One of those situations…

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One of those situations I actively tried to avoid as a DM:


The fight against the orc tribe was long and hard. Especially the king and his bodyguards were tough opponents. But now our good aligned group of heroes (including one paladin and one ranger) has made it to the last chamber of the cave-complex. Here they find the women and children of the orcs huddled together.


The women and some of the older children detect weekly as evil while the babies and most of the children seem to be innocent.


What would you do in place of the PCs?

Panartias, ladies-man and Jack of all trades about his professions:

"Once, I was a fighter -

to conquer the heart of a beautiful lady.

Then I became a thief -

- to steal myself a kiss from her lips.

And finally, I became a mage -

- to enchant her face with a smile."

Generally I tend to have a soft spot for children and babies (in real life I work at a baby department store), so as a PC I wouldn't kill them. However I know there are lots of individuals out there that aren't as unscrupulus as myself and would slaughter them all because well, orcs are orcs and they tend to have a fairly bad rep.

If they are good however, there should be some issue with alignment intervention (say their good god cursing them until they make amends). 
This is a good time for a DM to "draw the veil." Clearly the heroes did the right thing, tough though it was. It has changed them, and they will live with their choice for the rest of their lives, never speaking of it again.

(This is the classic argument. A DM who does this to their group in the name of "realism" or to try to create some sort of interesting situation with the party, is asking for trouble. The only winning move is not to play that game.)

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

The only winning move is not to play that game.



Because someone has to link it


FWIW [4e designer] baseline assumption was that roughly 70% of your feats would be put towards combat effectiveness, parties would coordinate, and strikers would do 20/40/60 at-will damage+novas. If your party isn't doing that... well, you are below baseline, so yes, you need to optimize slightly to meet baseline. -Alcestis
This thread has potential ugly argument all over it.

Therefore I concur with this statement:

The only winning move is not to play that game.



The only winning move is not to play that game.



Agreed. An alignment thread by any other name...

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat.  What do you think I said?

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."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

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

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat.  What do you think I said?



Wife: Do these pants make me look fat?

RedSiegfried: I just killed a bunch of orc women and children.

My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat.  What do you think I said?



Wife: Do these pants make me look fat?

RedSiegfried: I just killed a bunch of orc women and children.




I am going to try that next time and see how that goes!

My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat.  What do you think I said?



Wife: Do these pants make me look fat?

RedSiegfried: I just killed a bunch of orc women and children.




Sig'd!

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[quote author=82733368 post=532127449]
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147742801 wrote:
57457938 wrote:
My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat. What do you think I said?
Wife: Do these pants make me look fat? RedSiegfried: I just killed a bunch of orc women and children.
63797881 wrote:
82733368 wrote:
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29.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character does not require ME to be completely tanked, no matter how "in-character" I want to be..
My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat.  What do you think I said?



Do YOU think so, darling?


Well, it certainly stresses your figure – which I love as you know!

Panartias, ladies-man and Jack of all trades about his professions:

"Once, I was a fighter -

to conquer the heart of a beautiful lady.

Then I became a thief -

- to steal myself a kiss from her lips.

And finally, I became a mage -

- to enchant her face with a smile."

So it looks like I’m not the only one trying to entirely avoid situations like this.


But since I brought it up, let’s look at the possibilities:


A)     Make a clean job of it and kill them all. The villagers and farmers that suffered from the orc-raid would certainly prefer this solution. But it would be our heroes having the death of the babies and children on their conscience. So not a good solution.


B)      They could selectively kill all that detect as evil and then seek a solution for all that are left over. Creepy inquisitor style and somehow worse than A). And makes showing mercy or caring for the babies / children all the harder.


C)      They could show “mercy” and let them get away. Of course they might die just a slower death since they have to fend for themselves. Or they could end up with another orc-clan; probably as their slaves…


D)     They could take responsibility for the orc-women and children. Care for them. This is the long and hard way with many obstacles to overcome. The nearby farmers and villagers will probably be skeptical (if not downright hostile) to this orc-experiment. The adventurers have to care for their charges, perhaps teach them how to farm and how to hunt. They should get them to worship / pray to some decent god instead of Grumsh the one eyed. They don’t want to raise another generation of orcs hating humans after all (which is already hard, since they have killed their husbands and fathers). All in all a lot of game time and resources would go into this approach and my concern as a DM would be that the players wouldn’t enjoy that even if it is the decision of their PCs.  

