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Dark Knight Renee
2007-08-11, 07:47 PM
Normally alignment changes don't just happen overnight (even when the DM is playing catch-up upon realizing that the alignment on paper doesn't match, it's not like the character abruptly changed, what's really happened is that the alignment on paper didn't keep up or was wrong in the first place), with the possible exception of some falls straight into Evil.

However, there are a few ways in which sudden, drastic alignment changes can occur that are not brought about over time by roleplaying. Examples include the Helm of Opposite Alignment, the Atonement spell, and an unlucky draw from the Deck of Many Things. All of these things can drastically and instantly change a character's alignment, usually to something completely opposite of it's original state. Only one of these is necessarily voluntary; the Atonement spell. Although a character may choose to put on the Helm knowing what it does, often the foolish adventurer will don it not knowing what will happen. Likewise, by itís very nature, the Deck of Many Things gives no warning that a character might be about to shift from CG to LE, although an adventurer who knows what it is may be aware of the risk of drawing bad cards.

A CG character who suddenly becomes LE should by all rights act very differently, regardless of how you choose to interpret the alignments themselves. Perhaps even harder would be a CE villain who suddenly becomes LG, despite having quite possibly been a very wicked and even habitually evil person before the change. Even a voluntary Atonement spell alignment change would be dramatic, even though the character might only change on one axis. Heck, CN to LN might be even harder than a Good/Evil switch.

So, how would one roleplay a character who suddenly isnít the same character anymore? Discuss.

Zincorium
2007-08-11, 08:06 PM
The one example I have is my dwarven berserker who drew from the infamous deck of many things (the other party members failed to explain what it did, and he wasn't exactly the brightest crayon in the box).

NG to CE (the nuetral law-chaos thing was rolled for randomly, ended up chaos which was fortunate for me).

The way I played it was, the people in the party are still my friends. They've saved my life, I've saved theirs, my quality of life is just so much better when they're around. Anyone outside the party was fair game, though. A 'If you mess with me or my friends, I mess with your organs' kind of attitude, what I imagine a hell's angel back in the heyday of that group was like.

I took what I considered to be my share of gold. I practiced explicit acts of violence against people who annoyed me. But I behaved myself when my friends were in danger, and if they needed money or stuff I'd lend it to them.

A change in your alignment doesn't mean a change in goals or a change in how you view the people around you, but what will change is the degree of suffering/damage you're willing to inflict during the pursuit of those goals. Going from evil to good means that killing the town guard who's arresting you is no longer fine and dandy, you'll feel guilty about it at the very least. Chaos to law means that you'll have a lot more respect for the authorities and will try to do things in a more 'civilized' fashion.


Just my take on it, alignment is tricky and I'm honestly not expecting much agreement.


Edit:


Just keep doing what you were doing before. Most likely you weren't really what you claimed and were just trying to justify your actions as one alignment or another.

Um, I thought we were talking about involuntary, massive alignment changes, not 'my character sheet doesn't say what I'm really playing' type of adjustment. In this case, we're assuming you really were what you claimed, and now you have to be something different.

If you're LG, you put on a helm of alignment change and your behavior doesn't deviate one bit, if I was your DM I'd call BS immediately.

Citizen Joe
2007-08-11, 08:06 PM
Just keep doing what you were doing before. Most likely you weren't really what you claimed and were just trying to justify your actions as one alignment or another.

Deme
2007-08-11, 08:12 PM
well, if the character doesn't know what happened, then I suppose they'd act as they always do: based largely on feeling(heck, that's what all people do, really.). But in this case, the things that would occour to them to do or say, or stand out in their minds as important, would be different. The things that used to matter (for a person gone from lawful to chaotic, for example, that would be honour and honesty and order) just don't matter anymore.

If they do know, they might be constantly watching what they're doing, feeling paranoid and unhappy...or they might be watching to see if things will stay this way, and enjoy it.

