What is my character's alignment?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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Hoping to get some objective opinions (well, I should say more objective than my own biased opinion, anyways). Based on the character bio below, what do you think my character's alignment is, or should be?

Character Bio:
A black market merchant primarily operating out of Nar-Voth and Sekamina deep in the Darklands, Aleil Sylvari has made quite the successful career as a pilferer and trafficker of rare relics and artifacts. Talented enough to steal from some of the most dangerous beings and most secure locations that the Darklands have to offer, and cunning enough to escape the fallout of doing so, there are few things crawling in the dark that still scare Aleil Sylvari.

Though she does not consider herself evil, Aleil nevertheless frequently consorts with beings of questionable morality (such as doppelgangers, drow, duergar, and others) as a means of survival, and so has developed a necessary reputation for ruthlessness as a form of protective “social armor.”

Among her more recent exploits, Aleil successfully absconded with a lich’s sphere of annihilation, ultimately turning it against its former master when he caught up to her. Soon after she accomplished that feat, she turned around and sold the artifact to the enterprising drow noble Matron Mother of House Lir in return for the severe punishment of the Matron’s first-born daughter and heir (who made the mistake of attempting to assassinate Aleil during negotiations). Much to Aleil’s surprise, the Matron stripped her daughter of all power and titles and gifted her to Aleil as a life-long slave without hesitation or remorse.

Once a proud high priestess of Abraxus, Adin Lir could not bear to live out the rest of her long life with nothing left to her name save the grave insult of forever serving a mixed-breed master of a lesser race. So, she attempted to take her own life instead. Aleil intervened, preventing the attempted suicide, and saving Adin. Having no practical way to prevent future suicide attempts, however, Aleil accused Matron Lir of not holding up her end of the bargain in a desperate bid to save Adin. And so Adin Lir was magically imprisoned in an amulet via a powerful ritual performed by her own treacherous younger sisters. Aleil now keeps the amulet around her neck as a reminder to all other denizens of the dark that even up and coming Matron Mothers of powerful drow noble houses should tread carefully around her. Occasionally Aleil solicits Adin’s sage advice, though she is loath to do so since Adin is quick to distort facts and lead her “mongrel master” into terrible peril.

Despite her brazen personality and great personal power, not even Aleil Sylvari willingly travels into Orv, the deepest level of the Darklands. Having had a small taste of it during her younger years, she is fully aware of the unknowable magic, wholly alien beings, and other impossibly old nightmares that reside there. Orv, and the things that dwell there, are among the few things that still terrify the seemingly cold and emotionless Aleil. Though her infamy is quite well known in the more populated areas of the Darklands, few surface-worlders have ever heard of Aleil, a fact that she hopes to change soon as she continues working to expand her growing business into lucrative new markets.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Seems on the border between chaotic neutral and chaotic evil to me.


You could definitely take that character in a CE *or* CN direction depending on how you refined their personal quirks coming from that backstory.

Like she's a thief, and doesn't feel bad about it, and works with people who are pretty nefarious, but are there lines she won't cross?

Liberty's Edge

Chaotic, that's for sure.

I do not see her as Evil so far. She might even be Good. I see her somewhat similar to Han Solo, who did associate with Jabba the Hutt.


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The Raven Black wrote:
I do not see her as Evil so far. She might even be Good. I see her somewhat similar to Han Solo, who did associate with Jabba the Hutt.

Han starts out on that CN/CE line and his arc is that he transitions squarely into CG though. Alignment changes are fairly common in other media, where a character learns something, earns redemption, turns heel, gets their comeuppance, etc.; but characters in elfgames tend to be somewhat ethically static. Like there are games out there where you can start out evil, and in the course of your campaign fail to "learn your lesson" as you neither earn redemption nor reap what you have sown.


My first thought is that I should start playing Guild Wars 2 again. Here's a question to consider if some god or powerful being was to make it so she could live a life of reasonable wealth and safety, what would she do and how would she behave?


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Decimus Drake wrote:
My first thought is that I should start playing Guild Wars 2 again. Here's a question to consider if some god or powerful being was to make it so she could live a life of reasonable wealth and safety, what would she do and how would she behave?

That's an interesting thought.

I imagine that if she didn't need to be ruthless in order to survive living in the Darklands, she wouldn't be.

