Goodman Games

Fan Forums
It is currently Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:11 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:15 pm 
Offline
Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 660
Location: Montreal
I'm presently preparing the gods and divinities that will populate my homebrew campaign. I face the question of alignment, of course.

Back in the days of O- and A- D&D, I didn't use alignment a whole lot. We had it there on everyone's sheet for mechanical purposes, but we didn't stick to it much. In the last two versions 3E and 4E, I ditched alignment altogether.

Now, I feel like giving alignment a more central role in my campaign of DCC RPG. However, I'm still stretching my alignment muscles, so to speak, and trying to figure out where the chaotic alignment fits in.

My understanding after having read the book is that chaotic does not mean evil. And Lawful does not mean good. However, choatic suggests someone who will serve himself only, except when obligated to do otherwise, i.e. someone not inclined towards a group, under law or otherwise. This is a tough alignment to reconcile with a group, or with a social structure having laws, generally.

What is your approach towards alignment, and the chaotic alignment in particular? Do your players choose the chaotic alignment for their PCs? How do you, and they, run it?

I've had zillions of alignment discussions with D&D friends and over forums, so the concept is not new to me. I'm really looking to stir a bit of discussion around it to help refine my idea about the particular DCC alignment where the good-evil axis is absent, and see how the chaotic alignment fits in.

_________________
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:36 pm 
Offline
Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:36 am
Posts: 525
The most important part of how my group and I play alignment is that we believe that there is a difference between Chaos, Law, and Neutrality (with capitals) and chaos, law, and neutrality (without capitals).

With that in mind, the chaotic alignment is separate from being Chaotic - the former is a descriptor of the character, the latter indicates an origin or sworn purpose. Same with the other two in their capitalized and lowercase forms.

That allows us to have alignment be less of an impact on the character's expected behaviors - the character doesn't mind breaking the rules and living outside others expectations of him, and may even be a bit extreme on some of his views without being motivated to the point of "terrorist" action because he is of chaotic alignment, but he isn't a corrupting force of random destruction like a Chaotic being would be.

We treat the other alignments similarly... and mostly Alignment only comes up when healing magic comes into the mix, which is pretty much how we like it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:46 pm 
Offline
Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 660
Location: Montreal
No penalty for behaving out of alignment?

_________________
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:58 pm 
Offline
Cold-Hearted Immortal
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:01 am
Posts: 1200
Location: Atlanta, GA
Even "mostly" selfish characters, let alone predominately selfish characters, will have a very hard time sticking around in a group for very long. Ultimately, they'll very likely develop loyalties and personal relationships with other characters. Put them into a situation of having to choose between that relationship and their own power/gain. That's a good way to shift a character towards a Neutral alignment, away from Chaotic. Or, it's a good way to have the party get fed up with the Chaotic character and get rid of him, forcibly if required.

From a DM perspective, having a bunch of chaotics in your group isn't fun, IMO. It's also the complete opposite of heroic. Perhaps paradoxically, you can predict that your players/characters will always react violently and with their own selfish interests in mind, like it's a video game without consequences. Kinda dull, I think. Also it doesn't make sense when they save each other. I mean, WTF? They're more like a gang of thugs at that point.

Again, a good example of how chaotics won't really fit in a group long term is Raistlin from DragonLance. He even makes the statement in one of the first three books to the effect of "Me and Tanis just happen to be walking in the same direction right now." That's the lure of power for a purely selfish individual.

Of course, not every mage needs to be selfishly after power. But, there's a saying... "power corrupts." Indeed it does!

So, put me in the camp of "I'd allow a player to play a chaotic, but I'm going to push him repeatedly until he plays the alignment, likely to his own detriment in terms of group cohesion, or he makes choices that indicate a drift from chaotic, towards neutral."

_________________

RoM pbp:
Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:30 pm 
Offline
Cold-Hearted Immortal
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:42 am
Posts: 2251
Location: Chicago suburbs
Remember that in the early days, "law versus chaos" essentially was a way to distinguish "us versus them" and the good guys were "law" while the bad guys represented "chaos."

It can be as simple as that, if you like.

