I can make them take care of the forest and do what I want them to do."

    Meaning she wanted to take away their free will which is a definition of evil. Which is very much like the demons/devils of old.
    Last edited by Silvana; 2009-11-22 at 09:13 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Foryn Gilnith View Post
    3) She was drunk and had no way to actually collect the souls. This is too far divergent from reality to matter.
    She was never under the intoxification of the drink she refused to partake in it the people she was pressing for their souls were.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    If she hasn't actually done anything, her alignment shouldn't change.

    A Paladin can Threaten to kill an unarmed foe, and make an intimidate check without losing his paladinhood or his alignment- so a C/N ranger who just brainstorms exceptionally evil ideas isn't evil- she's just more prone to becomming so.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    First off, thanks for all the input so far, it's been helpful and given me something to think about. Second, I think I should clarify some points of interest.

    1). There is a Druid/Dryad(cursed to be away from her tree, long story), in the party who was off in search of the proper authorities while the bandits where being held, and subsequently the comment about burning them. The bandits were left behind for "interrogation".

    2). There is a warlock in the party so it wouldn't be much of a stretch for her to find out what she needed if she so desired to go through proper channels for soul gathering.

    3). I have no problem with evil characters in my games, it's just this instance I'm worried about in game repercussions from the other players if things continue. I like to allow a high level of freedom in my games, but once it turns into party killing, well, that's not much in the way of fun for everyone.

    I've been kind of between if I should be doing something in game, or out of game to head off as what could potentially turn problematic, or if the best idea is to simply let it run it's course at least until I have a better idea of what she plans to do.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlankStare View Post
    Maybe I should respecify. My question is should I intervene on a non-evil character desiring to steal the souls of her party members with no further goal than "I want to see if they'd actually do it."
    Was there really a question about if she could steal someone's soul? I mean, most people can't exactly accomplish soul theft even with permission.

    On a related note: She fired into combat at an enemy that was being grappled and held by one of her allies(the way the grapple was done it gave her target almost complete cover), and she struck her ally in the back. Her response was "Yay! I finally hit something."
    How serious is this? I mean, I had one gaming session where afterwards, the druid proclaimed that she, too, had killed something. It turned out that her death was thanks to a failed Heal check. >_> It was, of course, made in jest, which is why I'm asking.


    Overall, it doesn't sound like your ranger is evil at the moment. Evil-curious, sure, but alignment is generally determined by actions. If the other PCs are wary of him her at the moment, it would certainly make sense in-game. I would keep an eye on her actions, but it doesn't sound like she's done anything that would really qualify as being evil.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ranger wants souls.

    Funny how fighting creatures of evil can lead to behaving like them, or in this case at least considering it. Suggesting that the party leave the prisoners bound and on fire isn't evil, actually doing it definitely is. So far she almost sounds bi-polar though. "I'm not worried about burning the forest down, but I want dominion over my traveling companions so I can make them work toward preserving nature." Mixed signals anyone? Does this ranger care about nature or not? If it's fairly early in the campaign, give it a while. She may still be working out her character's personality and motivations. If she's been consistently behaving like this for several adventures, you might want to have an OOG talk with her about the character so you can better gauge how she's going to interact with the party and if it will cause problems.

    If you have trouble making a decision, it's usually a good idea to gather more information

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