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Aran

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Alignment shifts
« on: March 01, 2009, 02:25:23 PM »
I have recently come into the predicament that i am about to loose my alignment.

This in itself is of little concern if it wasent for the way it is come about.

i have the last 2 months  gotten about 10 evil points and as many chaotic points mainly for being what i am.

this can be ok, but my main concern (and most people knowing how i play aran) is the lack of balance in the focus on the evil/chaotic   and lack of focus on the Lawfull/good aspects.


i dont mind getting the evil/chaotic points when warranted but i would like the focus to be balanced out.
Im pretty sure i should have gotten as many good/lawfull points for all the rest of my playtime if the focus on the two sides were even.

if it is on purpose, i rest my case.

if its not perhaps there is a chance of a more even focus on the different aspects of alignment.
after all we are quite a few depending on our alignment.

Aran

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Zedrik

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2009, 04:53:28 PM »
I don't understand the alignment shift, personally. It seems entirely arbitrary.
Zaharia Arcos started out as Lawful Neutral. I made him to be the level-headed guard who puts the law of the land above all.
He generally dislikes guards who abuse their power, does not abuse his own power, and can only be seen as "evil" for allowing superiors to commit evil acts and following orders that are occasionally evil. I have never seen Arcos as evil and I don't play him that way. He went from LN to LE overnight for reasons I don't know.

Werner Kriegvogel, despite his public persona, commits far more good acts than Arcos has EVER committed evil acts. Werner is/was being influenced by several people into changing his ways. Over the course of real life months, he has gone from a demihuman-hating bigot to someone who isn't the least bit concerned about race (except to make jokes). He's gone from spiteful to sarcastic. He's gone from taking dead people's money and carrying on to taking dead people to the temple and even raising them on occasion. He's gone from antagonizing people because he hates them to trying to scare people into understanding the dangers of the night. Now. I don't believe any of this excuses the truly evil things he still does by any means. But using the same logic that made Arcos Evil, Werner should at least be True Neutral if not Chaotic Good by now.

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Vespertilio

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2009, 06:49:58 PM »
I've had experiences with alignment that I really didn't understand what the reasoning was either, some were good points for what I can only interpret as being with some one who did something that warranted good points, even though that character has in the last six months done a lot of what I consider non self serving or 'good' acts such as donating of money to local charity causes, helping total strangers wandered across who were in need and so on.   That particular character makes an active effort to try and 'do good' but hasn't literally gotten any less evil as per adjustments except one time where the other pc was given evil points and Jinx was given good.  I'm still at a loss as to why in that situation as it wasn't explained by the DM. Alignment shifts seem to be so highly subject to personal interpretation and situation and have always been a topic of heated discussion within DnD and NWN, I often wish they never had alignments simply repercussions for actions taken and choices made, but that's not how it is.  I'd say an alignment system is rather inherently flawed but it's the one that's used and it's always good to know why they points were given because it is such a subjective assessment, even among DMs I could see there being varied opinions of if act X was more evil or chaotic, etc and one DM might give points one way, another Dm differently or not at all.


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EO

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2009, 07:01:03 PM »
When in doubt, you can always ask the DM. Usually they'll tell you their reasoning for the shift. Sometimes it may be a misunderstanding, then the shift can be removed.

Chrisman888

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009, 07:38:56 PM »
When in doubt, you can always ask the DM. Usually they'll tell you their reasoning for the shift. Sometimes it may be a misunderstanding, then the shift can be removed.

I think what he means is, while there was a reasoning for the evil shift cause a DM happen too see the act at the time. There should be a shift for all the good he does, sadly a DM is only around to witness the evil.. resulting in a unbalanced alignment due to a DM not being around.

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2009, 08:13:22 PM »
I know of at least one incident with Aran in which Calor got a DP check (passed it by 1 point  :mrgreen: ) for accepting evil artifacts from Aran while Aran did not get any points for the good act of giving Calor evil artifacts to be destroyed. 

It didn't seem fair at the time and I agree there should be some balance.  I think there are several players in Aran's predicament and there should be some allowance made for them. 
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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2009, 11:36:27 PM »
  I've had characters shift in all directions, good and evil, lawful and chaotic, and it always made sense to me why I got those points at the time.  In the case of Wilhelms big shift towards evil, Macabre and I had a discussion oh the characyers reasoning, to decide whether 25 or 35 points would be more appropriate.