If she escaped that life and began anew as an adventurer on the surface, she would most likely still be a thief, relic trafficker, and black marketer (and probably not a very nice person in general), but if not surrounded by numerous evil creatures that would and could kill her at the drop of a hat, I like to think that her rough edges would soften significantly over time.


Thinking you are not evil is neither here nor there in morality terms.

Apart from theft and trafficking, I see no especially strongly aligned acts in the description. Mostly minor good and evil but strong self interest.

I'd put her as NE and move on.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hard to say for sure on the GE axis if at all I would say CN, but could lean to any of the 3 adjacent alignments if they leaned toward it.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

No human sacrifices to an evil god? No cannibalism? No gratuitous infliction of suffering on helpless kitten-analogues?

Can't be *that* evil.


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Wheldrake wrote:

No human sacrifices to an evil god? No cannibalism? No gratuitous infliction of suffering on helpless kitten-analogues?

Can't be *that* evil.

She keeps a sentient creature gifted to her as property magically bound to a talisman that she proudly displays, and considers that saving her?

Maybe I misread but that sounds pretty egregious to me.


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Liegence wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:

No human sacrifices to an evil god? No cannibalism? No gratuitous infliction of suffering on helpless kitten-analogues?

Can't be *that* evil.

She keeps a sentient creature gifted to her as property magically bound to a talisman that she proudly displays, and considers that saving her?

Maybe I misread but that sounds pretty egregious to me.

And I take it you're one of those folks who thinks we should abolish prisons too?

Some people are unquestionably evil and need to be locked up for the safety of themselves and others. This scenario is really just an extension of that. In any case, what is she to do? Smashing the amulet would just kill the prisoner. Using a freedom ritual would be dedicating resources towards releasing a most dangerous evil upon the world. Only the most naive fool would ever consider condoning such an action.

She displays it not as a matter of pride, but as a means of personal protection, much like how some prisoners get prison tattoos for the same purpose.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Liegence wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:

No human sacrifices to an evil god? No cannibalism? No gratuitous infliction of suffering on helpless kitten-analogues?

Can't be *that* evil.

She keeps a sentient creature gifted to her as property magically bound to a talisman that she proudly displays, and considers that saving her?

Maybe I misread but that sounds pretty egregious to me.

And I take it you're one of those folks who thinks we should abolish prisons too?

Some people are unquestionably evil and need to be locked up for the safety of themselves and others. This scenario is really just an extension of that. In any case, what is she to do? Smashing the amulet would just kill the prisoner. Using a freedom ritual would be dedicating resources towards releasing a most dangerous evil upon the world. Only the most naive fool would ever consider condoning such an action.

She displays it not as a matter of pride, but as a means of personal protection, much like how some prisoners get prison tattoos for the same purpose.

What? No. Why would you think that?

Your description did not indicate she was a warden of any kind. She traded an object of power to possess a person through negotiation with that persons clearly evil mother. This was not described as a crime and punishment event! She isn’t a caretaker, she holds her against her will and by her own judgment for what is only described as personal reasons. If there’s more to it I don’t see it in the provided background.

Under what jurisdiction is she an apt warden - her own? By what right, other than she traded a sphere of annihilation for, does she hold jurisdiction over this persons fate? What social violation warranted the incarceration, apart from suicide and heir to a probably evil house? Was she found guilty and judged by her peers, or does the Pc have sole authority to judge, jury and imprisonment?


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Ravingdork wrote:
Liegence wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:

No human sacrifices to an evil god? No cannibalism? No gratuitous infliction of suffering on helpless kitten-analogues?

Can't be *that* evil.

She keeps a sentient creature gifted to her as property magically bound to a talisman that she proudly displays, and considers that saving her?

Maybe I misread but that sounds pretty egregious to me.

And I take it you're one of those folks who thinks we should abolish prisons too?

Some people are unquestionably evil and need to be locked up for the safety of themselves and others. This scenario is really just an extension of that. In any case, what is she to do? Smashing the amulet would just kill the prisoner. Using a freedom ritual would be dedicating resources towards releasing a most dangerous evil upon the world. Only the most naive fool would ever consider condoning such an action.

She displays it not as a matter of pride, but as a means of personal protection, much like how some prisoners get prison tattoos for the same purpose.

She's CN at best, but probably still CE. She only looks good in proximity to everyone around her based on the info you've provided.

