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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Pirate alignments

    Specifically in Pirates of the Caribbean, but feel free to chime in with other sources.

    Cpt. Jack Sparrow - CN. We can debate it all you want, but this guy is CN epitomized.

    Will Turner - LG. Again, not much of a question.

    Capt. Barbosa - NE. Self serving. Vicious. Mutinous. We can probably make a good case for CE, too.

    All the villains (in positions of authority) not named Barbosa - LE. Change my mind.

    How bout some others?

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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    I'd say Norrington is, at least initially, closer to LN than LE.
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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Jack Sparrow is CE. He's not The Joker, but he's extremely reluctant do be anything but selfish. He lies, he steals, he murders (he's not excessively murderous in the movies - but it's a Disney production, so I'm assuming a lot is glossed over, and his past is clearly very colorful), he never does anything that would qualify as Good unless he has a personal stake somehow.

    He may be some sort of CE Light. But he's not CN.

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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Quote Originally Posted by redwizard007 View Post
    Specifically in Pirates of the Caribbean, but feel free to chime in with other sources.

    Cpt. Jack Sparrow - CN. We can debate it all you want, but this guy is CN epitomized.

    Will Turner - LG. Again, not much of a question.

    Capt. Barbosa - NE. Self serving. Vicious. Mutinous. We can probably make a good case for CE, too.

    All the villains (in positions of authority) not named Barbosa - LE. Change my mind.

    How bout some others?
    Will Turner seems NG too me. Busts a pirate from jail, steals commandeers a ship, makes a deal, stands by his word, busts Jack AGAIN from the noose, honours the deal with Beckett, fakes a gambling game, sneaks away from his duties that he fairly swore too on the Dutchman. Busting Jack from the noose is the moment I think he cements his NG status after flirting between CG and LG all movie.

    Elizabeth on the other hand, totally CG. Good girl, but is totally willing to trick, lie, swindle and betray. When Will was working fairly on the deal to free them both from Beckett, Elizabeth busts out and holds him at gunpoint. She also took to being Pirate King way too easily to be anything but Chaotic.

    Davy Jones is CE. He hates love and breaks his compacts at the first chance.
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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Jack Sparrow is CE. He's not The Joker, but he's extremely reluctant do be anything but selfish. He lies, he steals, he murders (he's not excessively murderous in the movies - but it's a Disney production, so I'm assuming a lot is glossed over, and his past is clearly very colorful), he never does anything that would qualify as Good unless he has a personal stake somehow.
    The "People aren't cargo" bit in the extended version of the second movie, hints at a disapproval of slavery. I'm told that, in the backstory, he was a member of the East India Company before freeing some of their slaves, and getting branded and outlawed as a result.
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Jack Sparrow is CE. He's not The Joker, but he's extremely reluctant do be anything but selfish. He lies, he steals, he murders (he's not excessively murderous in the movies - but it's a Disney production, so I'm assuming a lot is glossed over, and his past is clearly very colorful), he never does anything that would qualify as Good unless he has a personal stake somehow.

    He may be some sort of CE Light. But he's not CN.
    I hear what you are saying, but he never seems malicious. For me that seems to be the major break between neutral and evil. CE Lite? Maybe. Either way, the dominant axis is definitely Chaos.

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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Quote Originally Posted by redwizard007 View Post
    I hear what you are saying, but he never seems malicious. For me that seems to be the major break between neutral and evil. CE Lite? Maybe. Either way, the dominant axis is definitely Chaos.
    I agree he's more Chaotic than Evil. It's just I'm slightly opposed to the idea that CE needs to be overwhelmingly evil - an impulsive purse snatcher would qualify (I consider stealing from little old ladies inherently Evil, of course).

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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    It's just I'm slightly opposed to the idea that CE needs to be overwhelmingly evil - an impulsive purse snatcher would qualify (I consider stealing from little old ladies inherently Evil, of course).
    Or, as Quintessential Paladin II puts it:

    Low Grade Evil Everywhere

    In some campaigns, the common population is split roughly evenly among the various alignments - the kindly old grandmother who gives boiled sweets to children is Neutral Good and that charming rake down the pub is Chaotic Neutral. Similarly the thug lurking in the alleyway is Chaotic Evil, while the grasping landlord who throws granny out on the street because she's a copper behind on the rent is Lawful Evil.

    In such a campaign up to a third of the population will detect as Evil to the paladin. This low grade Evil is a fact of life, and is not something the paladin can defeat. Certainly he should not draw his greatsword and chop the landlord in twain just because he has a mildly tainted aura. It might be appropriate for the paladin to use Diplomacy (or Intimidation) to steer the landlord toward the path of good but stronger action is not warranted.

    In such a campaign detect evil cannot be used to infallibly detect villainy, as many people are a little bit evil. if he casts detect evil on a crowded street, about a third of the population will detect as faintly evil.



