why alignment (for characters) needs to go


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FaerieGodfather wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
It supports role-playing options that are not there otherwise; I gave examples a few posts back.

Being unable to locate that post at the moment, would anything in your examples be impossible in a system where alignment was either campaign- or (preferably) character-optional?

A Miltonic Satan whose response to universal morality is "better to reign in Hell" plays very differently without a hardwired universal morality.

A paladin-like character knowing beyond doubt that they have a handle on Good as the universe defines it won't work in a universe without hardwired alignment.

A person whose value of heroism involves knowingly sacrificing eternity in the afterlife in the service of what they believe to be right because they know the universe doesn't agree doesn't work without hardwired universal alignment.

All of those are characters I could find fun to play.

Quote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
As a secondary benefit, it is enough part of the tradition of Pathfinder and D&D before it to be part of the identity of the game...

Worth noting that the D&D game abandoned this tradition at the same time that the Pathfinder game branched off-- I would not consider it any more part of Pathfinder's identity than it was a part of D&D's.

At the risk of being nitpicky, I did say "before" there rather than :parallel to". And I remain to be convinced that keeping hardwired alignment as in Pathfinder isn't one of the things that led people to choose Pathfinder over 4e.

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the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
It doesn't seem beneficial to the chances of getting a good game out of a set of people, though, to my mind, to begin from a position of defending it against less generous assumptions about their character...
It's not a matter of starting the game with poor assumptions about their character; it's a matter of the rules exacerbating specific character flaws that almost every person possesses to some degree.

This is starting to feel like my opinion of humans generally is different enough from yours that further debate on this point won't be productive, so I am happy to agree to disagree here.

Quote:


If the Pathfinder game is going to continue having morality mechanics, I am arguing that they either need to be considerably more thoughtful in their intent and function or entirely optional.

I would be all for the former.


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Just to chime in, but why would Kraven be a Hunter class? Dude doesn't fit into the chassis at all. He makes much more sense as some stripe of spell-less Ranger with various humanoids as his favored enemies or a Slayer.

Also Rambo as a Barbarian? Not seeing it unless you want to count PTSD as Rage for some weird reason.


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


It supports role-playing options that are not there otherwise; I gave examples a few posts back.

Characters that exist in fiction but are impossible with the game today:


  • The noble good barbarian that has a strict code of conduct (Rambo).
  • The cleric that is 100% opposite of the rest of their order (How do you solve a problem like Maria? (Sound of Music))
  • The chaotic evil druid (poison ivy)
  • The Paladin that is best friends and adventures with an evil wizard - and remains best friends with him (Dresden Files)
  • The CE Hunter that is out for trophies only (Kraven the Hunter)

I didn't even have to think hard to come up a handful of examples of characters that someone might want to play in game that can't right now due to alignment mechanics.

They could exist *with* alignment - but not with the restrictive mechanics we have in the rules today.

The restrictions do not support role-playing options they restrict them unless you play according to someone else's definition of the class.

* I see rambo as more Fighter than Barbarian and see him NG to CG.

* If this is true, why does their god empower them?
* May I suggest Witch or Shaman?
* Even if you remove the Alignment, Paladin will forever be in schrodinger's fall, depending on the DM.
* I.... actually see no reason for this, though I would suggest NE not CE.

While you didn't have to work hard for characters, I also didn't have to work to hard on other problems or solutions to them.


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MerlinCross wrote:


And another problem. If we make Alignment not matter for RPing/classes but matter when it comes to mechanics(Though it sounds like having your cake and eating it)

Bold is my edit - I'm curious about this statement - do you feel that alignment restrictions are there as a whip to use against the players, or a punishment? That expression is meant to imply that you must suffer if you want the rewards - and I ask why you expect or think that kind of thought is appropriate for a co-operative game?

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THOSE players are going to have a bloody field day. You know the type, the guys that write down CN but are actually CE. The ones that think alignment doesn't matter,

I have two thoughts on this:

The first - is that this type of player is already a problem - removing restrictions on class mechanics won't change them. These players can write LG on the sheet they will play how they play and there is no defense against that - because something is written on a character sheet doesn't - nor will it ever - actually change the real person playing that character.

The second - is why do other games not have this kind of player? Why is it that D&D (and Pathfinder right behind) is the one system endemic with people who do this kind of thing? Is it because the alignment description for CN always reads like you should be playing Jack Nicolson's Joker and that sounds like fun? What pushes that button to make them take that path to start?

Last thought - question for you. Do you punish someone if they can't do an accent on their character, or they are unable to act 'in character' like a seasoned 'Shakespeare in the park' fellow? I mean I've played with a few people in my day that were able to *bring it* - but my group pulled from productions for a long time before I moved to the Midwest - so I was lucky. Most people really don't bring much to the table - getting them to act 'in character' takes months... years sometimes of working with them. Do you punish people if they can't *really* get into the alignment of their character if it's outside their norm?

I mean is that what alignment is supposed to be?


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:

Just to chime in, but why would Kraven be a Hunter class? Dude doesn't fit into the chassis at all. He makes much more sense as some stripe of spell-less Ranger with various humanoids as his favored enemies or a Slayer.

Also Rambo as a Barbarian? Not seeing it unless you want to count PTSD as Rage for some weird reason.

Oh I saw when he stands on a hill with a mini-gun in his *arms* the only way he's doing that is with a barb rage with (old school not unchained) STR and CON bonuses - which also explains how he survives the bullet storms.

I knew using examples would bring out the 'but...' brigade - the examples are my own and if you disagree it's another example of why reasonable people can disagree over things like alignment and even class in game.

It's also (like I said earlier) another reason why people will twist themselves in knots to fit a character concept into a class with restrictions or ignore them and put down 'CN'


I'm mostly just speaking as a comic nerd and that Kraven is a real poor example of yours. If you're going to argue concepts that don't work because of alignment, it's best if you pick concepts that vaguely fit. Kraven doesn't do heavy teamwork with animal companions or spells which are the big points of the Hunter chassis. As a supreme (non class) hunter with minimal (Ultimate Kraven could be considered to have some minor spell power) or no magic, you're better served by Ranger/Slayer.

On top of that, jerk characters aren't endemic to DnD derivatives and especially not because of alignment. Simple backstory and concepts* can break parties even discounting the old "player wants to be a disruptive ass" which DnD certainly doesn't hold a monopoly on.

*Examples: Playing Dragon Age with a Dalish supremacist and a Tevinter soldier, Dark Heresy with a monodominant and a psyker, or pairing a Menite warcaster with a Tharn in Iron Kingdoms.


Ckorik wrote:


Bold is my edit - I'm curious about this statement - do you feel that alignment restrictions are there as a whip to use against the players, or a punishment? That expression is meant to imply that you must suffer if you want the rewards - and I ask why you expect or think that kind of thought is appropriate for a co-operative game?

How else am I to think where you want something with NONE of the bad and all of the good?

