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Is sticking to an alignment a limitation on your roleplaying?

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There were one or two players who chose Chaotic Neutral by which they meant: I can do whatever, whenever. Woot!  But, they usually came to a bad end sooner or later, so: Meh.

 

 

 

That's why I mentioned it's the most abused alignment, and the least understood.  I play it rarely, since it does tend to lead to trouble in any case, but CN can have a lot of interpretations.  In its simple form, it's just that a person is ambivalent about good and evil but prone to disorderly conduct.   But whether it is overt or subtle can lead to several different places.

 

Such a person may have fairly decent principles.  They might be extremely libertarian, for example, believing that freedom is the greatest principle of all and that arguing morality merely confuses the issue.  The right to choose one's own destiny without fetter means some people will choose to do bad things, some good, and it'll probably work itself out.  It's not the primary concern, the essential freedom is. 

 

A different CN person might simply want to set things in motion and see what happens.  They may be completely without any principle and not care what the effect is or who it hurts (or helps).  They just want to see things happen, to disrupt the status quo. 

 

Yet another might simply be crazy.  And another again might be quite rational, even brilliantly so, but through action and effect merely appear crazy to everybody else because their motives, however valid, are incomprehensible when explained. 

 

Besides, if they really wanted to be able to do whatever, whenever they should have picked neutral.  I hate how neutral was explained (and I think bad explanations of alignment are a principle cause for confusion and dislike about them).  "Keeping the balance?"  That might work for druids, but not everybody else.  That's an extraordinarily narrow view of true neutral.  All a person needs to be neutral is to have no strong opinion or inclination.  Whether they choose to interpret it as meditative avoidance of extremism, or simply can't be bothered and are apathetic the result is the same.  Or if they felt that "you gotta do what you gotta do" *shrug*

 

Chaotic neutral, well, that's picking a side.  ::P:  

Edited by buglips*the*goblin
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Almost 20 years ago, there was a "fish out of water" cop buddy dramedy called Due South about a Canadian Mountie assigned to Chicago.  The Mountie was a Lawful Good paladin type while his friend, the Chicago investigator, was more Chaotic Good.  At times, yes, the Mountie ended up being more Lawful Stupid than anything else, but he was still an interesting character.

 

As far as alignment goes, so much depends on the DM and how the players choose to play the game.  Like any other rule, if the DM and players choose to use alignment to break the fun of the game for any or all of the players, alignment hurts.  If alignment is used as an aspect of the game which occasionally comes into play in a story or occasionally stresses a character, then it helps.

 

Restrictions and limits can help creativity as long as things aren't overconstrained.  Certainly does so in design.  

 

 

Ron

 

PS:  Obligatory disclosure:  I'm either Lawful Good with Neutral tendencies or Neutral Good with Lawful tendencies.  The D&D test came on the Lawful side but with almost as many points under Neutral.   ::):

Edited by vutpakdi
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Wow... from just a simple question... all Buglips breaks loose!

 

I have been involved with campaigns where your choice of alignment, and subsequently your in-game actions, resulted in some very fun times.  I have been on the flip side where the alignment was a check box, but the games still lead to fun times.

 

Alignment is just ONE aspect of the game where folks (players and DM's alike) can make or break the game.  Do you really think that fighter who rolled the 5 and put it in intelligence since "fighters don't need intelligence" really played him with a 5 INT?  That is bordering on the mentally challenged area.

 

Simply put, to me, and most of the folks I game with, alignment is the "moral compass" with Good = North, Lawful = East, Evil = South and Chaotic = West.  Under normal situations, your moral compass should stay between any two adjacent compass points, with the degree of each controlling what actions you will or will not take.  However, ever had a "bad day" where someone said something to you and it was just the straw that broke the camels back?  "SHHHHH, it happens!"  to quote a country song.  Somedays, you just want to kick the dog.  That doesn't make you a inherently evil, it just makes you "human" or "elf" or "gnome".  Now, if you go around kicking every dog you see, well, that's a different story altogether. 

 

No single action in a game should cause the DM to go, "because of THIS, you are no longer Lawful/Neutral, you are now C/N." 

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Alignment is just ONE aspect of the game where folks (players and DM's alike) can make or break the game.  Do you really think that fighter who rolled the 5 and put it in intelligence since "fighters don't need intelligence" really played him with a 5 INT?  That is bordering on the mentally challenged area.

