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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Good Can Get You Into A Lot Of Trouble

    On reflection, this thread should have been called: Good aligned characters can still get into a lot of trouble.

    Doing good, by and large, will very rarely land you in trouble. Sure, the old 'save the ork child' - and then he grows up to have both the intelligence and education of a human general and the ferocious strength of an ork warlord, and drowns the world in war - whoops. But otherwise, nah, not usually.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    May 2017

    Default Re: Good Can Get You Into A Lot Of Trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    On reflection, this thread should have been called: Good aligned characters can still get into a lot of trouble.

    Doing good, by and large, will very rarely land you in trouble. Sure, the old 'save the ork child' - and then he grows up to have both the intelligence and education of a human general and the ferocious strength of an ork warlord, and drowns the world in war - whoops. But otherwise, nah, not usually.
    this reminds me of a FFH story (FFH is a D&D modification of civ4, bassicly the elohim are budhist monks that ingame can create units from other factions, bannor are the palladin faction and sheaim are wizards trying to destroy the world)
    spoilered for length
    Spoiler
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    General Barthan had been leader of the Fourth Bannor Regiment for thirty years, but he knew the task before him would be his hardest. The city of Grottisburg looked like any other Sheaim city, and Sheaim cities bore an unsettling resemblance to Bannor cities. He understood, however, what needed to be done. They could not be allowed to stand; those untainted by the Ashen Veil would be accepted into the Bannor Empire, while the rest, the vast majority of people, could only be cured by blessed steel.

    Barthan was not a cruel man. He had a wife and two children, who he would unhesitatingly sacrifice his life for. He did not enjoy killing the Sheaim, and was always ready to offer redemption to those who could earn it. Not a single Sheaim child had died by the blades of the Fourth Bannor Regiment, even when the Confessors warned they would grow to be a threat to the Bannor empire. Barthan would rather deal with that threat then have a child's blood on his hands.

    But the Elohim were too compassionate. They offered mercy and forgiveness to the most wretched of dark sorcerors. They offered solace to women whose husbands had been slain by righteous steel after killing hundreds of innocents for their dark rituals. The Sheaim cities were allowed to stand, wretched temples and all. The Bannor had tolerated this oddity for some time, but it was clear that Grottisburg had to be burned to the ground and cleansed totally in holy flame. Here, the dark mages of the Sheaim had founded the Ashen Veil. Here, even the children were born corrupted and twisted...

    This meant, of course, that Barthan would have to break the unspoken, unofficial oath of the Fourth Regiment. It wasn't a legal or religious oath, of course, but Barthan still found himself fearing Junil's wrath, even for doing what was necessary. Killing children... Barthan hoped they would not look human. He prayed that they would be as corrupted on the outside as they were on the inside. Demons possessed every soul in this town, or so he had heard. Wretched imps feasted upon the fury of the lowest beggars, slitting each other's throats for a bit of bread, and dark princes guided the hands of magistrates and kings.

    So the city needed to be burned. He knew that. But the Elohim were another matter. Which was why Barthan was going now, to meet the leader of the Fifth Temple of the Order of the Stallion. As he entered the tent, Barthan hoped the leader of the Fifth House, one Brother Andrews, was a sensible man, not some academic who sent his brother monks to die while he prattled on about poetry and beauty. Looking upon the man, Barthan also suspected this was true. Brother Andews had several nasty scars, and although he was an old man with a long beard and hair longer then any Bannor, man or woman, would ever have, he was also suprisingly fit, and nimbly leapt up to great Barthan. "Ah, yes! Barthan, is it, of the Fourth Regiment? Your reputation precedes you! I have heard many good things, both about your leadership and your character. Sit, sit! If you like, share a meal with me!"

    Andrews' meal was a simple offering of bread and water, as befitted a monk. Barthan knew of so-called Elohim monks who would die without their fine wines and venison, and Andrews' relatively simple meal helped Barthan's opinion of the man. He probably ate no better then his troops, and that was a good sign. The spent some time discussing philosophy, after which Barthan finally broke the question. "If the Fifth House takes Grottisburg, what are its plans?" Andrews looked girm. "It's out of my hands. The Fifth House is withdrawing tomorrow... they're sending in..." Andrews paused, and briefly studied Barthan. "Tell me," Andrews asked, "have you heard of the Order of the Blank Banner?"

    Barthan's cup tumbled to the ground. After a moment of shocked silence, he spoke. "I thought... that... I thought..." "You thought," Andrews said, "it was just a rumor we made up, to scare the Svartalfar and keep them off our backs? I assure you, the Order of the Blank Banner is quite real. I have heard much good of you, General Barthan, and speaking to you, what I have heard is true. So I shall tell you about them. I must ask that none hear of the truth about that Order. It does not exist in any of the records. It is not spoken of. You will find it to be... unique. I very much doubt you will like them. If I send you to them, do you swear by your Junil that you will not speak of them to any?" Barthan swore it, and Andrews nodded. "Very good. Go about one mile northwest, until you see a lone obelisk. Ideally, go alone, but if you bring an escort, bring only those you trust, and make them swear as you have sworn. Wait there until a Paladin approaches you. He will be like none you have seen before, with unmarked armor, but I assure you, he is a warrior of Good. When he asks who you are, tell him you are nobody, going nowhere, seeking nothing. He will take you to meet the leader of the Order of the Blank Banner."