I mean she steals incredibly destructive magical weapon from inarguably evil master; immediately sells said destructive weapon to inarguably evil master for vengeance/revenge with no concern of long-term consequences. The fundamental driver in her actions beyond that is profit and self-interest and she's clearly capable of working outside the confines of society (even Darklands society). If she actually did make it upstairs the techniques she's used to using are almost certainly going to be CE.

There's also a pretty good chance you just threw this thread off the rails.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Liegence wrote:
She traded an object of power to possess a person through negotiation with that persons clearly evil mother. This was not described as a crime and punishment event!

I thought I had describe it pretty well. She only asked that her would be assassin be punished, not to "possess her." It was the evil matron who decided on the form said punishment would take. The character's actions actually saved the NPC (even though the NPC might not see it that way).

I do agree that the scenario could be VERY evil, depending on the motivations behind it. If she asked for punishment knowing it would lead to the priestess' death or enslavement, then I think that could be skirting evil alignment, particularly if done out of sheer vindictiveness. (I like to think that she wasn't expecting the matron to condemn her own daughter to anything so harsh as a life of slavery though.) If she imprisoned the priestess as further revenge and humiliation, rather than to save a life, I would certainly say that was evil.

Trading an artifact just for the satisfaction of seeing a powerful enemy punished and belittled? Yeah, that level of vindictiveness is a dark grey shade, I'm thinking.


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I would say CN at best with whims of both good and evil.


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I remembered reading the bit about the enslaved in the amulet, and thought it screamed evil too. But after I re-read it I saw that the daughter had tried to assassinate them, thus there was a viewed debt of sorts there. It took it from a clearly evil, to a potentially neutral one.

I kind of miss the days of alignment X with Y tendencies... as that helped explain some variances.

The character seems pretty CN with E or NE tendencies. But notably whimsical enough that some things they will actually attempt to take good view on, as long as it doesn't cost them much personally. [normal, true good, will attempt to do good even at potentially significant cost/risk to themselves if they can afford to] I don't get the impression that happens frequently with this character.

They might choose to do something good, for the feel of it (personal gain) and potentially the attention and leverage against someone who values good, such that it might later be capitalized upon in future dealings. (ranging from Neutral -> Evil alignment behavior there)

Liberty's Edge

She will definitely not go out of her way to protect people, so not Good. I keep to CN. I do not believe she would go out of her way to hurt innocent people either.

And she does have to deal with mighty Evil people and keep on surviving.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
I do not see her as Evil so far. She might even be Good. I see her somewhat similar to Han Solo, who did associate with Jabba the Hutt.
Han starts out on that CN/CE line and his arc is that he transitions squarely into CG though. Alignment changes are fairly common in other media, where a character learns something, earns redemption, turns heel, gets their comeuppance, etc.; but characters in elfgames tend to be somewhat ethically static. Like there are games out there where you can start out evil, and in the course of your campaign fail to "learn your lesson" as you neither earn redemption nor reap what you have sown.

Preretcon yes, however han is definatly CG after George Lucas's recton scene.


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NE seems like the best fit to me. We don't actually have a huge amount to go on here - one specific incident and a few broad strokes - so saying NE seems like the best fit isn't saying that all other alignments are ruled out. One could make a case for other alignments, and additional information (such as the motivation for trying to "save" her drow rival, which is neither stated nor hinted at above) might change which alignment seems like the best fit (or might not go so far but might hint that movement away from NE is a possibility in the future).

This isn't really based on having that amulet in particular. I'd be reluctant to assign too much weight to a situation that, as presented, the character mostly stumbled into without understanding what would come of it. However, for what it's worth, in the aftermath, she is described as finding a way to use the amulet situation to her benefit (enhancing her ruthless reputation), rather than, say, as seeking a way to ameliorate what the treacherous sisters' ritual did.

More broadly, cultivating a reputation for ruthlessness fits well with NE, and she isn't presented as the type of character who cultivates a reputation for ruthlessness just to scare people off, but isn't really as ruthless as her reputation would make her. The one example of her ruthlessness in action that is given above has her trading away an extremely powerful artifact that for the sole reward of seeing a rival horribly punished, even if she didn't expect the particular type of punishment that in fact occurred. That suggests that you aren't aiming for a character whose bark is worse than their bite.

