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    Canonfire :: View topic - Ghazal
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    Ghazal
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 09, 2003
    Posts: 1322
    From: Clarksville, TN

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    Mon Jun 13, 2022 12:38 pm  
    Ghazal

    The original Dungeon #30 adventure "Ghazal", and the much later Dungeon/Polyhedron article in May 2003, have the inhabitants as Lawful Evil, but worshipping Llerg. That makes no sense. Either make the Ghazlioon's alignment CE to coincide with their faith in Llerg (CN), or make them worshippers of Bralm, which fits in with the whole slaver thing anyway. Or is there some way this makes sense?
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2003
    Posts: 191
    From: Calgary, AB, Canada

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    Mon Jun 13, 2022 6:55 pm  

    One thing I like about 5E is that there is no longer a requirement for clerics to be within one step of their deity's alignment. In fact, there are few alignment requirements anywhere in the game.

    That opens up the possibilities as far as unusual sects of particular deities go. Does the deity have an alignment stamped on its forehead that it presents to worshippers? Do worshippers have the same, and need to match up for the one to accept the other? No? Perfect opportunity to create something that deviates from the norm.

    I am of the opinion that gods don't pay particularly close attention to the "alignments" (if there truly is such a thing) of petty mortals... especially of the non-heroic variety. Worship, regardless of who is doing it, is desirable to and empowers the deity. Perhaps these more orderly and slightly cold-hearted villagers see something in beasts that appeals to their values... perhaps it is the order and unquestioning docility of the herd of cows they are so keen to exploit as they are marched off to slaughter, or the hierarchy and order within a wolf pack (i.e., not all beasts are chaotic)?

    Don't get me started on real world religion, where people of all "alignments" (including many I would consider evil) claim to worship a god that allegedly is Good.

    Ultimately, it's all a matter of perspective and justification. Free yourself from the alignment straightjackets (even though I know it was a powerful thing back in the days of AD&D)! Laughing

    YMMV.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 09, 2003
    Posts: 1322
    From: Clarksville, TN

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    Tue Jun 14, 2022 2:39 pm  

    TwiceBorn wrote:
    One thing I like about 5E is that there is no longer a requirement for clerics to be within one step of their deity's alignment. In fact, there are few alignment requirements anywhere in the game.

    That opens up the possibilities as far as unusual sects of particular deities go. Does the deity have an alignment stamped on its forehead that it presents to worshippers? Do worshippers have the same, and need to match up for the one to accept the other? No? Perfect opportunity to create something that deviates from the norm.

    I am of the opinion that gods don't pay particularly close attention to the "alignments" (if there truly is such a thing) of petty mortals... especially of the non-heroic variety...YMMV.


    In some cases, that might be true. A blacksmith might not care what Bleredd's alignment is, or vice versa; Bleredd would be interested if he's a competent blacksmith. A criminal might not care what Norebo, Kurrell, or Olidammar's alignment is, etc.

    A different case would be those deities who are ethically/morally based: Pholtus, St. Cuthbert, Heironeous, etc. They don't want CN, NE, or CE worshippers, and those folks wouldn't have any interest in what those deities stand for.

    But for Ghazal, Llerg might not care, or even be particularly aware, of what a bunch of LE slavers think of him, but it doesn't really make a lot of sense that a bunch of LE slavers would worship Mr. Wild & Wooly, particularly since Bralm is a much better choice.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2003
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    Tue Jun 14, 2022 11:53 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:


    A different case would be those deities who are ethically/morally based: Pholtus, St. Cuthbert, Heironeous, etc. They don't want CN, NE, or CE worshippers, and those folks wouldn't have any interest in what those deities stand for.

    But for Ghazal, Llerg might not care, or even be particularly aware, of what a bunch of LE slavers think of him, but it doesn't really make a lot of sense that a bunch of LE slavers would worship Mr. Wild & Wooly, particularly since Bralm is a much better choice.


