Align this character.

theredrobedwizard

First Post
I recently came across a character, and would like to get your opinions on his alignment. I'll list a few points on his morals and let the thread go on from there.

- He would never harm a child or defenseless person.
- He wants to save the world from a tyrannical and thoroughly evil organization.
- He'll give the shirt off his back to a stranger if that would help them.
- Staunchly loyal to his friends.
- Won't keep rewards from quests, preferring to give it back to the town or to another worthy cause.
- Uses torture as his primary questioning technique for prisoners.
- Has, on several occasions, beaten someone to death with their own limbs. (This was their punishment for a crime, most likely hurting children or the defenseless.)
- A fervent believer in eugenics, he has sterilized many useless or stupid people along his travels.
- Seduces women in every town he comes across, hoping to sire an army along the way (ala Ghengis Khan).

So, what's the verdict? I've heard every alignment offered up as an answer, so I'm eager to see what the bright minds of EN World have to say.

-TRRW
 

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DevoutlyApathetic

First Post
theredrobedwizard said:
- He would never harm a child or defenseless person.
- Uses torture as his primary questioning technique for prisoners.

You don't typically torture somebody until they are defenseless. The alignment system doesn't handle doublethink especially well.
 

DragonLancer

First Post
After reading that over and over for a few minutes, my assumption ends up being Lawful Neutral verging towards Lawful Good. We don't have enough infor to say definately but those traits for me seem predominantly good with a lawful bent. Its the torture and beating someone to death as a punishment, that tips me towards LN.
 

Dremmen

First Post
frankthedm said:
About LE, swinging toward LN

I'd say he is bumping into the Operative from Serenity in the afterlife.

hmm..I'm tempted to say LG. Were those tortured considered evil? How about the dismembered ones? And I can see a player making the argument that by sterilizing a few, you benefit the greater good..
 

DevoutlyApathetic

First Post
DragonLancer said:
After reading that over and over for a few minutes, my assumption ends up being Lawful Neutral verging towards Lawful Good. We don't have enough infor to say definately but those traits for me seem predominantly good with a lawful bent. Its the torture and beating someone to death as a punishment, that tips me towards LN.

Not the infliction of extreme suffering on others as a primary information gathering tool?

Nevermind the fact that he attempts to ostracize and financially cripple a long string of women for his own personal goals.
 

frankthedm

First Post
DevoutlyApathetic said:
You don't typically torture somebody until they are defenseless. The alignment system doesn't handle doublethink especially well.
Most likly "defenseless person" was refering to non combatants, while those who were being tortured were combat capable before being rendered 'defenseless' for the intent of interagation.
 

DragonLancer

First Post
DevoutlyApathetic said:
Not the infliction of extreme suffering on others as a primary information gathering tool?

I referenced that in my post. It was one reason why I shifted down to LN.

Nevermind the fact that he attempts to ostracize and financially cripple a long string of women for his own personal goals.

I don't see that as relevant to any alignment. Attempting to seduce and sleep with women is hardly a trait related to a specific alignment.
 

DevoutlyApathetic

First Post
DragonLancer said:
I referenced that in my post. It was one reason why I shifted down to LN.

When your primary method of information gathering ruins other people's lives it's tough to say you're "Neutral".

I don't see that as relevant to any alignment. Attempting to seduce and sleep with women is hardly a trait related to a specific alignment.

This depends somewhat on the setting but a pregnant woman who isn't supported by a man can be completely ostracized from society and unable to support herself financial during the late term of the pregnancy.

Wanting the sexings isn't evil. Securing sex with the intention of impregnating people for your own ends without regards to what happens to them is. Ranks highly on the selfish meter.

While the character in question obviously cares little for material wealth and would not fall under the typical "Selfish" label he is extremely selfish in regards to his goals. Quite willing to harm others as it's the simplest route to his goals.
 

robberbaron

First Post
I was going with LE until the last item. Siring an army seems a pretty self-centred thing to do which would be NE, but all the other stuff points to LE.

Basically, this character doesn't conform to the D&D alignment system.

Maybe he has multiple personalities.
 

DragonLancer

First Post
DevoutlyApathetic said:
When your primary method of information gathering ruins other people's lives it's tough to say you're "Neutral".

