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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    eek Alignment Ailment

    Ok so I have a problem with one of my players misunderstanding their alignment, and I needed to ask for outside opinions on this one because i may be wrong.

    The player in question is Chaotic Good.
    The party were apprehended by an organization that upholds the law of the land, but with no one to really keep them in check except themselves. Kinda like a good gestapo.
    The player asked if the organization was evil. (an obvious and good Q)
    Now here is where you need to pay alot of attention.
    DM Response "The organization as a whole is not evil, nor was it set up with evil in mind. It is to preserve the peace of the land by any means needed."
    PC Action: "I blast the guard captain in the face."
    DM: "Wait you what?"
    PC: "I blast the guard captain in the face"
    -After about 3-4 minutes of the NPC guards demanding his surrender and the PC "blasting them" he becomes subdued.
    PC then declares "I am devoting my life and every last ounce of my breath to bringing this organization down!"
    DM: "Your alignment is Chaotic good...."
    PC: "Exactly."


    OK gitp did i completely MISS SOMETHING?! I mean what justification can a Chaotic good character have to bring down a Lawfully sanctioned and GOOD organization!? Like i would understand a corrpt member or two but he wants them ALL to be brought down and has stated to my face that as CG he can do it.

    What would YOU do?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    ... i can see feeling as CG that a massive organization simply curtails liberties and that this is not the best way to bring about good... that said i cant see his current actions being anything but CN or CS. thats just my point of view. Have you asked the player to explain his justification? It all may make more sense when you understand why your player feels CG means attacking this organization.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    If he wants to, let him.

    I don't see any reason why the character should know these people are only really doing a good thing. To him, they are just some vigilantes who think they can just capture and interrogate whomever they want without any legitimation.

    I can see how any character could regard that as injustice, and it fits chaotic good characters that they are a bit impulsive in their actions to preserve or restore freedom and peace. I assume if these people explain him what they are doing and can show him convincing examples that they don't abuse their power and are not simple bullies, he might quite likely agree to let them continue. But he might also still stick to his believe that they have no right to declare themselves the local police and continue his pursuit of stopping that practice.
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    Colossus in the Playground
     
    hamishspence's Avatar

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Quote Originally Posted by Draig View Post
    I mean what justification can a Chaotic good character have to bring down a Lawfully sanctioned and GOOD organization!?
    The phrase "lawfully sanctioned" implies that the organization is not just vigilantes- they have the force of law behind them.

    "nothing to keep them in check besides themselves" doesn't make them vigilantes- it simply means that, as the law enforcers- they're the only ones who can deal with members of their own group who break the law.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Well long story short there was a great evil, big battle, and the land was torn afterwards and it was this organization that brought the nation back together and unified them. There is nothing vigilante about them at all. Its the individual and smaller units that enact Vigilantism and not the organization as a whole. But even then the org simply asked if the Pc's could wait where they were and answer some questions about Organization members disappearing.

    And i asked the PC to explain it and all he says is that CG hates the law and they are lawful. Now idk about all of you BUT i never envisioned a CG character bringing down a Keystone organization because they arrested him AFTER he jumped the captain.

    It also was explained that if it were not for this organization that the land would be roaming with brigands and thieves and all sorts of wibbly wobbly bad things.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Quote Originally Posted by Draig View Post

    And i asked the PC to explain it and all he says is that CG hates the law and they are lawful. Now idk about all of you BUT i never envisioned a CG character bringing down a Keystone organization because they arrested him AFTER he jumped the captain.
    Change his alignment to either CN or CE. CG people do not hate the law just because it's the law. Heck, most CE people probably don't hate every single law on record.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Firstly, is the organization in fact corrupt, tyrannical, or even oppressive? As CG, he'd be morally opposed to any of them. Besides, from his perspective, the organization probably seems evil--they apprehended a party of heroes, after all, and are preserving peace "by any means necessary". That phrase has justified a lot of evil in the past.

    He could be said to be overplaying his alignment, but I'd hold off on admonishing the player about it. Just have the party run into sections of this group that are actively doing good things, and if that seems out of character for the organization than maybe they aren't actually all that good. If they're neutral, there really isn't that much amiss about a Chaotic Good hero trying to loosen their iron grip on the land.

