FireFly as a template for alignment co-operation.

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While rewatching the series Fire Fly, it occured to me that it held a perfect example of alignment co-operation.
(and thus, if you haven't watched the series, then I guess this idea won't mean much to you)

There is much re-occuring discussion about the problems with characters of radically different alignments getting along.

In Fire Fly, we see the character of Jane being a clear example of being chaotic evil.
Captain Mal is clearly lawful good( in his own way)

They get along for 2 simple reasons:
(reasons that apply nicely to a role playing game)

Mal( for the most part) doesn't try and punish Jane for his poor attitude and behavior.

Jane doesn't act like an idiot. Simply being evil and chaotic for the sake of itself. He talks a lot about how they should do nasty and selfish things, but the important part: He doesn't act on it. He understands that he is better off with the group, and with the group not thinking he is a total dick.
  
Exactly. Even though we would personally disagree about the specifics (and I take that as a good thing: taking the writer's laziness at clear definitions and turning it into flexibility for different groups to use it differently for different campaings), I'm not going to do so with any specifics because I don't think that that should be the point.

The point should be that people who insist "alignment in characters causes needless conflict between players" could benefit from looking at their favorite non-D&D fictions and seeing how the characters and their conflicting personalities can be reflected by differing alignments, and most importantly how the personality conflict serves the story instead of stopping it.

Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

Buffy Summers: Neutral Good. Doesn't care about mortal authority (either as love or as hate), but holds herself and other demon-hunters to an incredibly high (if informal) standard in the supernatural world.

Rupert Giles: Lawful Good. Cares very much about the rules and traditions that have kept demon-hunting organizations alive for thousands of years, even though he still gives Buffy room to prove herself when she is smarter then the others. Even if he hates a tradition for being potentially dangerous in most cases, he's not going to step in and go against his Lawful Neutral superiors unless it proves immediately dangerous in Buffy's specific case, and he will accept the punishment for his disobedience for years before challenging it as unjust (and even at that point he was still just expanding on the ball that Buffy had already got rolling against the superiors).

Willow Rosenberg: Chaotic Neutral. Will will certainly risk her life to fight against evil, protect her friends, and break whatever mortal (or supernatural) rules are necessary (or convenient) to do so, but tends to only worry about people's basic comfort and survival over helping them more completely, and not in a tough-love "good is not nice" sense, but more of an egocentric "me and my friends are too busy, leave us alone" sense. Can be extremely controlling at times, but always in a personal, informal sense rather than Lawful, systematic rule-booky sense like Giles.

Xander Harris: Somewhere between True Neutral and Chaotic Good, but beyond that I'm not really sure how to peg him specifically.

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Best defense that I've read in favor of having alignment systems as an option
Show
If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

Cue endless kvetching abuot the alignments of various characters from both series.  Thanks for that.

Also, it's Jayne, with a y.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Regardless of the kvetching (by the way, great word use Laughing), it can be said of most TV and movies where teams of characters interact, there is invariably one or more diametrically opposed pair, but they equally invariably get along for a wide variety of reasons.  D&D players need to realize that dynamic more: just because you are playing a LG paladin does not mean you have to hate and kill on sight that CE rogue.

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

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.
Regardless of the kvetching (by the way, great word use ), it can be said of most TV and movies where teams of characters interact, there is invariably one or more diametrically opposed pair, but they equally invariably get along for a wide variety of reasons.  D&D players need to realize that dynamic more: just because you are playing a LG paladin does not mean you have to hate and kill on sight that CE rogue.


Well earlier editions of D&D didn't realize that either. It used to be that the paladin could not knowingly and willingly work/travel with evil characters.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
Regardless of the kvetching (by the way, great word use ), it can be said of most TV and movies where teams of characters interact, there is invariably one or more diametrically opposed pair, but they equally invariably get along for a wide variety of reasons.  D&D players need to realize that dynamic more: just because you are playing a LG paladin does not mean you have to hate and kill on sight that CE rogue.


Well earlier editions of D&D didn't realize that either. It used to be that the paladin could not knowingly and willingly work/travel with evil characters.



Then my friends and I in college (1993-1994) broke the RAW in 2e.  We played the Dragon Mountain boxed set module and we had a Paladin and Anti-Paladin in the same group.  In fact, the players and DM figured out a way to make it work - the Anti-Paladin "fell out of favor" and the Paladin was attempting to convert the Anti-Paladin.  The A-P was still CE and had most of his powers.  It was a GREAT campaign.

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

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.
I once had LG and LE players divinely entertwined so as to, if one hurts the other, it hurts him vice versa. If one gets killed, other also. interesting how they team so well after lol.
Regardless of the kvetching (by the way, great word use ), it can be said of most TV and movies where teams of characters interact, there is invariably one or more diametrically opposed pair, but they equally invariably get along for a wide variety of reasons.  D&D players need to realize that dynamic more: just because you are playing a LG paladin does not mean you have to hate and kill on sight that CE rogue.


Well earlier editions of D&D didn't realize that either. It used to be that the paladin could not knowingly and willingly work/travel with evil characters.


Then my friends and I in college (1993-1994) broke the RAW in 2e.  We played the Dragon Mountain boxed set module and we had a Paladin and Anti-Paladin in the same group.  In fact, the players and DM figured out a way to make it work - the Anti-Paladin "fell out of favor" and the Paladin was attempting to convert the Anti-Paladin.  The A-P was still CE and had most of his powers.  It was a GREAT campaign.


I love the Dragon Mountain module. And we also used Anti-Paladins. Personally I never cared much for the RAW alignment restrictions and we almost always had at least one evil character in the party with a paladin.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.