In addition to the specific amulet story, we have the following broad strokes:

a) The character is a shady artifact dealer who frequently has to deal with beings of vile evil. Out of necessity, she cultivates a reputation for being ruthless enough to give such beings pause, and she generally seeks to live up to the reputation rather than its being a paper tiger.
b) She's done so successfully enough to reach a state of infamy.
c) (Per followup post) She still would not be a nice person even if she were not in an evil setting, but she might not be as ruthless as she is now.
d) She's powerful and very good at her job.
e) She's generally cold and emotionless, which also manifests as a brazen boldness in dealing with the perils of the depths (Orv excepted).

NE is not the only alignment such a character could have, but it is a good fit:

Quote:
A neutral evil villain does whatever she can get away with. She is out for herself, pure and simple. She sheds no tears for those she kills, whether for profit, sport, or convenience. She has no love of order and holds no illusions that following laws, traditions, or codes would make her any better or more noble. On the other hand, she doesn’t have the restless nature or love of conflict that a chaotic evil villain has.
Quote:
Neutral evil characters embody pure selfishness. That single-minded dedication to themselves typically makes their inner lives very straightforward. Many strongly neutral evil characters are emotionless and affectless, sometimes to a terrifying degree, which further focuses their mental resources on getting what they want, and can make them experts at whatever interests them. If their lack of inhibition manifests as admirable boldness and fearlessness, they may become master infiltrators and manipulators.
Quote:

Provided neutral evil characters are getting what they want, they have no problem working with anyone else.

They can even be trustworthy for extended periods of time when a larger goal is at stake or their interests or goals overlap with others’. If someone pleases them and seems nonthreatening, they may look after that person, possibly even becoming protective, though with a tendency toward possessiveness.

(emphasis mine)

Liberty's Edge

She is of the same alignment as Batman.


Don't forget, chaotic evil isn't foaming-at-the-mouth Rovagug worshipper. Associating with all that evil is going to rub off on her, even if in self-defence. And being CE isn't a free pass to a profitable life in Orv any more than it would be in downtown Urgir. I'd agree with the neutral/evil border; after all, unless forced, selling a sphere of annihilation to almost anyone isn't really a nice thing to do.

I don't really see much in a lawful/chaotic description, so by definition that's N. Does she keep her word, even if it's 'I will hunt down anyone who cheats me and anyone within a hundred metres will pay the price'? Asmodeus is fond of hard negotiations and ironclad yet loophole-riddled contracts. Or does she lie and cheat while stealing?

So NE/NN border.


I would say between Neutral and Neutral Evil (back in AD&D 1.x days, used to be Neutral with Evil Tendencies). I wouldn't say really Chaotic, although maybe a bit on the Chaotic side.


She seems pretty Chaotic to me. As far as the Good/Evil axis goes, I would probably put her as Chaotic Evil since she seems to have a strong preference for evil acts over good. That being said, if her moral outlook is a product of her experiences being limited to the exposure of cruel societies, I would allow room for future alignment adjustments if/when her circumstances change and her edges begin to soften.

Grand Lodge

A person’s alignment cannot be adequately evaluated based solely on a few pieces of evidence unless they are extremely radical like the random torture and murder of an innocent or self sacrifice for another, etc. The bio certainly contains a focus on self-interest though there is a fine line between that and chaotic/evil behavior. As mentioned up thread, intent has a great impact on alignment though it is a hard thing to know with such a small view into this character. Self-interest only remains neutral as long as you don’t have a choice. Once there are outlets to free yourself from bad circumstances, if you decide to continue along the path, it is no longer about self-interest but becomes about desire. Personally, I would like to see more evidence before I would make a definitive statement, but if I were a GM for a campaign with said character, I would be inclined to say it is CN, though if the player originally said the PC was N, I may/not be inclined to force a change to chaotic just yet. Depends on what else I’ve seen.

I do have a somewhat adverse consideration about the imprisoned daughter. The imprisonment is just as much the fault of our character as the matron mother. Remember, the daughter was given as a slave and by owning said slave our character swiftly starts to shift towards a dark place. Then when the sighted attempts suicide, rather than just dealing with it, our character goes back and essentially blames the matron for breach of their deal. That’s a fairly heinous thing to do considering we’re talking about a sentient being. Our character may not have imprisoned the daughter directly, but being okay with the results and going so far as to treat the prison/er as a personal prize is again pretty heinous.

