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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    confused Allignments, thought and choices?

    "But if you actually cares about people as neutral good says you would be like hmmm how can this affect things?"

    Hello, new member and newish D&D player here.

    We had a session today where the party ended up at a shop of a twitchy little goblin alchemist selling potions that turned out were to be injected giving you magical abilities.
    While there my character ended up purchasing one of them and the group was pulled into helping the little guy with setting up a legitimate storefront in the next session.
    The potion let you summon a bunch of birds that would attack your target and wouldn't stop until they were pecked clean.

    I'll say that we were at this shop in the first place to gear up for fighting a wyvern after we got forced into accepting a job by a magician. Said magician was also the one to send us here.

    My dilemma comes from my dm saying later on after the session that I HAVE to start playing true to my allignment of neutral good. Admittedly I was miffed about it.

    The reasoning for the DM calling me out on this was because I didn't ask enough questions about the potions. That I jumped on that train too fast despite the alchemist admitting that bad guys do get access to the potions too. As well as me not questioning him after finding out there wasn't any actual testing done on human subjects after I was already injected.

    DM told me to change my allignment because a neutral good character wouldn't have done that. Wouldn't have not asked a bunch of questions about the process. That because badguys can get the potions as well I shouldn't support the whole thing. That I was too selfish to care about others and had to have this potion.

    DM said that to be a neutral good and support that shop I would have to ask questions about background checks and help with a system to stop bad guys from having access.

    We ended up going backforth on this alot and I agreed to change allignment pretty passive aggresively in the end but neither of us were happy much in the end.

    My question from this whole thing is how much should allignment influent each decision you make? Is impulsiveness an acceptable reason to do something that might not conform perfectly to your allignment? Can people do things without thinking them through? I'm worried about bumping heads more in the future when it comes to any decisions I make that might go against my allignment which I don't believe do.

    Some advice from veteran players would be really appreciated. I don't want this campaign to be full of second guessing or pissing off the DM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Lord Raziere's Avatar

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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Alignment is not a straightjacket. Your DM is being a jerk by telling you how to play your character. "Asking questions about background checks and such" is not being good, just paranoid.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    IMO, your DM is full of if on this. How many questions you might ask first in a situation like this depend at least as much on how trusting you are as anything else, and there's absolutely no reason a NG character can't be quite trusting. In fact, I would say that Evil and Chaotic characters in general are more likely be suspicious and have problems trusting people, especially strangers. Even that's not set in stone; look at Elan--he's definitely Chaotic, but is very trusting because of how naïve he is.

    OTOH, if a LG character has a more suspicious nature, I can see that they might be concerned about who has access to the potions. Based just on alignment, I'd thing Neutral characters would be the least likely to be concerned about who else can get them. But again, there are a whole lot of other factors than alignment that determine how a character reacts to situations, and characters of any alignment could simply sometimes not think through the consequences of their actions.

    In a certain sense, your DM is doing the right thing--DMs are supposed to warn players if they are doing things that can cause an alignment shift, but: A) in my experience DMs in practice rarely warn about or enforce alignment changes; B) it should be a pattern of actions, not a one-time thing; and C ) in this particular situation, based on what you've told us, your DM has some very strange ideas about what might cause an alignment shift.

    If I was in a shop buying something, I'd never think to ask the shopkeeper who else he might sell to. In a game, or IRL. I think your DM is either nuts, or trying to screw you over.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Thanks for the replies.

    My character's been pretty trusting and does a lot of things on a whim. Kind of flighty in nature and doesn't focus very well.
    Backstory is really light. Nothing dark, grim or even bad. A happy bard who went on an adventure to look for inspiration in music. Very much a bard that happens to adventure rather than vice versa.

    I do actually specify that my character doesn't notice a lot of things intentionally playing them as kind of absentminded and goes with the flow alot.
    Sometimes they do come off as uncaring mostly I think due to my poor roleplay skills. Something I'm trying to improve on.

