DCC Alignment question

If it doesn't fit into a category above, then inscribe it here, O Mighty One...

Moderators: DJ LaBoss, finarvyn, michaelcurtis, Harley Stroh

User avatar
mistro tsar huk
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 12:25 pm

DCC Alignment question

Post by mistro tsar huk » Sat May 05, 2012 12:34 pm

What alignment would gods like Thor or Asmodeus be? With a 9 alignment system, they might be CG & LE, but how would they be classified in the DCC 3 alignment system. Thanks.

DimitriX
Wild-Eyed Zealot
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 5:54 am

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by DimitriX » Sun May 06, 2012 6:49 am

Well in DCC, I would say that Thor is Lawful. Though he does his own thing, he is guided by a sense of honor and duty to his society by protecting the world from the frost giants.

Asmodeus is a bit trickier. He is Lawful in the sense that he follows a certain set of rules (and then tries to break or bend them as much as possible). But, his actions are to cause evil and chaos in the world so he can take over. So, I would say that overall that Asmodeus is Chaotic.

User avatar
Karaptis
Cold-Blooded Diabolist
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:24 pm
Location: The end of time.

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by Karaptis » Sun May 06, 2012 7:21 am

+1 to Dimitri's awesome explanation. Many times Lawful= good, chaotic= evil. I know that it is not always the case but most of the time it is. I think I may scrap law and Chaos for good and evil. May favorite alignment system was palladium's. Hell, I may even adopt that!

User avatar
dunbruha
Mighty-Thewed Reaver
Posts: 304
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 4:00 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by dunbruha » Sun May 06, 2012 7:57 am

Karaptis wrote:+1 to Dimitri's awesome explanation. Many times Lawful= good, chaotic= evil. I know that it is not always the case but most of the time it is. I think I may scrap law and Chaos for good and evil. May favorite alignment system was palladium's. Hell, I may even adopt that!
Except that the good/evil dichotomy does not work with Thieves... From the book:
CoreBook wrote:Lawful thieves are ubiquitous, and they belong to institutions of organized crime: guilds of beggars who feign illness to fleece the generous, pirate gangs that hijack innocent travelers, or organized brigands who charge “protection fees” for certain routes.
None of these could be called "Good". And I don't like them being "Lawful" either. My take on alignment is that everyone is Neutral unless they are an ACTIVE agent for a god/patron, and then they would have the alignment of that being. I would prefer Good/Neutral/Evil, but I can adapt Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic to that.

So, in my campaign, none of the thieves listed above would be Lawful--they would be Neutral, unless they were actively serving a patron with a different alignment.

User avatar
finarvyn
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2486
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:42 am
FLGS: Fair Game
Location: Chicago suburbs
Contact:

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by finarvyn » Mon May 07, 2012 6:24 am

Certainly each DM can decide what works best in his own campaign.

Law-Chaos is a historical nod to the works of Poul Anderson and Michael Moorcock, the two authors who did the most with wars based on alignment. In the early days of D&D, Arneson's "us" versus "them" essentially followed this path, with "us" being the good guys (Law) and "them" being the bad guys (Chaos). The idea at that time was either you are making the world a better place (Law) or you aren't (Chaos) so elves and dwarves were Law while orcs were Chaos. In many ways, life was a lot simpler back then.

The later addition of the Good-Evil spectrum complicates things a little because now you can look at groups like the Empire in Star Wars and call them Law-Evil. Still bad guys, but trying to build society in their image. The big problem arose with spells like "Protection from Evil" and the question as to count Evil as Chaos or its own thing. What I like about Neutral is that it is a catch-all and allows me to take groups that don't fit the Law-Chaos model (such as thieves, good fairies, etc) and give them a space of their own. Essentially, either you support a side or you don't and those who don't become Neutral.

Look at it this way: characters in the Hobbit might be statted out with only Law-Chaos alignment, but The Lord of the Rings probably fits better with both Law-Chaos and Good-Evil. The Hobbit is more simplistic (mostly dwarves versus orcs, but then there are also elves...) and LotR more complex (add in Saruman in the middle but working both ends) but either system could work well for a Middle-earth campaign.