I would be watching future actions very closely because I don’t think it will take much to step over the line to evil. Whether or not that’s NE or CE is of less importance, IMO, than the step into evil. YMMV

Liberty's Edge

TwilightKnight wrote:

A person’s alignment cannot be adequately evaluated based solely on a few pieces of evidence unless they are extremely radical like the random torture and murder of an innocent or self sacrifice for another, etc. The bio certainly contains a focus on self-interest though there is a fine line between that and chaotic/evil behavior. As mentioned up thread, intent has a great impact on alignment though it is a hard thing to know with such a small view into this character. Self-interest only remains neutral as long as you don’t have a choice. Once there are outlets to free yourself from bad circumstances, if you decide to continue along the path, it is no longer about self-interest but becomes about desire. Personally, I would like to see more evidence before I would make a definitive statement, but if I were a GM for a campaign with said character, I would be inclined to say it is CN, though if the player originally said the PC was N, I may/not be inclined to force a change to chaotic just yet. Depends on what else I’ve seen.

I do have a somewhat adverse consideration about the imprisoned daughter. The imprisonment is just as much the fault of our character as the matron mother. Remember, the daughter was given as a slave and by owning said slave our character swiftly starts to shift towards a dark place. Then when the sighted attempts suicide, rather than just dealing with it, our character goes back and essentially blames the matron for breach of their deal. That’s a fairly heinous thing to do considering we’re talking about a sentient being. Our character may not have imprisoned the daughter directly, but being okay with the results and going so far as to treat the prison/er as a personal prize is again pretty heinous.

I would be watching future actions very closely because I don’t think it will take much to step over the line to evil. Whether or not that’s NE or CE is of less importance, IMO, than the step into evil. YMMV

You mean that "slave"?

"the Matron’s first-born daughter and heir (who made the mistake of attempting to assassinate Aleil during negotiations)."

Yes, really Evil to want someone who tried to assassinate you be punished for their deeds with more than a scolding from Mum.


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Owning another human being is an evil act, period. Slavery is a cruel and unusual punishment and will do nothing to rehabilitate the "criminal" and there is no situation where its not just an evil act, you can try and argue that its evil your inflicting on evil people, but that kind of argument leads to only more evil stuff.


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I'm inclined to agree. Especially given that said character is probably smart enough to realise that a functioning warning doesn't require the genuine article when it comes to the amulet. After all, if said daughter is already rumoured to be trapped within the amulet, all Aleil would need is another magical amulet with a similar appearance and the same school of magic as the original. It is very unlikely that anyone would be able to scrutinize the amulet and prove otherwise while it is still in her possession. Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems to me that the only reason to keep the amulet is out of spite for the person inside. So that they can't "get away" without living to see their punishment.

Liberty's Edge

Docflem wrote:
Owning another human being is an evil act, period. Slavery is a cruel and unusual punishment and will do nothing to rehabilitate the "criminal" and there is no situation where its not just an evil act, you can try and argue that its evil your inflicting on evil people, but that kind of argument leads to only more evil stuff.

The character did not decide the punishment. Should she go to great lengths to set her would-be killer free? Or just refuse the Drow matriarch (an action that would put herself in great danger, while not ensuring the freedom of the criminal)?

And yes assassination attempts is indeed a crime.

Or maybe she should just have left the soul prison behind her, lying around in the darklands, and hope for the best.


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The Raven Black wrote:
Docflem wrote:
Owning another human being is an evil act, period. Slavery is a cruel and unusual punishment and will do nothing to rehabilitate the "criminal" and there is no situation where its not just an evil act, you can try and argue that its evil your inflicting on evil people, but that kind of argument leads to only more evil stuff.

The character did not decide the punishment. Should she go to great lengths to set her would-be killer free? Or just refuse the Drow matriarch (an action that would put herself in great danger, while not ensuring the freedom of the criminal)?

And yes assassination attempts is indeed a crime.

Or maybe she should just have left the soul prison behind her, lying around in the darklands, and hope for the best.

She shouldn't leave it lying around, no. I suppose the question I would ask is how durable the amulet is. Assuming that apart from being a container for a person's soul, it's otherwise just a normal amulet, I would think that destroying it and freeing the soul inside so that it could find it's own way to the Boneyard would be pretty simple. The daughter of the Drow Matriarch has already been brought to an extremely low point. She was even willing to commit suicide. As far as punishments go, I think that's a pretty good one. Intentionally keeping her soul trapped (for potentially forever if Aleil dies while the amulet exists) is just excessive spite, in my opinion.


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Insofar as I'm aware it's just a normal amulet, and even if it were magical, there's nothing in the rules that would indicate that it would be made any more durable for it.