 

 

If somebody tried min/maxing like that in my game they'd get one warning to start playing the fighter as 5 Int, and if they didn't then I'd replace them.  That's bad roleplaying, and I'd rather have no game than a bad game.  Playing in character is a non-negotiable requirement to get a seat.  If they didn't want to be stupid, they could sacrifice Dex instead.  But they don't get to avoid penalties and pretend they're average.  M-O-O-N, that spells fighter. 

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Besides, if they really wanted to be able to do whatever, whenever they should have picked neutral.  I hate how neutral was explained (and I think bad explanations of alignment are a principle cause for confusion and dislike about them).  "Keeping the balance?"  That might work for druids, but not everybody else.  That's an extraordinarily narrow view of true neutral.  All a person needs to be neutral is to have no strong opinion or inclination.  Whether they choose to interpret it as meditative avoidance of extremism, or simply can't be bothered and are apathetic the result is the same.  Or if they felt that "you gotta do what you gotta do" *shrug*

 

Chaotic neutral, well, that's picking a side.  ::P:  

 

 

I think I agree regards Neutral.  I've so often heard the "true neutral druid" explanation for Neutral -- the druid who will help the villagers fight the kobolds, but then will switch sides mid-battle when the villagers have the upper hand.  (Memory fails me, but I'm pretty sure I actually read that example or something very like it in an older edition D&D book somewhere.)

 

And yet the alignment of the typical beast -- whether it's a passive herbivore, or a vicious carnivore prone to chewing your face off -- is listed as "Neutral."  Why not Chaotic Neutral?  Why, no simple beast is going to follow a law except by accident, right?  ;)

 

I've toyed with the idea that, should I run a Pathfinder or d20 3.5 game again, I might take a different approach toward alignment to resolve some of the conflicts in interpretation we've had.  My idea would be that most everyone (heroes included) is Neutral.  This would even include quite a few intelligent monsters who normally get lumped into the Evil Chaotic category, and who like to eat people.

 

Law, Good, Evil, Chaos -- those would be extremes that represent, well, EXTREMES -- that and they'd also represent a certain amount of commitment.  If you're going to write down Good on your sheet, then you'd better be Good all the time, and you can expect GM prodding if you can't seem to hold to that.  If you're going to write down Evil on your sheet -- well, I'm usually not keen on having Evil PCs in a party anyway, but it would imply that your character isn't merely a greedy thief, but you are just so irredeemably WICKED that you are somehow something BEYOND merely selfish.  You gain pleasure in others' suffering, etc.  Law would mean an unassailable commitment to the rule of law (or a set of rules checked in with the GM to make sure they're not overly vague), whereas Chaos would mean an absolute dedication to break and tear down any semblance of order (not that you just don't care about laws).

 

Now, I could see being a bit lax on the treatment of Alignments, but in these games, you've got spells that "Detect Evil" or magic items that do extra damage against a particular alignment, or can only be wielded by a certain alignment, etc.  That, and there are a few classes that have alignment requirements.

 

(Edited for further distinction...)

If you tend toward Good, but you're occasionally a rascal ... Neutral.  If you're about as wicked as can be gotten away with, without getting axed by the rest of your party ... Neutral.  Even the guy who's the guilty party in a murder mystery might still register as Neutral, unless he's a serial killer who is killing for the sake of killing and spreading pain and misery (EVIL with a capital EEE), versus just being a scheming and conniving courtier who moved against his rival (hence merely evil but not in an alignment sense).  

 

Anything else and it should be something divine or demonic, inherently a PART of the character, and I'm going to expect you to be *consistent* even when it's inconvenient to do so.  Paladins by necessity would be among those.

 

And that way, courts wouldn't be replaced by just having a cleric cast "Detect Evil" or "Detect Chaos" and seeing who lights up.  I might actually be able to have some mystery and intrigue for a change without resorting to all the bad guys using special magic to conceal their true alignments, etc.

 

And that druid "True Neutral" thing?  I'm strongly inclined to say that it's really Lawful Neutral, and the druid is sticking to a strict set of rules about "maintaining balance."  If he's just switching sides (villagers vs. kobolds) whenever he FEELS like it, without any particular motivation other than to be random, that would be Chaotic.  Or just Stupid.  (I vaguely recall reading that "True Neutral" example once upon a time, and fantasizing about the kobolds and humans putting aside their differences for a bit and ganging up on the True Stupid side-changing druid.)

