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General The child stealing food to survive scenario, for alignment

FaerieGodfather

Aberrant Druid
They're wrong.

It doesnt bother me beyond that statement. As DM I have the ability to correct them. In real life I just find them hillarious and misguided.
Spend some time arguing that the alignment system actually creates murderhobos. You'll notice some common threads among your loudest opponents.
 

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Spend some time arguing that the alignment system actually creates murderhobos. You'll notice some common threads among your loudest opponents.
It doesnt create murderhobos.

Players will try and twist actions of even the most vilest evil into 'Good' actions because the game itself rewards murderhobos, and generally most DMs have a prohibition against Evil PCs.

Alignment doesnt create murderhobos at all. The system that rewards murder (with XP and loot) does. You could totally do away with alignment, and you're still gonna have players torturing, murdering and worse to get what they want.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
So using non-lethal force to stop a crime is "the vilest evil" now and my PC was a "murder hobo"? Talk about slippery slope.

Where's the line? Suppose a kid steals a bag and someone cries out "that's my life's savings?" Is it wrong to stop the kid?

Also, when did alignment become a straight jacket? Even though we didn't have traits and flaws written out back then, my PC leaned LN because he was very much a law-and-order type. It's why he leaned LN.

If my PC had risked killing the kid I could see a point. He didn't. He basically went for a ranged trip attack. A couple of bruises was a direct consequence of a criminal act. Maybe my PC could help the kid, maybe he couldn't. He'd never know if he didn't try. The only thing he did know was that he could prevent a theft.

Gah ... and now I've let myself get sucked back into a never-ending "you're wrong because I say so" argument. :confused:
 

NotAYakk

Legend
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.
You misunderstand.

The child isn't killed because they stole. Rather, the child is weak, killing it is trivial, and the CE person gets bread.

Bread is yummy.

A child who bought the bread is just as valid a target, but is more likely to result in consequences.

And yes, this also only applies if the CE person has a use for the bread.
 


So using non-lethal force to stop a crime is "the vilest evil" now and my PC was a "murder hobo"? Talk about slippery slope.
That wasnt me, and I doubt he was talking about you either.

Where's the line? Suppose a kid steals a bag and someone cries out "that's my life's savings?" Is it wrong to stop the kid?
No, of course not!

But a good person does so while being good (showing mercy, compassion, altruism and kindness).

Also, when did alignment become a straight jacket? Even though we didn't have traits and flaws written out back then, my PC leaned LN because he was very much a law-and-order type. It's why he leaned LN.
Alignment isnt a straight jacket. Im not telling you what to do based on your alignment; it's up to you to play your character. I'm simply judging your alignment based on your actions (through the eyes of Ao and the cosmic objective alignment).

It rarely matters in game, but your PC likely wouldnt get the benefits of a unicorns lair or a Talisman of Pure Good, unless he also did a lot of altruistic, charitable, kind and merciful things in addition to pegging warhammers at starving kids.

If my PC had risked killing the kid I could see a point. He didn't. He basically went for a ranged trip attack.
Your PC wouldnt know a 'ranged trip attack' if it hit him in the face. He literally just tossed a warhammer at a childs legs, trying to knock the kid to the ground without harming him too much.

Im not judging your actions and reasons for them here. Im judging your characters actions and motivations for them.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
So using non-lethal force to stop a crime is "the vilest evil" now and my PC was a "murder hobo"? Talk about slippery slope.
I think "threw a warhammer at a child" is the phrase you're looking for here. Because that's the in-character event that happened.

Also, when did alignment become a straight jacket?
It's not. You're free to do what you want whatever your alignment. That doesn't mean that your actions will be judged to match your alignment, though. Nor does it mean your rationalizations are convincing. There's a reason your fellow players were aghast.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
No, I dont.
Yes, you did in your post; you explicitly said I said the child was killed for stealing. You may no longer believe I said that, but your assumption of what I mean was wrong, which is a misunderstanding.

Ok, maybe you understood what I said, then deliberately misinterpreted what I said. Or responded to my post and instead of addressing what it said, erected a straw man and then responded to that.

I will admit I was charitible, and presumed that not to be the case.

And maybe there is another explanation that is too long to fit in the margins.


That must be it. My apologies, you have a completely reasonable cause for your post you just cannot express.
 

TaranTheWanderer

Adventurer
I think "threw a warhammer at a child" is the phrase you're looking for here. Because that's the in-character event that happened.
Combat rules are screwy and limited. If he was an expert hammer thrower I could see a situation where I would, as the DM say, "You want to use your hammer to 'subdue' the child? Sure. Here's the penalty to hit. If you do hit, and do enough damage to 'Take Out' the child, we can say that you throw your hammer in such a way that the kid trips over it and you can run up and grab him."

The description of how you take out the kid out is fluff.

I might also determine a consequence for failure. In the situation Oofta is describing, the DM didn't do that. Oofta also said that his character wouldn't have done it if there was a risk to the child. The DM was within his rights to say, "You can't do that without hurting the kid."