    EDIT: From your explanation of their origins, the case could be made that a chaotic character might come to view them as evil; if the smaller units are vigilantes, that's not going to reflect well on the organization as a whole, particularly for people already opposed to the general idea of one overarching peacekeeping force.
    Last edited by Trekkin; 2011-01-12 at 04:26 PM.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    The phrase "lawfully sanctioned" implies that the organization is not just vigilantes- they have the force of law behind them.

    "nothing to keep them in check besides themselves" doesn't make them vigilantes- it simply means that, as the law enforcers- they're the only ones who can deal with members of their own group who break the law.
    Precisely. They are the law, and within them are different heads that watch the others. Simplified its The Religious Head (a St. Cuthbert cleric), The military branch ( A Paladin), and Information Leader (A Diplomat). So its like he didnt even pick out a branch he blatantly stated "Im bringing em down"

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Raging Gene Ray's Avatar

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    The proper response would be to mark this down on his alignment, giving him "minuses" until you announce "You are now CN." And later, if he keeps it up. "You are now CE." If he doesn't do any Good acts like helping the needy and the oppressed (whether they are truly oppressed or not), tell him he was never Good in the first place.

    Were these blasts lethal? Would he have been willing to raise them if they were? If he was just trying to subdue and escape from false allegations, then I'd say he still falls squarely within CG territory. If he was attempting to kill them because they dared to have AUTHORITY, then that's CN at best, but most likely CE.

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Quote Originally Posted by Draig View Post
    WeAnd i asked the PC to explain it and all he says is that CG hates the law and they are lawful. Now idk about all of you BUT i never envisioned a CG character bringing down a Keystone organization because they arrested him AFTER he jumped the captain.
    CG is more "likes individual rights, and distrusts the idea that morality can be enforced by law".

    CG states can still have laws- and local authorities- it's just that they tend to rule with a lighter hand than LG ones- more scope for the individual.

    Eladrin have a queen, in Arborea, and they are Chaotic subtype Good Outsiders- so they'll be even more Chaotic than most mortals.

    A character who "hates laws" might be closer to CN or CE than CG.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Quote Originally Posted by Trekkin View Post
    Firstly, is the organization in fact corrupt, tyrannical, or even oppressive? As CG, he'd be morally opposed to any of them. Besides, from his perspective, the organization probably seems evil--they apprehended a party of heroes, after all, and are preserving peace "by any means necessary". That phrase has justified a lot of evil in the past.

    He could be said to be overplaying his alignment, but I'd hold off on admonishing the player about it. Just have the party run into sections of this group that are actively doing good things, and if that seems out of character for the organization than maybe they aren't actually all that good. If they're neutral, there really isn't that much amiss about a Chaotic Good hero trying to loosen their iron grip on the land.
    I will admit at times it gives that overpowering vibe. The only thing the heroes know that could be seen as slightly evil is that the organization censors certain information about the "Great Battle" because it is the belief that the Heroes of legend that fought in the GB were a unified force and also not to give one church or deity more power than another the heroes' deities have been withheld from the general populice.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Quote Originally Posted by Draig View Post
    And i asked the PC to explain it and all he says is that CG hates the law and they are lawful. Now idk about all of you BUT i never envisioned a CG character bringing down a Keystone organization because they arrested him AFTER he jumped the captain.
    Ah, the Chaotic Stupid.

    Be sure to point out the Good portion of his Alignment
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    Good characters and creatures protect innocent life.
    . . .
    "Good" implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.
    Good characters don't just start "blasting" people unprovoked. Now, if the Player had something more to say than "they were Lawful" about why he decided to murder everyone, it might be good for him to explain it. If it helps, have him write out a paragraph about his motivations there - he might have some good ones you didn't notice.

    Or he might be a tad bit confused about what being Chaotic Good means. In any case, if you're unsure why a Player did something, ask them to explain it. If they can't give you more than a one-line response, ask them to type out a more detailed response.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Quote Originally Posted by Raging Gene Ray View Post
    The proper response would be to mark this down on his alignment, giving him "minuses" until you announce "You are now CN." And later, if he keeps it up. "You are now CE." If he doesn't do any Good acts like helping the needy and the oppressed (whether they are truly oppressed or not), tell him he was never Good in the first place.

