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Monday, 11th March, 2002, 08:57 AM #1
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Allignment Problems in my Campaign: Chaotic Neutral or just Annoying...
I am having an issue in my campaign. A character that consistently plays what I feel is a chaotic neutral character (a character that only does jobs if he is told beforehand that he is going to be paid for it, and also prefers not to be ordered by people- which together is somewhat contradicting...) is making DM'ing hard on me.
I am considering banning all evil allignments and chaotic neutral in my campaign. This is why...
1) Generally all the PC's are good natured and want to be rewarded with treasures because they are doing good deads of their own accord. They generally would follow evil to the ends of the earth to swat it out of the way. I also want to hedge out characters that like to shake up the town a little by breaking doors, and bones, in order to forcefully get some kind of quest.
2) I find it easier to DM for lawful characters than chaotic. Hell, I would rather DM Lawful Evil and Nuetral Evil characters mixed in with a group of paladins than a chaotic neutral and chaotic evil pair... Chaotic good does not bother me, because the only times they should normally break the law, is to help someone or to protect themselves.
3) Chaotic Neutral is always used as an excuse for evil deeds like burning down an inn that turned you away in my PC's eyes.
4) I feel better to reward a hero for killing the orcs that were raiding the mining camp. This is often when I would give out what appears to the characters to be a huge amount of treasure. Often the PC's that are chaotic neutral start inquiring "when will you pay me" and generally when they start doing that... for some reason the treasure they recieve starts dropping.
5) For some reason the last campaign I ran lasted 6 months (which I believe is a long time to run a campaign when all your players are horny teenagers trying to be "rebels" every day of their lives) and that campaign did not have the "chaotic Neutral" guys involved.
6) Campaigns previous to that campaign and those that I am playing now are not lasting a full week. At least once someone starts a rules fight with me each time (always the chaotic neutral guy) and I always end up turning the campaign into "the town guards are following you with spears" while the characters run around.
7) I feel bad to "pay" the characters for doing jobs. I would rather they do things of their own accord and I reward them.
My Take on Allignment is listed below----------
Neutral: The Neutral characters of the world do a job because it rewards them and provides them with what they need and want. The man that is a blacksmith because it is a job and it will allow him to get by is neutral. Neutral characters work for their own good instead of working towards general good like a good character would. Neutral characters would go form a gold mining camp because they know gold is worth having for trade, but not because there is a need for gold in the world.
Good: The Good characters of the world do whatever jobs, duties, or other activities in order to help others and would leave their jobs in order to fill jobs that take precedence such as a blacksmith that hears of a nearby mining camp that is being constantly raided and stolen from and decides that he should go to the aid of the miners. Good characters are often “rewarded” by the people they help instead of working directly for their own gain. If the Blacksmith decided to become a miner they may mine iron because the world desperately needs iron for the wars being fought to protect his country.
Evil: The Evil characters of the world take what is necessary in order to survive, and often is willing to take more. The Evil character probably can’t stand to be a blacksmith… but would love to steal from the blacksmith or the miners. The Evil character probably works for their own personal gain, but are the only ones who would choose to take the gold from the miners instead of mining it themselves.
So I ask the most experienced of you: what should I do? Should I cut off some of the allignments?
Now keep in mind, that nothing is going to happen yet, I just want to get support for where I stand. I want to go into our next "gameday" with a little bit of support for my opinion from people ouside the game. I am 100% sure that our next gameday will not be an actual game. I am going to line all the players up and I am not going to talk to them as a DM. We are going to be on equal terms and will discuss what we want to do instead of me telling them what I want them to do.
Which brings up my bad habit as a DM... when I wear that halo over my head that says DM I tell them what is going on. When I don't wear the DM halo I ask them what should go on.
That is probably the only bad thing I do when I game, I actually run some very open ended games, I just have this thing where I tell them how it is and expect them to follow it. That is why my solution is to have this "discussion" day coming up soon.
Monday, 11th March, 2002, 09:17 AM #2
Novice (Lvl 1)
Rule 0: The GM is always right.
Rule 0a: If a player ever voices an opinion to the contrary, hit the offender with a shovel and send them on the way.
Thus, if a GM asks all his players to play good or lawful-neutral types, and one doesn't want to comply, tell them to hit the road.
