why alignment (for characters) needs to go


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


A player shouldn’t have to expect that he or she might have child rape sprung on them in the game. Okay, so why is taking their sense of morality and expecting them to just abandon it any better?
Why are you treating "player's sense of morality" and "character's moral outlook" as if they were the same thing?
Because when the player assigns a moral outlook for his character, he is saying “I think this manner of behavior/ these values/ these goals are this or that alignment”. If the game requires that that outlook be assigned something else, that equates to judgment passed on the player himself.
I think you're skipping a step here. I can create and play numerous characters who think they are Lawful Good without them having to agree with each other, and whether the game universe agrees with them or whether they agree with my personal morality seem equally irrelevant; that some of them will be supported by the moral rules of the universe they live in and some of them will be in rebellion against it is part of the variety of what makes them interesting to play.

This isn’t about being able to play variations of a certain alignment and other in-universe characters disagreeing. It’s about one or more of those variations being universally declared right or wrong, and how that universal declaration cannot be anything but “Hey, you know how you think this or that is wrong? Well, screw you, we’re saying it’s right, anyway.”

the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
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For example, casting Infernal Healing on a child is only evil because the spell happens to utilize evil energy to do do. That will never be sufficient reason for me. To abide by that, I would have to abandon that part of my sense of morality. I’m not playing this game to have that forced on me.

Can you not envision playing a character who sincerely believed using Infernal Healing on a child was evil? As a matter completely separate from your morality as a player? A character that you as a player thought was wrong?

If not, that feels limiting enough for players, and completely crippling to DMing any campaign where you are running characters of different perspectives. I mean, if as a DM you are running someone who is a villain by your own personal moral standards, how do you get inside their heads...

Oh, I can easily envision playing a character who thinks that good and evil can be so binary and easily manipulated, such as Infernal Healing being an evil deed, full stop, never mind motovations or resources at hand or anything mitigating. And I can envision a character who thinks that’s the whole point of the spell, that harm is wrong, and so the spell must create an even greater wrong to act as a magnet and therefore enact the spell’s healing. All sorts of characters with various views on right, wrong, degree, scale, absolutes, what have you. Villains, rivals, mentors, etc.

All of which are completely different from one of those perspectives being declared universally correct. Which isn’t even to say I don’t think there can be a correct view of morality, just that this should never be known. Not by mortal mind. Never by mortal mind. No matter which direction that goes, from a GM to me as a player, or from me as a GM to my players, I can’t think of that as anything but someone’s sense of morality being forcibly subsumed by someone else’s.

It’s the equivalent of saying “Okay, right and wrong in this universe are slightly different. Here, it’s perfectly fine to break the bones and drink the blood of a random infant as long as-“ No. I’m not going to entertain that, not as an game setting, not even as a hypothetical. And there is no game that should be asking that, not of me, not of anyone.

Starfinder is wonderful about this. You need not ever write alignment on your character sheet and the game plays the same regardless. Even parts of the game that seem to interact with alignment really don’t. Someone uncomfortable with alignment can easily consider Holy weapon fusions to simply be emitting a lot of G radiation, which works well against creatures vulnerable to it. Demons and devils are just creatures with a lot of E radiation. They are also evil people. Some players can consider those two things to be causally related while those who don’t like alignment can consider them coincidentally related. Just like how I wear glasses and drive a Camry, but I don’t wear glasses because I drive a Camry (or vice versa). Even the Planar Calling spell has the potential for an alignment descriptor tag, but since there’s nothing in the game about what those tags interact with, using Planar Calling to summon a devil could just as easily be signified by the spell having the Chariot and Fish descriptors. At no point is anyone in any direction forced to abandon what they deeply hold personally true, and I think that’s something to be applauded in a Saturday afternoon diversion. And I’m hoping P2E follows suit.


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Tectorman wrote:
Starfinder is wonderful about this. You need not ever write alignment on your character sheet and the game plays the same regardless. Even parts of the game that seem to interact with alignment really don’t. Someone uncomfortable with alignment can easily consider Holy weapon fusions to simply be emitting a lot of G radiation, which works well against creatures vulnerable to it. Demons and devils are just creatures with a lot of E radiation. They are also evil people. Some players can consider those two things to be causally related while those who don’t like alignment can consider them coincidentally related. Just like how I wear glasses and drive a Camry, but I don’t wear glasses because I drive a Camry (or vice versa). Even the Planar Calling spell has the potential for an alignment descriptor tag, but since there’s nothing in the game about what those tags interact with, using Planar Calling to summon a devil could just as easily be signified by the spell having the Chariot and Fish descriptors. At no point is anyone in any direction forced to abandon what they deeply hold personally true, and I think that’s something to be applauded in a Saturday afternoon diversion. And I’m hoping P2E follows suit.

Thank you for so effectively putting into words just what I don't want.

I love that morality has real relevance in Pathfinder/3.5. I like having actual incentive to make character-appropriate moral decisions, instead of feeling like I'm meaninglessly hamstringing myself for the sake of vague roleplaying by having a wand of Cure Light Wounds instead of Infernal Healing. I like having to sometimes think of a more creative way to solve problems than letting the hostage die or stealing the macguffin. I like when cooperating with a devil has actual dangers of moral and/or religious failure. I like the reason to summon things of a similar ethical stance. I like that saving the orphans has value besides just because I want to and any loot or exp the GM happens to hand out.

I get that it appeals to you, and that's fine, but I don't want alignment descriptors to just be verbal algebra. That is, to me, killing the thing I most like about the game and propping up its corpse at the dinner table.


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Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
Starfinder is wonderful about this. You need not ever write alignment on your character sheet and the game plays the same regardless. Even parts of the game that seem to interact with alignment really don’t. Someone uncomfortable with alignment can easily consider Holy weapon fusions to simply be emitting a lot of G radiation, which works well against creatures vulnerable to it. Demons and devils are just creatures with a lot of E radiation. They are also evil people. Some players can consider those two things to be causally related while those who don’t like alignment can consider them coincidentally related. Just like how I wear glasses and drive a Camry, but I don’t wear glasses because I drive a Camry (or vice versa). Even the Planar Calling spell has the potential for an alignment descriptor tag, but since there’s nothing in the game about what those tags interact with, using Planar Calling to summon a devil could just as easily be signified by the spell having the Chariot and Fish descriptors. At no point is anyone in any direction forced to abandon what they deeply hold personally true, and I think that’s something to be applauded in a Saturday afternoon diversion. And I’m hoping P2E follows suit.