I prefer to keep alignment more simple than this, but I can understand where some gamers prefer more shades of grey.
Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
DCC RPG playtester 2011, DCC Lankhmar trivia contest winner 2015; OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson

jmucchiello
Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer
Posts: 779
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:28 am

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by jmucchiello » Tue May 08, 2012 7:38 pm

finarvyn wrote:LotR more complex (add in Saruman in the middle but working both ends) but either system could work well for a Middle-earth campaign.
I don't see LotR as anything resembling complex. It's almost black and white in simplicity. Saruman is a small special case because he was usurped by Sauran. He was for Law. Then he was for Chaos.

User avatar
Raven_Crowking
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2964
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:41 am

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by Raven_Crowking » Wed May 09, 2012 5:23 am

jmucchiello wrote:
finarvyn wrote:LotR more complex (add in Saruman in the middle but working both ends) but either system could work well for a Middle-earth campaign.
I don't see LotR as anything resembling complex. It's almost black and white in simplicity. Saruman is a small special case because he was usurped by Sauran. He was for Law. Then he was for Chaos.
Before I jump into this, are you going by the books or the movies? Because they are very different things in terms of their moral complexity.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

User avatar
finarvyn
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2486
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:42 am
FLGS: Fair Game
Location: Chicago suburbs
Contact:

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by finarvyn » Wed May 09, 2012 7:41 am

Raven_Crowking wrote:
jmucchiello wrote:
finarvyn wrote:LotR more complex (add in Saruman in the middle but working both ends) but either system could work well for a Middle-earth campaign.
I don't see LotR as anything resembling complex. It's almost black and white in simplicity. Saruman is a small special case because he was usurped by Sauran. He was for Law. Then he was for Chaos.
Before I jump into this, are you going by the books or the movies? Because they are very different things in terms of their moral complexity.
I think that LotR is more complex alignment-wise than tH becasue there are more factions. While Saruman is a "special case" he still brings in that third element which breaks the "us versus them" model.

I see the moral complexity of both book and film as similar. Middle-earth is perhaps not the best example I could have chosen because it tends to be very good-evil. I picked it (in part) because so many folks have said that tH is more like OD&D while LotR is more like AD&D.
Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
DCC RPG playtester 2011, DCC Lankhmar trivia contest winner 2015; OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson

User avatar
Raven_Crowking
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2964
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:41 am

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by Raven_Crowking » Wed May 09, 2012 8:03 am

As an obvious example of how the books and movies are dissimilar, in the books Saruman is working for himself, and begins by attempting to play both sides in hopes of gaining the One Ring. Evil is not monolithic. Nor does destroying the Ring end evil forever.

The changes to Faramir, making Aragorn feel called by the Ring, and making Gandalf fear to touch it, in the movie removed people who are not affected by the Ring; who resist its lure utterly. This narrows the moral spectrum considerably. So does having Frodo believe Gollum's lies, as opposed to knowingly accepting Gollum through pity and complete understanding.

In the books, Aragorn is not a "reluctant hero" -- he is exactly the opposite. The one thing he wants is to marry Arwen, and Elrond has forbid this until he sits on the Throne of Gondor. For long years...for decades...he sacrifices gaining what he truly desires in order to best serve the needs of others.

In the movies, the elves are "good" and Sauron "evil"; in the books, their primary sin is the same -- trying to order the world as they will to their own benefit. (This is made explicit, BTW, in JRRT's letters.) In essence, the Three Rings were intended to preserve the younger world that the elves loved against the coming world of Men. Both wish to make the world what they want of it, rather than accept the will of Anwe.

Jackson did an excellent job of conveying the complexity of Gondor, in terms of Denethor's madness, and I am not ashamed to say that he made me tear up with his portrayal of Helm's Deep. But the pathos of Gollum is so much greater when you understand that even his best side is "Slinker"....there is no Gollum to really root for. He was a wicked thing before the Ring ever came to his hand.

