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Goblin Squad Member

Blaeringr wrote:

The Sith lawful? Not at all. Chaotic kingdoms have laws, but they are frequently changing, and more importantly only followed when convenient for the powerful. The Sith empire has always been one where power trumps law. Their laws have only ever been to oppress the weakest and at the same time egg on the strong to reach for more power. Their "laws" encourage them to kill each other so that the strong rise to greater heights, and even then only til someone stabs them in the back.

Having laws doesn't make you lawful; caring about your laws, and caring about order does.

Power is strongly associated with law in the Sith but it doesn't always trump it. If a powerful sith apprentice kills a weaker one openly in a setting where it is inappropriate, they will face punishment.

I would say Sith DO care about their laws, and I would say caring about others is not a lawful trait. Its a good trait.

The man who sees the suffering of others and doesn't care about it, but makes sure to pay all his taxes on time is lawful-neutral.

The apprentice who will shock a man to death with lightning for falling asleep at his post, and follows every order given to him by his master with the utmost diligence until he is powerful enough to take his place is lawful-evil. That is the Sith.

Goblin Squad Member

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The sith apprentice who not only goes unpunished for killing his master, but is praised, is not lawful.

And where you see an apprentice shocking a man to death with lightning for the sake of law, I see him using law as an excuse with the true motivations being far closer to chaotic evil.

It is force and fear that holds a sith empire together, not rules. Brutal punishment for disobedience is lawful evil. Creating a death star to obliterate billions who have not yet actually disobeyed just to instill some fear and make an example, and a little bit for giggles, is most definitely chaotic evil. A lawful evil ruler would focus on punishing the rebels, a chaotic evil ruler arbitrarily "preemptively" punishes others as well.

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

Quandary wrote:

Aligment is a measurement of your over-all values.

Telling one lie or back-stabbing one 'ally' isn't necessarily going to change your alignment... (unless you were already borderline)
Though such actions aren't contributing towards a Lawful alignment, if you are otherwise sufficiently Lawful, your Alignment will probably not change.
Claiming that Lawful Evil allies would never turn on each other (to claim the throne, etc.) because that's 'un-Lawful' is not something I believe anybody at Paizo would endorse. Sure, a character repeatedly doing so, i.e. not being able to exist with semi-stability within a Lawful order, would be grounds for being Chaotic, but one occasion isn't really enough to shift in most cases. Lawful societies do shift leaders somietimes, by violent means not specifically allowed by law.

A society as a whole can be lawful without necessarily requiring all of its members to be lawful.

My statements reflect the extreme ends of things. That is to say, a lawful nation run by Paladins of Iomedae, would never in a million years change its system of leadership in a way not authorized by the law without the influence of Chaotic Good characters.

If one of those paladins tried to overthrow the government, Iomedae would simply revoke her favor, leaving the former paladin about as useful as a fighter half his level.

Andius wrote:


I have to ask, what do you consider The Galactic Empire / The Sith Empire to be?

They have laws, order, codes of honor etc. I consider them almost the most perfect personification of lawful evil. Sure they murder eachother but they have laws about when and where that is appropriate.

Yet they are also the most infamous source of tearing each-other apart from within.

I would say the empire as a whole would have to be borderline Lawful/Neutral Evil.

I say this because while the organization may be Lawful Evil, its members cover the entire spectrum.

As such, the organization may punish inappropriate behavior, but a Chaotic Evil high ranking Sith could choose to ignore the law if they are particularly fond of a disciple.

Similarly, a Lawful Sith might punish their disciple for being too Chaotic in his attempts to gain more power.

There are also non-chaotic ways to go about backstabbing someone. For example tricking someone into bringing about their own demise can easily be done without ever lying or breaking a single rule. (Think of it like tricking someone into attacking you so you can kill them in self-defense).
It might not be lawful, but it certainly isn't chaotic.

Furthermore, power-struggle doesn't necessarily require backstabbing, it can simply be a matter of positioning yourself to take fullest advantage of other people's failings.

Goblin Squad Member

Karthas077 wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:


Evil societies will constantly be tearing themselves apart from within - such is the nature of evil. To advance their goals they'll be at each others throats.

Ryan, you seem to be forgetting that the concept of "evil tearing itself apart from within" is a cliche that only applies to the real world, not to the world of Golarion.

You are also making the common mistake of associating 'evil' with 'chaos'. Something that just isn't the case in this universe.

In a world of absolutes, it doesn't matter how evil you are, if you're lawful, you're not going to be backstabbing your allies.

No lawful evil character would ever go back on their word. If they did, they wouldn't be lawful. And with detect alignment spells abounding, it's childsplay for a guild of assassins to refuse chaotic members, and therefore maintain a degree of trust and loyalty to rival that of the paladins.

As an example proving my point, the Red Mantis Assasssins are required to be Lawful Evil in order to join. This faction, which Paizo placed in Golarion, contains absolutely no in-fighting despite being evil.

You make the claim above the Ryan is confusing evil with chaos, but then every counter example you provide of why he is wrong, you reference a lawful society/being, evil or not. I just looked for a reference and failed to find one, but I think the LE and CE entities (devils and demons respectively) have been at war since the beginning of time. They fight each other as much as they fight good. LG and CG on the other hand, do not (often) fight each other (although they may not prefer each others company). They are united in their fight against evil. It actually becomes a three way war between G/CE/LE. Good would be crushed if CE and LE (Abyss and Hell) ever stopped fighting each other to unify against Heaven, Nirvana, and Elysium. But, CE and LE cannot stop fighting...it is by definition not in their nature.

I totally agree that within select LE groups, there unification of purpose, but that purpose is always bound with and by law and hence will not ever include CE.

I have to say I agree with Ryan on this one.

Goblin Squad Member

We're not talking about a hypothetical situation, we're talking about human beings.

If there's a game mechanic to make Evil aligned characters compete for resources in such a way that they can't work together, great. The philosophy works in actuality.

If Evil aligned characters can still work together via the mechanics of the game, nothing's going to stop a group of players from working together to antagonize the entire game.

Now on the one hand that's a very good way to promote dramatic player conflict, but it can also make things insufferable.

Goblin Squad Member

Skwiziks wrote:

We're not talking about a hypothetical situation, we're talking about human beings.

If there's a game mechanic to make Evil aligned characters compete for resources in such a way that they can't work together, great. The philosophy works in actuality.

If Evil aligned characters can still work together via the mechanics of the game, nothing's going to stop a group of players from working together to antagonize the entire game.