Thank you for so effectively putting into words just what I don't want.

I love that morality has real relevance in Pathfinder/3.5. I like having actual incentive to make character-appropriate moral decisions, instead of feeling like I'm meaninglessly hamstringing myself for the sake of vague roleplaying by having a wand of Cure Light Wounds instead of Infernal Healing. I like having to sometimes think of a more creative way to solve problems than letting the hostage die or stealing the macguffin. I like when cooperating with a devil has actual dangers of moral and/or religious failure. I like the reason to summon things of a similar ethical stance. I like that saving the orphans has value besides just because I want to and any loot or exp the GM happens to hand out.

I get...

Question.

All of those things that you enjoy in the game, are you incapable of enjoying those things in Starfinder? Because in Starfinder, you can be the player sitting at the table who takes all of those (to you) crucial roleplaying considerations into account from an absolute perspective before deciding how your PC proceeds. Just like I can be the player at the table glad that it isn’t an absolute. The game just doesn’t force the issue. That’s it. We may disagree, but we can agree to disagree without having to come to verbal blows to hash it out or steamroll over your morality or mine or one of us needing to leave. Why is that bad?


Tectorman wrote:
All of those things that you enjoy in the game, are you incapable of enjoying those things in Starfinder? Because in Starfinder, you can be the player sitting at the table who takes all of those (to you) crucial roleplaying considerations into account from an absolute perspective before deciding how your PC proceeds. Just like I can be the player at the table glad that it isn’t an absolute. The game just doesn’t force the issue. That’s it. We may disagree, but we can agree to disagree without having to come to verbal blows to hash it out or steamroll over your morality or mine or one of us needing to leave. Why is that bad?

You ever play a video game where the optimal/best scoring/easiest option at some point is to kill all the townspeople and loot them, or bomb huge populated areas with no regard for collateral damage, or steal things willy-nilly, or just plain do nothing to help NPCs, or whatever? And there's no penalty for doing so aside from maybe dialogue isn't as friendly toward you or something?

And then you might play it the "nice" way, but you feel kind of silly for doing so because it's essentially an arbitrary handicap? (Especially if you might have a teammate bugging you about "hey, this'll go so much faster if we just kill the shopkeeper" and you have nothing to say but "that's bad, I don't want to.")

Yes, it would make the game less fun for me for alignment to be a meaningless self-imposition.


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Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
All of those things that you enjoy in the game, are you incapable of enjoying those things in Starfinder? Because in Starfinder, you can be the player sitting at the table who takes all of those (to you) crucial roleplaying considerations into account from an absolute perspective before deciding how your PC proceeds. Just like I can be the player at the table glad that it isn’t an absolute. The game just doesn’t force the issue. That’s it. We may disagree, but we can agree to disagree without having to come to verbal blows to hash it out or steamroll over your morality or mine or one of us needing to leave. Why is that bad?

You ever play a video game where the optimal/best scoring/easiest option at some point is to kill all the townspeople and loot them, or bomb huge populated areas with no regard for collateral damage, or steal things willy-nilly, or just plain do nothing to help NPCs, or whatever? And there's no penalty for doing so aside from maybe dialogue isn't as friendly toward you or something?

And then you might play it the "nice" way, but you feel kind of silly for doing so because it's essentially an arbitrary handicap? (Especially if you might have a teammate bugging you about "hey, this'll go so much faster if we just kill the shopkeeper" and you have nothing to say but "that's bad, I don't want to.")

Yes, it would make the game less fun for me for alignment to be a meaningless self-imposition.

In SFS (the organized play for Starfinder) they have Infamy. Do something particularly vicious, gain some infamy. There are times when it helps you — usually when intimidating NPCs — but most of the time it hurts you. Keep in mind that intimidation wears off. People don’t want to deal with someone infamous. It restricts your ability to buy equipment.

No alignment, but real consequences for doing things that cause unnecessary collateral damage, injuries, damage, or death.

How many times have the descriptions of the alignments changed? How many times have there been huge flare ups because two people didn’t see an action in the same way? How many threads have there been arguing about what some fictional character’s alignment is?

Actions can have consequences without an alignment system.


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Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
All of those things that you enjoy in the game, are you incapable of enjoying those things in Starfinder? Because in Starfinder, you can be the player sitting at the table who takes all of those (to you) crucial roleplaying considerations into account from an absolute perspective before deciding how your PC proceeds. Just like I can be the player at the table glad that it isn’t an absolute. The game just doesn’t force the issue. That’s it. We may disagree, but we can agree to disagree without having to come to verbal blows to hash it out or steamroll over your morality or mine or one of us needing to leave. Why is that bad?

You ever play a video game where the optimal/best scoring/easiest option at some point is to kill all the townspeople and loot them, or bomb huge populated areas with no regard for collateral damage, or steal things willy-nilly, or just plain do nothing to help NPCs, or whatever? And there's no penalty for doing so aside from maybe dialogue isn't as friendly toward you or something?

And then you might play it the "nice" way, but you feel kind of silly for doing so because it's essentially an arbitrary handicap? (Especially if you might have a teammate bugging you about "hey, this'll go so much faster if we just kill the shopkeeper" and you have nothing to say but "that's bad, I don't want to.")

Yes, it would make the game less fun for me for alignment to be a meaningless self-imposition.

Nope. I’m typically playing a video game to advance the story or see the next level. Most points/optimal never really came into it. I was not choosing Paragon most of the time in ME1 to keep Wrex alive but darn if I wasn’t happy it turned out that way anyway. And I know that in Oblivion you can eventually get away with stealing anything because the town guards just can’t keep up with you, but that never advanced the plot in any way I was interested in.

But that’s starting to sound like good or evil being a resource, an asset to be tapped. And that was one thing I hated in a SWSE game. I was playing a Jedi and we were in a casino hosting some kind of tournament where the winner had just been dealt a fatal blow (the kind with plot immunity to healing). After dealing with the immediate threat, my character asked the dying tournament winner what she wanted done with the winnings (because of no more reason than “she’s dying so she should have some say about something in her final moments”, that was literally my entire thought process). She said to give them to the runner-up so I did. The GM awarded me a free dark side point removal for it.

Absolutely hated that that scene got distilled down to resource management.


