Punishing Lawful good

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Hi All, I posted a few months ago, where my group were playing  Seekers of the Ashen crown in my own homebrew word not Eberron,
basically when conscriptred to join the quest the party insulted the captain of the guard and got into a fight with the city guard,
 basically They got their **** kicked and wewre more interested in getting revenge on the city guard than completing their quest,
The problem is 3 characters are unaligned and the party cleric is lawful good,
 The characters carried on with their quest but as explained in the module they return to sharn with the city guard looking for them as they have been betrayed by Tikulti
To give trhem a chanhce to roleplay or think of a situation to avoid a direct conflict with the city guard the pary travwelling by coach see the city guard at the gate searching eveery coach cart or traveller looking for the party,
So instead of thinking of a way to speak to the captain , sneak in disguise them selves etc the parties goliath unaligned barbarian walks straight up to the guardsmen armed to the teeth, when told to surrender and dropo his weapons he refuses so the guards lay about him trying to club him unconscious the whole party including lawful good cleric attack the city guard resulting into the mage setting light to one of the peasants carts with a fireball etc,
after a fierce fight all the city guard at the gate are killed of course the guard thinking its an assault on the city call in reinforcements, the party now outnumbered retreat taking a guard hostage abnd demand to talk to the captain,
so anyway its resolved but the clerics bishop and the wizards head of the school of magic have to enter the fray to calm the party down,
I feel though the other characters are unaligned so in fairness they can behave  how they wish but a lawful good cleric is behaving without honour, the city guard were misguided not evil. Violently attacking the guard setting light to innovcent citizens property and causing panic are not the actions of lawful good....


so how do i resolve this, If the cleric gets away with no punishment alignment becomes a mockeery, players acting beyond the law would certainly incur the wrath of their home city. they have ashturas blade so the city needs them to xcomplete the quest,


 


Also though the cleric is not acting true to his alignment how can I make him play it without just punishing him and the rest of the party getting scot free?

your suggestions would be welcome


 

First of all, alignment is only good for causing problems like this. It already is a mockery. Exactly what behavior were you expecting? Just because someone is Lawful Good doesn't mean they're the conscience or policeman of the group. He's entitled to join in the fun. You can't make him play Lawful Good if he doesn't want to.

Second of all, you're in Eberron which, even before 4th Edition gutted alignment, was well known as a world in which alignment was much less clear cut.

I think that's the key to this current dilemma. Retcon it so that the cleric was given very strict instructions by his order, ruler, and maybe some other hidden faction, to keep this group together, defending them, and involving himself in their conflicts, even when this is in direct conflict with the law. He can't be told why, but this behavior will be necessary for the greater good. From that perspective, his actions were lawful and good.

Finally, in the future, don't put them in a situation where they can act out like this. Put them in a dungeon or wilderness where there are just monsters around, or into a questionable city in Droaam, Q'Barra, Dhakaan, Xen'drik, or Riedra, where there are no honorable guards or innocent bystanders.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I'm guessing the cleric player succumed to peer pressure. The other players are unaligned and get to act however they want, and you're letting them do it. Without me being there to know for sure, it's possible they're really behaving chaotically if not quite evil yet using the "but I'm Unaligned so I can do whatever I want" excuse. They get away with it as you admit you are letting them off but want to teach the lawful good cleric a lesson. I'm not saying the lawful good cleric is completely innocent, whole and pure, but if he's the only one who gets bad consequences for his behavior, the player could start to think "Lawful Good? Forget that!".

The solution could just be as easy as: Take the cleric player's character sheet. Erase Lawful Good from the alignment spot. Write in Unaligned in the alignment spot. Erase and change the deity too if that's necessary. Give character sheet back to player. Everyone pretend that is what his character was the whole time. Continue playing.

Support Cedric Diggory, the real Hogwarts Champion!
Yeah, and Unaligned doesn't write you a blank check to do whatever you want.

Also, work out whatever you decide out of game. Maybe there will be a punishment, but don't impose it in-game without out-of-game discussion and agreement.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

In response to centauri's response the player wants to be respected and be part of a Lawful Good religion to gain the bonus of it,

Saying in the future trhat basically the party don't get involved in adventures like seekers of the ashen crown which i am enjoying DMing seems a bit weird,
my players and I have ben playing for 25 years and just to adventure in dungeons or wilderness that " you see a monster,I kill it" is the basis of the plot seems really simplistic,
 i like plot twists and intrigue, I for one would rather not DM than play just hack and slash, and as I'm the only one who has pretty much dmed in my group for years the other players are not inter estrdming and as D&d ers are pretty rare here in our part of England they are not the group to be able to get another DM to play with....
I think Navar 100 has made a good point and its not really peer pressure with the cleric, he really does not act in any way to suggest lawful good but is wants it gain the trust of npc#s
I think the alignment change and diety change is one of  the best ways to approach it as really he is just as mercenary and unaligned as the rest of the party.
The NPCs have no idea what alignment is, much less what HIS alignment is, so any attempt to claim 'NPCs trust me because I'm Lawful Good' is bullcrap of the highest degree.