A CE Character that is in fact Mother Thresa will not suffer a Smite Good. Likewise an LG Paladin won't suffer if they go around murderhoboing everyone.

Ckorik wrote:


I have two thoughts on this:

The first - is that this type of player is already a problem - removing restrictions on class mechanics won't change them. These players can write LG on the sheet they will play how they play and there is no defense against that - because something is written on a character sheet doesn't - nor will it ever - actually change the real person playing that character.

The second - is why do other games not have this kind of player? Why is it that D&D (and Pathfinder right behind) is the one system endemic with people who do this kind of thing? Is it because the alignment description for CN always reads like you should be playing Jack Nicolson's Joker and that sounds like fun? What pushes that button to make them take that path to start?

Last thought - question for you. Do you punish someone if they can't do an accent on their character, or they are unable to act 'in character' like a seasoned 'Shakespeare in the park' fellow? I mean I've played with a few people in my day that were able to *bring it* - but my group pulled from productions for a long time before I moved to the Midwest - so I was lucky. Most people really don't bring much to the table - getting them to act 'in character' takes months... years sometimes of working with them. Do you punish people if they can't *really* get into the alignment of their character if it's outside their norm?

First, it actually does matter as currently you as DM can either call them on it, or mark down "And down to LN. And down to LE." and so on and so forth. Or you know not let them sit down at the table.

Second, You're kidding right? You're actually kidding right? Name me one system where being an evil person(Oh but there's nuances of being evil) doesn't get you shut down. Or a system that rewards going murder hobo on everything. I'd hope said systems are few and far between and also not the DM just allowing it.

Finally, ....the heck does this have to do anything. I'm actually confused. Do you just not want people to act as the characters? For the game to be just math? I just got out of a game that was MATH and I can't tell you one good memory about it. Heck I can't even tell you what my allies classes were, it was "Go here kill the thing, you get a thing, move on". This is fun for people? I guess so.

No I'm not going to punish people for not acting in character. I'll probably raise an eyebrow if said character does something completely off the rails(Like suddenly deciding they don't want to pay for an upgrade and just threaten the guy into giving it for free). Hell, I play CG and CN mostly these days but I don't go all Joker about it. Heck last guy was about "Give me back my family" and was willing to torch a few people to get them back. I put that as CN.

Ckorik wrote:
I mean is that what alignment is supposed to be?

To you? It seems a harsh wall that stand between playing characters.

To me? Barbossa? "The code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules." There you go.

Ckorik wrote:
why reasonable people can disagree over things like alignment and even class in game.

Maybe we should get rid of classes too.


MerlinCross wrote:


Name me one system where being an evil person(Oh but there's nuances of being evil) doesn't get you shut down. Or a system that rewards going murder hobo on everything. I'd hope said systems are few and far between and also not the DM just allowing it.

Black Crusade! And sticking with 40k RP, I can say that pure amoral scum Rogue Trader (Or radical Dark Heresy) can be a blast too.

Although pure murder hobo still tends to not work in those unless you pick your targets wisely (and don't mind profits being turned to ash in RT).


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:


Name me one system where being an evil person(Oh but there's nuances of being evil) doesn't get you shut down. Or a system that rewards going murder hobo on everything. I'd hope said systems are few and far between and also not the DM just allowing it.

Black Crusade! And sticking with 40k RP, I can say that pure amoral scum Rogue Trader (Or radical Dark Heresy) can be a blast too.

Although pure murder hobo still tends to not work in those unless you pick your targets wisely (and don't mind profits being turned to ash in RT).

While true, those are kinda built for the OTHER end of the usual spectrum.

Related note, I played Dark Hersey, it was... a thing.


MerlinCross wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:


Name me one system where being an evil person(Oh but there's nuances of being evil) doesn't get you shut down. Or a system that rewards going murder hobo on everything. I'd hope said systems are few and far between and also not the DM just allowing it.

Black Crusade! And sticking with 40k RP, I can say that pure amoral scum Rogue Trader (Or radical Dark Heresy) can be a blast too.

Although pure murder hobo still tends to not work in those unless you pick your targets wisely (and don't mind profits being turned to ash in RT).

While true, those are kinda built for the OTHER end of the usual spectrum.

Related note, I played Dark Hersey, it was... a thing.

Well BC was certainly designed for being a bunch of genocidal maniacs and worse. DH and RT less so although by merit of the setting you're not going to run into many people with paladin morality or much resembling that.

And DH1e is certainly a thing. Janky as hell system, but I will say it really did emulate playing a bunch of barely competent and disposable goons working for a boss that barely knows about you. Top marks for capturing the mood if nothing else.


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MerlinCross wrote:
Second, You're kidding right? You're actually kidding right? Name me one system where being an evil person(Oh but there's nuances of being evil) doesn't get you shut down. Or a system that rewards going murder hobo on everything. I'd hope said systems are few and far between and also not the DM just allowing it.

You know it's funny - because no other system has a new GM advice that begins with 'Ban this rule because players will use it to be jerks' (Ban CE alignment because it doesn't work - first advice given to someone playing D&D/Pathfinder).

It's also funny that you keep going on about the players. Doing a survey of the forums complains about alignment seem to be about 500 threads of players complaining about the GM - to 1 the other way around.

But it's because (according to the other poster) they are all little kids who aren't able to behave or some nonsense - because the reality of "Bad rules that cause people who are friends to ruin friendships over - because morality is subjective" ruins their argument.

Quote:
Maybe we should get rid of classes too.

If you feel you can make that argument go start a thread - this one is about alignment, and how using it as a whip against players like they must suffer for some 'good' (whatever that is - mechanically outside of the druid and cleric none of the classes with restrictions are top tier classes - and even those two share 'top tier' space with classes that could care less about alignment).


Ckorik wrote:
  • The Paladin that is best friends and adventures with an evil wizard - and remains best friends with him (Dresden Files)
  • Completely possible. Even with an overly strict GM, with the right archetypes.


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    MerlinCross wrote:

    Finally, ....the heck does this have to do anything. I'm actually confused. Do you just not want people to act as the characters? For the game to be just math? I just got out of a game that was MATH and I can't tell you one good memory about it. Heck I can't even tell you what my allies classes were, it was "Go here kill the thing, you get a thing, move on". This is fun for people? I guess so.

    I'm responding to this separate because it's a separate thought and I wanted to split the discussion, I should have done that in the first place.

    I didn't say I wanted the game to be just math. You kind of went down that direction all on your own. My point is that the alignment restrictions are constantly brought up as justification for 'role-playing' - but the rules (the rest of the game) are based on math.

    You don't punish your players for failing to 'role-play' in any other way - because taking on a role is hard - despite the joke that every waiter is an actor - there is a reason that everyone isn't an actor and even those who are don't all produce a 'godfather' or 'Dr. Zhivago' or 'Casablanca'. Acting isn't easy - and many people can't fully get into their character. It's easy to say 'just make decisions based on how your character - who may be different than you - would do so in an imaginary world, but keep the morality of the world in question where gods are physical beings that can and do affect the world' - when we are just meat puppets here on our little rock in space that can't agree on how to punish people who jaywalk.