  Like EO said, ask the DM their reasoning for it, they'll generally give a very good answer for it.

  In Aran's case, though, if he's still a paladin of the morninglord, every day he doesn't walk into the sun at dawn could shift him towards chaotiic, since he's ignoring his vows to destroy all undead without mercy simply by continuing to exist.  A very chaotic act, ignoring the basic tenets of the faith.

Iconoclast

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2009, 11:43:55 PM »
I've also experienced alingment shifts in various directions, mostly towards the good and lawful since my time over the last year has been devoted mostly to Nell.

Carrib had a shift towards evil, which was appropriately handled by Mephisto.

This is a topic that the dm team has discussed now and then, and they do understand how they might not always have the full context, which helps determine when, if, or how an alingment is shifted.

And not every dm sees everying the same, as to how alingment shifts ought to work.  Some factor in intentionality, while others might not. 


As EO said, don't get hung up over it, just ask a dm about it, or ask one of your players' representatives to approach the dm team on the matter. 

I'm confident that if a dm has made a mistake, that the the dm team will remedy the situation appropriately.


Aran

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2009, 01:35:28 AM »
I am fully aware of the tenets of the faith.
But as an outlander i adhere to the Faerun tenets of lathander stating the followers must destroy any EVIL undead, and thus i am in no way conflicting with my faith, and neither is Calor.

the thoughts begind my actions are all in my biography, and can easely be explained.

I have tried to take up the point with various DM's at the point of the change so far without results.
Mac said he would take it up with the dm-board but i have gotten no feedback.

If you look at what aran have been through he is working to do good and uphold the tenets of the faith DESPITE his condition.
In my book that is harder than staying good and safe in the temple preaching the faith, yet i am 1 point away from loosing my paladinhood.

i merely want a discussion on this to see what the general opinion is.
As it is now i really feel my RP is getting dictated.

Best regards
Aran


Aran: Deceased......twice
Arakor: the void within that chills the heart
Markos Donarew: the broken husk
Bronk: ADHD
Marg: the silent hand that kills

Vespertilio

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2009, 02:02:57 AM »
My personal opinion is admittedly biased and my experiences are similar though they have not had the same severity of impact on my rp or it feeling forced.  I personally have done and continue to read a lot of resource material, ask a lot of questions via pms and take into consideration what is true to the character without ignoring what she's become or the weaknesses.  I have read resources detailing the concept such as the Liber Mortis which states on the subject of vampire spawn as player characters;

"Alignment: Vampire spawn are traditionally evil, though a DM may relax this restriction in a campaign that features undead player characters.  The innate selfishness of the typical vampire spawn makes a good alignment difficult to uphold."

Considering Aran's application dealt with a character that was a good aligned character I would think by default approving the application means the above was done, that the DM staff relaxed the "all vamps are evil" requirement for his becoming a spawn.  I'd say any character that has interacted with Aran would indeed agree the alignment has been difficult to uphold and as ThAnswer pointed out, rather one sided to hand out evil shifting points to the pc but never good ones for the many things the character has done which were good and also altruistically so.  If the pc is going to 'inexorably slide into corruption and evil' let that character's actions determine how and when that happens or doesn't by adjusting for good deeds as well as bad.

Something else perhaps the various Dms adjusting alignments might not be aware of, is the very real possibility that those points they give out are being added to by other DMs adjusting alignment to a character, and if they are all evil points and nothing for the good deeds, it doesn't take much time at all for the repercussions for actions to become unbalanced.






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Badbelly

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2009, 02:47:16 AM »
For me, the idea of having good aligned Vampires is to far of a stretch. I think all players who decide to turn their PC into a undead should be made aware that they will have to play a evil aligned character. As appealing as it may be to buck the trend of a evil vampire and RP out the player resisting his evil nature, i feel it is a dangerous road to travel down. Once the precedent is set that undead or other evil minions can infact remain good do to IC actions, we will soon have many players acting in a OOC way to perserve their alignment.  Undead have no mortal feelings, they are corrupt beings that have no resemblance of their former human emotions, thoughts or desires and should act in a way befitting that concept. They are also cold to the touch and lifeless. It may take some time for the Evilness to fully manifest itself but any attempt to stop the transformation should end up in futility. This is in no way a criticism of how the player has RP'd his character so far, but my two cents on the possibility of good alignment  vampires.

