Palladium Alignments/Alignment in general

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studer
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Palladium Alignments/Alignment in general

#1 Postby studer » Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:06 am

I have always thought the Palladium alignments were the best implementation of the alignment concept. Thoughts? Comments? (keeping the topic nice and broad so less folks will complain about drift)


Going over the Palladium alignments, are there many character concepts that would be ruined by having to have a Palladium alignment assigned to the character? Please come up with some or may players may face the grim prospect of having to choose one for each of their characters...
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#2 Postby Shane » Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:51 am

How about you explain the Palladium alignments so that us ignant folks might comment.
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#3 Postby studer » Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:54 pm

Alas, Mr. Siembieda is mighty anal about such things. Go peruse a core Palladium book other than Recon, they all have it.

Essentially each Palladium alignment, in addition to the usual vague description, spells out what this character is likely to do in certain situations an RPG character is likely to find themselves in. It covers things like lying, stealing, torturing, betraying friends, harming innocents, opinion/relationship concerning authoritah, etc.

Alignments fall into 3 categories: Good, Selfish, and Evil. Because the descriptions focus on practical matters it short cicuits a lot of the pointless discussions about what a given alignment would or would not do that plagued (in my experience) 1st and early 2nd Ed AD&D. The Good alignments are Principled (closest to AD&D lawful good) and Scrupulous (closest to neutral good). The selfish alignments are Unscrupulous (chaotic good) and Anarchist (pretty much out for themselves, but not quite evil, what I always called non-philosophical neutral). The Evil alignments are Abberant (lawful evil), Miscreant (neutral evil), and Diabolical (chaotic evil).

The AD&D approximations are rough at best, but I can't go into too much detail without risking copyright infringement. On the good side your FLGS probably has some very cheap old Palladium rulebooks. Older editions and discontinued game lines (except Recon) should all have the same alignment system as exists in the newer stuff. You can also read Palladium's very interesting basic combat mechanic that way too. The attribute improvements through study also bear examination.

Finally, I never had so much of a problem with AD&D alignments so much as a combination of the vague way they were written and the way most GMs insisted on a literal interpretation of them. There was no way to play a strict opportunist by the way most GMs in my area interpreted things. Neutral was forced to try and "maintain the balance." Chaotic Neutral had to be crazy (correct really), chaotic good had to help people (screw that! :) ), any Lawful alignment had to respect authoritah (see prior note on helping people), and any Evil alignment had to go out of it's way to kick puppy dogs and trip up little old ladies.

I am thinking of re-adapting alignments because most people don't want to load up on mental disadvantages now that I have lowered the points on them. My logic is that if it doesn't hinder the character the way a missing arm does it shouldn't be worth as many points as said missing limb would be. :twisted: OTOH, good characters should get some added points, as they are limited by morals where opportunistic, apathetic, and evil characters are not. Secondly there still needs to be some quick measure of a character's beliefs, much like the combination of the Morality stat and religious tenets in HMx.
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#4 Postby Harshax » Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:10 pm

I like the Paladium alignment system. My own peeve about it, is the misuse of the word Anarchist. The few times I've trotted that system out for my other games, I have always refered to that set of morals as Hedonist.

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#5 Postby Whitmire » Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:23 am

Lawful Evil aberrant? I've always thought that Lawful Evil people seek ways to gain from established systems - not fight against them! Shakepeare's Shylocke could be Lawful Evil in AD&D terms.
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#6 Postby Darth Tang » Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:53 am

I hate alignment systems. I've never allowed evil PCs (regardless of label), but so far what I've seen is players inevitably choosing the most flexibe alignment choice, thus nuetering the whole system.

What I use (I'm not using it now because of the system) is a home rule called Faith: if a player chooses a diety, and role-plays said alleigence, they pick up Faith (points), which can be used in various positive ways. For example, expending two Faith points can allowa dice roll to be re-rolled. Failing to meet religious doctrine costs Faith (points).

Of course, a player can choose not to follow a given religion, but the idea of a slow but steady trickle of power certainly draws 'em in.

In Tribe 8 is use Outlook & (former) Tribe values in place of a religion.
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#7 Postby studer » Tue Apr 12, 2005 5:44 am

WHitmire: In Palladium Abberant is the honorable evil. He finds torture distasteful but occasionally neccesary, keeps his word, and usually fights fair. Lawful evil has many of the same traits the way most folks portrayed it.

edit: s/fait/fair/g good catch, DT.
Last edited by studer on Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#8 Postby Darth Tang » Tue Apr 12, 2005 2:05 pm

nolah wrote:WHitmire: In Palladium Abberant is the honorable evil. He finds torture distasteful but occasionally neccesary, keeps his word, and usually fights fait.


I don't think fighting fait is unique to the honorable evil. Anyone who encounters fait fights them.
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#9 Postby Harshax » Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:22 am

nolah wrote:edit: s/fait/fair/g good catch, DT.


vi . . . . you do know Neil Stephanson wrote some of his earlier books in vi right? Read, "In the Beginning was the Command Line"

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#10 Postby studer » Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:30 am

Harshax: I was unaware Stephenson composed in vi. I know I've been doing too much coding at work when I try to write in Word and start cursing the thing for not recognizing vi commands. "In the beginning..." was a good read.

PS: In the interests of further proving my nit-picking ways, the substitution command is actually from "ed", and gets used in programs like "sed" and "vi". Save me from myself! ;)
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#11 Postby Darth Tang » Thu Apr 14, 2005 2:38 am

I dug out my 1st Ed Rifts to examine said alignment system.

And nolah speaks the truth: it is rather good.

But it lacks the thing I think needs t be dome the most with alignment systems: involvement. Players, unless required by a class, will nearly always choose the 'null' alignment, then ignore the whole business.

Myself, I always add a house rule that translates into 'the more strict your alignment, the greater the fringe benifit'.
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#12 Postby studer » Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:18 am

That is the advantage of a GURPS inspired system. The more restrictive the alingment, the more points it is worth to the player. Since I do not give any free points to the players to buy advantages, they need to acquire them somehow. And some of my players do occasionally enjoy playing the good guy. I try to reward such characters the same way I do those characters that have a good, detailed, and consistent backstory.

Dun the orphaned, callous thug will usually not have as many advanatges, social or otherwise, as the fleshed out runaway miller's son.
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#13 Postby Darth Tang » Thu Apr 14, 2005 2:12 pm

Yup-if there's no advantage to be gained, or problem to be avoided, players will simply ignore it.
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#14 Postby studer » Thu Apr 14, 2005 2:26 pm

Well, I kinda understand. Players want to paye their character the way they want to play their character. As GM, I want to have some idea what to expect generally, and figure it is good to reward players with more interesting characters.

DT, can you think of many character concepts that would not fit into one of the Palladium alignments?
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