In the end, can a person make a poor judgment call and in the heat of the moment, do something with good intention to only, after the fact, realize it didn't turn out the way they'd thought it would? Can they do that without it affecting their alignment? People make bad judgement calls all the time. It doesn't mean they're bad people.

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.
I'm not sure if this answers the question at all. I don't really play my characters with alignment.

Who is passing judgement on the character's actions? Is it the DM? Is it the player? Is it the NPCs? Is it the table?

If I say my character stops the kid, reprimands him but then pays the shop-keeper, who is judging my character's alignment? My character might feel they did a good act by being merciful or they might kick themselves for, impulsively, being soft. Or they might be doing a merciful act as a show to make themselves look better in other's eyes.

The same action but, potentially, different alignments.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I think "threw a warhammer at a child" is the phrase you're looking for here. Because that's the in-character event that happened.
In real life that warhammer has a chance of killing or severely messing up that child. In this instance in the D&D campaign it didn't. Perhaps the DM's answer should have been, you think you can do that but if you miss you could kill the child. I think what's being objected to is not so much his response to the DM's ruling but the DM's ruling itself.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Your PC wouldnt know a 'ranged trip attack' if it hit him in the face. He literally just tossed a warhammer at a childs legs, trying to knock the kid to the ground without harming him too much.
I told the DM I wanted to throw my hammer so that it would knock him down without risk of killing him or doing serious harm He said yes. Was there any chance of killing the kid by doing this? He said no.

So stop making up a scenario that didn't happen and stop telling me what I and my DM thought was reasonable.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
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.
I think there is often a dilemma between what is good for an individual and what is good for society as a whole.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
There is also another side to this question. Is it good to follow evil laws? Is it good to follow good laws?
 

sorry but better recheck your parties alignments:
Myztek is clearly LE

Tyrsten is clearly CN

Cynare definitely CE absolutely

and finally Myska LN

you might disagree, but then you better play without alignment at all because these are not even border cases.
I definitely disagree, especially with your determination that Myztek is evil. A lawful good character could certainly believe that the law is the law, that no-one is above the law, and that good is served by letting the law deal with all lawbreakers.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I definitely disagree, especially with your determination that Myztek is evil. A lawful good character could certainly believe that the law is the law, that no-one is above the law, and that good is served by letting the law deal with all lawbreakers.
Haven't you been paying attention? Turning a child over to the proper authorities is apparently a vile and evil act. After all the kid will be worked to death as a slave and then fed to the dogs. Not necessarily in that order.

I can see exceptions to the general rule if the local authorities are CE, but really don't understand why punishing (or apparently even apprehending using nonlethal force) a criminal is an evil act if the criminal happens to be a juvenile.
 

Haven't you been paying attention? Turning a child over to the proper authorities is apparently a vile and evil act. After all the kid will be worked to death as a slave and then fed to the dogs. Not necessarily in that order.
Heh.

I guess this thread is another example of "Ask five gamers about alignment, get six different answers."
 

FaerieGodfather

Aberrant Druid
I definitely disagree, especially with your determination that Myztek is evil. A lawful good character could certainly believe that the law is the law, that no-one is above the law, and that good is served by letting the law deal with all lawbreakers.
That's because Lawful Good is an oxymoron.
 

Galandris

Adventurer
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.
The PHB states that "Lawful good (LG) creatures can be counted on to do the right thing as expected by society. Gold dragons, paladins, and most dwarves are lawful good." in the alignment section. So a LG character wouldn't necessarily have a moral struggle, depending on what society expects of him. If the society expects him to assist with arrest and detain suspects until the law enforcement arrives, then as a LG character, he would probably just do that. Or yell to warn the police if society doesn't ask private citizen to help the watch more actively.

I am not very satisfied with the wording of 5E, because it doesn't mention which society they are speaking of, as obviously not all society is good aligned, and the description is more fitting for LN characters in my opinion. But if the town they are in is good, then the above answer stands true IMHO.

Whether the society can, at the same time, be good and maim or kill children for theft is heavily dependant on your own definition of good and your views on morality.
 

I told the DM I wanted to throw my hammer so that it would knock him down without risk of killing him or doing serious harm He said yes. Was there any chance of killing the kid by doing this? He said no.
I'm not judging your actions. Its not important what you and the DM agreed to.

I'm judging your characters actions. You threw a warhammer at a hungry child, who was stealing a loaf of bread, trying to take his legs out from under him.

In game, there was no way for your character to know the child would not be hurt by your actions. None. And of course it was going to hurt the child 'non lethal' or otherwise. You were throwing a warhammer at a childs legs for Gods sake.

That's not going to tickle no matter how you want to spin it.
 
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cbwjm

Hero
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.
Lawful Good is still good. I think that a LG player could very well let the child go while paying the merchant themselves. That way the laws are satisfied and the child doesn't go hungry that day.
 

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