 

Anyway, it's nothing I've ever actually tried, but just an idea I've been toying with as a way to tackle some differences in how some players see alignments (as "guideline" or "tendency" vs. "absolute dedication").

Edited by Jordan Peacock
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Alignment is just ONE aspect of the game where folks (players and DM's alike) can make or break the game. Do you really think that fighter who rolled the 5 and put it in intelligence since "fighters don't need intelligence" really played him with a 5 INT? That is bordering on the mentally challenged area.

 

 

If somebody tried min/maxing like that in my game they'd get one warning to start playing the fighter as 5 Int, and if they didn't then I'd replace them. That's bad roleplaying, and I'd rather have no game than a bad game. Playing in character is a non-negotiable requirement to get a seat. If they didn't want to be stupid, they could sacrifice Dex instead. But they don't get to avoid penalties and pretend they're average. M-O-O-N, that spells fighter.

What about characters with godlike intelligence, wisdom, or charisma? How are you supposed to roleplay those? In our game, the character with the highest wisdom and charisma is a cleric played by a nice guy who can't be diplomatic to save his life.

This is a general failing of the attribute system which is far more of a nuisance than alignment.

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Alignment is just ONE aspect of the game where folks (players and DM's alike) can make or break the game. Do you really think that fighter who rolled the 5 and put it in intelligence since "fighters don't need intelligence" really played him with a 5 INT? That is bordering on the mentally challenged area.

 

If somebody tried min/maxing like that in my game they'd get one warning to start playing the fighter as 5 Int, and if they didn't then I'd replace them. That's bad roleplaying, and I'd rather have no game than a bad game. Playing in character is a non-negotiable requirement to get a seat. If they didn't want to be stupid, they could sacrifice Dex instead. But they don't get to avoid penalties and pretend they're average. M-O-O-N, that spells fighter.

What about characters with godlike intelligence, wisdom, or charisma? How are you supposed to roleplay those? In our game, the character with the highest wisdom and charisma is a cleric played by a nice guy who can't be diplomatic to save his life.

This is a general failing of the attribute system which is far more of a nuisance than alignment.

 

You should probably pick a character who you are capable of role playing.  You don't ask Keanu Reeves to play a complicated nuanced character and expect it to be good......

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You should probably pick a character who you are capable of role playing.  You don't ask Keanu Reeves to play a complicated nuanced character and expect it to be good......

I am very smart.  I am an engineer with  a PhD. I'm accomplished. Unlike my character, I do not have godlike intelligence (my current character has an int of 28), and don't know any one who does. He should remember everything anyone has ever told him and connect the dots of any mystery nearly instantly. But I only play every few weeks, the DM only tells us 1/10th of whats going on (and isn't one to share in the world building), and I miss all kinds of stuff. So maybe his int should be 16 instead of 28, but I can't simply not give him the godlike intelligence because without it , he wouldn't be able to hit any monsters at his level.

 

A roleplaying game tends to be 3 different games all played simultaneously: a tactics game, a mystery game, and a story game.  Since failing the tactics or mystery game usually means the game ends, there has to be some flexibility when one part of the game conflicts with the others. A fighter with an intelligence of 5 would die swiftly if played as a drooling moron.  Instead, play him as someone who has no idea of what he's doing but gets lucky a lot and happens to do the right thing.  "Where is that secret door! I'm just going to kick this rock out of anger.  Oh look, a door!"

 

You shouldn't need a doctorate of philosophy to play a really wise character. I think the best solution is that the DM should help the players have the illusion of intelligence, charm, or wisdom by having the world react to them as if they did, instead of having every earnest but foolish thing the "extremely wise and charming" cleric says start a war (it has happened, twice). Or if my smart character thinks of an interesting solution to the problem or mystery based on my limited knowledge and intelligence as a player, have that be the right solution or a path to the right solution.  The same goes for alignment.  If a DM is going to give the player problems that will strain their alignment, they should also be given opportunities for redemption or for their alignment to shine.

