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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default What alignment is this character?

    I'm running a rather standard D&D game, 2nd/3.5 hybrid if you must know. Alice is a primary henchman for Morden, the main villain of the campaign. These aren't their actual names, just fyi

    She grew up on the streets of the capital as a street urchin, but caught Morden's attention by being really gifted in hand-to-hand combat. Since the villain runs a sword fighting school for duelists, he took her in and she became one of his best students. The villain taught a small handful of his finest students how to be blood magic duelist/mages in exchange for their loyalty and their help overthrowing the king, claiming that it needs to be done for the "good of the kingdom". Since Morden saved her from the streets and has fostered her skills, Alice signs on without hesitation.

    A few points that need a little explaining:

    Alice feels she owes the king (and the kingdom in general) nothing since they left her on the streets, but she doesn't bear any ill will towards its citizens. She doesn't want anyone to grow up the way she did, so she doesn't want to destroy the kingdom so much as change its policies

    The blood magic is a new invention that very few people know about (Morden's been keeping it very secret). It relies on manipulating other people's innate magic to do them harm, but it isn't as overtly evil as say necromancy. While no real public opinion has formed over its morality, it's clearly a very dark shade of grey.

    Morden says he's overthrowing the king for the good of the country, but he's straight up lying. He wants to cause chaos and bloodshed. Alice believes him anyways because she looks up to him as a mentor and trusts him.

    Alice and her colleagues infiltrate the court, poison the king subtly (so he looks like he's dying of a disease), and eventually secret him out of the capital. Along the way, Alice has worked with a necromancer and killed good-aligned soldiers of the kingdom, but tried to avoid killing innocents whenever necessary (by knocking out unaware guards, threatening nosy civilians to stay away rather than offing them, etc.). When the king disappears, a civil war flares up and Morden signs on with one of the major factions. She and Morden's other students carry out sabotage and scouting roles for this faction, leaving their opponents miserable and in disarray but not committing any overtly evil acts (poisoning a fortress' well with non-lethal toxins? Yes. Murdering a soldier's family to demoralize the troops? No.).

    Much later into the war, as Morden's faction is losing, Morden gets into a violent argument with one of his allies over where they should hide the kidnapped king. Morden reveals himself as a vampire and massacres his erstwhile ally, his court, and anything living inside his ally's castle. Using the carnage he just created, Morden offers to turn his surviving students into vampires, and all except Alice accept his offer. She is appalled by Morden's real identity and willingness to kill innocents, and they fight. He leaves her for dead and bugs out, taking the king to his lair. Alice, betrayed by her mentor, sells out to the good guys in exchange for amnesty.

    I was aiming for NG, but I'm really not sure now. What do you think Alice's alignment is, and why?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Flame of Anor's Avatar

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    No way is this character Good-aligned. Poisoning and murdering legitimate authorities? Working with "overtly Evil" necromancy? Those aren't the actions of someone who can have a clean conscience afterwards. Good intentions might get her up to a True Neutral, but that's as far as I'd go.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    While the character seems to avoid the worst evil actions - I don't see any good actions there either. I second that they're not good.

    I'd actually say that they're probably CN, though that's harder to tell from what you wrote. (Actual CN - not the excuse to be a murderhobo which many people pick CN to do.)

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    Last edited by CharonsHelper; 2015-12-30 at 05:35 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    I'd go with TN or CN. She has enough scruples to keep clear of an Evil alignment, but not enough to get into G territory.

    Probably CN, given her overt disregard for laws and customs, and apparent indifference towards taboos (blood magic sounds like something that would be frowned on, but as I read it she just doesn't give a damn'. Ditto poisoning. To say nothing of king-napping.)
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    I would say a solid true neutral. She is by no means a good person, but she avoids evil acts as well. She is not lawful, but I don't think she is solidly chaotic either. She might do things that are sociatial taboos and engage in nonlawful actions, but she would rather see the kingdom change, not be destroyed or torn down. Maybe leaning a bit chaotic, but I would still say true neutral for now.

