The Bad Characterization Thread or 'Lawfull Stupid Paladins'

A forum for fans of the Weregeek comic and of all things Geek.

The Bad Characterization Thread or 'Lawfull Stupid Paladins'

Postby Narf the Mouse on Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:56 pm

A place for the posting of various examples of characterization of various types of characters and the problems therein. Or in other words, the 'This is/is not how I play!' rant thread.

Problems, Answers:

P1) 'But your paladin can't attack the vampire! He's the head of government!'

A) '...a paladin's code requires that she respect legitimate authority...', 'A paladin must be of lawful good alignment...'. A Vampire is Evil. Evil is opposed to good. The paladin is opposed to the vampire. Therefore, the vampire cannot constitute 'Legitimate authority' in the eyes of the paladin so long as the vampire is committed to a course of evil.

P1a) 'But the vampire is Lawful! You can't act against law!'

A1) 'Legitimate authority is bestowed by the people. The people want the vampire gone. Smite Evil time.'

A2) 'Legitimate authority is bestowed by <Insert game diety here>. <Insert game diety here> wants the vampire gone. Smite Evil time.'

A3) 'Legitimate authority upholds (Or at least does not oppose) Good. The cause of good demands this evil be removed. Smite Evil time.'



P2) 'Your paladin just acted chaotic. Your paladin has just fallen.'

A) While a paladin '...must be of lawful good alignment...', lawful alignment is only lost when a character displays consistant chaotic or neutral behavior with no real attempt to reform. Secondly, a paladin 'falls' - Looses all class abilities - '...if she ever willingly commits an evil act.' While a paladin would fall if their alignment ever left lawful or good, they do not fall if the chaotic or neutral act or acts would not be great enough to change the alignment of any other Lawful Good character. Or in other words...'Lawfull Good and never evil and not too much chaotic'.



P3) 'Hey! I'm a paladin! I can't let you break Bob out of jail, even if he is innocent!'

A) A paladin is lawful good and thus should avoid chaotic acts. However, the Code of Conduct says only '...help those in need (provided they do not use that help for evil or chaotic ends)...' A paladin is not required to impair a chaotic act unless not doing so would be too chaotic or evil. Breaking an innocent out of oppressive imprisonment is generally chaotic good. Therefore, a paladin *May* not be required to stop such an action. In any case, this all falls to a higher imperative - player cohesion. Letting a PC die because of alignment is generally a bad idea. Therefore, work this sort of stuff out beforehand. Alignment conflict should be figured in to how you act ahead of time.



P4) 'I'm Chaotic Neutral! I can do whatever I want!'

A) Nope. You have to refrain from acting too Good, or it's alignment change time. You have to refrain from acting too Evil, or it's alignment change time, even if you have been acting good - I'll assume that's just a cover and - Yep - Alignment change time. You have to refrain from acting too Lawful, or it's Lawful or Neutral for you.

P4a) 'I'm True Neutral! I can do whatever I want!'

A) Sure. Just so long as you never actually commit to anything but balance. Support the party too much in their aligned endeavors and I'll change your alignment to match.



(Hope this wasn't boring or annoying. I know rants can be both boring and annoying)
I have a livejournal

'Rule #2 : There is the game and there is reality. Between them is a BIG HONKING wall.' - Narshal, RPG.net, D&D alignment debate.
Narf the Mouse
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 1302
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:32 am

Postby Aldagrim on Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:09 pm

I actually found it very interesting, informative and even entertaining. Of course, I like rants as long as they only smolder.
Aldagrim
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:32 am

Postby SylanaMotara on Mon Dec 10, 2007 3:31 am

I've actually run into that situation a LOT in gaming. One campaign we did a number of years back featured a pally that accidentally donned a helm of change alignment. Can you say instant Blackguard?
The most fun I've had with alignments was playing dual characters- one was a chaotic good half-elf cleric, the other a chaotic evil dark elf assassin. Had many arguments with myself that game.... the cleric was one of the few good characters in that party. The blackguard mentioned above was there, as was a warlock (2e dragon magazine rules, demon summoner, always end up chaotic evil in time). I think there was a chaotic neutral wizard, and I cant remember what the last guy was.
SylanaMotara
Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:34 pm

Postby Xaq on Mon Dec 10, 2007 3:50 am

Yet another of the many many many reasons I hate DnD.