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Alignment is just ONE aspect of the game where folks (players and DM's alike) can make or break the game. Do you really think that fighter who rolled the 5 and put it in intelligence since "fighters don't need intelligence" really played him with a 5 INT? That is bordering on the mentally challenged area.

 

If somebody tried min/maxing like that in my game they'd get one warning to start playing the fighter as 5 Int, and if they didn't then I'd replace them. That's bad roleplaying, and I'd rather have no game than a bad game. Playing in character is a non-negotiable requirement to get a seat. If they didn't want to be stupid, they could sacrifice Dex instead. But they don't get to avoid penalties and pretend they're average. M-O-O-N, that spells fighter.

What about characters with godlike intelligence, wisdom, or charisma? How are you supposed to roleplay those? In our game, the character with the highest wisdom and charisma is a cleric played by a nice guy who can't be diplomatic to save his life.

This is a general failing of the attribute system which is far more of a nuisance than alignment.

 

You should probably pick a character who you are capable of role playing.  You don't ask Keanu Reeves to play a complicated nuanced character and expect it to be good......

 

agreed about Keanu *cough* Constantine *cough*  :rolleyes:

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I am very smart.  I am an engineer with  a PhD. I'm accomplished. Unlike my character, I do not have godlike intelligence (my current character has an int of 28), and don't know any one who does. He should remember everything anyone has ever told him and connect the dots of any mystery nearly instantly. But I only play every few weeks, the DM only tells us 1/10th of whats going on (and isn't one to share in the world building), and I miss all kinds of stuff. So maybe his int should be 16 instead of 28, but I can't simply not give him the godlike intelligence because without it , he wouldn't be able to hit any monsters at his level.

 

 

I have often lamented that any time I actually play in a campaign, my IQ (as expressed through my character) is probably halved.  And in some games that still doesn't say much for my intellect.

 

One of my greatest challenges as a GM is in making sure that the players are properly informed to be able to make intelligent decisions (if they are so inclined).  There can be so much that is perfectly obvious to ME as the GM.  Why, I can see the scene PERFECTLY in my head!  But the players are relying on a stream of words from me -- some of them missed because someone was talking over me, or because I did not enunciate clearly enough -- or perhaps because I word-bombed the players with tons of extraneous information that obfuscated the truly important stuff.

 

...

 

GM (reading from handwritten notes, excessively quickly): "It's a 50'x50' room, tiled in marble, with a great staircase lined by a cracked balustrade that falls away in places.  Piles of treasure rise from the floor, some threatening to scrape the ceiling.  Among the shadows, you see several statues, a balrog, some treasure chests, a shelf full of magical books..." blah blah blah

 

Player #1: I walk up to the nearest treasure chest and check for traps.

 

GM: Okay.  {commence die rolling.}  The balrog eats you.

 

Player #1: What?  What balrog?

 

Player #2: Oh, that statue of a balrog.  Must have been a real one.  Stinks to be you.  Oh yeah!  Just to be clear, I run away while the balrog is busy eating.

 

GM: I never said it was a statue.  Here.  Let me read the room description again....

 

...

 

I mean, no matter how many individual treasures there were for the GM to bother to describe, unless some of it's big enough to HIDE behind, nobody who was actually there would miss the balrog in the corner.  Your eyes would constantly remind you of that.  (This is my justification for using miniatures to excess.  ;)  And, no, that wasn't an actual summary of an RPG session.  That was just for silliness.)

 

Anyway, for the most part, I try to let the dice and GM tips fill out matters of intelligence and knowledge.  Your dwarf has Knowledge: Stonework?  I'm going to give you extra information about the architecture of the place, and if there's something suspicious about its construction, you're the one I'll be directing my attention to when spelling that out.  Your character is dumb as a brick?  I'll try to tailor my descriptions a bit to keep in the spirit of things.  (I.e., to everyone else, that's a balrog.  To you, that's big mean fiery nasty monster what smashes things.)

 

I will at times, however, protest players calling excessively upon "player knowledge" to do things that perhaps the PLAYER could do in real life, but it's extremely questionable that the CHARACTER could.  E.g., player is chemistry teacher, and declares, "Oh, I'll just mix {substance} and {substance} together and {something-or-the-other} and -- presto!  Explosives!"  Rather than saying, "Sure, roll your nonexistent skill to make sure you don't blow up," depending upon the setting, I might just outright say, "This is a fantasy setting.  Your character is a barbarian, not an alchemist, and INT was your dump stat.  Your barbarian mixes up some mud and dust like he imagines an alchemist would do, but all he accomplishes is that he now needs another bath."  Even if the character had a maxed-out INT, I wouldn't let a character in a standard fantasy game start building steam engines and fireworks without some sort of precedent and skills to back it up.