Books: Evil comes from within, and consists largely of our own frailties being allowed to dominate our decisions, and our attempts to justify the same. The Ring only gives us power to act thus, and tends to twist our intentions to make us serve its will. If we are strong enough of purpose, like Faramir or Samwise, we can resist it utterly.

Movies: Evil comes from without, and cannot be resisted for long. Even the best of us succumb.

Finally, some of the most complex ethics in the novel come into play after the Ring is destroyed, in The Scouring of the Shire, which the movies leave out entirely.

So, to my mind, not the same thing at all. YMMV.


RC


EDIT: The Hobbit might be more morally complex than it seems at first glance. Certainly, Thorin & Co are not all good or all bad, nor the men, nor the elves. Is the Master of Laketown good or evil? Lawful or chaotic? The discussion about who has claim to the treasure, and why, actually has some real complexity. Should Bard be pragmatic and send away the elf host? What about the ethics of Bilbo's giving the Arkenstone to Bard? Etc. Even in the riddle contest, Bilbo really does cheat (and even wicked creatures, we are told, are afraid to do so), and really does steal the Ring.

There's a lot more meat in The Hobbit than might appear at first glance. Moral complexity is not just the number of sides, but how complex those sides are themselves.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

User avatar
finarvyn
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2486
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:42 am
FLGS: Fair Game
Location: Chicago suburbs
Contact:

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by finarvyn » Wed May 09, 2012 10:53 am

While I don't disagree with any of your points, I don't think that they have a huge bearing on alignment as I play it. I see Middle-earth primarilly as an "us against them" thing. The good guys are Thorin & Co or are the Fellowship (depending on which book is under discussion). The bad guys are the dudes trying to stop Thorin & Co or the Fellowship.

While you can certainly divide alignment into two axis (law-chaos and good-evil) I really don't see that two are needed in order to play a campaign in Middle-earth. This isn't to say that you can't use a 9-alignment system if you like, or that Middle-earth couldn't be more complex than the model I'm discussing. Tolkien put many layers of depth into his characters and any alignment system will be "watering down" character profiles somewhat. I'm just saying that I played M-e campaigns with law-chaos alignment for years before AD&D came out and never felt like anything was missing.

Sounds like you prefer to analyze literature in greater depth than I.
Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
DCC RPG playtester 2011, DCC Lankhmar trivia contest winner 2015; OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson

User avatar
Raven_Crowking
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2964
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:41 am

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by Raven_Crowking » Wed May 09, 2012 11:44 am

finarvyn wrote:Sounds like you prefer to analyze literature in greater depth than I.
Probably true.

When my youngest was watching Dora the Explorer, I couldn't avoid analysing the nature of her universe (i.e., the route from point A to B is always changing, even if it is a familiar route, such as between your friend's house and yours, although you both still live in the same place).

If you're curious, I concluded that she lives in a Holodeck-type construct.


RC
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

User avatar
mistro tsar huk
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 12:25 pm

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by mistro tsar huk » Wed May 09, 2012 12:23 pm

Another question I have is about goblins and hobgoblins. In the DCC book, their alignments are listed as Lawful. Is this intentional?

User avatar
Vanguard
Mighty-Thewed Reaver
Posts: 302
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:27 pm

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by Vanguard » Wed May 09, 2012 12:36 pm

What about Tom Bombadil? He has the power to unmake the ring, yet he chooses not to? That's pretty decidedly neutral.
My Gaming Blog: The Earthlight Academy
http://earthlightacademy.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Raven_Crowking
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2964
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:41 am

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by Raven_Crowking » Wed May 09, 2012 5:02 pm

Vanguard wrote:What about Tom Bombadil? He has the power to unmake the ring, yet he chooses not to? That's pretty decidedly neutral.
Or most of the elves, dwarves, and men, who, having cares of their own, choose not to get involved. Or the hillmen, who are tricked by Saruman into believing that the Rohirrim are monsters, and yet will work with orcs. Or the men of Far Harad, who are not evil, and have believed the lies of Sauron, and yet will work with orcs. Etc.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