    I generally concur with you where Pholtus, St. Cuthbert, Heironeous, etc., are concerned. That said, I can easily imagine clerics or other worshippers who sincerely believe they are doing the good work of Pholtus or St. Cuthbert, but getting overzealous in their application (or distortion) of dogma to the point that their acts effectively become "evil." Would the patron deity in question notice? Many DMs would probably say yes and strip the cleric of his spells and powers until some sort of atonement has been made, which arguably is consistent with AD&D RAW. I tend to think the gods in GH are much more detached (including the "good" ones), and not constantly monitoring every single one of their thousands (millions?) of followers' behaviour. They are extremely powerful and work in mysterious ways... but I would argue that most are not omniscient.

    But I'm veering into tangential territory, so back to the question at hand. I haven't read the scenario in question, so may not have a satisfactory answer for you. Maybe not everyone in the WoG is aware of the full catalogue of deities available to worship as we DMs are? Perhaps some obscure cultist of Llerg impressed the slavers enough that they converted to the faith, not necessarily aware that another god, Bralm might be a "better fit"? That's even more likely to be the case if most of the slavers have Oeridian rather than Suloise roots, given that both Llerg and Bralm have Suloise origins.

    Anyway, that's how I would go about rationalizing it. Sometimes weird, unexpected things that don't fit their usual mold make for more interesting stories and characters.

    And if that really doesn't work for you (and fair enough if that's the case), changing the slavers' choice of deity should be straightforward... can't imagine it has that big an impact in the adventure, does it?
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 30, 2022
    Posts: 34
    From: France

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    Fri Jun 17, 2022 2:49 pm  

    TwiceBorn wrote:
    One thing I like about 5E is that there is no longer a requirement for clerics to be within one step of their deity's alignment. In fact, there are few alignment requirements anywhere in the game.

    That opens up the possibilities as far as unusual sects of particular deities go. Does the deity have an alignment stamped on its forehead that it presents to worshippers? Do worshippers have the same, and need to match up for the one to accept the other? No? Perfect opportunity to create something that deviates from the norm.

    I am of the opinion that gods don't pay particularly close attention to the "alignments" (if there truly is such a thing) of petty mortals... especially of the non-heroic variety. Worship, regardless of who is doing it, is desirable to and empowers the deity. Perhaps these more orderly and slightly cold-hearted villagers see something in beasts that appeals to their values... perhaps it is the order and unquestioning docility of the herd of cows they are so keen to exploit as they are marched off to slaughter, or the hierarchy and order within a wolf pack (i.e., not all beasts are chaotic)?

    Don't get me started on real world religion, where people of all "alignments" (including many I would consider evil) claim to worship a god that allegedly is Good.

    Ultimately, it's all a matter of perspective and justification. Free yourself from the alignment straightjackets (even though I know it was a powerful thing back in the days of AD&D)! Laughing

    YMMV.



    Very interesting discussion! What is a god? Where does his power come from? Does a god have an alignment? The alignment that his priests and followers give him. Or Gary Gygax? Death is Evil and the Sun is Good. Freedom is Chaotic. I remain amazed at the survival of alignment in D&D.
    Pholtus: LN. But some of his followers will be LB and some LE, and maybe Chaotic.
    In your case, these Suloise worship a god whose history and geography bring them closer together, but their commercial activity brings them closer to an LE alignment.
    Remember the Scarlet Brotherhood alignment in the 1983 box: LN. A mistake ? or the idea that a people does not have the alignment of a dominant sect. Most Sueloise deities are Neutral and many are Good.
    In my campaign, the gods draw their powers from their followers and especially from humans who have a choice. The Great Conflict has shifted to the choice humans make. Will a god refuse the prayers of his followers when those prayers give him more power? Yes, in the first editions where these powers are given at a certain level by divine servants and then by the god himself.
    Will a president refuse the votes of extremists to be elected? Sometimes yes but often no. The important thing is to be elected, even if it means having a totally different policy from certain voters. I
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3263
    From: Michigan

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    Sun Jun 19, 2022 10:03 am  

    In Dragon #89, Llerg's "worshipers' alignment" is given as "Barbarians, berserkers, chaotic neutrals, some druids." Only one of these things is an actual alignment in the usual game sense of the term: I take it to mean that Llerg is worshiped by barbarians and berserkers of any alignment, by true neutral druids (the only alignment druids were allowed to have in 1e), and by miscellaneous people of chaotic neutral alignment, who are not necessarily barbarians, berserkers, or druids.