My advice: Throw out alignment completely.  Erase it from every character sheet.  Then tell the players to develop a personality for their characters and play that instead of wasting time with a one or two word catchphrase on their sheet and pretending that could possibly be the sum total of roleplay.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
In response to centauri's response the player wants to be respected and be part of a Lawful Good religion to gain the bonus of it,

Well, I still think alignment is a joke, but one thing you can do is talk to the player and suggest that a plausible effect of his choices would be for any bonuses from his religion, such as feats that require a certain alignment, not function. But don't just impose that.

Saying in the future trhat basically the party don't get involved in adventures like seekers of the ashen crown which i am enjoying DMing seems a bit weird,

And saying I said that seems a bit disingenuous.

I'm not familiar with that module, but I would bet almost anything that you can run it without any confrontation with any guards. I also imagine you could keep out of any lawful areas and still have the adventure work fine.

my players and I have ben playing for 25 years and just to adventure in dungeons or wilderness that " you see a monster,I kill it" is the basis of the plot seems really simplistic,

They're the ones that freaked out on the city guards. If they didn't want to do that, they wouldn't have.

i like plot twists and intrigue, I for one would rather not DM than play just hack and slash,

You can do non-hack-and-slash without giving them the opportunity to get themselves into trouble. Just pit everyone against them.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

If he's claiming to follow a religion to gain its bonuses then there's an easy fix to this. Whatever diety he's following, is likely Lawful Good as well, and said diety will not appreciate such an out of line cleric. Remember the whole "disobey and lose your powers" thing? What's stopping this god from relinquishing the cleric from his divine abilities? They are granted by that god after all. If he keeps this up, he'll have to settle for just beating things senseless with a mishapen stick until he straightens up.
If he's claiming to follow a religion to gain its bonuses then there's an easy fix to this. Whatever diety he's following, is likely Lawful Good as well, and said diety will not appreciate such an out of line cleric. Remember the whole "disobey and lose your powers" thing? What's stopping this god from relinquishing the cleric from his divine abilities? They are granted by that god after all. If he keeps this up, he'll have to settle for just beating things senseless with a mishapen stick until he straightens up.



1. This is Eberron.  The existence of gods is questionable.  If they even do exist, they do not visibly interfere with the functioning of the world.

2. The rules in the PHB state that once you're a cleric (or other divine class), the powers are yours to keep regardless of your behavior.  That simply doesn't happen.

However, there is a very good chance that the religious organization itself will object to his behavior and there would be consequences from that front.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.

1. This is Eberron.  The existence of gods is questionable.  If they even do exist, they do not visibly interfere with the functioning of the world.


Hi All, I posted a few months ago, where my group were playing  Seekers of the Ashen crown in my own homebrew word not Eberron


Sort of surprised everyone seemed to have missed that. Just a small note.

2. The rules in the PHB state that once you're a cleric (or other divine class), the powers are yours to keep regardless of your behavior.  That simply doesn't happen.

Touche.

However, there is a very good chance that the religious organization itself will object to his behavior and there would be consequences from that front.

I like this one. Ostracized from the order or even branded a heretic, culminating in a denial of services as a result, perhaps?
Sort of surprised everyone seemed to have missed that. Just a small note.

Yeah, I missed that.
However, there is a very good chance that the religious organization itself will object to his behavior and there would be consequences from that front.

I like this one. Ostracized from the order or even branded a heretic, culminating in a denial of services as a result, perhaps?

Sure, but it should only happen after a discussion with the player. As a strictly in-game consequence I highly doubt it would do anything but exacerbate the unwanted behavior.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I'm new to 4ed and have not DMed this version yet.  However, I have DMed other editions and always enforced alignment.  Since this is not Eberron you do have the option to enforce alignment.  I think alignment is horribly broken in this edition, especially not allowing a deity to revoke the powers he/she/it bestows upon their followers!  I agree with Salla that the order could lay down consequences for his actions.  It would need to be fair and fit the crime.  He might have to go on a holy quest to atone for his actions.  Personally, I think if you don't enforce the alignment you might as well erase it from all the character sheets.  It doesn't really matter that the other PCs don't face the consequences.  They are in fact unaligned so shouldn't have to worry about it.  However, if they are without their main source of healing because he has to do penance for some shenanigans they got him into maybe they will not be so enthusiastic to run amok next time.

“Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!”
> not allowing a deity to revoke the powers he/she/it bestows upon their
> followers!

A PC's powers aren't bestowed upon them by a deity, so there's nothing for the deity to revoke.
Since this is not Eberron you do have the option to enforce alignment.

Sure you do. You always have.

I think alignment is horribly broken in this edition

It's not broken; it was deliberately designed to have next to no effect.

Personally, I think if you don't enforce the alignment you might as well erase it from all the character sheets.

Yep.

It doesn't really matter that the other PCs don't face the consequences.  They are in fact unaligned so shouldn't have to worry about it.

Pretty sure that's not the intention behind that. Unaligned characters can still have patrons they work for, or other people who don't appreciate their actions. Come to that, a lawful good character needn't be allied with an organization, so you're lucky you have that in this case.