Monday, 11th March, 2002, 01:59 PM #3
Scout (Lvl 6)
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ø Ignore Psion
After losing my patience with CN characters who from all appearances are the result of players who merely want to dodge responsibility, I have a new policy: If you want to play a CN character, along with the character sheet you must provide me with a description of what motivations your character would have to participate in the kind of altruistic quests that mark my game.
If you cannot satisfy me that your character will fit into the group without me having to twist his arm session after session, you cannot play a CN character. Simple as that.The Secret Volcano Base - My gaming blog, currently featuring Freeport & Fantasy Craft
Storyteller 92% | Tactician 83% | Butt-Kicker 67% | Power Gamer 67% | Specialist 67% | Method Actor 67% | Casual Gamer 17%
The rules should serve the game, not vice-versa.
Use the rules, but don't let the rules use you!
Monday, 11th March, 2002, 02:12 PM #4
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
I like Psion's answer. It's blunt and to the point. Justify why the alignment choice is not just a 'I want to do whatever the hell I want for whatever reason I feel like at the time.' It's all to often a shortcut to CE for someone who doesn't think they'd be allowed to play CE.
CN -can- be fun though. I've had alot of fun with a Champion of Chaos type character. But that actually involved some planning and execution at times for certain plots.Black Omega
"On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
-- Charles Babbage (1791-1871)
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Monday, 11th March, 2002, 02:33 PM #5
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
I think Psion is right. I do that, but not only for CN character, for any character not good. And it works!
IMHO most CN players want to use the CN as an excuse to do everything they want, without worring about character internal logic. "He can do that, because he is CN"
Tuesday, 12th March, 2002, 05:27 PM #6
Novice (Lvl 1)
AHHH I don't want to start into an alignment debate (I'm still sure that this will become one) but I have played a CN character a couple of times. Yes you are liberated in a sense. You can do a certain amount of things with no concequnces. A one man quest to caue destruction and Anarcy is not CN it's CE. You should talk to your players before banning anything. Talk about alignment and what each of them mean. Maybe people are veiwing things the wronge way. They might not understand the alignment they are playing and should be playing something else. You as the dm can place any resrictions on your players. It's your right as a DM. You should also know that it's the players right to play in you game. If you start banning things you could find yourself dming yourself. In my campaing the dm doesn't like evil pcs. He views DnD as a heroic game and designs his campaings in that direction. CN can be very fun and it doesn't have to be a problem. It's a problem if you and your players make it one. For me I always have my character motivations in mind when I make a character. If a dm asked me to take a standardized test to tell him how I'm going to react to his npc's wife I'd tell him no. I'll tell you anything that you want to know about him but I'm not going to do a right up on him. My group usually begins each campaing with discribing characters physically and mentally, so in my group none of this is a problem. Playing a CN characters I've risked my characters life on a coin toss, Leaped on the back of a black dragon to desract it, was blinded by a nymph (tried to seduce her!), infiltrated an evil church for information, and stolen a dead halflings ruby eye (he was missing one and had a ruby stuck in his scull). All of this as a CN character. Get a lawful character to infultrate a evil church! Dead in 2.2 seconds.
Tuesday, 12th March, 2002, 05:50 PM #7
I have no problem with people who play a REAL chaotic neutral.
The people I have a problem with are the ones who say, "Can I play chaotic evil? No? How about if I play CN, and just do all the stuff I WOULD do if you let me play CE?"
You are, of course, entitled to your opinion.
When you offer it to me, I reserve the right to trade my own for it.
Turning 40: It's better than the alternative.
Tuesday, 12th March, 2002, 06:23 PM #8
Novice (Lvl 1)
Then you penalize them with ex or levels for switching alignments. If they have a prestige class that has a nonevil requirement they stop progressing in that class or they lose powers. I aways recommend talking to your players about issues like this. An open exchange of ideas and likes and dislikes can only make for a better campaing and better playing enviorment.
Tuesday, 12th March, 2002, 06:34 PM #9
Gallant (Lvl 3)
I'm with Psion and the others. I don't allow CN characters, simply because I'm so friggin' tired of it being used as an excuse or crutch by mentally lazy players who can't be bothered to play a consistent character or even a real "character".
Tuesday, 12th March, 2002, 06:38 PM #10
Novice (Lvl 1)
So you wouldn't allow someone who can play that alignment well to use it? That seems wronge.
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