    In other words - why is alignment the only 'role-playing' that gets punished? And it is. Unless you believe your players are making alignment based decisions purely in response to the rules, which I'm sure happens out there - but is either situation really what you want at the table?

    This makes no sense to me - how do you get someone who is skittish about alignment to begin with - or perhaps on the fence about 'really embracing the role playing' if you are holding a sword of Damocles over their head if they make a bad choice... role playing?

    You keep thinking I want wooden characters and for bad players to thrive -

    I want the opposite - I have yet to see the rules bring out the best in players - I have seen the best players use the rules to enhance the game, never the other way around.


    Ckorik wrote:


    You don't punish your players for failing to 'role-play' in any other way

    Maybe not in your playstyle.

    I have no problem with people who can't act or are uncomfortable acting. I do have a problem with players who commit to acting a certain way and then ignore that in their actual behaviour at table. These are different statements.


    Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
    Ckorik wrote:
  • The Paladin that is best friends and adventures with an evil wizard - and remains best friends with him (Dresden Files)
  • Completely possible. Even with an overly strict GM, with the right archetypes.

    Entirely possible and can be enormous fun to play.

    Also, yay not needing to argue that Harry Dresden is evil (though in any game of mine Michael Carpenter would have fallen in book 5).


    As a GM, you don't "Punish" players for anything, ever*

    You present challenges to the characters, and engage with the players to manage how those challenges are overcome.

    Punishment, should never be any part of a thing you are doing for fun, right?

    *Okay, one reason, if they drink your milk without asking, no seriously, I was kidding about that, but if a player is rude, disrespectful, or upsets the table after being warned, you may find that asking that player to find another game is the only punishment I can think would come up.


    Ckorik wrote:


    You know it's funny - because no other system has a new GM advice that begins with 'Ban this rule because players will use it to be jerks' (Ban CE alignment because it doesn't work - first advice given to someone playing D&D/Pathfinder).

    Where's that written down, then ?

    Quote:


    But it's because (according to the other poster) they are all little kids who aren't able to behave or some nonsense - because the reality of "Bad rules that cause people who are friends to ruin friendships over - because morality is subjective" ruins their argument.

    In my circles I have both deeply religious players who don't want to play clerics or the like in fiction, and players who are in reality committed vegetarians on ethical grounds who enjoy playing carnivorous characters and would be boggled at the thought anyone might expect they'd only want to play vegetarians in a fictional setting. Neither of these are things I took for granted beforehand. Both of them are things that were easy to determine in a couple of minutes' conversation.

    You keep not addressing the issue of why you are assuming that caring about a particular moral issue in real life must translate into being unwilling to play in a fictional setting that works differently.


    Terquem wrote:

    As a GM, you don't "Punish" players for anything, ever*

    You present challenges to the characters, and engage with the players to manage how those challenges are overcome.

    Punishment, should never be any part of a thing you are doing for fun, right?

    Punishment can and should be done, generally under the banner of "actions have consequences." If the level 2 fighter wants to challenge that Balor they were supposed to run from to a duel, he should prepare to accept the consequences that he'll be "punished" by being reduced to a greasy smear across the landscape.

    At least to me, every PC action is not a viable or even smart course of action that I as GM must give a fair shake at succeeding. Some things are dumb and will fail, other things are suicidal and will get you dead or worse, and other things are being a jerk and gets you an OOC dressing down.


    dragonhunterq wrote:

    Why does the existence of aligned planes make alignment objective? All that means is that good and evil exist in material ways - it does not mean that nuance or motive cease to exist. It does not mean that the same action can't be either good or evil depending on the circumstances.

    Alignment, even where there are living incarnations of that alignment does not mean there is an absolute truth. The fact that in-universe incarnations of alignment, even of good, can and do disagree with each other - if alignment were absolute and an action were good or evil in and of itself that could not happen.

    Alignment in terms of character is and always has been a reflection of philosophical stance that's why animals, traps, and similar never develop evil alignment no matter what they do. When characters act within the bounds of their alignment it reinforces their philosophy making it stronger when they act against it their belief wavers and becomes weaker.

    Both intentional and functional considerations are thus mooted and only tangentially related to the objective functions of alignment that are bound the various realms.


    It should never feel like you are punishing a player, maybe you are placing a serious obstacle in the path of the character toward what the player wants for that character to achieve,

    But it should never feel like you are punishing a player for a decision they made while playing the game.

    That is antithetical to having fun with friends


    Terquem wrote:

    As a GM, you don't "Punish" players for anything, ever*

    You present challenges to the characters, and engage with the players to manage how those challenges are overcome.

    Punishment, should never be any part of a thing you are doing for fun, right?

    This may be a difference of cultural background, I suppose, but:

    When I DM I am totally presenting challenges and engaging with the players to manage how those challenges are overcome. I am the conduit through which the rules of the game and the reality of the campaign are affecting their characters.

    A large part of that process is judgement calls based on my own judgement of the situations in the game.

    If I were to not use terminology of "punish" and "reward" for my implementation of positive or negative consequences arising from their decisions, in-game or out, in favour of more indirect or less personally charged language, my players are very likely to rise in revolt, because they would perceive that as abdicating responsibility for my judgement calls, which are the core of what they trust me as GM to provide in a mutually enjoyable way.


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    Ckorik wrote:

    You know it's funny - because no other system has a new GM advice that begins with 'Ban this rule because players will use it to be jerks' (Ban CE alignment because it doesn't work - first advice given to someone playing D&D/Pathfinder).

    It's also funny that you keep going on about the players. Doing a survey of the forums complains about alignment seem to be about 500 threads of players complaining about the GM - to 1 the other way around.

    But it's because (according to the other poster) they are all little kids who aren't able to behave or some nonsense - because the reality of "Bad rules that cause people who are friends to ruin friendships over - because morality is subjective" ruins their argument.

    Really? I would assume most tabletop games would follow the idea of "Don't include a jerk in the party". To put it another way, I assume most DMs would like to get a batch of players who can work together and the result is a party of charactes to work together. Alignment system to me is just a short cut to color coating it.

    Since you made the claim I suppose you can back it up with a link to said poll. And just what is the GM/DM doing to these players? Better question, why put up with them? Someone else start a game or see if there's another GM. No game is better than bad game. And not every GM is bad.

    Quote:


    If you feel you can make that argument go start a thread - this one is about alignment, and how using it as a whip against players like they must suffer for some 'good' (whatever that is - mechanically outside of the druid and cleric none of the classes with restrictions are top tier classes - and even those two share 'top tier' space with classes that could care less about alignment).

    Ah see this is my fault. Sarcasm carries poorly in text form. And who's using it as a whip? You put down LG, you act like the joker, I'm going to call you on it, kick you, or mark you down as CN instead if you keep it up.

