why alignment (for characters) needs to go


Prerelease Discussion

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Ryan Freire wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I just have trouble believing that a problem player will not find another way to cause a problem.
Everything's a spectrum. The harder someone has to stretch to be a problem the fewer problems are liable to crop up overall. Its like raccoons. If you have raccoons you don't leave your trash outside of a can in an untied bag. You'll find yourself cleaning up less scattered trash by having a trash bin, with a decent lid and a solid, low center of gravity.

I guess that is our difference then I just wouldn't own a pet raccoon.


hahahahahaha....

oh man that was just.... .. just.. I don't know.

but if you say your character is CN and you justify yoru character's actions by stating that your characters is really, really nuts.

you're not CN or really really nuts.

your character is a pyscopath or if you prefer Criminally Insane.

WElcome Back to ARkem Asylum Mr. Joker, we have your usual room all ready for you.- Orderly
WEll yes, right( hehehehe) up until I make a mockery of you and make like the wind and BLow this dump," The Joker,' How so very drool.... and to think that I wasn't going to go burn that goblin orphanage," insanely Chuckles," WELL I VERY WELL AM NOW!!!!!" AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Tootles- The Joker

do note: CN does not mean going to burn things down and say your character is nuts.
CN means not giving a rat backside about anything and anyone else, jsut number 1. you're going to be rude, cruel and jsut about anything else.
your not good but not evil either, you just go about things your own way.
final Edit: criminal insane= Chaotic Evil


Yeah CN is all about number 1 but their is some lines you can't cross without being NE. NE in that way is real similar to CN except you will burn the orphanage down if you get something real nice out of it.


Steelfiredragon wrote:

hahahahahaha....

oh man that was just.... .. just.. I don't know.

but if you say your character is CN and you justify yoru character's actions by stating that your characters is really, really nuts.

you're not CN or really really nuts.

your character is a pyscopath or if you prefer Criminally Insane.

WElcome Back to ARkem Asylum Mr. Joker, we have your usual room all ready for you.- Orderly
WEll yes, right( hehehehe) up until I make a mockery of you and make like the wind and BLow this dump," The Joker,' How so very drool.... and to think that I wasn't going to go burn that goblin orphanage," insanely Chuckles," WELL I VERY WELL AM NOW!!!!!" AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Tootles- The Joker

do note: CN does not mean going to burn things down and say your character is nuts.
CN means not giving a rat backside about anything and anyone else, jsut number 1. you're going to be rude, cruel and jsut about anything else.
your not good but not evil either, you just go about things your own way.
final Edit: criminal insane= Chaotic Evil

I disagree with pretty much everything you said, and, thankfully, so do the rules. To quote regarding CN: "To do so he would have to be motivated by either good (and a desire to liberate others) or evil (and a desire to make those others suffer)." Cruelty is not part of the CN makeup. They would not burn down an orphanage because they lack the motivation to make others suffer, but they also are not cruel or even rude, necessarily.

Criminally insane characters may be CE, but it cannot be by definition. Some people don't believe in "insanity" and scoff at the idea of it as a legal defense, but if you use the term properly, it means you are incapable of distinguishing right from wrong. A criminally insane person would therefor be incapable of moral or immoral acts, just as a raging tiger is incapable, as is explicitly stated in the rules. If you feel that is hogwash, you are really just saying you don't believe in criminal insanity, which I don't think is particularly unusual. Because criminal insanity is a legal term, you might want to say "psychopath" because colloquial usage of the term includes those who are simply reprehensible, though clinical usage would not come with such an emotionally charged connotation.

The Joker is a fictional character, so it is impossible to really say whether he is insane or if he knows the difference between right and wrong and chooses wrong (unless an author makes it explicit somehow). The word "insane" is often used to describe him, but there is no alignment in DC Comics, so it doesn't make any difference whether he is incurably insane and kills people or if he is evil and kills people; you still want Batman to stop him. I choose to believe the Joker knows the difference and prefers evil, but ymmv.

In all my many years of gaming, I have never had a problem with a CN character. Of course, I explain alignments when they are chosen, so there was never a misunderstanding about the fact that CN is not a license to murder, or even to be intentionally cruel. Granted, the axis of Law and Chaos is far more difficult to nail down than the axis of Good and Evil, both generally and across editions.