Panartias, ladies-man and Jack of all trades about his professions:

"Once, I was a fighter -

to conquer the heart of a beautiful lady.

Then I became a thief -

- to steal myself a kiss from her lips.

And finally, I became a mage -

- to enchant her face with a smile."

E) Pause the game, and ask the DM why he put them in a situation which can only end in argument, possibly with lasting feelings of animosity between the players.


Spoony does a good video on this, which Centauri sums up well with "The only winning move is not to play". Here's the video if you're interested. 


spoonyexperiment.com/2012/03/08/counter-...

"Encouraging your players to be cautious and risk-averse prevents unexpected epic events and-well-progress at a decent pace in general."-Detoxifier

"HOT SINGLES IN YOUR AREA NOT REGENERATING DUE TO FIRE" -iserith 

"If snapping a dragon's neck with your bare hands is playind D&D wrong, then I don't want to play D&D right." -Lord_Ventnor

This is a good time for a DM to "draw the veil." Clearly the heroes did the right thing, tough though it was. It has changed them, and they will live with their choice for the rest of their lives, never speaking of it again.

(This is the classic argument. A DM who does this to their group in the name of "realism" or to try to create some sort of interesting situation with the party, is asking for trouble. The only winning move is not to play that game.)



100% this.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
So it looks like I’m not the only one trying to entirely avoid situations like this.

But since I brought it up, let’s look at the possibilities:

A)     Make a clean job of it and kill them all. The villagers and farmers that suffered from the orc-raid would certainly prefer this solution. But it would be our heroes having the death of the babies and children on their conscience. So not a good solution.

B)      They could selectively kill all that detect as evil and then seek a solution for all that are left over. Creepy inquisitor style and somehow worse than A). And makes showing mercy or caring for the babies / children all the harder.

C)      They could show “mercy” and let them get away. Of course they might die just a slower death since they have to fend for themselves. Or they could end up with another orc-clan; probably as their slaves…

D)     They could take responsibility for the orc-women and children. Care for them. This is the long and hard way with many obstacles to overcome. The nearby farmers and villagers will probably be skeptical (if not downright hostile) to this orc-experiment. The adventurers have to care for their charges, perhaps teach them how to farm and how to hunt. They should get them to worship / pray to some decent god instead of Grumsh the one eyed. They don’t want to raise another generation of orcs hating humans after all (which is already hard, since they have killed their husbands and fathers). All in all a lot of game time and resources would go into this approach and my concern as a DM would be that the players wouldn’t enjoy that even if it is the decision of their PCs.

F. Allow the players to establish and narrate existing institutions, forces, processes, and effects that deal with the orcs and take the issue out of the PCs hands. The reason why bad guys in recent movies all drop dead or surrender when the main guy does is that dealing with demoralized and defenseless prisoners is not hero work.

Some players enjoy situations like this. They should be presented with them. Other players don't, or can't handle it in an interesting way, or have deep feelings that are triggered. They should not be given situations like this. If a DM isn't sure, I recommend collaborating with the players and asking leading questions. They might establish that the "civilians" are elsewhere, that the orcs were a military unit doing a job, or even that orcs don't have females, but are grown in pits. Going back to recent movies, this is part of why uruk-hai are shown as been bred in pits, rather than being being grown and indoctrinated, and why enemies are often robots, zombies, aliens, or Nazis: we want to feel good about the work our heroes do.

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

My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat.  What do you think I said?



Wife: Do these pants make me look fat?

RedSiegfried: I just killed a bunch of orc women and children.


You win, sir.  "I like chicken" is also an acceptable answer.

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."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

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

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”


That actually did make me laugh my ass off. My ass is on the floor, I'm standing up. 

Interesting question.

The correct answer is rather simply "Whatever my character would do" and that is heavily dependent on the character.

Let's see...my Lawful Evil assassin that I played many moons ago would probably dismiss them as unworthy of his time.

