Chaotic Evil or Chaotic Neutral?


Advice

51 to 88 of 88 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
soaponarope wrote:

I spoke to the player last night and let them know that I felt they were on the line of going evil. They told me they thought their character may end up CE and understood. For now they are remaining CN. I am pretty sure we came to an understanding.

Thanks again for your advice and help everyone.

Good. He knows he's on the road to perdition and is OK with eventually getting there. That's the important part.

As far as what he's doing, by today's standards they're pretty nasty. However, within some cultures, they used to be fairly normal. Leaving enemy remains in places as a warning, putting traitors' heads on the city gates, leaving the bodies of criminals on display, taking heads or other body parts as personal trophies, and much, much more. They may not have been particularly refined behaviors, but not mentally unstable ones either and not really characterized as evil, particularly since the bodies suffering the indignities are already dead and not particularly innocent.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

He's not really Chaotic Evil until he betrays and murders the rest of the party. Which he will inevitably do.


Something that I don't think was mentioned in this thread: Alignment is something the game master controls, not the player. It's right in the Core Rules: "Unlike hit points or skill ranks or Armor Class, alignment is solely a label the GM controls." If you-as-the-GM think he's chaotic evil, he's chaotic evil, no matter what rationalization he gives you.

Most of the time, this will have no effect on his actual character. If he's a cleric, then you (and he) can regard this as an opportunity for role-playing as he tries to figure out why his patron deity is angry at him....


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

One thing my group does that I enjoy quite a bit is google docs between sessions of character conversations or different things like that. I could always link the event that I was discussing as it was written out after the game in one of the docs. Not sure if anyone cares to read it. I think me and the player came to a good understanding and way to handle it. But if anyone is interested let me know and I will link to it. or put it in a spoiler not sure what is best on these.


Reading about his actions it seems you have less of an issue of whether he is CN or CE and more of an issue of Immature Player Syndrome.


Bill Dunn wrote:
As far as what he's doing, by today's standards they're pretty nasty. However, within some cultures, they used to be fairly normal. Leaving enemy remains in places as a warning, putting traitors' heads on the city gates, leaving the bodies of criminals on display, taking heads or other body parts as personal trophies, and much, much more. They may not have been particularly refined behaviors, but not mentally unstable ones either and not really characterized as evil, particularly since the bodies suffering the indignities are already dead and not particularly innocent.

This was why I asked what kind of society he is from - I considered adding a comment about crucifixions being a valid punishment in the olden days but I figured I'd avoid the possible thread detour.

If the character in question is a half-orc who was raised with one of the nastier orc tribes, his actions are about par for the course.

If this is the pampered third son of a minor noble family from Taldor who recently started adventuring to make a name for himself, I'd be more worried.

Since Pathfinder (and Golarion) cover a very wide variety of societies and civilizations, his actions could be anywhere between perfectly legitimate and bizarre to the point of delusion.

It could also be that you have a somewhat immature player who hasn't fully considered what these actions entail.

Either way I'm glad you guys were able to talk about it and figure it out :)


I say keep it CN for now and let him play the course.
If he does something like that to someone who's still alive, then he's evil. If he betrays the party, robs, murders, then he's evil.
Til then, let things keep progressing. Don't even warn him either. That's what makes these alingment shifts so damn fun, the suddenness of it all.


CN? Barely, and that's total BS on pharasma ritual BS s%**. Pharasma isn't the goddesse of Sacrifices at all. That's some evil right there. if that person is a cleric or divine caster tied to that diety, have him lose his spells and class abilities. not even actting for her UNLESS pharasma said hey kill this person because they are about to do total destruction and what not. But to cut off the witches hands for a blood rite? doesn't sound pharasma at all.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bill Dunn wrote:
soaponarope wrote:

I spoke to the player last night and let them know that I felt they were on the line of going evil. They told me they thought their character may end up CE and understood. For now they are remaining CN. I am pretty sure we came to an understanding.

Thanks again for your advice and help everyone.

Good. He knows he's on the road to perdition and is OK with eventually getting there. That's the important part.

As far as what he's doing, by today's standards they're pretty nasty. However, within some cultures, they used to be fairly normal. Leaving enemy remains in places as a warning, putting traitors' heads on the city gates, leaving the bodies of criminals on display, taking heads or other body parts as personal trophies, and much, much more. They may not have been particularly refined behaviors, but not mentally unstable ones either and not really characterized as evil, particularly since the bodies suffering the indignities are already dead and not particularly innocent.