Now on the one hand that's a very good way to promote dramatic player conflict, but it can also make things insufferable.

Like I said earlier I think the answer is to put things into the game that make good players want to be of good alignment, and evil characters of evil alignment.

I think this should be done with bonuses instead of penalties, with neutral character's either enjoy a mix of some of the good and some of the evil bonuses or their own unique ones.

Good aligned characters are going to care about others, and helping them. They are going to care about the weak. They are very specific on the list of people they wish to harm or kill, mainly those who wish to either harm them or harm their allies/innocent people.

Evil characters are going to care about themselves, and furthering their own goals. They either have no qualms about, or actively wish to harm everyone not directly aligned with the same goals as them.

So good players are going to get a lot of benefit from benefits that help their group or the community. They are also going to get a lot from defensive abilities or abilities specifically aimed to stop evil. As I've suggested in another topic there should be reasons for good aligned veterans to settle near the starter towns to have a better position to protect newbs from. Bounty hunting is ok but... if you can only set a bounty on someone who has directly harmed you it doesn't fit with the general theme I think makes the most sense for good aligned players. Selflessness. I would really hope the some of the good aligned bonuses would be that if incurred give benefits to all neutral and good aligned players in the area that their actions took place. So perhaps completing a good aligned quest reduces the attacks of hostile creatures on all camps owned by non-evil players or donating to a good aligned church increases the production levels and gold drops throughout the entire hex for a limited time.

Evil players are going to get a lot of abilities that grant them power in general. Things that specifically are aimed to help them further themselves, their selfish goals, or the goals of their small group. Abilities that reek of "I don't give a damn what happens to anyone outside me or my group." Assassinations actually do fit the evil theme pretty well even if I don't agree the act of an assassination is in itself evil. Making it require some component like blood of the innocent there-by making it evil does make some sense.

For neutral players I would say the bottom line is really profits and furthering their own goals, but in ways less harmful to the general public than evil players. They might be able to negotiate prices better than a selfless good aligned player or an evil aligned player who may have generated ill-will against themselves, but they aren't just running around town stuffing their pockets with other peoples money that they take at knife point like an evil player might. Things like decreased costs for gear and equipment upkeep, reduces wages required for workers and guards, or higher gold drops all make sense for a neutral player.

Goblin Squad Member

That sounds cumbersome by your description, but I also get the sense you would want such a set up to be simple and easy to understand.

Goblin Squad Member

"Evil tearing itself apart" probably a good description of reciprocal transactions throwing all the bad apples into the same cart!

Goblin Squad Member

Skwiziks wrote:
That sounds cumbersome by your description, but I also get the sense you would want such a set up to be simple and easy to understand.

I at least want it to be simple for the players to understand the basic idea behind choosing their alignment on the good-evil axis.

"Do I want the bonuses that help out my community and help me protect others, help myself and further my own goals, or help myself at the expense of everyone else?"

Then there is a bunch of abilities that follow those general themes. There may be a pretty extensive list, but it's always going to follow those general ideas. That way someone understands when they go for good alignment they aren't going to be seeing any "Stab you in your back for your purse" abilities come from it, and when they go evil they aren't going to see a "Cause flowers to sprout randomly around your hex" abilities.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
Skwiziks wrote:

We're not talking about a hypothetical situation, we're talking about human beings.

If there's a game mechanic to make Evil aligned characters compete for resources in such a way that they can't work together, great. The philosophy works in actuality.

If Evil aligned characters can still work together via the mechanics of the game, nothing's going to stop a group of players from working together to antagonize the entire game.

Now on the one hand that's a very good way to promote dramatic player conflict, but it can also make things insufferable.

Like I said earlier I think the answer is to put things into the game that make good players want to be of good alignment, and evil characters of evil alignment.

I think this should be done with bonuses instead of penalties, with neutral character's either enjoy a mix of some of the good and some of the evil bonuses or their own unique ones.

Good aligned characters are going to care about others, and helping them. They are going to care about the weak. They are very specific on the list of people they wish to harm or kill, mainly those who wish to either harm them or harm their allies/innocent people.

Evil characters are going to care about themselves, and furthering their own goals. They either have no qualms about, or actively wish to harm everyone not directly aligned with the same goals as them.

I understand what you are saying and agree that benefits work better than penalties, but I don't agree with some of your conclusions. You stated earlier that this system will just make everyone be evil for the mechanical benefits...I don't care how many benefits being evil gives me, I will not do it.

It also seems to me that what Ryan is setting up is exactly what you are asking for, good characters get along better in society...and have access to Warden protections, as well as markets (aka, best gear) and other benefits of society. Evil characters are free to kill others with impunity (o'darn, another alignment shift), but they cannot enter "good" society. They each have benefits based upon their strengths.

I guess for me, I am going to RP/play my character...benefits and penalties be damned...but my PFP&P group laughs at me too for my less than min/maxed character (highest attribute 12, and he refuses to wear any armor, because he does not like carrying the weight or maintaining the leather...nor does he like smelling like a dead animal...sure is fun having to find solutions other than smashing stuff though). I see becoming evil as punishment enough and being good is benefit enough.

However...how about if each god granted some single ability to its followers who maintained the correct alignment? You would need to pre-choose your patron deity and shifting yo another would be neither trivial nor quick (perhaps with time restraints too). Maybe even make it so if you continue to improve your rep with your god (and by extension your alignment), the benefit(s) increase.

Great point btw Skwiziks. I assume most evil PCs will end up being lawful...but there will be the few griefers who enjoy the challenge of hunting other griefers, they would be the chaotic few.

Goblin Squad Member

@Forencith the difference between chaotic and lawful is not whether you obey laws, its whether you want law. Chaotic only disobey laws when they are strong enough to do so. The stronger they are, the more important the laws they disobey. And they certainly have no issues with imposing laws on others - they're just hypocritical about it. Don't confuse convenience with true motivations.

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

Forencith wrote:


You make the claim above the Ryan is confusing evil with chaos, but then every counter example you provide of why he is wrong, you reference a lawful society/being, evil or not. I just looked for a reference and failed to find one, but I think the LE and CE entities (devils and demons respectively) have been at war since the beginning of time. They fight each other as much as they fight good. LG and CG on the other hand, do not (often) fight each other (although they may not prefer each others company). They are united in their fight against evil. It actually becomes a three way war between G/CE/LE. Good would be crushed if CE and LE (Abyss and Hell) ever stopped fighting each other to unify against Heaven, Nirvana, and Elysium. But, CE and LE cannot stop fighting...it is by definition not in their nature.

