Mixed Party Alignment

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AQuebman
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Mixed Party Alignment

Post by AQuebman » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:23 am

I know this question is bound to have varied feelings but from the more experienced DCC Gm's I want to know what their experience has shown them in regards to mixed alignment parties.

I have a group who prefers the randomized nature of DCC so naturally we rolled alignment randomly and the players designed personalities around their roll. My concern is that this makes modules 100% harder or close to impossible with how certain functions of the game work.

Specifically I have a Chaotic cleric in a mostly Lawful/Neutral party. So in this circumstance an evil dungeon will leave the cleric unable to turn or really heal most of the party. I brought it up to my party and they seem open to running it either way.

I'm really just trying to see into the crystal ball of DCC future and learn what the community feels about the subject.

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by beermotor » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:26 am

Just because he rolled Chaotic at level 0 doesn't mean he has to be Chaotic at level 1. Maybe the funnel convinced him to move in a Neutral direction, and then he became a cleric. Or, maybe not... maybe he'd LIKE to watch those poor suckers die... and then animate their corpses!

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by AQuebman » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:41 am

Funny during the funnel he kind of hung back and took a strange pleasure in watching others crumble and explode in the trap filled portal under the stars.

I think Chaotic fits the character pretty well lol. I think I may try and work out some RP reasons why his deity won't have a hissy fit if he heals a lawful character. I'm still working that out but that seems to be the big thing that I might have to work around. That or i'll just roll with it and my party can live and learn :).

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by Raven_Crowking » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:48 am

I don't make PCs choose an alignment until they reach Level 1; then their experiences up to that point can help them make that choice.

That said, my players have chosen mixes alignment groups consistently. That usually means that no one gets to actually advance their alignment causes, and reduces the Luck available to them overall. This doesn't bother me; I accept player choices and adjudicate the results. Besides, I intent to run The Balance Blade as written, when enough of the PCs are 2nd level. Should be fun!

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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.

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by Raven_Crowking » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:55 am

AQuebman wrote:I think I may try and work out some RP reasons why his deity won't have a hissy fit if he heals a lawful character.
Why?!?!?!

That would damage the beauty of the DCC cleric write up! Let them live and learn. Let the cleric have to deal with disapproval! Let the Lawful character have to decide why he is hanging around with the servant of a Chaotic deity, and let his Luck suffer because he is doing so!

Letting the players deal with the reality of the game milieu -- including the consequences of their alignment choices -- is no different than letting the dice fall where they may, IMHO. It is one of the great things about this game, and the source of much fun and conflict. And, when characters are so clearly opposed, it is also part of the ongoing funnel. If the players make choices that harm them, I say let that harm come!
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.

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by AQuebman » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:56 am

I am all for running things as written and it sounds like players can survive with the mixed alignments it's just a little harder and most of my party might be heals starved lol.


I'm about to run People of the Pit and not having a lawful cleric may make that a lot harder but only time will tell. Maybe my cleric will join the People of the Pit in the end lol.

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by AQuebman » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:59 am

Raven_Crowking wrote:
AQuebman wrote:I think I may try and work out some RP reasons why his deity won't have a hissy fit if he heals a lawful character.
Why?!?!?!

That would damage the beauty of the DCC cleric write up! Let them live and learn. Let the cleric have to deal with disapproval! Let the Lawful character have to decide why he is hanging around with the servant of a Chaotic deity, and let his Luck suffer because he is doing so!

Letting the players deal with the reality of the game milieu -- including the consequences of their alignment choices -- is no different than letting the dice fall where they may, IMHO. It is one of the great things about this game, and the source of much fun and conflict. And, when characters are so clearly opposed, it is also part of the ongoing funnel. If the players make choices that harm them, I say let that harm come!
Your right I will say 20 hail mary's to the great Gygax in penance for my sinful choices :lol:

It's been a long time since i've run old school hardcore D&D so i'm admittedly rusty. I may not crush the lawful characters luck because I think the RP will be where the real crush will be felt. Oh you had your arm hacked off well too bad the cleric is eating it and gaining some sort of sick pleasure instead of healing you.
Last edited by AQuebman on Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Raven_Crowking
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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by Raven_Crowking » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:59 am

Well, it sounds like it will be memorable, whatever happens! :mrgreen:
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.