    Were these blasts lethal? Would he have been willing to raise them if they were? If he was just trying to subdue and escape from false allegations, then I'd say he still falls squarely within CG territory. If he was attempting to kill them because they dared to have AUTHORITY, then that's CN at best, but most likely CE.
    He explained calmly to the party that if they had just "Killed off all the guards and ran" that no one could possibly know they had even been stopped by them. Like the PC pulled an action that screams EVIL and then hopped behind his CG alignment and claims he is doing the right thing.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Raging Gene Ray's Avatar

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Quote Originally Posted by Draig View Post
    He explained calmly to the party that if they had just "Killed off all the guards and ran" that no one could possibly know they had even been stopped by them. Like the PC pulled an action that screams EVIL and then hopped behind his CG alignment and claims he is doing the right thing.
    Oh...then like I said, tell him that killing people simply for being Lawful is NOT Good. Chaotic, yes. Evil, yes. It's no better than a paladin killing everyone in a Thieves' Guild for simply operating outside the Law. Tell him that if his character doesn't grow and change this sort of attitude, he is going to wind up as Evil. If he has any feats or class features that rely on alignment, strip them until he atones.
    Last edited by Raging Gene Ray; 2011-01-12 at 04:32 PM.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Quote Originally Posted by Draig View Post
    I will admit at times it gives that overpowering vibe. The only thing the heroes know that could be seen as slightly evil is that the organization censors certain information about the "Great Battle" because it is the belief that the Heroes of legend that fought in the GB were a unified force and also not to give one church or deity more power than another the heroes' deities have been withheld from the general populice.
    That might be enough, though, if he's playing CG as active mistrust of the law rather than individualized disregard for it. He could well be asking himself "what do they have to hide?" and/or "what else are they not telling us"given their demonstrated willingness to withhold information from their own people.

    I wouldn't change his alignment yet. (EDIT: I post slowly. Given that his motive seems to have been less than altruistic, I'd make him temporarily CN) If he pursues this crusade of his too far and starts killing Good individuals who aren't threatening him (EDIT: so, any more), the recourse is obvious, but there might be dramatic value in changing his alignment mid-crusade as a means of encouraging him to consider his actions more carefully.
    Last edited by Trekkin; 2011-01-12 at 04:35 PM.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Quote Originally Posted by Trekkin View Post
    That might be enough, though, if he's playing CG as active mistrust of the law rather than individualized disregard for it. He could well be asking himself "what do they have to hide?" and/or "what else are they not telling us"given their demonstrated willingness to withhold information from their own people.
    I tried to open that door to him when i was explaining that the only reason they were being aprehended was because a few of the Organization members were investigation the Party's employer and that members were seen entering the building where the employer works and then are never seen again. Like for some reason the player finds no problem with those suspicious circumstances and would rather assume that these ppl are the next nazi party or something.

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    hamishspence's Avatar

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Quote Originally Posted by Draig View Post
    Like for some reason the player finds no problem with those suspicious circumstances and would rather assume that these ppl are the next nazi party or something.
    This phrase:

    Quote Originally Posted by Draig View Post
    The party were apprehended by an organization that upholds the law of the land, but with no one to really keep them in check except themselves. Kinda like a good gestapo.
    does seem like the player is thinking the same way, only without the "good" part about the organization.
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    This phrase:



    does seem like the player is thinking the same way, only without the "good" part about the organization.
    im aware of that and im trying to disuade that line of thinking, granted while it will come up later and could have a pretty good story twist i dont believe taking them down is the right path. Even when members of the organization help the PC assumes its because they are "trying to bribe him to their side"

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    What was the party arrested for?

    It seems like a lot of metagaming. The character would have no way of knowing the organizations alignment. If the party was stopped because they were actaully committing a crime, and response is to blast him in the face and go on cursade to bring the group down thats CS.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Quote Originally Posted by Taim View Post
    What was the party arrested for?

    It seems like a lot of metagaming. The character would have no way of knowing the organizations alignment. If the party was stopped because they were actaully committing a crime, and response is to blast him in the face and go on cursade to bring the group down thats CS.
    While the Player knows all this his PC ALSO knows all of it because they have been in the world for a while now and have heard about the group just the first interaction with them went haywire. Its like hearing all your life that a police officer is good and then one day being pulled over cause you have a taillight out or they mistook you for someone else and instead of explaining it you shoot the officer in the face and take off into a HSP

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Is attitude for his character is decidely CN rather than CG and I would note it as such, and then let it ride.

    It isn't CE. He attacked them because they were an authoratarian organisation and that was to him "Evil" (on his personal level, not as the game measures it) and must be destroyed to free the people.

    Wanting to kill all of the guards is no more evil than wanting to kill all an Orc tribes warriors. Which is generally considered ok.

