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Alignments and the Newbie
Posted on Thu, October 20, 2011 by LordCeb
Dark_Lord_Galen writes "The alignments are sometimes a challenge to the new player so back then I created a “list” of popular known character types that (IMO) defined the alignments.


Alignments and the “Newbie”
As I was working on preparations for the re-start of my campaign scheduled mid Oct, I was reminded of something I had done in years past when dealing with those that have never had any exposure to a role playing game when it came to “how to play certain alignments”.
The alignments are sometimes a challenge to the new player so back then I created a “list” of popular known character types that (IMO) defined the alignments.
 I thought it would be fun and interesting to revisit this list & supporting quotes. Note characters listed are based more on their depictions via Hollywood than history. Reasoning is we are defining temperaments not historical accuracies and it is more likely that the players have seen / read those versions than the historical ones.
LAWFUL GOOD-
PALADIN -Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (El Cid) 1961 Movie starring Charlton Heston.
·         Prince Sancho: [after Count Ordóñez betrays Prince Sancho in and ambush to kill El Cid] Kill him! El Cid: You will soon be a King, you must start to think like one, any man can kill, only a King can give life!
·         Moutamin: In my country, we have a name for a warrior with the vision to be just and the courage to show mercy. We call him... The Cid!
·         Moutamin: [after El Cid claims Valencia for the King] What a noble subject, if only he had a noble King.(because he could have claimed to rule the city for himself)
·         Challenges Count Gormaz  to a duel (for dishonoring his father’s name) even though he is the King’s champion and his betroths father. El Cid “I will ask you... only this last time. “(to apologize) Count Gormez”I see that courage and honor are not dead in Castile. And now I remember why I once thought you were worthy of my Chimene. Go home, Rodrigo. What glory is there for the King's champion in killing someone like you? “ El Cid”Can a man live... without honor? “ Count Gormez”No.” They Duel.
·         Lazerus”I thirst. Lord Knight, I thirst. There is no spring nearby from which a leper is allowed to drink. I'm thirsty.El Cid ”Here. It's for you. (gives him his water skin)” Lazerus” Thank you, my Cid.” El Cid” How do you know my name? “ Lazerus ”There is only one man in Spain who could humble a king... and would give a leper to drink from his own pouch.”

LAWFUL Puke (hehe)- Batman- TV Version starring  Adam West
·         Robin: "Boy! That was our closest call ever! I have to admit that I was pretty scared!" Batman: "I wasn't scared in the least." Robin: "Not at all?" Batman: "Haven't you noticed how we always escape the vicious ensnarement of our enemies?" Robin: "Yeah, because we're smarter than they are!" Batman: "I like to think it's because our hearts are pure."
·         Robin: "Venus seemed like a nice girl in that costume." Batman: "I suspect she is a nice girl down deep, but she's fallen in with bad companions. And who knows what her home life was like."
·         Catwoman: "Let no one say that Catwoman is not the best-dressed woman in the world."
·         Batman: "There are no fashion shows where you're going, Catwoman." Robin: "And how could a feline feloness like you also be a fashion model?" Batman: "Ah-ah. Give credit where credit is due, Robin. She may be evil, but she is attractive. You'll know more about that in a couple of years."

CHAOTIC GOOD-  Star Wars – Han Solo
·         Luke: But they're gonna kill her! Han Solo: Better her than me!
·         Han Solo: What good is a reward if you ain't around to use it? Besides, attacking that battle station is not my idea of courage. It's more like, suicide.
·         Luke: [angry] Okay. Take care of yourself Han. I guess that's what you're best at isn't it?
·         Greedo: You can tell that to Jabba. At best, he may only take your ship. Han Solo: Over my dead body!
Greedo: That's the idea... I've been looking forward to this for a long time. Han Solo: Yeah, I'll bet you have. [Han blasts Greedo, then heads out, tossing the bartender a coin] Han Solo: Sorry about the mess.
·         Luke: Rich, powerful. Listen, if you were to rescue her, the reward would be... Han Solo: What? Luke: Well, more wealth than you can imagine! Han Solo: I don't know, I can imagine quite a bit.
·         Princess Leia: Your friend is quite the mercenary. I wonder if he really cares about anything. Or anybody.

LAWFUL NEUTRAL- Dragnet- Sgt Joe Friday
·         Joe Friday: Hold it right there, Whirley. Police officer, you're under arrest. Reverend Jonathan Whirley: I beg your pardon, what is this? Some kind of a feeble joke?  Joe Friday: Oh, it's a real knee-slapper, friend, if you consider California Penal Code section 4A, 4207A, 597 and 217 Theft, Kidnapping and Attempted Murder something to laugh about.
·         Friday: Can you tell me how much a monthly run of your "magazine" is worth? Jerry Caesar: Well, let's just say it's more money than you'll ever see in your life. And I do that every month. Friday: At least my money is clean. Jerry Caesar: Why don't you go out there and get my magazines back on the stands where they belong? Friday: Listen, hotshot. I'm gonna tell you something right now. I don't care for you or for the putrid sludge you're troweling out. But until they change the laws and put you sleaze kings out of business, my job is to help you get back your stench ridden boxes of smut. And since I'll be doing it holding my nose, I'll be doing it with one hand.