My Lawful Evil Deverenian (gotta love Accordlands!) would ignore them for being beneath his notice (Feh! Female! And of non-Deverenian blood? Barely better than rocks!) unless one of them tried to address him or touch him in which case they'd lose something (potentially lives).

Lawful Neutral Deverenian Inquisitor, however, would order them shackled and taken into custody to use them as future leverage against the Nothrog (Orcs in Accordlands) to better serve the Storm! May it be revered, it's word be enforced and it's enemies be made to suffer!

My Chaotic Good bard would find them dirty, the women revolting and the smell atrocious...however, despite being something of an S.O.B., he had a soft spot for kids so he'd take them to an orphanage and protect them the entire time so they'd have a chance to live their own lives.

Most of my Lawful Good paladins (of which I've had a few) would recognize them as non-combatants and offer the women the chance to be freed from their oppressive, abusive male orc population...if the females also prove abusive towards the children (as they VERY often do) they'd be seperated from the children (through force but not force of arms) if necessary and the children would be taken into protective custody. Of course they'd be wicked little curs for the most part, but some discipline and a good example goes A LONG way towards helping children so that is what the paladins would offer. In fact, one of my paladins had this exact situation come up and he helped integrate quite a few young orcs (and half-orcs) into regular society.

So, there is no ONE answer other than "What your character would do".

I do find it funny how reticent to answer some people are though. I mean geez...it's not that hard of a question.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.


One of those situations I actively tried to avoid as a DM:


The fight against the orc tribe was long and hard. Especially the king and his bodyguards were tough opponents. But now our good aligned group of heroes (including one paladin and one ranger) has made it to the last chamber of the cave-complex. Here they find the women and children of the orcs huddled together.


The women and some of the older children detect weekly as evil while the babies and most of the children seem to be innocent.


What would you do in place of the PCs?




My players would enjoy a morally gray decision like this. Perhaps even thrive on it. Thus, I sometimes steer them in this direction.

And for the record, the solution 9 times out of 10 will be that they either mercilessly slaughter the women and children or find a way to enslave them for profit.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/

One of those situations I actively tried to avoid as a DM:


The fight against the orc tribe was long and hard. Especially the king and his bodyguards were tough opponents. But now our good aligned group of heroes (including one paladin and one ranger) has made it to the last chamber of the cave-complex. Here they find the women and children of the orcs huddled together.


The women and some of the older children detect weekly as evil while the babies and most of the children seem to be innocent.


What would you do in place of the PCs?




My players would enjoy a morally gray decision like this. Perhaps even thrive on it. Thus, I sometimes steer them in this direction.



Ditto. Well, don't really steer them in my case...but my players do like facing stuff like this because it lets them really get into their characters brains.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

The males would have registered as faint evil too unless they were high level.That we where able to detect evil  means we have a paladin in the group,which means that they whole situation is a trap from the GM to rob his powers,which means i will demand that the GM stops his mind games and just drops a big stone on our characters.
The males would have registered as faint evil too unless they were high level.That we where able to detect evil  means we have a paladin in the group,which means that they whole situation is a trap from the GM to rob his powers,which means i will demand that the GM stops his mind games and just drops a big stone on our characters.



Not a bad response since, typically, this situation IS nothing but a trap. It is, however, far less of a trap than those situations where it's like "Perform this evil deed or the universe ends!" which is just completely asanine from the word "Go".

As a general question, would you be adverse to the DM being willing to answer the Paladin's question of "What do I feel would be the best resolution for this?"

That is basically how I resolve sticky situations. For instance, if my players (particularly those that hew to a strict morality, etc) get into a situation where they aren't sure what the "appropriate" action is based on a given desired course of action I, as DM, have no qualms about telling them directly "X is a Good action in this situation" if that is what they are looking for. As DM I have no interest in playing a Gotcha game with them and making them guess about things like that if they are unsure. After all, they are NOT their characters...they have not lived their characters lives in-universe...they do not have the sum total of that characters experience. It is not fair to them to assume they will ALWAYS have the answer they want on hand for their character...so as DM I consider it important to be willing to offer up that information to my players with the understanding that I am NOT giving them what I think is the "best" answer but rather what would be "aligned" answers. It is still their choice as players whether or not to take any given option and they know that I don't care what they do...I am more interested in them being able to MAKE informed decisions than I am concerned with the decision itself.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

