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60

Rules citations: Animate Dead has the [evil] descriptor. "This is an evil act" is right there in the spell descriptor: Evil: Spells that draw upon evil powers or conjure creatures from evil-aligned planes or with the evil subtype should have the evil descriptor. Good Clerics can't cast [evil] spells: A cleric can't cast spells of an alignment ...


53

I'm working on the assumption that D&D alignment is an objective mechanic: in a world where alignments can grant magical power and create planes of existence, and a spell can tell the difference between a man who saves babies for Pelor and a man who eats babies for Pelor, alignment must be objective and intent counts for very little. This is a social ...


48

There's no such thing as senseless violence, according to the one who commits it. Characters who kill or torture without at least an internal justification are crazy, not evil. You don't have a reason to kill people in the party or at random, so you don't. This doesn't make you nonevil. Also remember that just because you're Evil doesn't mean you're a ...


44

Check This Part Thieves and gamblers, fast talkers and diplomats, bandits and bounty hunters, and explorers and investigators all might be considered rogues, as well as countless other professions that rely upon wits, prowess, or luck. Although many rogues favor cities and the innumerable opportunities of civilization[...] Class fluff is, for the most ...


41

In general in play they were ignored or just treated as an abstract language with no further comment. As to where they came from, here's an answer from Gary Gygax on Dragonsfoot! As D&D was being quantified and qualified by the publication of the supplemental rules booklets. I decided that Thieves' cant should not be the only secret language. Thus ...


37

No, it was not an evil act Was it a Good act? Probably not. But there's that N in the middle for the act to fall under. On the one hand, the pirates were helpless, and thus not an immediate threat. However, on the other hand, they were enemy combatants brought down by a legitimate weapon of war. If you weren't in the lawless wilds, a case might be made for ...


35

Definitely. It's easy to think of the I-kill-you-and-use-your-corpse, or the standard graverobber. But what about someone who actually seeks the consent of those bodies? The kingsguard wishes to continue serving even beyond their deaths, the elves wronged by the evil overlord wish to become warriors before they become fertilizer. Remember too that necromancy ...


35

Alignment is a mess, particularly Law and Chaos I am almost certain that you will never find two people who define Law and Chaos exactly the same way. The books definitely don’t; there are actually different definitions of each such that the same action or person could be equally described as Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic, because the different definitions ...


35

What he did was evil, but... In D&D, at least on the 3.x side, your perception of what you did doesn't matter - some acts are evil, some others are not. Assaulting the logger in a violent manner is an evil(-ish) act. While violence is a common way of "fixing things" in D&D, Good characters are expected to try to find a more... pacifistic resolution ...


32

Since Gary Gygax was the original "designer" let's look at what inspired his version and hence D&D's version of the Paladin. This is from a Collection of "Sources for D&D" that was compiled by Aardy R. DeVarque, who draws his source directly from the original 1st edition Dungeon Masters Guide. Paladin Class Based largely on the character of ...


31

Dungeons & Dragons-style Alignment is not cut out for this The characters in Game of Thrones are almost as complex as real people. Real people cannot be put in one of nine little boxes and call it done. Alignment in general is extremely problematic for a lot of games, but this one especially so. It’s just far too simplistic to handle a ...


30

There's two questions wrapped up together here that need to be separated: So if a character does something evil but they can justify their actions as good are they themselves still of a good alignment? If they commit an evil act, but it can be justified as good, is the act still evil? If a good-aligned person commits an evil act, are they still ...


29

Is drinking blood Evil? Even in the world of "objective morality" created by D&D alignment, drinking blood isn't necessarily Evil. Why? Animals drink blood. To them, it's just basic sustenance, no different from eating meat. Once you attach a metaphysical component to the act, though — I am drinking your blood in order to steal your courage, for ...


29

Of course, depending on your definition of necromancer. Can you be creating undead as a necromancer and stay good? No, that's an evil descriptor spell. Good clerics can't cast those at all, and good wizards can but like any evil act it'll move them from Good sooner or later. Can you cast the dozens of other necromancy spells that aren't evil, like Disrupt ...


28

Channeling negative energy isn't an Evil action by default the way some other powers are. Negative energy is the power of death, entropy, &c. In D&D3 and Pathfinder, it's often associated with baddies like evil clerics or the undead, but it isn't automatically straight-up capital-E Evil. For example, check the Harm spell, which is, like, the purest ...


