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Author Topic: Branderback Questions  (Read 595 times)

merlin34baseball

Branderback Questions
« on: October 18, 2011, 01:51:49 pm »
Hello!

Looking for everyone's opinions here, so post if you have thoughts!

I just started playing a worshipper of Branderback and my first evil character and am having a few issues on how to deal with RPing an evil character, so your thoughts would be appreciated so I can ensure I am playing him within what is intended, especially since he's a cleric!

Being as Branderback's main goals are greed...

1. Would my character travel with a group that had enemy aligned folks in it, such as a paladin of Rofie, if he knew he would profit from the trip?

My initial thoughts:
...gotta have folks in the frontlines to die for you so you can escape unharmed...

2. Would he heal his deities enemies if he knew it would serve to further his goals of wealth and greed?

My initial thoughts:
...got to keep the paladin upright til we hit the treasure, then on the way out if he falls he falls...

A general question on Branderback...

Is he considered one of the evil deities of Layo and thus the laws stating that he can be arrested and punished for his beliefs true? I just was unsure if Branderback fell in the same category as Corath in world views... which of course would change some of my initial reactions to the questions I posed above I suppose.

My Thanks,
Merlin34
 
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Filatus

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2011, 02:52:56 pm »
Quote
2. Would he heal his deities enemies if he knew it would serve to further his goals of wealth and greed?

What about Branderback's goals? Branderback is not blessing him with divine magic, just so this cleric can live the good life.
 

Filatus

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2011, 02:57:31 pm »
To clarify. By healing the paladin, the evil cleric might just as well have said Toran is right. The weak need to be protected and the cleric would be aiding the paladin in serving Toran's cause, while denying his own deity's dogma.

A true Branderbackian or whatever would save the healing for when he needed it himself, or actually dissapear the moment the battle seemed to turn on them. He would be a mile away when the Toranite would turn around, urging others to flee while he would hold the foes off.

The Branderbackian would come out no worse for wear, having held true to his deity's dogma, while the rival deity's follower is dead. If things work out well enough, he gets slip back with stealth and loot the remains of his party members, actually making a profit out of the whole ordeal.
 

cbnicholson

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2011, 03:14:12 pm »
My two true.
 
 I won't address paladins and your character as my understanding of detect evil in layonara is very basic and as I'm aware of it, determined by the DM's at the time.
 
 
 While Divine insight would indicate to a Rofireinite priest that that your character was an enemy or unfriendly, unless there were overt actions or rp that 'crossed a line' there wouldn't be justification for corrective action outside of responding to the particular incident. As a personal aside, In law, there has to be some manner of bad intent and and an unlawful action to warrant intervention imo. Other players of Rofireinite clergy have differing viewpoints, I'm sure.
 
 To give a concrete example of how two clerics of different faiths could collaborate to determine your characters weal from my personal experience. Elohanna (Aerindinite) and Daniel (Rofirein) both see Val (Sy'ris -suspected priestess of the Mother of Darkness or Corath) as an enemy as revealed by the insight given to them by thier respective gods. Since both characters are members of a guild, are friends, and have interaction. (in this case- Guild Forums) It was brought to Daniel's attention that Elohanna saw Sy'ris as an enemy. When Sy'ris joined a small party he was leading, she was confronted with these dual observations which led to some tense moments or rp followed by a general disbanding of the group. Since Sy'srik did nothing to justify further interaction, like attack or rp more than a general scorn, she was allowed to go her way. (to the characters knowledge was she known to be a dark elf or be wanted by the authorities either. ;) )
 
 In short, depending on DM involvement or own personal preferences, I don't see why your character couldn't adventure with from time to time with enemy priests of good or lawful alignment as long he minded his p's and q's so to speak. Although, I'm certain those priests and paladins would be of limited help past playing meat shields. :p Eventually, he may be found out for what he is, but isn't that what the bluff skill is for? Playing evil is hard, I tried it myself for a long while and found it to be impossible with my mindset so I gave up. Not truly being willing to help others means it will be that much harder for your character to develope working relationships with others unless there is a larger goal. Even then, motives like greed, revenge, quest for personal power will only take you so far. Not to discourage you or your rp, but that was my personal conclusion.
 
 Disclaimer: This is all player perspective stuff (ooc) here in case there is any doubt. :)
"Give a man a mask and he will show you his true face." 

Oscar Wilde
 

Acacea

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2011, 03:43:51 pm »
I like the scenario Filatus suggests, but I disagree on that being an always-thing, except for saving healing for oneself.  Duh, me first. Self preservation before all else. On casting on enemies in general though, it depends on the goal, to me. That's good times if you are just out to shove someone's nose in it, true, and that would be a good way to do it if you could manage it in such a way as to avoid post-bindstone accusations. Make sure you've got a scapegoat. Additionally, paladins might pick you out of crowd for alignment, anyway - best avoided!

