Knights of Dispatch

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As I run the D&D Next Playtests now, I returned to running my mose favorite setting ( beside the Planscape  Wink). Finally my collection of 3ed is for the in-game use, not  only to read. As I was reading Greyhawk Gazetter, I got idea that PCs could meet the Knight of the Watch in Caves of Chaos ( dungeon of playtest ). Then came idea they could join them, if some players would want. And then come realization I got mostly Chaotic Good party - two PCs are CG, two are NG and one is CN. Then I got the Dispatchers are more "chaotic" from they write-up. But when doing reaserch in Living Greyhawk materials, I seen that both Watchers and Dispatchers are LG, NG or LN. ThenI started to scratch my head - why is this? Dispatchers have "unhonrable" tactics, they come "individual" way to the Twelve Percepts, and from what I read are more "free spirits hunting the monsters" than classical army. Both factions have the Twelve and Seven Percepts or same titles, but they approche to them is very diffrent, like Order vs Chaos diffrence. Can some one give me good argement to not change Dispatchers aligemnent restrictions?
It is your campaign, so if you wanted to change the alignment restrictions you can. I wouldn't let CN alignments into an organization like the Dispatchers. CN is a good game-mechanics way of describing some of my clients (I work in the mental health field!) Would you want people with multiple personality disorder in your knightly order, or someone who flips a coin to decide if he wants to donate to charity or just rob the charity? CN usually means 'its all about me.' The Dispatchers use guerrilla warfare, which some call 'dishonorable', but they are still a 'good' organization and I think they would be careful about letting potentially evil, or just possibly mentally ill, people into their ranks.
I wouldn't let CN alignments into an organization like the Dispatchers. CN is a good game-mechanics way of describing some of my clients (I work in the mental health field!) Would you want people with multiple personality disorder in your knightly order, or someone who flips a coin to decide if he wants to donate to charity or just rob the charity?



You are right about mental disorders, but it's extreme situation. You must remeber than even in LG characters can vary. One Paladin would be all "honorand valor", other could bet a rule or two. Alinments are more about "ideal universe state for me", than "I must made it all, right now!".

I have a two guys in my party. One is CG halfing rogue, other is CN dwarven fighter. They both are mosly unpredicatlbe as to "what will they do on this", but they wouldn't destroy the village, for example. And even if that, it's mostly rogue thing, cause he has much more crazy and black humor, somehow I don't know when his is jocking, and when serious about his plans. 

Not to offend your patients in an way - any one can be "chaotic stupid", without looking on they views on Good and Evil.


CN usually means 'its all about me.' The Dispatchers use guerrilla warfare, which some call 'dishonorable', but they are still a 'good' organization and I think they would be careful about letting potentially evil, or just possibly mentally ill, people into their ranks.



Like I said - "chaotic" isn't meaning mentally ill. Sometimes it can be both things, but don't overconnect illness with individalistic look on life. Hell, my two previous mentioned PCs yasterday just saved the village because they wanted to help people and be famous. I can see Dispatchers that are in the Order just because they know they can become famous quicly.

As I see now, devs of 3ed lookd "it's martial order, it must be Lawful!!!" No, it doesn't. Like there is Temple of Carnage for CE and CN, there could be Knights od Dispatch for CG and CN. Order is brotherhood of men dedicated to some goals, they don't determine if your personal philosophy agrees to it, or on what level.

As to "you don't want mentally ill in Dispatchers" - yes, I don't. But those guys aren't stupid. They **** candidates, they check them before throwing in the wild. They refuse to join guys they think that could be harmfull to order and it's goals. It's basic walfare and logic, not Lawfulness. Beacuse Dispatchers aren't Chaotic Stupid!
I think you may have oversimplified (or overanalyzed) what I was saying in that really short paragraph. I don't in any way mean that CN is "ALWAYS" someone with a mental illness. I'm simply saying that if you are going to change alignment restrictions for a group like the Knights of Dispatch, or any other published group, you should look carefully at what the group is about, and what the possible allowed alignments generally represent within the game. I've not played the 4th edition game, but the other 3 and a half editions all describe CN as being random and kinda selfish, and at least one describes them as flipping a coin if they can't decide to do something good/evil/lawful/chaotic.  

One of the best in-game examples of CN I've seen was a fighter who went out with a group, saved some prisoners and brought them back to town, a good-guy hero. An hour after getting back he's in a bar and some guys start a brawl-- an ordinary bar room punching fight. He pulls a longsword and guts a farmer. CN is impulsive and not always concerned with consequences of one's actions. If a player is trying to role-play the alignment close to what the game describes it to represent, then chaotic-neutral CAN, in fact, mean "chaotic stupid." (This was probably one of the best examples of playing ANY alignment I've seen in 28+ years of gaming, except maybe the debate between a LE drow and a CG ranger arguing about enslavement of non-elven races. It lasted over 2 hours real time!)

Do you periodically look over the PC's actions/history to see if their alignment might need changed? I'm not sitting at the table watching your game, so I don't know what they are doing every game session, but the little description you gave sounds like the rogue might be the CN and the dwarf could be CG or just neutral? You only gave 2 or 3 sentences of description, so I don't know.