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Tectorman wrote:


It’s the equivalent of saying “Okay, right and wrong in this universe are slightly different. Here, it’s perfectly fine to break the bones and drink the blood of a random infant as long as-“ No. I’m not going to entertain that, not as an game setting, not even as a hypothetical.

OK, that feels like the essentials of our position boiled down to one statement, so thank you.

The universe saying your personal moral preferences are wrong seems to me the essence of building any number of kinds of story, including most of the great tragedies of Western literature.

If it's a hypothetical, I am willing to consider entertaining pretty much anything to see where it leads, out of interest in the story possibilities and the challenges or roleplaying someone different from me in a setting different from me.

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And there is no game that should be asking that, not of me, not of anyone.

To my mind, it's a very boring game that does not ask that of me, and it's an impossible goal for a game not to ask that of anyone, because of how people's moralities vary in real life.

It feels like your position is the equivalent of saying Anthony Hopkins must be an irredeemably evil person because he decided to play Hannibal Lecter in some movies.


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Tectorman wrote:


But that’s starting to sound like good or evil being a resource

Not seeing any other way to play good or evil that's also Lawful. Good or Evil being based on what you feel is right is the essence of Chaotic to my mind.


If Anthony Hopkins went on the late night talk show circuit, back then, and argued that Hannibal Lector was a misunderstood character and everyone should see him in the light of being the hero of those movies who was only showing the hypocrisy of people who would not admit that "eating other people" is not an evil act.

Then, yes, he would probably be seen as a terrible human being.

But nobody, nobody, argued that Hannibal Lector was "normal" other than the fictional character of Hannibal Lector

So, me for example, I can entertain those movies, barely, because the movie is not arguing that I should watch them and come to my own conclusion about what Hannibal Lector's actions are (good or evil).

There is no way I would ever play a fantasy role-playing game with another player who wanted to bring to the table the argument that Alignments are not needed in the game because everyone knows that morality is subjective and killing the shop-keeper to further their own characters goals should be acceptable.


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Terquem wrote:
There is no way I would ever play a fantasy role-playing game with another player who wanted to bring to the table the argument that Alignments are not needed in the game because everyone knows that morality is subjective and killing the shop-keeper to further their own characters goals should be acceptable.

Killing the shopkeeper normally shouldn’t be acceptable. A character shouldn’t need an alignment to know that.

Now if that shopkeeper had a sideline in selling magical mutagens that caused people’s bodies to morph and their minds to warp, someone should probably stop that. Not everyone would have the same reasons. For example, the priest of Abadar may proclaim it isn’t good for commerce — cuts down on repeat business. The cleric of Lamashtu might complain that they are cutting pretty close to their goddesses’s domain and should either become a believer or die.

Giving PCs and NPCs motives will do more to create an interesting fantasy world than alignments ever have.


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BretI wrote:


Giving PCs and NPCs motives will do more to create an interesting fantasy world than alignments ever have.

These are not mutually exclusive options, though, and I am entirely in favour of having both.

Here are some examples of character concepts that need a hardwired universal morality to work:

The paladin-type who can know beyond doubt that the universe supports their particular morality, however hard things may get.

The tragic hero railing pointlessly against the way things are and inevitably doomed by it.

The anti-hero in the mode of Milton's Satan, for whom cutting out their own little kingdom to reign in according to their morality is reward enough; who when, as Tectorman posted, the universe says "screw you", says it right back.

The person who is heroic enough to be willing to sacrifice not just their life, but their eternal afterlife, in the service of what they believe to be right.


Ignoring alignment has always been pretty easy for me, both as a player and GM.

As a GM, I've always said: "Write down anything or nothing on the alignment section, whatever helps you roleplay. You can play a selfish character, and/or a ruthless one. Please do not play a character who can't get along with others, or who is an enthusiastic sadist."

As a player, I've just always wrote down what feels most appropriate on my character sheet and proceeded to forget about it. Oftentimes this involves pretty arbitrary decisions, esp. re: the Law-Chaos axis because nobody can agree on what that's supposed to represent, but the nice thing is it doesn't matter and I can just focus on what my character thinks and wants and believes.

Actually trying to think in terms of "my character is Lawful Neutral, so in this situation they would..." wouldn't be helpful, but luckily I don't have to, so I'm not too invested in what they do with alignment as long as it's not too mechanically entangled with other things - which it sounds like it isn't.


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Tectorman wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:

This is worse argument I've ever seen as to why alignment should be gotten rid of.

It can cause hurt feelings? Are we being serious here? Everything can cause hurt feelings!

The alignment system doesn't make sense. It's a roleplaying tool. But it hurting feelings is no where near the top reason to not have it. Pffffff

Avoiding hurt feelings is why Horror Adventures has that section about consent. There are themes that can potentially take a player to one of their darkest most personal places, making them feel endangered or attacked by having those things brutally forced in their faces with no regard for their feelings.

Hurt feelings are why you don’t just start an adventure with all the characters in a dungeon having been brutally tortured/raped without getting the players’ explicit consent ahead of time.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
It's really kind of jarring to me how people can read that section of Horror Adventures about consent and jump right to the conclusion that "the most upsetting thing that can happen to me in a game is being told 'no' or that the thing I did was not acceptable." Like that is what upsets you?
That section in Horror Adventures is there because the themes that that section has all those warnings about are the sort can potentially be very traumatic and deeply personal. A person’s views about what good and evil are and how they fundamentally work are not at the same level of traumatization, but they are just as personal and just as sacrosanct. A player shouldn’t have to expect that he or she might have child rape sprung on them in the game. Okay, so why is taking their sense of morality and expecting them to just abandon it any better? That’s why “alignment (or at absolute minimum, any mechanics associated with it) stays out of the game by default unless and until everyone at the table explicitly gives their okay” should have been in the CRB.

There is a vast gulf of difference between hurt feelings and taking care when explicit content is involved.

And when it comes to the issue of someone's feelings being hurt based on a disagreement about objective morality, then GOOD. People should have their morality challenged and be required to defend it. Is that fun at the game table? Well it should be. Moral crisis and conflict is about as pure as roleplaying gets.


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


The universe saying your personal moral preferences are wrong seems to me the essence of building any number of kinds of story, including most of the great tragedies of Western literature.

Alignment needs no ties to mechanics to tell these stories - The Iliad didn't need an alignment system to tell the story.

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To my mind, it's a very boring game that does not ask that of me, and it's an impossible goal for a game not to ask that of anyone, because of how people's moralities vary in real life.