I don't use allignment in the mechanical sense in the game but my players do not play good characters. To call them evil would probably be pushing it...maybe. They actually did take part in the burning of a village which consisted of half orc women and children. Were the villagers innocent? Yes, was the party wrong? Yes.  They play their characters how their characters would act and that's what it came to. Now it's not like they saw the village and were like "oh hey let's engage in senseless slaughter!" My players were involved in a 100 year time jump and have been just recently getting a handle of all the changes. There was this Orc in their original time that not only betrayed them,  he was responsible for the death of a good man whom they actually respected despite the fact that they wanted the mans position of power. They ended up chaining the Orc up after they beat him up a bit and removed his tongue. fast forward a hundred years they learned that this orc not only survived, he was nursed back to health by a woman, who was another enemy of theirs. They then later learned that they had a son (who was in his 70's at this point) and was responsible for some crappy stuff, so they hunted him down and took care of him, that's when they discovered the village who were all descendants of that orc and that woman whom they loathed and that was their characters logic for burning it down to the ground, whether they were innocent or not.

I'm not really completely sure on the OP's point for this thread, but I figured i'd share that little story because it felt relevant somehow, maybe.
I don't use allignment in the mechanical sense in the game but my players do not play good characters. To call them evil would probably be pushing it...maybe. They actually did take part in the burning of a village which consisted of half orc women and children. Were the villagers innocent? Yes, was the party wrong? Yes.  They play their characters how their characters would act and that's what it came to. Now it's not like they saw the village and were like "oh hey let's engage in senseless slaughter!" My players were involved in a 100 year time jump and have been just recently getting a handle of all the changes. There was this Orc in their original time that not only betrayed them,  he was responsible for the death of a good man whom they actually respected despite the fact that they wanted the mans position of power. They ended up chaining the Orc up after they beat him up a bit and removed his tongue. fast forward a hundred years they learned that this orc not only survived, he was nursed back to health by a woman, who was another enemy of theirs. They then later learned that they had a son (who was in his 70's at this point) and was responsible for some crappy stuff, so they hunted him down and took care of him, that's when they discovered the village who were all descendants of that orc and that woman whom they loathed and that was their characters logic for burning it down to the ground, whether they were innocent or not.

I'm not really completely sure on the OP's point for this thread, but I figured i'd share that little story because it felt relevant somehow, maybe.




And I would not play in that game.
I don't use allignment in the mechanical sense in the game but my players do not play good characters. To call them evil would probably be pushing it...maybe. They actually did take part in the burning of a village which consisted of half orc women and children. Were the villagers innocent? Yes, was the party wrong? Yes.  They play their characters how their characters would act and that's what it came to. Now it's not like they saw the village and were like "oh hey let's engage in senseless slaughter!" My players were involved in a 100 year time jump and have been just recently getting a handle of all the changes. There was this Orc in their original time that not only betrayed them,  he was responsible for the death of a good man whom they actually respected despite the fact that they wanted the mans position of power. They ended up chaining the Orc up after they beat him up a bit and removed his tongue. fast forward a hundred years they learned that this orc not only survived, he was nursed back to health by a woman, who was another enemy of theirs. They then later learned that they had a son (who was in his 70's at this point) and was responsible for some crappy stuff, so they hunted him down and took care of him, that's when they discovered the village who were all descendants of that orc and that woman whom they loathed and that was their characters logic for burning it down to the ground, whether they were innocent or not.

I'm not really completely sure on the OP's point for this thread, but I figured i'd share that little story because it felt relevant somehow, maybe.




And I would not play in that game.



Everyone has their preferences, you're entitled to that. That's how they play, I bend to cater their actions and interests.
The males would have registered as faint evil too unless they were high level.That we where able to detect evil  means we have a paladin in the group,which means that they whole situation is a trap from the GM to rob his powers,which means i will demand that the GM stops his mind games and just drops a big stone on our characters.



Not a bad response since, typically, this situation IS nothing but a trap. It is, however, far less of a trap than those situations where it's like "Perform this evil deed or the universe ends!" which is just completely asanine from the word "Go".