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I think you might have misunderstood what he was saying, but I'll let you guys sort it out.

Also yes I disagree with CE being criminally insane. intellectual disability's do not change ones alignment. You can be a very nice person and still have a intellectual disability and you can be a right B@#$%^& and not have one.


Vidmaster7 wrote:

I think you might have misunderstood what he was saying, but I'll let you guys sort it out.

Also yes I disagree with CE being criminally insane. intellectual disability's do not change ones alignment. You can be a very nice person and still have a intellectual disability and you can be a right B@#$%^& and not have one.

You are essentially saying you do not believe in criminal insanity because criminal insanity, by definition, means incapable of distinguishing right from wrong, which is the very reason the core rules state tigers, no matter how many people they mangle and mutilate, are not ever Evil (and neither are cute little kittens ever Good).

I would say most mental disabilities do not change your alignment and, at the risk of mixing medical and legal terms, only insanity would make your apparent alignment not necessarily your actual alignment.

EDIT: I was assuming the "I disagree with CE being criminally insane" was a clerical error because it seemed like you went on to conflate insanity (a legal term) with intellectual disability. Apologies if I misread.


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So what I'm saying is that Chaotic evil does not necessarily equal criminally insane. A defintiional psychopath might not be able to recognize social constructs like laws and social norms etc but that person isn't automatically evil. Now insanity is usually reserved for severe mental disorders and its really not used as much but it mostly describes severity more so then symptoms.

I guess what i'm saying is Sever intellectual disorders are on their own axis and not on the alignment axis at all. Its like how people with those disorders have the exact same rates of violence as the general population. alignment and disorders are not correlated.

Edit: hmm the definition of legal insanity (just looked it up) varies greatly from the psychology term... That's interesting. Probably because Laws get updated far less frequently. That is my guess anyways.


Vidmaster7 wrote:

So what I'm saying is that Chaotic evil does not necessarily equal criminally insane. A defintiional psychopath might not be able to recognize social constructs like laws and social norms etc but that person isn't automatically evil. Now insanity is usually reserved for severe mental disorders and its really not used as much but it mostly describes severity more so then symptoms.

I guess what i'm saying is Sever intellectual disorders are on their own axis and not on the alignment axis at all. Its like how people with those disorders have the exact same rates of violence as the general population. alignment and disorders are not correlated.

Edit: hmm the definition of legal insanity (just looked it up) varies greatly from the psychology term... That's interesting. Probably because Laws get updated far less frequently. That is my guess anyways.

Gotcha.

Insanity is not a psychological term, though. The reason it exists is for the same reason children are not tried as adults. Criminality requires criminal intent, which may not be possible (and is assumed impossible for children and a subset of adults). From Psychology Today:

I hear this every week, sometimes twice a day: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." No, it isn't. To be clear, insanity is a legal term pertaining to a defendant's ability to determine right from wrong when a crime is committed. Here's the first sentence of law.com's lengthy definition:

Insanity. n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior.

Insanity is a concept discussed in court to help distinguish guilt from innocence. It's informed by mental health professionals, but the term today is primarily legal, not psychological. There's no "insane" diagnosis listed in the DSM. There's no(link is external) "nervous breakdown" either, but that's another blog.


totoro wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

So what I'm saying is that Chaotic evil does not necessarily equal criminally insane. A defintiional psychopath might not be able to recognize social constructs like laws and social norms etc but that person isn't automatically evil. Now insanity is usually reserved for severe mental disorders and its really not used as much but it mostly describes severity more so then symptoms.

I guess what i'm saying is Sever intellectual disorders are on their own axis and not on the alignment axis at all. Its like how people with those disorders have the exact same rates of violence as the general population. alignment and disorders are not correlated.

Edit: hmm the definition of legal insanity (just looked it up) varies greatly from the psychology term... That's interesting. Probably because Laws get updated far less frequently. That is my guess anyways.

Gotcha.