Conflict existing between Lawful Evil and Chaotic Evil is not the same as all Evil destroying itself. Evil destroying itself to me would imply all organizations, regardless of their Lawful-Chaotic alignment, would be doomed to failure simply by the very nature of them being evil.

That is why Lawful-Evil societies and groups can stand themselves, even if they want to murder every player not party to their circle.

Personally I would love to see the Red Mantis Assassin prestige class make a cameo, even if it was only in the form of Sawtoothed sabres being a viable weapon, just so there can be a guild of extremely professional assassins who refuse to kill monarchs or accept any contract that includes any components other than simply "assassinate".

Goblin Squad Member

I'm interested if it's possible moles deliberately doing what the group does and having their alignment change; but snidely reporting back to the opposite alignment group's HQ. I wonder how said infiltrator would be able to "wipe the slate clean" after completing their mission and returning back to their handlers?

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

AvenaOats wrote:
I'm interested if it's possible moles deliberately doing what the group does and having their alignment change; but snidely reporting back to the opposite alignment group's HQ. I wonder how said infiltrator would be able to "wipe the slate clean" after completing their mission and returning back to their handlers?

90% of that would need to be done with RP, but if they're including the 'detect alignment' spells, they should probably include "Undetectable Alignment" as well.

Of course you'd show up as true neutral which might be suspicious but hey, better than showing up as evil right?

Goblin Squad Member

Forencith wrote:
I understand what you are saying and agree that benefits work better than penalties, but I don't agree with some of your conclusions. You stated earlier that this system will just make everyone be evil for the mechanical benefits...I don't care how many benefits being evil gives me, I will not do it.

That is a nice sentiment but this isn't my first ride on the open world PVP boat. If evil gives good benefits that everyone wants, by the time this game matures 95%+ of the veterans will have given up that attitude or left the game.

In Darkfall it is difficult to avoid killing blues and expensive to regain your alignment. 95%+ of the veterans are red.

In un-modded Freelancer, the best ship in the game is an eagle with 2 nomad cannons, 2 nomad blasters,(Alien weapons) and 2 tizona del cids (Pirate weapons) even though that ship doesn't make much RP sense for a lot of factions. 95%+ of the veterans on Freelancer 1.0 servers fly either that exact setup or a slight variation.

In Mortal Online the most effective races for PVP are Veela or Sheevra (Light or Dark Elf) mages and Thursar/Khurite (Half-orc half Mongolian) fighters. 95% of veteran PVPers use those races even though there are 2 dwarven style races, 5 human races, and you have the ability to pick 4 different ancestors for any character except half orcs which are forced to have 2 orcish and 2 human (Of any 1 or 2 races) ancestors. When I asked I was told that any combination of the two races I was interested in (Kallard/Vikings and Tindremene/Romans) were non-viable in PVP. I ended up on these forums talking about a new game.

Simple truth of open world PVP games: People WILL choose PVP effectiveness over RP if it the bonuses are even semi-substantial. In order to leave room for RP, you have to balance things to a level that those bonuses are not pronounced enough to have certain choices be the indisputable "best" choice for PVP.

Forencith wrote:
It also seems to me that what Ryan is setting up is exactly what you are asking for, good characters get along better in society...and have access to Warden protections, as well as markets (aka, best gear) and other benefits of society. Evil characters are free to kill others with impunity (o'darn, another alignment shift), but they cannot enter "good" society. They each have benefits based upon their strengths.

Those same bonuses exist in Darkfall. Most people still go evil because they don't care about lawful areas. Once you get into the lawless areas of the game, that is your home. If the lawful areas turn out to be major trade-hubs factions will keep some lawful/neutral players to make runs back into town for supplies but the vast majority of their membership is going to take the alignment that makes them most effective at their given role. If they want to be able to assassinate people, and the bonuses for staying good don't discourage that, and there are no bonuses to encourage their clan to keep them good aligned, they are going to go evil aligned.

It's like me on EVE. I've been in null sec about a month now. Thankfully in EVE there is no bonus to losing security status, and you don't lose it in null sec, but if there was I might go lose it because I have no need of it. My alliance takes a carrier into high security space and picks up everything I need every few days. In the meantime I buy things off our alliance stations, or manufacture/loot them from wrecks myself. I haven't been back to high security since I came here even though I used to live there.

From my understanding the safe areas in this game are meant to be smaller and LESS pronounced than high security in EVE. Access to wardens (Concord) and safe areas (High sec) do not balance out against things that are useful in the lawless areas (null sec). We need REAL bonuses to keep us good aligned via. game mechanics once we are out establishing our own settlements and kingdoms.

Forencith wrote:
I guess for me, I am going to RP/play my character...benefits and penalties be damned...but my PFP&P group laughs at me too for my less than min/maxed character (highest attribute 12, and he refuses to wear any armor, because he does not like carrying the weight or maintaining the leather...nor does he like smelling like a dead animal...sure is fun having to find solutions other than smashing stuff though). I see becoming evil as punishment enough and being good is benefit enough.

I hope you can keep that up but if this game doesn't cater to that playstyle (And I really hope it does) by trying to balance things out in PVP, I don't see you doing anything other than dying over and over in PVP, and then leaving in frustration. Unless your intent is to sit in lawful areas and talk in roleplay speech 100% of the time bonuses meant to balance out RPers against people who are going to use the mechanics to give themselves the highest PVP advantage possible are going to VASTLY improve your enjoyment of this game. Not that RPers will ever be 100% as effective as min-maxers and twinkers, but it doesn't have to be as pronounced as it is in most games.

Forencith wrote:
However...how about if each god granted some single ability to its followers who maintained the correct alignment? You would need to pre-choose your patron deity and shifting yo another would be neither trivial nor quick (perhaps with time restraints too). Maybe even make it so if you continue to improve your rep with your god (and by extension your alignment), the benefit(s) increase.

If that balanced things out based on the bonuses of other God's and my chosen alignment that would be fine. I think that is a great idea, I just think it should be one of the bonuses to your alignment, not THEE bonus. Especially since some people are going to want to RP as athiest or agnostic. Then again in a world where the existence of gods is indisputable and they are known to reward their followers I don't see why they shouldn't take a penalty for that. Especially if following a god requires some effort.

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

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Andius wrote:
Especially since some people are going to want to RP as athiest or agnostic. Then again in a world where the existence of gods is indisputable and they are known to reward their followers I don't see why they shouldn't take a penalty for that. Especially if following a god requires some effort.