    Barthan had heard of the legendary Order of the Blank Banner. It was said that they were not bound by the same vows binding the rest of the Elohim army, that were sent in to do what the Elohim could not otherwise do. They were said to be ruthless, killing without hesitation and not hesitating to lower themselves to the level of their foes in order to defeat the forces of Evil. It was rumored that others in the Elohim military were forbidden to even speak to them, for they were so deadly they had to be treated like threats as much to their fellow Elohim as to those they were sent to destroy. So it was with sword drawn that Barthan found the obelisk.

    He waited only a few minutes before the promised paladin came. He was a giant, easily nine feet tall and wearing enough armor for a knight, horse and rider. The proportions of his body were odd and unnatural, and his armor was plain steel, decorated with only a handful of holy enchantments. The Paladin bowed before Barthan. "You have travelled long and far," the Paladin rumbled, "to find this place. Who are you?" "I am nobody, going nowhere, seeking nothing," Barthan replied. The Paladin got up. "Follow me." "Wait," asked Barthan. "How do I know this isn't a trap." The Paladin took off his helmet, revealing a grotesque, horrifically deformed face. "This," he said, "is what the Balseraph's experiments did to me. My body was twisted, my mind corrupted, my soul crushed. The Elohim could save the last two, with many painful years, but my body remains as you see it. I am stronger than any mortal man was meant to be, but at the cost of great agony. I fight to assure my place in Heaven, to be rid of this body and be freed. If you doubt my intentions," the Paladin said, kneeling so that his head was within easy reach of Barthan's blade, "send me there now." Barthan nodded, and sheathed his sword.

    Barthan wasn't precisely sure how he had reached the camp of the Order of the Blank Banner. Their road was one with many twists and turns across the barren wastes, and every twig, rock, and gnarled tree seemed to be a landmark for the mysterious Paladin. Finally, they reached the camp. True to its name, a banner of Elohim blue flew above it, but it had no insignia. A dark figure appeared suddenly before Barthan, holding a sword to his throat. "Someone must have trusted you, to tell you how to reach us," the mysterious man said. Barthan noticed the man had a thick Sidar accent. "I hope his trust was not misplaced." With that, the sword was withdrawn and the figure vanished. Barthan decided not to ask any questions, but the Paladin answered his unspoken one. "That was Saeth. Our Sidar assassin. They say shades don't have emotions. I think they do. Just not in the same way as us. They're dulled, simple emotions, but they are there. Saeth feels, as much as he can in his state, regret. Of course, I could be wrong. But if he did not regret his present state, he would not be fighting alongside us, seeking his redemption as we all do."

    Barthan took a moment to look over the shadowy camp before getting up his courage. He didn't want to know the answer to his next question, but he had to ask. "Who is in charge here?" The Paladin pointed towards the tent in the camp's center. "Morthas. You'll know him when you see him." Barthan went up to the tent. The first thing he noticed was its guard. A vampire. Barthan pretended not to notice, but the vampire smiled. "Curious, aren't you? Wondering how a shade, a freak, and a vampire ended up fighting with the Elohim?" Barthan studied the vampire, then decided to satiate his curiosity and listen. "You heard of the Elohim conquest of the Calabim's western colonies, yes? Well, when they freed us, the so-called feeding stock, we wanted to get even. So we did it the only way we knew how. The monks tried to stop us, but... we feasted. We had our way with the vampiric women. We slaughtered the men like pigs. And then, some of us, the maddest of the mad, drunk on newfound power, found out how the Vampires had attained their state. So... we turned the tables. We became vampires ourselves, and repayed our former masters a thousand times over. The Elohim did there best to stop us, but we sealed quite a few of the scumbags into crypts and let them spend eternity suffering. Unfortunately, cattle's blood didn't exactly do the trick like we'd hoped. Turns out it has to be the blood of a sentient... some of us became criminals, disappearing into the lands of Esus. Some of us became mercenaries. And some of us... joined the Order of the Blank Banner. We go hungry a lot. It's rare that anyone really deserves death. But it happens... however, I have held you long enough. Our commander awaits."

    Barthan wondered what lay within the tent as he entered. It couldn't be any stranger then a freak paladin, or a vampire guard. Could it? The Order's commander was a relatively young man, sitting in a simple chair, face towards the ground. At first, he seemed to be wearing a rough leather helmet. Then Barthan saw that his head was uncovered, but criscrossed with countless scars, burned into his flesh. "They're to cover up the unholy symbols," the man said without looking up. Barthan shuddered. He should have known. It'd be a Sheaim. "State your business." "It's about Grottisburg..." "You're Bannor. You want me to burn it to the ground. Am I correct?" Barthan nodded, before realizing Morthas still looked towards the ground. "Yes, you are. You see..." "Stop," Morthas commanded. "I already know what must be done. Grottisburg will burn. Keep your men out of it. I will summon fire elementals to do the foul deed. That way, none of your men need corrupt themselves with the slaughter. I have nothing to lose, so I will take whatever punishment the gods deliver to me." Barthan went silent.