Jack of Dust wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems to me that the only reason to keep the amulet is out of spite for the person inside. So that they can't "get away" without living to see their punishment.

Yes, that would be very wrong in my book. Setting the drow free is liable to end in one of two outcomes: either the drow commits suicide, preferring that to imprisonment, or she murders the the PC. Neither a very good outcome.

Releasing such a dangerous creature as an unrepentant high priestess devoted to an evil deity just because slavery (which this arguably isn't) makes you feel icky is the height of naivete.

Slavery is evil, no question, but there are practical concerns that need to be addressed in this particular scenario before such actions can be taken.

First and foremost, the prisoner needs to be prevented from harming herself or others. For any chance of that being possible upon release, she would generally need to be rehabilitated first, or be surrendered to the care of others more capable of handling such a dangerous ward than her current charge. And who is going to care enough to do that in the Darklands? Odds are any new handlers would be even worse, true abusers or slaves. But to saddle all of that morale responsibility on the party that was wronged in the first place is to, in practice, place far greater value on the evil criminals than on the innocents that were wronged by said criminals to begin with!

Liberty's Edge

Jack of Dust wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Docflem wrote:
Owning another human being is an evil act, period. Slavery is a cruel and unusual punishment and will do nothing to rehabilitate the "criminal" and there is no situation where its not just an evil act, you can try and argue that its evil your inflicting on evil people, but that kind of argument leads to only more evil stuff.

The character did not decide the punishment. Should she go to great lengths to set her would-be killer free? Or just refuse the Drow matriarch (an action that would put herself in great danger, while not ensuring the freedom of the criminal)?

And yes assassination attempts is indeed a crime.

Or maybe she should just have left the soul prison behind her, lying around in the darklands, and hope for the best.

She shouldn't leave it lying around, no. I suppose the question I would ask is how durable the amulet is. Assuming that apart from being a container for a person's soul, it's otherwise just a normal amulet, I would think that destroying it and freeing the soul inside so that it could find it's own way to the Boneyard would be pretty simple. The daughter of the Drow Matriarch has already been brought to an extremely low point. She was even willing to commit suicide. As far as punishments go, I think that's a pretty good one. Intentionally keeping her soul trapped (for potentially forever if Aleil dies while the amulet exists) is just excessive spite, in my opinion.

I have trouble seeing killing a person who cannot defend herself as Good. I would say it is better to keep her around, and her current state is ideal for this since she currently cannot harm anyone. And in due time explore ways to help her repent enough so that she can be released without being an immediate lethal danger to innocents.

And that would be with a Good mindset, which is not IMO what the character is.


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Ravingdork wrote:

Yes, that would be very wrong in my book. Setting the drow free is liable to end in one of two outcomes: either the drow commits suicide, preferring that to imprisonment, or she murders the the PC. Neither a very good outcome.

Releasing such a dangerous creature as an unrepentant high priestess devoted to an evil deity just because slavery (which this arguably isn't) makes you feel icky is the height of naivete.

Slavery is evil, no question, but there are practical concerns that need to be addressed in this particular scenario before such actions can be taken.

First and foremost, the prisoner needs to be prevented from harming herself or others. For any chance of that being possible upon release, she would generally need to be rehabilitated first, or be surrendered to the care of others more capable of handling such a dangerous ward than her current charge. And who is going to care enough to do that in the Darklands? Odds are any new handlers would be even worse, true abusers or slaves. But to saddle all of that morale responsibility on the party that was wronged in the first place is to, in practice, place far greater value on the evil criminals than on the innocents that were wronged by said criminals to begin with!

So, it's okay to keep the daughter of the draw matron trapped because of potential negative consequences, but we're handing out a free pass for handing an artifact level weapon to an even more powerful drow matron with which we do business?

I mean, you can splice the amulet scenario all you want, but I think you should at least apply a consistent standard here if we're going for some utilitarian definition of 'goodness.' She's definitely not making things better for anyone except herself in the bits you've told us.


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cavernshark wrote:
Selling WMDs to evil folk be evil!

That's fair.


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Yeah, I double checked and the way it was written makes me think that not only did she sell the WMD her main motivation for selling it was to buy the punishment of another person, thats incredibly selfish.

Really I know you didn't mean to write it this way, but I'd just like to point out that not only did this character sell a WMD to a very evil person in order to settle a personal beef, but she received a slave (for life) and got real rich in the process, including titles and powers. Now, if you compare that situation to relatively recent history you might hit upon my feelings when it comes to slavery of any kind. . .