Iconic Wizard is athiest.

The key thing about athiesm in the Pathfinder universe is it's not "I don't believe in god". Their existence is irrefutable. Athiesm in Golarion is more a matter of "I want to choose my own fate".

Most Athiests are Arcane Casters (Wizards, Sorcerers, Alchemists), and even then they are extremely rare. Most of the people who have the mentality to be athiest still end up paying tribute to Nethys.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Mogloth wrote:
Hmmmm, question. If I follow a CE deity, and I cast Detect Evil, does it ping on Evil things or would it ping on Good?

Of course not. Because in Pathfinder, good and evil are not relative. They're definitive. Evil simply IS evil. It's a constant, not a variable.

How much more clear life must be in Pathfinder. If you do evil or are evil, you can't rationalize it away or delude yourself. You, and your acts, can be tested and their alignment made known.

RyanD

In RPG settings with cosmologies based upon absolutes, I usualy make the distinction between "Evil" (note the capital E) and "evil", as it tends to be less confusing for people.

"evil" (note small "e") in common usage generaly denotes things that are bad or harmfull, ultimately even to ones self. Very few sane, rational actors would knowingly chose to perform "evil" actions. Even sociopaths generaly wouldn't, as they are ultimately interested in only those things which benefit themselves.

I would argue that in order to have characters/campaign settings that are more sophisticated cardboard cartoon cutouts, most "Evil" actors in a campaign must, indeed, percieve "Evil" as "good" (small g).

For example, for the nation of Cheliax in the Pathfinder setting, I would posit that most of it's officials would recognize that they are following the path of "Evil" but do so because they percieve that path as being right, proper and ultimately the most beneficial one for the nation as a whole (and perhaps the World) to follow.... i.e. "good". YMMV.

If not, then you have an entire nation of insane, irrational actors. Which would hardly allow for a sustainable and even semi-functional nation for more then a few years, let alone something that is a world power.

Goblin Squad Member

As Grumpy most excellently pointed out most of what I might contribute to this alignment discussion, I'll be concise with my point.

What we're really talking about is an abstract gaming mechanic, not a real world morality or ethics simulator. Since we have decent history of what that means from the table, I suggest not going into a reductionist mode or diving into absolutes about how what might be interpreted by who/what/or why. Taking money for a kill is Evil, even if it results in "good". Although Good sometimes kills Evil, its not their preferred method, and if such a character is using deadly force as a primary method, they're likely to be ACTUALLY Neutral along the moral scale anyway.

What is most important for the context of an MMO is that any mechanical aspect of being either Good or Evil really must be balanced by more than simple access to some places. An Evil dude is going to self select for non-Good areas anyway, so excluding them from that area is at best redundant and at worst irrelevant.

Goblin Squad Member

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I don't think using the word "evil" is helping our discussion:

1) We're drifting into ethics/moral philosophy. That's important stuff, but not so relevant to game design.

2) I think evil is conflating two separate concerns: identity and social interaction.

May I suggest an alternate model for talking about this?: alignment and social interaction.

Alignment: Instead of thinking about the ethics of actions ("Assassination is evil" followed by the "What about in this case?), we can think about a cosmological identity. Alignment is literally about how you align with planar forces: each alignment is an identity along a cosmological axis, and has implications in game content: what spells you get access to, what items you can use, what domains you can use, what places you can enter, etc.

This defuses unsolvable endless ethical arguments. "Is create undead an evil act?" is an ethical question, and we can always come up with scenarios to justify it. But the second we instead see it as an evil spell (as part of alignment), there's no more problem: the SRD identifies it as an evil spell. And we decide that "Souldrinker" is an evil-only weapon, and that the Grove of Good Elves is a good/neutral entrance area only, etc.

This is simple, adds to richness of game content, and is productive.

Social Interaction Instead of talking about evil, we can talk about game mechanisms that incentivize social or anti-social behavior. Social behavior leads to increasingly complex social arrangements: towns to kingdoms, tort enforcement, market safety, personal/property safety, etc. are all social. Using force to take property, destroying property, preemptive violence, etc are all anti-social. They push towards smaller, less complex social arrangements, i.e. Road Warrior territory.

The art here would be to balance out game mechanics (Marshals, Banking, Property, Contracts, Grouping, etc.) so that we had a world that moved towards the social, but had enough space for anti-social antagonists to provide dramatic tension.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

@DeciusBrutus: If you had a right to kill someone, and you did it for hire, that would not be an evil act. However, the system I am envisioning for "Assasination" would involve some supernatural component (thus the "worse than death" aspect). The use of that component will be an inherently evil act.

Could I imagine a thousand "what if's" to get around that? Sure I could. But it's much, much easier to imagine abuse of those exceptions for the purpose of grief, so I'd rather have a simple, clear system that some people don't like, then a complex system full of loopholes being abused to the detriment of the quality of the experience of most of my customers.

Ryan, that explains alot, thanks. It makes what you've described so far about assasination much clearer....

This begs me to ask the following questions...

- Will there be support within the contract system for a type of contract that involves killing but NOT "Assasination" (i.e. no supernatural component to it)?

- Will there be support within the contract system for a type of contract that involves killing people who are NOT criminals (hence not subject to a BOUNTY) but who are hostile to you due to your factions being at War?

- Will there be support within the contract system for a type of contract that specifies targets not as specific individuals but by thier kingdom/settlement/company membership? I.E. kill 10 targets of the Grim Reaper chartered company?

That's what I was trying to get at with me "Letter of Marque" suggestion. I understand that "War" is the game mechanism by which the game creates a lawfull state of hostility between 2 entities. My suggestion was more along the lines of given that such a state exists, can the contract system be utilized as a mechanism for setting rewards for fulfillment of specific combat objectives against the hostile faction (i.e. killing of enemy forces, killing of specific members of the enemy faction, destruction of enemy property, capture of enemy territory, etc.)?

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:


This defuses unsolvable endless ethical arguments. "Is create undead an evil act?" is an ethical question, and we can always come up with scenarios to justify it. But the second we instead see it as an evil spell (as part of alignment), there's no more problem: the SRD identifies it as an evil spell. And we decide that "Souldrinker" is an evil-only weapon, and that the Grove of Good Elves is a good/neutral entrance area only, etc.

To be fair, Create Undead can be cast by Non-Evil characters. (See Juju Mystery Oracle)

The undead themselves are still 'evil' but the oracle suffers no alignment shift through use of otherwise 'evil' necromantic abilities.

However this is an exception and in no way diminishes the validity of your statement.