    Example such as in this campaign when myself and our bossnpc went on stage in a magic show and I was the only one reappearing after a disappearing act.
    I figured that since I was apparently reappeared ontop of a high pole thing and the audience cheering I wouldn't notice the other guy not showing up initially. So I started bowing and being all excited and not rushed to find out where our employer went.

    Specifically to the shop scenario.

    "You can investigate if he has background checks guaranteed as to minimize damage. But you literally being like "nah man no questions asked, let's do it"
    That's not neutral good
    If you just felt that you could have asked better questions then that's fine."

    And how DM says I'm supposed to think as neutral good.

    "It's like
    Hey I need your help with this
    Oh okay it is only going to affect me?
    No
    Oh how can it affect other people?"

    Should I from a roleplaying perspective be more proactively asking about these kinds of things? I'm kinda worried that if I spend to much time on that kind of thing it would cause a lull in the gameplay or seem too fake.

    I don't think my DM's out to get me... I hope. I think we're just thinking about things very differently.

    "Me: Who's to say I can't judge that the vigor can do more good than bad even if bad people can get it.

    DM: See that's fine
    But you didn't ask about the potential damage
    You just jumped into it
    You didn't even think about the damage you could have supported"

    Me: I do understand that bad guys can get it too.
    DM:Yeah so to just support it without question goes against the morality. So if you would want to continue this path that it would be wise to change alignment"

    DM makes a good point that I should start to question things more and I should probably slow my character down a bit and think more about the consequences of my action. But I think that's a more gradual thing for an impulsive happy character to learn. Maybe flashback to this scenario and be more careful in the future.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Changing alignment because your acts could help somebody evil would be excessive even for a paladin, imagine for a normal character.

    I can imagine other decisions by the same logic

    "you pass by a blacksmith forging a sword, as a neutral good you must stop him, because that sword could be used by someone evil, it doesn't matter if he is actually forging it for a paladin, someone evil could steal it from him one day, and it would be you fault"

    "you must ask if this tavern use detect evil to be sure no evil person ever sleep in it, if not is your duty as a good character to burn it down, or change alignment"

    "you pass on a bridge. You must demolish it, because it could help someone evil to cross this river someday, and it would be terrible."

    By his logic you should change alignment because you want to kill that wyvern, too, because it could attack some evil character someday, and killing it you are protecting evil. Shame on you.
    I don't make the crazy rules, I just twist them to my purpose

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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Yeah, Good people don't have to run background checks on every person they meet. Only crazy people do that. If there is nothing overtly suspect, there's no reason to harass the shopkeepers.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Good aligned characters can make honest mistakes without having to shift alignment. Your DM is saying, "you trusted the wrong person."

    A better way to DM would be to start dropping clues to you in game, such as, "you're getting uncomfortable about this guy. Would you like to try a sense motive check?"

    If you didn't consider him a threat and the DM didn't actually say he was, how are you supposed to read his mind?

    I agree this is more like what to expect from Lawful Good, but even that is a bit extreme.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Quote Originally Posted by WitchNumber4 View Post

    My character's been pretty trusting and does a lot of things on a whim. Kind of flighty in nature and doesn't focus very well.
    If this was already an established character trait of your bard, that makes the position your DM has taken here far worse IMO.

    And how DM says I'm supposed to think as neutral good.
    He has no business telling you how your character is supposed to think.

    Should I from a roleplaying perspective be more proactively asking about these kinds of things? I'm kinda worried that if I spend to much time on that kind of thing it would cause a lull in the gameplay or seem too fake.
    Do you want your character to become less trusting and naïve? If so, yeah, sure. If you want him to keep the same personality, no.

    DM makes a good point that I should start to question things more and I should probably slow my character down a bit and think more about the consequences of my action. But I think that's a more gradual thing for an impulsive happy character to learn. Maybe flashback to this scenario and be more careful in the future.
    Again, this is for your character to decide, not your DM. And even if you do want your character to become more thoughtful, alignment has nothing to do with it.