Insanity is not a psychological term, though. The reason it exists is for the same reason children are not tried as adults. Criminality requires criminal intent, which may not be possible (and is assumed impossible for children and a subset of adults). From Psychology Today:

I hear this every week, sometimes twice a day: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." No, it isn't. To be clear, insanity is a legal term pertaining to a defendant's ability to determine right from wrong when a crime is committed. Here's the first sentence of law.com's lengthy definition:

Insanity. n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior.

Insanity is a concept discussed in court to help distinguish guilt from innocence. It's informed by mental health professionals, but the term today is primarily legal, not psychological. There's no "insane" diagnosis listed in the DSM. There's no(link is external) "nervous breakdown" either,...

Ah I found the article you posted. I think people think of the term as severe Abnormal behavior. but anyways not to break to far off topic. I don't think even with the legal example you necessarily have to be "insane" to be chaotic evil or vice versa.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I just have trouble believing that a problem player will not find another way to cause a problem.
Everything's a spectrum. The harder someone has to stretch to be a problem the fewer problems are liable to crop up overall. Its like raccoons. If you have raccoons you don't leave your trash outside of a can in an untied bag. You'll find yourself cleaning up less scattered trash by having a trash bin, with a decent lid and a solid, low center of gravity.

But what does it take to keep the raccoons out? 31 million dollars in engineering isn't enough


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The description of alignment in AD&D 2e was the most harmful thing for CN the game ever had.

I'm pretty sure they were going for a 'lethal weapon' idea - but never understood that Mel's character in that movie was 100% lucid 100% of the time - the chaos was all an act.

Of course... the idea of an officer of the law being so chaotic... there is another alignment issue. ;)

Grand Lodge

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Just my 2 coppers: Add the "Unaligned" option.
Clerics must be within 1 of their deity...Like the Bishop in "Ladyhawke".
Inquisitors must match their deity... like Torquemada.
There should be four options for "Champions":
Paladin-champion of good w. smite evil & channel to heal.

Anti-Paladin-champion of evil w. smite good and channel to harm.(this really needs a better name, though).

Justicar-champion of Law w. smite chaos and channel to ???

Anarchist-champion of chaos w smite law and channel to???


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I just have trouble believing that a problem player will not find another way to cause a problem.
Everything's a spectrum. The harder someone has to stretch to be a problem the fewer problems are liable to crop up overall. Its like raccoons. If you have raccoons you don't leave your trash outside of a can in an untied bag. You'll find yourself cleaning up less scattered trash by having a trash bin, with a decent lid and a solid, low center of gravity.
I guess that is our difference then I just wouldn't own a pet raccoon.

Its not about pets, its about presence.

Liberty's Edge

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Aristophanes wrote:

Clerics must be within 1 of their deity...Like the Bishop in "Ladyhawke".

Inquisitors must match their deity... like Torquemada.

The issues with these examples are twofold:

1. Having Evil characters still get power from a Good deity that provably exists in setting breaks verisimilitude quite badly. The examples you give did not gain the ability to perform miracles, y'know?

2. If you want to mimic the actions of the medieval Catholic Church, LG is not the Alignment you want, LN is, in which case a LE Alignment for individual followers of the faith would be completely legal in Pathfinder.


the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:
side offtopic question: IF I made a wizard and named it "Q" the one from Star Trek, do you think I could get away with N/A on the alignment part?
Nah, that guy is Chaotic as all heck.

I disagree. I see him as Lawful Neutral. He follows some rules (and often it is difficult to understand where his rules are coming from).

His attitude toward the value of life is certainly questionable (the good/evil axis) - but when he has made a bargain he stays strict to "some" interpretation of that bargain, rather than just declaring, "I don't have to stick to bargains"


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totoro wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
I was nodding along until the very last part. Just as you don't give PCs an in-game ability because the player brought cookies, you don't take away an in-game ability because the player ate your cookies. The social contract should not be used to destroy character concepts. Period.

Character concepts don't exist in a vacuum. It's a collaborative game.

There is no inherent right to play your character concept. There is only the right to play a character concept that fits in the game you have agreed to play, with the other characters and the world brought by the other players and the DM, by everyone's agreement.

This isn't just about "playing in an appropriate manner". It's about actions in game having consequences in game. PCs can get killed or petrified or poisoned, or mind-controlled by a passing mesmerist; what about taking away an ability as a consequence of an in-game action is qualitatively different from that?