I was playing an NPC Blackguard who, after being abandoned by his fiance as a paladin, and dying, was brought back and he was, well, pretty pissed, particularly since it was a stranger who brought him back, as opposed to any of his friends. When the real rage died down, and the guy who had brought him back to life in exchange for some services ordered him to kill some rather innocent people in his way, it occoured to him that those people's lives just didn't matter; that he had the power to kill them, so why shouldn't he use it? they were so small that they almost deserved it, ect. He was on some levels the same person -- a kind of funny, laid-back guy who could hold a pretty bad grudge if someone really bothered him, who liked to swim and fish...now he just decides that those people who get in his way or the way of his boss aren't worth trying to go around peacefully, or help.

Fishies
2007-08-11, 08:16 PM
was brought back and he was, well, pretty pissed, particularly since it was a stranger who brought him back, as opposed to any of his friends

He didn't HAVE to come back.

Deme
2007-08-11, 08:19 PM
He didn't HAVE to come back.

He didn't like being dead, particularly since he was angry and dead at the same time. He wanted to keep living, and (by my ruling) had already gone, if not evil, to the darker side of lawful nuetral, because he was determined to hurt the woman(the party's bard) who left him as he was bleeding to death instead of trying to save him... He would have become an angry, vengeful, haunt-anything-in-his-path ghost if he hadn't been offered a second chance (ironically enough, by the evil outsider whose castle he had been trying to storm when he died).

MrNexx
2007-08-11, 10:42 PM
Reminds me of a 2nd edition game that we played. Two of the characters were CN, and pretty nuts. It seems both of them claimed their behavior came from head injuries.

The party cleric (a LG cleric of Ilmater), decided that this was easily overcome, and arranged for his temple high priest to cast Heal on both of them. Suddenly, their insanity was gone, and they had to redefine their characters.

slexlollar89
2007-08-11, 11:07 PM
drastic? well, i played an exalted paladin, to the letter. he was a gentleman, not a regular stick in the loins lwful anal tincan, but a generally swell guy. he save three towns, a city, a king, a queen, an evil red dragon (who turned good upon seeing the error of his ways) , and discovered a way for the high cleric of grumsh and the priestess of corellion to get along in the same forest (that one took a seriously high diplomacy, and some coffee!). this guy was the most good i have ever, and probably will ever again. he even went so far as to try to redeem Asmodeus. yes THAT Asmodeus... but then he killed him for no other reason exept that through the course of the diplomatic negotiations, then the duel (that my pally won... tripple crit smite... i got LUCKY), he actually asked for mercy, "ugh, if you are truly good you would not strike an unnarmed man, especially when he asks forgiveness from a champion of light like yourself?!"
"well... i would say that you are quite the shrewd devil, my good sir, but the fact is, you dont really know me that well!" and with that sneering comment, i coup-de-grace'd the bastard! needless to say the DM was like "OMG WHAT THE F***!!!!!!"

that takes the definition of a fallen paladin to a whole new level.

silvadel
2007-08-12, 12:22 AM
Wouldnt that have given you his position?

Renegade Paladin
2007-08-12, 12:53 AM
drastic? well, i played an exalted paladin, to the letter. he was a gentleman, not a regular stick in the loins lwful anal tincan, but a generally swell guy. he save three towns, a city, a king, a queen, an evil red dragon (who turned good upon seeing the error of his ways) , and discovered a way for the high cleric of grumsh and the priestess of corellion to get along in the same forest (that one took a seriously high diplomacy, and some coffee!). this guy was the most good i have ever, and probably will ever again. he even went so far as to try to redeem Asmodeus. yes THAT Asmodeus... but then he killed him for no other reason exept that through the course of the diplomatic negotiations, then the duel (that my pally won... tripple crit smite... i got LUCKY), he actually asked for mercy, "ugh, if you are truly good you would not strike an unnarmed man, especially when he asks forgiveness from a champion of light like yourself?!"
"well... i would say that you are quite the shrewd devil, my good sir, but the fact is, you dont really know me that well!" and with that sneering comment, i coup-de-grace'd the bastard! needless to say the DM was like "OMG WHAT THE F***!!!!!!"

that takes the definition of a fallen paladin to a whole new level.
Uhhhh... No it doesn't. Killing Asmodeus in the course of a duel isn't evil in any sense of the word; it's certainly no worse than killing nameless minions to get to him. Just because the character made a snarky comment about how Asmodeus deserved no mercy doesn't mean he should become evil for eliminating the Lord of the Hells.