    Get rid of them, I'll still use Alginment. Some spell's will hcae to change but sure why not. They keep Alginment, and well you are the GM as could the players be. Drop it like a rock and play whatever. I might disagree but I'm not going to kick someone's door in and say "You're doing it WRONG"

    And to clarify, that was a metaphor.


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

    As a GM, you don't "Punish" players for anything, ever*

    You present challenges to the characters, and engage with the players to manage how those challenges are overcome.

    Punishment, should never be any part of a thing you are doing for fun, right?

    This may be a difference of cultural background, I suppose, but:

    When I DM I am totally presenting challenges and engaging with the players to manage how those challenges are overcome. I am the conduit through which the rules of the game and the reality of the campaign are affecting their characters.

    A large part of that process is judgement calls based on my own judgement of the situations in the game.

    If I were to not use terminology of "punish" and "reward" for my implementation of positive or negative consequences arising from their decisions, in-game or out, in favour of more indirect or less personally charged language, my players are very likely to rise in revolt, because they would perceive that as abdicating responsibility for my judgement calls, which are the core of what they trust me as GM to provide in a mutually enjoyable way.

    Oh, yes, I get this, it might be I am overreacting to the use of the word, "punish". I mean if your players understand what your punishments are, and how they are used in the game, then it should be fine. I'm just saying that if there isn't this sort of dialectic, and a player actually fells like they are being punished (in negative ways) it might be a "not fun experience" for some at the table.


    Alignment has never been a problem in campaigns I have played as a PC or GM’d. The groups I have played in have always have had a session zero where we as a group would discuss the boundries of what we would do or say versus fade to black.

    Luckily the groups I have gamed with we have played together for 3 decades now so we all have a good idea of how we play. So I personally haven’t seen a problem because it’s never really been a problem. Maybe I have my grognard glasses on.


    Telebuddy wrote:

    Alignment has never been a problem in campaigns I have played as a PC or GM’d. The groups I have played in have always have had a session zero where we as a group would discuss the boundries of what we would do or say versus fade to black.

    Luckily the groups I have gamed with we have played together for 3 decades now so we all have a good idea of how we play. So I personally haven’t seen a problem because it’s never really been a problem. Maybe I have my grognard glasses on.

    Agreed. However we can't say it isn't a problem, not with all the topics and threads around the net. Just that there are probably better ways of solving it than to just cut the whole thing.


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    I don't get this whole idea of people being punished for failing to roleplay their alignment. I wouldn't do that and I haven't seen that done. For an anecdotal example, in one single campaign, I've seen the CG bloodrager try to trade his blood to a devil, the TN mage steal holy symbols from a tomb, the CG summoner make a pact with a succubus, the LG swashbuckler advocate torturing a prisoner... and no one was punished. No "gotcha!" forcible alignment changes, nothing. Every time a player has wanted to do something alignment-change-worthy, the GM has pulled them aside for a conversation of "hey, are you sure your character would do this? It's not like how they've acted in the past, and I think it's a bit out of line with their alignment", they talked over how things would probably play out, and the player got to make an informed decision on if they still wanted to do that thing. How is this punishment for having trouble roleplaying?

    Sounds like maybe what's needed is a page in the Gamemastery Guide on handling alignment.


    Tectorman wrote:


    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.

    Except there IS a provision for this sort of thing. It's called working with your GM and agreeing to what is and is not evil, what will and will not be allowed. If the agreed upon rule is that the evil descriptor applies to Infernal Healing, full-stop, then the evil descriptor applies and anyone using the spell is committing an evil act - period.

    If it is agreed that there are grey areas, and if used in the service of good, infernal healing is at worst a neutral act, then so be it.

    Often times these descriptors are added to acts/spells/creatures/classes as part of a way of balancing cost-benefit and consequences.

    Do bad/evil things, and the game becomes easier from the point of view of power acquisition and problem solving, but the cost is that you become the villain in your own story. Instead of people seeking you out for help, they are seeking you out to end you. THe opposite also applies.


    Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:

    I don't get this whole idea of people being punished for failing to roleplay their alignment. I wouldn't do that and I haven't seen that done. For an anecdotal example, in one single campaign, I've seen the CG bloodrager try to trade his blood to a devil, the TN mage steal holy symbols from a tomb, the CG summoner make a pact with a succubus, the LG swashbuckler advocate torturing a prisoner...(...) Every time a player has wanted to do something alignment-change-worthy, the GM has pulled them aside for a conversation of "hey, are you sure your character would do this? It's not like how they've acted in the past, and I think it's a bit out of line with their alignment", they talked over how things would probably play out, and the player got to make an informed decision on if they still wanted to do that thing.

    That, with cutting the couple of lines where we differ, is pretty much exactly how I would initially approach such play, absolutely.

    If the players then made the informed decisions to do the things anyway, unless there was a solid in-character and alignment-compatible reason for them to do the thing anyway, then they would likely be looking at having their character's alignment changed to reflect the action in question.

    This is pretty much hypothetical for PF games I have run recently or am likely to run, because, for example, if someone comes to me in session 0 wanting to play a Lawful Good swashbuckler, there will be a conversation about what Lawful Good means in this particular setting as I run it, they will be asked for input and to raise queries they may have about specific actions at that point (as per the Most Important Rule on page 9 of the CRB; while the wording of that is specific to house rules, as Ckorik pointed out a bit ago RAW on alignment are more than a little vague and therefore any interpretation of them counts as house rules which need discussion) and if they then advocated torturing a prisoner in-game it would be with full advance knowledge as to whether that counts as acceptable for Lawful Good.


    Tectorman wrote:


    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.

    I am bemused as to what leads you to this position.

    Quote:


    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.

    Play a character who disagrees.

    Play a tragic character who is doomed to be screwed over in the afterlife but has sufficient moral integrity to stick to their principles anyway.

    That character may not be able to change the moral underpinnings of the universe (though if Pathfinder ever starts supporting epic and divine levels, that would be an interesting direction to go), but that doesn't mean they can't be an influence on other characters and societies around them. Fairness and justice are things heroes can make, even in the teeth of greater circumstances constraining them. What you are describing as a restriction just looks to me like an opportunity.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:


    Quote:


    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.

    Play a character who disagrees.

    And your GM is forced to make your character worthless.

    Your party is forced to take a side - either against the GM or against you, or everyone agrees to break the rules. All good outcomes no doubt.

    Quote:


    Play a tragic character who is doomed to be screwed over in the afterlife but has sufficient moral integrity to stick to their principles anyway.

    There is nothing in the rules for this. If you say 'well the GM can' no - they can't if they want to follow the rules - that's the point.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Ckorik wrote:
    You know it's funny - because no other system has a new GM advice that begins with 'Ban this rule because players will use it to be jerks' (Ban CE alignment because it doesn't work - first advice given to someone playing D&D/Pathfinder).