And having the rule be optional as a default ensures that when you sit down at the table either you ask if you can have this included or tell your players it's that kind of story - it's not assumed and thus people know going in what they get - that's better for the game all around.

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It feels like your position is the equivalent of saying Anthony Hopkins must be an irredeemably evil person because he decided to play Hannibal Lecter in some movies.

No.


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


The universe saying your personal moral preferences are wrong seems to me the essence of building any number of kinds of story, including most of the great tragedies of Western literature.

Alignment needs no ties to mechanics to tell these stories - The Iliad didn't need an alignment system to tell the story.

The Iliad, and Greek mythology generally absolutely needs a universal metaphysics of moira to work. It needs actions to have appropriate consequences; the Oedipus story makes that front and centre.

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It feels like your position is the equivalent of saying Anthony Hopkins must be an irredeemably evil person because he decided to play Hannibal Lecter in some movies.
No.

I would find it helpful if people objecting to playing in a universe they feel is fundamentally unfair or immoral would distinguish character reactions from player reactions a bit more in this argument to avoid giving such an impression, then.

For me a fundamentally unfair universe is a verisimilitude question, as well as making heroism a lot more meaningful; if the real universe has never done anything to you (a general you) that you have felt to be unfair and had no ability to change to something fairer, I am happy for your good fortune.


Matthias W wrote:
Oftentimes this involves pretty arbitrary decisions, esp. re: the Law-Chaos axis because nobody can agree on what that's supposed to represent, but the nice thing is it doesn't matter and I can just focus on what my character thinks and wants and believes.

If I get people who are unclear on Law and Chaos, I point them at V for Vendetta (the graphic novel, not the film) and The Complete Judge Dredd Casefiles volume 5, and that tends to, if not resolve everything, at least get us close enough to talk the rest of it out.


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If you have more time, you could point them to one of Michael Moorcock's earlier Eternal Champion books.


David knott 242 wrote:
If you have more time, you could point them to one of Michael Moorcock's earlier Eternal Champion books.

As the places where the concept originally came from, sure, but for examples that are quick, easy to find, and explore the extremes of Lawful Neutral and Chaotic Neutral in depth, I favour the recommendations I listed above.

(One of the things that makes Judge Dredd a great character for extremes of Lawful is that rather a lot of his stories are as happy to make him villain/antagonist as hero, depending on the perspective he's seen from; I recommend volume 5 specifically because the first couple of years of the character are a lot less settled and consistent, and it has a couple of really awesome early stories that don't lean too much on the huge mythology the character's been building up in ten pages or so per week advancing in realtime since 1977).


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


The paladin-type who can know beyond doubt that the universe supports their particular morality, however hard things may get.

Not to throw a wrench in your argument or anything, but the universe doesn't support Good over Evil (nor does it support the reverse). Good, Evil, Law, and Chaos are metaphysical classifications of behaviours that are each equal in the cosmology.

The more technically accurate statement would be that the Paladin can know without a doubt that their actions are Good, and they know that they themself want to follow Good, thus reassuring them no matter how bleak things look. However, the Paladin would think in-character as your statement was worded.


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


The paladin-type who can know beyond doubt that the universe supports their particular morality, however hard things may get.

Not to throw a wrench in your argument or anything, but the universe doesn't support Good over Evil (nor does it support the reverse). Good, Evil, Law, and Chaos are metaphysical classifications of behaviours that are each equal in the cosmology.

The more technically accurate statement would be that the Paladin can know without a doubt that their actions are Good, and they know that they themself want to follow Good, thus reassuring them no matter how bleak things look. However, the Paladin would think in-character as your statement was worded.

Entirely fair point, my wording was sloppy and yours is far better.


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When did they start letting paladins post on these boards?


Terquem wrote:
When did they start letting paladins post on these boards?

I blame someone Lawful... :P


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the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Matthias W wrote:
Oftentimes this involves pretty arbitrary decisions, esp. re: the Law-Chaos axis because nobody can agree on what that's supposed to represent, but the nice thing is it doesn't matter and I can just focus on what my character thinks and wants and believes.
If I get people who are unclear on Law and Chaos, I point them at V for Vendetta (the graphic novel, not the film) and The Complete Judge Dredd Casefiles volume 5, and that tends to, if not resolve everything, at least get us close enough to talk the rest of it out.

This is a bit like saying "to get a clear sense of Good and Evil, read Lord of the Rings," or "to get a clear sense of the left-right political spectrum, look at World War II," or "to get a clear sense of masculinity and femininity in American culture, watch {movie}." It's not that these statements are inaccurate in some sense, it's that they aren't especially helpful in terms of classification of less ambiguous cases, or in isolating which features are essential vs. accidental to the concept, and so on.

Like. if you asked me to describe you a character who was highly feminine, and wouldn't be recognized (by a middle-class American, or whatever) as anything else, that would be very easy to do! If I was supposed to classify whether any given character was feminine, masculine, or not that would be a very different task. So would be reasoning "well, this character is masculine on balance, so..." and so on.


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Ckorik wrote:
Nyarlathotep wrote:

I'm fine with alignment. It's sounds like it's a sacred cow that will live on in the 2nd edition.

I would like to see spells like Unholy Blight and others that affect only certain alignments disappear (or be reworked) though. Last 3 campaigns I've run, the majority of players are playing neutral characters to avoid being affected by spells and effects like this.

The fact that your players are 'gamifying' morality to avoid in game mechanics sounds like it has added depth and nuance to your game that help you plumb the depths of the moral fiber.

Or the opposite - and it's yet another example of why alignment tied to mechanics should go.

While I agree with many things you've said in this thread, this comment felt a little disparaging.

My players want a beer & pretzel "kick in the door, kill monsters and take their stuff" kind of game. They're not really interested in exploring morality and delving into ethics, social issues and mores. I would enjoy running that type of game but it's not for my particular group.

Obviously our experience and desires with the game don't trump anyone else but it is a valid play style and I feel that the mechanics of the system could be cleaned up in this regard.

Edit: corrected a spelling mistake.


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I've seen a lot of posts / arguments that de-emphasizing or removing alignment would suddenly make everyone even more into murder hobos than they already are. This... doesn't really follow. It's like the old saw from real life that "atheists don't have the fear of God to keep them on the straight and narrow so they're just going to be more immoral in general" when in reality that isn't true at all. You don't need "cosmic alignment" to have a personal moral or ethical code, or to believe in whatever spirituality. And plenty of other roleplaying games work just fine without it.