    You pegged her as nG, which would be a good point to aspire to after she sides with the good guys,saves the king/kills her mentor and whatnot...
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    RedKnightGirl

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    d6 Re: What alignment is this character?

    Conspiring to kill good aligned Gaurds and then proceeding is True N if one of those is a Paladin Alice is NE without a doubt. She may be redeemable. Good luck
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    Seto's Avatar

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    Quote Originally Posted by denthor View Post
    Conspiring to kill good aligned Gaurds and then proceeding is True N if one of those is a Paladin Alice is NE without a doubt. She may be redeemable. Good luck
    Killing a LG Paladin is no more Evil than killing a LG Fighter (it's Evil, but it doesn't make it irredeemable or anything), or for that matter, a CE Fighter who's doing he's job as a guard and getting in your way.

    I'd agree with either CN or TN (chaotic tendencies) : "doesn't care about the kingdom, doesn't owe it anything" makes her solidly non-lawful. If she thinks laws are necessary to defend the people, and is ready to submit to a set of laws she'd consider just, then she's TN.
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    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    I would argue NG, possibly CG, as long as it's clear Alice was being manipulated and legitimately believed she was only hurting bad people for good reasons, and now that she knows the truth she recognizes how wrong her actions were and seeks to make things right. She goes out of her way to avoid hurting innocents whenever possible. That strikes me as definitively good. Most of your evil associations are either out of lack of IC knowledge or pure necessity. You're not a Paladin. You don't become evil or fall just by associating with evil characters. Arguably chaotic as you're actively rebelling against a legal authority.

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    Goblin

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    True neutral. Her actions are too heavily mixed between good and evil to be deserving of either label. One or two minor evil acts more and she qualifies as evil, but from what you've told us, I could also see her atoning for her acts and qualifying as good. As for law/chaos, overthrowing the kingdom is chaotic, but obeying and following another is pretty lawful behavior, in the sense of "follows some sort of code and listens to a self-selected authority", not the "follows the law and listens to a designated authority not of their choosing".
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    OK. What's your understanding of alignment? Supernatural cosmic forces or personal codes?
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    @Neonchameleon: personal codes. Supernatural cosmic forces exist, but they're more the law vs chaos variety

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    I would say Chaotic Neutral or just plain Neutral. She has no particular desire or intent to do harm unless she feels it necessary, cooperated mainly to support her mentor (if she was particularly motivated by loyalty in this choice you may manage a LN). Thinking about it I could imagine an LN who became a CN in some cases. The problem with choosing Chaos or Law is that both easily come to the same conclusions with different reasoning.

    In any case definitely not Good or Evil, not really helping anyone just because she can, and not harming anyone just because she can (I know these are grossly simplified versions of good and evil, but I think the point is clear)
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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    Her defiance against authority and desire to undermine it strikes me as Chaotic, but her understanding that laws need to be instilled to fit her means pushes her slightly towards Neutral, so somewhere in-between on that spectrum is where I would place her. As far as Good to Evil goes, she does very, very bad things for good reasons, but has limits and an understanding of morality that isn't abandoned at the drop of a hat. Were she actually Evil, she would either be doing things because she enjoyed making others suffer, or wouldn't have any qualms about harming the citizens of the kingdom, but were she neutral, she would consider working with a higher power to usurp the king in a more moral manner. Assassination and poisons are highly evil, as is accepting and working with an objectively evil necromancer.

    True Neutral or Chaotic Neutral if working in a campaign with good-aligned players, or generally doing good-aligned things. This is if you play the character by swaying towards her nicer tendencies.