    One example I can think of is Werewolf The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition, which specifically says to NOT have a game where the players are a pack of Black Spiral Dancers. They are the monsters among monsters and they are NOT something you have because it's cool to play the bad guys sometimes.


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

    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.

    Play a character who disagrees.

    And your GM is forced to make your character worthless.

    Your party is forced to take a side - either against the GM or against you, or everyone agrees to break the rules. All good outcomes no doubt.

    Why do we assume an instant "Well your character is basically dead weight now, roll a new one or get out" happens ALL the time?

    To me it would depend on how the player sells the character. Done right I think I could work with it.

    Ckorik wrote:
    the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
    Quote:
    Play a tragic character who is doomed to be screwed over in the afterlife but has sufficient moral integrity to stick to their principles anyway.
    There is nothing in the rules for this. If you say 'well the GM can' no - they can't if they want to follow the rules - that's the point

    Question for everyone in the topic; how often do you follow the rules? To the letter, with nothing deviating from RAW.

    Considering we have the term, Rules as Intended, I'm unsure how many do. Myself, I'd totally be down for such a character. Heck I played one(He had a hand in some horrible horrible events and was maybe damned, but was going to burn the problem he helped cause out of the world before going).

    Is this against the rules? Maybe? Probably? Could Be? But I'd be willing to give this character a shot in an interview session at least.


    6 people marked this as a favorite.

    “Just talk to the GM.”

    As though it’s that simple. Alright, under the premise that all of our problems with alignment are whisked away by that session 0 conversation, explain the past history of the game, if you please.

    Bards used to be non-lawful only (and earlier than 3.5, they had even more hoops to jump through). Paladins could only be humans, rogues couldn’t be lawful good, druids had to be completely neutral, and so on. At one point, Rangers had to be good; at another, they could only favor their own species as enemies if they were evil. If our solution now is supposed to be as simple as “just talk to your DM”, then why didn’t it suffice back then?

    A players wants to play a lawful Bard. Doesn’t he need to gamble on his negotiating skills? What happened to talking to the GM? Isn’t it still important that the player and GM trust each other and not game together if they can’t have a mature conversation from the start? If that’s supposed to be the expectation for someone who just does not buy this whole “Monks must be lawful” thing, then shouldn’t it be the expectation of a lawful Bard concept?

    Fact is, going into that rigamarole takes effort and time. Even when all the participants are supposed to respect each other enough for a civil discussion to happen, it still takes effort and time. And since only one of the two participants is approaching this with any sort of need, that makes the conversation his fault. He, not anyone else, is having to use clout and bargaining power just to get to an even position with the other players at the table, all for absolutely nothing more than his preferred concept not being satisfactorily expressible by as generic a class as their’s. That is a conversational disadvantage. And no, ideally, everyone should be approaching each individual aspect of the session 0 completely independently of what was decided previously and who had to compromise and by how much on another topic just a few minutes earlier. I don’t live in an ideal world.

    Nor did players who wanted not-human paladins or lawful bards. That’s why those changes happened when the game got an upgrade. Those were arguments or maybe even mature conversations that just were not worth the potential for headache and disappointment. So, even though a mature conversation and some negotiating might secure a player’s lawful bard character, he doesn’t even have to worry about that little bit.

    I, too, want to just not worry about these sorts of things.


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    Ckorik wrote:
    MerlinCross wrote:
    Finally, ....the heck does this have to do anything. I'm actually confused. Do you just not want people to act as the characters? For the game to be just math? I just got out of a game that was MATH and I can't tell you one good memory about it. Heck I can't even tell you what my allies classes were, it was "Go here kill the thing, you get a thing, move on". This is fun for people? I guess so.

    I'm responding to this separate because it's a separate thought and I wanted to split the discussion, I should have done that in the first place.

    I didn't say I wanted the game to be just math. You kind of went down that direction all on your own. My point is that the alignment restrictions are constantly brought up as justification for 'role-playing' - but the rules (the rest of the game) are based on math.

    You don't punish your players for failing to 'role-play' in any other way - because taking on a role is hard - despite the joke that every waiter is an actor - there is a reason that everyone isn't an actor and even those who are don't all produce a 'godfather' or 'Dr. Zhivago' or 'Casablanca'. Acting isn't easy - and many people can't fully get into their character. It's easy to say 'just make decisions based on how your character - who may be different than you - would do so in an imaginary world, but keep the morality of the world in question where gods are physical beings that can and do affect the world' - when we are just meat puppets here on our little rock in space that can't agree on how to punish people who jaywalk.

    In other words - why is alignment the only 'role-playing' that gets punished? And it is. Unless you believe your players are making alignment based decisions purely in response to the rules, which I'm sure happens out there - but is either situation really what you want at the table?

    This makes no sense to me - how do you get someone who is skittish about alignment to begin with - or perhaps on the fence about 'really embracing the role playing' if you are holding a sword of Damocles over their head if they make a bad choice... role playing?

    You keep thinking I want wooden characters and for bad players to thrive -

    I want the opposite - I have yet to see the rules bring out the best in players - I have seen the best players use the rules to enhance the game, never the other way around.

    Huh, you know I actually just saw this pots while scrolling up. I don't think I addressed this so...

    You seem to think I'll punish players for not getting into RP. and that to avoid such punishments, we should do away with Alignment and maybe roleplaying in general if everyone isn't suddenly some sort of actor that can bring their A game.

    And of course you "Punish" players for "failure to roleplay". It's called, BEING THE DM. Wait, wait, I feel I have to expand on this.

    You, as the DM, are in charge of the world at large. Under your control are all the NPCs, even the ones that don't have names and stats. If someone decides to randomly stab a villager, because of any number of reasons, You the DM should be entirely in their right to have a Guard come over. Someone acts up at a fancy party, in story the hosts should probably be expecting better of their guest. And if a wandering cleric uses Infernal Healing, well the local church might not like that but that could matter very little to Timmy who's leg is better.

    It's not "Punishment" for being bad or just rude. It CAN be, in the hands of a bad DM, or a lazy one, or an overreaching one. But what SHOULD happen is the world reflects the in character actions. Morality is different for most people but there's usually a standard cultures, villages and social circles hold themselves too. Like real life, you should probably keep in mind your surroundings in relation to your actions. A Pirate town is very different from the Capital. You seem to believe no one can understand how to RP at first, period. Do you just expect them to fully be a blank slate in BOTH Settings?

    Alignment is the only bad RP to get punished? Um, yeah. There's a good reddit called RPG horror stories. In it, there's a number of stories where some creep tries to RP sex and worse. Not alignment roleplay, but they still got punished. Or worse, they broke the game and or drove away players.

    You know what roleplay does get punished? Unexpected, random, gross and group breaking. LG can break a game just as easy as CN if they go against the group(Read: Every Paladin problem ever it seems). Or the thief in a system that doesn't have alignment that steals from the rest of the party. If the DM doesn't stop it, the rest of the party will probably sting him up, in character, and to me would be entirely in their right to do so.