    Jack is a charming rake - but at least to merchants, he can be a bit of a thug as well.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2019-09-13 at 12:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    When I hear "pirate", I start at the assumption they're evil since their livelihood depends on robbing people with at least the threat of violence. Pirates are sea-robbers* with good PR.

    So me not having seen the movies, I can't judge individuals, but anyone who's a pirate would need to have some pretty strong redeeming features to get into the neutral zone. And good? Extremely unlikely.

    *which is one of their names in Dutch - zeerover - and German - Seerauber

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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    The "People aren't cargo" bit in the extended version of the second movie, hints at a disapproval of slavery.
    He's Chaotic Evil but he's charming and not especially sadistic. His evil is mostly petty and easy to gloss over because of his charisma, but it's still evil. "Pirates are fun!" but "pirates are still the baddies". Jack's disapproval of slavery probably springs from his chaotic aversion to chains and not a benevolent belief in universal dignity.

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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Complete Scoundrel, at least, pegs him as CN.

    Daniel The Daft, who looks like a Jack Sparrow derivative, from Complete Adventurer, is CG.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corneel View Post

    So me not having seen the movies, I can't judge individuals, but anyone who's a pirate would need to have some pretty strong redeeming features to get into the neutral zone. And good? Extremely unlikely.

    Being a good aligned pirate is possible in D&D - it just may be somewhat rare.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2019-09-14 at 01:16 AM.
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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Complete Scoundrel, at least, pegs him as CN.

    Daniel The Daft, who looks like a Jack Sparrow derivative, from Complete Adventurer, is CG.




    Being a good aligned pirate is possible in D&D - it just may be somewhat rare.
    I think that what people might see as good pirates is probably better covered by privateers.

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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Quote Originally Posted by Corneel View Post
    I think that what people might see as good pirates is probably better covered by privateers.
    Those are just pirates with a license; licenses don't automatically make one closer to good.

    Closer to lawful, maybe...
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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Quote Originally Posted by Corneel View Post
    I think that what people might see as good pirates is probably better covered by privateers.
    I don't really think there was ever any real difference - except for the letter of marque. So a slightly more selective pirate.

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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Quote Originally Posted by redwizard007 View Post
    Specifically in Pirates of the Caribbean, but feel free to chime in with other sources.

    Cpt. Jack Sparrow - CN. We can debate it all you want, but this guy is CN epitomized.

    Will Turner - LG. Again, not much of a question.

    Capt. Barbosa - NE. Self serving. Vicious. Mutinous. We can probably make a good case for CE, too.

    All the villains (in positions of authority) not named Barbosa - LE. Change my mind.

    How bout some others?
    Real life pirate certainly tend to be far more evil than fiction pirate. I mean, in PoC, a lot of those "pirate" never killed anyone on screen except for self defence (so in particular, not defenceless citizen), and had as much pillage as Robin Hood or Indiana Jones.

    But if we stick to those fiction pirates, their main alignment is Chaotic, as they are the personalisation of rebellion and freedom.

    Cpt Jack Sparrow: He is a good example of CN, when you need a famous Holywood hero for each alignment. But he certainly has some CE vibe, so both are reasonable.

    Will Turner: while I agree he started as LG, he definitely isn't LG at the end of the first film. I mean, when you're helping a criminal friend escaping the law because "you're a pirate too", you're not a LG, you're a NG with some CG tendencies. You could argue him becoming back LG during the third film.

    Capt Barbosa: Agree with NE.

    All the other Villain: Most of them start LN, but they certainly fall to LE quite quickly (if not before the beginning of the film).

    James Norrington: LG. Contrary to Will, he remains LG during the first film, though he then fall to NE during his depression during the sequels. He latter redeemed himself as NG character if not LG.

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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Quote Originally Posted by Stiles View Post
    i really like it very much
    You should write a book about "Re: Pirate alignments". People need to know about the "like it very much".

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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Jack realistically should have been CE. Iím willing to agree not all pirates were technically evil (there are some pretty honorable ones that only fought against captains they knew were cruel or corrupt). But most probably were.

    But The story goes out of its way to portray Jack as a pretty harmless guy. His victories are mostly bloodless unless heís facing actual villains. The stories told about him are capturing cities without having to fire a single shot. Hell, he even carries one pistol with one bullet that he hasnít used in decades. Iím willing to grant him CN.

    Will seems NG to me through and through. He doesnít seem to really respect or follow laws much. Heís willing to do what he has to to help though. So when that means following a treaty, heíll do it. But it hardly defines him.

    Norrington was LG in the first movie. Itís actually impressive how much a pretty alright guy he was. He tries to help, graciously accepts when his romantic interest turns him down, protects people, a bit hard nosed for the law but willing to accept extenuating circumstances. After the first movie though I donít really know what they were doing with the character.