NEUTRAL- Fast Times At Ridgemont High- Jeff Spicolli
·         Jeff Spicoli: Well, I'll tell you Stu, I did battle some humongous waves! But you know, just like I told the guy on ABC, "Danger is my business!"
·         Jeff Spicoli Wait a minute, there's no birthday party for me here! Hello, Mr. Hand. Mr. Hand: What's the reason for your truancy? Jeff Spicoli: Just couldn't make it on time.
·         Most limited intelligent Animals (ie dogs , horses)

CHAOTIC NEUTRAL- Conan the Barbarian-  Conan

·         Mongol General: Wrong! Conan! What is best in life? Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women. Mongol General: That is good! That is good.
·         Subotai: Hey, old man, where did you get this stuff? The Wizard: The dead... the gods are pleased with you, they will watch the battle. Conan: Are they going to help? The Wizard: No. Conan: Well, then tell them to stay out of the way.
·         Conan: Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that two stood against many. That's what's important! Valor pleases you, Crom... so grant me one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!
·         Subotai: Food... FOOD! I have not eaten for days. Conan: And who says you will?
·         Malak: I think we made the merchant angry. Conan: Are you surprised? Malak: But we didn't steal everything he had! Conan: We didn't have time.

NEUTRAL EVIL- Any Petty Thief i.e. car stealing etc.

LAWFUL EVIL- Star Wars- Darth Vader
  • "I find your lack of faith disturbing."
  • "Impressive. Most impressive. Obi-Wan has taught you well. You have controlled your fear. Now, release your anger. Only your hatred can destroy me."
  • "I've been waiting for you, Obi-wan. We meet again at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master."
  • You have failed me for the last time, Admiral.
  •  Feel the Power of the Dark Side.

    Contemporary Additions to My “new list”
CHAOTIC EVIL- The Joker- Batman The Dark Knight – Heath Ledger version
·         The Joker: Oh, you. You just couldn't let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You are truly incorruptible, aren't you? Huh? You won't kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won't kill you because you're just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever. Batman: You'll be in a padded cell forever. The Joker: Maybe we can share one. You know, they'll be doubling up, the rate this city's inhabitants are losing their minds.
Batman: This city just showed you that it's full of people ready to believe in good. The Joker: Until their spirit breaks completely. Until they get a good look at the real Harvey Dent and all the heroic things he's done. You didn't think I'd risk losing the battle for Gotham's soul in a fistfight with you? No. You need an ace in the hole. Mine's Harvey. Batman: What did you do?The Joker: I took Gotham's white knight and I brought him down to our level. It wasn't hard. You see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push! [the Joker laughs hysterically)
·         The Joker: [to Det. Stephens] Do you want to know why I use a knife? Guns are too quick. You can't savor all the... little emotions. In... you see, in their last moments, people show you who they really are. So in a way, I know your friends better than you ever did. Would you like to know which of them were cowards?
·         The Joker: [over the PA] Tonight you're all gonna be part of a social experiment. Through the magic of diesel fuel and ammonium nitrate, I'm ready right now to blow you all sky high. Anyone attempts to get off their boat, you all die. Each of you has a remote... to blow up the other boat. At midnight, I blow you all up. If, however, one of you presses the button, I'll let that boat live. So, who's it going to be: Harvey Dent's most wanted scumbag collection, or the sweet and innocent civilians? You choose... oh, and you might want to decide quickly, because the people on the other boat might not be so noble.
·         The Joker: Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It's fair!

CHAOTIC GOOD- Batman- Batman The Dark Knight movies
·         Batman: You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. I can do those things because I'm not a hero, like Dent. I killed those people. That's what I can be
·         The Joker: Don't talk like one of them, you're not! Even if you'd like to be. To them, you're just a freak, like me. They need you right now. But when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper. See, their morals, their code... it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you, when the chips are down, these... these civilized people will eat each other. See, I'm not a monster, I'm just ahead of the curve. Batman: [grabs Joker] Where's Dent? The Joker: You have all these rules and you think they'll save you! [slams into the wall] Batman: I have one rule.
The Joker: Oh, then that's the rule you'll have to break in order to know the truth. Batman: [getting impatient] Which is? The Joker: The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules and tonight you're gonna break your one rule. Batman: I'm considering it. The Joker: Oh, there's only minutes left, so you're gonna have to play my little game if you wanna save one of them. Batman: Them? The Joker: You know for awhile there, I thought you really were Dent. The way you threw yourself after her.
[Joker laughs, Batman throws Joker on table, barricades door] The Joker: Look at you go! Does Harvey know about you and his little bunny? Batman: [slams Joker into mirror] Where are they?The Joker: Killing is making a choice. Batman: [punches Joker] Where are they? The Joker: Choose between one life or the other. Your friend, the district attorney or his blushing bride-to-be... [punches Joker] The Joker: [laughs] You have nothing! Nothing to threaten me with, nothing to do with all your strength. [grabs Joker]
·         Lt. James Gordon: They'll hunt you. Batman: You'll hunt me. You'll condemn me. Set the dogs on me.
[Gordon takes the axe to the bat light] Batman: Because that's what needs to happen.
·         Bruce Wayne: Targeting me won't get their money back. I knew the mob wouldn't go down without a fight, but this is different. They crossed the line. Alfred Pennyworth: You crossed the line first, sir. You squeezed them, you hammered them to the point of desperation. And in their desperation they turned to a man they didn't fully understand.