As a general question, would you be adverse to the DM being willing to answer the Paladin's question of "What do I feel would be the best resolution for this?"

That is basically how I resolve sticky situations. For instance, if my players (particularly those that hew to a strict morality, etc) get into a situation where they aren't sure what the "appropriate" action is based on a given desired course of action I, as DM, have no qualms about telling them directly "X is a Good action in this situation" if that is what they are looking for. As DM I have no interest in playing a Gotcha game with them and making them guess about things like that if they are unsure. After all, they are NOT their characters...they have not lived their characters lives in-universe...they do not have the sum total of that characters experience. It is not fair to them to assume they will ALWAYS have the answer they want on hand for their character...so as DM I consider it important to be willing to offer up that information to my players with the understanding that I am NOT giving them what I think is the "best" answer but rather what would be "aligned" answers. It is still their choice as players whether or not to take any given option and they know that I don't care what they do...I am more interested in them being able to MAKE informed decisions than I am concerned with the decision itself.



I dunno...I think a campaign where evil acts are what it takes to save the universe could be interesting. For every good deed done, the universe unravels just a bit more. For every evil act, it mends.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
What would you do in place of the PCs?



What would the real-world me do in place of the PC's?  Depends on how freaked out I still am at having already killed so many orcs who were trying to kill me.  And whether the women and children actually seemed like a threat.

What would MY character do in place of the PC's in your example?  Well, the player controlling my character (me) would now need to know if the DM has given me sufficient information on how he handles alignment to make a "moral" judgement whose consequences for my PC make sense to me as a player.  If he has then the answer depends on that information.  If he HASN'T... things get more interesting.

I justifiably demand that he give me the information I need as a player to even begin to MAKE a meaningful choice for my character (and then I do what I want anyway once I know and am willing to accept the consequences.)  If he cannot or will not provide me with that information then I inform THE DM that I therefore MUST consider myself free to make up my own rules on the matter.  I inform him of what I deem to be appropriate action and consequences for my character and that I expect the DM to be smart enough not to even begin to try and screw with me on the matter since he's allowed the situation to come to THAT point.

ABOVE ALL - a paladin character eats, drinks, breathes, sweats and defacates, "The Right Thing To Do."  Even if you have those silly alternate-alignment "paladins" in your game those paladins are similarly heart, soul and mind DROWNING in what the right thing to do is according to their alignment and religious teachings.  If I, as a player of such a character, do not know the correct resolution to the situation then the DM had bloody damned well tell me when I ask him.  If he does not, then again, I am BY DEFINITION free to make up the correct answer myself and have every right to insist that the DM agree.  Failure of the DM to agree with me at that point pretty much brings the situation to the critical point of deciding if the DMs game is REALLY worth playing in after all.

Old School: It ain't what you play - it's how you play it.

My 1E Project: http://home.earthlink.net/~duanevp/dnd/Building%20D&D/buildingdnd.htm

"Who says I can't?" "The man in the funny hat..."

I dunno...I think a campaign where evil acts are what it takes to save the universe could be interesting. For every good deed done, the universe unravels just a bit more. For every evil act, it mends.



It COULD be conceptually interesting, of course, until someone takes a moral stand against it and the universe is on the line and things basically get reduced down to "Okay everyone, campaign is over cuz the universe ends cuz Dave won't be Evil".

That's not to say it's not possible...in fact, I have played with concepts like that in Star Wars where I tempted players with the possibility that the light side causes stagnation and redundancy in the galaxy and that the dark side is required to shake things up, cull the useless and stir innovation. People have to be on-board with it though...and, ultimately, even in that game the premise ended up being inaccurate. It was put forth...it challenged the players/characters emotionally and they overcame it...because, generally speaking, the game is played as a form of enjoyable escapism and dismal take-away messages are sorta  a buzzkill.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

What would you do in place of the PCs?



What would the real-world me do in place of the PC's?  Depends on how freaked out I still am at having already killed so many orcs who were trying to kill me.  And whether the women and children actually seemed like a threat.

What would MY character do in place of the PC's in your example?  Well, the player controlling my character (me) would now need to know if the DM has given me sufficient information on how he handles alignment to make a "moral" judgement whose consequences for my PC make sense to me as a player.  If he has then the answer depends on that information.  If he HASN'T... things get more interesting.