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I've toyed with the idea that, should I run a Pathfinder or d20 3.5 game again, I might take a different approach toward alignment to resolve some of the conflicts in interpretation we've had.  My idea would be that most everyone (heroes included) is Neutral.  This would even include quite a few intelligent monsters who normally get lumped into the Evil Chaotic category, and who like to eat people.

 

That's largely what I do. It works the other way, too: "I'm not evil, I just detect that way. Genetics, donchaknow."

 

As to stats:

 

I pretty much never use dice for character building anymore. It's point-buy all the way for me. So you don't have to play anything you don't want to play.

 

But players no more need to be smart to play a smart character than players need to be strong to play a strong character. There are mechanical advantages to high characteristics and disadvantages to low characteristics. That's good enough for me.

 

High-CHA character being played by a low-CHA player? All those rude comments somehow come across as charming, or successful jokes, or whatever. Vice-versa? The player's charming comments are wildly misinterpreted by the NPCs, when they bother to notice the character at all.

 

For INT, it's the high-INT character that actually comes up with the good idea even if it's mentioned by the player of the low-INT character.

 

I don't say this is the one true way, but it works for me and we have fun.  ^_^

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Firstly, great discussion! I do have my opinions about the way alignments are interpreted BUT ultimately this comes down to the group's overall preference. What works for one may not work for another. A lot of times when I hear about these sorts of problems the first thing that jumps out at me is a lack of communication. "Common sense" just doesn't fall in the same place for everyone - your definition of Lawful Good may be quite at odds with your DM's. In any case you (the general you) would do well to have this kind of discussion during character creation, and to then keep an open dialogue throughout the game. If you get the impression your DM is going to be too punitive, perhaps you may want to rethink your class choice, or even decide it's not the right kind of group for you. At least you found out early, and not in a few levels when you've become emotionally invested in the character.

 

You should probably pick a character who you are capable of role playing.  You don't ask Keanu Reeves to play a complicated nuanced character and expect it to be good......

 

Pretty sure you're joking, but doesn't that put quite a bit of extra pressure on the mental classes? After all if I wanted to play a Barbarian with 25 STR no one expects me to pump iron and throw back protein shakes until I can show up on game night looking like Dwayne Johnson. If I want to play a character who is very persuasive, I'll put my skill points into Diplomacy, which represents my character's ability to get the job done. I feel that the benefit of using stats and skill points this way frees people up to try out a persona that may be entirely foreign to them, and it mostly outweighs the negative connotations of "roll-playing".

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Stats: I'd basically just consider stats as a random way to assign perks or disadvantages, not as a stricture to play. In addition, 18 should statistically be more like "the smartest guy in town" than "the smartest guy who ever lived", and even then, Intelligence is pretty much straight-up academic performance.

 

 

I'm thinking of Law-Chaos as being purely from the perspective of human civilisation. Elves and druids are not "neutral" from their own perspective, necessarily. You just can't assume they're going to leap to the defence of human laws, human hierarchies, or even human civilisation. In the same way, good-evil "neutral" would be someone who is neither plainly and consistently altruistic/moral NOR someone who is consistently vicious.

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Stats: I'd basically just consider stats as a random way to assign perks or disadvantages, not as a stricture to play. In addition, 18 should statistically be more like "the smartest guy in town" than "the smartest guy who ever lived", and even then, Intelligence is pretty much straight-up academic performance.

 

 

I'm thinking of Law-Chaos as being purely from the perspective of human civilisation. Elves and druids are not "neutral" from their own perspective, necessarily. You just can't assume they're going to leap to the defence of human laws, human hierarchies, or even human civilisation. In the same way, good-evil "neutral" would be someone who is neither plainly and consistently altruistic/moral NOR someone who is consistently vicious.

 

 

I don't think you can assume anything from an overall alignment.  My game is half a hair away from a vicious civil war between two mostly Lawful Good kingdoms, engineered by lycanthropes who have exploited the centuries-old division after a succession crisis. 