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HWalsh wrote:

I have never had any problem with a Paladin at any table I have been a GM or player at.

... Chaotic Neutrals on the other hands... That is up there with my banned alignments.

I run exclusively good games, so my rules on alignments are:

No Evil, no Chaotic Neutral.

Why?

I told more than one player, "No evil alignments."

Only to have them say, "I'll do Chaotic Neutral."

Then proceed to act evil with the explanation, "My character is CN he's kind of crazy."

I'm much more likely to allow Lawful Evil than Chaotic Neutral, because a Lawful Evil who will give their word and stick to it and compromise and require other characters to compromise in turn makes for great roleplaying and intra-character negotiation opportunities.


Gorbacz wrote:

What if I burn down a goblin orphanage?

I'd be intrigued to know where you found such a thing.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Its easier to take issue with game mechanics that enable problem players than try to change a problem player's attitude,

But that is not sufficient reason to remove mechanics that are also beneficial to other players.


totoro wrote:


The Joker is a fictional character, so it is impossible to really say whether he is insane or if he knows the difference between right and wrong and chooses wrong (unless an author makes it explicit somehow). The word "insane" is often used to describe him, but there is no alignment in DC Comics, so it doesn't make any difference whether he is incurably insane and kills people or if he is evil and kills people; you still want Batman to stop him. I choose to believe the Joker knows the difference and prefers evil, but ymmv.

Fwiw, the Grant Morrison run on Batman made this very clear; the Joker is aware he exists within a fictional world, and behaves the way he does in order to keep things in that world exciting, keep people buying the comics, and keep the story going and himself in existence. This is also why he is forever passing up opportunities to actually kill Batman for good, because if he did the story would almost certainly be over.

The applicability of this to players and their characters has potential to be quite interesting, IMO.


the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
totoro wrote:


The Joker is a fictional character, so it is impossible to really say whether he is insane or if he knows the difference between right and wrong and chooses wrong (unless an author makes it explicit somehow). The word "insane" is often used to describe him, but there is no alignment in DC Comics, so it doesn't make any difference whether he is incurably insane and kills people or if he is evil and kills people; you still want Batman to stop him. I choose to believe the Joker knows the difference and prefers evil, but ymmv.

Fwiw, the Grant Morrison run on Batman made this very clear; the Joker is aware he exists within a fictional world, and behaves the way he does in order to keep things in that world exciting, keep people buying the comics, and keep the story going and himself in existence. This is also why he is forever passing up opportunities to actually kill Batman for good, because if he did the story would almost certainly be over.

The applicability of this to players and their characters has potential to be quite interesting, IMO.

Sounds like a boring character. He would basically just play the same way meta-gamers do anyway.


I disagree with what was said that a CN would not burn down a goblin orphanage.

yes he would, just unlike any evil alignment, a cn person would take no satisfaction for it. to them it's a job they were hired for in nidal....


Steelfiredragon wrote:

I disagree with what was said that a CN would not burn down a goblin orphanage.

yes he would, just unlike any evil alignment, a cn person would take no satisfaction for it. to them it's a job they were hired for in nidal....

According to the rules, your interpretation is wrong. You are free to house rule, of course, but: "People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent, but may lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others."

What the rules obviously do not say is CN will kill innocent folks, but not take any pleasure in it. Indeed, that is listed as a characteristic of evil: "Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms is convenient [e.g., they get paid]..." and this is the "minimally evil" creatures; other evil creatures are even worse.

While the rules are poorly written, there is no doubt that the murder of innocent creatures is characterized as evil. I'm not even sure why this would be questioned.


the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
totoro wrote:


The Joker is a fictional character, so it is impossible to really say whether he is insane or if he knows the difference between right and wrong and chooses wrong (unless an author makes it explicit somehow). The word "insane" is often used to describe him, but there is no alignment in DC Comics, so it doesn't make any difference whether he is incurably insane and kills people or if he is evil and kills people; you still want Batman to stop him. I choose to believe the Joker knows the difference and prefers evil, but ymmv.

Fwiw, the Grant Morrison run on Batman made this very clear; the Joker is aware he exists within a fictional world, and behaves the way he does in order to keep things in that world exciting, keep people buying the comics, and keep the story going and himself in existence. This is also why he is forever passing up opportunities to actually kill Batman for good, because if he did the story would almost certainly be over.