Tortog
Mighty-Thewed Reaver
Posts: 343
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:44 pm

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by Tortog » Wed May 09, 2012 9:22 pm

mistro tsar huk wrote:What alignment would gods like Thor or Asmodeus be? With a 9 alignment system, they might be CG & LE, but how would they be classified in the DCC 3 alignment system. Thanks.
Well, IMO:

per the AD&D Monster Manual 1, Asmodeus= arch-devil= LE= L in DCC rule set (fits with the hierarchical structure of the hells and Devilish 'chain-of-command' structure)
per the AD&D Deities & Demigods, Thor is CG= C in DCC terms. (fits with the idea of storms and lightning...)

If the Law v. Chaos wasn't so heavily emphasized within the rule set I would ignore it entirely, as I am tired from 30 years of playing 'alignment cop'. As a philosopher I have never been comfortable with reducing human morals and ethics into 9 'simple' definitions. Reducing them further to L-N-C... :roll: To borrow a graphic metaphor: its like taking 9-bit resolution and reducing it to 3-bit resolution. Given a choice I would rather let players be players... if they have sworn themselves to a cause, or a God, then they should emulate that entity, or fulfill the vow, etc. or suffer the consequences as defined by that particular relationship; but I don't think there needs to be any formal system.

But since alignments cannot be avoided... I try to incorporate them into the milieu as best as I can; though I'm having difficulty adapting to it and so are my players, even after nearly a year in the same campaign with the same characters. I must admit that the absence of good and evil allows for some new twists and turns... just because a demon is chaotic doesn't mean that it is evil (or good) just chaotic. IMO, a chaotic entity can continually choose to be bound to a concept/agreement if it decides that this is in its best interests. Likewise, a lawful entity can use the 'letter' of the law to circumvent the 'spirit' of the law; or worse yet, work within the laws to champion changes to the laws in order to promote selfish ends. It happens all the time in the real world... why should the game environment be different?

Good vs. Evil seems to be more comfortable for most folks and easier to deal with (at least from my experience) especially if the DM takes the time to clearly define the context of these terms within the game environment. I keep things simple:

***
Good= That which is generous and selfless; 'the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few... or the one...' :wink:
Evil= That which is selfish and self-serving; placing the needs of the individual above the needs of the community. :)
Neutral= Those who have chosen to stand between the two; working to keep these extremes from obliterating each other. They are the magnetic containment fields of the matter/anti-matter pods on Starship Universe... 8)

Everything 'natural' or of the 'Material Plain' is born Neutral {a.k.a. Innocence} - an individual's environment and the choices it makes in response to same will define the character of that individual entity. 8)

Creatures from other plains like angels, devils, demons, etc. may have fixed alignments and will act accordingly.
***
Just my 2cp :mrgreen:

User avatar
dunbruha
Mighty-Thewed Reaver
Posts: 304
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 4:00 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by dunbruha » Sun May 13, 2012 3:55 pm

mistro tsar huk wrote:Another question I have is about goblins and hobgoblins. In the DCC book, their alignments are listed as Lawful. Is this intentional?
I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this as well. Can someone provide a rationale for this? I just can't picture goblins as lawful in any way.

shadewest
Hard-Bitten Adventurer
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:46 am

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by shadewest » Sun May 13, 2012 4:06 pm

They make plans, use tactics, and are loyal to each other. Imagine them as military units with strict, ruthless discipline. Use them as minions of the evil overlord or whatever.
...unless the judge rules otherwise.

Steven Thivierge
Playtester and additional design for:DCC RPG.

