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General The child stealing food to survive scenario, for alignment

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
And I know plenty of people like this in real life (people who are arbitrarily violent, and fuelled by hatred) and they dont walk around randomly murdering kids, burning down taverns and similar.

Think of a violent street criminal, or an outlaw motorcycle gang member.

While CE certainly encompasses extreme cases like the Joker, or Darth Vader, or full on murderous psychopaths of the highest order, it also encompasses anyone who is fine with harming people (assault; even murder, slavery, torture etc) and who lives outside the law.

It's the latter (people who are just fine with harming others, and are also living outside the law, or with a disrespect for society, order and tradition) that compromise the majority of CE people, with 'Jokers' and 'Vaders' being the extreme outlier.
Isn't chaos more than just being outside the law and not respecting society, order and tradition, isn't it actively working against it and for it's destruction? And not only society at large's rules but the gang's and whatever code street criminals have as well?

How does NE not describe the gang or street criminals you mention? And doesn't Vader value the hierarchy? That also doesn't feel CE to me.
 

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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
What did you do to the kid exactly?

I presume you're playing a fully grown and heavily armed adult here.

If I saw an adult knocking a kid to the ground IRL, I'd look on aghast as well (like the other dudes at the table did).

Grabbing an urchin/ thief to stop them, or take them to the Law perhaps. Bashing them to the ground, hell no.
Asked the DM if I could throw my hammer in such a way as to not cause real damage but knock him down by hitting the back of his legs IIRC. I didn't have the speed to do a tackle.

But again, I'm just relaying how my character responded. He didn't use lethal force, he was an expert with the hammer, it was something outside the rules so I asked the DM if it would work.

If he had the option he would have just grappled the kid. If the DM had responded that there was a chance to kill the kid I wouldn't have done it.

I don't know why you have such an issue with this particular scenario: my PC was LG with strong LN tendencies. Theft is wrong, the kid was a criminal (even if it was a misdemeanor), I did not use lethal force. The kid got nothing more than a skinned knee and some minor bruising.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I presume you're playing a fully grown and heavily I saw an adult knocking a kid to the ground IRL, I'd look on aghast as well (like the other dudes at the table did).
But someone grabbing a running kid, maybe dislocating their arm or having them fall to their knees on the ground, and them invariably screaming something like "help I'm being kidnapped" wouldn't leave you aghast? :)

And, is this modern you, or pseudo-medieval you? Or would there be no difference in how you would view things?
 

Isn't chaos more than just being outside the law and not respecting society, order and tradition, isn't it actively working against it and for it's destruction?
Absolutely not.

Not every chaotic person is actively working to destroy order. A chaotic person is simply someone who is independent, has little or no respect for order or tradition and tends to be unpredictable.

Not every lawful person is actively working to destroy chaos either. They're simply people who respect honor, tradition and family, are dependable, resolute and follow a rather rigid code (often the legal code of the land, but not always).

And not only society at large's rules but the gang's and whatever code street criminals have as well?
Some 'codes' can be described as 'be chaotic'. The Sith code for example, in addition to the chaotic alignments themselves.

And doesn't Vader value the hierarchy?
What hierarchy? He exists outside the hierarchy, answering only to the Emperor who he is sworn (under the Sith code) to attempt to betray and murder, whom he actively attempts to recruit first Padme, then Luke to help him overthrow (plus in Legends Starkiller), before finally pegging him down a shaft himself.

He doesnt value the hierarchy. He only serves Palpatine out of anger and fear.

Vader literally exists outside the law. He never keeps his word, has no sense of honor, and no respect for tradition, destroying and betraying (in order) the Republic, Obi Wan, his own Wife, the Jedi, Lando Calrissian, the Empire, the Sith, the Emperor and plenty more.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
A chaotic person is simply someone who is independent, has little or no respect for order or tradition and tends to be unpredictable.
What would you say to a player who said those things about their character but argued it was Neutral because they wouldn't actively go against the law or tradition any more than they would go out of there way to follow it?
 