People are people. Even without "cosmic alignment," people will tend to follow the rules, because that's how society works, how you avoid getting in trouble, and because you following the rules with others means they are more likely to follow the rules with you. Obviously there's countless exceptions, but that's a pretty solid general trend. The same would be true in a game. Even without "cosmic alignment," a raving band of murder hobos will find themselves on the wrong side of the law, companies will blacklist them, towns will kick them out, and so on.


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Nyarlathotep wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
Nyarlathotep wrote:

I'm fine with alignment. It's sounds like it's a sacred cow that will live on in the 2nd edition.

I would like to see spells like Unholy Blight and others that affect only certain alignments disappear (or be reworked) though. Last 3 campaigns I've run, the majority of players are playing neutral characters to avoid being affected by spells and effects like this.

The fact that your players are 'gamifying' morality to avoid in game mechanics sounds like it has added depth and nuance to your game that help you plumb the depths of the moral fiber.

Or the opposite - and it's yet another example of why alignment tied to mechanics should go.

While I agree with many things you've said in this thread, this comment felt a little disparaging.

My players want a beer & pretzel "kick in the door, kill monsters and take their stuff" kind of game. They're not really interested in exploring morality and delving into ethics, social issues and mores. I would enjoy running that type of game but it's not for my particular group.

Obviously our experience and desires with the game don't trump anyone else but it is a valid play style and I feel that the mechanics of the system could be cleaned up in this regard.

Edit: corrected a spelling mistake.

Fair enough, I apologize as it wasn't my intent. I just felt it was a good example to point out that alignment can be 'gamified' as much as any other part of the game.


the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
It feels like your position is the equivalent of saying Anthony Hopkins must be an irredeemably evil person because he decided to play Hannibal Lecter in some movies.

No, and I’m very confused how you’re getting that out of what I’m saying.

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


Giving PCs and NPCs motives will do more to create an interesting fantasy world than alignments ever have.

These are not mutually exclusive options, though, and I am entirely in favour of having both.

Here are some examples of character concepts that need a hardwired universal morality to work:

The paladin-type who can know beyond doubt that the universe supports their particular morality, however hard things may get.

The tragic hero railing pointlessly against the way things are and inevitably doomed by it.

The anti-hero in the mode of Milton's Satan, for whom cutting out their own little kingdom to reign in according to their morality is reward enough; who when, as Tectorman posted, the universe says "screw you", says it right back.

The person who is heroic enough to be willing to sacrifice not just their life, but their eternal afterlife, in the service of what they believe to be right.

Okay, I think I need to clear up a misunderstanding, because this conversation just went off into left field. At no point am I talking about the universe’s morality being in conflict with any given character’s morality. I’m talking about the game setting that the player is making a character in, due to how it just out and out declares morality to provably work this specific way, is telling the player to go screw himself.

Using Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lector as an example, this would be the equivalent of the movie telling Mr. Hopkins not only must he portray Hannibal Lector as a character who buys into his own twisted worldview, but that he, Anthony Hopkins himself, must also buy into that worldview. He can’t just portray a morality not his own while disagreeing with it, he must hold to it his own self.

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


It feels like your position is the equivalent of saying Anthony Hopkins must be an irredeemably evil person because he decided to play Hannibal Lecter in some movies.
No.
I would find it helpful if people objecting to playing in a universe they feel is fundamentally unfair or immoral would distinguish character reactions from player reactions a bit more in this argument to avoid giving such an impression, then.

I would be happy to provide whatever distinguishing you require to avoid that impression, but I have no idea how you got there, so I’m at a loss as to how I should have expressed myself differently.


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Rhedyn wrote:

There is a vast gulf of difference between hurt feelings and taking care when explicit content is involved.

And when it comes to the issue of someone's feelings being hurt based on a disagreement about objective morality, then GOOD. People should have their morality challenged and be required to defend it. Is that fun at the game table? Well it should be. Moral crisis and conflict is about as pure as roleplaying gets.

So it’s okay to run roughshod over someone else’s sensibilities as long as it’s not explicit? I’m almost 90% sure that’s somewhere in the cyberbullying handbook. Please reread Mr. Jacobs’s quote in the OP; it’s applicable.

As far as the players’ morality being challenged such that they have to defend it, that’s exactly what doesn’t happen at all. A challenge is a trial that is overcome or not, but with alignment, you’re not supposed to overcome it, you’re supposed to already be agreeing with it. Or you’re supposed to be knuckling under. But there are no provisions for, say, when the game says casting Infernal Healing is an evil act by virtue of nothing more than an alignment descriptor, full stop, to tell the game “no” and expect any resolution other than you agreeing, you knuckling under, or you leaving.


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Having productive moral disagreements at the table is only possible if alignment isn't mechanical. If we disagree about Infernal Healing we can't present various arguments ("Invoking diabolical powers is evil!" or "Healing people is good!" or whatever) if the game rules as a mechanical matter say using the wand is evil and the Paladin can't cast until he atones.

If there is no mechanical alignment we can argue to our heart's content. If alignment is mechanical we need the rules to take sides and that forecloses those (potentially interesting) arguments.


I agree that it should probably not be a mechanic but disagree as to it not being included. Since morality is so disagreed on it does seem odd to give mechanical benefits based on it. I like the flavor of smiting evil or unholy flames burning the heroes all the more harshly but I really dislike having benefits/penalties from my RP decisions. Never had a big issue over the alignment system before. Typically any debates at tables I've been at have been over the morality of particular acts, not characters. Debating is fine. I even find it fun most of the time. I do like alignment as a moral compass. It is a nice way to denote the general morality of a character.


I cant say Ive ever had an alignment related issue at my table. The only time Ive had alignment issues is in online games, usually when the guy who wanted to play an anti-paladin just slaps paladin onto his character and then complains/leaves when he does something to loose his paladin powers.

Rant: Im sorry but if you break your code of honor you loose your paladin powers until you atone for your actions. You were granted power in exchange for following that code and the gods that offer these kinds of powers dont like oathbreakers. Suck it up and atone or get used to being a fighter, thats your choice!