CHAOTIC NEUTRAL- Pirates of the Caribbean
-Capt. Jack Sparrow
  • Worry about your own fortunes gentlemen. The deepest circle of hell is reserved for betrayers and mutineers.
  • Me? I’m dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It’s the honest ones you want to watch out for, because you can never predict when they’re going to do something incredibly… stupid.
  • Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate.
  • The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can’t do
  • Why should I side with any of you? Four of you have tried to kill me in the past… one of you succeeded.
These "avatars" paired with canon definitions should make the written definitions spark the imagination. El Cid with his piety and self sacrifice , Joe Friday with his exactness for the law, Han Solo and his profits vs friends, Vader and his devotions to the Dark Side, Jeff Spicolli and his carefree self motivations AND lastly Heath Ledger's Joker is a wonderful "agent of Chaos". As they say,,,,, pictures speak a thousand words. Even if they are only mental pictures.


"
 
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Re: Alignments and the Newbie (Score: 1)
by SirXaris on Thu, October 20, 2011
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Very good, Dark-Lord-Galen.

I was concerned that you listed Batman as LG at first, but see you listed his modern version as CG.  I do agree that his earlier tv version was much more goodie-two-shoes, but that largely reflected the cultural attitude of the day.  I think he is much better as the penultimate vigilante - doing good as he sees it without worrying too much about whether he's breaking the law or not to see justice done.

Superman might be the ultimate representative for LG, I think. 

I notice that you left out Neutral Good.  I think the Lone Ranger or Zorro might be good examples of the NG alignment.  Both men were determined to uphold just laws, but fought against unjust laws from underground positions rather than from within the legal establishment.

I'd also like to comment on your interpretation of Neutral Evil.  I agree that such neutrality may be the result of a lack of concern for whether or not an action is legal, but I think that many times neutrality is a more purposefully chosen path.  I've mentioned elsewhere how the US Constitution purposefully balances the greater good (lawfulness) with the rights of individuals (chaos).  The same goes for its evil counterpart.  Neutral Evil characters can work within the legal system to prevent that system from curbing their illegal activities.  The Mob might be a good example of NE in that respect.  In some respects, their organization is quite rigid, but they use the established system to protect themselves from their lawbreaking.

Thanks for posting the article.  It was very thought-provoking. :)

SirXaris



Re: Alignments and the Newbie (Score: 1)
by Argon on Fri, October 21, 2011
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DLG,

Surprisingly good! Your analogy of alignments is quite spot on. I've would of liked more info on the Neutral good and Evil aspects. Otherwise spot on.

Later

Argon



Re: Alignments and the Newbie (Score: 1)
by Cebrion on Sat, October 22, 2011
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Unless the early TV Batman was officially deputized, he's not Lawful Good at all. But, he is not Chaotic Good either, which puts him at Neutral Good- he brings evil doers to justice, but nearly always not usually by lawful means.  Neutral Good is all about upholding good, where by lawful or unlawful means, which pretty much describes the TV Batman perfectly.  Without a doubt he has strongly Lawful tendencies though.

The Dark Knight Batman is Chaotic Good with Neutral tendencies.  He is fully outside of the law and knows it, though will allow the law to do its thing most of time. However, this is not his major concern- solving problems for people who can't resolve them themselves is.  If helping people means letting villains die, then that is an option on the table.

Neutral Evil.  Your definition is way, way off.  This is not the alignment of the casual crook.  Neutral evil is PURE evil.  It is evil for evil's sake.  Law and chaos are irrelevant- they are tools to be used to achieve only one goal- EVIL.  This is the alignment of Tharizdun, Nerull, Incabulos, daemons, etc.  Not exactly a list of your average criminal ne're do wells there. :wink:  Petty thieves fall into the realm of the True Neutral or Chaotic Neutral alignment; perhaps with Chaotic and/or Evil tendencies depending on the nature of their crimes and base alignment).

True Neutral alignmen can be about two things.  The first is about upholding balance in one form or another, such as the purposeful neutrality of those seeking to live in balance with nature, or to uphold a moral/ethical balance in the world.  The "purposeful" bit is the key in this first interpretation.  The second is about a  a lack of concern(apathy would be too strong a word, though ti could be that too) with regards to Law, Chaos, Good, and Evil are concerned.  Animals practice this in its most basic form, and concepts such as Good, Evil, Law and Chaos do not even apply to them.  Higher thinking races can practice a lack of commitment to moral and ethical extremes as well, and without the reason for doing so being a cause or belief.  Admittedly, this will be very, very rare.



Re: Alignments and the Newbie (Score: 1)
by rickstr on Tue, May 08, 2012
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Excellent classification. I never thought that evil could be so much facets and categories. Great job

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