But if there is an end-goal, I say whatever it takes, with reasons, not excuses. By this I mean most followers of Branderback will certainly do whatever it takes to get what they want, but this should be used for roleplay, not as an excuse to not roleplay. Does that make sense? The world will not turn, the gold will not flow, without some willing idiots standing in front of you when the dragon's breathing fire. These temporary hookups are necessary, but if you allow yourself to be put in a position where you depend on them, you deserve what you get and no one, including your deity, will lift a finger to help you out.

As far as being considered an evil deity, whether or not it is specifically illegal to worship Branderback, how many other crimes are you guilty of if you follow the Hound ? Additionally, one should always be careful about how one advertises oneself. The archetype of the lovable thief is not the face of all crime, and there are some evil, nasty people that follow Branderback, just like the Cant is not sign language but a series of sly gestures and code words that convey short, important meanings quickly and discreetly... by people like pirates, smugglers, thieves... assassins.... and there might be others that have caught on and are watching. What sort of brotherhood do you want to associate yourself with by using signs of your profession and faith openly? It could be a short life.

Done the right way however, many people are thick enough to defend you and your choice of deities to their death, possibly even orchestrated by you - no hard feelings of course, just in the way of what's yours. You're just misguided, and they can't prove anything. Be extra careful though, because some GMs give even low level paladins the ability to detect evil, which is kind of a pain but what're you going to do? It isn't always, but you don't want to assume the wrong way.

Remember, all doors are trapped, all friends are dupes, and all things in this life be it wealth, wine, or women belong to you - if you have the cunning to take them back from those holding them for you and come out with your hands clean...
 

Filatus

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2011, 03:55:36 pm »
Yeah, it was really one example of how to play out what is actually a complex situation with many angles.

I just figure that for a cleric there's a bit more to it then just living the life the cleric's god emphasizes.

I'm a big proponent of letting servants of rival deities travel together (within reason of course). What better way to try and proof your deity's dogma is better than those of the others?
 

darkstorme

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2011, 05:04:29 pm »
On the other hand, if you keep casting your deity's blessings on someone of an opposed or enemy faith without a _lot_ of explanation in prayer, your deity might decide to scold you for it...

*smiles*  As was well-said above, your deity doesn't grant you powers so you can live the good life.  It's so you can further Their interests.
 

EdTheKet

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2011, 11:20:29 am »
Agreed completely with Acacea!
 

Xaltotun

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2011, 12:32:18 pm »
Part of the issue with playing an evil character is that Layonara is overwhelmingly good and lawful which makes it hard for an evil character to operate in. Even the "evil" places would seem to allow the law of Rofirien to apply which seems strange at first look. There are also no guilds to which an evil character, a rogue, for instance, can sign up to to get protection from the authorities in a town.

This means that either the character ends up alone as they are so evil (or known to be evil) that no other character will stay with them, or, the evil part of the character is dumbed down so that they can be accepted by other characters in a party. Neither of these options are really the best, but since Layonara is a role-playing world, and since we all want to role-play, it is difficult to see any way beyond this.

Then of course it is all complicated if you have a deity to consider as well :)
 

miltonyorkcastle

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2011, 01:54:20 pm »
Quote
There are also no guilds to which an evil character, a rogue, for instance, can sign up to to get protection from the authorities in a town.


Well, no player run guilds, anyway. I think Ni'haer's been trying to start one, but then, would your clearly superior character put up with a pompous dark elf being the boss? Wouldn't your character rather get rid of him and become the boss himself/herself?

Evil often ends up alone because rather than supporting those around them, they take from those around them, meaning you generally don't have friends. Minions and allies, sure, but not friends. Such is the life of true evil (selfish). This is why hardcore evil (read in DnD terms: chaotic evil) either becomes really powerful to be able to survive being so selfish, or gets killed off. Most 'evil' that survives for any length of time is either very subtle, disguised/hidden, or willing to cooperate within certain social standards.
 

Xaltotun

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2011, 05:39:08 pm »
LOL to Milty with his comment  
Quote
would your clearly superior character put up with a pompous dark elf being the boss?


I agree - it is hard playing an evil character, but the rewards when you pull it off are so much better (in my humble opinion, of course - or am I too much into it by now? ;) than playing an LG type.

I try my best, but as hard as I try, I can never seem to match the humour, fast lines, quick throwaways that all the evil people in cinema always do which makes evil so cool (e.g. Alan Rickman in Robin Hood).
 

Lareth

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2011, 09:09:16 pm »
This is a little reversal to the original thought behind it, but evil isn't stupid.  Would Branderback mind if you threw a healing potion or two over the Paladin to maintain your cover?  Probably not, using your divinely granted powers probably yes.  

Lets be honest nothing screams "I'm a worshipper of a dark power" quite like refusing to heal the Toranite Paladin, but a swiftly applied potion or heal kit can go a long way towards convincing people that you are a goody two shoes just like them.
 