However, if they are without their main source of healing because he has to do penance for some shenanigans they got him into maybe they will not be so enthusiastic to run amok next time.

Best of luck. Make sure you talk about this out of game, too.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

>  A PC's powers aren't bestowed upon them by a deity, so there's nothing for the deity to revoke.


Cleric powers in previous editions were stripped when the PC acted out of alignment and was an easy way to enforce alignment. You act up, you lose your powers. You want to play a different way, you better choose a different god with different powers to worship. Although I've never had a lawful good character go quite so far off the rails. It would usually be a small bump as a warning that they better start thinking about the consequences of their actions.

You can't force a player to play a certain way, only show him consequences. If you had not cooled down the situation, they would have learned why you don't go on killing sprees. 
3.x Faithful.
I'm not trying to start an argument but, why have a rule (option, what have you) at all if it is "deliberately designed to have no effect"?  It is a pointless waste of ink and paper to print such fluff.

What is the intention of the unaligned?  What difference does it make to have patrons when those patrons are powerless to rebuke them for their actions. I do get your meaning though.  Being unaligned does not mean you can do whatever you want.  I didn't convey my point very well in that post.  What I meant was it doesn't matter if they face an obvious in-game consequence for this particular action.  The point is the Lawful Good Cleric does.

Lawful Good Clerics tend to belong to religious orders or organizations.  Of course this is a generalization not an absolute.  In this case the bishop of his order had to get involved so it is the perfect opportunity to enforce the consequence.

I do suggest that you talk this out out-of-game first.  Then lay down the consequence in-game and let the player role play through it.  Once again it should be in-line with the offence.  From the description of the events he was not the main instigator.  Things just got out of hand.  So a side quest would do nicely to get him back in good graces with his religious order.
“Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!”
> not allowing a deity to revoke the powers he/she/it bestows upon their > followers! A PC's powers aren't bestowed upon them by a deity, so there's nothing for the deity to revoke.



Umm, they are devine powers, so, yeah they are. 
“Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!”
>  A PC's powers aren't bestowed upon them by a deity, so there's nothing for the deity to revoke.


Cleric powers in previous editions were stripped when the PC acted out of alignment and was an easy way to enforce alignment. You act up, you lose your powers. You want to play a different way, you better choose a different god with different powers to worship. Although I've never had a lawful good character go quite so far off the rails. It would usually be a small bump as a warning that they better start thinking about the consequences of their actions.

You can't force a player to play a certain way, only show him consequences. If you had not cooled down the situation, they would have learned why you don't go on killing sprees. 




 As a DM I never stripped a PC of all his powers for minor infractions.  I might just force them to roll a religion check.  If they made it I would let them know they were about to anger their deity.  If they did it anyway I would write it down for use later.  If they failed and did it anyway I would also keep tabs on this kind of behavior and enforce the consequence when it was appropriate.  After 5 alignment infractions I would spring the consequence.  Usually it was a reputation thing and the religious or knightly order would step in to punish the PC.  Every once in a while I'd start rolling for spell failure and not really say much about why the spell failed.  Usually they caught on pretty quick and sought out atonement from a cleric of their order.
  I never had too much of a problem with it but every once in a while I would need to remind them that alignment really meant something. 

“Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!”
I never stripped a PC of all his powers for minor infractions.

Violently attacking the guard setting light to innovcent citizens property and causing panic are not the actions of lawful good....

This is a minor infraction? Seems more like a full blown violation of everything a Lawful Good character is meant to stand for. Respect law? Violated. Defend the innocent? Violated. Uphold order? Violated. Three birds with one stone it seems.

I might just force them to roll a religion check.  If they made it I would let them know they were about to anger their deity.

I'd like to think that any sentient being that chooses to follow a diety is smart enough to know the difference between what is commanded of him/her and what is against said diety's wishes. This is not a check in my book- this is common sense. Religion checks are reserved for rituals and knowledge of religion in general, not reading your god's mind.

If they did it anyway I would write it down for use later.  If they failed and did it anyway I would also keep tabs on this kind of behavior and enforce the consequence when it was appropriate.  After 5 alignment infractions I would spring the consequence.  Usually it was a reputation thing and the religious or knightly order would step in to punish the PC.  Every once in a while I'd start rolling for spell failure and not really say much about why the spell failed.  Usually they caught on pretty quick and sought out atonement from a cleric of their order.

Not a bad system, but it seems a bit lengthy to me. You have to remember not all crimes are equal. Bad talking a higher authority is not on the same level as a mass murder for example. I recommend you keep track of what is simply a slap on the wrist or what seems to be a holy traffic ticket, and what is the immediate jail sentence.
Violently attacking the guard setting light to innovcent citizens property and causing panic are not the actions of lawful good....

This is a minor infraction? Seems more like a full blown violation of everything a Lawful Good character is meant to stand for. Respect law? Violated. Defend the innocent? Violated. Uphold order? Violated. Three birds with one stone it seems.