  9. - Top - End - #9

    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Play your character however you want to and write whatever meaningless thing he wants you to in your alignment box.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    I think your DM has exhibited a serious inability to understand the Alignment system more than anything else. And also is enforcing it way too strongly. After all, a good person can do a bad thing or two, it happens--thus, a Good character should be able to have a moral lapse here or there without it causing an Alignment change. And this isn't even an example of a moral lapse, as others have pointed out--this is a lack of paranoia. Pretty sure paranoia does not have a specific place on the Good/Evil axis.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Seems like you are completely in the right here,

    but,

    we still only know one side of the argument.

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Alignment is descriptive, not prescriptive. What you have written on your character sheet should be an honest assessment of how you believe your character to be behaving, not a statement that you intend your character to behave according to specific patterns no matter what.

    Your DM is also out of line. One of the few things a DM cannot under any circumstances do is tell a player how to play their character. The DM has an entire world they get to play with, they don't need to be messing with your one person as well. At most, they can tell you that they don't think your behavior matches your stated alignment.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Alignment is descriptive, not prescriptive. What you have written on your character sheet should be an honest assessment of how you believe your character to be behaving, not a statement that you intend your character to behave according to specific patterns no matter what.

    Your DM is also out of line. One of the few things a DM cannot under any circumstances do is tell a player how to play their character. The DM has an entire world they get to play with, they don't need to be messing with your one person as well. At most, they can tell you that they don't think your behavior matches your stated alignment.
    Keltest has the right of it.

    I do disagree slightly with them, in that if you write Neutral Good on your sheet, you should attempt to play your character in a Good fashion. That being said, if you don't, that doesn't mean you're playing your character wrong. That just means that you wrote the wrong alignment on your sheet, or that your character has changed from Neutral Good to something else.
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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Keltest has the right of it.

    I do disagree slightly with them, in that if you write Neutral Good on your sheet, you should attempt to play your character in a Good fashion. That being said, if you don't, that doesn't mean you're playing your character wrong. That just means that you wrote the wrong alignment on your sheet, or that your character has changed from Neutral Good to something else.
    Here's the thing--I don't have a problem with DMs warning a player if they are in danger of changing alignment, and with actually enforcing alignment change if a PC repeatedly acts in manner contrary to their alignment; in fact, I think DMs probably need to do so more often, especially in the classic case of supposedly LG characters who are actually just a bunch of murder hobos.* The problem in this case is that the PC hasn't acted in a manner contrary to his alignment by any remotely reasonable standard.

    *Of course, in most editions of DnD, if you're not playing a Paladin, alignment is just a notation on a character sheet that doesn't have any actual effect on the game 99.99% of the time.
    Last edited by dps; 2017-10-15 at 11:51 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Even in the case of paladins, putting players into situations where they had to pick the lesser of two evils and/or had to have mythic levels of insight were popular falltraps. There's a reason that later editions moved far away from the concept.

    OP sounds new, I assume his DM is too, and both "alignment is prescriptive" and "Good is the straight and narrow and requires a very specific path to maintain your alignment" are classic newbie mistakes. (As is something I'm going to assume here, that everybody made their characters on their own and the DM throws these strangers together for their first adventure. More on that in a moment.) They're common mistakes. And hopefully we can get the DM here so we can explain how yes, we all made these mistakes before too - and here's how we came to realize that they were in fact mistakes.

    There's little you can do about this now that the adventure has started, but as a rule I like to get all the players together to discuss setting, theme, and to let everybody discuss what character types they want to play before the first mark is made on a character sheet. So long as the character stays at least broadly near what the player initially pitched and is willing to be a team player, I feel that I should err on the side of letting them decide how their character should work out. Alignment change should only happen when both the DM and player agree that the character's outlook should change as part of their narrative arc. The exceptions that would inspire me as DM to automatically inflict alignment change also tend to be such grossly antisocial things that would get the player kicked out. Which makes a couple of letters on a character sheet rather irrelevant.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    Play your character however you want to and write whatever meaningless thing he wants you to in your alignment box.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Alignment is descriptive, not prescriptive. What you have written on your character sheet should be an honest assessment of how you believe your character to be behaving, not a statement that you intend your character to behave according to specific patterns no matter what.

