Corruption Points


This is, in general, the problem that I have with the concept of alignments. Not that alignments aren’t appropriate for certain games, but when you get down to the human elements of characters, it’s often difficult to draw the line. That paladin is obviously Good, since he’s casting good spells, but he just burned down an entire village to find one criminal, which is clearly Evil. The local sheriff will arrest you on a technicality, because you broke the law even though you didn’t really do anything wrong, so obviously he’s Lawful, but then he also refuses to execute an innocent person even after the court finds him guilty, which doesn’t sound very lawful at all. Alignments draw sometimes arbitrary lines, and unless you’re willing to play with them a bit they can be very limiting.

Having said that, I was in a one-shot game where we all played Evil characters. I was a fallen angel at the head of a mafia, another was a cancer mage trying to topple a city with disease, and another was pretty much a straight demon. We betrayed each other in the end, and I was the only one who survived (by teleporting the fuck away from the battle). If you don’t mind using somewhat goofy comic book style villains who are evil simply for evil’s sake, the game can be really fun.

Some players like working towards a common goal while planning to backstab their friends. It provides amusing conflict, and if everybody has fun then the game is a success no matter how the story goes.

I will say though that personally, I prefer antiheroes to straight villains. If someone is trying to do good through evil methods, that can provide good conflict within a party without resorting to PvP. An argument about whether it’s right to torture a prisoner for information can be much more interesting than a straight out fight.


Regarding your “Evil Characters” post. I think part of your problem is that you are using the terms “Good” and “Evil” too absolutely. In most roleplay settings I use, particularly Warhammer 40k (PARTICULARLYx2 Dark Heresy) there is a very VERY blurred line between Good and Evil. It’s been my experience that the “Evil” characters in my campaign are just as nuanced and complex as the “Good” characters. It falls to the GM to create situations where those characters can be developed successfully.

I distinctly remember playing Dark Heresy, where we found a room of Inquisitorial Acolytes that we didn’t know were Acolytes, and didn’t know we also worked for the Inquisition, and they attacked us. After a small fight, we realized that they worked for the Inquisiton.

Everyone in my party decided to spare them for not knowing, but the Guardsman PC slit their throats. He then didn’t understand why he gained Corruption Points for it, as “They were on the wrong side of a Holy War!”

He was pretty pissed.

Dark Heresy is strange for a moral system. Technically, things that are “Good” (Intellectual progression, acceptance of different races/ideas, mercy) are evil. 

Tangent aside, this raises an entirely new question. Would either of you say there is a need or reason for a hard-lined or set alignment system in games where one is not already in place? 

If playing to the character rather than the alignment makes for better characters, of which I believe we can universally agree, is there still a need or reason for a hard-set alignment system in games at all?

Even in a game like Dungeons & Dragons where there are mechanical changes for going against alignment? (A Paladin losing her powers, for example)?

Anyone else?

  1. pandacommander24a reblogged this from corruptionpoints
  2. frozenrevolutionary reblogged this from corruptionpoints
  3. catmansga reblogged this from shadowbird712 and added:
    I would add, that the D&D alignment system axis usually only seems “restrictive” when the terms are taken a bit too...
  4. literaryfirearms reblogged this from rashiko and added:
    I don’t even have anything to add to this, but an awesome discussion on alignment and morality at the table.
  5. shadowbird712 reblogged this from rashiko
  6. rashiko reblogged this from corruptionpoints and added:
    Recognizing that I’m digging a bit deep into the past, this conversation prompted an old post I never quite got around...
  7. 3dmsnospotcheck reblogged this from corruptionpoints and added:
    I try not to think of alignments as set in stone. Humans (and probably elves, gnomes, and all manner of demi-humans)...
  8. transmetropolistin reblogged this from corruptionpoints and added:
    For me it was never about acting “good” or acting “evil” it was about being free from the pre-defined roles of “good” or...
  9. corruptionpoints reblogged this from apostatecrusader and added:
    I distinctly remember playing Dark Heresy, where we found a room of Inquisitorial Acolytes that we didn’t know were...
  10. an-alphas-secrets reblogged this from castlerook
  11. guesswhattimeitis reblogged this from corruptionpoints and added:
    I’ve never run an “evil game”, nor have I played in one. I’ve heard of them, but that’s about it. However, as for...
  12. apostatecrusader reblogged this from corruptionpoints and added:
    This is, in general, the problem that I have with the concept of alignments. Not that alignments aren’t appropriate for...
  13. castlerook reblogged this from guardianphoenix and added:
    It comes down to a basic point, how does one play an “evil” character? Its the exploration of a character motivated by...
  14. guardianphoenix reblogged this from corruptionpoints and added:
    I’ve played in an evil campaign before. So I have to say what I just read was on point. When you are an evil guy in a...
  15. invaderofspaces said: Also, my lightning quick replies totally have say nothing about my work ethic. Which may or may not be in shambles.
  16. invaderofspaces reblogged this from corruptionpoints and added:
    I am in the same boat as you, having never played or felt the desire to play an Evil character. However I could see...