    He wasn't planning on doing gratutious killing, like hunting down their families. He wanted to kill the members of an authoratarian organistion that was trying to question and possibly track them. Within his beleifs of the inherent wrongness of the organisation this was entirely reasonable.
    Neither was he doing it purely for personal pleasure or gain.

    As explained he's nowhere near CE, unless you are confusing Lawful with Good.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Did he hear this explanation before he decided to shoot?

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Quote Originally Posted by Draig View Post
    I tried to open that door to him when i was explaining that the only reason they were being aprehended was because a few of the Organization members were investigation the Party's employer and that members were seen entering the building where the employer works and then are never seen again. Like for some reason the player finds no problem with those suspicious circumstances and would rather assume that these ppl are the next nazi party or something.
    These circumstances are suspicious, yes, but the party has done nothing wrong in connection with this, and now they're being apprehended for the suspected actions of another. A Lawful character would be hard-pressed to just blindly go along with that (although they'd probably not seek to escape so much as seek to be legally freed) and it sounds like a very good reason for a Chaotic character to assume they're unjust oppressors of the people.

    The way he approached it may have been rather harsh, and repetition of those tactics would certainly be Neutral at best, but "being arrested for something we didn't do" is not going to go over well with a Chaotic character who, being Good, is likely to wonder how many other people have had this happen to them.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    I'd play off it if I were you.

    The next session have the players brought forward to some sort of official of the group and have an RP session about it. The leader asks why the CG player did what he did (in character) and they talk it out.

    Maybe in the end they recruit the PCs (as payment for the CG PC going nuts on their men) to investigate their own place of work.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    How about sending a paladin in their way. Knowingly killing a paladin (which more or less has to be a paragon of good) without really good justification is a good way of not staying good for a very long time.

    If this player wants to go on a rampage no matter what alignment it puts him in, then he should suffer the consequences for it. Make him remember that there always is a bigger fish, for example.
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackSheep View Post
    Did he hear this explanation before he decided to shoot?
    Yes. Like 5 times it was explained and hinted at this organization was in the same bucket with "Justice" "Goodness" and "The protection of common ppl"


    Quote Originally Posted by Trekkin View Post
    These circumstances are suspicious, yes, but the party has done nothing wrong in connection with this, and now they're being apprehended for the suspected actions of another. A Lawful character would be hard-pressed to just blindly go along with that (although they'd probably not seek to escape so much as seek to be legally freed) and it sounds like a very good reason for a Chaotic character to assume they're unjust oppressors of the people.

    The way he approached it may have been rather harsh, and repetition of those tactics would certainly be Neutral at best, but "being arrested for something we didn't do" is not going to go over well with a Chaotic character who, being Good, is likely to wonder how many other people have had this happen to them.
    They were being apprehended because the group wanted to ask them questions about such events. What started as a simple Plot delving and RP experience turned into bench warrants and fugitives. Because the basic principle of "If they werent guilty, why did they attack us?" <- especially when the captain made it clear that he did not want to fight or use physical force. AND my always favorite "Innocent ppl dont run"

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    How about a run-in with other famously Chaotic Good characters, that approve of the organization- and make it clear that being Chaotic Good doesn't mean you have to dislike Lawful Good factions?
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    I'd play off it if I were you.

    The next session have the players brought forward to some sort of official of the group and have an RP session about it. The leader asks why the CG player did what he did (in character) and they talk it out.

    Maybe in the end they recruit the PCs (as payment for the CG PC going nuts on their men) to investigate their own place of work.
    Oh there already is a trial set up for the next campaign. My only concern is that the PC will say "Im Chaotic, its in my nature" which would not fly with this group. Heck even some of them are Chaotic just working to put the world right

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    How about a run-in with other famously Chaotic Good characters, that approve of the organization- and make it clear that being Chaotic Good doesn't mean you have to dislike Lawful Good factions?
    It seems like all the good ideas to do that are turned into some weird conspiracy theory. Im hoping that by having a trial and him being brought through the history of the organization and seeing its members that he will realize he did a no-no.

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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Alignment Ailment

    Don't accept that as an IC explanation. If he goes "I'm chaotic, it's in my nature." simply state "That's not an acceptable response, could you please give an in character motivation to why you did this?"

    Characters aren't self-aware of their alignments.

    Unless this character is devoted to some sort of chaos thing which he could use to devote himself that way.

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