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D&D 3E
Unfair Situation? 
17th-Mar-2005 02:57 am
Serious?
I just started playing in a new campaign. In the party there is a lawful good character, two neutral goods, and one chaotic good. The chaotic good character has all of these "brilliant" ideas in which all of the melee users (a.k.a. not her- she's a sorceress) go off to kill powerful creatures and once one or more of them are dead, she loots the room and nicely enough, the bodies of the other characters. Every chance she gets, she loots the rooms and lies about what she finds. She rarely shares but however, does some nice things to NPCs but otherwise is selfish as the day is long. I, along with another player, have called her on this and she says she's playing her alignment perfectly. Is this true?

Also, the DM is condoning this and even lets her keep special items everyone else doesn't even get to know about. Myself and the other players have minimal supplies (an average of oh, 50 gold?) and there has been an allusion that she's taken about 200 gold without our knowledge. I'm just wondering, is this fair? The DM doesn't seem to agree that her alignment conflicts with these behaviors. If this situation is unfair and the DM agrees, how should I handle it? This is maybe the 6th time I've ever played D&D. I don't want to seem confrontational or disagreeable but from the write-ups of chaotic and good... being this greedy and selfish doesn't seem right...

I'd appreciate the help.
-Di
Comments 
17th-Mar-2005 09:45 am (UTC)
Here's the thing asbout alignment. It shouldn't dictate character...in fact character should dictate alignment. Honestly those actions seemt o be more along the lines of chaotic neutral or neutral evil. As a DM I wouldn't force the character to change, but either make her role-playing feeling guilty, or if she doesn't....change her alignment accordingly.

Evil essentially is self-fishness. Self over others, where good = others over self. (barring extraordinary circumstances). Its a guideline, not a character concept or even modes iof actions. I've seen neutral evil played as a school yard bully, and a psycotic druid eco-terrorist. True neutral can be the good guy forced to do evil things, or the aloof uncaring person.

Chotic good is more like the vigilante (like Punisher), or the freedom fighter. chotic just means that they don't like rules, or that they the feel contrained by rules etc. That perhaps organization is not they key, but freedom and individual thought. etc. but they are inherently good....not selffish...so yeah...wrong alignment for actions described. I agree with ya!
17th-Mar-2005 09:48 am (UTC)
PCs stealign from PCs is the hardest thing to handle IC and OOC - sure you can accidently kill one with a fireball, but just dont steal their kit. I've seen this get out of hand. From what you describe, it doesnt sound like the sorceress is being particularly GOOD in her actions - particularly if this is a habitual thing she is doing. Self-serving and selfish are EVIL by DnD3e if played all the time - she's screwing over her companions for her own good. Have someone Detect evil and ask the DM what they see.

The player might argue that this is IC for a rogue/theif - but good shouldnt screw over comapnions. Personally, I could live with it if it was just skimming off some of the treasure for herself. Depends on the maturity of the group.

If the DM isnt clamping down on it or her actions, then just pass a note to him saying you are poisoning all of your potions... then let her steal away
17th-Mar-2005 09:54 am (UTC)
You know, if you really think about it, she's probably not playing her alignment that well. Based on the D&D alignment blurb, she could very well be a good character who is unfortunately selfish. But based on how you describe things, I picture her as the chaotic/neutral evil rogue that sits at the back of the party to 'protect us from a rear attack' while everyone else charges into battle.

I hope you got my point out of that.
17th-Mar-2005 10:33 am (UTC)
You could have just said it plainly without doing it all ARGish :P
17th-Mar-2005 11:43 am (UTC) - Re:
But I did.

I just had to add something else to it. ;)
17th-Mar-2005 11:45 am (UTC)
LOL

How fun LJ would be if everyone started doing that in all comments posted...


:D
17th-Mar-2005 03:56 pm (UTC) - Re:
It would likely be, if I can be so bold, a whole lot of fun. I know some people really would be pissed off about it.

:X
17th-Mar-2005 07:38 pm (UTC)
...but let's not get carried away here, as this could become some horrendous new craze.


