What alignment would this character be?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


Say there is some object (some rare plant, magic gem etc) that is the only way to cure some weird disease. There is some person/creature guarding it and refuses to let anyone use it due to it being too "sacred" or some other weird reason, even though people will die as a result. What alignment would they be? I'm thinking LE.


Any alignment. Well, Chaotic Good would be hard to justify but strictly speaking an individual having some idiocentric reason not to let go of a particular object is outside of the alignment system.

Now what that person is willing to do to keep it might be based on alignment. Chaotic types will be moved by personal appeals, as in good types will be moved by the plight of others while evil types would be moved by personal benefit. Lawful types will be moved by societal gains or losses. And of course, neutrals are a compromise between the two.

And if no argument would sway them, that would be an insanity. Again, outside of alignment considerations.


I would think they would have to be some kind of lawful since they basically have the "follow the rules no matter what happens" mindset


LN. The guardian is following his duty and is unswayed by outside events. Because people will die, does not make the guardian evil. It is simply not its concern.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Could be any.

First, one specific instance of behavior is not enough to determine alignment.

Secondly, sacred implies that the guardian believes it is important to be kept, and they could, for instance, believe that is more good to preserve it than it would be to save people. In a magical world, they could even be right.

Depending on the circumstances, that particular behavior would most likely be lawful and neutral, but I could come up with scenarios where it would be any good, evil, lawful or chaotic.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sounds lawful neutral to me.


Lawful "Not Nice" is still Neutral. In order to be Lawful Evil you have to be Lawful "Actively Cruel."


Lawful Neutral.

Lawful, because of their duty of keeping anyone from using it.

Neutral, because they do not care about for what purpose this object would be used for.


alignment isnt the result of one action, including this one. so any alignment, though leaning towards lawful

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Either Lawful or True Neutral. It sounds similar to the Watchers from Marvel comics, its duty is to do one thing, regardless of outside circumstances.


Val'bryn2 wrote:
Either Lawful or True Neutral. It sounds similar to the Watchers from Marvel comics, its duty is to do one thing, regardless of outside circumstances.

That's it, exactly. --There may be factors far outside the scope of the PCs' limited knowledge that account for the most intuitive "good" option not being immediately pursued or even desirable from the POV of the NPC.


I would also say lawful neutral but you could probably make up a background to have that character fit other alignements.


Not enough information. Literally any alignment is plausible here.


Alignment is a stupid pigeon-holing classification that forces PC's/NPC's into thinking they have to act a certain way in every circumstance. The presence of mind in a given scenario with a coherent, rational actor is rarely that neat and groomed.

That being said, I'd say Lawful Neutral. Reasoning: He strictly adheres to a code of conduct to protect the mcguffin, and will not abandon that creed regardless of the good or evil that can come from allowing access to the mcguffin he's sworn to protect.


Extrapolating, the most likely is lawful neutral.

It's probably not evil because they're not doing this from a cruel or malicious motivation. They're doing it because they believe it's their sacred duty to protect this object regardless of who comes looking for it or their intentions.


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Ryze Kuja wrote:
Alignment is a stupid pigeon-holing classification that forces PC's/NPC's into thinking they have to act a certain way in every circumstance.

I love alignment, and think it's one of the smartest game-kit ideas that Gygax ever kited. --It ensures that predictable consequences still weigh heavily in a universe in which characters eventually strut like gods.

(4E squashing "The Nine Steps" into a flat line? Now that was stupid.)


Slim Jim wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:
Alignment is a stupid pigeon-holing classification that forces PC's/NPC's into thinking they have to act a certain way in every circumstance.

I love alignment, and think it's one of the smartest game-kit ideas that Gygax ever kited. --It ensures that predictable consequences still weigh heavily in a universe in which characters eventually strut like gods.

(4E squashing "The Nine Steps" into a flat line? Now that was stupid.)

Alignment is neither necessary nor sufficient to ensure such consequences. It's also nearly useless as a predictor of behavior as motivations and personalities are far too complex to be described on a three-by-three grid. At best, it's descriptive of the average of a character's past behaviors, motivations, or both, depending on who you ask.


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Alignment is a rough tool that should represent your past experiences and guide (but not control) you future actions.

A lawful good person will generally do lawful good things. But if you murder his family, he might just decide to kill you, your family, your friends all with homicidal rage just to torture your existence.

Of course that would shift his alignment, but it's possible.