ZeroNumerous
2007-08-12, 12:55 AM
Uhhhh... No it doesn't.

Uhhhh... Yes it does. A coup-de-grace no matter how evil the victim is, is an inherently evil action. You're killing a helpless victim. He's fallen.

Renegade Paladin
2007-08-12, 01:05 AM
No, it really isn't. Point to where it says that. After you fail at doing so, I will point out all the lawful good societies in the various published campaign settings that have and use capital punishment, which will thoroughly demonstrate the designers' opinions on the matter.

Besides, to quote the Hero List:
64. After killing a few dozen faceless, anonymous grunts in the Legion of Doom without a second thought, I will not suddenly take a merciful attitude with the Evil Overlord, his family, his lieutenants, or anyone else with a speaking part.
:smalltongue:

BardicDuelist
2007-08-12, 01:10 AM
Uhhhh... Yes it does. A coup-de-grace no matter how evil the victim is, is an inherently evil action. You're killing a helpless victim. He's fallen.

Except for in the fact that most evil outsiders are considered to be the embiodment of evil and thus beyond redemption. Also, he resisted temptation (the same temptation that caused hell to exist via the pact primevil). I don't think it was evil (probably not exalted...but defeating the devil has never been an evil act).

MrNexx
2007-08-12, 01:16 AM
Uhhhh... Yes it does. A coup-de-grace no matter how evil the victim is, is an inherently evil action. You're killing a helpless victim. He's fallen.

And? The alignment says "Lawful Good", not "horrible sap who has to forgive anyone who asks for it." Wisdom is part of that MAD that Paladins run into. At worst, it's a chaotic action (violating the usual terms of the duel), but that's sketchy, and would require them to have agreed upon it beforehand.

Vonriel
2007-08-12, 01:32 AM
I'd also like to chip in here to say: Just because he's a paladin doesn't make him a complete idiot. If he had let Asmodeus regain his feet, I'm betting that he would've had something in his back pocket that had "Insta-paladin death" spelled all over it.

Tokiko Mima
2007-08-12, 01:53 AM
I had a NE Drow who accidently donned a Helm of Opposite Alignment. I roleplayed it as her suddenly realizing that she had lived her entire life hating herself, others, and living in fear for no reason at all. I tried to keep some of the nutty racial/sexual superiority ideas Drows have ingrained on themselves intact, at least at first, because people that don't realize racism/sexism is fundamentally wrong are hilarious to me.

tannish2
2007-08-12, 02:14 AM
well no, its a duel, probably a duel to the death, he may be unarmed, but hes a demon, they have spells, so not totally harmless, andDUEL very likely to the death, with and EVIL BEING, thats not nessicarily evil....

and RPing drastic alignment change depends on the source, im sure we have all had those times when we look at past views we held and ask "WTF WAS I THINKING!" if its adeck of many things changing you from good to evil: "you suddenly just dont care whether the orphanage is burning, all the doors are jammed and your the only one who prepared the spell to stop it"or maybe"*stab*DIE! DIE!*stab* ah, the blood is so pretty.... especially coming from scum paladins like this forcing their will on ME...", evil to good would be: "HOLY CRAP WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING ALL THIS TIME! *sobbing* those peoples lives are ruined!(or perhaps: wow, i used to be a real *******.)" chaotic to lawful: "ok... time to get organized... stop being so unpredictable" (or if you see lawful as just how they treat authority: wow, ive been a major inconvenience for law enforcement.... they have pretty hard jobs already... (or if nongood: big sharpened sticks) and soceity cant really work without organization" lawful to chaotic: "hm... theres really no point in all this organization crap, laws impede freedom, and freedom is good, unpredictability makes life funner, and it makes it easier when enemies cant predict your actions"

slexlollar89
2007-08-12, 11:03 AM
listen guys, afte i dueled him (and i mean used up all spells, powers, broke the rubby rod with my 1 use god given ability, he was TOTALLY HELPLESS, i even cast augery to see if i could let him live, then promply executed him and assumed rulership of Baator. reasd the begining of BoED, i was exalted, not just good. evryone was like OMG!!! before i had them captured and brought to me, then i said they have to either rule in my new hell, each get a layer, or "otherwise you had best make peace with your gods, for my time is short and my patience are straned, CHOOSE!" yeah, the cleric tried to fight me, thinking i was weak from my earlier fight, but i had just gained the powers of hell, he was fried after a tough battle. the party rogue CE, refused, but i really liked him and let him go... right into a gate that he thought led to the material plane, but was a sphere of ultimate destruction. and all the people on the material plane still though i was good, so my following was huge! i think i became a god after about a decade, but i dont remember past Asmodeus very well.