Note also that in OD&D they had spells like "detect evil" but no evil alignment, which demonstrates to me that evil and chaos were somewhat interchangible. With time, some players wanted to play bad guys and things got a little murky from then on because the "bad guys" might not have been evil per se, but they did represent the other team.

For good inspiration for alignment, you might check out Moorcock's books. Elric and Corum are some of my favorites, and they are guys constantly battling folks of various alignnemts. Or, so to Moorcock's inspiration of Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson. I believe that those two sources are considered to be Gary's primary models for alignment early on. (Things got more complex with the two-axis system in AD&D.)

Basically, you can make alignment as much or as little of the campaign as you like. Conan never bothered with alignment, and there's no reason why you have to either.

_________________
Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
Image
DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:33 pm 
Offline
Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:36 am
Posts: 525
Skyscraper wrote:
No penalty for behaving out of alignment?

There is probably no situation that you can present, other than forming an actual bond or allegiance with a being/patron of opposed alignment, in which there is not a perfectly reasonable way in which any alignment could perform any action... so no, I don't believe penalty for behaving out of alignment is really needed - you either are acting within your alignment, or you have changed alignment in the above mentioned situation.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:11 pm 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:24 pm
Posts: 407
Location: The end of time.
I really hassle players when it is obvious that they are playing out of alignment. Maybe it is assumed that the chaotic PCs are still the good guys and the NPCs are just plain chaotic evil. Having a party of chaotics to me is fun. You should have seen the idiots fighting when someone found the ring of Sezrekan in the Starless Sea! I wish I had a tape recorder of the player, who pocketed the gems earlier, lecture the ring finder that he is getting greedy and is gonna die soon unless he starts sharing treasure. I love chaotic players.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:48 pm 
Offline
Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:28 pm
Posts: 35
Location: East Coast, USA
I plan on having Patrons having alignment, of the Law, Neutral, Chaos type that TheNobleDrake mentioned but not so much PCs. PCs won't have alignment per se, as I see human nature on the order of "we all have some good and some bad" in all of us. But they will need to come to come up with some 'motivations', such as 'acquire power/wealth' or 'become a noble knight'..something that will guide their actions and put them in a good or chaotic bin. They won't always have to play straight to them, but their behavior in general will fall within those categories.

Lawful Patrons will be more strict when it comes to giving aid and will expect their followers to follow a straighter path, and woe to he who strays from the path, but I think they tend to give more aid when successfully called upon. Chaotic Patrons will be easier to appease and will tend to be more likely to answer the call. But beware the generally 'good' person who, in the pursuit of power, aligns with a Chaotic Patron. At some point, when the PC really needs that Invoke Patron spell to work, the Patron will be demanding a bit more than a pint of their blood. More like their companions blood..and all of it. A 'chaotic' PC with Chaotic Patrons will have to do more self sacrifice, since they tend to be more self centered with their motivations.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:43 pm 
Offline
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:27 pm
Posts: 275
I separate morality from them. Good and evil are up to the subjective moral codes of the character, kingdom, or deity they follow. I explain it like this to my players:

Lawful means you support and uphold the way the world is organized.

Chaotic means you are seeking to actively undermine that order.

Neutral means you are outside of it, or at least indifferent.

_________________
My Gaming Blog: The Earthlight Academy
http://earthlightacademy.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:44 pm 
Offline
Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:39 pm
Posts: 15
I always think of it this way; For the Chaotic character, how it affects HIM/HERSELF is a KEY factor in ANY decision. A Lawful person, for instance, may jump to aid a person in danger, without thinking of the danger to Him/Herself. A chaotic persons well-being is part of EVERYTHING.

This is not to say that Chaotic characters don't have Morals, or a Code of Ethics. They do. They just consider themselves important in ALL affairs. How important is a question not of alignment, but of Character.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:45 pm 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:24 pm
Posts: 407
Location: The end of time.
I like that approach Vanguard.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:00 am 
Offline
Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 660
Location: Montreal
Thanks for all the great comments!

I take from many posters that they actually do not really use alignment within their games, or rather that they might use it, but to a very limited extent, leaving concrete PC penalties for behaving out of alignment out of the game.