    As an aside, I'm fascinated that Len Lakofka interpreted "alignment" to mean "what faction are they aligned with" rather than strictly "which of the moral and ethical outer planes are they aligned with" as is usual for D&D. Imagine writing "barbarians" on the alignment section of your character sheet and nothing else.

    You could instead interpret this as Llerg being worshiped exclusively by barbarians and berserkers of chaotic neutral alignment (and druids), but I don't think that's the intent and it's not in line with how the other Suel deities are written in Len Lakofka's articles. Most have multiple alignments allowed—for example, Fortubo is "lawful and neutral miners," while while Wee Jas is "highly intelligent lawful figures." Many of the Suel gods don't have formal worshiper alignments at all—Xerbo's worshipers' alignment is given simply as "fishermen and those living on sea coasts."

    Llerg, although he is of course a sapient being (intelligence and wisdom both 17 in his 1e stats), I think he's more animalistic in his moral nature rather than having a strong ethical opinion. To him, lawful evil beings are more organized and vicious than most kinds of animals, but it isn't in him to approve or disapprove of this, any more than he disapproves of the fact that wolves hunt in packs while bears tend to hunt alone, or that wolves are territorial while bears are not.

    For what it's worth, though, The Scarlet Brotherhood accessory gives Llerg's worshipers' alignment as strictly chaotic neutral or neutral, which is in line with Dragon #89's description but I think more narrow than it intended.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: May 12, 2005
    Posts: 896
    From: Woonsocket, RI, USA

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    Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:48 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    In Dragon #89, Llerg's "worshipers' alignment" is given as "Barbarians, berserkers, chaotic neutrals, some druids." Only one of these things is an actual alignment in the usual game sense of the term: I take it to mean that Llerg is worshiped by barbarians and berserkers of any alignment, by true neutral druids (the only alignment druids were allowed to have in 1e), and by miscellaneous people of chaotic neutral alignment, who are not necessarily barbarians, berserkers, or druids.

    As an aside, I'm fascinated that Len Lakofka interpreted "alignment" to mean "what faction are they aligned with" rather than strictly "which of the moral and ethical outer planes are they aligned with" as is usual for D&D. Imagine writing "barbarians" on the alignment section of your character sheet and nothing else.

    You could instead interpret this as Llerg being worshiped exclusively by barbarians and berserkers of chaotic neutral alignment (and druids), but I don't think that's the intent and it's not in line with how the other Suel deities are written in Len Lakofka's articles. Most have multiple alignments allowed—for example, Fortubo is "lawful and neutral miners," while while Wee Jas is "highly intelligent lawful figures." Many of the Suel gods don't have formal worshiper alignments at all—Xerbo's worshipers' alignment is given simply as "fishermen and those living on sea coasts."

    Llerg, although he is of course a sapient being (intelligence and wisdom both 17 in his 1e stats), I think he's more animalistic in his moral nature rather than having a strong ethical opinion. To him, lawful evil beings are more organized and vicious than most kinds of animals, but it isn't in him to approve or disapprove of this, any more than he disapproves of the fact that wolves hunt in packs while bears tend to hunt alone, or that wolves are territorial while bears are not.

    For what it's worth, though, The Scarlet Brotherhood accessory gives Llerg's worshipers' alignment as strictly chaotic neutral or neutral, which is in line with Dragon #89's description but I think more narrow than it intended.

    FWIW, in Len’s later writings (on some of the long-defunct Geocities pages), he gave Llerg’s worshippers’ alignment as any non-lawful. The OP’s problem isn’t with “Ghazal”, though, because the adventure makes no reference to the Tareg’s deities. It was only the later article in LGJ #21 that tied the LE Tareg to Llerg. When in doubt, I follow primacy of canon: Run the adventure as is, and disregard later material that contradicts it. If a deity is needed, then I agree Bralm would be a good fit.
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