    DM's that hold that sword over peoples heads all the time are not helping new players get into the game. And they aren't helping vets who want to have a good time and not want to be bogged down in morality debates.

    We talking Math rules or RP rules here? Because again, to me the Alignment are bloody guidelines. Heck to me it's less 9 squares and more a Venn diagram of sorts. You should be allowed some leeway so it doesn't feel like your stiffed into one role. Heck when I look at Alignment, they give 3 examples for each, each one focused in a different way. WHY is that the suddenly the end all be all now? Because it's written down, I suppose no other characters for lawful good can exist besides Builder, Crusader, and Guardian archetypes.

    Do you want Wooden characters? I don't know. But I feel something is off if you're this willing to "Follow the rules".


    I have no dog in this fight (as I probably won't be switching to pathfinder 2e for a very long time due to heavy use of 3pp products like psionics), but I thought I might touch on something amusing.

    Quote:
    I have a section of the rulebook that tells me how I lose and regain hit points, what happens when I lose them, how many I have to lose until I die, and under what circumstances that I may die instantly. You and I can read those rules - they are pretty black and white.

    EXCEPT! Dying isn't a defined condition, ergo my character by RAW can just get back up and keep fighting :)


    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Bard of Ages wrote:

    I have no dog in this fight (as I probably won't be switching to pathfinder 2e for a very long time due to heavy use of 3pp products like psionics), but I thought I might touch on something amusing.

    Quote:
    I have a section of the rulebook that tells me how I lose and regain hit points, what happens when I lose them, how many I have to lose until I die, and under what circumstances that I may die instantly. You and I can read those rules - they are pretty black and white.
    EXCEPT! Dying isn't a defined condition, ergo my character by RAW can just get back up and keep fighting :)

    Dying is absolutely a defined condition, and the dead condition does not remove the dying condition:

    Dying wrote:
    A dying creature is unconscious and near death. Creatures that have negative hit points and have not stabilized are dying. A dying creature can take no actions. On the character’s next turn, after being reduced to negative hit points (but not dead), and on all subsequent turns, the character must make a DC 10 Constitution check to become stable. The character takes a penalty on this roll equal to his negative hit point total. A character that is stable does not need to make this check. A natural 20 on this check is an automatic success. If the character fails this check, he loses 1 hit point. If a dying creature has an amount of negative hit points equal to its Constitution score, it dies.
    Dead wrote:
    The character’s hit points are reduced to a negative amount equal to his Constitution score, his Constitution drops to 0, or he is killed outright by a spell or effect. The character’s soul leaves his body. Dead characters cannot benefit from normal or magical healing, but they can be restored to life via magic. A dead body decays normally unless magically preserved, but magic that restores a dead character to life also restores the body either to full health or to its condition at the time of death (depending on the spell or device). Either way, resurrected characters need not worry about rigor mortis, decomposition, and other conditions that affect dead bodies.

    You will need to take the Diehard feat to move while dead (since it modifies the Dying condition)


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


    Quote:


    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.

    Play a character who disagrees.

    And your GM is forced to make your character worthless.

    Your GM is required to play the universe being biased against you, by the rules. At some levels it makes the game harder. How does this make your character "worthless" ? It makes heroism all the more meaningful to do it against that scale of opposition, IMO.

    (I would consider the ongoing reasonable success of Paranoia as a game system as strong evidence that an universe significantly more unfair than that is no boundary at all to having fun playing in it.)


    Tectorman wrote:


    Bards used to be non-lawful only (and earlier than 3.5, they had even more hoops to jump through). Paladins could only be humans, rogues couldn’t be lawful good, druids had to be completely neutral, and so on. At one point, Rangers had to be good; at another, they could only favor their own species as enemies if they were evil. If our solution now is supposed to be as simple as “just talk to your DM”, then why didn’t it suffice back then?

    For some of us it worked back then. I'd very likely disallow a lawful good rogue today, unless someone sold me on a really convincing concept.

    Quote:


    Fact is, going into that rigamarole takes effort and time. Even when all the participants are supposed to respect each other enough for a civil discussion to happen, it still takes effort and time.

    No argument there. I think effort and time of this sort is a reasonable expectation to have of people, though, particularly if they care strongly about playing a particular character concept.

    Quote:


    And since only one of the two participants is approaching this with any sort of need, that makes the conversation his fault. He, not anyone else, is having to use clout and bargaining power just to get to an even position with the other players at the table, all for absolutely nothing more than his preferred concept not being satisfactorily expressible by as generic a class as their’s.

    I am not finding myself in particular sympathy with somebody who approaches the game with a concept that is basically "I want to play class X which fits into the world mechanistically and flavourwise, except that I want to completely reverse a defining feature of class X without consideration for whether it messes that up". I think it is reasonable for a GM to know what fits and what doesn't with a particular campaign, a particular world and a particular ruleset, and to adjudicate character fit accordingly. A party of the sort of scurvy knaves who'd make excellent PCs for Skull and Shackles would very likely be entirely inappropriate for Wrath of the Righteous, for example.


    @Sideromancer

    That makes me quite sad to know that. I still run off of a 1st edition paper CRB, because my group has abolished digital tools at the table. That was one of my favorite jokes about the sillyness of my favorite game. I am sad now, but at least they added it to a degree.


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


    Bards used to be non-lawful only (and earlier than 3.5, they had even more hoops to jump through). Paladins could only be humans, rogues couldn’t be lawful good, druids had to be completely neutral, and so on. At one point, Rangers had to be good; at another, they could only favor their own species as enemies if they were evil. If our solution now is supposed to be as simple as “just talk to your DM”, then why didn’t it suffice back then?
    For some of us it worked back then. I'd very likely disallow a lawful good rogue today, unless someone sold me on a really convincing concept.

    And for others it didn’t, so now in P1E, a player doesn’t have to feel disenfranchised by having to fight for his character concept at a table where the other players aren’t having to fight for their’s, for just arbitrary reasons. And yes, you as a GM can reimpose that restriction, just like a GM can run a Wrath of the Righteous campaign which doesn’t work for Skull & Shackles characters. The difference is that now the game isn’t billed as “all Wrath of the Righteous, all the time”. You disallow LG Rogues today in your Pathfinder game, but that player has a strong chance of not being so rejected each and every time he’s looking for a Pathfinder game, if only because the books don’t have that restriction in there, and the weight that that fact has, deserved and rational or not.

    Quote:
    Quote:


    Fact is, going into that rigamarole takes effort and time. Even when all the participants are supposed to respect each other enough for a civil discussion to happen, it still takes effort and time.
    No argument there. I think effort and time of this sort is a reasonable expectation to have of people, though, particularly if they care strongly about playing a particular character concept.