Welcome to the time of the inquisition. Suppoesedly doing good by torture and murder. But thats a discussion for another time. I see that being something suitable to a devoted "letter of the law, over the spirit of the law" dedicate LN.

This depends somewhat on the setting but a pregnant woman who isn't supported by a man can be completely ostracized from society and unable to support herself financial during the late term of the pregnancy.

You are assuming thats the case. We don't have that information. The setting/world of this character may be different and that she won't be ostracised. I think you are focussing too hard on this aspect.
 

DevoutlyApathetic

First Post
DragonLancer said:
Welcome to the time of the inquisition. Suppoesedly doing good by torture and murder. But thats a discussion for another time. I see that being something suitable to a devoted "letter of the law, over the spirit of the law" dedicate LN.

Absolutely nothing has been said that indicates the character is invested with authority by any legal body. All we know is he thinks the quickest way to find out who hired you is to inflict extreme amounts of pain. Is this how you think a cop should act?

Also I would seriously avoid calling the Inquisition into any moral discussion as a standard against which others may be measured.

You are assuming thats the case. We don't have that information. The setting/world of this character may be different and that she won't be ostracised. I think you are focussing too hard on this aspect.

At minimum she'll have 3 to 4 months of her life where she'll be incapable of performing useful labor and her body is used to grow a foot soldier for Mr Wonderful. Now add in the 15+ years of financially supporting a foot soldier to be.

This is if it's one of those rare cultures where this isn't extremely social frowned upon.
 

Kahuna Burger

First Post
Hmmm.... I'd peg him as PC - Player Chaotic. :uhoh: Very typical incompatible mish mash of easy "good" traits and evil when "something needs to get done" or the player wants to vent on the "bad guy". If he really needed an alignment he would be CE in my book - the chaos coming from his tendency to try to fool himself into thinking he's good.
 


Quartz

Hero
I think we need some information on the cultures and the deities in the campaign. By medieval standards, his behaviour would be LG - remember that torture was a standard technique - though his womanising, a somewhat chaotic bent, would prevent paladinhood. In Greyhawk, he'd likely be a LN worshipper of Hextor. By modern standards, he's all over the place, so a straight neutral fits best.
 

AnonymousOne

First Post
True Neutral, lawful neutral.

The aversion to tyranny lend s him to automatically distrust all state governance. However the term 'Lawful" could apply to a code of honor which this character ascribes to.
 

Squire James

First Post
I'm going to assume he did all these things as a true pattern of behavior, and none of these are something he did once or twice and got blown out of proportion (boy, I've seen that before!). His "baseline" actions appear Lawful Good, so I'll start him out as "paladin pure" Lawful Good and issue "strikes" for Chaotic or Evil behavior. Three strikes and he's out of Lawful Good. Here we go (WARNING: lots of subjective thought ahead!):

Let's start with the women. This is chaotic behavior in nearly all cases, since Law would (usually) dictate that a man should marry and stick to one woman. If he fails to leave means of support it would be slightly evil if the omission was intentional, or "true neutral and unwise" if accidental. None of this is strong enough to pull an otherwise Lawful Good person out of the alignment in my opinion. I'd call it "one strike" toward Chaotic.

The torture is clearly the worst of the offenses, and most likely to threaten the Lawful Good alignment. A pattern of this behavior would foul up Paladin status, though Grey Guards are practically expected to act like this. I call it "two strikes" toward Evil. Not enough to move the alignment by itself, but any reinforcement will do the trick.

The limb-beating itself is "value neutral" in my opinion. Fundamentally, it doesn't matter if he's using a severed limb or a sword to beat someone. What matters is the results. If he is dealing capital punishment to someone who "needs killing", then I see nothing evil or chaotic about it. Now, if he's KILLING people who ought not to be killed, this could be as serious as a full alignment change toward Chaos and Evil. I don't sense this to be the case, so for purposes of this discussion I'd say it's "neutral angry" and let it go at that.

The sterilization issue is probably what will provide that "final push" to another alignment. In my opinion the only situation where this is Lawful Good behavior (or enough so that I wouldn't count any "strikes") is if the subjects were rapists. For most stupid or useless men, their gonads is all they have left! It's not QUITE as bad as killing them, but really close. I'd call it "two strikes" toward Evil, possibly three. His behavior is quite Lawful Evil here.