Here are a few questions or comments regarding some posts.

I
beermotor wrote:
Even "mostly" selfish characters, let alone predominately selfish characters, will have a very hard time sticking around in a group for very long.


So, what do you make of elves in your PC groups? I believe, per the book, that elves are mostly chaotic. Do you suggest to your elf-playing players to all move away from the natural tendency of their race?

finarvyn wrote:
Remember that in the early days, "law versus chaos" essentially was a way to distinguish "us versus them" and the good guys were "law" while the bad guys represented "chaos."


This has the advantage of being simple and straightforward, but then, what do you make of hobgoblins being lawful, are they then in the "us" camp? And the elves (as in the entire elven society, not necessarily the elven PCs), are they in the "them" camp?

I think there's more to alignment in DCC than us/lawful vs. them/chaotic, no?

finarvyn wrote:
Basically, you can make alignment as much or as little of the campaign as you like. Conan never bothered with alignment, and there's no reason why you have to either.


Sure. I mentioned that I'm familliar with the alignment question. My premise here is that I wish to try playing with it, i.e. to give it some measure of importance, and not simply have it fade to the background.

TheNobleDrake wrote:
Skyscraper wrote:
No penalty for behaving out of alignment?

There is probably no situation that you can present, other than forming an actual bond or allegiance with a being/patron of opposed alignment, in which there is not a perfectly reasonable way in which any alignment could perform any action... so no, I don't believe penalty for behaving out of alignment is really needed - you either are acting within your alignment, or you have changed alignment in the above mentioned situation.


The rulebook suggests penalties for behaving out of alignment, as far as I can recall my reading of that behemoth. And I'm not only talking about the penalties to cure die, I'm referring to actual luck penalties for behaving out of alignment. Now of course we are free to play as we wish, but my impression is that the core rules suggest that path, isn't that your impression?

Karaptis wrote:
I really hassle players when it is obvious that they are playing out of alignment. Maybe it is assumed that the chaotic PCs are still the good guys and the NPCs are just plain chaotic evil. Having a party of chaotics to me is fun. You should have seen the idiots fighting when someone found the ring of Sezrekan in the Starless Sea! I wish I had a tape recorder of the player, who pocketed the gems earlier, lecture the ring finder that he is getting greedy and is gonna die soon unless he starts sharing treasure. I love chaotic players.


Interesting take, if only because it strays away from the usual group cohesion approach.

Now I understand that a chaotic party is fun for you as DM; do you have the impression that it's fun for the players also? (Or are you chaotic too? ;) ) Is this group ongoing? My impression is that players in groups that have little PC cohesion will end up being annoyed at others and the campaign will die. Like in D&D: evil groups might be fun for short adventures, but didn't seem to work for ongoing campaigns. What's your impression on this?

AJClark wrote:
I plan on having Patrons having alignment, of the Law, Neutral, Chaos type that TheNobleDrake mentioned but not so much PCs. PCs won't have alignment per se, as I see human nature on the order of "we all have some good and some bad" in all of us.


But clerics heal others depending on their alignments, so you'll be asking players to put an alignment on each PC sheet, won't you? Will that then simply be a tag with no in-game influence except to influence the cleric's healing die? (This is what we did in D&D 3E to some extent, the alignment was mostly a meaningless tag on the PC sheets.)

Vanguard wrote:
I separate morality from them. Good and evil are up to the subjective moral codes of the character, kingdom, or deity they follow. I explain it like this to my players:

Lawful means you support and uphold the way the world is organized.

Chaotic means you are seeking to actively undermine that order.

Neutral means you are outside of it, or at least indifferent.


Great stuff, that's also my general understanding of how the alignment should work. Now, how do you integrate the chaotic alignment for PCs into the game? Do you have elves or other chaotic PCs in your group? If so, do they try to "undermine the world order" all the time? If so, how does that work and how well does that mesh with your campaign? Or have all players picked the lawful or neutral alignments?

This hearkens back to the initial question.

