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D&D 3E
good pirates? 
8th-Nov-2005 09:20 am
so i'm playing a chaotic neutral bard in the freeport setting (yar!). we just made it to level 6 but only 3 months of game time have gone by so we're all still very young. the human female fighter is 6th level, and she's only 16. the DM told us the characters (who really have no reason to asociate with each other now that the adventure has wrapped) to write up a history of what our pc's do for the next 3 years. he's doing this to give us an opportunity for character development, and i suppose, to get our chronological ages more in line with our abilities.

none of the characters in the party are good, we're all true neutral or chaotic neutral, and one of the players keeps passing notes to the DM so he may actually be evil for all i know. a few of the characters, mine in particular, have been slowly slipping toward evil. we ARE pirates but still... i've never played an evil character and i don't really like it.

i've decided to write an alignment change into my history. i can always just PLAY the character differently and i intend to. I'm doing the alignment change as sort of a reminder to myself to not kill people i don't need to, to not torture old crewmates just because its faster than interrogating them, that sort of thing.

but i'm having trouble reconciling what i'd like to do with the character with the alignment change. he IS a pirate after all. so i guess my two questions are:

1. how do you think a chaotic good pirate would act?

2. what do you think the key differences are between a Chaotic Good PC and a Chaotic Neutral PC?

the pc's previous history gives him a good reason to hate both merchants and the legitimate navy, so engaging in piracy against who he sees as evil bastards isn't a problem. but the way he does it, and the way he's been treating everyone else up until now is. I suppose i could just give him a loose moral code against killing without justification and against torture. and i imagine a good justification for killing could be "i tried to plunder your boat and you attacked me, so now i'm justified in killing you".

anyway what do you all think?
8th-Nov-2005 02:25 pm (UTC)
How do I think a Chaotic Good pirate would act?

Like Captain Jack Sparrow, of course!
8th-Nov-2005 02:53 pm (UTC)
I thought Jack was more Chaotic Neutral
8th-Nov-2005 03:02 pm (UTC)
I'd agree that Jack Sparrow was thoroughly neutral.
8th-Nov-2005 07:14 pm (UTC)
Well we can all agree that he was Chaotic, but I always saw him as doing the "right" thing rather than the "best" thing.

8th-Nov-2005 07:20 pm (UTC)
i think that for him, the right thing just happened to coincide with what was the best thing for him. although that last scene of the movie may prove you right. based on the feedback i've gotten here and on enworld, i think my problem is i've really been playing more CE than CN, and i may not need to go CG to change the pc around. this is the problem with the alignment system, to concrete on shifty things. but whatever.
8th-Nov-2005 07:42 pm (UTC)
He also agrees to help Will when he could have just sat around. And, he deals with that black chick captain person when he could have just stabbed her/pushed her off the dock/ignored her/et cetera.

Turning on Barbosa was definitely the most noticable moral difference, though.
9th-Nov-2005 10:10 am (UTC)
Jack will square his deals and he's not one to kill without necessity. If he kills Anamaria, then that's just evil. She certainly doesn't seem like the kind of girl one can ignore, and so he dealt with her to get her off his back. He's a fair pirate, if not lawful, and he might be teetering on good, but I'd still mark him CN.
8th-Nov-2005 07:43 pm (UTC)
But, yeah, I agree that too many CN play themselves as CE, or even NE sometimes.
8th-Nov-2005 02:31 pm (UTC)
You could probably Kidnap and ransom people instead of killing them. I had a great time with my druid pirate. Whenever we attacked a ship, I would entangle/knock unconscious/incapacitate as many people as possible, so we always ended up with tons of prisoners. It was great.