My final assessment is: "one strike" toward Chaotic and "four strikes" toward Evil. This would land him in Lawful Neutral territory with "one stike" in both Chaos and Evil still outstanding.

Any thoughts on my analysis?
 

Tarek

Explorer
theredrobedwizard said:
I recently came across a character, and would like to get your opinions on his alignment. I'll list a few points on his morals and let the thread go on from there.

1 He would never harm a child or defenseless person.
2 He wants to save the world from a tyrannical and thoroughly evil organization.
3 He'll give the shirt off his back to a stranger if that would help them.
4 Staunchly loyal to his friends.
5 Won't keep rewards from quests, preferring to give it back to the town or to another worthy cause.
6 Uses torture as his primary questioning technique for prisoners.
7 Has, on several occasions, beaten someone to death with their own limbs. (This was their punishment for a crime, most likely hurting children or the defenseless.)
8 A fervent believer in eugenics, he has sterilized many useless or stupid people along his travels.
9 Seduces women in every town he comes across, hoping to sire an army along the way (ala Ghengis Khan).

So, what's the verdict? I've heard every alignment offered up as an answer, so I'm eager to see what the bright minds of EN World have to say.

-TRRW

1. Good.
2. Irrelevant. Motives don't matter for alignment, actions do.
3. Good.
4. Could be either Lawful or Chaotic. Conan was very loyal to his companions.
5. Good. Not an indicator of either law or chaos.
6. Evil.
7. Evil, probably chaotic, as judgements seem to be rendered on the spot and nothing given says anything about his authority to do so, if any.
8. Evil, probably chaotic, as again he is rendering judgement without due process.
9. Definitely chaotic, probably evil.

I would put this person at Chaotic Neutral, tending towards evil.

What most people forget about Chaotic ethics, is that a chaotic person can have a very strong code of conduct, it's just that the chaotic person does not feel bound by the values, beliefs, and laws of the society in which he lives.
 
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Kahuna Burger

First Post
Squire James said:
I'm going to assume he did all these things as a true pattern of behavior, and none of these are something he did once or twice and got blown out of proportion (boy, I've seen that before!). His "baseline" actions appear Lawful Good,
I disagree. Everything listed is a baseline action, and his lawful and good traits should not be given default status.

The torture is clearly the worst of the offenses, and most likely to threaten the Lawful Good alignment. A pattern of this behavior would foul up Paladin status, though Grey Guards are practically expected to act like this. I call it "two strikes" toward Evil. Not enough to move the alignment by itself, but any reinforcement will do the trick.

I, on the other hand consider torture as a default status to mean that the character is evil, and it would take a lot to move them towards neutral.

The limb-beating itself is "value neutral" in my opinion. Fundamentally, it doesn't matter if he's using a severed limb or a sword to beat someone. What matters is the results. If he is dealing capital punishment to someone who "needs killing", then I see nothing evil or chaotic about it. Now, if he's KILLING people who ought not to be killed, this could be as serious as a full alignment change toward Chaos and Evil. I don't sense this to be the case, so for purposes of this discussion I'd say it's "neutral angry" and let it go at that.

wow. I think that opening line needs to be sigged, but other than that....

I'd say beating someone to death is an evil form of execution as it involves more suffering than is needed to accomplish the goal of death. It is basicly torturing the person to death, more firmly establishing that character as a sadist. The fact that they are in agony from the loss of a limb at the same time adds a bit of gorey flavor.

Any thoughts on my analysis?
I disagree with both your starting point and the weight you give different factors. I would either start with him as an evil sadist and see if anything redeemed him or start with neutral and see which ways his traits pulled him.
 
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Will

First Post
I vote CE. No tendency about it.

He's a selfish bastard who happens to have high-minded ideals that he chooses to apply as he sees fit. Torturing as 'primary questioning technique' shows a casual attitude towards cruelty, beating someone to death with their own limbs is chaotic, eugenics is thoroughly evil, seducing women along the way is chaotic and possibly evil (does he lie and pressure them?).

By way of reference, I think it's perfectly possible to have a character with LG motives and goals who is thoroughly CE... typically, a revolutionary/committed warrior who will HAPPILY do anything and everything to save the kingdom, and doesn't see a contradiction between breaking the law to save the law.
 

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