  This one is pretty bad I must admit but it seems that while the cleric was an active participant he was not the initiator of the situation.  I know that dosen't excuse his actions but if this is the first of these type of alignment issues, a "first time offender" if you will, a little leniency is called for.


I'd like to think that any sentient being that chooses to follow a diety is smart enough to know the difference between what is commanded of him/her and what is against said diety's wishes. This is not a check in my book- this is common sense. Religion checks are reserved for rituals and knowledge of religion in general, not reading your god's mind.

I agree but when a player is obviously not thinking about the vows/oaths taken or commandments then a little nudge goes a long way.  You are right that religion checks are for knowledge of rituals and such but the commandments and admonitions should be covered as well.


Not a bad system, but it seems a bit lengthy to me. You have to remember not all crimes are equal. Bad talking a higher authority is not on the same level as a mass murder for example. I recommend you keep track of what is simply a slap on the wrist or what seems to be a holy traffic ticket, and what is the immediate jail sentence.



I would weight them based on the type of crime.  Once again I never had this big of a violation in the games I ran.  I was speaking in gereral terms not for this situation in particular.  However, a jail sentence would be in order here.  They assaulted the city guard and held one captive.  The city government will almost have to throw them in prison to keep order.

“Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!”
I would weight them based on the type of crime.  Once again I never had this big of a violation in the games I ran.  I was speaking in gereral terms not for this situation in particular.  However, a jail sentence would be in order here.  They assaulted the city guard and held one captive.  The city government will almost have to throw them in prison to keep order.

I was speaking more metaphorically on that one but yeah, I'd do the same thing to the party for that one.
Yeah, and Unaligned doesn't write you a blank check to do whatever you want.

  See, I disagree.  In my games, if you choose Unaligned, that's not NEUTRAL, that just means you don't want to play the alignment game.  So you CAN just do whatever you want.  In other words, play your own personality if you want.  This can even work with Unaligned divine characters.  For example, one of our players is an unaligned Paladin of Erathis.  They worship Erathis and follow her tenants - he does whatever it takes to further civilization, invention, teamwork, etc.  If he has to slit throats on sleeping kittens or give his life's savings to widows and orphans he'll do it.  Whatever it takes.  He actually started saying something to the effect of "I'm going to bring you primitive screwheads into the light, by whatever means necessary."  That got plenty of laughs.

Your mileage may vary.

As for the OP, the one player picked a Lawful Good character.  He's being Chaotic, if not Evil.  Use this as an opportunity to present some RP and quest opportunities for him, revolving around his alignment shift or his personal internal struggle against shifting alignment.

One thing I found that works as an interesting and fun "punishment" for characters that violate Good alignments in a major way is to force them to spend a feat on Ritual Casting, then get a ritual somehow that is designed to help others, and use it.  For example, in one campaign I ran, a Lawful Good character started a riot to stop a bad guy from escaping, then realized later that it was kind of an evil act, since people were hurt.  He ended up taking that Ritual Casting feat, then acquiring whatever ritual it is to create food and used it to feed the refugees that he had caused to riot a while back.  In this way he made up for his crime and still acquired an ability that could help the party later on.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

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"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

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Arekal:

>>> not allowing a deity to revoke the powers he/she/it bestows upon their
>>> followers!
>>
>> A PC's powers aren't bestowed upon them by a deity, so there's nothing for
>> the deity to revoke.
>
> Umm, they are devine powers, so, yeah they are.

Since you were originally talking about "this edition not allowing a deity to..." in reference to 4th, no they aren't.

In 4E's cosmology, a divine character's power is gained through rites of investiture and is thereafter innate to that individual. The god has nothing to do with it at any point in the process (and in some cases the religion may not even have a god behind it).

4E takes the standpoint that the gods avoid active involvement in the mortal world and in the affairs of mortals except in extreme circumstances, leaving it up to the faithful to do things in their name and by their own means.


You can always choose to change that as a house rule or setting rule, but the default assumption is that divine powers are NOT granted by gods.
> not allowing a deity to revoke the powers he/she/it bestows upon their > followers! A PC's powers aren't bestowed upon them by a deity, so there's nothing for the deity to revoke.



Umm, they are devine powers, so, yeah they are. 



Read the PHB.  Divine powers are granted through rituals of investiture by the church.  The god itself (if it even exists) has nothing to do with it.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
> not allowing a deity to revoke the powers he/she/it bestows upon their > followers! A PC's powers aren't bestowed upon them by a deity, so there's nothing for the deity to revoke.



Umm, they are devine powers, so, yeah they are. 



Read the PHB.  Divine powers are granted through rituals of investiture by the church.  The god itself (if it even exists) has nothing to do with it.



I'm sorry but this makes no sense what so ever.  Divine means having godlike nature.  Investiture in a church or a ritual does not convey divine powers.  I must admit I'm new to 4ed but I'm not new to the english language.  If the game designers want to change the nature of the game then I'm fine with that but use the correct nomenclature.