    And it gets tiring having to fight that same battle again and again and again and again. Yes, I do feel strongly about my not-lawful but still ki-using Monk, as strongly about it as another player’s chaotic Rogue or multiclass Fighter/Sorcerer or only-axe-using Barbarian. They don’t have to gear up for a philosophical war each and every time. Nixing the alignment restrictions lets me breathe that same sigh of relief.

    Quote:
    Quote:


    And since only one of the two participants is approaching this with any sort of need, that makes the conversation his fault. He, not anyone else, is having to use clout and bargaining power just to get to an even position with the other players at the table, all for absolutely nothing more than his preferred concept not being satisfactorily expressible by as generic a class as their’s.
    I am not finding myself in particular sympathy with somebody who approaches the game with a concept that is basically "I want to play class X which fits into the world mechanistically and flavourwise, except that I want to completely reverse a defining feature of class X without consideration for whether it messes that up". I think it is reasonable for a GM to know what fits and what doesn't with a particular campaign, a particular world and a particular ruleset, and to adjudicate character fit accordingly. A party of the sort of scurvy knaves who'd make excellent PCs for Skull and Shackles would very likely be entirely inappropriate for Wrath of the Righteous, for example.

    Who told the GM to make that particular class include that so-called “defining feature” that the GM thinks the player is deliberately turning on its head when really, the player is just living proof that that “defining feature” really wasn’t? Isn’t a Bard’s not-lawfulness a defining feature? It was until it wasn’t, which does beg the question of whether it ever really was at all. And this isn’t about the specific expectations of one particular campaign. Wrath of the Righteous says “no scurvy knaves”. P1E does not. A campaign with only elf PCs says “no dwarves, gnomes, or half-orcs”. P1E does not. You’re coming at this from the perspective that these sorts of changes “mess things up” by default until they’re proven not to. Shouldn’t your contention require just as much proof and just as much effort and time to prove it?


    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. I got issue with divergent backgrounds and obstinated players, but alignment was not the issue.


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


    For some of us it worked back then. I'd very likely disallow a lawful good rogue today, unless someone sold me on a really convincing concept.

    And for others it didn’t, so now in P1E, a player doesn’t have to feel disenfranchised by having to fight for his character concept at a table where the other players aren’t having to fight for their’s, for just arbitrary reasons.

    Why are you asserting that reasons for character concepts that fit with the genre and tone of a game are arbitrary as if that were a bad thing? They are arbitrary in the sense that the selection of game genre and tone is an active choice, but there being limits to what works with any given genre or tone is about plausible world-building and mechanistic and narrative consistency.

    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:


    Fact is, going into that rigamarole takes effort and time. Even when all the participants are supposed to respect each other enough for a civil discussion to happen, it still takes effort and time.
    No argument there. I think effort and time of this sort is a reasonable expectation to have of people, though, particularly if they care strongly about playing a particular character concept.
    And it gets tiring having to fight that same battle again and again and again and again. Yes, I do feel strongly about my not-lawful but still ki-using Monk, as strongly about it as another player’s chaotic Rogue or multiclass Fighter/Sorcerer or only-axe-using Barbarian. They don’t have to gear up for a philosophical war each and every time.

    Anyone taking more than one level of Sorcerer on a Fighter probably would have to make a strong case for it in any PF campaign I have run, fwiw; flavourwise it hasn't fit. As indeed would be the case with trying to sell me a non-lawful Monk, or any other variant on "has a martial arts-based skill set of the sort that takes intense discipline and training but wants to play a character without the personality to do that."

    Let me re-emphasise, in case it is getting lost in the shuffle I am all for Pathfinder supporting as wide range of character concepts as possible. I just feel strongly that Pathfinder, and the broader genre of D&D-type games, benefit strongly at a flavour level from doing that with a large number of distinct classes, with restrictions on each class at levels such as alignment, rather than with fewer classes that have less actual identity. You like the idea of playing a paladin but don't like the alignment restriction ? Talk to me about what you want from your character that fits with features of being a paladin, and odds are some take on a warpriest would fit it better.

    Quote:


    And this isn’t about the specific expectations of one particular campaign. Wrath of the Righteous says “no scurvy knaves”. P1E does not. A campaign with only elf PCs says “no dwarves, gnomes, or half-orcs”. P1E does not. You’re coming at this from the perspective that these sorts of changes “mess things up” by default until they’re proven not to.

    I'm coming from the perspective that for any specific individual campaign, they might unless proven otherwise, and if I am DM players need to tell me in advance. PF1.0 supports Wrath of the Righteous and Skull and Shackles and any number of other campaigns, pre-written or homebrew, any one of which can have restrictions to fit genre and tone, or indeed any other matter of individual preference. (Valeros, for example, is depicted in a number of place as a flirtatious individual. In some contexts I would greatly enjoy playing him. In my current primary group I would not find that appropriate, because of it including people more than twenty years younger than me and that being a shape of interaction with potential to be uncomfortable for them. Anyone else running a PF game for this group would be entirely reasonable to ban me playing Valeros on those grounds, to my mind.)

    Quote:


    Shouldn’t your contention require just as much proof and just as much effort and time to prove it?

    That assumes a shape of equality of investment in the player/DM relationship that I think is inaccurate.

    A player has to come up with a character concept and have a handle on the relevant rules (or a few character concepts, if there's a reasonable expectation of character mortality; I do not usually run high-mortality campaigns outside of the occasional Paranoia game but nor do I rule it out entirely.)

    A DM has to run large numbers of characters, roleplay them convincingly, keep the pacing and (depending on campaign style) plot going, have the world make sense and continue to make sense as the players learn more about whatever is going on, and stay on top of all the rules relevant to all the characters in the game.

    You want to play a mer-moose, you have to come up with a mer-moose character or three. You want me to run a game with mer-mooses as a playable race, I have to work out how they work mechanically to enable what you want, fit that in with the history of the campaign and the world, and to that in such a way that it won't break the game either on a mechanical (so much for giving everyone magical boots) or suspension of disbelief level (where did they come from? how long have they been here? how do they get on with everyone else?), for me or any of the other players in the group.

    If you ask me for something that is a lot more work for me than it is for you, it seems reasonable that the onus be on you to convince me why it is worth it. And the same the other way around. (One day I will find a DM willing to work with the character in the back of my head whose thing is "uses magic as a sorcerer, actually plays entirely according to the base sorcerer rules, but is absolutely convinced that he is working by an entirely different and convoluted system vaguely in the Victorian occultist direction", in a setting with which it fits, but it seems less likely since Pathfinder acquired Occultists as a thing of their own.)


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    Several posts have made a comment similar to 'no one follows the rules this close' - this is a response to all of them - including 'talk to your GM' type responses - they all boil down to one thing:

    If you don't follow the rules now - then don't waste my time arguing about why the rules shouldn't change. If at your table it's that easy to 'change the rules' then good for you - guess what your table is 0 impacted by these changes - by your own admission (actually that includes me because 50% of the time I'm the GM in the 4 games I'm in).