this was my character, who had use the highest good to become the greatest evil, he acted very evil, but very exalted at the same time. he was only LN after everything was said and done, and i received atonement for 2 party members, but after i became ruler of hell i made just like the material plane. i even opened it up for tourism:smallbiggrin: talk about $$$! seriously, i was the most good evil perssn ever, and i had planned it all from the very beggining

Renegade Paladin
2007-08-12, 11:06 PM
1.) That makes no sense. Killing Asmodeus where he lay was nothing but justice, that which a paladin lives to serve.

2.) That makes no sense. If your character planned to rule the Hells, he would never have achieved paladinhood in the first place; only the purest souls get it and someone with such a dark scheme would never fool the gods of light to gain paladinhood. No one can gain the paladin's nature through any act of will, and without it you cannot be a paladin.

3.) That makes no sense. Your character should have fallen upon taking rulership of Hell, not upon killing Asmodeus, as per entry 1 above.

4.) That makes no sense. Paladins can't cast augury.

5.) That makes no sense. Assuming for a moment that your character wasn't planning this from the beginning, since planning such betrayal would never have allowed him paladinhood in the first place, much less exalted status, why kill your companions?

I could go on, but the summary is that this simply does not make sense. The whole thing sounds ridiculously contrived at best.

slexlollar89
2007-08-13, 12:39 AM
i said i was planing all this, not the pladin, who wasalso an acomplished cleric and sorcerer(otherwise Asmodeus would stomp me, seriously think about it!). look this is what happened as far as i remember:

asmodeus was lying in a pool of his own blood, and requested mercy from a being dedicated to granting it.

i used detect lies (or something) and augery to see if evrything was gonna be okay if i let him live,

i was not killing an evil creature because he had repented his ways, and i was killing for no other purpose than gain for myself. that is evil, or at least, not frikin exalted.

i fell, and still took over hell. the cool thing was, i would disguise my companions as powerful fiends, who would reign destruction on the material plane , and then i would "fight" them off, and "save evryone", nut really the paladin had an overdeveloped sense of duty: by becoming a god, he could be a better warrior of good. it made more sense at the time.

besides, rediculously contrived is the way i was thinking, so dont call my great end results bad because my methods are unorthodox:smallannoyed:

anyway, i degress... the paladin tried to atone, no go, so he became a god of neutrality (protected the material plane) by being good through evil actions. good had served his needs until he saw an easy way to protect the world, via the power of the nine hells. the other party memners sorta liked the idea after they aggreed to live in hell. needless to say dealing with alignment has never been as much fun:smallsmile:

Paragon Badger
2007-08-13, 01:17 AM
HK-47: Answer: Select grenades, sonic screamers, cluster rockets, and plasma charges. Mines are also effective, since many Jedi will run to meet you in hand to hand combat. ...Silly Jedi.

HK-47: Answer: Oh, master, I could not allow myself to harm another. What if they have families? Or children? We must always think of the children. The littlest ones always suffer in war.

Renegade Paladin
2007-08-13, 07:14 AM
Ah. So you had the whole two levels of paladin for divine grace, then. Check.

slexlollar89
2007-08-13, 09:09 AM
once played a redeemed sucubus warlock. (i was evil, until the party cleric/apostle of peace) found out about me censured me. i made it back to the material plane and tried to kill him and failed. he deafeated me and convinced me to turn good, i was neutral at best:smallsmile:

i played as though evil was the natural response to any situation, but i would often ask the apostle if what i was doing was okay. the player roleplayed awesome, and treated my character like an evil addict. he was a realy good guy. i never did finish that campaign though...