However, I find it hard to conceive of in-game mechanics that have any control or influence over how a player (not a character) chooses to conduct themselves in forming alliances with other players.

Edit to clarify: Apparently the Juju oracle is somewhat misprinted. Apparently the create undead spells are still evil, but other otherwise evil spells are not.

Goblin Squad Member

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Evil societies in the game should have unique and cool things they could accomplish. But accomplishing those things should require betrayal, deception, murder and pain & suffering inflicted on others.

The "others" should often be members of the evil society.

So getting ahead in an evil Settlement means that you're constantly making enemies out of your peers. Sure, you may be strong enough to keep squashing them when they seek to take you out, but you're going to be forced to keep dealing with challenges to your power. The more 'evil' you do, the more those challenges should spread.

Want to advance that Temple to Rovagug so that characters that cast divine spells granted by Rovagug can get a new spell level? Well Rovagug wants blood on his altars. A lot of blood. And it turns out that the blood of the worshipers of Asmodeus is PARTICULARLY desired by Rovagug...

Goblin Squad Member

Oh Rovagug... you so silly!

Goblin Squad Member

Asmodeus does hold the key to Rovagug's prison...

Goblin Squad Member

@GrumpyMel - none of that sounds bad to me but I think it is something that has to come much later in development; the potential for twisting those ideas into something that bites us in the ass is quite high.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

Evil societies in the game should have unique and cool things they could accomplish. But accomplishing those things should require betrayal, deception, murder and pain & suffering inflicted on others.

The "others" should often be members of the evil society.

So getting ahead in an evil Settlement means that you're constantly making enemies out of your peers. Sure, you may be strong enough to keep squashing them when they seek to take you out, but you're going to be forced to keep dealing with challenges to your power. The more 'evil' you do, the more those challenges should spread.

Want to advance that Temple to Rovagug so that characters that cast divine spells granted by Rovagug can get a new spell level? Well Rovagug wants blood on his altars. A lot of blood. And it turns out that the blood of the worshipers of Asmodeus is PARTICULARLY desired by Rovagug...

This sounds decent to me as long as there are systems in-place to ensure they are actually doing real harm to other players instead of just killing their alt/buddy over and over to get his blood.

If it's a system that requires actual value in items to be destroyed or skillpoints actually lost or something I can see it working out pretty well.

Also I would hope it discourages me from being actually good aligned in player mentality and just hunting down Asmodeus followers since they belong to a griefer company. I would hope to see something that encourages me to kill every worthy opponent, and profitable target that I see, and wage wars against any kingdom not aligned with me in my evil plans.

(Theoretically speaking. I won't be doing anything that forces me to adopt an evil-aligned player mentality.)

Goblin Squad Member

Question: anonymity? Will people paying for contracts know the name of the person carrying out the contract?

If so, those who want anonymity will run their contract's through Tony's or a similar intermediary. We still don't know if the victims will know the identity of the assassin, but there's no reason to let the client know anymore than they need to know.

Goblin Squad Member

Forencith wrote:
Karthas077 wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:


Evil societies will constantly be tearing themselves apart from within - such is the nature of evil. To advance their goals they'll be at each others throats.

Ryan, you seem to be forgetting that the concept of "evil tearing itself apart from within" is a cliche that only applies to the real world, not to the world of Golarion.

You are also making the common mistake of associating 'evil' with 'chaos'. Something that just isn't the case in this universe.

In a world of absolutes, it doesn't matter how evil you are, if you're lawful, you're not going to be backstabbing your allies.

No lawful evil character would ever go back on their word. If they did, they wouldn't be lawful. And with detect alignment spells abounding, it's childsplay for a guild of assassins to refuse chaotic members, and therefore maintain a degree of trust and loyalty to rival that of the paladins.

As an example proving my point, the Red Mantis Assasssins are required to be Lawful Evil in order to join. This faction, which Paizo placed in Golarion, contains absolutely no in-fighting despite being evil.

You make the claim above the Ryan is confusing evil with chaos, but then every counter example you provide of why he is wrong, you reference a lawful society/being, evil or not. I just looked for a reference and failed to find one, but I think the LE and CE entities (devils and demons respectively) have been at war since the beginning of time. They fight each other as much as they fight good. LG and CG on the other hand, do not (often) fight each other (although they may not prefer each others company). They are united in their fight against evil. It actually becomes a three way war between G/CE/LE. Good would be crushed if CE and LE (Abyss and Hell) ever stopped fighting each other to unify against Heaven, Nirvana, and Elysium. But, CE and LE cannot stop fighting...it is by definition not in their nature.

I totally agree that within select LE groups, there...

Lawful Evil believes in order but not in mercy or charity. They do what they do because they percieve it as providing the greatest benefit to themselves. They value ORDER because order gives them STRENGTH. Lawful Evil organizations would VERY MUCH avoid in-fighting outside of strictly proscribed channels (i.e. a ceremonial duel/challange, even Assasinations within well defined rules/customs) PRECISELY because they recognize such in-fighting weakens them as a group....and by extension as individuals who are members of said group. They DO avoid excessive fighting of each other but unlike Lawful Good organizations, they don't avoid it out of a sense of compassion for the other individuals, they avoid it because they rationaly recognize it weakens them and inhibits thier ability to exert thier dominance over others.

Chaotic Evil, by contrast doesn't value ORDER because it doesn't percieve order as particularly usefull to it and it lacks the DISCIPLINE to act contrary to it's IMMEDIATE IMPULSES.

Lawful Evil: I want that ring, the Captain of the other company in our regiment has. However, if I take it from him that could lead to a fight between us. Seeing thier officers at each others throats will lead to a breakdown in discipline among our troops. That may effectively prevent us from conquering this village and leave us vulnerable to attack by the force of Paladins protecting it.

Chaotic Evil: I want that ring. If I take it, all hell might break loose. Oh well, I'll find a way to deal with that if it happens. I REALLY WANT that ring. <snip>

Lawful Good: Stealing is wrong. Stealing is a breach of my office.

YMMV

Goblin Squad Member

Blaeringr wrote:

Question: anonymity? Will people paying for contracts know the name of the person carrying out the contract?

If so, those who want anonymity will run their contract's through Tony's or a similar intermediary. We still don't know if the victims will know the identity of the assassin, but there's no reason to let the client know anymore than they need to know.

I know for bounty hunting it mentions you can hire a specific company or person. So if people don't know who the good assassins are but they know Tony's gets the job done they would set the contract to be collectible by Tony's.