Zedrik

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2009, 03:05:48 AM »
For me, the idea of having good aligned Vampires is to far of a stretch. I think all players who decide to turn their PC into a undead should be made aware that they will have to play a evil aligned character. As appealing as it may be to buck the trend of a evil vampire and RP out the player resisting his evil nature, i feel it is a dangerous road to travel down. Once the precedent is set that undead or other evil minions can infact remain good do to IC actions, we will soon have many players acting in a OOC way to perserve their alignment.  Undead have no mortal feelings, they are corrupt beings that have no resemblance of their former human emotions, thoughts or desires and should act in a way befitting that concept. They are also cold to the touch and lifeless. It may take some time for the Evilness to fully manifest itself but any attempt to stop the transformation should end up in futility. This is in no way a criticism of how the player has RP'd his character so far, but my two cents on the possibility of good alignment  vampires.
The underlined italicized bolded text is untrue for many intelligent undead.
Quote from: Libris Mortis
Most intelligent undead retain enough memory of their former
lives to know that their acts are horrendous. Some may even
feel pangs of guilt, even going so far as to capriciously allow
surviving victims to go free. This act becomes more likely if the
undead is a feeder that has recently fed on its preferred morsel.
However, when the hunger mounts again, as it must, the undead
may curse its generosity, again seeking out those it previously
allowed to escape.

Warning: Don't provoke the high-level Falkovnian wizard. He bites. (And not in the good way.)

Vespertilio

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2009, 03:25:56 AM »
I'd say there is a vast difference between the npc monster and a player character monster.  Characters, all player characters, 'buck the trend', they stand out in some way from the npc populous as natives and even as outlanders.  There are 'off camera' literally cities full of possible npcs who live mundane lives, perhaps akin to our own real lives where we go to work, have a family and live non story worthy existences. Characters are by very definition individuals set apart from the npc crowd by having far more depth, experience and role play that eventually becomes an in character history and is built upon and shaped by events, experiences and repercussions for actions.

Each application for a monstrous template is considered as a case by case basis as far as my understanding goes.  This would have to include considerations for the core of the character's motivations, drives and beliefs.  Contrary to conventional wisdom not all monstrous applications are either planned upon character creation or an alternative to perma death, some are actually repercussions for actions and a continuation of that all to often referred to "story".


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Aran

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2009, 11:03:26 AM »
This thread is about alignment shifts, not about if anyone feel anyones alignment is apropriate or not  ;) we have a DM-team to evaluate applications for that remember  :)

It is merely about simple issues:

what warrants an alignment shift?

Is there similar focus on all the different alignment points? or is the giving out alignment points skewed ?

Aran

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Arakor: the void within that chills the heart
Markos Donarew: the broken husk
Bronk: ADHD
Marg: the silent hand that kills

Aran

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2009, 02:41:45 AM »

As a side note i will gently ask DM'tem to make sure they have the backgrounds and religions right if dealing out chaotic points for deviating off the path.

Lathander faith in Faerun (where aran is from) deal in destroying the EVIL undead.

Thus Aran dont differ from the faith in question, still opholds his lawfull ideals so far and in my opinion shouldnt be dealt Chaotic points just for being what he is (as he have gotten quite a few)

:-)
i might be wrong then correct me
but i do know my faith, i do know the history of it both ravenloft and faerun, and there are many more layers than usually percieved :-)

aran

Aran: Deceased......twice
Arakor: the void within that chills the heart
Markos Donarew: the broken husk
Bronk: ADHD
Marg: the silent hand that kills

Ryltar/ Robert Archer

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2009, 04:34:59 AM »
i should point out as this i reavelent unless it was changed recently there was a rulling/forum notice that anyone joining the ml faction would be following teh barovian faith not the lathander faith and would have to up hold those tenants if they were to remain in the faction i could be wrong on this if its changed but just saying

either way aran hopes after ya :P

as for alignment shifts in general in my case i've had a vareity of pcs all both good and evil at start and at end of there lives...in all cases it was warrented and in the case of florence for example she started CN and a bit after making her she went CE and by her final perma she had learned alot about the land and other things in general and had found what i consider redemption in ending NG through the use of events/stories/ just general rp

so from my experience in all cases there are reasons you get said shifts and as before said just ask away to the dms they usually tell you whats up

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2009, 04:44:02 AM »
  If Aran in his vows as lightcarrier swore to uphold the faith of the morninglord then that replaces his original worship of Lathander, which, I think, is the point Robert was making.