In the Essentials book Heros of the Fallen Lands it states "Clerics derive their power from the gods". It divides the Divine powers into Domains and states "a domain is a sphere of power that specific deities control...clerics have an affinity for the deities associated with the domains the power..."
Under Level 1: Channel Divinity Powers it says "Once per encounter you can invoke divine power, filling yourself with the might of your patron deity"

There are other examples in the book but I don't want to belabor the subject.  So if I have missunderstood, I retract my previous statement but from the books I have purchased my impression is that divine powers do indeed come from the deities.
“Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!”
One thing I found that works as an interesting and fun "punishment" for characters that violate Good alignments in a major way is to force them to spend a feat on Ritual Casting, then get a ritual somehow that is designed to help others, and use it.  For example, in one campaign I ran, a Lawful Good character started a riot to stop a bad guy from escaping, then realized later that it was kind of an evil act, since people were hurt.  He ended up taking that Ritual Casting feat, then acquiring whatever ritual it is to create food and used it to feed the refugees that he had caused to riot a while back.  In this way he made up for his crime and still acquired an ability that could help the party later on.




I really like this option.  It puts some of the rules into a real role playing situation and has a lasting consequence with out being overly heavy-handed.  If I ever DM in 4ed I'd like to borrow this technique if you don't mind.  I'm kind of far off from being able to DM in this edition right now but I really like this idea.
“Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!”
I'm not trying to start an argument but, why have a rule (option, what have you) at all if it is "deliberately designed to have no effect"?  It is a pointless waste of ink and paper to print such fluff.

That's a good question. A lot of people see no reason to have alignment, because it's primary function seems to be an excuse to act out or punish players.

A lot of people love alignment for reasons I can't understand. Grid knows I've tried. In 4th Edition, yout have to have the alignment of your god, but there are minimal rules for what it means to follow that alignment and guidance as to what to do if the PC doesn't follow it. Hence, the arguments. Not that there haven't been arguments when there were more rules.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I'm not trying to start an argument but, why have a rule (option, what have you) at all if it is "deliberately designed to have no effect"?  It is a pointless waste of ink and paper to print such fluff.

That's a good question. A lot of people see no reason to have alignment, because it's primary function seems to be an excuse to act out or punish players.

A lot of people love alignment for reasons I can't understand. Grid knows I've tried. In 4th Edition, yout have to have the alignment of your god, but there are minimal rules for what it means to follow that alignment and guidance as to what to do if the PC doesn't follow it. Hence, the arguments. Not that there haven't been arguments when there were more rules.



You make a good point.  A lot of DMs I have known use alignment as a gotcha to harrass or otherwise punish players.  I was never that way.  I never put that much emphasis on it.

I do, however, love alignment and have played all sorts of alignments.  For me it is a way to live vicariously through the character.  I love playing the Lawful Good Paladin or Cleric fighting the good fight against a world filled with tyranny and debauchery. I love playing a character that has to make the right choice even at great personal risk.  Let's face it in RL you get so few opportunities to truely stand up for what you believe in.  Even when you do the personal consequence usually deter most people from sticking to their convictions.

I have played other alignments as have many of my friends.  Sometimes we have disagreed as to what the alignment really means.  I have always found it facinating to learn how other people interpret the alignments, especially when they are drastically different from the way I interpret them.
“Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!”
I'm sorry but this makes no sense what so ever.

Talk to me about fireballs being cubes. About how a bard can make a bunch of hungry wolves less willing to fight by shouting insults at them while waving a short stick. And about how that guy in the brown robes turns into a bunch of insects.


"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose

I do, however, love alignment and have played all sorts of alignments.  For me it is a way to live vicariously through the character.  I love playing the Lawful Good Paladin or Cleric fighting the good fight against a world filled with tyranny and debauchery. I love playing a character that has to make the right choice even at great personal risk.  Let's face it in RL you get so few opportunities to truely stand up for what you believe in.  Even when you do the personal consequence usually deter most people from sticking to their convictions.

I have played other alignments as have many of my friends.  Sometimes we have disagreed as to what the alignment really means.  I have always found it facinating to learn how other people interpret the alignments, especially when they are drastically different from the way I interpret them.