    Your DM is also out of line. One of the few things a DM cannot under any circumstances do is tell a player how to play their character. The DM has an entire world they get to play with, they don't need to be messing with your one person as well. At most, they can tell you that they don't think your behavior matches your stated alignment.
    Yeah, this kind of thing is why I stopped writing anything in the "alignment" box on the character sheet. I told all DMs who asked that I was going to create and roleplay a personality, and that I would happily ignore whatever assignment they felt the need to describe that personality as. But if they had any useful critique about my role-playing, I'd actually be interested.

    But, then, my experiences included multiple (yes, multiple!) DMs with tables of scenarios and alignments, and if, in that scenario, you didn't respond the way that their table said your assignment should respond, you weren't role-playing. And one DM who was more "advanced", as his complex matrix included race and gender.

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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Yeah, this kind of thing is why I stopped writing anything in the "alignment" box on the character sheet. I told all DMs who asked that I was going to create and roleplay a personality, and that I would happily ignore whatever assignment they felt the need to describe that personality as. But if they had any useful critique about my role-playing, I'd actually be interested.

    But, then, my experiences included multiple (yes, multiple!) DMs with tables of scenarios and alignments, and if, in that scenario, you didn't respond the way that their table said your assignment should respond, you weren't role-playing. And one DM who was more "advanced", as his complex matrix included race and gender.
    That's horse crap. Especially the race and gender bit.

    Sure, your average Dwarf will respond to X in Y fashion, as compared to an Elf who would respond with Z. But you're an ADVENTURER! You're EXCEPTIONAL!
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    But, then, my experiences included multiple (yes, multiple!) DMs with tables of scenarios and alignments, and if, in that scenario, you didn't respond the way that their table said your assignment should respond, you weren't role-playing. And one DM who was more "advanced", as his complex matrix included race and gender.
    *shudder*

    I will grant a little slack to this, since there's an old Gygax article out there on what the different alignments would or wouldn't do. But while the man was sharp, let's not go fetishizing all his wacky early ideas.

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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    But, then, my experiences included multiple (yes, multiple!) DMs with tables of scenarios and alignments, and if, in that scenario, you didn't respond the way that their table said your assignment should respond, you weren't role-playing. And one DM who was more "advanced", as his complex matrix included race and gender.
    "Due to how you've been role-playing, I'm changing your alignment to Chaotic Orc Girl."

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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    "Due to how you've been role-playing, I'm changing your alignment to Chaotic Orc Girl."
    "But I'm an Dwarvish Man!"
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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    "But I'm an Dwarvish Man!"
    "You didn't cast Detect Ale when that was an option, you bathed with less than 2 minutes of complaining, and you forgot to haggle at least three times last session. Sorry, I'm taking away your beard... but at least you can keep your hair-braids."

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    In so glad my horror stories can make people laugh. Especially me. Thank y'all for the laugh - it felt good.

    EDIT- I think I need to add, "You roleplay like an Orc Girl" to my list of inside jokes.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2017-10-15 at 03:38 PM.

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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    But, then, my experiences included multiple (yes, multiple!) DMs with tables of scenarios and alignments, and if, in that scenario, you didn't respond the way that their table said your assignment should respond, you weren't role-playing. And one DM who was more "advanced", as his complex matrix included race and gender.
    ...Yeesh. Perhaps taking the Alignment system a bit too seriously, there.

    I actually do like the whole Alignment thing. I like using it as a general (VERY general!) descriptor of my character, and early in character creation I find it's useful as a tool to help focus in on what kind of character I want to make. But Keltest absolutely was correct, in my opinion.

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    Zombie

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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Injecting yourself with a strange alchemical substance provided by a fun you just met had nothing to do with your alignment.

    A character of any alignment would do that if their Wisdom score was low enough. If your Wisdom score is in the double digits, then yes, this was not "properly role-playing your character", but it's not an alignment violation.