User avatar
dunbruha
Mighty-Thewed Reaver
Posts: 304
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 4:00 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by dunbruha » Sun May 13, 2012 5:25 pm

shadewest wrote:They make plans, use tactics, and are loyal to each other. Imagine them as military units with strict, ruthless discipline. Use them as minions of the evil overlord or whatever.
I know we are supposed to re-imagine monsters for DCC, but this is a stretch for me... goblins--loyal to each other? using tactics?? :shock: It's hard for me to see this.

caveman
Hard-Bitten Adventurer
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 6:18 pm

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by caveman » Sun May 13, 2012 6:44 pm

Apropos of App N, I'm reading Quag Keep right now and it's really interesting how Law and Chaos are a pungent force in the world at all times. Even a fighting man can literally smell a creature of Chaos. Being Lawful or Chaotic is described as an allegiance, being "Sworn to Law", which has serious metaphysical consequences. And it allows characters of wildly different styles and backgrounds to be on the same team... then there's Neutral, which is considered shifty and for the main chance.
Neat book, like the author was really thinking hard about the world that was created when she played the game with Gygax. In fact, the creation of real worlds through imaginative play is the conceit of the story. A real Borges kinda thing.

User avatar
finarvyn
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2486
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:42 am
FLGS: Fair Game
Location: Chicago suburbs
Contact:

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by finarvyn » Mon May 14, 2012 5:46 am

mistro tsar huk wrote:Another question I have is about goblins and hobgoblins. In the DCC book, their alignments are listed as Lawful. Is this intentional?
I would say that they could qualify as Law in the AD&D 9-alignment system but I would call them Chaos in my OD&D or DCC campaigns.

The very fact that Asmodius and a Paladin could have any similarities in alignment (e.g. both could be "Law") is the flaw, to me, in a 9-alignment system. It encourages those gray areas. I like my gaming more black-and-white.

Again, my alignment default is more like "us" versus "them" and goblins and hobgoblins are clearly "them." :wink:
Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
DCC RPG playtester 2011, DCC Lankhmar trivia contest winner 2015; OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson

Blustar
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 9:17 pm

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by Blustar » Mon May 14, 2012 6:45 am

It doesn't help that in the description for Law it states, " Fundamentally , lawful characters choose the path of mankind over the path of the path of super-natural dominance". (boldface mine) So, how can a Goblin be considered Lawful? Unless the implication is that we substitute mankind with "its own kind" or something of a similar nature. Then Orcs would also be lawful and anything that isn't mindlessly destructive.

It also says they support organized institutions and support what is right. Well the Goblins in my campaign are definitely not Lawful in any way.

What Appendix N literature supports this alignment configuration, I'm honestly interested, I probably missed reading one of the books.

The "Caves of Chaos" had Orcs, Goblins, Kobolds.. will we have to rename it the "Caves of Chaos, Law and possibly Neutral" when we get the obligatory DCC RPG rewrite?

User avatar
mistro tsar huk
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 12:25 pm

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by mistro tsar huk » Mon May 14, 2012 12:16 pm

Trogs are listed as alignment 'L' also. Are these typos?

onearmspence
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:23 pm

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by onearmspence » Mon May 14, 2012 12:43 pm

In the light of Moorcock´s works, Law vs. Chaos is not the same thing as Good vs. Evil. Worlds that capitulate to the force of law die by sterility, while those who succumb to chaos are simply destroyed.

If there’s any redeeming force in this struggle is the balance (which is not indifference btw).
The lawful goblin is just a minion, (nonetheless you have to keep in mind that monsters on DCC are just samples of monsters).

Alignment is just a guideline (A really vague one), something you use with other guidelines to role-play the monster. (Sure the Goblin can be loyal to the evil mastermind, but he’s also a coward creature that will run away if given the chance).

jmucchiello
Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer
Posts: 779
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:28 am

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by jmucchiello » Mon May 14, 2012 1:07 pm

Hobgoblins have been lawful evil since 1e AD&D and there are standard D&D campaign settings where Hobgoblins form walled communities and trade with the "good" races.

It's orcs and ogres that are the brutish, chaotic types.

User avatar
Karaptis
Cold-Blooded Diabolist
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:24 pm
Location: The end of time.

Re: DCC Alignment question

Post by Karaptis » Mon May 14, 2012 2:53 pm

I kinda wish the odnd alignments were good, evil, neutral instead of law, chaos, neutral. The boundries are so much more defined that way. ( wait does that make me a minion of law?)

Post Reply

Return to “DCC RPG General”