I also assume if you gain enough renown and reputation for always getting the job done that you could just ask people to hand the money directly to you and set up the contract yourself.

Pure speculation here btw.

Goblin Squad Member

Ya, running around with a company name over our head that has a solid reputation for assassination is not the anonymity we're looking for. The game mechanics may not allow us any better, but we'll find the most anonymous way we can with whatever is provided.

Goblin Squad Member

Blaeringr wrote:
Ya, running around with a company name over our head that has a solid reputation for assassination is not the anonymity we're looking for. The game mechanics may not allow us any better, but we'll find the most anonymous way we can with whatever is provided.

Good point. I would go with the 2nd option then. Have them give the money to a middleman who creates the contract.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Blaeringr wrote:

Question: anonymity? Will people paying for contracts know the name of the person carrying out the contract?

Blog wrote:
Contracts are transparent to all parties. When a contract is offered, all the terms of that contract are set and made visible to anyone who can accept the contract. When you take on a contract, you're doing so with full advance knowledge of the terms you're agreeing to.

I think it's safe to assume that the visibility works both ways; that also helps make the reputation system work.

Goblin Squad Member

And the victim?


Since it hasn't been mentioned, GoblinWorks is just porting over exactly how Alignment works in PRPG.
The Assassin PrC (with Supernatural uber-Kill methods that can't be Ressurrected) is explicitly Evil.
That's standard PRPG rules.

..And by all accounts, any character will be able to CONTRACT for an Assassination.
That will probably give you 'evil points', but we don't know if it will be enough to go from 100% good to evil in just one event (maybe so, maybe not, but you can still do good things to shift your alignment back to good).

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

In addition to the question I asked earlier about evil-aligned contracts to raid caravans/intercept deliveries, I did have a more /normal/ question about Loan contracts.

Will it be possible for a person giving out a loan to choose to ignore the escrow portion of the contract?

Because to me, that defeats the entire purpose of the loan...

If you have something worth 3,000 gold to put up for escrow, why do you need a 2,000 gold loan?
Loans are needed because you don't have enough money to buy something that will end up making you money.

If you can afford to lock away that 3,000 gold thing in escrow, you obviously don't need it for your money making plan.

So instead of potentially losing it if you default on the loan:
Sell the 3,000 dollar thing, buy whatever it is you needed the 2,000 for.
(Have 1,000 extra you wouldn't have gotten via loan).
Proceed to make back the money that would have paid off the loan.
Repurchase that 3,000 gold item.

I personally would love to see items placed in escrow not actually TAKEN from the player when they are 'put in escrow'.

Instead, if you default on the loan and do not give up the escrowed item/money, you can have a bounty put on your head.
Items that are supposed to be in 'escrow' will not be tradable, and then it's just a matter of time before a bounty hunter finds you, Knocks you unconscious(Referencing my previous question about non-killing bounties)
and takes the item you refused to give up.

You would keep all your other inventory items as you never actually died, but until the bounty was collected you would have a lesser criminal flag. (Not killed on sight by NPC's but possibly knocked out and detained for a few minutes. The item confiscated, and a message sent via spell to the player to whom the item lawfully belongs)

Technically this would be expanding the bounty hunter contract, but I thought that might be simpler than creating a 'repo-man' contract.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Evil societies in the game should have unique and cool things they could accomplish. But accomplishing those things should require betrayal, deception, murder and pain & suffering inflicted on others.

OMG YUM!

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:
Evil societies in the game should have unique and cool things they could accomplish. But accomplishing those things should require betrayal, deception, murder and pain & suffering inflicted on others.

OMG YUM!

all this is going to make me crazy with alt characters... soooo many niches available for awesome fun!

Goblin Squad Member

I've got to admit, I have some real concerns about the "Assasination" mechanism as described so far...

1) If you've already decided on the correct level of pain to inflict upon players when their characters are slain in combat that balances the need to make death have meaningfull consequences with the fact that in PvP focused games death occurs with some frequency... I'm not sure what utility there is in designing a seperate type of death mechanic that upsets that balance and then provide that mechanic to only one portion of your player base who can inflict it upon others as they choose.

2) I've seen a number of games try the "Evil has this really nasty ability, but it's counter-balanced by the fact that Evil is self-destructive" ploy before....and frankly it's been an abject failure EVERY single time it's been tried. I'm convinced it's something that CAN'T be made to work in games. The reason is that you can't really control PLAYERS behaviours to that degree in a game, you can't really force them to role-play "Evil" characters as "evil" with all the self-destructive baggage that usualy entails. Most people will take the mechanical advantage that comes with the label "Evil" but they'll meta-game away all the baggage that normaly comes with actualy PLAYING & BEHAVING evil. Here's what inevitably ends up happening...

- 95 percent of the player base will take the mechanical advantage that goes along with the label "Evil".

- The 5 percent of the player base that actualy WANTS to play thier characters as "Evil" are happy because they get both the power that comes with the mechanical advantage and they get to play/role-play thier characters the way they want.

- The 90 percent of the player base that wants the mechanical advantage but isn't really interested in playing/role-playing "Evil" characters are anywhere from semi-ok to mildly annoyed with the system. They take the label "Evil" so they can get the advantage but they don't really want to be Evil or deal with the social ramifications of it, so they rationalize that they aren't "REALLY Evil" so they don't play thier character "as Evil" and they META-GAME what they need to do mechanicaly to keep the advantage and label..... and because everyone else is in the same boat, it becomes an accepted conciet. So you have Bambi the "Evil Cleric" who is surrounded by an aura of inky darkness and sacrifices babies on the alter of Asmodeus on Fridays.... but the rest of the week spends her time giving hugs and picking flowers....and who is everybodies freind and who everybody works with, trusts implicitly and who everybody is willing to help out.... because everyone KNOWS Bambi isn't REALLY Evil despite what it says on her character sheet...she is just doing what she needs to do in order to satisfy the mechanism that gives her the abilities she wants...which is the exact same thing most of the rest of the players are doing.

- Then you get the 5 percent of the player base who aren't interested in playing "Evil" characters and aren't willing to META-GAME in order to get the mechanical advantage. These are the folks who get truely hosed...because they don't get the power from the label "Evil" and they don't even enjoy social benefits beyond what 90 percent of the players who do take that label do. In fact, they may even be ostricized if they point out the obvious social conciet that most peoply playing "Evil" are making.