I justifiably demand that he give me the information I need as a player to even begin to MAKE a meaningful choice for my character (and then I do what I want anyway once I know and am willing to accept the consequences.)  If he cannot or will not provide me with that information then I inform THE DM that I therefore MUST consider myself free to make up my own rules on the matter.  I inform him of what I deem to be appropriate action and consequences for my character and that I expect the DM to be smart enough not to even begin to try and screw with me on the matter since he's allowed the situation to come to THAT point.

ABOVE ALL - a paladin character eats, drinks, breathes, sweats and defacates, "The Right Thing To Do."  Even if you have those silly alternate-alignment "paladins" in your game those paladins are similarly heart, soul and mind DROWNING in what the right thing to do is according to their alignment and religious teachings.  If I, as a player of such a character, do not know the correct resolution to the situation then the DM had bloody damned well tell me when I ask him.  If he does not, then again, I am BY DEFINITION free to make up the correct answer myself and have every right to insist that the DM agree.  Failure of the DM to agree with me at that point pretty much brings the situation to the critical point of deciding if the DMs game is REALLY worth playing in after all.



Holy crap.

This. So much this.

Seriously, as much THIS as possible.

Well done. Well said.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Here a list of what some of my characters would do:


Logan Wildblade, Halfling Barbarian/Rogue


"Only women and children, no challenge there.  Let the children grow up and mabye they will become decent opponents someday."


Grimli Doomcleave, Dwarven Fighter


"I wouldn't condone orcs doing the same to a bunch of woman and children of any other race.  How I could condone myself to do such an action?"


Dade, Halfling Rogue /Guildmaster


"No money, no treasure.  Why in the hell would I waste my energy and time when I could be back at the inn spending the orc males gold?"


Zerran Hellblade, Tiefling Warlord


"If we kill them we are no better than the orc men who lived in this community.  Allow them to find new lives.  Perhaps this incident will change them.  It matters not if they speak later of our skills in battle against their husbands and fathers or speak of the honor of allowing them to leave unharmed.  Either way they will speak of us and a dead orc can't give us any press."


This situation is pretty much a trap in my opinion.  I've been in games like this and for the most part it was the gamemaster trying his "shock & awe" technique.  It did nothing for any of us but roll our eyes and move on.


It's this kind of gameplay that can give RPGs an even worse reputation that it already has by the general public. 

I dunno...I think a campaign where evil acts are what it takes to save the universe could be interesting. For every good deed done, the universe unravels just a bit more. For every evil act, it mends.



It COULD be conceptually interesting, of course, until someone takes a moral stand against it and the universe is on the line and things basically get reduced down to "Okay everyone, campaign is over cuz the universe ends cuz Dave won't be Evil".

That's not to say it's not possible...in fact, I have played with concepts like that in Star Wars where I tempted players with the possibility that the light side causes stagnation and redundancy in the galaxy and that the dark side is required to shake things up, cull the useless and stir innovation. People have to be on-board with it though...and, ultimately, even in that game the premise ended up being inaccurate. It was put forth...it challenged the players/characters emotionally and they overcame it...because, generally speaking, the game is played as a form of enjoyable escapism and dismal take-away messages are sorta  a buzzkill.



Luckily, I do not play with asshats that won't be evil in what is merely a game. I may give this concept a go soon.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
The main problem with this set up has little to do with whatever choice it is each player makes from his PCs point of view.

As posted above, the evil assassin might ignore them as not dangerous, worthy of his time, whatever..

A lawful good character might let them walk from the goodness of his heart or something.. 



While I want to state out loud that I hate, and always have hated alignment questions other than as a short description word, much like gender, age or characters demeanor, none of that is relevant to teh question at hand.

The actually issue here is that there is a good chance of in-party fighting, which few enjoy, and no one you should want to play a team game with. So I would say, avoid this situation like the plague.


If you want to lead your players down a path of morally grey choices, start with something simple. Per request of the local mayor, you have managed to find and kill a nest of kobolds. Near their cave, still intact, you find a wagon full of items belonging to a local merchant. What do you do ?
The main problem with this set up has little to do with whatever choice it is each player makes from his PCs point of view.