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    HalflingRogueGuy

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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Failure of the DM on his part to advise you as a player on how HE interprets alignment does not obligate YOU as a player to pay the penalty for inability to read his mind. In particular, when you have done nothing more than exercise a good-faith effort to adhere to your characters alignment - INSOFAR AS YOU WERE PERMITTED BY THE DM TO UNDERSTAND IT TO THAT POINT - you have every reason to be righteously annoyed at the DM's attempts AFTER THE FACT to punish YOUR PC for THE DM'S failure. When the DM saw that your PC was behaving in a way contrary to how HE thought your character needed to behave (contrary to the point of actually changing the PC's alignment!) the DM has every obligation to clarify INSTANTLY, and PRIOR to handing down any alignment-related punishments or consequences, that you do actually understand what it is you're having your character do, what the consequences will be, and that you're not just suffering from being insufficiently informed BY HIM as to what would be permitted or not.

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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    I've played DnD for several years. I only use alignment as a way to make sure that everyone is on board for the type of game so the party can actually function and not try to kill itself in the first session. I find it a convoluted mess for a multitude of reasons I don't think is entirely relevant. But honestly, alignment isn't necessary for RP, through some find it a helpful tool.

    I think you need to sit down your DM. No one is going to have fun if you aren't on the same page. Don't bring it up mid-session! But try to be calm and make it clear you aren't attacking him, you just think that good characters can have flaws, such as being overly trusting. If you know him well, bring up examples of clearly good characters that also share this flaw.

    If that doesn't work, point out all of the instance of people never questioning things. That goblin? Can't be good aligned, for he didn't ask enough questions of the random strangers helping him. That town guard? Didn't ask you about your family tree for the fifth generation! Clearly everyone in the game must be neutral or evil by this logic. Also point out that people don't do that in real life, so it would make every good character a paranoid nutjob with the diplomatic skills of a foot fungus.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oko and Qailee View Post
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    In my experience there are very few cases where it's reasonable to say "a character of [specific alignment] would not do that" for any specific action, and pretty much all of those are restricted to Paladins (or other strictly Lawful Good characters). For any character who does not have an established "code of conduct", any individual action is 'permissible'...though it may take some clever roleplay for edge cases. IMO, the DM in question is being way too heavy-handed.

    That said, it is within the DM's purview to define alignment however he wants in his game...but if he's going to do something 'out of the norm' it should be spelled out for the players in advance. And if a player takes an action that the DM feels is 'against their alignment', he should bring it up at the time, so that the player has the option of either changing the action to match their alignment, or changing their alignment (or at lest their leaning) to match the action. There should never be any retroactive 'alignment adjustment'.

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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    *sigh*

    This again.

    I mostly just leave alignment blank, or put in "Neutral

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    In the novel Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson,

    which was published before and inspired Moorcock's "Law vs. Chaos" conflict, it was only sometimes "Law", and usually it was indeed "Order" vs. "Chaos", and Anderson expressly conflated Holger's struggle against Morgan le Fay and the "Host of Faerie" with the battle against the Nazis in our world.

    To learn what is ment by "chaotic/good", "lawful/evil" etc. ask the DM of that particular table, it means what the DM says it means

    If you want you can also read the article which first had the term.

    I first read a copy of it in the 1980 "Best of The Dragon" which is next to me. It reprinted the original article in the;
    Strategic Review: February 1976



    Quote Originally Posted by THE MEANING OF LAW AND CHAOS IN DUNGEONS & DRAGONS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIPS TO GOOD AND EVIL

    by Gary Gygax

    FEBRUARY 1976

    Many questions continue to arise regarding what constitutes a “lawful” act, what sort of behavior is “chaotic”, what constituted an “evil” deed, and how certain behavior is “good”. There is considerable confusion in that most dungeonmasters construe the terms “chaotic” and “evil” to mean the same thing, just as they define “lawful” and “good” to mean the same. This is scarcely surprising considering the wording of the three original volumes of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. When that was written they meant just about the same thing in my mind — notice I do not say they were synonymous in my thinking at, that time. The wording in the GREYHAWK supplement added a bit more confusion, for by the time that booklet was written some substantial differences had been determined. In fact, had I the opportunity to do D&D over I would have made the whole business very much clearer by differentiating the four categories, and many chaotic creatures would be good, while many lawful creatures would be evil. Before going into the definitions of these four terms, a graphic representation of their relative positions will help the reader to follow the further discourse. (Illustration I)