    For everyone else where it isn't - or for those people who are still teenagers (and this game is marketed as teen friendly) where maturity isn't enough to handle that kind of thing - these rules need to change.

    All the arguments against all start with the same sentiment 'I have never seen' - 'at MY table' - 'This has never been a problem that I've seen'.

    Good for you guys - really - it is a problem - thanks for ignoring the first post and telling me my experiences are invalid because you've never had them - which ... is why I started with the James Jacobs quote.

    You don't get to tell me what is real - I've seen it, I've experienced it. I don't seem to be alone - so what on earth are you fighting for if 'altering the rules' is that easy for your table to begin with? That others should suffer so you don't have to say 'we are using the alignment rules'?

    I don't get it.

    *edit* - changed 'we are using the rules' to be more clear as to what I meant.


    Ckorik wrote:


    If you don't follow the rules now - then don't waste my time arguing about why the rules shouldn't change. If at your table it's that easy to 'change the rules' then good for you - guess what your table is 0 impacted by these changes - by your own admission (actually that includes me because 50% of the time I'm the GM in the 4 games I'm in).

    OK, two straightforward and hopefully unambiguous questions for you:

    Given:

    1) You have pointed out yourself that the alignment rules are vague to the point of inclarity.

    Therefore 2) any actual implementation of them is a house rule.

    3) Page 9 of the core rule book specifies, clearly under the heading "the most important rule"; talk out and agree on your house rules first.

    A) If you disagree with the above logic, could you please tell me where and why?

    B) If you agree with the above logic, tell me what is your argument for tweaking the alignment rules for what works for your group and talking them out first not being strict adherence to a clearly defined (if somewhat meta) RAW ?


    Ckorik wrote:


    All the arguments against all start with the same sentiment 'I have never seen' - 'at MY table' - 'This has never been a problem that I've seen'.

    Good for you guys - really - it is a problem - thanks for ignoring the first post and telling me my experiences are invalid because you've never had them - which ... is why I started with the James Jacobs quote.

    Why are you resistant to the possibility that some of us don't experience this entirely real problem you have had because we have found real solutions to it?

    It might help if you were to quote actual examples, also.


    Ckorik wrote:

    Several posts have made a comment similar to 'no one follows the rules this close' - this is a response to all of them - including 'talk to your GM' type responses - they all boil down to one thing:

    If you don't follow the rules now - then don't waste my time arguing about why the rules shouldn't change. If at your table it's that easy to 'change the rules' then good for you - guess what your table is 0 impacted by these changes - by your own admission (actually that includes me because 50% of the time I'm the GM in the 4 games I'm in).

    For everyone else where it isn't - or for those people who are still teenagers (and this game is marketed as teen friendly) where maturity isn't enough to handle that kind of thing - these rules need to change.

    All the arguments against all start with the same sentiment 'I have never seen' - 'at MY table' - 'This has never been a problem that I've seen'.

    Good for you guys - really - it is a problem - thanks for ignoring the first post and telling me my experiences are invalid because you've never had them - which ... is why I started with the James Jacobs quote.

    You don't get to tell me what is real - I've seen it, I've experienced it. I don't seem to be alone - so what on earth are you fighting for if 'altering the rules' is that easy for your table to begin with? That others should suffer so you don't have to say 'we are using the alignment rules'?

    I don't get it.

    *edit* - changed 'we are using the rules' to be more clear as to what I meant.

    Flipping it, if the rules are so easily altered that we can flip it back if Alignment goes, why can't you just get rid of them in your game? No I'm seriously asking why you can't besides "It's in the rules".

    Besides, pitching the Alignment doesn't help those teenage players suddenly act all mature and understand all points of morality. For every shy teen looking to get into the role play aspect, we can probably find some teen that goes min/max power game, "Why are we talking let's get to fighting" mentality.

    And it's not going to change the bad DMs that want to do stupid moves. You really think the "Baby Orc" question becomes easier with no Alignment?

    You want an argument, fine.

    *I* have never had a problem with Alignment in *My* games or tables. This is because I sit down with the people and talk with them about what theme or boundaries are going to be in place. *MY* tables have had problems and I have several campaigns dead. And not a ONE was killed due to Alignment. I've had one die because of a min/maxer showing everyone up and someone who had an annoying fixation on PIES while the rest of use were pleading for help with a dragon. Examples like this are somewhat common.

    You list your problems and those of others, pointing towards alignment as the issue. I say your problems will remain even without those.


    MerlinCross wrote:


    Besides, pitching the Alignment doesn't help those teenage players suddenly act all mature and understand all points of morality.

    Though some of the best players I have played with on that front have been teenagers.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    MerlinCross wrote:


    Flipping it, if the rules are so easily altered that we can flip it back if Alignment goes, why can't you just get rid of them in your game? No I'm seriously asking why you can't besides "It's in the rules".

    Because if everyone isn't mature enough to handle that discussion it's impossible. Those kinds of games are already the ones where alignment is more likely to be an issue than others.

    Almost a litmus test - if the table is mature enough to have a discussion about alignment before the game - then it's a good rule to have. If that discussion can't be had before the game (for a variety of reasons) it's a good bet that it's a bad rule to have.

    You asked. Your own argument (as to why it's never been a problem for you) is a good reason why though.


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    Ckorik wrote:

    All the arguments against all start with the same sentiment 'I have never seen' - 'at MY table' - 'This has never been a problem that I've seen'.

    Good for you guys - really - it is a problem - thanks for ignoring the first post and telling me my experiences are invalid because you've never had them - which ... is why I started with the James Jacobs quote.

    I'd like to clarify that I for one am not trying to say your experiences are invalid, and I'm sorry if I gave that impression, I can see how I might have done so.

    I do think you're taking the quote out of context and I doubt JJ meant for it to be used this way.

    If I say something to another individual, and they feel it's rude but I don't, I will apologize because whatever I think, it's valid that they felt hurt by it, and I'll consider if it would be generally offensive or was something personal to them, if it's the latter I'll stop saying it around them and it's the former I'll stop saying it at all.

    But, for example, if as a GM, something in one of my games offends or upsets an individual, I will apologize to them and consider it valid that they were hurt, but I will also have to consider whether that element of the game is something the other 3-5 players like and wouldn't want removed, or whether other people might have found it offensive as well, or if everyone else feels pretty neutral about it so I may as well get rid of this.

    What I'm trying to say here isn't "you're not negatively affected by alignment rules, shaddup, it's fine." What I'm trying to say is "yes, you're negatively affected by alignment rules and it's a shame that happened, but other people including me like having them, so whatever decision is made, it will be negative for some people and that means Paizo ought to weigh how it affects everyone."


    If the table isn't "mature enough" to handle a discussion about the differences between right and wrong (as generally accepted in most main stream fiction) then I would suggest the table isn't mature enough to be playing fantasy role playing games when death, and violence, are routine - maybe pick up Tails of Equestria, and play that for a couple of years until the table is a little more mature.

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