    Morthas sat in contemplation, and then asked, "have you any regrets?" Barthan gave the thought a moment of honest contemplation. "None." "Do you remember Tongurstad?" "Yes," Barthan said. It had been his men that had taken the city. "Do you remember," Morthas continued, "what you were ordered to do?" "I was ordered," Barthan said, unsure of why he was answering, "to kill everyone there." "Did you?" "No. I spared the children, the slaves, and all the other innocents who had suffered under Sheaim oppression." "Why did you spare the children?" "Because they were children. One does not slaughter children. I disobeyed orders, but luckily, the Overcouncil supported my decision. I was reprieved."

    Morthas nodded. "Yes, the Overcouncil. The Bannor have never been entirely fond of them, have they?" "No." "Well then, Barthan, it may interest you to know that while some of the children you spared grew up to live perfectly healthy lives, others were... tainted. One child in particular, the son of a great archmage, secretly plotted to avenge his father's death. For many years he practiced the forbidden Sheaim arts in secret, before killing his adoptive parents and rejoining his people. Countless innocents died by his hands. Countless murders that could have been prevented... had you killed but a single child. Do you regret your decision, Barthan?" "No," Barthan said firmly. "Then it may also interest you to know..." "Let me guess. That child sits before me now, a changed man, right?" Morthas looked briefly suprised. "How did you guess?" Barthan grinned. "I kind of figured where that old yarn was going. You Elohim are huge fans of the whole redemption theme." Morthas smiled, although it looked a bit odd on his face. "You called me an Elohim, not a Sheaim. I take that as a high compliment. You seem to have adjusted rather quickly to our... eccentricity. If ever your kind acts earn you the wrath of the Bannor... there's always room in the Order of the Blank Banner."

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Good Can Get You Into A Lot Of Trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    none of your examples invalidate my examples. this is thread about how good can get you INTO trouble. reasons why it might not, are irrelevant to the thread and in fact are antithetical to the point.
    My issue is that your "point" was basically a rant attacking people in positions of authority. Certainly being good can get you into trouble but then again you could get into trouble for any philosophical position contrary (or even) shared with people in positions of authority.
    My Avatar is Glimtwizzle, a Gnomish Fighter/Illusionist by Cuthalion.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Good Can Get You Into A Lot Of Trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    My issue is that your "point" was basically a rant attacking people in positions of authority. Certainly being good can get you into trouble but then again you could get into trouble for any philosophical position contrary (or even) shared with people in positions of authority.
    And those philosophical positions are irrelevant to the thread. because its about how GOOD that can get you into trouble. what you say is true, but if I'm telling a story about good people doing good things and want to cause trouble for them, your points don't really matter.

    is rant just a word for any long bunch of words that people don't like now? I was under the impression that the word "rant" has connotations of being angry, fast and overly negative. I was just listing examples relevant to the thread.
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  5. - Top - End - #35
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Good Can Get You Into A Lot Of Trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by a_flemish_guy View Post
    so a scenario: you are jonathan freeguy, CG rogue, one day before you get out of town to fight the evil lich zangarax, who's plan to dominate all life is entering it's final stages, you enter the general store and find 2 ruffians extorting the shop owner for protection money in the name of the local crime syndicate
    naturally you beat the snot out of them since it's the good thing to do

    sure, we can pretend that it's a pure coincidence that if you return in triumph that the shopkeeper was hanged and his store burned or that you're not at fault for the evils of the crime syndicate since everyone has free will but to me this strikes as throwing a rock at the wasp-hive near the weelchair-bound allergic man and walking away, sure the wasps could have chosen not to sting him but we all know it doesn't work that way
    Good that acts with reckless disregard for perfectly expectable consequences of its own actions is at best a poor take on Good. At worst, it is a particularly unpleasant form of Neutrality, that pats itself on the back for being a "good person" while actually making situations substantially worse all the time.

    Or, in other words? This sounds like the active-interventionist form of Stupid Good (as opposed

    also how would the situation change if it was reginald goodheart, LG palladin?
    Well, at the very least, I would expect that a Paladin would not simply start a fight in the middle of the store. From there, it depends on too many details you have not described. How much is the bribe? Can I afford to pay it and then work with the shopkeeper to resolve the underlying problem later? Is it possible to draw real authority's attention to the problem so that *I* don't have to solve it (even if it reflects poorly on them that only a Paladin can get their attention to fix it)? Can I challenge them, to hopefully deflect attention from the shopkeeper and onto myself? Etc.

    Without knowing more about the situation at hand, I cannot say more. But in any game where I'm playing a Paladin, I certainly expect that the DM is willing to let this problem be ACTUALLY resolved, though it may be difficult and dangerous to do so. If this is a world where you dangle a protection-racket in front of us that we cannot do anything about, I'm going to have a very serious conversation with that DM afterward. And there is a non-negligible chance that the wrong answers could induce me to walk from that table.

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