The problem really comes with attempting strict adherence to an alignment rather than using it as a tool to inform you of how your character would react.

I had a character that was a LG constable cavalier when I started, but after some sessions I realized the character was far more lawful neutral as he was totally willing to sacrifice innocents for the stability and well being of society, without really exploring better (more challenging) options.


blahpers wrote:
Alignment is neither necessary nor sufficient to ensure such consequences. It's also nearly useless as a predictor of behavior as motivations and personalities are far too complex to be described on a three-by-three grid. At best, it's descriptive of the average of a character's past behaviors, motivations, or both, depending on who you ask.

If you want to design a game-world whose pantheon of gods are unconcerned with their followers' behavior, nothing in the game prevents you. --In your game, every deity could be like Crom, who famously (in the rants of ReH's Conan) neither listens nor cares.


Slim Jim wrote:
If you want to design a game-world whose pantheon of gods are unconcerned with their followers' behavior, nothing in the game prevents you. --In your game, every deity could be like Crom, who famously (in the rants of ReH's Conan) neither listens nor cares.

Why do you believe alignment is necessary to reflect a game-world where the gods are concerned with their followers behavior? I'm curious because it (as everyone should know) isn't.


Anzyr wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
If you want to design a game-world whose pantheon of gods are unconcerned with their followers' behavior, nothing in the game prevents you. --In your game, every deity could be like Crom, who famously (in the rants of ReH's Conan) neither listens nor cares.
Why do you believe alignment is necessary to reflect a game-world where the gods are concerned with their followers behavior? I'm curious because it (as everyone should know) isn't.

Assuming such "concern" is relayed in concepts, as there must be for any understandable communication to occur, then if you don't like the game-provided terms of "good", "law", "chaos", etc, you're still going to have to come up with some other terms instead to relay those concepts of what is desirable behavior descriptive of the nature of any particular deity, or of a regional government, or of the local innkeeper, or of you the GM for that matter. As well, there will be a term descriptive of the polar opposite of any chosen term's definition. No matter how you do it, characters are going to aligned, or not, in accordance with the definition of one or more of your selected terms in way or another.

If you don't have deities (independent of character belief), or much in the way in the consequences for behavior at all, in your game, then it doesn't matter....as much, anyway. Rule Zero whatever you want. Make new gods that think whatever you want. Make new, dope homebrew classes that raid all the good bits from every existing archetype, and completely spoil your players to the point they can't stand ever playing boring old, plank-up-the-ass paladins ever again and complain endlessly about its inhibitions regarding unrestricted murder-hoboing.

Lordy knows, the market-share is there.


Slim Jim wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
If you want to design a game-world whose pantheon of gods are unconcerned with their followers' behavior, nothing in the game prevents you. --In your game, every deity could be like Crom, who famously (in the rants of ReH's Conan) neither listens nor cares.
Why do you believe alignment is necessary to reflect a game-world where the gods are concerned with their followers behavior? I'm curious because it (as everyone should know) isn't.

Assuming such "concern" is relayed in concepts, as there must be for any understandable communication to occur, then if you don't like the game-provided terms of "good", "law", "chaos", etc, you're still going to have to come up with some other terms instead to relay those concepts of what is desirable behavior descriptive of the nature of any particular deity, or of a regional government, or of the local innkeeper, or of you the GM for that matter. As well, there will be a term descriptive of the polar opposite of any chosen term's definition. No matter how you do it, characters are going to aligned, or not, in accordance with the definition of one or more of your selected terms in way or another.

If you don't have deities (independent of character belief), or much in the way in the consequences for behavior at all, in your game, then it doesn't matter....as much, anyway. Rule Zero whatever you want. Make new gods that think whatever you want. Make new, dope homebrew classes that raid all the good bits from every existing archetype, and completely spoil your players to the point they can't stand ever playing boring old, plank-up-the-ass paladins ever again and complain endlessly about its inhibitions regarding unrestricted murder-hoboing.

Lordy knows, the market-share is there.

Nobody is arguing against the concept of the Powers That Be having preferences in how they want mortals to behave. We're talking about Alignment™, not some other hypothetical thing you're conflating into the term. Alignment™ in Pathfinder has exactly nine pigeonholes. It's a stupid concept that should have died forty years ago.


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It's a powerful roleplaying aid for people that are, essentially, amateur actors trying to pretend to be someone else and needing all the characterization support they can get. I love it and my games will always use it.

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