24

The alignment system is not very good It doesn’t make a lot of sense, there are numerous cases where the suggestions for what is in each alignment are contradictory, it relies on the poorly-explained idea that there are objective, cosmic Goods and Evils and Chaoses and Laws. It works well enough for simple adventure-fantasy where we are the Good guys, ...


24

Half-dragon Alignment First of all, half-dragons are subject to the same alignment rules as their draconic parent: Alignment Same as the dragon variety. Just so that’s clear. Dragon Alignment, and creature alignment in general Dragons, like many creatures, have alignments that are listed as “Always” one thing or another. Black dragons are ...


24

Unfortunately, people have built up a weird set of expectations around alignment over time that make this hard to do. "Well if someone's Chaotic then they never follow any rule and don't put their pants on half the days and and..." I find the more effective way to treat the alignments is to realize that normal humans and humanoids are more lawful, chaotic, ...


23

A summoned monster's alignment only matters if you're a cleric. The summon monster spells are of the same alignment as the creature you summon (e.g. summoning a Dretch is a Chaotic and Evil spell). A cleric is forbidden from casting spells of alignment opposed to his alignment or his deity's alignment. A good-aligned wizard can freely summon fiendish ...


23

The fundamental problem in finding a model for chaotic evil group to use as a model is the chaotic part. Any historical evil with a large scale hierarchy is going to be lawful evil or neutral evil. The great evils of the 20th century: Stalin's Soviet Union, Mao's China, Pol Pot's Cambodia, and Hitler's Germany are all very organized states with hierarchy. ...


23

It really is up to you. There's nothing in the rules that'd prevent it - 4e doesn't enforce alignments. That's a departure from earlier editions, where alignments had mechanical meaning. In 4e, they are there purely for flavor and you don't need to worry about breaking something by changing them. There's nothing in the nature of goblins that makes them ...


21

Not all rogues are lawbreakers as strongly as the build describes. A good rogue can be like the Secret Service: Because they have all the detection skills they can be great at knowing when a trap/ambush is in the wings. Additionally, one extremely overlooked role of a rogue that's especially useful with the cleric cross-classing is the role of the ...


21

Alignment Usually Isn't Hard To Determine Alignment often isn't that hard to figure out anyway. Spells that can detect it are readily available, some classes (like Paladins) can detect evil as much as they want, and in certain cases you can discern it from their actions (a Cleric casting a Good spell can't be evil, because a Good type spell can't be cast by ...


20

The problem you’re facing is not really “your” problem so much as a problem with the system: no matter what you, or anyone else, think Chaos and Law mean, I guarantee you that there is no one in the world who shares exactly the same definition of it. Ultimately, Law and Chaos are very poorly defined – Wizards’ definitions of ...


20

Have you ever read Order of the Stick? I see that KRyan's used it in his answer, but it's a good example. However, in my games, I've used three different methods that work pretty well. You don't. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for letting players choose their character roles and archetypes, in fact I think it's the best thing you can do to facilitate a good ...


20

is there anything stopping the Good-aligned 'Necromancer'? There shouldn’t really be one anyway. Is there anything stopping you using Animate Objects, with or without Permanency, to affect a bunch of corpses? If so, what? And would that qualify as an Evil, Chaotic, or Neutral act? I believe corpses are objects, on the basis of the definition of an ...


19

I think your problem is not so much with his alignment as it is with his class- or specifically, his job. Not all rogues are thieves. I've seen the class be built many different ways- from charming con men to light on their feet boxers. But lets be honest- 90% of the players playing a rogue want to steal stuff and stab people in the back, and most approach ...


18

Yes, casting a spell with the [Evil] descriptor is an evil act. Always, by definition, as black letter law in the game rules. One [Alignment] act does not cause a character to change alignments. A pattern of [alignment] acts will change alignment. How many evil acts are required to change your alignment (or have other effects like removing paladin powers, ...


18

The question is a bit unclear and I’m not quite ready to delete my other answer since I’m not sure it’s inappropriate, but I think this would get lost in it and may be closer to what Zach wants, based on comments. Therefore, I am answering two questions here: How should I tell a player that he’s not playing a character the way he ...


18

The D&D gods are a pantheon I'll get into Vecna's personal issues later and how they make this weird, but a common mistake in trying to get a handle on the D&D pantheon is forgetting that pantheistic cultures have much more complicated relationships with their gods than monotheistic cultures. A Norseman might have felt particular kinship with Thor ...



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