The applicability of this to players and their characters has potential to be quite interesting, IMO.

That's funny. The Joker is an evil Deadpool, huh?


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the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
totoro wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
I was nodding along until the very last part. Just as you don't give PCs an in-game ability because the player brought cookies, you don't take away an in-game ability because the player ate your cookies. The social contract should not be used to destroy character concepts. Period.

Character concepts don't exist in a vacuum. It's a collaborative game.

There is no inherent right to play your character concept. There is only the right to play a character concept that fits in the game you have agreed to play, with the other characters and the world brought by the other players and the DM, by everyone's agreement.

This isn't just about "playing in an appropriate manner". It's about actions in game having consequences in game. PCs can get killed or petrified or poisoned, or mind-controlled by a passing mesmerist; what about taking away an ability as a consequence of an in-game action is qualitatively different from that?

I think this getting into the Zen of DMing. Perhaps I should not have said "Period." because I am really just saying what I think is fun-killing, which might be construed as some form of badwrongfun argument.

The difference to me is my belief the player gets to choose the intentions of their character. If the player thinks their intentions are Good and the DM disagrees, the problem is in a lack of communication, which means the appropriate recourse is better communication. If you want to be unkind, you could say the player is stupid or ignorant, but the character was the same alignment the whole time, presumably, and the player just didn't know. Or maybe the DM is just a jerk because he did not make it clear to the player. Put the blame where you want, but the result is the same: the player thought his character concept was X (e.g., a paladin with paladin powers) until the DM informed him the character concept is actually Y (a fallen paladin with no paladin powers; why not just ask the DM if he would like to play your character for you?). It's bad DMing, bad storytelling, just plain bad. IMO, of course.


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totoro wrote:


I think this getting into the Zen of DMing. Perhaps I should not have said "Period." because I am really just saying what I think is fun-killing, which might be construed as some form of badwrongfun argument.

Fair enough. You see funkilling, I see opportunity for roleplaying challenges, and this sounds exactly the sort of thing that reasonable conversation before a game could identify as an area of difference and thence deal with.

Quote:


The difference to me is my belief the player gets to choose the intentions of their character. If the player thinks their intentions are Good and the DM disagrees, the problem is in a lack of communication, which means the appropriate recourse is better communication.

Yes, but the most fun outcome of that communication does not have to be either "the DM gives in and agrees the character is actually Good" or "the player gives in and agrees this character does not count as Good in the interpretation of alignment agreed upon by the group playing this particular campaign", it can be "the character heroically fights for their beliefs against a universe they know is biased against them", which to my mind can make for much more interesting roleplay. (It is comparatively easy to be a hero if the underlying moral axioms of the universe agree with you and you can know this absolutely.)

I do think this is campaign-specific even within Pathfinder, btw. If I were running an all-paladin Wrath of the Righteous I would probably hold the characters to an even more stringent definition of Good than I do normally (which I get the impression is already quite stringent compared to many people here).


Yeah. We are obviously going for the same thing: Fun. And we have to DM in a way that we would want others to DM us.

You are actually following the rules better than me in one respect. The rules say the DM has absolute dominion over that one section of your character sheet entitled "Alignment." I reject that, obviously, and simply ask for intent after any questionable event. If the player indicates evil intent (as we all know because it is clearly defined), the player must change the alignment, but it is really still up to the player.


totoro wrote:
Yeah. We are obviously going for the same thing: Fun.

Definitely.

Quote:
And we have to DM in a way that we would want others to DM us.

I would not put it that way; I think we should aim to DM in ways that would satisfy others to the same sort of extent that we would hope their DMing would satisfy us, but that should definitely allow for variance because I don;t want to assume that what I most enjoy as a player is necessarily what every player I play with most enjoys from their DM.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Removed some posts and replies to those posts.

Please remember that when you see content which is argumentative, baiting, and not constructive to the continuation of the discussion not to respond to the post. This only perpetuates and elongates the effect of that negative post on the conversation as a whole.