I see that there are lawful creatures that are most obviously evil per old D&D precepts (e.g. devils, hobgoblins). There is a (great) drawing in the book about a wizard that appears to conjure an devil in the streets of a city entitled "XYZ the Lawful" (can't remember his name). And on the other hand I see that some PCs may well be chaotic: the book suggests that most elves would be chaotic. So the game per the core rules appears to stear away from the chaotic=evil/them and lawful=good/us precept. In D&D, they eventually became pretty blunt about it: evil is not for PCs. It won't work well. Here, I don't get that impression about chaos.

At the same time, how do you use the chaotic alignment with PCs within a functional, long(er) winded campaign?

And for gods: can you have a chaotic god of love? A chaotic god of freedom ? E.g. which comes back to the stereotypical "chaotic good = robin hood" analogy. Would a Robin Hood divinity be chaotic? Is that not a good divinity?

_________________
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:30 am 
Offline
Cold-Hearted Immortal
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:01 am
Posts: 1200
Location: Atlanta, GA
Skyscraper wrote:
Thanks for all the great comments!

I take from many posters that they actually do not really use alignment within their games, or rather that they might use it, but to a very limited extent, leaving concrete PC penalties for behaving out of alignment out of the game.

Here are a few questions or comments regarding some posts.

I
beermotor wrote:
Even "mostly" selfish characters, let alone predominately selfish characters, will have a very hard time sticking around in a group for very long.


So, what do you make of elves in your PC groups? I believe, per the book, that elves are mostly chaotic. Do you suggest to your elf-playing players to all move away from the natural tendency of their race?


IMC, elves are primarily Neutral as a society. They are, however, prone to corruption, because of their proclivity to dabble in magic, so frequently stray into Chaotic territory. Messing with stuff they shouldn't be, etc. They could, of course, move towards Lawful... depends on actions.

But, look, the point is, if you have a player who's character is only, or at least like 75% of the time, only interested in their own personal gain, and willing to sacrifice other players' characters to ensure their own survival etc, that might be fun for a session or two but a pack of Lawful or even Neutral folks aren't going to tolerate that for very long. IMO, YMMV, etc.

Skyscraper wrote:
But clerics heal others depending on their alignments, so you'll be asking players to put an alignment on each PC sheet, won't you? Will that then simply be a tag with no in-game influence except to influence the cleric's healing die? (This is what we did in D&D 3E to some extent, the alignment was mostly a meaningless tag on the PC sheets.)


I think religion has an important place in DCC, just like it did in medieval society. The alignment healing business could be directly related to religion, if you wanted. IMC, I have 3 main deities for each alignment (loosely based on real world religions; it's a sci/fantasy sort of thing). This makes the number of "Gods" discrete and manageable, unlike some campaign settings, and can help unite PCs with each other and NPCs, too. Plus it kind of ties together the cultural / alignment stuff, for me. Again, IMO, YMMV, etc.

_________________

RoM pbp:
Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:48 am 
Offline
Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 660
Location: Montreal
beermotor wrote:
But, look, the point is, if you have a player who's character is only, or at least like 75% of the time, only interested in their own personal gain, and willing to sacrifice other players' characters to ensure their own survival etc, that might be fun for a session or two but a pack of Lawful or even Neutral folks aren't going to tolerate that for very long. IMO, YMMV, etc.


I agree with this, as you can surmise from some of my questions and comments.

One reason I'm discussing this here, is to see how useful it is for me to even propose chaotic gods to my PCs as options for their clerics, or their other PCs too. I wish to see if I want the chaos to be only "them", as one other poster put it.

beermotor wrote:
I think religion has an important place in DCC, just like it did in medieval society. The alignment healing business could be directly related to religion, if you wanted. IMC, I have 3 main deities for each alignment (loosely based on real world religions; it's a sci/fantasy sort of thing). This makes the number of "Gods" discrete and manageable, unlike some campaign settings, and can help unite PCs with each other and NPCs, too. Plus it kind of ties together the cultural / alignment stuff, for me. Again, IMO, YMMV, etc.


Can you expand on your campaign's approach to divinity? I'd like to hear more about it, if you feel like sharing.