As posted above, the evil assassin might ignore them as not dangerous, worthy of his time, whatever..

A lawful good character might let them walk from the goodness of his heart or something.. 



While I want to state out loud that I hate, and always have hated alignment questions other than as a short description word, much like gender, age or characters demeanor, none of that is relevant to teh question at hand.

The actually issue here is that there is a good chance of in-party fighting, which few enjoy, and no one you should want to play a team game with. So I would say, avoid this situation like the plague.


If you want to lead your players down a path of morally grey choices, start with something simple. Per request of the local mayor, you have managed to find and kill a nest of kobolds. Near their cave, still intact, you find a wagon full of items belonging to a local merchant. What do you do ?



I hardly call that morally grey.

And I find your suggestion that in-party fighting is bad for a game to be reprehensible and flat out wrong. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
I dunno...I think a campaign where evil acts are what it takes to save the universe could be interesting. For every good deed done, the universe unravels just a bit more. For every evil act, it mends.



It COULD be conceptually interesting, of course, until someone takes a moral stand against it and the universe is on the line and things basically get reduced down to "Okay everyone, campaign is over cuz the universe ends cuz Dave won't be Evil".

That's not to say it's not possible...in fact, I have played with concepts like that in Star Wars where I tempted players with the possibility that the light side causes stagnation and redundancy in the galaxy and that the dark side is required to shake things up, cull the useless and stir innovation. People have to be on-board with it though...and, ultimately, even in that game the premise ended up being inaccurate. It was put forth...it challenged the players/characters emotionally and they overcame it...because, generally speaking, the game is played as a form of enjoyable escapism and dismal take-away messages are sorta  a buzzkill.



Luckily, I do not play with asshats that won't be evil in what is merely a game. I may give this concept a go soon.



Indeed. I game with people that can be downright evil SOBs when they want to play that sort of character and I myself am no exception. Then again, I get plenty of practice being EEEVIL since I'm the DM 9 times out of 10 hah. The important thing is just getting people on board so one DOESN'T run into a situation like mentioned above, not that the situation above is entirely unavoidable. It is certainly avoidable, it just requires a few moments of work. If you want a great setting where Evil is awesome look up the Accordlands setting for Warlord: Saga Of the Storm. Its great! Best elves and evil religious paladins EVER!

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Near their cave, still intact, you find a wagon full of items belonging to a local merchant. What do you do ?



KILL THE WAGONS BABIES!

...is that right? :D

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Near their cave, still intact, you find a wagon full of items belonging to a local merchant. What do you do ?



KILL THE WAGONS BABIES!

...is that right? :D



Only after you've crippled the mother wagon by stealing it's wheels and selling them on the black market to people who will mistreat the parts.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/

I hardly call that morally grey.

And I find your suggestion that in-party fighting is bad for a game to be reprehensible and flat out wrong. 



Stealing is not a moral choice? Noted.


However, if you think in-party fighting is a good thing, I think we should just agree to never play with eachother.    

I hardly call that morally grey.

And I find your suggestion that in-party fighting is bad for a game to be reprehensible and flat out wrong. 



Stealing is not a moral choice? Noted.


However, if you think in-party fighting is a good thing, I think we should just agree to never play with eachother.    



It's not morally grey. It's pretty damn black and white.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
As opposed to killing goblin babies. Noted.
However, if you think in-party fighting is a good thing, I think we should just agree to never play with eachother.    

It's a classic trope, but obviously doesn't work if the players are also fighting. But, a group of mature players can agree that their players are entertainingly at odds.

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

However, if you think in-party fighting is a good thing, I think we should just agree to never play with eachother.    

It's a classic trope, but obviously doesn't work if the players are also fighting. But, a group of mature players can agree that their players are entertainingly at odds.



100% agreed with Centauri.

In-fighting in a PARTY is only an issue when those playing are too immature to keep it from becoming in-fighting in a ROOM. I have had some awesome in-character arguments and disagreements with other players and it was ENTIRELY limited to in-character. In fact, on a couple occasions I didn't even personally agree with my character...I just knew what their stance on the situation was.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

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