:D
18th-Mar-2005 12:00 am (UTC) - Re:
Perhaps we should propogate this "Craze" as some flavor of test or meme, if someone finds a clever means of concealing its bastard origin, we might not have legions of netizens shouting "F YOU."
18th-Mar-2005 04:22 pm (UTC)
I really do think that's a bad idea. I mean, no one has to know about this. We should keep this low, I wouldn't want people to start doing it now.
17th-Mar-2005 10:21 am (UTC)
If the DM condones it, there's not a whole lot you can do, just try and talk with her out o character and let her know it's pissing you off. Alignment shouldn't be a justification for actions.
17th-Mar-2005 10:22 am (UTC)
Sorry this comment isn't related to your post, but I must say, you're icon is absolutely hilarious :)
17th-Mar-2005 02:21 pm (UTC) - Re:
I just glazed over it thinking, "Great, another HP icon. Freaking wee." Your comment made me pay attention to it, and I'm now crying from laughter.
17th-Mar-2005 07:35 pm (UTC)
I know, I couldn't stop laughing, and I was in the middle of a class too.


I was like, "Uhhh... whaaa? Serious? OH SIRIOUS ROFLMAO!!"
17th-Mar-2005 07:35 pm (UTC) - Re:
*sirius, rather.
18th-Mar-2005 06:55 am (UTC)
Finally got to see the movie just the other day and yup, that icon is indeed hilarious :)
17th-Mar-2005 10:32 am (UTC)
That's more or less an evil alignment, whether lawful or chaotic, she's definately evil.

I think you should suggest to the DM that her alignment changes, or she is penalized for playing her alignment incorrectly.
17th-Mar-2005 12:43 pm (UTC)
That is the reason I allow PVP
17th-Mar-2005 02:51 pm (UTC)
As has been discussed many times before, alignment is problematic. But I think the bigger problem seems to be your DM showing favoritism. I would bring that up with him; if he really is helping one player and screwing the rest, you have bigger problems than what two letters are written under "alignment" on your character sheet.

But I will mention that this sounds almost verbatim like the description of a NE character from the 2e DMG.
17th-Mar-2005 03:04 pm (UTC)
Good roleplayer: one who can find a good reason for sticking around with the team and makes for good party cohesion.

Bad roleplayer: One who sees Neutral to mean "i don't care" or chaotic to mean "sociopath".

THis person is being a jerk. if your characters are LG and seee someone blatantly stealing and then LYING about it, that's not exactly and evil act, but damn if it's not nice. Call her on it in game. LG can justifiably be a huge jerk when the time is right, and this is the right time.

Also, if she's good, she'd share. It's one thing to take the best loot for yourself, but a good wouldn't take all of it.
17th-Mar-2005 03:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, kinda looks Chaotic Neutral to me. Chaotic good I had always compared to Robin Hood.

But think about it this way, I'm sure your characters are starting to get suspicious of this other person when they find that everythings been ravaged and there's slim pickings for loot. (She's looting *as* you're fighting? o.0 Good grief.) Good or bad, if I was one of those characters I probably wouldn't stick around that person too long because I would wonder what their motives are/were. ^.~
17th-Mar-2005 05:28 pm (UTC)
It's more important to look at her motivation than her behavoir. If she is taking extra gold because she is supporting an orphanage and other characters might not see the importance of this to her, then her actions are indeed chaotic good.

If she seeks material wealth for selfish reasons, she is at best chaotic neutral.
17th-Mar-2005 06:07 pm (UTC)
Force an Alignment change to Selfish Evil and giggle when the Paladin casts Detect Evil.

*giggles as the paldin kicks her arse.*
17th-Mar-2005 06:21 pm (UTC)
This, to me, seems less a problem about alignment and more a problem about expectations of party cohesion. If the player's choice of character action makes the game less fun for you -- even if it's perfectly in character -- that's a problem. Talk to the player privately or as a group and come to some kind of agreement about what kind of game you want to play. If player-vs-player competition is not fun for most of your group, you probably ought to have a metagame rule that explains what is appropriate. Only the group as a whole can make such a "social contract" rule; it really has to come from consensus, not from the authority of the game master.
17th-Mar-2005 06:26 pm (UTC) - Role-Play Consequences
I recommend that your characters enter an adventuring compact. Give your terms and shares. Deal with division of magic items. Deal with what happens to equipment on death. Deal with resurrection issues and such. If your sorcerous friend violates the rules of division, she becomes a thief. When the thief is caught punish her severely under your compact. It is not evil to punish a thief, especially if the law (compact) gives you authority and is agreed upon by the thief. Set your punishment for whatever you all can agree on: reimbursement, reimbursement plus a fine, forfeit all goods, banishment from the group, cut off hand, or death.