_________________
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:22 am 
Offline
Cold-Hearted Immortal
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:01 am
Posts: 1200
Location: Atlanta, GA
Skyscraper wrote:
Can you expand on your campaign's approach to divinity? I'd like to hear more about it, if you feel like sharing.


Just a bit of DM background: far, far future, humanity captured by powerful aliens or maybe this chunk of humanity was imprisoned or something on a planet that's sort of Earthlike, two moons visible in the sky, plus a nearby gas giant planet that's far enough away so it's smaller in appearance than the moons (it's just called "The Eye" since that's what it sort of looks like with the cloud bands).

Excerpt from some info I provided for my players:

"Religion is closely keyed to alignment, and you'll probably recognize a bunch of this stuff from "real life." There are three main Lawful religions: The Father, The Son, and the Great Spirit. Dwarves by and large worship The Father, and he's mostly the deity of order and obedience, rules and regulations, engineering and crafts, Time, etc, and is closely connected with the sun. The Son is primarily worshipped by humans, and is a god of sacrifice and compassion, the seasons, birth and death, and is closely connected with the First Moon, Christalix. The Great Spirit is primarily worshipped by humans and some dwarves, and is a powerful and violent deity, passionate and warlike, the fiery wind of the desert, and is closely connected with the Second (darker, smaller, and swifter moving) Moon, Ferrix. And if those aren't enough there's plenty of other minor saints, angelic powers, etc, with small shrines and followings.

There are also three main Neutral religions, which are all characterized by ancestor reverence and a much more polytheistic feel (lots of powers to invoke, versus Lawfuls tending to focus on one): The Wheel, The Way, and The Sacred Fire. The Wheel is the contemplative god, associated with observation and dialog, mathematics, the stars, and is mostly worshipped by elves and a few humans (esp. wizards). The Way is a god of patience and meditation, and is also loosely connected with Time and the seasons, worshipped by many elves, some halflings, and a few humans. The Sacred Fire is a powerful, shielding deity, invoked for protection against the natural world, and is closely connected with luck; for that reason, almost all humans who are Neutral will gravitate towards this deity, and almost all Neutral halflings follow it as well. All of the Neutral religions are closely connected with the Great Eye that moves across the sky, so named because that's what it looks like (hint: not a sun, moon, or star). Like with Lawful, there's tons of minor spirits and other entities with smaller followings, too.

Finally, there are the Chaotic religions, which are really more like smallish cults that operate in secret. Nobody knows much about them. Among the Chaotic deities that are known, there's The Strangler, The Black Goat, and The Crawler. And of course there's a million demons and devils and things not of this world to strike dangerous bargains with.

For names, consider the following: dwarves tend towards German or Jewish style names (not Scottish or Norse), halflings either French or Spanish, and elves any sort of Asian. Humans can of course be anything. And there can be some overlap, or travelers can take on other names to start their lives over, etc. "

Obviously, the deities roughly equate to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (for Lawful), then Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism (for Neutral). I don't think Cthulhu makes sense as a neutral deity so I moved him to Chaotic (The Strangler, which is where the word came from for Lovecraft, from the arabic word).

I wanted something that was at once familiar an evocative of the real world but also that had room to be different and unique and derivative/degenerate, to imply the long passage of time. Haven't gotten very far in my campaign yet so who knows if it works or not. Maybe it's a poor idea. But I really did not want to just have the standard ol' pantheon of pseudo-fantasy gods and stuff.

_________________

RoM pbp:
Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:43 am 
Offline
Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 660
Location: Montreal
beermotor wrote:
(Cool stuff.)


Thanks for sharing! I like being inspired by others' creations.

_________________
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:12 pm 
Offline
Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:36 am
Posts: 525
Skyscraper wrote:
TheNobleDrake wrote:
Skyscraper wrote:
No penalty for behaving out of alignment?

There is probably no situation that you can present, other than forming an actual bond or allegiance with a being/patron of opposed alignment, in which there is not a perfectly reasonable way in which any alignment could perform any action... so no, I don't believe penalty for behaving out of alignment is really needed - you either are acting within your alignment, or you have changed alignment in the above mentioned situation.


