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Good or Evil: intelligent creatures can make moral choices The alignment specified in a monster’s stat block is the default. Feel free to depart from it and change a monster’s alignment to suit the needs of your campaign. If you want a good‑aligned green dragon or an evil storm giant, there’s nothing stopping you (Basic Rules, DM, p.3/ MM p. 7). Short ...


106

tl;dr: With some exceptions (such as fiends, which are innately evil), alignment is a description of the moral outlook and attitude towards society of an individual. Racial tendencies are not hard and fast rules that apply to every member of the species. Creatures incapable of rational thought (including the baby in your example) cannot make moral choices ...


94

Don’t argue with him about his character, argue with him about the game itself He is never going to agree that his character would or should behave differently, or that what he did was bad roleplaying, or that what the rest of the party wants is what his character would or should have done. As far as he is concerned, he is the world’s sole expert on what ...


77

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 ...


77

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 opposed ...


74

So here's my issue: I like my character, I like our party, and I don't want to pull a 180 on my character and make him nice or throw away important motivations for him. Well, it sounds like your character just may be evil, or at least on the evil side of neutral. That doesn't mean he has to do evil things, especially if he has a reason not to. And, if he ...


68

You know you need to signpost your actions - but something I've learned in my /cough years of DMing is that often when I think I'm making something incredibly obvious, my players think I'm dropping tiny hints at best. You mentioned you're currently using things like letters on the dead guards and the actions of authorities. Do your players see these ...


65

Alignment is to a devil what matter is to a creature of the Prime Material. PHB p. 122 Alignment is an essential part of the nature of celestials and fiends. A devil does not choose to be lawful evil, and it doesn’t tend toward lawful evil, but rather it is lawful evil in its essence. If it somehow ceased to be lawful evil, it would cease to be a ...


63

Don't tell him how to roleplay Doing so would be a vast overstep in a social circle, as it would be telling someone how to play the game (taking control over the one thing they should have total control over). As a GM, you can tell him his character's alignment is changing While there is a lot of discussion and disagreement about alignment, almost ...


59

Here's the problem you are having: it doesn't actually make sense for your group to be adventuring together. There's a bunch of do-gooders plus one person who actively sabotages the rest of them. Why is that person on the team? Why are they friends? Of course the actual reason these characters are hanging out together is because the players are all sitting ...


57

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 ...


54

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 ...


47

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 ...


46

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 ...


46

The description in the MM seems to indicate that yes, all liches are necessarily evil: Wizards that seek lichdom must make bargains with fiends, evil gods, or other foul entities. [..] A lich must periodically feed souls to its phylactery to sustain the magic preserving its body and consciousness. [..] A creature imprisoned in the phylactery for ...


44

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 ...


43

Han Solo, Robin Hood, and the three Musketeers: all would be stereotypical Chaotic Good characters. And none would have a second thought about dispatching their prison guards, whether it's Stormtroopers, the sheriff's men, or a guard in the Bastille. So the first question would be: did they really act out of character? What would you have expected them to ...


43

You don't need to change anything As far as the rules are concerned, the alignment of NPCs is under the complete control of the DM. In the DM basic rules, page 3 under alignment, we are told (similar rules can be found in the monster manual): The alignment specified in a monster’s stat block is the default. Feel free to depart from it and change a ...


40

Some suggestions: Wanted posters. Historically, paper was expensive and many people in the middle ages weren't literate, but fantasy roleplaying games are not necessarily this historically accurate. There should be a poster with drawings or descriptions of the party and a bounty on their heads. Random NPCs fear them. Ordinary people, having heard the ...


39

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 good-...


39

To address the second part of your question, from the 5e Monster Manual, page 7: The alignment specified in a monster's stat block is the default. Feel free to depart from it and change a monster's alignment to suit the needs of your campaign. If you want a good-aligned green dragon or an evil storm giant, there's nothing stopping you. At least ...


38

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 ...


38

Nope, you're good. The rules for 5e allow for this kind of paladin all but explicitly. You should have no trouble making and running this character.


37

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 ...


37

The methodology I've settled on is as follows: The creature is the dominant inhabitant of the correct alignment plane (according to the Manual of the Planes). The Greyhawk (default setting for D&D 3.5) cosmology lists the Outer Planes that are keyed to the nine alignments. The creature has the appropriate alignment subtypes - an iconic Lawful Good ...


37

The DM decides what campaign he runs While it's true that roleplaying is a cooperative effort, and it's better to find a consensus... Your campaign is yours. It's your world. You decide how it works. So if every ork is evil in your campaign, then it's so. Your players may not like it, but they're not the GM, so there's that. That being said, while your are ...


36

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 ...


36

In AD&D, the cosmology of D&D which had gradually developed over the course of numerous publications was codified into the Planescape setting, which focused on adventures on the planes besides the Prime Material. The architecture of the cosmology focused on the “Great Wheel,” the sixteen planes surrounding the Outlands. These seventeen planes, ...


36

You're in Ravenloft, a setting designed around dread, horror, and the inevitable moral corruption of even the best good people, exploring the temple of the darkest forbidden knowledge in known existence… and you touched an Object of Power. This isn't your DM making things up, or messing with you with a “funny little aside”. This is “you have been infected ...


35

The term 'chaotic' is part of the alignment system in D&D. Within the alignment system, your personality and decision making is rated on two scales. One from good to evil, and the other from lawful to chaotic.From the D&D Player's Handbook (5e): Lawful good (LG) creatures can be counted on to do the right thing as expected by society. Gold ...


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