And, strangely enough, 4e does not prevent any of that from happening, all thanks to the inclusion of roleplaying.
Some great replies here and Centauri I apologise if i caused offence,
In Centauri case I did not relly include as much detail about my Campaign world which is vital to the pc's adventuring to make a quick point and get a response,
I'm trying to engineer it that the lawful good chracter sees the errior of his ways without it being "Why bother being Lawful Good? you get away with murder being unaligned" and thats its not only his character that gets punished for their out of order actions. 4th ed clerics are different in clerics alignment etc cannot be used to use the power of diety switching off the players powers if they are displeased. In fact 1st/2nd edition actually had a a spell to deal with situations like this called Atonement.
The players are in a city where high level characters ( actually some of the players old characters from previous editions who are now NPC's) form a council of elders, this includes high level clerics as heads of their churches, a high level wizard from the college of magic( A hogwarts style academy that player wizards etc have to join to learn rituals and go up levels in training) head of the town guard and the city Mayor. The council of elders make the decisions to safeguard the city. to keep the city safe city guard are made up of characters of all classes fighters, wizards clerics, rogues etc who defend the city from invasion but also investigate crimes and keep order like a modern police force.
AS i said we are player Seekers of the Ashen crown in my non Eberron home brew world,
The party were sent on a quest by the captain of the town guard, both the cleric and the wizard are instructed to go by the heads of their orders because it is a good duty to safeguard their home city, they are getting paid,
But most of the characters have chosen the alignment unaligned, this is so they can be as mercenary as they want and not let any morals get in the way of accumulation of treasure to buy more stuff to make your character as buff as you want,
The problem i have is that players who choose to profess to be one alignment, or choose neutral act pretty much evil of without honour, Such people would pretty much be ostracsied in our society  and probably arrested and in a medievil society which d&d is based would be put to death foer insulting nobles or those in positions of authority.
During the Ashen crown adventure they insulted the city guard captain who was giving them their mission, acted like arrogant bullies to the city guard who gave them a beating for their insolence, to which they were more interested in getting revenge on the guards then completing their mission,
When Yerra the players ally gets killed, the party especially the Cleric pc's strips the bodies to get their magic items but in no ways respected the dead, arranging burial arrangements for a few gold etc.... Not really what I would call Lawful good,
Once returning to City they fight the city guard who are out to arrest them rather than use subterfuge or diplomacy which results in a showdown with the captain of the city guard and 2 council of elders mem,bers otherwise it would just be a fight with the city guard til their death,
The quest requires them to act secretly but they have completely blown their cover,
If it were not for the fact they still have Ashturas blade so have to complete their quest the council of Elders would have ceased their employment and sentr them off with a flea in their ear,
 I now have to think whats next?
Without just punishing the cleric both he and the wizard will have pissed off their masters in the council of Elders, the other two characters a monk and a barbarian are not affliated with any organisations and are free agents,
The next adventure I was thinking of a penance quest for the cleric and the wizard for no reward from the heads of their orders and the other two will have to tag along,or else stay at home and watch their money disappear and not go up levels.
Though the wizard is unaligned his mistress is a lawful good wizard and she would definetly not let one of her underlings cause havoc round the city,
The cleric is a definite case of being kicked out iof his church as in front of the whole city he is making the clerics of his order appear violent and untrustworthy and causing panic amongst the ordinary poor. The clerics religion have to heal the sick and look after the poor as part of their religion, adventuring clerics spread the word of their god by noble deeds, something he is definetly not doing,
So for the cleric i was thibnking visions from his diety showing the error of his ways and a visit from black robed figures at his door asking him to join their religion.
But welcome to more suggestions
And, strangely enough, 4e does not prevent any of that from happening, all thanks to the inclusion of roleplaying.



I'm not trying to bash 4ed here.  I'm trying to learn it.  It is quite a bit different than what I have played for years in some respects but not all.  You certainly don't need the alignment written on a character sheet to role play a heroic character.  I was just commenting that I do like to augment my role play with specific ethos and philosophies of the character.  The alignment just helps remind me of those when I'm playing.  Sometimes when I'm playing and I'm not sure the course of action I'm going to take I look at the choices from the perspective of my chosen alignment.  It's slightly better than a coin flip.
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That's why I generally leave the alignment field blank and instead add a section to my sheet called "Motivations", which are far more personal and telling then "LG" somewhere at the top.

As for the OP; don't punish Lawful Good, punish the characters. I also don't understand how Unaligned characters can get away with murder. Sounds to me like the rest of the guard would like a few words with all of your characters.
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The problem i have is that players who choose to profess to be one alignment, or choose neutral act pretty much evil of without honour, Such people would pretty much be ostracsied in our society  and probably arrested and in a medievil society which d&d is based would be put to death foer insulting nobles or those in positions of authority.


Actually, I think the problem you have is manifold:


  • Multiple-Alignment-Parties.  You have one character who chose to be Lawful good, but he's adventuring with a bunch of people who chose to be unaligned so they can act like sociopathic mercenaries.  It's a near-impossible conflict.  Eventually, either the LG character has to begin acting mercenary, or else feel like all he does is play the wet blanket, or the mercenary characters have to start acting LG, in which case, they aren't the mercenaries they wanted to play.  As is usual in these cases, it's a race to the bottom: the LG character is just fitting in.  The only solution to this is to talk to the group as a whoel and ask them to decide as a group whether they want to be a swords-for-hire, or fantasy heroes.  (Either choice is valid, but they should all be on the same page.)

  • Player-Character Separation.  The folks who go around insulting nobles and publicly acting without honor are not roleplaying.  in fact, this behavior is pretty typical of people who are embarrassed by roleplay, so they act stupidly so they can retain some plausible claim they are roleplaying, even though they're really just urinating in the drinking water.  The solution to this is to speak with each individual separately and privately, and tell them that when they act that way, they are ruining your fun.  They aren't treating your world with respect and they aren't making a sincere attempt to treat the world as if it were real and the characters in the world as if they were real.  If they protest that they are simply acting in charater, tell them they need to choose a different personality for their character, because the one they chose isn't working.