Asked the DM if I could throw my hammer in such a way as to not cause real damage but knock him down by hitting the back of his legs IIRC. I didn't have the speed to do a tackle.
Throwing a warhammer at an unarmed child?

Seriously man. Imagine watching a shopkeep toss a sledgehammer at a fleeing 8 year old.

Imagine it.

I don't know why you have such an issue with this particular scenario: my PC was LG with strong LN tendencies.
I have the same issue with it as did the others at your table. It seems a little excessive tossing a warhammer at a fleeing child (even if you were not trying to hurt the kid) on account of petty theft.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
What would you say to a player who said those things about their character but argued it was Neutral because they wouldn't actively go against the law or tradition any more than they would go out of there way to follow it?
They certainly could be. The Law-Chaos axis doesn’t often tell you what a character will and will not do. It’s more a question of why. A chaotic character can act in the same manner as a lawful character in the same instance, their lawful/chaotic bent will generally be more about their approach to the situation.
 

What would you say to a player who said those things about their character but argued it was Neutral because they wouldn't actively go against the law or tradition any more than they would go out of there way to follow it?
A neutral person (with respect to Law and Chaos) is someone who sits between those two definitions I provided above, however they may have leanings towards one side or another.

It would depend.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
LG - Systems with "remove the hand" almost always have a "geld" system. Arrest the child, pay the geld yourself.
LN - There is no obligation to turn in the child. Return the goods. If the child could be of use, use this as leverage.
LE - There is no obligation to turn in the child. Get the child arrested. Use threat of extreme punishment to find use for child, paying geld if worth it. Alternatively, see if the shop keeper is soft hearted, and extort shop keeper with threat to punish child to get something from shop keeper.
NG - "Accidentally" pay the merchant for the stolen goods.
N - None of your business
NE - Determine if the child could be useful. If yes, use LN or LE strategy to extort child.
CG - Steal more food for child.
CN - Tip over part of the shop keeper's cart to see what happens.
CE - Kill child, take bread.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Throwing a warhammer at an unarmed child?

Seriously man. Imagine watching a shopkeep toss a sledgehammer at a fleeing 8 year old.

Imagine it.



I have the same issue with it as did the others at your table. It seems a little excessive tossing a warhammer at a fleeing child (even if you were not trying to hurt the kid) on account of petty theft.
Meh. Theft is theft. It's a criminal act and wrong is wrong. My PC stopped a crime without doing lasting damage to the kid. Had a chance to find out how we could help the kid and if it was possible for them to turn their life around instead of falling into a life of crime.

Made sense to me. The psuedo-medieval world that is D&D is harsher than our 1st world 21st century.

Anyway, I'm done with this tangent. Have a good one!
 

FreeTheSlaves

Explorer
I would presume that if you confronted an actual starving child, they'd stop, or perhaps try to run, though not in a thought out manner - and would likely be unsuccessful versus an adult pursuer.

A grab might be needed initially, but just as likely not.

If on the other hand they fled with skill and guile, they'd likely be thief guild trained with a planned route, so the theft would be both targeted and the bread non-essential.

In this case you'd need to grab to restrain.

Really, I could see many LG characters simply not getting involved. Misdemeanors are commonplace and best dealt with through the law.
 

Meh. Theft is theft. It's a criminal act and wrong is wrong. My PC stopped a crime without doing lasting damage to the kid.
Other than tossing a warhammer at him, and the subsequent imprisonment, and cutting off of his hands or penal transportation or whatever the punishment for bread theft is.

He was stealing it because he was hungry and desperate from that hunger remember. A good person feels that pain and empathises/ sympathises with the child. They dont toss warhammers at them.

Made sense to me.
It's not your moral code we're discussing here; its the code of your PC.

Personally, I'd likely be tempted to note down in my notes (Oofta's alignment is now LN) if I was DMing. Not on account of this single act (although it does scream to me 'cares more about the law than he does about harming children' and pushes you very firmly towards moral neutrality) but on account of your other actions.