Yeah, I'd call her as straight Neutral Evil, though not necessarily incorrigible. She technically operates outside the law but also broadly uses it, so I don't really see Chaotic being in the mix all that much.

Grand Lodge

Just another example of how useless the alignment system tends to be applied universally. You might, and I stress might, be able to come to a minimal consensus within a small gaming group, but there is virtually zero chance you’ll ever get anything close to an agreement in the greater community.


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TwilightKnight wrote:
Just another example of how useless the alignment system tends to be applied universally. You might, and I stress might, be able to come to a minimal consensus within a small gaming group, but there is virtually zero chance you’ll ever get anything close to an agreement in the greater community.

Alignment is really a statement of intent for "how you intend to roleplay this character" more than anything else. I can hand the same backstory to a dozen people, and have them pull an alignment out of a hat, and they're all going to be compatible with that backstory and result in some very different people going forwards.

Liberty's Edge

Agreed. Alignment was created IMO as a useful shorthand for most likely NPCs' behavior. Applying it to PCs is what made it far more contentious.

Liberty's Edge

Docflem wrote:

Yeah, I double checked and the way it was written makes me think that not only did she sell the WMD her main motivation for selling it was to buy the punishment of another person, thats incredibly selfish.

Really I know you didn't mean to write it this way, but I'd just like to point out that not only did this character sell a WMD to a very evil person in order to settle a personal beef, but she received a slave (for life) and got real rich in the process, including titles and powers. Now, if you compare that situation to relatively recent history you might hit upon my feelings when it comes to slavery of any kind. . .

I admit I did miss the trading MWD to Evil tyrant in exchange for the punishment. So, yes to Evil (CE). Because of the deal with the devil, not because of the soul jail thing.

That said even Neutral (heck, even Good) people commit Evil acts from time to time.


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Yeah, but the "evil" act would have to be a singular mistake or opps. Like if all she did was sell the weapon and latter realized her mistake, maybe I could see a neutral character and I could even lean towards good if she was actively trying to find a way to undo the mistake. However, choosing to receive and keep a slave is a continuously evil act, one of the most evil things you can do, and even without all the extra baggage, that alone makes a character pretty damn evil and by definition isn't a one time mistake.

Grand Lodge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Alignment is really a statement of intent for "how you intend to roleplay this character" more than anything else.

That depends on PC vs NPC. IMO, PC alignment is based on your actions. Essentially your starting alignment is just a placeholder until you demonstrate behavior through game play. I’ve lost count how many times a player has written a particular alignment on their character sheet but didn’t act that way in practice. I have no problem telling my players to change their listed alignment as a result.

NPC is a bit different. I have an obligation to play them as their alignment indicates and the assumption is that actions they have taken in their past resulted in the alignment in their stat block.

Basically for player-character, IMO, your alignment is based on your actions; your actions are not dictated by your listed alignment. YMMV

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm pretty sure that once imprisoned within the gem, Adin went from being a slave to being a prisoner.

Although the timeline does not specify, I believe the intent was that upon learning she was to be enslaved, or shortly after being turned over as a slave, Adin attempted to kill herself and Aliel prevented this, not because Adin was her property, but out of concern for her life.

Aliel then took advantage of the situation to try to profit herself and Adin by saying the terms were violated. The deal was changed, and Adin became a prisoner instead of a slave.

So, now, Aliel carries around a prison with a prisoner inside it....

....while she does a bunch of evil stuff to "survive"(by which she means profit and grow in power) in a dark and dangerous world. She's NE IMO, for all the descriptive reasons posted by Coriat above.


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The fact that she bought someone so that she could torture them and soul-bound them because they tried to die to escape the torture drops her right into the evil category for me. Doesn't matter that she had a reason & that the victim was evil themself; people who inflict torture are straight-up evil regardless of the circumstance.

Liberty's Edge

Ventnor wrote:
The fact that she bought someone so that she could torture them and soul-bound them because they tried to die to escape the torture drops her right into the evil category for me. Doesn't matter that she had a reason & that the victim was evil themself; people who inflict torture are straight-up evil regardless of the circumstance.

I read that she was gifted the criminal as a slave much to her surprise and I did not see anything about torture. Is there something I missed?

Liberty's Edge

What I missed was going against the slave's wish to die. No true Chaotic then. So Neutral Evil to me in this latest assessment.

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