  • Positive Reinforcement.  Something else I often see that encourages people to have their characters act antisocially is when they feel that the society they are in is corrupt, cynical and incompetent.  If all of the nobles are haughty, if the players feel like their characters have to do everything, they are not going to respect the nobility, especially if the nobility look down upon them.  Have the nobility treat the players with respect.  Have them praise the characters' heroic actions.  Also, point out how the nobility are helpign people.  Yes, they are wealthy, but they are responsible for building the city walls, for constructing six new wells of drinking water, for stopping a plague.  Make it clear the entire world doesn't rest on the PCs' shoulders alone, and they'll start treating the other people who do good things with more respect.  And if they fell like good deeds are rewarded, they'll start taking your world more seriously.


None of this, by the way, has anything to do with alignment.  Alignment is merely the excuse the players of unaligned characters are using to act antisocially and they are dragging the player of the LG character down with them.  You need to talk to the group as a whole, as well as whichever individual players you think are the most problematic about their behavior.  Tell them that the way they play their character makes it feel like they don't respect you as a DM or the world you've created.  They need to take the game more seriously, or you'll step down from DMing. 

This is an out-of-game proble, not an in-game one.  Handle it out-of-game.

So how do i resolve this, If the cleric gets away with no punishment alignment becomes a mockeery, players acting beyond the law would certainly incur the wrath of their home city. they have ashturas blade so the city needs them to xcomplete the quest,

Also though the cleric is not acting true to his alignment how can I make him play it without just punishing him and the rest of the party getting scot free?




Three things.


1- Alignment is a joke already. Most successful groups throw it out and don't bother.


2- If I had a DM attempt to punish me or anything we would no longer be friends. Let alone, in the same DND group. Your job isn't to punish the players, it is to make the NPCs react in a believeable way. Often times this is in a manner the other PCs don't like, but thats not a punishment and shouldn't be looked at as such. It is a natural reaction. You aren't punishing anyone. You are having an NPC react approperiately.


3- You can't make him play his PC any differently than he wants too. You can ask that he does politely, or you can refuse to run the game. Those are your two options.

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I can always tell which threads are on alignment issues - they're the ones that get a ton of posts really fast over a couple days. That should tell you all you need to know about alignment right there.

While I agree with wrecan that this is an out-of-game issue, I would handle it in-game. You see, what you have here is not a problem - it's an opportunity. You and your players may not have been on the same page before you started the campaign. It's clear they want to throw their weight around and have their egos write checks their bodies might not necessarily be able to cash. Good! Create that game for them. But don't do it as a punishment. Take a page from all the great crime shows of the last 20 years and turn your game into cops and robbers and rival evil-doers. Having run Seekers of the Ashen Crown myself, it's not that great a stretch. It's actually a very good module all things considered and has some seedy undertones to it.

Let's say a boss of the underworld hears of the PCs' flagrant disrespect and violence against the ruling class - they've made a name for themselves among the seedier parts of society. They get approached to start taking on some tasks that are clearly more suited to men of their ilk. As well, you can have cultists of Asmodeus (in the guise of clerics of the lawful good PC's faith) make friends with said cleric, perhaps initially introduced as mentors or friends the cleric can turn to during this crisis of faith. Over time, they reveal themselves to be cultists, but by then the lawful good cleric is already corrupted and is enjoying the fruits of being unaligned or evil - lots of cash, babes, and respect from those less powerful.

After the players have mucked around in a darker D&D game, then next game, do away with alignment. Or, at least, trying to "enforce" it. If someone wants to write an alignment down on their sheet because that's how they see their character (even if they don't play that way), don't hold them to it. It's one's actions that matter in the context of the game, not some abstraction that a fat person in a cubicle came up with ages ago when it made sense at the time to do so.

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You make a good point.  A lot of DMs I have known use alignment as a gotcha to harrass or otherwise punish players.  I was never that way.  I never put that much emphasis on it.

Glad to hear it. I think emphasis is fine, if everyone's on the same page.

I do, however, love alignment and have played all sorts of alignments.  For me it is a way to live vicariously through the character.  I love playing the Lawful Good Paladin or Cleric fighting the good fight against a world filled with tyranny and debauchery. I love playing a character that has to make the right choice even at great personal risk.  Let's face it in RL you get so few opportunities to truely stand up for what you believe in.  Even when you do the personal consequence usually deter most people from sticking to their convictions.

Frankly, if everyone had to be Lawful Good, this would be great. However, conflicts arise when someone realizes that in real life they get so few opportunities to truly act on their aggression toward authority figures and takes their Neutral, Chaotic, or Unaligned alignment as permission to do so.

I'm sure there are people who can play those alignments as something other than a direct tap into their id, but that's rare.

I have played other alignments as have many of my friends.  Sometimes we have disagreed as to what the alignment really means.  I have always found it facinating to learn how other people interpret the alignments, especially when they are drastically different from the way I interpret them.