    You could actually pass her off as Chaotic Evil, in a comic book supervillain kind of way. She has personal qualms and issues about her evil actions, but justifies those for herself and performs evil deeds. You would need to show that in her heart, she actually enjoys what she has done a little too much, and any sense of morals is easily subverted by the rewards of personal gain at other's expense. Right now, you're on the spectrum of Neutral-Chaotic and Neutral-Evil. To refine this more, we will have to see how she is roleplayed.
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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    If you already know what she will do in any situation, you don't need alignment for any purpose except what spells protect or hurt her. She's probably true neutral, unless you want her stopped by an anti-Chaotic spell.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    What I read is a character development arc, shifting from Neutral Evil to Chaotic Neutral, headed towards to Neutral/Chaotic Good. Alignments are not set in stone. They shift, and just because they were a darker alignment doesn't mean they can't rise up from that. Sometimes Good calls just as much as Evil does.
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  16. - Top - End - #16
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    Pretty clearly CN for mine.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    @Neonchameleon: personal codes. Supernatural cosmic forces exist, but they're more the law vs chaos variety
    Then she's closer to good than many good-aligned PCs. Grey magic isn't black and the magic described isn't as evil as evocation, never mind necromancy.

    There's a motivation question. Why she poisons the king. And what she believes her master to be. If he#s been filling her head with pretty stories about making the world a better place and she genuinely believes them there's a possibility she's misguided-good. If it's personal loyalty she's neutral.

    As for law vs chaos, I'm going with again asking what she believes she's doing.
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  18. - Top - End - #18
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    I would say that Alice is Aberrant while her master is Diabolic. I'm using the Palladium alignment system. Both are evil alignments.

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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    I would go with misleaded CG.

    "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."

    "A chaotic good character does what's necessary to bring about change for the better, 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.[8] Chaotic good characters usually intend to do the right thing, but their methods are generally disorganized and often out of sync with the rest of society."

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    I know I may be in the minority here but I would actually call her true neutral. It sounds like she is following her own personal code.
    She does not want the chaos but will do the shady work needed to bring about change. They play with the side that works with their goals.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    Why are assassinations and poison considered Evil, as opposed to Chaotic? The former is essentially sneak attack, while the latter... back to the "is it realistic poison or DnD poison" argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Honor systems generally exist for the benefit of a ruling class's long term interests. They're there to keep people in their place.

    Honor states that men may not gang up because nobles are individually better armed, trained, and educated, while peasants are numerous. Honor states that poison and assassination is vile, because it deals with the individual who transgresses rather than making war on their minions while they hide within their castles. Honor states that fire and swords are honorable, because castles do not burn like cottages, and steel does not slice like linen.

    The guys in power are individually better trained, better armed, healthier, and fewer in number, so of course you're supposed to let them see you coming and not team up, because then they'll win. Giving people the idea that that kind of fight is "honorable" and "fair" (even though it's anything but) gives an advantage to the ruling warrior-thug class.

    Generally, if something can make a peasant beat a knight, it's "dishonorable."
    Alice had no reason to distrust whatever information that led her to believe the king is something other than evil. When she found out her necromancer 'friend' was the evil one, she became highly distraught and sought new friends.

    Heck, I think she's Good. She does her darnest to make sure no one dies or, barring that, suffers the least. It's reflected even in the use of her poisons (might want to be careful about poisoning wells though, even if the poison's nonlethal. What does that poison do anyway?). To drive that point in, you could have her mourn for every person she's killed, accidentally or otherwise.

    I'll peg her as Chaotic Good. It's also my favorite alignment, if the quote I quoted above wasn't an indication.

    Might also want to look at how you judge the alignments of your other characters (they should all be judged equally - can't have Alice be CG and Bob be CE even though they use non-lethal poison in the same way), as well as what your players think (if a player has a history of thinking "assassination + poison = Evil"... actually I don't know what to do here, apart from advising caution).
    Last edited by goto124; 2016-01-04 at 01:49 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    Some good alignement would have worked if not for all the poison. Poisoning the king, poisoning wells (even if non-lethal) ... secrecy and poisoning seems to be one of her preferred methods of action next to the blood magic and the duellist stuff.
    While the whole "overthrow the evil king" would not take the good out of reach, even if good guards get killed, the poisoning does. It is one of the things D&D declares to be evil.