Aran

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2009, 11:42:11 AM »
As aran is not in the faith anymore, he was kicked by the accusations of having assaulted the von zeklos.
what he follow is his version of morninglord worship/lathander worship and should not be influenced by what some clergy might consider the true faith or right faith.

What matters in regards to being lowafull for me is staying true to what he believes, not hwat anyone else thing he ought to believe.


in arans view those claiming to know the right faith now in the ML faction actually differ more from the CG deity they claim to worship, by claiming to know the only right way of worship. :-)


i dont see the rest of the people there getting alignment shifts :-)

and i dont see all the clerics having changed faith one or more times being all chaotic.

Aran have followed the same teachings, and the same beliefs ever since he was created, even to the point of differing from the clergy.

Is that Chaotic ?

Aran

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Tarth

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2009, 11:46:10 AM »
I've ahd alignment shifts that I didn't 100% agree with but then again, since none of my classes are alignment based I've never been bothered and it never changed the way I played said character..

Paladins thought will always fall! always! :P

Heretic

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2009, 11:56:55 AM »
We have good reasons in giving you chaotic points; however, do not worry. They are hinters of your morality, not all has to do with your faith, but mostly related to context and current condition and Paladinhood.

Do not worry though, the crunch (Numbers on your sheet) wont have any affect on your story in terms of how Aran progresses from here forth; however understand that in Ravenloft, alignment isn't subjective to your point of view, but subjective to the point of view of the Dark Powers (DM's) and they are biased (The Dark powers) and lured by malevolent actions - also to note, that it isn't Lathander nor the Morninglord giving you your powers, but the Dark Powers themselves; so putting it in a way, you are at the mercy of the Dark Powers.

As an example; Each time Aran shifts into a bat, or takes on the mist form voluntarily; I will give him chaotic point hinters, its a hinter of morality. That's all there is to it. If Aran ever falls, he'd have received a lot of hinters of morality as to the reasons for doing so - but again, see the above, we wont have him fall due crunch, but put emphasis on the story.

Alignment in Ravenloft is much more black and white that in other settings by the book  - Ravenloft depends on this lack of ambiguity for the DM's to make their judgment calls to see what is Evil, chaotic and what isn't. Its very cut dry. Here's an example on the Evil - Good axis.



Quote from: Resumed [i]Evil[/i] acts; as per Ravenloft DMG
:arrow: Acts of Violence
Assault, Unprovoked
Assault, Grievous
Betrayal, Major
Betrayal, Minor
Extortion
Lying
Murder, Brutal
Murder, Nonbrutal
Theft, Grave Robbing
Theft, Major
Theft, Minor
Threats of Violence
Torture, Routine
Torture, Sadistic

 :arrow: Unholy Acts
Breaking a Tenet
Breaking an Oath
Breaking a Vow
Defilement
Desecration

 :arrow: Supernatural Evil
Laying a Curse
Casting an Evil or Necromantic Spell
Using an Evil Magic Item
Bearing an Evil Magic Item
Crafting an Evil Magic Item

Here's how Alignment works in Ravenloft as for how it is applied by the observer; DM's.

Quote from: Book of Vile Darkness, p5
The Objective approach

This is the straightforward approach taken in the D&D game, and it is the one stressed in this book as well. From this frame of reference, evil can be judged objectively. The evil nature of a creature, act, or item isnít relative to the person observing it; it just is evil or it isnít. This clear-cut definition allows spells such as holy smite to work. Conversely, an objective definition of evil exists because the detect evil spell works. Want to know whatís evil? Donít study a philosophy book, just watch who gets hurt when the cleric casts holy smite. Those creatures are evil. The things they do, generally speaking, are evil acts. If your character still isnít certain, he can summon a celestial creature or cast a commune spell and simply ask, ďIs this evil?Ē The higher powers are right there, ready to communicate. The Playerís Handbook says, ď ĎEvilí implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualm if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master.Ē

This objective approach to evil works well for fantasy roleplaying games. Evil is a thing that a hero can point at and know he must fight. An objective concept of evil allows players (and their characters) to avoid most ethical or moral quandaries, particularly the kinds that can derail a game session. If you run an adventure about fighting gnolls, you donít normally want the entire session consumed by a philosophical debate about whether killing gnolls is a good thing or a bad thing.