    Barbossa was NE. Pretty much the best example of NE I can think of. He likes and uses the pirate code, but when push comes to shove ďTheyíre more like guidelines, than actual rules.Ē

    Elizabeth was CG. I think everyone just agrees on that one.

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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Yeah Disney pirates are very far from real life pirates.

    Also, Barbossa shows how OP the leadership feat is. Jack Sparrow lacking that feat was his undoing many a time.
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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    Jack realistically should have been CE. Iím willing to agree not all pirates were technically evil (there are some pretty honorable ones that only fought against captains they knew were cruel or corrupt). But most probably were.

    But The story goes out of its way to portray Jack as a pretty harmless guy. His victories are mostly bloodless unless heís facing actual villains. The stories told about him are capturing cities without having to fire a single shot. Hell, he even carries one pistol with one bullet that he hasnít used in decades. Iím willing to grant him CN.

    Will seems NG to me through and through. He doesnít seem to really respect or follow laws much. Heís willing to do what he has to to help though. So when that means following a treaty, heíll do it. But it hardly defines him.

    Norrington was LG in the first movie. Itís actually impressive how much a pretty alright guy he was. He tries to help, graciously accepts when his romantic interest turns him down, protects people, a bit hard nosed for the law but willing to accept extenuating circumstances. After the first movie though I donít really know what they were doing with the character.

    Barbossa was NE. Pretty much the best example of NE I can think of. He likes and uses the pirate code, but when push comes to shove ďTheyíre more like guidelines, than actual rules.Ē

    Elizabeth was CG. I think everyone just agrees on that one.
    Will definitely had a respect for station, propriety, personal honor, etc. He even allowed his master to take credit for his craftsmanship. I won't try to say his actions are what a modron would do, but that is the amount of leeway I'd give a character with free will. They will rarely fit an alignment mold perfectly.

    Norrington, you are right. He was a pretty stand up guy in the first movie.

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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    All pirates ate TN. Why?

    Because they arrrrr.

    In all seriousness, Disney Pirates tend towards TN/CN except for the really evil pirates who make everybody else look good. More realistic pirates would tend towards evil and chaos, but LN privateers are certainly possible. Just remember all decisions are made democratically.
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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Quote Originally Posted by redwizard007 View Post
    I hear what you are saying, but he never seems malicious. For me that seems to be the major break between neutral and evil. CE Lite? Maybe. Either way, the dominant axis is definitely Chaos.
    I think most of the worst people in real life are not particularly malicious - they just put there own wants and needs squarely before others wants needs and rights. Most real life pirates would rape, pillage and plunder without malice. If you require malice to be evil, then I think you'd be able to find very few real life people you could cram in that basket.

    In saying all that, I agree with you. Evil is almost never a motive. The worst people are either misguided, or lack enough morality to withstand their whim to take whatever they want.

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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Jack Sparrow is CE. He's not The Joker, but he's extremely reluctant do be anything but selfish. He lies, he steals, he murders (he's not excessively murderous in the movies - but it's a Disney production, so I'm assuming a lot is glossed over, and his past is clearly very colorful), he never does anything that would qualify as Good unless he has a personal stake somehow.

    He may be some sort of CE Light. But he's not CN.
    He's portrayed as solidly CN in Black Pearl, so CN is a valid assessment if we consider that movie in isolation. He's definitely someone who actually does serious crimes but he's portrayed as being beyond the need to use violence to commit said crimes. In particular the scene towards the beginning of the film where he hijacks a navy ship without even making any threats sticks in my mind.

    It's only in the next 2 films that it starts to get into things like him being in deep to fiendish supernatural entities and supplying them with new victims to try to buy off their claim to his soul.

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    Default Re: Pirate alignments

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    He's portrayed as solidly CN in Black Pearl, so CN is a valid assessment if we consider that movie in isolation. He's definitely someone who actually does serious crimes but he's portrayed as being beyond the need to use violence to commit said crimes. In particular the scene towards the beginning of the film where he hijacks a navy ship without even making any threats sticks in my mind.

    It's only in the next 2 films that it starts to get into things like him being in deep to fiendish supernatural entities and supplying them with new victims to try to buy off their claim to his soul.
    Well - he's the same person in all three movies. He makes a very high number of very questionable decisions throughout the movies, not least of which is taking crews on suicide missions without informing them of the dangers, several times.

    My reasoning is always like this: Only what you actually do affects your alignment. Do bad things, you move towards evil, do good things, you move towards good. Everyone is neutral - until they start actually making the world better, or worse.

    Jack Sparrow does pretty much nothing to make the world better. I can't think of any choice he makes that does that, except indicentally - as in, he's acting to help himself, and that happens to also be generally good. He makes tons of choices that are actively detrimental for everyone around him.

    He is .. unquestionably .. evil to me.

    But I'm not asking you to agree with me. Just explaining why I think that way =)

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