Again, this isn't a game of cultural relativism. Alignment does have definite standards of good and evil, and like it or not, they're based on fairly modern ones.

With that said, for a home campaign, where those standards fall are your call. The important thing... is self consistency within your campaign standards.

For my view, you've gone over the line to chaotic evil when you step over the line that even Frank Miller's Batman refuses to cross.


Dark servitude wrote:
CN? Barely, and that's total BS on pharasma ritual BS s#~*. Pharasma isn't the goddesse of Sacrifices at all. That's some evil right there. if that person is a cleric or divine caster tied to that diety, have him lose his spells and class abilities. not even actting for her UNLESS pharasma said hey kill this person because they are about to do total destruction and what not. But to cut off the witches hands for a blood rite? doesn't sound pharasma at all.

Pharasma-esque or no, the actions are not evil. Read the alignment section again (or this thread).


Drachasor wrote:


Pharasma-esque or no, the actions are not evil. Read the alignment section again (or this thread).

Read about pharasma. And it's barely evil. insanity but he has threaten. see if he kills the NPC then we shall see.


LazarX wrote:
Again, this isn't a game of cultural relativism. Alignment does have definite standards of good and evil, and like it or not, they're based on fairly modern ones.

I think that's a somewhat naive take on alignments - there is definitely room for movement inside the different alignments, especially between Lawful and Chaotic.

Lawful alignment specifically states "honors tradition" is an example of a lawful character trait.

An example of a tradition could be, for instance, Halloween. In North America it's a nationally recognized and cherished event In much of Europe however, people will be thoroughly confused if you show up at their door dressed like a vampire and threaten to egg their house if they don't give you candy.

In Norway, and I believe much of Scandinavia, up until quite recently it was a popular tradition to leave out porridge for the santas/elves/gnomes (kind of an amalgam of all of the above really) that lived in and protected your barn on christmas eve. Not doing so was considered bad luck and the gnome would play tricks on you.

In Thailand I'm reasonably sure leaving out perfectly good food for fantasy creatures that live in your barn would be frowned upon.

To sum it up: A character can perform acts that make perfectly good sense to him but that will baffle people around him. Because other people thing an action is evil, or chaotic, doesn't mean said action is either. The motivation for doing actions matters very much indeed when it comes to alignments.

If the character in question stems from a reclusive tribe that ritualistically disembowels and hangs up the corpse of intruders into their tribal lands, performing the same act to protect his new homeland could could be called Lawful for him.
If the character in question has absolutely no basis for thinking this is a good idea but does it anyway because "it sounded like fun at the time" then I think it qualifies as a chaotic act.

Context matters, even in Pathfinder.


Dark servitude wrote:
Drachasor wrote:


Pharasma-esque or no, the actions are not evil. Read the alignment section again (or this thread).
Read about pharasma. And it's barely evil. insanity but he has threaten. see if he kills the NPC then we shall see.

Quote for me the text that says this is evil. I do not believe you can support this stance with the rules.

Pharasma is irrelevant in this. Saying something is the ritual for a god when it is not is not inherently evil either -- no matter whether you are mistaken or lying. And if you disagree on this, then quote me the text that supports your view that it would be evil.


Drachasor wrote:
Dark servitude wrote:
Drachasor wrote:


Pharasma-esque or no, the actions are not evil. Read the alignment section again (or this thread).
Read about pharasma. And it's barely evil. insanity but he has threaten. see if he kills the NPC then we shall see.

Quote for me the text that says this is evil. I do not believe you can support this stance with the rules.

Pharasma is irrelevant in this. Saying something is the ritual for a god when it is not is not inherently evil either -- no matter whether you are mistaken or lying. And if you disagree on this, then quote me the text that supports your view that it would be evil.

Yes, but where in pharasma profile does it say sacrifce your enemies to me for power? No where. She Doesn't do that s!$&.

And it matters because one of the PC's even said this, the one we are talking about for this matter I believe. And I honestly think that this person, if a cleric or divne class tied to this diety did this would lose there class abilities because they did a blood rite to a goddese who isn't evil or good, but did something she wouldn't do imo.

I already said that this person is Barely CN beacuse some unknown factors that we don't even know about. we also have some inut of the guy threatening NPCs for really no reason but just to do it because he can. Insanity douchebag is all I'm saying about this PC, but is very close to evil in my own opinion. Just my opinion, not yours mine.