It sounds like you're be playing LN (good tendencies) rather than LG (neutral tendencies) with your whole 'break the law, suffer the punishment' black and white worldview here.
 


auburn2

Explorer
I brought this up in the other thread because I feel it a better thing to debate about alignment, especially the LG alignment than Orc babies.

What would a character do if they caught a poor street kid stealing food from a merchant in the city? The child is obviously quite poor impoverished and in poor health, so they are likely stealing to survive or to feed their family. The city most certainly has laws that could be harsh for the child now that they are caught, in that it could either be imprisonment or the child loses a hand. What would your character do in this situation now that they caught this little thief?

I think the answer is very obvious for what a NG or CG character would do, in that they'd at least let the child go. But for LG characters this might be more of an internal conflict to them.
Pay the merchant for the food, maybe a little extra for the trouble too and adminish the child. Tell him to "get a job" so he doesn't have to steal.

2nd option for LG Paladin or Cleric - Offer to let the kid go if they convert and join your flock. They will be saved and everything in their previous life is forgiven.
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Other than tossing a warhammer at him, and the subsequent imprisonment, and cutting off of his hands or penal transportation or whatever the punishment for bread theft is.

He was stealing it because he was hungry and desperate from that hunger remember. A good person feels that pain and empathises/ sympathises with the child. They dont toss warhammers at them.



It's not your moral code we're discussing here; its the code of your PC.

Personally, I'd likely be tempted to note down in my notes (Oofta's alignment is now LN) if I was DMing. Not on account of this single act (although it does scream to me 'cares more about the law than he does about harming children' and pushes you very firmly towards moral neutrality) but on account of your other actions.

It sounds like you're be playing LN (good tendencies) rather than LG (neutral tendencies) with your whole 'break the law, suffer the punishment' black and white worldview here.
So crime should not be stopped because I don't like the punishment? This was back in Living City (dear lord, I'm getting old) and the city was always represented as being good and just. My PC may have reacted differently elsewhere, though to be honest it was a split-second decision.

The next time the kid steals something he could end up dead if the shopkeeper overreacts.
 

So crime should not be stopped because I don't like the punishment?
That depends on the alignment of whom you ask doesnt it?

A LN person like (for example) Judge Dread (LN, however working for a dystopian LE regime) would say all crime should be punished, as would a LE Person. The LE person would favor harsh punishments and swift justice (capital and corporal punishment, kangaroo courts, no appeals etc).

A LG person however tempers his respect for the law, tradition and honour (Law) with mercy, charity, kindness and altruism (Good). He empathises with the child (who has no malice, and is only stealing because he's hungry).

LG Superman doesnt toss warhammers at children committing petty crime, or drag kids who steal bread before the authorities. LN Judge Dread certainly does however.
 


FaerieGodfather

Aberrant Druid
Throwing a warhammer at an unarmed child?

Seriously man. Imagine watching a shopkeep toss a sledgehammer at a fleeing 8 year old.

Imagine it.
Yeah. Now imagine dozens of people just like this, who define this act as Lawful Good, calling you a "moral relativist" for arguing that their absolute, objective standards of personal morality are abhorrent nonsense.
 

Well, sure, only if you won't get caught.
Not at all!

It makes no sense for a CE person to simply murder a child for stealing bread. They gain nothing from such an act.

Dont get me wrong here; psychotic serial killing child murderers are CE. But not all CE people are psychotic serial killing child murderers.

Rick Sanchez (CE) would find the whole thing funny. Darth Vader (CE) wouldnt care one iota, he has bigger fish to fry. Titus Pullo (CE) would congratulate the kid for his brazen theft, as would a Cleric of Cyric (who would also likely seek to recruit the kid). Even your average Gruumsh worshipping Orc (CE) wouldnt care, seeing as 'taking what you want' is totally fine to them.
 


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