And the story element would be great! You could have him break in to kill a pirate only to find him holding his baby girl or something and have a change of heart.
8th-Nov-2005 02:41 pm (UTC)
Nothing to add execpt that I also play a Chaotic Neutral bard, around 6th level (I have a level of intermediate bloodline, and my guy is a tiefling).
8th-Nov-2005 02:48 pm (UTC)
Check out a history of Francis Drake and John Paul Jones. Thar be a couple o' good models for chaotic good pirates, depending on whose side yer on, matey. ARRRGH!
8th-Nov-2005 03:05 pm (UTC)
See, I'd consider Drake, who sailed with the blessings of the English crown, to be, if not Lawful, then at least neutral on the Lawful-Chaotic axis.
8th-Nov-2005 03:19 pm (UTC)
Possibly, but I think Letters of Marque were outlets for the chaotics of the society to vent and come home. Adherence to an advantageous rule is not necessarily lawful. "It's more of a guideline actually."
8th-Nov-2005 03:04 pm (UTC)
I think a Chaotic Good pirate would pick his targets to avoid harming the innocent or "the working man" and focus on corrupt government officials, non-good pirates, and robber-baron type wealthy people.

I would imagine he'd avoid robbing steerage-class passengers in ships his boarded, and would keep bloodshed to a minimum against non-pirate foes.

Basically, Robin Hood or Batman of the high seas.
8th-Nov-2005 03:09 pm (UTC)
1. how do you think a chaotic good pirate would act?

Robin Hood on the high seas. You attack other ships, but do it for a good cause.

2. what do you think the key differences are between a Chaotic Good PC and a Chaotic Neutral PC?

I'll mostly let other people handle this one. I tend to thing "how does my character act? Is that CG or CN?" instead of the other way around.

In my interpretation of the ever-vague alignment system is that good=doing stuff for others and evil=doing stuff for yourself. So if you sacrifice yourself for the sake of others, you're really good. If you sacrifice others for the sake of yourself, you're really evil. And then there's kind of a spectrum, with neutral being in the middle.

What I wouldn't do is play CN as insane. It always bugs me when people do that. Also when they say "I'm CN so I can do whatever I want!" Well, not exactly. No.

8th-Nov-2005 03:51 pm (UTC)
Robin Hood of the seas. Rob the rich, help the oppressed, drink fight and steal people's women the whole time.
8th-Nov-2005 04:51 pm (UTC)
Go rent "Captain Blood" (old Errol Flynn movie, but worth the watching) if you want to see a CG pirate in action. He's pretty much 'Robin Hood on the high seas'.

If you want a more recent example, Will Turner is probably CG while Jack Sparrow is CN. Barbosa is probably CE, although that's a fine line to be skirting.

I personally love CN characters. I generally play them acting on what seems like a good idea at the time. This means one uses common sense (jumping off bridges is stupid, unless the odds of survival are likely better by jumping than staying to fight the bad men) and one does what would be in the interest of the party or the PC, but if there's room for whimsy, use it. Sometimes she let prisoners go because she felt like it, and they'd gotten everything they needed from them. On one occasions, she killed a prisoner (again, after getting all the necessary info) because he annoyed her. A CG character wouldn't kill a prisoner for that reason, and would try to act under the perception of what is the common good.
8th-Nov-2005 05:43 pm (UTC)
Chaotic good help those that need help. Chaotic neutral help themselves. Chaotic evil stunt help.

Neutral evil and chaotic neutral are closely related. Neutral evil is, "I do whatever I want to get what I want." Chaotic neutral is, "I do whatever will get me what I want with the least amount of trouble." Chaotic good is, "I help the people that don't get what they want because the law or evil makes it so."

At least, that's always been my take on it.
8th-Nov-2005 10:58 pm (UTC)
well a decnte CG Pirate is RObin Hood with a boat. Simply put attacking only evil aligned ships or even other pirates but keeping most of the booty and giving the rest to the poor. Another version is a pirate who doesnt wish to hurt anyone and goes out of his weay to do so. He will even take pity and help people not get hurt.
9th-Nov-2005 10:16 am (UTC)
Help those who need it and make a point to stop evil when you can. Otherwise, be a pirate.
9th-Nov-2005 12:13 pm (UTC)
A- chaotic evil = dead men tell no tales
B- chaotic nutral= leave one alive to tell the tale,oh and maybe anyone else i like
C- chaotic good= leave everyone alive to tell the tale and be glad you freed them of the burdens of there heavy purses

or at least that my 2 cents
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