The rulebook suggests penalties for behaving out of alignment, as far as I can recall my reading of that behemoth. And I'm not only talking about the penalties to cure die, I'm referring to actual luck penalties for behaving out of alignment. Now of course we are free to play as we wish, but my impression is that the core rules suggest that path, isn't that your impression?
Yes, the book gives the impression that there are intended to be penalties for acting outside your alignment.

The "problem" there is that acting outside your alignment can almost never be quantified reliably - any action in any situation, save a few that deal with actual forces of Law and Chaos, can be explained as fully in-alignment with any/every alignment.

If a lawful character makes a deal with a Chaotic being, that is acting out of alignment and the forces of Law will issue penalty - same with the alignment's flipped...

But there is no inherent alignment to mundane actions so there is no way to adjudicate punishment based on them.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:53 pm 
Offline
Cold-Hearted Immortal
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:01 am
Posts: 1200
Location: Atlanta, GA
Yeah but it's subjective and situational. It's not supposed to be quantifiable, let alone reliably.

_________________

RoM pbp:
Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:30 pm 
Offline
Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:47 pm
Posts: 28
I'm working on a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying inspired setting and am going with a five alignment system.

Chaos - - - - - - anti-social - - neutral - - social - - - - - - Law

The smaller gap between the center three is intentional.

"Anti-social" is so named to contrast with social, not to signify shy and retiring. It basically represents the self-centered as opposed to group-centered person. No need to burn down the city to apply, Ebeneezer Scrooge and Lord Byron would qualify just as much as murderous highwaymen or orcs. The vast majority of people are in the center three alignments, as are all the human gods (Sigmar, Khaine, Shallya, etc.).

Law is an active power in this world, so in that respect things here are more like Moorcock/DCC's implied setting than WFRP. Having an alignment of Law or Chaos is reserved for those who've actively allied themselves with either Law or Chaos; in some respects they are a more extreme version of the social/anti-social alignments, but that's almost incidental. These are people who've thrown in their lot with other-worldly powers that one way or another are basically inimical to the order of things most people are used to (consider Elric's jaunt onto the plane of Law if you think Law is a nice place); mundane concerns like whether you pay your taxes are pretty much incidental at this point.

Broadly speaking this division of the gods has a lot of similarity to Lovecraft's "gods of earth" / "outer gods" distinction in his Dreamlands stories, with Law and Chaos fitting into the role of the outer gods.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:41 am 
Offline
Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 660
Location: Montreal
TheNobleDrake wrote:
The "problem" there is that acting outside your alignment can almost never be quantified reliably - any action in any situation, save a few that deal with actual forces of Law and Chaos, can be explained as fully in-alignment with any/every alignment.

If a lawful character makes a deal with a Chaotic being, that is acting out of alignment and the forces of Law will issue penalty - same with the alignment's flipped...

But there is no inherent alignment to mundane actions so there is no way to adjudicate punishment based on them.


I have always played D&D (the only RPG I have played with an official "alignment" value for PCs) thinking about the same way as you but, assuming we want to play per the DCC rules... There has to be a way to fit alignment in there. It becomes a matter of interpretation of course, what mundane actions constitute actions aligned with or opposed to alignment.

One way to look at it, is if I have a lawful character, I think I need to decide what order he will follow. By order, I mean a set of precepts such as a religion, legal principles, or the like. Disobedience to the precepts could then lead to penalties.

This is often seen as somewhat of a straightjacket. I've always had a rough time abiding by alignment rules because of this. Even as DM, I always hated alignment :) But if I wish to follow the game, for the sake of trying out the rules before houseruling them out (per the rulebook's suggestion), well, then, I need to find a way to fit alignment into my game. And if I do that, I wish to do it intelligently as much as possible, and to make that inclusion fun.

If you've played paranoia (that I've played long ago), I think we can make links between use of alignment and following the Computer in paranoia, except that your PC truly believes that he must follow some precepts, as opposed to paranoia's double-crossing undercurrent.