 

The Law-Chaos axis only describes an intrinsic trend, it doesn't necessarily bind anybody to anything.  If present, it need only color their perspective.  Both of the above kingdoms are, overall, strongly Lawful Good.  They just each have a different case for their line being the lawful ruling line.  While they would be strongly inclined to each abide by a fair treaty, each believes the other will not act in good faith.  This actually makes things more dangerous and tricky, because it'll be harder once the arrow-shooting starts to stop it - each side will have been furnished with mounting "evidence" that the other is treacherous, dishonorable, and even maybe evil.   And they'll each be so convinced in the rightness and justness of their respective cause that they'll be immune to reason.  (At least until our intrepid heroes are able to expose the changeling, uh, I mean lycanthrope plot)  Once both sides realize they've been played equally, then an accord and unification against the greater war threat will happen easily enough - but until then, with each side informed by its own strong opinion, the fighting will be pretty rough. 

 

Each also suspects the other side has been co-opted, but does not believe their own side has been co-opted.  Until its proven that there are infiltrators in both, it'll be hard to stop the war once it begins. 

 

Which is exactly what the medusae are counting on to keep the stupid humans busy while they stir up trouble between the elves and dwarves.  And with all of that going on, they can make their move.  All the LG civilizations will be too busy fighting each other to get in their way, but the fact that they're all LG gives my players the chance to put a stop to it with some adventure-stuff and bring them together for the real war - with good confidence that once they're all brought back to level they'll fight well together. 

 

It all goes back to alignment being intrinsic - but it's still subject to many permutations of prejudice.  Elves and Dwarves may each naturally be inclined to stick to a treaty, but not if each thinks the other has broken it.  (In which case, they're each also likely to be very angry at this "treachery")  The very fact that they're each so strongly inclined only makes them more dangerous when they decide that their faithfulness has been so grossly abused - because they each know that conclusion can only come from the balance of evidence at their disposal.  And if the balance of evidence tells the Dwarves that the Elves are treacherous, good luck talking them out of it.  The minute you can get them together in a forum to talk it over they might work things out - but once they start into fighting then getting them to that forum will be a challenge without outside help (like, say, from a mixed race group of heroes each side respects)

 

Especially if there exists a history of misunderstanding that leads each side to believe the other was never really trustworthy. 

 

I think somebody said when I outlined the world that so much LG was going to make for a very boring game.  :devil:

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Alignment is just ONE aspect of the game where folks (players and DM's alike) can make or break the game. Do you really think that fighter who rolled the 5 and put it in intelligence since "fighters don't need intelligence" really played him with a 5 INT? That is bordering on the mentally challenged area.

 

If somebody tried min/maxing like that in my game they'd get one warning to start playing the fighter as 5 Int, and if they didn't then I'd replace them. That's bad roleplaying, and I'd rather have no game than a bad game. Playing in character is a non-negotiable requirement to get a seat. If they didn't want to be stupid, they could sacrifice Dex instead. But they don't get to avoid penalties and pretend they're average. M-O-O-N, that spells fighter.

What about characters with godlike intelligence, wisdom, or charisma? How are you supposed to roleplay those? In our game, the character with the highest wisdom and charisma is a cleric played by a nice guy who can't be diplomatic to save his life.

This is a general failing of the attribute system which is far more of a nuisance than alignment.

 

 

 

I don't know what game you're playing, but I've never had a player character with "godlike" stats.  Because then they'd be gods. 

 

But I'll address it as high genius level or "better than my own".  First off, I would give such a character additional information, insight, and the ability to make special checks to fill in blanks.  This represents them being able to piece stuff together more quickly.  They would accumulate this information until the solution became obvious, thuse giving the player an opportunity to figure things out on their own before I give out too much information.  Second, as for how the player themself plays it's not unusual for very smart people to hide it an "play average".  Their maximum intelligence only represents their maximum capacity, which is very different from being at max capacity all the time.

 

But a 5 Int fighter should not be making complex arguments.  Or coming up with complicated plans.  Just as a player with 16 Int doesn't have the same capacity as 19 or above (into "godlike") then the limitations of 5 are also present.  5 is that character's maximum capacity.  A character can always operate at less than their maximum capacity if they choose, but never above that. 