When you assign characteristics to either a person or a group of people with whom you disagree for the purposes of delegitimizing their opinion or experience, you are engaging in personal attacks. Nobody's opinion can be discarded or rendered irrelevant because you label them as 'unintelligent' or 'immature' and the use of this language to deflate another's argument is not sound debate strategy and leads to a hostile and unaccepting atmosphere. The moment you find yourself generalizing about an entire group of people who oppose your view or who you do not have an affinity for, do not post, and reflect on a better method to address others' ideas and arguments, not their character.


the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
totoro wrote:


I think this getting into the Zen of DMing. Perhaps I should not have said "Period." because I am really just saying what I think is fun-killing, which might be construed as some form of badwrongfun argument.

Fair enough. You see funkilling, I see opportunity for roleplaying challenges, and this sounds exactly the sort of thing that reasonable conversation before a game could identify as an area of difference and thence deal with.

Quote:


The difference to me is my belief the player gets to choose the intentions of their character. If the player thinks their intentions are Good and the DM disagrees, the problem is in a lack of communication, which means the appropriate recourse is better communication.

Yes, but the most fun outcome of that communication does not have to be either "the DM gives in and agrees the character is actually Good" or "the player gives in and agrees this character does not count as Good in the interpretation of alignment agreed upon by the group playing this particular campaign", it can be "the character heroically fights for their beliefs against a universe they know is biased against them", which to my mind can make for much more interesting roleplay. (It is comparatively easy to be a hero if the underlying moral axioms of the universe agree with you and you can know this absolutely.)

I do think this is campaign-specific even within Pathfinder, btw. If I were running an all-paladin Wrath of the Righteous I would probably hold the characters to an even more stringent definition of Good than I do normally (which I get the impression is already quite stringent compared to many people here).

When a paladin loses most of his powers and can no longer pull his weight in group encounters, its not a fun RP experience. His "fight for his beliefs" doesn't work out when his allies are doing most of the fighting anyway(because they aren't NPC classes).


dragonhunterq wrote:
I have never had an issue with alignment at the table - never. I didn't even realise it was a problem until I started playing PF and joined the forums here.

Same for me, I did not realise alignment was a problem to some, for many, many years, until I joined the WotC D&D forums back in 2005.

I disagree with almost everything in the OP.


Ryan Freire wrote:
I've encountered more idiot "my character is CN" alignment characters than disruptive people playing a CE character in 20+ years of d+d. CN, like kender are like little red warning flags that you're about to have one of "those" players at the table.

I've have FAR more issues with LG myself, but kenders... yeah, 'just say no' to kenders...

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:


Specifically i've played with plenty of people who are just fine, as long as you don't hand them the kinds of in character justifications to be an annoying burden to the party that certain game options outright encourage. (CN, Kender, paizo goblins, paladins)
Fixed that so it applies for my experience!

Yep, THAT'S about it for me. Less CN and more paladin balanced though.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Find it very useful in visualizing who their character is as a person when all they had before was what they could do? Oh yeah, that I've seen. Actually pretty regularly.

We've have VERY different people we've helped then. I honestly can't recall someone helped like that: it's 'this is my character, what alignment would he be' instead of 'oh I'm xx alignment, so that means I have to act like this'. You already KNOW what your character would do if you play a personality like 'han solo' or 'indiana jones': alignment actually get in the way IMO.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
At least I do as I understand the term 'diametrically opposed outlooks'.

'diametrically opposed outlooks': for instance you can have a rabid human supremacist and a meditative hermit under the same alignment, LN. Alignment is like trying to catch a whale with a butterfly net...

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Having twenty (or, actually, a lot more...especially if you include Atheism and philosophies, which you should) different specific codes of behavior all mechanically enforced is not simpler than 9 relatively well defined ones.

But it objectively IS in use: specific codes can have black and white statements: you do this, you don't do this. Something alignments can't do currently. Once you look at your code you KNOW what you're meant to do: alignment is a guessing game as to what this or that action fall under. 'don't knowingly eat pork' vs 'don't do anything evil'... One is far, far, far clearer.

See alignment isn't "relatively well defined" while the codes could be.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
And I actually see Law vs. Chaos come up and be relevant pretty often.