The description of the cleric in the DCC rulebook is also very evocative: from memory, it says that the cleric will either convert, convince or kill those that are not of his faith. That's pretty radical. The cleric is not a nice guy out to philosophically discuss the nuances between the faiths. If you're not with him, you're against him, and you're going to taste some morningstar shortly. I kind of like this flavor, even if I'm not used to it, and I also wish to explore along those lines. I feel that this is also quite compatible with meaningful alignment rules.

Again, of course, these are all suggestions by the DCC designer(s), and we don't need to follow through on them. I'm presently exploring the one suggestion I'm having trouble with, alignment, and trying to benefit from the wisdom of those who've played the game to see if I will be able to change my history of ignoring alignment and include it in my game to add an unusual layer. Those players that will play in my DCC campaign that are used to my DMing style would hopefully find this new layer fun, like I would hopefully do.

This is where I stand.

So, I'll throw the question out again, to muster more thought around this concept, from those who wish to partake in this conversation: how can alignment fit into the game in a meaningful way? I mean by meaningful that alignment will dictate or influence some aspects of play, including penalties for acting out of alignment. And one question when asking how it can "fit into the game" is how to reconcile the chaotic alignment with PCs and gods that PCs might follow, with the cohesion or attachment to a group that being a PC is usually thought to require.

Let your imagination loose and propose ideas, I might seem like I'm overly playing devil's advocate here, but the reason is simple: I want to push this reflexion far enough to test the limits of the alignment system and how it'll play into my campaign. I'll question what you propose to this end, I'm not arguing for the sake of arguing.

Thanks to all participants!

_________________
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:29 am 
Offline
Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1084
Vanguard wrote:
I separate morality from them. Good and evil are up to the subjective moral codes of the character, kingdom, or deity they follow. I explain it like this to my players:

Lawful means you support and uphold the way the world is organized.

Chaotic means you are seeking to actively undermine that order.

Neutral means you are outside of it, or at least indifferent.


This is how I run alignment in D&D, Warhammer, DCC, etc. Basically, Lawful and Chaotic choose a side. I treat Neutral as unaligned.

In TA/TG, alignment is a little different. There's an ancient evil out there and it's basically going to mess things up badly. Like beyond Chaotic badly. So alignment determines how the character seeks to take action against everything going to pot.

Lawful characters are aligned with the prevalent religious, social and political orders and seek to uphold/protect them.

Neutral characters are unaligned but often follow their own (or an alternate) moral code. This would include characters who are into nature worship, alternative religions and also those characters who are acting on behalf of a greater good.

Chaotic characters are those who follow either a selfish moral code (as in "I like to kill monsters" or "I'm in it to save my own hide") or those who believe it's best to fight fire with fire. Mainly, those who will use and abuse the powers of Evil/Entropy/Chaos to fend off the threat of Evil/Entropy/Chaos.

The character classes can vary pretty significantly based on the choice of alignment. And all classes can be of any alignment.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:16 pm 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:24 pm
Posts: 407
Location: The end of time.
To answer Skyscraper, yea our group has been playing off and on since 84. I think you can only act so crazy with a group of guys you have known since childhood. No one takes things too seriuosly. After all, it's only paper. And I am a chaotic judge as well.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:27 am 
Offline
Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 660
Location: Montreal
Karaptis wrote:
To answer Skyscraper, yea our group has been playing off and on since 84. I think you can only act so crazy with a group of guys you have known since childhood. No one takes things too seriuosly. After all, it's only paper. And I am a chaotic judge as well.


Nice then!

_________________
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:01 pm 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:24 pm
Posts: 407
Location: The end of time.
... And we had a long campaign during the 2nd edition Dark Sun years and they were pretty damn evil, many times to eachother.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: How do you interpret the chaotic alignment?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:19 am 
Offline
Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 660
Location: Montreal
Karaptis wrote:
... And we had a long campaign during the 2nd edition Dark Sun years and they were pretty damn evil, many times to eachother.


Maybe I have more of a misconception of evil campaigns than anything. The rare times I've had evil characters in my games, the other players didn't like it and that character's actions had to be changed; however perhaps if everyone embraces the concept at the outset, maybe it simply works better.

_________________
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group