 

With charisma, the stat accumulates a number of different factors into an abstract.  Therefore a character with high charisma can make a butt out of themselves and still get people to look on them favourably.  We can find many examples in the real world of horrible people who are still widely adored, even if rationally or logically we might argue they shouldn't be.  That's charisma at work.

 

Simultaneously, a person might be very eloquent but have a low charisma and nobody will listen to them.  Again, it shouldn't be difficult to find an example where a person put forth a very good argument only to have people get swayed by a fake sociopathic idiot with a better smile. 

 

I see no failure of the attribute system here.  The cleric doesn't have to be diplomatic.  Maybe people just like him enough that they give his poor choice of wording the benefit of the doubt and are thusly willing to interpret it favourably.  Or maybe sometimes he's operating at less than his maximum. 

 

An 18/00 fighter can always pretend he can't open a barred door, but a wizard with a strength of 3 can't just decide to open every barred door.  Similarly, an 18 Int wizard can always pretend to be dumb but a 5 Int fighter can never construct a complicated, rational argument or make a complicated deduction - and if I don't enforce that penalty, then it's as well to give everybody max stats and call it a day.  Because it's not fair to enforce some penalties but not others. 

Edited by buglips*the*goblin
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    • By Maledrakh
      Nolzur's Marvelous Miniatures still make some great D&D monsters, here are three more:

       
      Wave 1: Displacer Beast
       
      The Displacer Beast is one of the iconic D&D monsters, described as a six legged panther with a pair of enormous tentacles growing out of it's back.  If that is not bad enough, the schtick of this beast is that is displaces.  This is an ability that makes it appear as it is a few feet off from where it actually is, so while the party are slashing at the image in thin air, the beast invisibly outflanks them with it's powerful claws and massive bite attack coming from seemingly out of nowhere.
       

      Where are the mirrors I need to start breaking?
      I rebased it on a 40mm round. This is a Wave 1 mini, released a few years ago. The tentacles needed repositioning using the  hot water/cold water technique.
       
      Wave 11: Grell & Basilisk
      Grell:
       
      Who names these monsters? Grell?  What kind of a name is that? This is obviously the Flying Spaghetti Monster!
      The tentacles did not turn out all that well. The purple was too strong compared to the other colours and dried too fast to blend. Bah!

      Check out the big brain on Brett!
      40mm base.
       
      And in the same pack as the Grell, a Basilisk:
       
      This one was significantly smaller than I expected. Please disregard the piece of flock-fluff on it's right side middle. This is a loose particle I did not see was stuck there until after the pictures were taken. I just cannot be bothered with taking new ones.

      Nice doggie?
      30mm x 20mm oval base.
       
       
      Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures
      Wizkids
      I have no idea who sculpted these, as WizKids do not -as far as I know- publish this info.
      PVC
    • By AussieAusborn
      Greetings y'all!
       
      I'm starting this thread to use as a painting blog, to help catalog my journey, and to use as a source of ongoing motivation. I have a LOT of stuff I've been putting off, that I want to get through for a homebrew campaign I'm working on, and some warbands for Frostgrave, as well. So, I'll take any extra motivation I can get Once I actually finish pieces, I'll make sure to post them in that part of the forum.
       
      To start things off, I have a dragon I've been working on for a couple of weeks, and just got to the point where it's "good enough for now," although definitely not finished. It's easily my favorite piece I've ever owned, so I put off doing any work on it until I was "good enough" to do the piece justice. That is, until I realized that would never happen , so I decided to:
       
      1) Do the darned thing
      2) Do some work on it every day
      3) Push myself outside my comfort zone to try new things
      4) Be patient and forgiving with myself
      5) To not freak out when I try something that I don't like, and just go ahead and fix it
       
      There's still a good amount to do to it (I have a list with 15 bullet points on it, and growing!), but I'm happy enough looking at it, and want to take a break to focus on some other pieces.
       
      I took some progress shots (though perhaps not as many as I'd have liked). So please, join me as we journey through my learning experience:
       

       
      I fully assembled the mini before putting down any paint. Here's where the mini was after a couple days work, about 4-5 hrs. I used an airbrush to give it a zenithal undercoat with black and white, and then to lay in the base coats of the red and blue. I then painted the underbelly and the wing-fingers with a brush.
       