*shrug* we clearly have different players. I don't have those issues unless it's LG and attached to a paladin.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
And for the record, I've never had a player be disruptive due to their Alignment.

I've had players, DM's and players+DM's be disruptive over alignment.


Codes give me more problems than alignment ever did.


Planpanther wrote:
Codes give me more problems than alignment ever did.

Where that codes that involved alignment? [looking at paladins...].


TLDR; stop hyperventilating and speaking for everyone.

Yeah. No. We live in a world where morality is relative because we don't know if there is a God or not.

Golarion is a world where gods are very real, and have very significant opinions on morality. In Golarion, morality is NOT subjective. Full stop. Therefore, alignment is important, as it defines what gods you are offending, where, and how. The alignment is critically important for understanding what gods you ALIGN with. So get off your high moral relativist horse and also calm down, because you are free to play without the alignment system. The rest of us would like it to stay as is.


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Star Dragon Caith wrote:

TLDR; stop hyperventilating and speaking for everyone.

Yeah. No. We live in a world where morality is relative because we don't know if there is a God or not.

Golarion is a world where gods are very real, and have very significant opinions on morality. In Golarion, morality is NOT subjective. Full stop. Therefore, alignment is important, as it defines what gods you are offending, where, and how. The alignment is critically important for understanding what gods you ALIGN with. So get off your high moral relativist horse and also calm down, because you are free to play without the alignment system. The rest of us would like it to stay as is.

TLDR Star Dragon Caith, stop hyperventilating and speaking for everyone.

Morality is universal.

Player's opinions tend to project into the game. Deal with it.


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Wild Spirit wrote:
Morality is universal.

Not according to Ash, in Alien, apparently it has no delusions of morality!


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Wild Spirit wrote:
Star Dragon Caith wrote:

TLDR; stop hyperventilating and speaking for everyone.

Yeah. No. We live in a world where morality is relative because we don't know if there is a God or not.

Golarion is a world where gods are very real, and have very significant opinions on morality. In Golarion, morality is NOT subjective. Full stop. Therefore, alignment is important, as it defines what gods you are offending, where, and how. The alignment is critically important for understanding what gods you ALIGN with. So get off your high moral relativist horse and also calm down, because you are free to play without the alignment system. The rest of us would like it to stay as is.

TLDR Star Dragon Caith, stop hyperventilating and speaking for everyone.

Morality is universal.

Player's opinions tend to project into the game. Deal with it.

Pump the breaks kids, we've done it. Morality is solved. All those philosophers over thousands of years can finally rest easy! The answers were right here on this message board the whole time! What a time to be alive.


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Pump the breaks kids, we've done it. Morality is solved. All those philosophers over thousands of years can finally rest easy! The answers were right here on this message board the whole time! What a time to be alive.

It is universal in its subjectivity. ;)


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Wild Spirit wrote:

Morality is universal.

Player's opinions tend to project into the game. Deal with it.

It's not a matter of "tending to". As vaguely as the morality of alignment is defined in D&D/PF-- inescapably, I suspect-- it's simply impossible for the majority of alignment to not be defined by the moral opinions of the people enforcing the alignment rules.

The problem is that 100% of that authority is given to the Dungeon Master, with no explanation or guidance as to the fact that he's not morally infallible and that legitimate differences of opinion need to be respected.


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Star Dragon Caith wrote:
Golarion is a world where gods are very real, and have very significant opinions on morality.

Actually they don't: they have codes and tenets and SOME of those may involve morality. Most beings care about specific things and NOT nebulous moral opinions. They don't do things because something/someone else SAID it was x alignment but because x, w or z action is right or wrong.

Star Dragon Caith wrote:
In Golarion, morality is NOT subjective. Full stop.

EVERYONE interprets it subjectively though, including those deities. As such, it having some unknowable constant is meaningless.

Star Dragon Caith wrote:
Therefore, alignment is important, as it defines what gods you are offending, where, and how.

Not true AT ALL. They may find certain ACTIONS wrong or right but they don't necessarily match with alignment.

Star Dragon Caith wrote:
calm down, because you are free to play without the alignment system. The rest of us would like it to stay as is.

And if the system went away, you would be free to play WITH an alignment system: the PRD for pathfinder isn't going away and 3.5 SRD's are still around so you wouldn't lose ANYTHING by it's removal.