To illustrate just how easy it is to META-GAME to get around the "Evil tears itself apart" dynamic. Using the simple example provided... You sacrifice my Alt to Asmodeus on Fridays, I sacrifice your Alt to Tiamet on Tuesdays....We both satisfy the mechanical requirements neccesary to get our "Evil Powers"....but we aren't really at odds with one another, we're both just doing what we need to do in order to get our powers.... in fact, we're likely even more trusting of each other, because we are both cooperating in something that HELPS EACH OTHER OUT.

Trying to setup a mechanic that balances Evil by trying to push players into acting Evil is doomed to failure. If you want to have an alignment system that offers real game-play advantages....then you really need to make Good (and Neutral) have thier own set of powers that are just as useful and powerfull as Evil's but simply of a different flavor. Generaly, I think you are alot better off not linking an Alignment system to any sort of in game Advantages at all. Just let people CHOOSE what Alignment label they want to have for thier characters and don't have the game change it, let it be a function of flavor rather then a game-play decision. Do that, and you'll find that most people will actualy PLAY/Role-Play thier characters in a manner consistant with the Alignment they've selected for them....they have no reason not to do so. Evil characters will actualy behave evil and Good will behave good and Neutral neutral..... anything else is just a recipie for rampant Meta-Gaming. YMMV.

Goblin Squad Member

They'll have to be really in the weeds with it if they want to enforce it like that. I think GrumpyMel's scenario is a bit doomsday-ish.

I'm more interested in what their back-up plan is. What are they going to do if the systems they put in place break down? I don't think that Character A sacraficing ALT B one day and Character B sacraficing ALT A the other is something we will see in PFO. But I see where something like that could happen and the Dev team CANNOT plan for everything.

So what's the back up plan? I would rather the Dev team focus on adding cool features in the game instead of planning contingencies for people manipulating the game.

I hope the user agreement covers all of this indepth. Not so much handcuffing someone to an alignment, but making sure "work arounds" don't get utilized and banning anyone who does use them. It should also be required to report it.

This game has too loyal a fan-base for it to get ruined by meta-gaming.

Goblin Squad Member

Guessing assassination is most useful on other evil aligned players? Possibly sends their soul to another plane ( out of the way)? And as a nasty sting against heads of kingdoms (some disproportionate leverage)? Definitely a very evil debit to your alignment account, so a large forfeit to benefits of a good alignment are relinquished sooner than later.

Goblin Squad Member

Obakararuir wrote:

They'll have to be really in the weeds with it if they want to enforce it like that. I think GrumpyMel's scenario is a bit doomsday-ish.

I'm more interested in what their back-up plan is. What are they going to do if the systems they put in place break down? I don't think that Character A sacraficing ALT B one day and Character B sacraficing ALT A the other is something we will see in PFO. But I see where something like that could happen and the Dev team CANNOT plan for everything.

So what's the back up plan? I would rather the Dev team focus on adding cool features in the game instead of planning contingencies for people manipulating the game.

I hope the user agreement covers all of this indepth. Not so much handcuffing someone to an alignment, but making sure "work arounds" don't get utilized and banning anyone who does use them. It should also be required to report it.

This game has too loyal a fan-base for it to get ruined by meta-gaming.

My preference would be for them to avoid creating incetives for people to meta-game in the first place. Obviously there are some advantages to Meta-Gaming that you can't really can't avoid....but creating more advanatages to META-GAMING then you absolutely have to is just asking to be hit with it.....and frankly policing efforts are WAY more resource intensive and WAY less effective then avoiding the incentive to Meta-Game in the first place.

One way to reduce the incentive to Meta-Game is to avoid conflating Flavor based Player decisions with Game-Play Effectiveness based Player decisions.

When you think about it, Alignment is really a FLAVOR based player decision. It's effectively the equivalent of saying "If your character has Red hair, you can't benefit from an Dex bonus to your AC." People who want thier characters to have Red hair do so because it's about the flavor of character they want to play....and that really has nothing to do with whether the player wants to play a character with high AC or that prefers light over heavy armor. So if you create that kind of tie, players will naturaly be inclined to select characters who benefit from a Dex bonus and Meta-Game that where it says Blonde on thier character sheet it actualy means Red.

I don't think it neccesarly an unworkable decision to tie some sort of nastier infliction of death to being "Evil"....the mechanic does fit the flavor.....but if you do that then you've got to create an equaly attractive (game-play wise) mechanic for chosing to be "Good" or "Neutral".....that way you give people to ability to work within the context of the Flavor you are trying to create and not hamper themselves game-play wise for doing so.

It doesn't have to be a mirrored mechanic (i.e "Good" gets a nasty death mechanic but it's a white light rather then inky blackness on the kill) but it has to be something that's equaly attractive gameplay wise (i.e. maybe less of a penalty from ressurections, or quicker healing times, etc)

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

I see no way to attach character alignment to player gameplay choices without penalizing honest players.

If I want to hire an assassin, but it's evil, I'll create an alt, toss him a pile of cash, have him do the hiring. As soon as the job is done, that alt goes poof. Cheesy? Sure. But it's what will happen, so Good players can have all the advantages of Evil.

Secondly. Its incredibly foolish to think that Evil societies will just randomly collapse into chaos and break down just "For teh Evulz". Cheliax, Red Mantis Assassins, Razmiran, all in universe examples of nations or organizations that are evil, yet survive and thrive.

If you give one side an advantage, then that side *will* be larger and more played. I've seen it happen, time and time again. If you give Evil characters more options, options that are more powerful than those of their Good counterparts, you have to saddle them with some nasty side effects. Such as, Evil characters cannot be revived at a temple of a Good god. Evil characters may have part of their inventory looted upon death. Things that make playing evil, well, dangerous. Something the average Joe doesn't want to do. Because crime *does* pay, but only until the consequences catch up. And so far, I'm seeing just a few slaps on the wrist as prevention.

Goblin Squad Member

I'd guess Evil alignment communities may have assassination but probably a harder time with infrastructure? So scale is always going to potentially bite them in the bum?

The whole mules and alts using assassination is degrees of separation on the contract? Sounds like a task for the serious fraud investigation unit?! Perhaps assassinating a good aligned character has same result but different effects? Also account-linked chars displayed for good aligned showing transaction logs or something like that?

Goblin Squad Member

Two thoughts; we really have no details on assassination (vagaries by the boatload, yes) to analyze for balance or whotnot, & while i agree with Grumpy that there should be no mechanical advantage to "Good" or "Evil", I can't say I've seen any indication that such an advantage is actually planned out.