       
      Here, I'm trying to show the work I've done (still fairly subtle, at this point) on building up the vibrancy/transitions on the red skin/scales. I was fairly happy at this point, as I could start to see that I might actually be able to paint this to the standard I want.
       

       
      The next day, I did some work on the face, horns, and blocked in the body spikes. I generally liked the mouth and tongue, but felt it was a bit vibrant. I thought the blue on the horns was alright, but also wasn't completely sold on it.
       

       
      Here's where it was after another `30min of work. Since I felt the tongue was too much, I did something about it! I did a very light glaze with a grey, just to knock down the saturation a bit. Looks better. I added some more blue to the horns, and still wasn't quite happy with it. Picked out the teeth, which is nice, easy bit of definition. And that eye!!! It looked much better than I expected, although that's the last time it would be that well defined...
       


       
      Here it is after another couple days of progress, building up that red (it takes soooooo long on something this big!!!!), as well as more work on the mouth/face. I'd accidentally painted over the eye (which becomes a recurring theme in this tale ), so I blocked in some color, just to separate it from the face. I added a glaze of 'RMP's fair skin' to the tongue, and now I'm lovin' it. Also added some fleshy-ness to the gums on the upper jaw (though it's a little hard to tell), and that was definitely another good decision.
       

       
      Here I continued to build up the red, progress is slow but steady. Not pictured (which is unfortunate, because it was a good learning experience) is my attempt to redo the horn entirely, to a scheme that was a transition of bone to brown to black at the tip...I was really unhappy with it. I had the bone starting around the eye ridges in at attempt to add more contrast and draw the viewer's eye towards the face, but it just looked awful. So I spent a good while redoing the horn and fixing the whole face. I'm glad I made that mistake, as I think the face looks much better than it did before I started on the horn. Part of that was adding in a new level of bright highlights.
       

       
      Here's the mini in some soft lighting, and although the picture is kinda blurry, it better shows the transitions throughout the red. I think this was also the point where I started working on shading the red, by applying a light blue-black glaze to the shaded areas, which really helped add some contrast to the piece.
       

       
      I had an accident that almost gave me a heart attack, where the figure seemingly jumped off the desk Luckily, I caught it before it hit the ground, and it sustained no major damage. It did separate where the dragon attaches on to the base, and although that was a little frustrating, it ended up being a happy little accident, as it made it MUCH MUCH easier to work on the base. I started by putting down some paints and pigments, until it was at a place I thought was ok. Also, the rock spire that it's curled around was originally about 6 inches taller, which I cut off to better see all of the dragon. So, I started work on sculpting a new top. I started by building up thin layers of cardboard with superglue, to level it off (it had quite a slant to it). Then I mixed up some greenstuff, and tried to match the overall flow and texture of of the rocks. Although not a perfect match, it's close enough to not be distracting. Mission accomplished!! The pillars were a part of the mini.
       

       
      And here's the beast in its current state. I painted the newly sculpted top to match what I'd already done, and left the pillars with a super quick drybrushing. I touched up the eye to look acceptable (it's on my 'to do' list), added some grass tufts to the base, and was happy to leave it be like this, for a time. The final pic is another attempt to 'more accurately'  show the value transitions with the red, though the colors seem a tad washed out.
       
      Thanks for taking a look at my work, and for reading my ramblings! C&C is welcome  As I said, I have a to do list for the dragon, but I'm not afraid to add more to it!!! I'll strive to make a post in here a few times a week, and eventually you'll get to see a completed dragon!
       
      EDIT: I forgot to mention that once the dragon broke away from the base (super cleanly, luckily), I took the opportunity to redo the underbelly on the whole model, darkening it up some. And along the neck, I experimented with wet blending for the first time! I've been apprehensive to try it before, but decided this was a good spot to experiment, as it's a large enough area, but felt less...consequential, I guess, if I messed it up. And I'm pretty pleased with the result!
       
      Next up: Frostgrave warbands for me and my brother!
    • By Consequence
      I have had this dragon "mini" for a while but couldn't decide on a color. I don't have a lot of green miniatures so it's now green. 


       
       
    • By EvilJames
      I painted this guy up for D&D to be my Warlock. Sadly it may be some time before he fills that role again. Photos still look a bit washed out. :( The Base should look like floorboards and they do in person.
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