I don't see you quoting any rules supporting your position that he's been doing evil.


He's not doing evil.
He's behaving like a proper barbarian or figher or other savage that is simply not refined.
I played one game where my half-orc barbarian would actually eat the hearts and livers of those he personally killed in combat. He did it in the hopes that such an act would give him strength and power.
In fact, the GM and I worked out a feat he could take where he would get sacred bonuses from his god, Gorum, for doing this if the enemy was near or above his HD.
My guy wasn't necessarily a bad guy, and he didn't do this to people at random. He did it to his enemies, those that made a worthy challenge. It was part of his religious and cultural heritage, done simply out of faith and practice, not out of spite, malice, or ill-will, and he never did it to a living victim or any other enemy, only one that he had personally killed.
Totally Chaotic Neutral, as ruled by the GM.


It depends on how you play. I personally don't believe Good and Evil have to be based around the Judeo-Christian ethic. I think good and evil are what the gods of your campaign say it is. I can even see scenarios where two good players are pitted against each other.

for example a lawful good paladin has to protect the workers on a new church, but it's being built in a sacred forest that a druid who is chaotic good and who has been commanded by his good to drive off.

My gaming group enjoys a lot of gray area. There is nothing that character did in the OP that that is evil in my opinion.


Drachasor wrote:
I don't see you quoting any rules supporting your position that he's been doing evil.
soaponarope wrote:
Well, they found out that their brother had a half sister in game. When they first met they went up and screamed in her face and threatened to slap her unless she gave them information. The NPC had shown no threatening qualities and was the NPC they were sent to rescue.
PFSRD wrote:
Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.

You could certainly make a case that he oppressed his half sister (who appears to be 'innocent') by making threats of violence and being verbally aggressive.

Personally I don't think a single minor act of evil is enough to force an alignment shift. Then again, that's not what Dark Servitude was saying either - he/she said he/she thought the character was CN with evil tendencies. I think he/she has a case for arguing that.

That said, asking people to quote alignment rules in order to 'prove' how they perceive a character's location WITHIN an alignment is short-sighted. The alignment definitions are rough and vague rules as it is and very much open for interpretation. Ask 9 people what the definition of Lawful is and odds are that you'll get at least 9 different definitions.

By the way, is there an in-character reason why this (very) chaotic character worship a lawful neutral deity?

The Exchange

I've played lizardfolk a couple of times that were Neutral Good, devoted to the welfare of all sapient creatures, kind to children, generous, courteous, courageous, humble, devout, and cannibalistic*. Alignment is flexible in funny ways.

* Well, technically anthropophagous, but 'cannibal' is a more widely recognized word.


Kudaku wrote:

You could certainly make a case that he oppressed his half sister (who appears to be 'innocent') by making threats of violence and being verbally aggressive.

Personally I don't think a single minor act of evil is enough to force an alignment shift. Then again, that's not what Dark Servitude was saying either - he/she said he/she thought the character was CN with evil tendencies. I think he/she has a case for arguing that.

1. "innocent" doesn't appear in the alignment section at that location.

2. The guy wasn't referencing that event (which I agree is a minor evil).

Kudaku wrote:
That said, asking people to quote alignment rules in order to 'prove' how they perceive a character's location WITHIN an alignment is short-sighted. The alignment definitions are rough and vague rules as it is and very much open for interpretation. Ask 9 people what the definition of Lawful is and odds are that you'll get at least 9 different definitions.

The alignment definitions are what the rules give us to go by. If one wants to make an argument that they are insufficient for a given character, then one certainly can. This requires the following:

1. Demonstrate where the person best fits in the current system.

2. Construct an ethics argument for why they fit somewhere else.

Declaring someone as evil just because you are disgusted with their behavior fails (1) and doesn't really satisfy (2). It particularly fails when you realize it is easy to be disgusted with behavior that one wouldn't really classify as evil -- some might dislike crude body humor, for instance, but that humor isn't evil.

In any case, one must first start with what the rules provide before going anywhere. Otherwise you definitely will end up with a bunch of different opinions that have no common ground.


Vamptastic wrote:
I would have that behavior bump them up to Chaotic Good, but that's me.

i too, would consider him Chaotic Good.


WARNING: OPINIONS AHEAD

CE could be played this way, but obviously (see above) this is arguable.

The character has obviously undertaken other deeds aside from the ones described in the original post. These are very important in deciding between CN and CE. In my mind, the character is CN if there are other "good" actions to counter the evil ones, and there is a level of "evil" he will not go to and has some restraint, or at least remorse when the line has been crossed.