Note that the above doesn't mean there can't be a relativity in regards of alignment and how its applied, always good to have a cooperation between the DM and the players regarding what's on the sheet, but you shouldn't take OOC hinters of morality, nor as a punitive measure either. Its an in character hinter that is given to you by the dungeon master.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 12:01:51 PM by DM Heretic »

Aran

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2009, 12:15:05 PM »
Thanks heretic

noone ever really bothered explaining it

When you play a character you normally have a prtty good idea of where he is going alignment wise, with aran recently i have had no clue whatsoeer what would give points and what wouldnt, and no idea either as to what direction the points would go, as i have limited playing time and saw the change moove much more rapidly than i ever could have imagined i grew frustrated. (and sorry if this have given ya guys a hard time)

I am in the Dark powers mercy : :twisted:

but refuse to give in ;)

at least i have some sort of understanding now

doomed heroes unite

Aran

Aran: Deceased......twice
Arakor: the void within that chills the heart
Markos Donarew: the broken husk
Bronk: ADHD
Marg: the silent hand that kills

ThAnswr

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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2009, 01:10:30 PM »

As a side note i will gently ask DM'tem to make sure they have the backgrounds and religions right if dealing out chaotic points for deviating off the path.

Lathander faith in Faerun (where aran is from) deal in destroying the EVIL undead.

Thus Aran dont differ from the faith in question, still opholds his lawfull ideals so far and in my opinion shouldnt be dealt Chaotic points just for being what he is (as he have gotten quite a few)

:-)
i might be wrong then correct me
but i do know my faith, i do know the history of it both ravenloft and faerun, and there are many more layers than usually percieved :-)

aran

Since Aran is no longer a member of the ML faith, he shouldn'be judged by those oaths.  His oaths to the Lathander faith are now preeminent.  The Lathander faith clearly states "evil undead".  Therefore undead is not automatically evil.

OTOH, Crule's post concerning the ML faith and killing the undead clearly states "the foul undead". 

Quote
Destroy the foul undead wherever you find them, for they are the enemies of the dawn.

http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=4176.msg38445#msg38445

That impacts Calor.  Either the vows don't match ML faith or the ML faith doesn't match the vows. 

Spoiler: show
However, since the Dark Powers are omnipotent, they also know that if it wasn't for the good acts of a vampire, the ML faith would not exist.  Not one good act, but two.  Jandar Sunstar not only prevented Martyn Pellkar from being Strahd's dessert, he also helped Sasha Petrovich in his quest for the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind and his quest to destroy Strahd.  If Jandar had not intervened, both Martyn Pelkar and Sasha Petrovich would've been dead.  The ML's would not exist. 

While the ML's maybe up in arms about Calor's quest, the Dark Powers are not the ML's and they should know better.  Not only are vampires capable of good acts, it is one of the touchstones of Ravenloft. 


I think Aran's RP and alignment is being dictated and wrongly so given the true story of Ravenloft. 

I really think there should be a reevaluation of Aran's RP and a reevalutaion of the vampire class to reflect the reality that vampires are capable of performing good acts and the alignment shifts should reflect that. 
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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2009, 01:25:42 PM »
  If Aran in his vows as lightcarrier swore to uphold the faith of the morninglord then that replaces his original worship of Lathander, which, I think, is the point Robert was making.

You can leave the church or be asked to leave at any time.  Aran is no longer a member of the church.  Why he be bound by the vows of a church he doesn't belong to? 
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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2009, 01:45:45 PM »
In the end, its a dungeon masters' call.

My post sums up well the reasoning for the shifts and also stated that its not by the crunch that Aran's story will be influenced, no one is likewise playing Aran's character, nor dictating his Roleplay, his actions, I am sure he can agree, are his own.  :)

Of course, if Aran still disagrees, I am sure we can take it up privately to this point. If someone else disagrees with the dungeon masters' calls, you can also turn to the community council if you think your roleplay is being dictated, we look upon these issues and take them seriously.


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Re: Alignment shifts
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2009, 01:51:11 PM »
Just because he is kicked out of a church, doesn't mean his faith and vows are no more.

A cleric or paladin can still maintain his vows, if his faith remains in the god(dess). Bear in mind, not all faiths have churches, and just because some do. Only the God(dess) (Or DPs) can remove their powers, not a church.