Just bringing the subject up should give the offending player and the dm a clue as to the extent of the dissatisfaction.
17th-Mar-2005 07:35 pm (UTC)
1) Taking things from dead bodies isn't stealing, it's looting.
2) Not sharing doesn't fall under the category of evil, it falls under the category of being a jerk. There are more than enough good-hearted jerks in the world.
3) Sending others to do all the work while you stay back and let them die is not only jerk-like, it blurs the line between good and evil, because you're potentially letting your friends die.
4) Roleplay it. If you're fed up with her hanging back and taking everything for all the work that you've done: don't do any work. Stand behind her, let HER die, then kill the bad-guys, take their stuff, her stuff, and then, if you're feeling generous, get her Raised.


Being Chaotic Good doesn't mean that you remove yourself from combat, even if you're a spellcasting character. Letting your friends die is neutral -at best-, and combined with the greed (which isn't necessarily evil) it pushes it just a little bit too far.

This PC gets a large "Does not play well with others" stamp on the top of her character sheet, and fails Dungeogarten™.
17th-Mar-2005 07:43 pm (UTC)
I'm probably going to get jumped on here, but I feel like she's not NECESSARILY out-of-character for a Chaotic Good sorceror. General everyday selfishness is not evil. Dragons are famously avaricious, and many of them are good (Chaotic or otherwise). I think of evil as being willing to harm others for your own advantage (broadly speaking - obviously a lawful good paladin is willing to harm others, too, but let's just move on). Stealing from a rich merchant is not inherently evil. Stealing from a starving peasant so you can buy a new video game is.

Your characters are not, so far as I can tell, poor. You have gold, you have weapons and armor, you are not underfed. At fifty gold each, you're wealthier than 90% of your average medeival setting. So point number one: she may not consider that you are being harmed by her actions.

Point number two: don't confuse thoughtlessness with evil. Have you ever, in character, asked her for money? Or pointed out that you're feeling the financial pinch and you need to buy a new suit of armor / longbow / healing potion / whatever? Just because a character loots everything in sight and doesn't volunteer a split doesn't mean that they won't divide it if you ask nicely. She might just be unaware of the harm she's causing. (Although I get the impression that's not the case here).

Point number three: as has been mentioned, she might have a good reason to needing that gold - although, again, I gather this is not the case in this instance.

Point number four: and here's the kicker. It's my opinion that general day-to-day stuff doesn't really reveal alignment. It doesn't reveal one's true nature, it just reveals one's public face. It takes a moment of crisis, an actual test of character, to really prove who's what. If you're bleeding out at -5 HP and she won't cough up a healing potion, well. That's not Good. But the greedy scoundrel who cheats and swindles the party as a matter of course but then turns around and buys off the assassins who were about to murder you all, well, hey, it turns out he's got a Heart of Gold (i.e. Good) under there after all. If selfishness is one of her character traits, ask the GM to test it and see how far it really goes.
17th-Mar-2005 10:17 pm (UTC)
Just one major point to make: She's not just taking all the loot, she's lying about it. And with high enough bluff rolls that our characters have nary a clue.
17th-Mar-2005 11:19 pm (UTC)
General rule says: Sense Motive / Diplomacy / Bluff etc. doesn't work Player-to-Player ... that's mostly because it's too hard to roleplay. And because it results in situations like this.

Also: lying is a chaotic trait, not an evil trait.
17th-Mar-2005 11:39 pm (UTC)
Yes, but what about lying to steal from your comrades, who consistently support you, save your ass, etc.?

Anyway, my point was just that the DM feels sense motive and bluff are good enough tools to determine whether or not our characters suspect his thieving, and given that, we don't.
17th-Mar-2005 09:34 pm (UTC)
hrm...that seems more CN. But yet, alignments are a tricky thing, and in my group, fingers are constantly getting pointed at each other "That's not a neutral good thing to do!" "you wouldn't know how to play a good character if your life depended on it!" "You're planning too much for chaotic evil!" blah blah...
Oh the dysfunction.
17th-Mar-2005 10:27 pm (UTC)
My own two cents regarding the character (as Schwarzstern and I are playing in the same campaign):

1. She loots behind our backs, then lies about what she finds.
Example: she convinces our characters to attack a mimic (if only I'd remembered it was CR3!), then hung out in back casting magic missiles and finally attacking with her sling, and when only she, the psion, and the ranger were left standing (the paladin having been killed and me, the cleric, currently unconscious) ambled up to the mimic, pocketed a few gems (a topaz, a ruby, and something else I don't recall) and announced that it was empty.
Example 2: she goes and loots a room away from us- I think the rest of us were resting- comes back and reports that she found 212 gold. She offers to split her gold four ways: one share for her, one share apiece for myself and Schwarzstern, and one share for her celestial monkey that died in the attempt to get to the gold. Of course, she'd keep this last share. No mention of a share for our 3rd-or-higher-level NPC halfling ranger, who's been keeping us alive all this time.