But taking your original post alone into account, and letting my experiences with other players paint the rest fo the picture, I would call this a classic example of using CN as an excuse to behave CE.


I added the innocent note because i believe that oppression is subjective to the individual, and can at times be justified. A chaotic evil alchemist might well feel oppressed if the paladin demands that he ceases his horrible experiments and submit to judgement at the local god of Justice. That doesn't necessarily mean that the paladin just committed an evil act. However in this case I felt that the threats and aggression was excessive and uncalled for, which was why I noted that the person qualified as innocent.

Drachasor wrote:
Quote for me the text that says this is evil. I do not believe you can support this stance with the rules.

You said this in answer to a post that specifically mentioned threats actually. I'd quote the full passage but I'm typing this on a tablet and quite frankly I hate the keyboard on the damn thing. Every other word gets autocorrected to moose dung or bee beard for some reason :-/


Kudaku wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
Quote for me the text that says this is evil. I do not believe you can support this stance with the rules.
You said this in answer to a post that specifically mentioned threats actually. I'd quote the full passage but I'm typing this on a tablet and quite frankly I hate the keyboard on the damn thing. Every other word gets autocorrected to moose dung or bee beard for some reason :-/

Hmm, point, but that conversation was started earlier and I had been trying to get the poster to actually refer to the alignment section AT ALL. He was also kind of vague with that line, imho.

A big problem with alignment arguments is that half the people don't even pay attention to what the rules say -- which is where we have to start from.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:


But taking your original post alone into account, and letting my experiences with other players paint the rest fo the picture, I would call this a classic example of using CN as an excuse to behave CE.

Amen.

I am fairly confident that all of us have either played this way when we were younger and full of angst, or know people who played this way. In an older post I mentioned that CN was misunderstood and misused. This is exactly what I was talking about.

If I make my guy CN, I can rationalize out any of my behaviors to the GM or my quick thinking and well-spoken roleplaying buddy can make excuses for me. This, my friends, is Chaotic Stupid.

CN deserves to be played with the same amount of intelligence and conviction as the other alignments.

It is no longer meant to be a catch all alignment.

Liberty's Edge

soaponarope wrote:
I spoke to the player last night and let them know that I felt they were on the line of going evil. They told me they thought their character may end up CE and understood.

Eh. He's probably eying that 2 level dip into Antipaladin...


"I'm not evil! I'm Chaotic Neutral!"
"You're EVIL!"
"...and a Whore."
- The Gamers: Dorkness Rising.

I agree with what you say, Ginglebrix. This is clearly a player covering for the alignment he should be playing with the "catch all"=CN.

That said, the question was "Are these acts enough to force an alignment shift?" There is nothing in the OP to suggest that the character comes from a background where such acts are the norm. In fact, the OP and other players being disturbed by it would suggest the opposite. Thus, no matter how much I enjoy stories of Lizardmen PCs (I have one) and Half-Orcs (I have one of those too), we should probably discount them for the purposes of this question. After all, no one is going to be shocked if the Lizardman eats victim's parts; they'll just hand him a napkin and reflect that "things are different in the swamp". It's best to assume he comes from Sandpoint or Absalom or someplace with at least a veneer of civilization.

With that initial starting condition, the results of the calculation are:
He is slightly Nuttier than Banana Bread, but not so Nutty as Fruitcake. Sane people from Sandpoint don't act that way, no matter how angry they get. Not being able to determine that kicking the body is acceptable and cutting off the hands and smearing blood on your face is not, is a classic sign that all your Fruitloops aren't in the bowl.
Chaotic Neutral clearly states that it is the alignment of "Crazy", so he is deadnuts on "Crazy Neutral" there. The slapping is a minor evil (though a disturbing one) that isn't enough to precipitate a shift.

Results: Scary Crazy Neutral with evil tendencies that would probably be happier just admitting he wants to play CE and be done with it.


Pffff, people who play Chaotic Neutral as Crazy simply don't have a good grasp of the alignment as far as I'm concerned.

Chaotic Neutrals can be crazy, yes, but not always.

Look at the Grand Prince Stavian III for example. He's considered in alingment purposes as Chaotic Neutral.
http://pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Stavian_III

Chaotic Neutral characters follow their own codes. Ultimately, they're selfish individuals for the most part, but there's a line they won't cross unless they HAVE to. When they absolutely have to, they will do it because they're own freedom/lives/livelihood/etc is at stake, not someone elses (unless it's a friend).