On whether or not evil societies tear themselves apart: Sure Cheliax, the Red Mantis, etc all seem stable, and have only a minor amount of intra-feuding, but that doesn't account for extra-feuding as described by Mr. Dancey. For an "In-Universe" view, take a look down by the border of Nex and Geb, and compare it to the relationship between Andoran and Absalom. Nex v Geb is an excellent example of Evil naturally keeping itself in check compared to Good.

All that being said, personally I'm happy with the assumption that as GW designs goals for Evil they will do so with mechanical considerations in mind, as well as design these goals to naturally generate conflict with other Evil factions as well as good (Rovie vs Asmodeus by example).

Goblin Squad Member

Alexander_Damocles wrote:

I see no way to attach character alignment to player gameplay choices without penalizing honest players.

If I want to hire an assassin, but it's evil, I'll create an alt, toss him a pile of cash, have him do the hiring. As soon as the job is done, that alt goes poof. Cheesy? Sure. But it's what will happen, so Good players can have all the advantages of Evil.

This was exactly the argument for not implementing meaningful darkness. If a mechanic only penalizes those who who will not cheat, it should not be implemented.

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel wrote:
Just let people CHOOSE what Alignment label they want to have for thier characters and don't have the game change it, let it be a function of flavor rather then a game-play decision. Do that, and you'll find that most people will actualy PLAY/Role-Play thier characters in a manner consistant with the Alignment they've selected for them....they have no reason not to do so.

I object to this concept on such a fundamental level it honestly shocks me to see these words coming from you.

they have no reason not to do so?

What reason does a griefer have for ANYTHING they do? "FOR THE LULZ"?

If you implement alignment as simply a choice, it will cease to have any meaning at all, one month into the game.

Alignment NEEDS to be representative of something REAL. Detect Alignment spells exist for a reason.

Otherwise, you'll have griefers running around with the label 'Good' stabbing people in the face or conducting otherwise Evil aligned deeds with zero consequence.

I'd rather have people making evil, disposable alts to create assassination contracts than have 'good aligned' characters murdering babies because it doesn't affect their alignment.

Goblin Squad Member

Karthas077 wrote:
GrumpyMel wrote:
Just let people CHOOSE what Alignment label they want to have for thier characters and don't have the game change it, let it be a function of flavor rather then a game-play decision. Do that, and you'll find that most people will actualy PLAY/Role-Play thier characters in a manner consistant with the Alignment they've selected for them....they have no reason not to do so.

I object to this concept on such a fundamental level it honestly shocks me to see these words coming from you.

they have no reason not to do so?

What reason does a griefer have for ANYTHING they do? "FOR THE LULZ"?

If you implement alignment as simply a choice, it will cease to have any meaning at all, one month into the game.

Alignment NEEDS to be representative of something REAL. Detect Alignment spells exist for a reason.

Otherwise, you'll have griefers running around with the label 'Good' stabbing people in the face or conducting otherwise Evil aligned deeds with zero consequence.

I'd rather have people making evil, disposable alts to create assassination contracts than have 'good aligned' characters murdering babies because it doesn't affect their alignment.

- Griefers primary motivation is to ruin other PLAYERS enjoyment of the game. There are about a THOUSAND different methods they can utilize to do that, and Goblinworks will need both automated mechanisms and human policing in order to deal with those issues. However, what it says next to "Alignment" on another players character sheet is going to have NEGLIGABLE IMPACT on most Players enjoyment of the game. Frankly whether you choose to be classified as CG or LE has ZERO impact on my enjoyment of the game. It won't be a popular tool for griefers pricesly because it doesn't help them achieve thier primary goal....making most other players miserable. Conversely, if you do have in game mechansims that cause involuntary alignment shifts do to players actions.....you ARE going to have to watch out for THAT to become a tool for griefers to use...as they will try to game,goad,scam,trick other people into doing things that will flip thier characters alignments when they don't want it. To put it more simply, griefers don't care about thier characters alignments (or thier characters in general for that matter), legitimate players do.

- Alignment is a seperate system from criminal behavior and a seperate system from being flagged as "hostile" or other anti-griefing measures. A Lawful Evil character would not be flagged as attack on sight or not allowed to enter a Hell-Knight settlement for example....even though they might be sacrifing (NPC) babies like McDonalds serves up Happy Meals. However engaging in an activity that is against the laws of a settlement would get you flagged as criminal regardless of your Alignment....and engaging in actions that were hostile to another player would (hopefully) get you flagged as hostile to that player and his allies.

- In this setting, "Evil" is not really intended, nor should it be seen as a "punishment" for players. It is/should be an equaly viable play choice as "Good". All a system that ties Alignment to in game actions does is punish players who want to play "Good" characters and aren't willing to meta-game.

- In no way or shape can an automated system MEANINGFULLY interpret moral/ethical choices within the context of a sandbox game with even a remote degree of accuracy. You MIGHT be able to ge away with it in a Themepark game with a very LINEAR set of choice....although even that would be pushing it. Automated systems just have no real capacity to judge context or intent when dealing with actions...especialy in open-ended systems that sandbox style games feature.... so you end up with them making bad decisions about characters alignment all the time.

- Most legitimate players really WILL pick an alignment appropriate to how they want to play thier character and how they want that character to ACT, as long as you don't create a disincentive for them to do so.

- Alignment works in PnP systems only because you have a HUMAN GM, who carefully monitors player actions and can make intelligent/reasonable decisions about thier actions/motivations/ethics as well as minimizing thier ability to meta-game, and selectively getting to pick who gets to play in the campaign in the first place.

Goblin Squad Member

Just catching up on the blog...there was mention of the possibility of people selling insurance way back. I'm thinking there should be a formal outline for an Insurance contract which specifies that if someone defaults on another type of contract (obvious example would be a transportation contract where something like a wandering monster or brigands prevents the shipment from making it's destination) then the third party assumes the risk in exchange for a fee. Possibly players could have an option of paying a lesser amount of coin as insurance on a contract in lieu of substantial goods in escrow and characters could have a risk rating either directly affecting their insurance rates or visible to potential insurers who could offer insurance at competitive rates.

Goblin Squad Member

Excellent idea, Victor. I hope they see this and take note.

Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel wrote:
- Griefers primary motivation is to ruin other PLAYERS enjoyment of the game.

I would personally rephrase this that the thing that stand out most about grifers is that they ruin other players enjoyment. Their primary motivation is alleviating an easily bored mind. They don't think nearly as much about your enjoyment of the game as you do - and that is why they grief others so much: they don't think about others enjoyment as much, only their own.

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