PS: IMO, you seem to be the least calm person that's posted lately.


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Every single whim of every single deity in the Golarion universe is filtered through the mind of the DM sitting at your table.


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Terquem wrote:
Every single whim of every single deity in the Golarion universe is filtered through the mind of the DM sitting at your table.

Conversely - every single action of every single player is filtered through the mind of the player sitting at the table.

Just in the 'animate dead' thread there are people who said flat out 'digging up the dead to play with them is evil'

There are real world - non evil - cultures that do this today - as part of normal parts of their worship (google search: Famadihana if you are curious - it's safe for work, just different to what most people consider 'normal')

The fact that this culture exists - today - in this world - means that someone playing the game from this culture would look at 'animate dead' as a way to celebrate their *good* religion.

Except the game says it's evil. It's stuff like this that lends questions as to 'why force a morality into game rules?' What good, is it if your own real life culture is shamed into being 'wrong' because of a game design choice?

This is just an easy to use example of why moving from 'morality as a game mechanic' to 'morality used within the game mechanics' creates issues. Alignment creates less problems for the game when it's left as a system separate from all the hard rules - much like it was for the first 15 years of the games life.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Famadihana and reanimating something into an undead are two completely separate things, do not equate the two. Famadihana is a show of respect for the dead (and they stay dead), reanimating involves twisting and perverting a natural force of the universe (Negative Energy) into doing something it was not meant to do (creating life. False life, unlife, but still, creating), as well as corrupting/fracturing the soul of the deceased in almost all cases.

To claim that the practitioners of a real life tradition would use a different and Evil method to do so if they existed in-game is beyond disrespectful.


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Rysky wrote:

Famadihana and reanimating something into an undead are two completely separate things, do not equate the two. Famadihana is a show of respect for the dead (and they stay dead), reanimating involves twisting and perverting a natural force of the universe (Negative Energy) into doing something it was not meant to do (creating life. False life, unlife, but still, creating), as well as corrupting/fracturing the soul of the deceased in almost all cases.

To claim that the practitioners of a real life tradition would use a different and Evil method to do so if they existed in-game is beyond disrespectful.

Negative Energy isn't evil though. A Kineticist using a void blast isn't committing an evil action. A paladin doesn't fall for using Inflict Light Wounds. The negative energy plane is Unaligned.

For some reason undead are made evil by default in the game but it's not because of Negative Energy.


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graystone wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Famadihana and reanimating something into an undead are two completely separate things, do not equate the two. Famadihana is a show of respect for the dead (and they stay dead), reanimating involves twisting and perverting a natural force of the universe (Negative Energy) into doing something it was not meant to do (creating life. False life, unlife, but still, creating), as well as corrupting/fracturing the soul of the deceased in almost all cases.

To claim that the practitioners of a real life tradition would use a different and Evil method to do so if they existed in-game is beyond disrespectful.

Negative Energy isn't evil though. A Kineticist using a void blast isn't committing an evil action. A paladin doesn't fall for using Inflict Light Wounds. The negative energy plane is Unaligned.

For some reason undead are made evil by default in the game but it's not because of Negative Energy.

The issue isn't that negative energy is evil in the poster you quoted's post.

They are arguing that Negative Energy's natural purpose is to take or harm life. That, by using it to create life, reanimating a corpse, they are disrupting its cosmic purpose.

I'm not sure I agree, but it's an interesting theory.


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Rysky wrote:

Famadihana and reanimating something into an undead are two completely separate things, do not equate the two. Famadihana is a show of respect for the dead (and they stay dead), reanimating involves twisting and perverting a natural force of the universe (Negative Energy) into doing something it was not meant to do (creating life. False life, unlife, but still, creating), as well as corrupting/fracturing the soul of the deceased in almost all cases.

To claim that the practitioners of a real life tradition would use a different and Evil method to do so if they existed in-game is beyond disrespectful.

He wasn't equating the two. He was equating "Famadihana involves digging up the dead" with the "digging up the dead" act that posters in that other thread were saying was evil. No, no reanimating or creating undead yet, just talking about the exhuming of dead bodies for whatever purpose and auto-assigning the evil label to that by itself.

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