All that aside, while I agree morality is subjective I think the main problem is we have to many things telling us what tools players have are evil, good, lawful, chaotic. I personally do not believe that the creation of undead is outright evil as Ive created entire societies that are based around that being an honor that furthers society. Its all about perspective on this stuff

That said, while I agree morality is subjective I do not believe that removing alignment is the answer either as I dont see what we would gain by doing so besides more paladins loosing their powers and leaving games because of it


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HWalsh wrote:

I ran an experimental game about a year and a half ago where I stripped out alignment from the game. People could be whatever they wanted to. I stripped out Paladin codes, the whole nine yards.

It was a complete disaster.

There was no verisimilitude within the world. One player played a Chaotic Neutral Paladin who used poison, lied, cheated, used underhanded tactics, was generally a complete (censored) because he could.

But you know he could be Chaotic Neutral Warpriest and you'll have exactly the same problems with him, only with bit worse fighting skills, and bit more spells?

So where's lack of versimilitude - you've got CN character acting like CN. CN characters - bane for most GM - are in a game for a long, long time. You just allow one with atypical powers.

But let me understand it clearly - you allowed paladin to codeless and CN, without any modifications in mechanics, changed boons, etc?

Because if so - well let's say that's quite against what supporters of ALindependent pally wants. We still want paladins to be dedicated to some cause. Like you know antipaladins are champions of Abyss.
So we want True Neutral paladins of Pharasma dedicating to destruction of unded... not paladins being just mercenaries with funky powers :P

Quote:


This was also when people started combining options that aren't meant to be combined. That became a mechanical nightmare as suddenly there were very specific options that were completely better than normal options.

Like, for example, did you know that Desna's Shooting Star, due to how it is worded, grants the benefits of more than one feat if used? If you want to TWF then Desna's Shooting Star blows anything else out of the water. Combined properly with certain classes that normally are incompatible with it this can get into stupid levels of effect.

But shooting star allowed only for adding Cha to starknife attack roles. Frikking starknife (which is banned in my HR and Desna fav weapon is Morningstar btw).

Quote:


The Alignment System helps keep a verisimilitude within the world by providing players with expectations for how characters they encounter should generally act. They also help by acting as roadblocks mechanically to stop certain combinations which, when combined, are very powerful and probably much more powerful than was ever intended.

Which can also be resolved by talking with each and individual player about who their character are and demand to Role Play them consistently with such nice elements like morale penalties to all roles if their character do things they previously declared as immoral and thing.

Also you can I don't know - ban Divine Techniques feats and allow CG Liberator paladins of Desna.

Not to say - paladins of Desna should have really annoying code of honor - as all liberators deemed to fight bullies wherever they are - even if they are in charge of Law, especially then, so you're constantly in odds with authorities.

And even worse - you cannot stop travelling :P Cannot settle.
Paladin of Desna is Hedge Knight - if he decide to settle, marry, have home, he is stripped of his powers.


Quote:


The main way this helps is that it allows the players to have preconceived notions of how the world their characters exist in works. When one comes across a Monk, they know generally that Monks have to be lawful, they have a general understanding of what Lawful means, which means that they have expectations for how this NPC is going to act and react.

Yeah, sure by why is it bonus? Such things should be decided by various skillchecks of Knowledge and Lore, not metagaming knowledge about what classes do.

If you met monk of order known to you, yeah you can have expectations. If you met monk from other side of the world - he can be all kind of madness and weird powers and demonic worshipping.
You don't know. So you're caution... and what's wrong with that really?

Quote:
Now, this enhances the system rather than detracts from it because it allows for the GM to not only create a sense of verisimilitude by creating characters that act in accordance with the setting's established history/lore/etc, but also allows the GM to create legitimately shocking twists with NPC behavior.

Sure but it does not have to be class based. It can be just you know world-based.

Like in my FR campaign there are paladins for various gods. Sure.
And anyone with few Knowledge religion skill will trust word of Torm or Tyr champion, but be wary of champion of Bane...
You don't have abstract paladin as reference but particular orders and sects.

Quote:

When one of the Monks was caught seemingly aiding the rebellion's efforts the PCs rose to his defense. Why? He was a Monk, he was lawful, there was no way that he would ever be involved in something like what was going on. It goes against everything that he believed in at the core.

TBH unless characters met this monk earlier I find nothing compelling nor realistic for a "he cannot betray - it's against its class" reasoning. With personal stake sure mistrust was possible, but if this was random guy?

Now obviously that's another problem with detect alignments (which is why I strongly limit it's use) - considering it's low level that should be must be, must used spell for all investigations of serious business. Someone's suspected of murder with premeditation? Well such thing would leave strong evil taint - no evil, he's innocent.
Charm person is low level spell - so any accused should be checked out.

But that should be done for every suspect of crime - not only monks, because we metagame monk is less probably to do such things.

Quote:
She's chaotic, by her nature she wouldn't impose a code of conduct on people.

Yeah I'm sure she'll be ok with cleric hating travel, or Tempus in FR would be not totally stripping your ass from powers for escaping glorious battlefield. Chaotic powers have their rules. Anyone has.

Quote:

Because the feat isn't broken. It is only broken when combined with certain specific things that, surprise, normally can't be combined.

how is it broken beyond paladin of Desna adding Cha stat to both attacks and defense roles?

Nice bonus, but game-breaking...?

Quote:
This was all great RP, and it was largely dictated by the alignment mechanics with regards to Paladins paling around with evil characters. Removing the restriction on Paladins needing to be LG, or removing their prohibition to assisting evil characters would have probably eliminated this storyline.

Not necessary. First of all - allowing not LG paladins does not mean, paladins are free to roam, do anything. In fact most of supporters of AL-neutral paladin want to have LG paladins with strict codes, and LE paladins with strict codes, TN paladins of Pharasma hunting undead, and so on, and so one.

So paladin of Iomedae in such situation would still be a subject to such restrictions.

Even without alignments at all - Iomeadae purposes would stay the same, so still mildly LE wizard even without you know LE description could be problem.

Or not depending of what would she do.

At least in my games I HR that it's something different to be evil and to be guilty, and in terms of dunno hunting down bandits my LG paladin would usually have no problem working with technically evil mercenaries as long as they kept in check and what they are paid for.


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Quote:
The blessings, such as LoH were the direct result of the adherence to the LG path. That's the benefit from choosing to so rigidly follow the path. It makes no sense that a CG or CN fighter would receive the same blessing. Where's the cost?

Considering how Maelstrom and fiendish planes looks life... I'd say cost can be quite high.