    Notice first that the area of neutrality lies squarely athwart the intersection of the lines which divide the four behavioral distinctions, and it is a very small area when compared with the rest of the graph. This refers to true neutrality, not to neutrality regarding certain interactions at specific times, i.e., a war which will tend to weaken a stronger player or game element regardless of the “neutral” party’s actions can hardly be used as a measure of neutrality if it will benefit the party’s interest to have the weakening come about.

    Also note that movement upon this graph is quite possible with regard to campaign participants, and the dungeonmaster should, in fact, make this a standard consideration in play. This will be discussed hereafter.

    Now consider the term “Law” as opposed to “Chaos”. While they are nothing if not opposites, they are neither good nor evil in their definitions. A highly regimented society is typically governed by strict law, i.e., a dictatorship, while societies which allow more individual freedom tend to be more chaotic. The following lists of words describing the two terms point this out. I have listed the words describing the concepts in increasing order of magnitude (more or less) as far as the comparison with the meanings of the two terms in D&D is concerned:

    Basically, then, “Law” is strict order and “Chaos” is complete anarchy, but of course they grade towards each other along the scale from left to right on the graph. Now consider the terms “Good” and “Evil” expressed in the same manner:

    The terms “Law” and “Evil” are by no means mutually exclusive. There is no reason that there cannot be prescribed and strictly enforced rules which are unpleasant, injurious or even corrupt. Likewise “Chaos” and “Good” do not form a dichotomy. Chaos can be harmless, friendly, honest, sincere, beneficial, or pure, for that matter. This all indicates that there are actually five, rather than three, alignments, namely

    The lawful/good classification is typified by the paladin, the chaotic/good alignment is typified by elves, lawful/evil is typified by the vampire, and the demon is the epitome of chaotic/evil. Elementals are neutral. The general reclassification various creatures is shown on Illustration II.

    Placement of characters upon a graph similar to that in Illustration I is necessary if the dungeonmaster is to maintain a record of player-character alignment. Initially, each character should be placed squarely on the center point of his alignment, i.e., lawful/good, lawful/evil, etc. The actions of each game week will then be taken into account when determining the current position of each character. Adjustment is perforce often subjective, but as a guide the referee can consider the actions of a given player in light of those characteristics which typify his alignment, and opposed actions can further be weighed with regard to intensity. For example, reliability does not reflect as intense a lawfulness as does principled, as does righteous. Unruly does not indicate as chaotic a state as does disordered, as does lawless. Similarly, harmless, friendly, and beneficial all reflect increasing degrees of good; while unpleasant, injurious, and wicked convey progressively greater evil. Alignment does not preclude actions which typify a different alignment, but such actions will necessarily affect the position of the character performing them, and the class or the alignment of the character in question can change due to such actions, unless counter-deeds are performed to balance things. The player-character who continually follows any alignment (save neutrality) to the absolute letter of its definition must eventually move off the chart (Illustration I) and into another plane of existence as indicated. Note that selfseeking is neither lawful nor chaotic, good nor evil, except in relation to other sapient creatures. Also, law and chaos are not subject to interpretation in their ultimate meanings of order and disorder respectively, but good and evil are not absolutes but must be judged from a frame of reference, some ethos. The placement of creatures on the chart of Illustration II. reflects the ethos of this writer to some extent.