    So overall, i go with CN, maybe TN (not enough information to decide between those two). But if the DM declares poison to not be automatically evil, CG might actually work.



    Poison, slavery, (a lot of) necromancy ... D&D has declared some things to be always evil that regularly lead to arguments when actually decent guys use them in not very offensive ways. Either stick to the books or not. Personally i would rule using nonlethal poison to avoid lethal methods to not be evil at all, but that is not standard D&D and would require houserules.
    Last edited by Satinavian; 2016-01-04 at 05:46 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    the poisoning does. It is one of the things D&D declares to be evil.

    Poison, slavery, (a lot of) necromancy ... D&D has declared some things to be always evil that regularly lead to arguments when actually decent guys use them in not very offensive ways. Either stick to the books or not. Personally i would rule using nonlethal poison to avoid lethal methods to not be evil at all, but that is not standard D&D and would require houserules.
    Er? Declaring poison be not automatically Evil doesn't take much houseruling, does it? It's just saying "poison is not inherently Evil. How you use it can be Evil, but ultimately poison is just a weapon, like a sword or a spell'.

    Realistic poison isn't instant - it causes a lot of pain over a period of time, during which the victim is highly sick. DnD poison is more like an attack that deals damage over time, or sets a status effect that doesn't cause any more harm or pain than a normal spell or a good ol' club over the head. If the last two are neutral, DnD poison should not get hit with the "Evil" thing somehow.
    Last edited by goto124; 2016-01-04 at 07:31 AM.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    It may be a small houserule, it may be a reasonable houserule, but it is still a houserule.

    You can't answer a "What D&D-alignment would a certain character be"-question based on houserules.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    On a tangent, the OP is the DM right?

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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    @Kryztyfyr: After looking up the Palladium alignment system, Aberrant describes Alice to a T. But I have no idea why it's classified as Evil :P

    @goto124: "On a tangent, the OP is the DM right?" I'm not sure what you're asking...?

    @neonchameleon: She's helping her mentor overthrow the king because she thinks it's good for the public, but more importantly because her mentor asked for her assistance

    Ah, the "is poison inherently evil?" question. I'm not sure what side of the argument I fall on to be honest, but the non-lethal toxins in question make their victims extremely sick and out of commission without permanently harming them. Think a 3-5 day horrendous stomach flu. It's not evil in the way that a detect evil would register, but it most certainly is not nice or honorable.

    I forgot to mention, but Alice has been using the blood magic to dominate soldiers for short periods of time. She wounds them, dominates them, uses them to get past doors or distract their comrades, then turns them loose once she's in the clear.

    I've been really enjoying the discussion so far. I like that there's several equally valid and well-supported ideas for her alignment. While I originally wanted her to be a "good guy doing bad things" without resorting to the "ends justify the means" argument, I'm not sure she's stayed true to her initial alignment. While the objective has never wavered and her principles still stand (albeit with some serious stains and tarnishes), her means may have pushed her off into the deep end. I'm really not sure where her alignment truly lies. Thanks for the feedback and if you've got anything to add, please go right ahead!

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    @Kryztyfyr: After looking up the Palladium alignment system, Aberrant describes Alice to a T. But I have no idea why it's classified as Evil :P
    Probably because the writers viewed "no regard for human life" (if I'm remembering that correctly, if not, mea culpa) characteristic in the Aberrant list as being evil. Though, I would think it would be interesting if there were no Good or Evil dividers in the Palladium alignment system.