This means that, even if they come from a polite society, if their code means that they desecrate and dismember their enemies, then they friggin do it, and screw what anyone else thinks.

Does that mean they always do it? No, not really. And while they're selfish, it doesn't mean they don't have redeeming qualities. They certainly do care about things and people, but alot of the time their own needs supercede those of others.

They're not quite sociopaths, not quite the goodly human being.

Silver Crusade

This is why I ban CN from my games it is used as a poor man's CE to justify all sorts of acts that would not be tolerated from other characters.


Drachasor wrote:

Hmm, point, but that conversation was started earlier and I had been trying to get the poster to actually refer to the alignment section AT ALL. He was also kind of vague with that line, imho.

A big problem with alignment arguments is that half the people don't even pay attention to what the rules say -- which is where we have to start from.

Agreed. I just wanted to point out that there is defense for the view in the alignment rules. Based on what we've heard so far I'd consider this a CN character with evil tendencies, but depending on the context and the backstory you could defend (most of) his actions as both lawful and even good.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
karkon wrote:

This is why I ban CN from my games it is used as a poor man's CE to justify all sorts of acts that would not be tolerated from other characters.

Why wouldn't just someone play a different alignment, and then act the same?

Banning CN is one of the silliest things I have heard.

It solves absolutely nothing, and serves no purpose.

Dick players will continue to be dick players.

You might as well ban the color purple.


So, what do people do with Lawful Neutral alighnments then?


There are many takes on what Chaos and Law mean.

In our local group, we prefer to see it as how you view the needs of the individual as opposed to the needs of the many.

Lawful means you believe society is made objectively better when it is well regimented. Rights may be stepped on in specific cases, but more good is done through law and order than harm. Governments that are Lawful tend to have laws to protect the masses from individuals.

Chaotic means you believe the rights of the individual trump all. While laws can serve to protect people, they often do so at the cost of freedoms. Governments that are Chaotic tend to have laws to protect the individual from the masses.

Good/Neutral/Evil are expressions of what you think the end result of the "greater good" should be.

So a Lawful Neutral character would believe that order in a society is most important. Whether that order is good or evil is less important than that there be order. Most LN characters would probably prefer a LG society over a LE one, but would not work to overthrow an LE government except in extreme cases.

Just my 2 cents.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Characters Back story- Here

Silver Crusade

blackbloodtroll wrote:
karkon wrote:

This is why I ban CN from my games it is used as a poor man's CE to justify all sorts of acts that would not be tolerated from other characters.

Why wouldn't just someone play a different alignment, and then act the same?

Banning CN is one of the silliest things I have heard.

It solves absolutely nothing, and serves no purpose.

Dick players will continue to be dick players.

You might as well ban the color purple.

In my experience it has worked. Stripped of the legitimacy of claiming CN they actually adjust their behavior. It may not work in your game but that may be down to play style.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

70% of my past PCs would be banned.

PCs, that I, my DM, and fellow players, loved.

This is what this ban does.


soaponarope wrote:


I spoke to the player last night and let them know that I felt they were on the line of going evil. They told me they thought their character may end up CE and understood. For now they are remaining CN. I am pretty sure we came to an understanding.

Sure, but have you told them yet that since there are no evils allowed, that doing so turns them into a DM controlled NPC? ;-)

And I do suggest that rule.


Ginglebrix wrote:


I am fairly confident that all of us have either played this way when we were younger and full of angst, or know people who played this way. In an older post I mentioned that CN was misunderstood and misused. This is exactly what I was talking about.

If I make my guy CN, I can rationalize out any of my behaviors to the GM or my quick thinking and well-spoken roleplaying buddy can make excuses for me. This, my friends, is Chaotic Stupid.

CN deserves to be played with the same amount of intelligence and conviction as the other alignments.

Yes, yes I played in groups in the past that had PC who played THOSE kind of CN/CE's. Maybe the character actually believes he is CN? :)

I saw your earlier post though I did not reference it, and agree with what you're saying. I'm sure most do. So much on message boards is tied up in semantics.

There are nine different alignments, but that does not mean there are only nine personalities to RP. Even though gamers have been doing this for over thirty years and practically every interpretation of every alignment has been thought of and played, it would be great if more players at least tried to add something unique to it.

51 to 88 of 88 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Chaotic Evil or Chaotic Neutral? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.