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by Eyeball360 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:10 am

I never liked the idea that alignments are straight-jackets with no room for variation. I look at the world around me and I see infinite examples of people with different alignments who cooperate for their mutual success, so I always felt that the game should allow for that as well. I think they should be guidelines, with penalties applied for serious transgressions and rewards given for great sacrifices made to stick to alignment. But that's me.

In a situation like this, I would allow a cleric to heal or aid people of an opposite alignment if they agreed to make donations to his church, for example. My thoughts are that the aid to members of an opposing alignment is balanced by the donations, so in the end the Luck and Disapproval is a wash. I am a fan of making some adjustments to allow people to work together, because few things destroy everyone's enjoyment of the evening like a fight between party members or a situation where people feel that they are supposed to be uncooperative. If however, you have a group of mature players who can handle the conflict without a negative impact to everyone's enjoyment, then I am absolutely with Raven's approach to let the party deal with it.

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by AQuebman » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:16 am

Eyeball360 wrote:I never liked the idea that alignments are straight-jackets with no room for variation. I look at the world around me and I see infinite examples of people with different alignments who cooperate for their mutual success, so I always felt that the game should allow for that as well. I think they should be guidelines, with penalties applied for serious transgressions and rewards given for great sacrifices made to stick to alignment. But that's me.

In a situation like this, I would allow a cleric to heal or aid people of an opposite alignment if they agreed to make donations to his church, for example. My thoughts are that the aid to members of an opposing alignment is balanced by the donations, so in the end the Luck and Disapproval is a wash. I am a fan of making some adjustments to allow people to work together, because few things destroy everyone's enjoyment of the evening like a fight between party members or a situation where people feel that they are supposed to be uncooperative. If however, you have a group of mature players who can handle the conflict without a negative impact to everyone's enjoyment, then I am absolutely with Raven's approach to let the party deal with it.
I agree with what your saying and I think it will be a give or take situation. If my chaotic cleric has reasoning from his deity to be on this venture then healing his partner is within his godly bounds. The chaos still can come up in various other ways. On the other side there are times when healing that same guy would be an affront, specifically after the threat is dealt with for example.

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by Raven_Crowking » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:37 am

Eyeball360 wrote:I never liked the idea that alignments are straight-jackets with no room for variation. I look at the world around me and I see infinite examples of people with different alignments who cooperate for their mutual success, so I always felt that the game should allow for that as well.
I agree with this, but.....

.......within the context of the DCC game, alignment is real. The conflict between Law and Chaos is real. Consider the Appendix N stories from which the game is derived. Elric served Lords of Chaos, but does not wish to. As a result, sometimes Lords of Law actually aid him, but it is never easy.

In the case of the cleric, disapproval and the limitations of healing based on alignment and deity are part of the way the character class works. Changing this adds power to the cleric, because the cleric's primary limitation is that he cannot ignore the dictates and wishes of his god. It also, IMHO, removes flavour from the game and diminishes the impact of player choices.

Rather, I prefer to note that the game already allows people to work together....but, if they make choices that impose limitations on how well they do so, I am not going to diminish the impact of those choices. (1) I don't want to render those choices moot, and (2) I don't want to undo the limitations that those choices represent, because doing so removes balance...and more importantly, flavour....elements from the design.

But what I would do should never limit what you want to do.....run the game in whatever way makes you happiest! That is the core "truth" of old school gaming!
If however, you have a group of mature players who can handle the conflict without a negative impact to everyone's enjoyment, then I am absolutely with Raven's approach to let the party deal with it.
That is, I admit, a basic assumption on my part.....that the players are mature or that, with some guidance, they will become so. But, then, my table includes two thirteen-year-olds who can be mature, so I expect the same from the adult players!
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.

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by ragboy » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:13 am

Raven_Crowking wrote: That would damage the beauty of the DCC cleric write up! Let them live and learn. Let the cleric have to deal with disapproval! Let the Lawful character have to decide why he is hanging around with the servant of a Chaotic deity, and let his Luck suffer because he is doing so!
I totally agree with and use this approach...and take it a step further. Every 0-level gets assigned a random god (though there is an option for NONE). This represents the faith they were raised in. Once they hit 1st level, they get to learn that there's another continuum to be dealt with -- Cleric's abilities are tied not to alignment but to their god (doh). And not all gods play well together -- same continuum applies to clerics and healing -- Aligned/Neutral/Opposed -- but it's based on the faith of the healer and the healed. Characters can be "converted" to another religion, but it's a process that the players have their characters work through. Changing your faith isn't easy. No penalties (like the old changing your alignment rules) but it's definitely not over night and may have campaign consequences depending on whether the character is actually involved in his or her faith.

I had grand plans of replacing alignment with a true "alignment" that gave a character a short hand for a "belief" system -- i.e. the character is most closely aligned with the current local regime, another character is aligned with his or her religion, etc. But it got too confusing and nitpicky. I just let them decide who they align themselves with in the world.

Since the cleric's alignment has mechanical implications, I thought the religion thing was a good middle ground. It's led to some really interesting situations and the players have reacted positively to it. We've actually had one character leave the party due to conflicts with his faith and the party's actions within the game world.
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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by Ddogwood » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:39 am

Raven_Crowking wrote:
I agree with this, but.....

.......within the context of the DCC game, alignment is real.
Unless, in anyone's particular game, it isn't. I'm pretty sure alignment can be modified, replaced, or ignored without ruining the game in any meaningful way.

Besides, I'd rule that healing someone of opposed alignment would be just fine as long as the healing promotes the deity's cause. If my cleric fools a Lawful character into helping my Chaotic deity's plans, I doubt my deity would have a problem with it.

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by Raven_Crowking » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:54 am

Ddogwood wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote:
I agree with this, but.....

.......within the context of the DCC game, alignment is real.
Unless, in anyone's particular game, it isn't.
Absolutely! Fear no rule! :mrgreen:
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.

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by Gizrond » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:53 pm

I would think most Chaotic deities would be okay with a priest healing his meatshield, as long as the end goal promotes entropy.

Healing is an excellent tool for conversion.

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by TheNobleDrake » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:07 am

Gizrond wrote:I would think most Chaotic deities would be okay with a priest healing his meatshield, as long as the end goal promotes entropy.

Healing is an excellent tool for conversion.
I agree with this and assume that the reduced healing based upon alignment is the end-all and be-all of worries/punishment that would arise from a cleric healing those his god does not approve of.

It is actually also my opinion that disapproval rules are there to show us exactly how the "typical" DCC god behaves - he grants power, expects you to use it well and further his goals without his specific bestowing of orders... and then gets grumpy and "takes your toys away" when your mind falls short of fathoming his desires, with zero leeway or compassion granted on account of it being impossible for your mind to fathom said desires in the first place.

I see no need to enhance the downsides of cleric magic when used on non-matching alignments, and no need to decrease the chance of disapproval for when the cleric is doing what seems to be exactly what his god asked of him.

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by Raven_Crowking » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:27 am

Gizrond wrote:I would think most Chaotic deities would be okay with a priest healing his meatshield, as long as the end goal promotes entropy.

Healing is an excellent tool for conversion.
Sure, but that begs the question, is the cleric trying to convert the Lawful character?

And, why is the Lawful character then accepting this aid, if the end goal promotes entropy?

I am not saying that these questions must come up in every instance, but that they should come up, esp. if there is a long association, and it is clear that the cleric is Chaotic and the Lawful guy isn't converting. Is it conceivable that a cleric of Set might cure Conan? Sure. Is it conceivable that Conan would hang about with the cleric of Set, while the cleric provides regular healing? Not so sure.
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.

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by Gizrond » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:11 am

Raven_Crowking wrote:
Gizrond wrote:I would think most Chaotic deities would be okay with a priest healing his meatshield, as long as the end goal promotes entropy.

Healing is an excellent tool for conversion.
Sure, but that begs the question, is the cleric trying to convert the Lawful character?

And, why is the Lawful character then accepting this aid, if the end goal promotes entropy?

I am not saying that these questions must come up in every instance, but that they should come up, esp. if there is a long association, and it is clear that the cleric is Chaotic and the Lawful guy isn't converting. Is it conceivable that a cleric of Set might cure Conan? Sure. Is it conceivable that Conan would hang about with the cleric of Set, while the cleric provides regular healing? Not so sure.
Exactly. But I was only speaking for the Chaotic priest. The Lawful guy has got his own problems. If he's not a priest himself, then those problems are greatly reduced, but I can't imagine him not inevitably sliding towards Chaos if his lifeline happens to be a servant of Chaos.

I always prefer to run my Gods as I feel ancient peoples saw them. They are far from benevolent or omnipotent. They are moody, capricious, and petulant. They are powerful and dangerous, and for the most part look to mankind to alleviate the boredom that godly power and immortality bring. It's why most ancient prayers fall along the lines of, "Please just leave us be," as opposed to, "Hey, give me this."

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by Raven_Crowking » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:23 am

Gizrond wrote:I always prefer to run my Gods as I feel ancient peoples saw them. They are far from benevolent or omnipotent. They are moody, capricious, and petulant. They are powerful and dangerous, and for the most part look to mankind to alleviate the boredom that godly power and immortality bring. It's why most ancient prayers fall along the lines of, "Please just leave us be," as opposed to, "Hey, give me this."
:D

Now we are drinking from the same sacrificial cup!

:D
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.

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by ragboy » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:36 am

Raven_Crowking wrote:
Gizrond wrote:I always prefer to run my Gods as I feel ancient peoples saw them. They are far from benevolent or omnipotent. They are moody, capricious, and petulant. They are powerful and dangerous, and for the most part look to mankind to alleviate the boredom that godly power and immortality bring. It's why most ancient prayers fall along the lines of, "Please just leave us be," as opposed to, "Hey, give me this."
:D

Now we are drinking from the same sacrificial cup!
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The God-Seed Awakens: 3rd Level Adventure for DCC. New patron, new spells, lots of new monsters and the living weapons of the Empire of Thal!
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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by AQuebman » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:47 am

Raven_Crowking wrote:
Gizrond wrote:I would think most Chaotic deities would be okay with a priest healing his meatshield, as long as the end goal promotes entropy.

Healing is an excellent tool for conversion.
Sure, but that begs the question, is the cleric trying to convert the Lawful character?

And, why is the Lawful character then accepting this aid, if the end goal promotes entropy?

I am not saying that these questions must come up in every instance, but that they should come up, esp. if there is a long association, and it is clear that the cleric is Chaotic and the Lawful guy isn't converting. Is it conceivable that a cleric of Set might cure Conan? Sure. Is it conceivable that Conan would hang about with the cleric of Set, while the cleric provides regular healing? Not so sure.
I think the focus on my end will be to make sure that the cleric specifically is driven to complete the same quest for different reasons and therefore can still be a part of the party if they so choose. In this instance my cleric worships Azi Dhaka, I am leaning towards Azi being displeased with the power gained by this elemental/tentacle beast and approving of his disciple wiping it out. That being said it better darn well be a life or death, guys on the brink healing situation because he's still lawful and that's not going to mesh well if he's healing barely wounded lawful party members.

A good mix if what i'm shooting for. i'll try to update how the campaign rolls once we kick it off.

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Re: Mixed Party Alignment

Post by SavageRobby » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:28 am

Ddogwood wrote:Besides, I'd rule that healing someone of opposed alignment would be just fine as long as the healing promotes the deity's cause. If my cleric fools a Lawful character into helping my Chaotic deity's plans, I doubt my deity would have a problem with it.
This is pretty much what I was thinking, and doesn't necessarily require deception. It's almost entirely situational, based on the diety, their goals, their strictures and what plans the characters are currently pursuing.

Consider the following:

A Lawful God whose sole purpose is to destroy Chaos. In that case, a cleric of that god healing a Chaos follower for any reason probably isn't going to be viewed nicely.

A Lawful God whose domain is healing and harvest. In this case, it would be quite appropriate to heal a follower of Chaos, unless that follower was actively doing something to destroy the current harvest or a hospital or something (or followed a god of locusts or whatnot).

A Lawful God who hates spiders. In this case, if the mission is to go destroy the Spider Queen, it would be entirely appropriate to heal a follower of Chaos.

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