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    Ah, the "is poison inherently evil?" question. I'm not sure what side of the argument I fall on to be honest, but the non-lethal toxins in question make their victims extremely sick and out of commission without permanently harming them. Think a 3-5 day horrendous stomach flu. It's not evil in the way that a detect evil would register, but it most certainly is not nice or honorable.
    I would always say poisoning people is evil, but the way you described it puts that in a gray area for me as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    I forgot to mention, but Alice has been using the blood magic to dominate soldiers for short periods of time. She wounds them, dominates them, uses them to get past doors or distract their comrades, then turns them loose once she's in the clear.
    Yeah, I think this is putting her in the deep end of the alignment pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    I've been really enjoying the discussion so far. I like that there's several equally valid and well-supported ideas for her alignment. While I originally wanted her to be a "good guy doing bad things" without resorting to the "ends justify the means" argument, I'm not sure she's stayed true to her initial alignment. While the objective has never wavered and her principles still stand (albeit with some serious stains and tarnishes), her means may have pushed her off into the deep end. I'm really not sure where her alignment truly lies. Thanks for the feedback and if you've got anything to add, please go right ahead!
    You're welcome!

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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    I forgot to mention, but Alice has been using the blood magic to dominate soldiers for short periods of time. She wounds them, dominates them, uses them to get past doors or distract their comrades, then turns them loose once she's in the clear.
    Yeah - as said above - I think that pushes her to NE.

    Of note - I really think that there should be sub-categories of evil (maybe good too - but especially evil). There is capital E EVIL which is demons/devils/The Joker etc. - and then just evil - people who are bad, but you might even hang out with.

    I'd say that she's NE - lowercase evil - and her change of heart/betrayal of Morden puts her on the fast-track for CN, and possibly CG eventually. (To her - going less evil would likely inherently mean going more chaotic since her evil actions were inherently tied to her devotion to Morden, though other things could obviously shift her more lawful.)

    Edit: grammar
    Last edited by CharonsHelper; 2016-01-04 at 07:27 PM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cealocanth View Post
    ...Were she actually Evil, she would either be doing things because she enjoyed making others suffer, or wouldn't have any qualms about harming the citizens of the kingdom, but were she neutral, she would consider working with a higher power to usurp the king in a more moral manner.
    Neither of these are true.
    A person who reliably does Evil things, but doesn't enjoy them is still Evil. A neutral person may seek another way to usurp the king, but depending on the setting and how plausible that is, a darker neutral could very well go for the kill.
    Evil doesn't have to be moustache-twirling, maniacal-laughing, granny-tripping sadists; an Evil character could very well be a nice guy who genuinely doesn't know he or she has crossed the line.
    It sounds like she starts off CN - doesn't owe the king or kingdom anything, sounds very much like she lives by her own rules - but as she begins working for Morden, begins drifting toward NE.
    She kills good people, and she tries not to kill civilians. This is important; trying not to do something if it can be helped is not the same as completely ruling it out as an option. These two things - combined with the blood magic/controlling people - sound pretty Evil to me, even if she has compunctions about it. At the very least, not the NG you were going for. At this point, I'd consider her a lighter shade of NE; but still NE in the end.
    It also sounds like she's almost looking for excuses to be Evil; she follows Morden's commands simply because he helped her, even when those commands involve killing the very people she wants to save. This also depends on how good the king actually is. No matter how great your king is, there's going to be some people on the streets, somebody who fell through the cracks in society. How is the rest of the kingdom doing? If it's all sunshine and daisies, and she's blind to that, then all the more case for NE. If it's one giant pit of despair and the king genuinely is awful, then there might be a case for TN here.

    Anyway, once they get rid of the king, I'm pretty sure she starts heading back toward Neutral territory. Certainly, by the time she denounces Morden, she's made it back to TN.
    That's all I can think of, at any rate.

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    Default Re: What alignment is this character?

    Quote Originally Posted by goto124 View Post
    Why are assassinations and poison considered Evil, as opposed to Chaotic?
    If someone comes to your house and kills you for money, thats not a good act. I assure you, the killer could argue the toss in court all he wanted, but the killer is going to be condemned as an evil person. Its not a chaotic act either [its certainly breaking the law, but the assasin may be a very disciplied person who always keeps his word, and always fulfills a contract].

    In 3.5 evil is defined as opressing, harming and killing others. Assasination fits that bill.

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