I think alignments are "for" you and people like you. They are not for groups who can't handle them in a mature, interesting and original way.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

One thing I found that works as an interesting and fun "punishment" for characters that violate Good alignments in a major way is to force them to spend a feat on Ritual Casting, then get a ritual somehow that is designed to help others, and use it.  For example, in one campaign I ran, a Lawful Good character started a riot to stop a bad guy from escaping, then realized later that it was kind of an evil act, since people were hurt.  He ended up taking that Ritual Casting feat, then acquiring whatever ritual it is to create food and used it to feed the refugees that he had caused to riot a while back.  In this way he made up for his crime and still acquired an ability that could help the party later on.




I really like this option.  It puts some of the rules into a real role playing situation and has a lasting consequence with out being overly heavy-handed.  If I ever DM in 4ed I'd like to borrow this technique if you don't mind.  I'm kind of far off from being able to DM in this edition right now but I really like this idea.

Of course, feel free to use it.  That's why I described it here.  Incidentally the Lawful Good PC in question RPd the taking of Ritual Casting as his god demanding he make retribution, coming to him in a dream, and suddenly (after levelling up) he woke up with the ability to cast Traveler's Feast.  So he spent the feat, I granted him the ritual for free, and we also did a little RP where instead of spending the ritual compenent cost he used food that the refugees gathered up after he organized them into foraging parties.  Then he got to give them a little speech about how teamwork pays off because when they work together to gather food, their effort is multiplied, literally. 

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

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While I agree with wrecan that this is an out-of-game issue, I would handle it in-game. You see, what you have here is not a problem - it's an opportunity. You and your players may not have been on the same page before you started the campaign. It's clear they want to throw their weight around and have their egos write checks their bodies might not necessarily be able to cash.


I think it's likely, but in no way clear.  The players may simply be contrarians.  The DM is running a campaign for heroes?  We'll be scoundrels!  Ohh, the Dm is having criminals come to us to be criminals?  We'll turn them in for the reward!  Now people are coming to hire us to catch more criminals... we'll rob them and frame the people we were supposed to catch.  You could end up playing an incoherent game where nobody is having any real fun and nobody understands why.

I think iserith's campaign idea could be a good one... if your players really want to play scoundrels.  But you really need to check with them first using actual words, not inferring stuff from their behavior.

Hi All, I posted a few months ago, where my group were playing  Seekers of the Ashen crown in my own homebrew word not Eberron,
basically when conscriptred to join the quest the party insulted the captain of the guard and got into a fight with the city guard,
 basically They got their **** kicked and wewre more interested in getting revenge on the city guard than completing their quest,
The problem is 3 characters are unaligned and the party cleric is lawful good,
 The characters carried on with their quest but as explained in the module they return to sharn with the city guard looking for them as they have been betrayed by Tikulti
To give trhem a chanhce to roleplay or think of a situation to avoid a direct conflict with the city guard the pary travwelling by coach see the city guard at the gate searching eveery coach cart or traveller looking for the party,
So instead of thinking of a way to speak to the captain , sneak in disguise them selves etc the parties goliath unaligned barbarian walks straight up to the guardsmen armed to the teeth, when told to surrender and dropo his weapons he refuses so the guards lay about him trying to club him unconscious the whole party including lawful good cleric attack the city guard resulting into the mage setting light to one of the peasants carts with a fireball etc,
after a fierce fight all the city guard at the gate are killed of course the guard thinking its an assault on the city call in reinforcements, the party now outnumbered retreat taking a guard hostage abnd demand to talk to the captain,
so anyway its resolved but the clerics bishop and the wizards head of the school of magic have to enter the fray to calm the party down,
I feel though the other characters are unaligned so in fairness they can behave  how they wish but a lawful good cleric is behaving without honour, the city guard were misguided not evil. Violently attacking the guard setting light to innovcent citizens property and causing panic are not the actions of lawful good....


so how do i resolve this, If the cleric gets away with no punishment alignment becomes a mockeery, players acting beyond the law would certainly incur the wrath of their home city. they have ashturas blade so the city needs them to xcomplete the quest,


 


Also though the cleric is not acting true to his alignment how can I make him play it without just punishing him and the rest of the party getting scot free?

your suggestions would be welcome


 



This is a tough and complicated problem, I would like to give my opinion on one thing:  a player is only responsible for the actions of their PC.

In your example you stated that first it was the mage that setting light to one of the peasants carts with a fireball, then you say "setting light to innovcent citizens property and causing panic are not the actions of lawful good....", the cleric did not do this, he shouldn't be held responsible for it.  I suppose that you could use "guilty by association" but in a table to RPG this doesn't work.  In real life you have the option of not hanging around bad people, in D&D you don't have that option.  The player of the cleric has no ability to control the actions of the other PCs, and yet has to be with them, so he shouldn't be subject to "guilty by associaltion" even if that is logical in the real world.  What would have been the LG thing to do here, have the cleric sit on the sidelines not perticipating in the battle?  Actively fight the other PCs for great justice?

In the example of the captian of the city guard was the cleric disrespectful?  If not what should he have done, tackle the offending PC to the ground, cover his mouth and punch them in the face repeatedly until they start to respecting athority?