When I DO run it (which is rare), I don't use Alignments at all. Any decent roleplayer can get by just fine without them.
User avatar
Xaq
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 224
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:34 am

Postby Thanatos5150 on Mon Dec 10, 2007 4:54 am

~~~
DM: "You are a multi-class Rogue/Cleric of Good alignment with aGood diety, therefore, you cannot use Sneak Attack."
Player: "Wait - why?"
D: "Becuase its dishonorable."
P: "How is my using Sneak Attack any more dishonorable than a Wizard Fireballing a bunch of mooks or the Barbarian Raging and busting out his Unholy Whirlwind Attack of Unholy Doom?"
D: "... You're a cleric."
~~~

Player 1: "I suggest we sneak into the banidt camp and slit the bandit king's throat, possibly disguising ourselves as bandits in order to infiltrate aforementioned camp."
Player 2:"Wait a second, you're a Paladin, wouldn't that cause you to fall?"
P1: "No, I'm a trained warrior, I'm aloud to use sneaky tactics to furhter the goal of my God.
DM: "But thats deception and deception is dishonorable"
P1: "To decieve a merchant or ally is wrong and dishonorable, to decieve your enemy is fighting a war."
D: "...I don't buy it, do it and fall."
P1: "Choo-Choo..."
~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~
Any time where the DM arbitraily decides that your plan of action would run counter to how HE would play your charecter and vetos it, thats my pet peeve.

~~In case you didn't get it.
"Justice is the Art of the Thief"
~Socrates~
"Weapons and armor are for those who lack skill, Honor and courage"
~Drunken Monk to a Paladin in the tavern. No bystanders were harmed in the ensuing brawl~
User avatar
Thanatos5150
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 570
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:51 am
Location: Honshu, Japan

Postby Narf the Mouse on Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:35 pm

Growl at them and say "MY CHARACTER!" :D

I would say sneaking and disguise would only definitely count as dishonorable if you used them to open your attack. As long as your Pally threw off the disguise and stopped sneaking before the attack, it's ok. It would be a bit iffy, but that's it.

I can't see a Pally attacking from behind or in disguise, though.
I have a livejournal

'Rule #2 : There is the game and there is reality. Between them is a BIG HONKING wall.' - Narshal, RPG.net, D&D alignment debate.
Narf the Mouse
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 1302
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:32 am

Postby FirstAidKit on Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:54 pm

I have to put up this story, because the paladin conversation reminds me of a good friend of mine. He loved his paladin character, and I have to say it was a blast to play with him. The problem with the party was with the fact that not a single person crested true neutral but him, so it was frequently a game to see if you could get the paladin to go over here and play while they tortured a prisoner for information or some such. Looting... desecrating... pretty much the whole length and breadth, and every time you had to get the paladin to look away by making a bluff check or the like. His character never knew...

The guy was great though. His crowning achievement was to leap upon some convenient hillock and start to make a rousing, heroic speech. The words "Never give up, never surrender!" came out just as the tree fell on him (I promise, that was REALLY written into the scene). It was the best and worst timing ever. I felt so bad that he didn't take any damage, and they even managed to overtake the running villain.
"Nothing is ever easy."

"...You can't take the sky from me."
User avatar
FirstAidKit
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 6:44 am
Location: The Floating Continent

Postby Narf the Mouse on Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:07 pm

...Heh. If I was a paladin looking for prospective party members, the first thing I'd do is Detect Smite Target on them.
I have a livejournal

'Rule #2 : There is the game and there is reality. Between them is a BIG HONKING wall.' - Narshal, RPG.net, D&D alignment debate.
Narf the Mouse
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 1302
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:32 am

Postby Thunderhowl on Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:54 pm

FirstAidKit wrote:I have to put up this story, because the paladin conversation reminds me of a good friend of mine. He loved his paladin character, and I have to say it was a blast to play with him. The problem with the party was with the fact that not a single person crested true neutral but him, so it was frequently a game to see if you could get the paladin to go over here and play while they tortured a prisoner for information or some such. Looting... desecrating... pretty much the whole length and breadth, and every time you had to get the paladin to look away by making a bluff check or the like. His character never knew...

The guy was great though. His crowning achievement was to leap upon some convenient hillock and start to make a rousing, heroic speech. The words "Never give up, never surrender!" came out just as the tree fell on him (I promise, that was REALLY written into the scene). It was the best and worst timing ever. I felt so bad that he didn't take any damage, and they even managed to overtake the running villain.


"Sir BA ain't gettin on no plane, Foo!"
"No problem Sir BA the Holy, just drink this delicious glass of milk!" "Mmmm...Milk...does a body good. *glug glug glug**thud*...zzzzzzzzzz" "Ok team...let's look that temple!"

Heh.
A Zen Koan:
A Master said unto his Student,
"I Own you, Bitch. Know this."
And the Student was Owned,
And Knew it.
Image
User avatar
Thunderhowl
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 535
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:33 am
Location: in the Hospitality Mines

Postby Narf the Mouse on Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:31 am

And what's wrong with strong female protagonists?

(Among other things, I think they're hot! :D )
I have a livejournal

'Rule #2 : There is the game and there is reality. Between them is a BIG HONKING wall.' - Narshal, RPG.net, D&D alignment debate.
Narf the Mouse
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 1302
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:32 am

Postby Dustman on Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:35 pm

This isn't really roleplaying-related, but you know what bugs me in movies? When you actually have a strong female protagonist--a seriously bad-guy-stomping, monster-shooting, world-saving bad-arsed heroine. And then, right at the end of the movie, she goes to fight the main bad guy, tries to do that girly overhand punch thing (which she has not used the entire movie), the bad guy grabs her wrist, and she becomes completely helpless. WTF, man?! And then the amusing male sidekick has to save her.