But then I suppose until we really not purge out this absurd notion that being chaotic means being fickle, emotional being - it always be a problem.


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Wicked Woodpecker of the West wrote:
stuff - paladins[SIC]

This is not a paladin thread - while they might be impacted (they could take alignment restriction off the Paladin and not change any of the other words and they'd still fall from an evil act ... how about that - the worst class in the game isn't 100% tied to alignment *mechanics*) this is a thread about alignment *mechanics*.

This isn't a thread about morality. This is a thread about why morality is a bad *mechanic*.

This isn't a thread about role play. This is a thread about why using a role play option is a bad *mechanic*.

The mechanics of the game are based on math and providing a rules framework - they shouldn't get in the way of, or override - role play. Currently they do.

If the answer to 'if your GM follows the rules she's a jerk' is yes - then it's a bad rule. That's all. Alignment can exist in the game (and affect spells and gameplay) without the bad mechanics.

A Helm of Opposite alignment (for example) isn't a 'Helm of mind control' - think of the stories you could get out of a group where the cleric is changed to Lawful Evil (from Chaotic Good) and letting the player run with it over sessions instead of 'well you instantly know something is up because the cleric can't get spells - one scroll of remove curse later and we move on - not sure why that item was ever there it didn't do much at all.

Imagine a world where the chaotic good monk could role play a mortal Monkey King - one of the very coolest stories about martial arts ever - that proves the point that Monks are not lawful in the slightest.


Tectorman wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
It feels like your position is the equivalent of saying Anthony Hopkins must be an irredeemably evil person because he decided to play Hannibal Lecter in some movies.

No, and I’m very confused how you’re getting that out of what I’m saying.

Your reaction to the hypothetical of a fictional universe presenting things (that you-the-player regard as morally unacceptable) as good, as an imposition on you-the-player rather than a restriction on your character. If they're not equivalent, I would like to understand how not.

Quote:


I’m talking about the game setting that the player is making a character in, due to how it just out and out declares morality to provably work this specific way, is telling the player to go screw himself.

I am not seeing the logic linking your premise to your conclusion there.

The logic of the game setting limiting characters in any way is a matter of flavour.

How is "X is regarded as Good in this setting. You can play characters who agree or characters who disagree, and the setting will respond appropriately" any more of a restriction on the player than "We are playing a game set in a medieval European monastery so you can't be a samurai" ?

Both of those are premises for a fictional setting. I am all in favour of people choosing to play in or otherwise enjoy whatever settings they like - but also in favour of settings being consistent and coherent, and I find settings more emotionally satisfying, and triumph in them more meaningful, if they are not set up to arbitrarily provide unrealistic levels of the universe assuring me-the-player that my opinions are ultimately how things work.

Quote:


Using Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lector as an example, this would be the equivalent of the movie telling Mr. Hopkins not only must he portray Hannibal Lector as a character who buys into his own twisted worldview, but that he, Anthony Hopkins himself, must also buy into that worldview.

That's absolutely not what I am saying, and I do not see how you get it from where I am.

What I am saying is that a movie or TV series that presented a story in which Hannibal Lecter wins, at whatever levels that matter to him to win - that presents no universal morality punishing him for what he does - is not a story with whose underlying morality an actor needs to be in agreement in order to be interested in playing Hannibal Lecter.

Roleplaying characters fundamentally different from me, in universes fundamentally different from ours or from ones I would find congenial, is not something that requires me to approve, morally, of the characters or the metaphysics of the worlds.

There are plenty of aspects of Golarion I'd rather not live with in day-to-day life. There are also plenty of aspects of reality I'd rather not live with in day-to-day life. Fictional worlds that don't have bits I'd rather not live with are a) not plausible to me and break my suspension of disbelief and b) not fun to roleplay in because they feel like playing on a ridiculously easy mode without some sorts of significant challenge. Fictional worlds that do have bits I strongly morally disagree with as a person are interesting to me because they present new challenges as a role-player.


Ckorik wrote:


This isn't a thread about morality. This is a thread about why morality is a bad *mechanic*.

This isn't a thread about role play. This is a thread about why using a role play option is a bad *mechanic*.

The mechanics of the game are based on math and providing a rules framework - they shouldn't get in the way of, or override - role play. Currently they do.

I basically disagree absolutely here. I am happy to argue that a defined game morality with role-play requirements is a good mechanic, because of enabling richer characters either by working with it or by opposing it. I will argue that more generally than alignment - provide me with a system that designs interesting codes of conduct for characters and I will give it a go so long as it mechanistically penalises them for breaking the codes and rewards them for adhering to them particularly when it is difficult.


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Personally, I really want alignment to remain an important part of the game and not to be stuck in an appendix as an optional rule. Alignment is very much worked into the Golarion/Pathfinder multiverse. The planes are aligned, deities are aligned, outsiders are aligned, and it does matter for all of them, so why WOULDN'T characters have an alignment that matters for them too? Also, alignment is a useful tool to give a very simplified description of your character's outlook on life. If I come to the table and tell everyone I'm playing a Chaotic Good Ranger, they all have a decent idea of what to expect from me. I don't see alignment as limiting or being an issue at all. In fact, I'll be very disappointed if alignment isn't a fundamental part of the game in the new edition, and would probably houserule it back in if it isn't.


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Tectorman wrote:
So it’s okay to run roughshod over someone else’s sensibilities as long as it’s not explicit?

Yes.

Sensibilities are just that. Sensibilities. If someone was religiously against magic and people playing wizards or the DM pretending to cast spells as a bad guy upsets that person, then they can just deal with it.

Same if you have a problem with objective morality in a setting. That's a "you problem".


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Rhedyn wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
So it’s okay to run roughshod over someone else’s sensibilities as long as it’s not explicit?

Yes.

Sensibilities are just that. Sensibilities. If someone was religiously against magic and people playing wizards or the DM pretending to cast spells as a bad guy upsets that person, then they can just deal with it.

Same if you have a problem with objective morality in a setting. That's a "you problem".

This is another strong case as to why systems tied to GM fiat are bad mechanics and should be optional systems.


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All mechanics are optional. If you have some real hangups on "how magic is evil" and you can get the rest of the group to agree that only evil people get spells, then you can play that way.

It's a bad idea to make policy for all tables everywhere to solve issues that are honestly pretty rare. I have personally never even seen an issue with alignment come up in the course of play in like 25 years in this family of games.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
All mechanics are optional.