    Considering mythical and mythos gods in light of this system, most of the benign ones will tend towards the chaotic/good, and chaotic/evil will typify those gods which were inimical towards humanity. Some few would be completely chaotic, having no predisposition towards either good or evil — REH’s Crom perhaps falls into this category. What then about interaction between different alignments? This question is tricky and must be given careful consideration. Diametric opposition exists between lawful/good and chaotic/evil and between chaotic/good and lawful/evil in this ethos. Both good and evil can serve lawful ends, and conversely they may both serve chaotic ends. If we presuppose that the universal contest is between law and chaos we must assume that in any final struggle the minions of each division would be represented by both good and evil beings. This may seem strange at first, but if the major premise is accepted it is quite rational. Barring such a showdown, however, it is far more plausible that those creatures predisposed to good actions will tend to ally themselves against any threat of evil, while creatures of evil will likewise make (uneasy) alliance in order to gain some mutually beneficial end — whether at the actual expense of the enemy or simply to prevent extinction by the enemy. Evil creatures can be bound to service by masters predisposed towards good actions, but a lawful/good character would fain make use of some chaotic/evil creature without severely affecting his lawful (not necessarily good) standing.

    This brings us to the subject of those character roles which are not subject to as much latitude of action as the others. The neutral alignment is self-explanatory, and the area of true neutrality is shown on Illustration I. Note that paladins, Patriarchs, and Evil High Priests, however, have positive boundaries. The area in which a paladin may move without loss of his status is shown in Illustration III. Should he cause his character to move from this area he must immediately seek a divine quest upon which to set forth in order to gain his status once again, or be granted divine intervention; in those cases where this is not complied with the status is forever lost. Clerics of either good or evil predisposition must likewise remain completely good or totally evil, although lateral movement might be allowed by the dungeonmaster, with or without divine retribution. Those top-level clerics who fail to maintain their goodness or evilness must make some form of immediate atonement. If they fail to do so they simply drop back to seventh level. The atonement, as well as how immediate it must be, is subject to interpretation by the referee. Druids serve only themselves and nature, they occasionally make human sacrifice, but on the other hand they aid the folk in agriculture and animal husbandry. Druids are, therefore, neutral — although slightly predisposed towards evil actions.



    "As a final note, most of humanity falls into the lawful category, and most of lawful humanity lies near the line between good and evil. With proper leadership the majority will be prone towards lawful/good. Few humans are chaotic, and very few are chaotic and evil"

    - Gary Gygax

    From:
    Feet of Clay
    by Terry Pratchett

    'They think they want good government and justice for all, Vimes, yet what is it they really crave, deep in their hearts? Only that things go on as normal and tomorrow is pretty much like today.'

    - Lord Vetinari


    [B]
    Some graphs:
    [B]







    Made simple-


    From Pratchett's Discworld-


    And from
    THE MEANING OF LAW AND CHAOS IN DUNGEONS & DRAGONS
    AND THEIR RELATIONSHIPS TO GOOD AND EVIL
    by Gary Gygax



    But the "rules" on alignment and everything else are up to each individual table:

    Dungeons and Dragons, The Underground and Wilderness Adventures, p. 36: "... everything herein is fantastic, and the best way is to decide how you would like it to be, and then make it that way."

    AD&D 1e, DMG, p. 9: "The game is the thing, and certain rules can be distorted or disregarded altogether in favor of play."


    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post

    AD&D 2E, DMG, p. 3: "At conventions, in letters, and over the phone, I'm often asked for the instant answer to a fine point of the game rules. More often than not, I come back with a question -- what do you feel is right? And the people asking the question discover that not only can they create an answer, but that their answer is as good as anyone else's. The rules are only guidelines."

    D&D 3.5 DMG, p. 6: "Good players will always realize that you have ultimate authority over the game mechanics, even superseding something in a rulebook."
    D&D 5e DMG, p. 263:: "As the Dungeon Master, You aren't limited by the rules in the Player's Handbook, the guidelines in this book, or the selection of monsters in the Monster Manual
    Grim specter of noogie hangs like shroud over us all


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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    What edition are you playing?

    Because if the edition is 5e and he's not running some kind of special Alignment house-rules, tell him both your Alignment, and your choice of how to use it as a roleplaying tool, are yours and yours alone.

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    Default Re: Allignments, thought and choices?

    Yeah, this is why I prefer Lamentations of the Flame Princess alignments to classic D&D ones. They actually have nothing to do with personality, a Chaotic magic user can be more regimented than a Lawful cleric, but with which divine beings are manipulating and favouring you.
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

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    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
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    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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