One of the best in-game examples of CN I've seen was a fighter who went out with a group, saved some prisoners and brought them back to town, a good-guy hero. An hour after getting back he's in a bar and some guys start a brawl-- an ordinary bar room punching fight. He pulls a longsword and guts a farmer. CN is impulsive and not always concerned with consequences of one's actions. If a player is trying to role-play the alignment close to what the game describes it to represent, then chaotic-neutral CAN, in fact, mean "chaotic stupid."



Well, first off, this isn't "chaotic stupid" - it's real chaotic neutral. Chaotic stupid would be gutting the farmer and then singing on his dead body song about puppies ( yeah, got once this kind of behavior on game session  ). Real chaotic neutral, like on of your example, I can see as the Knights of Dispatch. He want to be famous, he is "hero of the day". And "from time to time" he's get's a bit to much anger.

If Dispatchers aren't restricted by 12 and 7 Percepts, I can't see why couldn't character like you described join them. He isn't "chaotic stupid", only logical chaotic neutral. Dispatchers goal is to kill monsters, "any means possible",as what I got form 3ed materials.

(This was probably one of the best examples of playing ANY alignment I've seen in 28+ years of gaming, except maybe the debate between a LE drow and a CG ranger arguing about enslavement of non-elven races. It lasted over 2 hours real time!)



So I must pitty you a such munchkin players. After only six session of my now cmaping I seen this kind of role play in D&D at least three times. For exmape, out Dwarwen Fighter saved hobgoblin from death, swaer he will live if hob will lead them to next caves enterance. When they was on spot, he murdered it. So disyolaity ( chaotic part ) with mixed good and bad doing ( neutral part ).

Do you periodically look over the PC's actions/history to see if their alignment might need changed? I'm not sitting at the table watching your game, so I don't know what they are doing every game session, but the little description you gave sounds like the rogue might be the CN and the dwarf could be CG or just neutral? You only gave 2 or 3 sentences of description, so I don't know.



Why would, even morbid, prankster must be CN? In the end, the rouge actions are almost always good in result - he can steal from you, but will do to defend your village, for example. The fighters actions, on other hand, aren't black and white in results.

And I see both of them could join easily Dispathers, from what I readed on subject in books...

If you are lucky enough to have a small group of good roleplayers in a group, be happy! A rough estimate of the quality of players and Dm's over the years for me would be about 20-25 munchkins, 40 to 50 average +/- (play in character but didn't push the envelope too far), and about 25-30 really deep-in-character-type players/GMs. A BUNCH of the gaming I've done has been games that don't use an alignment system, they use other methods of defining personality, so some of the best examples of roleplay I've seen wouldn't fit this discussion on alignments. Some of these guys should have Oscars and/or Tony awards!

Do you have a copy of the 2nd edition Greyhawk Player's Guide? (Softcover, grey book, the size of an adventure module.) There's a section on the various orders of knighthood near the back. This book gives a better description of the orders than 3rd edition sources. Things like classes they allow, benefits of joining, etc. If you don't have it, I can try getting my machine to scan it and send the relevant pages to you. 

Do you have a copy of the 2nd edition Greyhawk Player's Guide? (Softcover, grey book, the size of an adventure module.) There's a section on the various orders of knighthood near the back. This book gives a better description of the orders than 3rd edition sources. Things like classes they allow, benefits of joining, etc. If you don't have it, I can try getting my machine to scan it and send the relevant pages to you. 



I don't have, so I would be glad, thank you very much!

To more of disscussion, in last D&D Next Playtest Packet there is nice sum up od Aligments, and I very like this. Here it is.


Alignment
A typical creature in the worlds of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS has an alignment, which broadly
describes its moral and personal attitudes. Alignment is a combination of two factors: one
identifies morality (good, evil, or neutral), and the other describes attitudes toward society and order
(lawful, chaotic, or neutral). Thus, nine distinct alignments define all the possible combinations.
Each alignment description depicts a typical character of that alignment. Individuals vary from
this norm, and a given character might act more or less in accord with his or her alignment from day
to day. You should use these descriptions as guidelines, not as scripts.
Although evil adventurers exist, they tend to cause problems in groups with others who don’t
share their interests and objectives. Generally, the evil alignments are for villains and monsters. The
neutral alignment—sometimes called true neutral—is possible for player characters, but pulling it off is
difficult.

Lawful Good (LG): You can be counted on to do the right thing, as expected by society.
Neutral Good (NG): You do the best you can.
Chaotic Good (CG): You act as your conscience directs, with little regard for what others expect.
Lawful Neutral (LN): You act in accordance with law, tradition, or personal codes.
Neutral (N): You seek to maintain the balance between law and chaos, or good and evil.
Chaotic Neutral (CN): You follow your whims.
Lawful Evil (LE): You methodically take what you want, within the limits of your code of
conduct.
Neutral Evil (NE): You do whatever you can get away with.
Chaotic Evil (CE): You act as directed by your greed, hatred, and bloodlust.

In this vein I see the CN CAN be Dispatch - he is whimsial, but from time to time can adhere to Seven and Twelve Percepts... 


 
I will need a regular email address to scan and send you those pages. You can also find them for sale used, on auction sites like ebay, or in the used game section in some game shops.