That isn't true for all tables, DM and/or players. I have plenty of games I join where the rules are preset as would someone in PFS, so it's a bit disingenuous to pretend that everyone can just ignore whatever rules they want. Not everyone has the luxury of picking and choosing a home game that allows you to alter the rules as you wish. When you play with new people all the time online, 'a talk with the party' is only after multiple set up posts with the DM to get in and them after seeing who you're paired up with... An official codified 'no alignment' rule means it's now a simple question that EVERYONE knows the ramifications of instead of a long drawn out debate on what to change/alter... Even if the optional rule is 'how to remove alignment', it would be a vast improvement for those of us that would prefer it gone as it make that "All mechanics are optional" viable in more situations.


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Ckorik wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Alignment doesn't really ruin a lot of games. Incompatible playstyles ruin more games than anything else. I'm not saying alignment doesn't need to be fixed, but it's not really something that comes up a lot, and when it does it's normally attached to the paladin class.

I disagree - the change to spells with the [evil] descriptor caused an uproar. The change to not allow good undead caused an uproar - in fact almost anything that has to do with alignment causes commotion.

Hrm. I must not have been paying attention over the 40 years I've been playing D&D/Pathfinder; I do not recall any such uproar.

There might have been such an uproar on the message boards, but I've long since learned that the message boards are far from representative of the gaming world at large. Only a VERY tiny percentage of people who play pathfinder frequent the boards with any regularity.

At the gaming table, I've never seen anyone complain or even really comment on the requirement that undead be evil or whatever concern some people must have had with spells with the [Evil] descriptor.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
All mechanics are optional.

So if they take the mechanics out - and put them in a sidebar that says 'optional alignment rules' - according to your statement that is the exact same as what we have now.

Except then I'd be happy.

So you are saying - you are happy - and you don't care - but you don't want me to be happy?

Or am I missing something in this argument - because 'all mechanics are optional - but don't make these mechanics officially optional' sure does feel like that's the argument you are - in fact - making.


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James Jacobs wrote:

I often see this type of sentiment on the internet, and it frustrates the hell out of me.

The ONLY person who gets to decide if something is insulting is the person being insulted by it. If someone says something that ends up offending someone else, the responsible and mature solution is not to justify their insulting/offensive actions by trying to describe how they don't see it's insulting. That just digs their hole deeper and makes them condiscending as well as insulting to the person who's offended.

The right solution is to either nod your head and stop using that sort of offensive behavior (preferably altogether, but certainly when speaking to the person you, perhaps inadvertently, offended).

This statement offends me. I'd like an apology please.

I'm joking, but this statement is ridiculous. ANYTHING you say that I disagree with can offend me. ANYTHING I say that you disagree with will most certainly be taken as offensive.

For example, people mispronounce my name about 99% of the time. I know they don't mean to offend me, so I choose not to be offended by such an unavoidable slight. I could be offended and point out how my ethnicity has been heavily persecuted in the 19th and 20th century, but that's not very helpful. It's better to just say how my name is supposed to be pronounced (sometimes takes a couple tries), and move on with my life.


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Saldiven wrote:

At the gaming table, I've never seen anyone complain or even really comment on the requirement that undead be evil or whatever concern some people must have had with spells with the [Evil] descriptor.

That's because this particular change is new. The new rule is that casting a spell with an alignment descriptor changes your alignment - the 'suggested' text indicates 5 castings = alignment change.

I'm not re-hashing that debate - I'm arguing that a cleric CN cleric casting protection from good 5 times and becoming evil (making them 1 step removed too many from their CG deity) is a bad mechanic. A GM that enforces that rule would be a jerk - a rule that makes a GM a jerk for running *as written* is a bad rule.

Making a subsystem that encourages people to shy away from some characters and or alignments for pure mechanics reasons - seems counter-intuitive to good game design.

Again I understand historical reasons for the rules - I understand tradition - I think there is a place for alignment on the sheet - I just think is should be optional, which means that it would be a posted and discussed rule prior to a game start.


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"I'm not re-hashing that debate - I'm arguing that a cleric CN cleric casting protection from good 5 times and becoming evil (making them 1 step removed too many from their CG deity) is a bad mechanic. A GM that enforces that rule would be a jerk - a rule that makes a GM a jerk for running *as written* is a bad rule."

THIS, this, this, this - if you want to have a CG deity (for what ever reason) but want to be CN (for what ever reason) and find that your character is constantly in need of "Protection from Good" spells in a game where

a) the DM keeps throwing "good" aligned creatures at your character because she wants your character dead, and you don't - and then rules you are shifting to an "evil" alignment as punishment, then

play in another DM's games

or

b) Your character "keeps" finding reasons to "engage" with "good" align creatures in a way that results in your character "needing" protection from the said "good" creatures and your DM thinks that this behavior is pushing a little heavy on the evil side of conflict resolution management, and a threat of alignment shift for your character seems misguided and "unfair" by you, then

your DM might want to find another player to play with who understands why there is a problem

The problem isn't with the system or the mechanics. The problem is in what each of you wants out of the experience of playing the game.


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Ckorik wrote:


I'm not re-hashing that debate - I'm arguing that a cleric CN cleric casting protection from good 5 times and becoming evil (making them 1 step removed too many from their CG deity) is a bad mechanic.

I would really like to understand how "you said you were going to play X, your character is behaving in ways Y not compatible with X, therefore the universe treats your character as Y" is a bad mechanic; it seems to me an actively positive one at a level of choices having consequences.


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Terquem wrote:


play in another DM's games

or

b) Your character "keeps" finding reasons to "engage" with "good" align c

The story is that the CG good is at war with the LG god (happens - it's a good story) and so you need protection from good.

As this thread is about mechanics not 'house rules' the rules break this story requiring change.

It's a simple example that points out how the rules are absurd - which is why it's a good example - not because it's an edge case - but because it shows the broken point without lots of setup, or exhaustive explanation.

Quote:
and your DM thinks that this behavior is pushing

No - my GM is doing her job here and reading the rules and being an impartial and fair arbitrator of the rules applying them as written.

Quote:
and a threat of alignment shift for your character seems misguided and "unfair" by you, then

I didn't say that - I said the rule makes the GM into a jerk. This could be subjective - but only if you agree that all alignment decisions are subjective - if you don't then the GM being a jerk in this discussion is an objective fact.

But that's the rules as written.

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