Unfortunately, this means that while out of character we have a complete understanding of her thieving nature, in character we don't suspect a thing.

2. She claims a good alignment by virtue of her conduct in black-and-white situations. When presented with a solid choice of good-vs.-evil, she'll side with good.
Example: There are a bunch of imprisoned centaurs. She immediately tries to figure out how to free them (failing, but hey).

3. She does help- somewhat. She frequently summons celestial monkeys to test for traps and serve as distractions, and also uses magic missiles and acid splashes to kill off enemies.

I'd say chaotic neutral, but that's me. I could also see a character that is maybe neutral or chaotic evil, but who is trying to pass herself off as chaotic good. If this is the case, I can accept it, but I'm kind of ticked off at the guy playing her for creating a character designed to not work and play well with others. That's me- I tend to see D&D as more of a cooperative exercise.
17th-Mar-2005 11:22 pm (UTC)
I keep trying to think up fun ways to play Evil characters who still function with the group ... I've never had a chance to play one yet, though. For Lawful and Neutral evil characters, no problem. Chaotic Evil is harder (unless he's just madly in lust with someone else in the group, but that is likely to bring its own awkward situations up).

This is clearly causing OOG friction in your group, so it's a bad situation. I'm not convinced it's bad roleplaying, though.
17th-Mar-2005 11:42 pm (UTC)
Like I said- if his character really is supposed to be chaotic good, it's bad roleplaying; if it's not, it's shitty treatment of other players.
17th-Mar-2005 11:48 pm (UTC)
The way you both describe it she doesn't sound chaotic at all. Just based on the descriptions, she sounds Lawful (she seems to be very consistently applying the same "rules" to her character's actions) Evil (ultra-selfish). Since IC you have no idea, don't get pissed at her OOC. The DM should adjust her alignment in his notes, even if he doesn't tell her. It could be a good gaming session for the paladin to wake up one morning and notice that the sorcerer he's been allied with for a while turned evil overnight (remember that a paladin's free Detect Evil is always on). If the DM is unwilling to change his play style to accommodate his player's wishes, you can always quit if you feel strong enough about it. I quit a game I was in for about 4 months because the DM wouldn't allow me to attack another PC when, IC, I had very good reason to do so and it would have been IC for me to do it. That DM would not allow PvP except for area of effect spells that were primarily targeted at enemies (It was really bad to the point that if 3 players were around an enemy the wizard was not allowed to fireball the 4 of them even though the wizard and other players knew they could handle the fire damage and it would have been a good tactic against that enemy in that particular situation). I just don't play with that DM anymore, and most of my friends have done the same. He still gets to play in our games when we run them though.
20th-Mar-2005 03:47 am (UTC)
Given the above examples it does sound lawful... But she was lying about it. I had a Neutral evil character who behaved similarly.
18th-Mar-2005 08:30 am (UTC)
Probably this is a pointelss question, but I do wonder; have you tried saying, "no that's not fair, it should be shared out like this"? If they then said that that was ok, it would be an amusing character trait, that they were always trying to get a bit extra; even if not she is offering to share, even if it's in a less than ideal way, skimming off the top may not actually be evil even if it's a bit dodgy.

As for the way she's attacking with spells and sling etc that seems like the sane choice for a sorcerer, they aren't really supposed to be into melee combat as a rule.

I can see it being a bit annoying if you're always losing out but her being a bit greedy isn't really evil as long as you're getting something.
17th-Mar-2005 11:46 pm (UTC)
If I was the DM there would be an alignment shift to at least CN. If she keeps it up, it would become CE.

Putting your friends in harm's way is not "good".
17th-Mar-2005 11:47 pm (UTC)
As a player, I'd take the alignment hit and kill her myself.
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