It just makes me want to strangle something.
"I'm a weatherman, I don't believe in fate."
--Randall Stevens

My perfect job: freelance pun engineer.

Accio Shotgun B#@%! -- Tom the Fanboy
User avatar
Dustman
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:36 pm
Location: Texas

Postby Susan Calvin on Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:45 pm

I've never seen alignments in use around here. My worst similar example would be the cybernetics in Star Wars d20. One instant Dark Side point for every time you install something other than the most crude, unhealthy and/or downright threatening prostethic.
Susan Calvin
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:27 am
Location: Sweden

Postby Narf the Mouse on Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:19 pm

Dustman wrote:This isn't really roleplaying-related, but you know what bugs me in movies? When you actually have a strong female protagonist--a seriously bad-guy-stomping, monster-shooting, world-saving bad-arsed heroine. And then, right at the end of the movie, she goes to fight the main bad guy, tries to do that girly overhand punch thing (which she has not used the entire movie), the bad guy grabs her wrist, and she becomes completely helpless. WTF, man?! And then the amusing male sidekick has to save her.

It just makes me want to strangle something.

Robocop 3.
I have a livejournal

'Rule #2 : There is the game and there is reality. Between them is a BIG HONKING wall.' - Narshal, RPG.net, D&D alignment debate.
Narf the Mouse
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 1302
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:32 am

Postby Thanatos5150 on Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:24 am

Backing away from Paladins and their ilk:

Why must so many people play CN Rogues and LE Wizards/Sorcerors?

Its not fun and its not cool.
"Justice is the Art of the Thief"
~Socrates~
"Weapons and armor are for those who lack skill, Honor and courage"
~Drunken Monk to a Paladin in the tavern. No bystanders were harmed in the ensuing brawl~
User avatar
Thanatos5150
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 570
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:51 am
Location: Honshu, Japan

Postby Narf the Mouse on Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:36 am

CN can be a lot of fun, I think, if you take inspiration from movies like The Princess Bride and not Riddick.
I have a livejournal

'Rule #2 : There is the game and there is reality. Between them is a BIG HONKING wall.' - Narshal, RPG.net, D&D alignment debate.
Narf the Mouse
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 1302
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:32 am

Postby Thunderhowl on Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:05 am

The 3.0 version of CN in D&D is a vast improvement over the garbage that it was in 2nd Ed. Now it's not crippling to play, or so annoying you murder the character at the first opportunity.

I think that as a whole the alignments were greatly improved in 3.0 and later versions.
A Zen Koan:
A Master said unto his Student,
"I Own you, Bitch. Know this."
And the Student was Owned,
And Knew it.
Image
User avatar
Thunderhowl
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 535
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:33 am
Location: in the Hospitality Mines

Postby Punstarr on Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:07 am

DMs should reward characters for good role-play and trying their best to adhere to their alignment, not punish them for not being perfect avatars of their chosen ideals. I'm sorry, but as a Lawful Good Paladin, I am not bound to being a being of pure Law and Pure Good. My character is mortal and is allowed to make mistakes without the DM eager to change my alignment at the drop of a hat. DMs, unless your players are playing characters who are (for example) Lawful and Good Subtypes, do not expect them to be lawful and good 24/7.
Image
User avatar
Punstarr
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 221
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:57 pm
Location: Olympia, WA

Postby One post wonder on Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:50 am

I admit that I am not exactly experienced with P&P RPGs, but it seems to me a bit artificial to pick an alignment then pick a personality to fit it. I think that the personalities of the characters would evolve to be more complex if they were to somehow be allowed to play without an alignment for a while, then based on how they developed during that time, see which alignment they would fall into. But then again, I know that some classes require characters to be of one alignment or another... And how much of D&D is really focused on character development, I do not know... Just me rambling on about something I do not know well...
My name made sense when I first thought it up.

I apologize in advance for the inevitable awkwardness.
User avatar
One post wonder
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 215
Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 11:47 pm
Location: Where snakes, scorpions, and Alice Cooper lurk.

Postby Narf the Mouse on Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:55 pm

Alignments can be restrictive, but they also provide an entirely different world-view from most.
I have a livejournal

'Rule #2 : There is the game and there is reality. Between them is a BIG HONKING wall.' - Narshal, RPG.net, D&D alignment debate.
Narf the Mouse
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 1302
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:32 am

Postby Aldagrim on Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:39 pm

Hey, it's not too much worse than a DM who honestly believes that the job of the DM is to kill the PCs. A team of level sixes and fives against three yuan-ti, one of them a sorcerer? We were slaughtered.
Aldagrim
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:32 am

Next

 

Return to Weregeek



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest