1. Put your username in image search.
2. Select “animated” under search tools.
3. Post result.
This describe my blog perfectly
Seriously?!? From all the gifs, this is the first one?!?
I am actually quite okay with this.
……. Yep. Going to angst now. Me and Derek. We know what we’re doing.
i have a zillion posts to make
about how wonderful my players are for pokemons
- a post on some props i’ve made for pokemon since i harass corruptionpoints about props all the time and haven’t shown a damn thing
- D&D next
but my brain is dead from wandering around an urban environment today, so tomorrow. tomorrow will be words.
also i have more props to pooost because i forgot the ones i make as a player
As usual, I issued a challenge to you all on Tuesday, offering triple points for a topic regarding “Good vs. Evil”. Like clockwork, Rashiko took the charge with the following question.
We will stick with the standard Greyhawk 3.5 campaign setting for clarity. Please explain the difference between Good and Evil in a fantasy setting and how this impacts or justifies the battles between celestial and abyssal/infernal beings, not to mention mere mortals. Feel free to draw a distinction between fantasy moral systems and real world moral systems if you find there to be a difference.
Apparently, he decided to bring the heat on Tuesday.
When I am designing a fantasy setting, or explaining within a fantasy setting, the idea of “Good” and “Evil” are not a cut and dry system of specific values that can be checked off.
I often state that the nine-alignment system is necessary, but restrictive by nature, to fully explore the concepts of morality within a system.
It could easily be argued that there are many systems that don’t rely on alignments, but that would be a digression, as we are talking about Dungeons & Dragons.
If I had to very generally explain the concepts, I would say the following: “Good” would be the morality that values the needs of the collective, the whole, or the group over the needs of the singular, the self, or the one, and “Evil” would be the inverse.
To that end, the Celestial Beings aligned “Good” would inspire their champions to produce the greatest benefit for their world and its inhabitants over themselves individually.
Celestial Beings aligned “Evil” would inspire their champions to find the greatest power they can individually acquire and utilize it to the best of their judgment and ability, while simultaneously securing that power.
Within that idea, a Celestial Good would fight a Celestial Evil for the sake that being rid of the Evil would benefit the world and its inhabitants in a positive manner, where Celestial Evil would fight Celestial Good to better position itself in a court of power. The cycle continues.
Within that idea, concepts themselves are not particularly evil, but only the motivations behind them. I say this to declare fully that a celestial being that controls “Death” is no more evil than one that controls “Life”.
Especially in a fantasy setting, there must be balance of all things within the world, or disaster will strike. Within that, I base my concepts of “Good” and “Evil” very much about maintaining that overall balance.
Although that could be considered more a matter of Chaotic and Lawful, which is an entirely different situation entirely.
There are millions of grey areas within this concept, as it is very hard to objectively define what is “Good” and what is “Evil”. In the sliding scale of morality, and examining all the grey areas inbetween, I write narrative to reflect the above.
Being a “Good” Hero is being a Hero that finds the best solution for the entirety, and being an “Evil” Hero is being a Hero that finds the best solution for their benefit alone.
With that, I’d like to open the concepts to discussion with you all.
For those that have played within the nine alignments, do you find yourself attempting to objectively define Good and Evil in such a manner, or do you stray from the concept all-together?
For those that have created a homebrewed fantasy setting, is there a method you use to objectively define that which is “Good” and “Evil” on a celestial level as well as mortal level?
For my players, have you found a surefire method to fit a character into the concepts of “Lawful Good” and “Chaotic Evil” or simply “Good” and “Evil” perfectly? Do you think it is even possible?
Alignment to me is more of a question about action than it is about motivation. Knowing strong values is different from upholding strong values. Having good intentions is not the same as doing good. Though good can come from evil actions, the person who has the balls to do them is not a good person. Both good actions and good intentions need to line up for me to really consider a character “good” in the classic sense.
A lot of villains can think they’re doing good in their own minds, but if the actions they take end up hurting others, spawning chaos, and fertilizing destruction, they are still evil. It doesn’t matter if their intent was to better the world, because if they’re wounding it in the process, they are not good.
I’ve played a range of alignments, mostly by accident. I play characters first and figure out their alignments later. I would argue Law and Chaos on the scale help to flavor how a character’s tendency towards good or evil interacts with the world. Lawful characters tend to learn and do things by the book; chaotic characters couldn’t be bothered to follow tradition. That’s a really oversimplified statement, but since this is about good and evil, not law and chaos, it’ll do for now.
Good doesn’t have to be nice. Good can be tough love and rough around the edges, but you can count on Good in a crisis. Good can be the jerk who tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear, because it’s for your benefit in the long run. Good is self-sacrificing, because if even one person is better off, Good thinks it was worth it. Good will go out of its way to help someone, even if it’s inconvenient for Good or Good is busy. I wouldn’t say Good is concerned for the group so much as Good will prioritize the world outside of the self. Good takes others into consideration; Good takes responsibility; Good expects better of itself; Good pushes others to be the best they can be.
Evil can be nice. Evil can be sweet and loyal, but will backstab you when Evil benefits from it. Evil will then crawl back and legitimately not understand why you’re upset, because you have to understand, it wasn’t Evil’s fault. Evil doesn’t say sorry because Evil doesn’t see a need to. Evil doesn’t get it. Evil doesn’t care what it has to do to get what it wants. Evil is inherently selfish, but it’s more than just that. Evil thinks it knows better; Evil makes excuses; Evil will cross the line; Evil doesn’t take questions.
As for my own characters, again, I play the character first and the alignment comes later. Hell, for Villie, I left his alignment entry blank because I knew it was shifting - and the Chaotic Good he was ideally supposed to be washed out as a Neutral Evil by the time the campaign was over. He crossed lines. He was willing to do dark things with high collateral damage for what he perceived as good results for the world at large, and he didn’t understand why everyone else didn’t agree. Playing him? I totally got it. He had a very ends-justify-the-means mindset, and once you got past the anger issues, fireballs, and blood magic, he was very idealistic. He wanted a world of acceptance and freedom where anyone could achieve their dreams. The problem: something was in the way of that, and he was willing to do anything to get rid of it.
On the flip side (and possibly why I’m being more objective on this argument than I normally am) I’ve been playing Regi lately, a starkly Lawful Good character. He’s concerned about order and the best possible way to bring about the greater good, which sometimes involves getting rid of things that actively oppose that goal. If someone is doing terrible things like drugging children so they can get shipped off to slavers, they get a chance to recognize what they were doing was objectively awful and have a chance for redemption. If they see that chance and reject it, that fucker’s evil and won’t be making a better world in this lifetime. Regi does things not because they benefit him, but because they’re the right thing to do - he helps because someone is in need. Even when they don’t deserve it.
And then in less serious campaign settings than Rashiko’s, I play flighty neutralish characters that have tendencies towards both good and evil and no commitment to either, so I don’t feel right classifying them as one or the other. Both good and evil require a certain degree of conviction.
This was painted about a year ago for Wizards of the Coasts’ new “Lords of Waterdeep” board game, which I have been bouncing in my seat waiting for during the past month. As of now they just have the booklet online, but the game itself will be out soon enough.
The page for Lords of Waterdeep: [link] The Booklet: [link]
Final three in the set. :) Then all of them!
haha, this movie is the best.