RollinsCat

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2011, 09:11:08 pm »
Quote from: Lareth
nothing screams "I'm a worshipper of a dark power" quite like refusing to heal the Toranite Paladin.


or, "I'm a Lucindite" *grin*.
 

lonnarin

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2011, 10:49:12 pm »
The key with a Branderback worshipper is to be covert.  They thrive on secrecy, subterfuge and misdirection.  What Andrew mentions above, I believe that god in particular would be perfectly fine with his followers lying to authority figures and pretending to be a member of another opposing faith.  

Would a Branderbackian follow goodly types in the aims for greater profit?  Absolutely.  Especially if they viewed these good people as tools to be used towards an end, expendable and such.  They could act as an unsavory rogue or healer for pay, bargaining for boons and reminding the party how invaluable their services are.  Clearly reason to warrant a larger than normal share of the goods, yes?  Would they raise an enemy to the faith or use divine spells on them?  Very rarely, I would think.  Only if they got the target into some expensive devil's bargain or traded their services for even greater services.  They would be the sort of folks who stand over the body and talk to the soul hovering above... "Ride the bindstone if you will, but if you don't by the count of 10, I take this as consent to our bargain that you owe me 5,000 true."
 

Gulnyr

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2011, 07:57:03 pm »
Quote from: Xaltotun
either the character ends up alone as they are so evil (or known to be evil) that no other character will stay with them, or, the evil part of the character is dumbed down so that they can be accepted by other characters in a party.

These are general questions, aimed not at Xaltotun but tossed out for consideration by all:

Why are Law and Chaos more compatible than Good and Evil? Why is the Good/Evil axis treated differently? Why are Good and Evil considered 'farther apart' than Lawful and Chaotic?  Lawful and Chaotic characters travel together all the time, and even become very close friends, despite having very different outlooks. Why is the same not possible with Good and Evil characters? Aren't Law and Chaos just as opposite as Good and Evil?
 

lonnarin

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2011, 08:27:31 pm »
Good question.  I think both may be just as opposed on that spectrum.  For example, my pirate character Kurn!  Now he is decidedly evil, bloodthirsty, unscrupulous and harsh to the enemy.  In an ideal world the goodly characters would all band together and drive him to a final death before he becomes the next Rael or Sinthar.  However, his goals are atypical of most ravager types, like slaying Rael and perfecting his martial abilities with the scimitar, and his outlook is decidedly dwarven.  I made him to exemplify the absolute worst there is to be found in dwarven culture.  Warmongering, greed and uncouth unrelenting mannerisms that make him most detestable.  He is a murderer and a villain, yet many goodly folks LOVE him.  ANd the things to hate about him are all typically things people hate about dwarves in general.  Just amped up to a degree where he becomes a Yosemite Sam type character.

At first I thought it was merely out of fear, they saw his battle ability and shuddered "no I dont want to mess with that", but lets face it, many of those heroes out there could easily mop the floor with him and be done with him.  Then I considered it might be OOC that they just liked playing with me rather than cause friction.  But the same characters who love Kurn utterly detest some of my more friendly-aligned and well mannered characters.  What I think it is, is that his evil-worn-on-his-sleeve is refreshing.  He is not the kind of evil that whispers in darkness or stabs one in the back.  He barks loudly and declares his intentions up front.  His goals of killing Rael and perfecting the martial skills align with their own, and he does have a pretty decent, if not twisted sense of humor.  In that sense, he is somewhat loveable in a detestable kind of way.  He and the Dwarven Army get along just fine.  Perhaps a few paladins shudder and oppose him, but they don't break out into open fighting.  Kurn is smart enough to know not to run around causing strife to the masses, not so much out of fear, but that it's bad for business.  He's a mercenary at heart, and alienating ones clients is a sure fire way to go broke or worse, be broken.

Then there are the Lawful Evil rofirienites out there who shall remain nameless.  Even though they are evil and black hearted, their mannerisms in which they present themselves mesh well with the lawful outlook of the faith.  They fall into line with the same goals on many quests, bounty hunting, restoring order, maintaining a visage of agreeableness.  Just because they are evil, they don't outright spit in your face and kick puppies, that would be unlawful.  SO in this sense, their law outshines their evil, or at least covers up for it.

Then there's Grovel and Nonac of the warg tribe.  They are both cunning enough to hide their true natures outside of the pack.  They play upon the preconception that goblins are silly, stupid and sickeningly cute, and play like they are just simple savages in this big crazy world of tallfolk.  WOuld it surprise you that Chieftain Nonac is fully capable of speaking fluent common with perfect grammar?  Or that both participate in cannibalism at a level that makes most zombie lords jealous?  They seem to get a free pass on being evil mostly because of two factors.  1) that they are goblin and utterly detestable and that is what people see foremost.  If they can get past the goblin part, their alien nature kind of masks the evil part.  2) that they are nature worshippers, which seems to alleviate the fear of their evil with the misconception that nature folk are all simple, enlightened protectors of the woods who hug trees and pet bunnies.  Bunnies dread the goblins, for they are tasty and their furs make good loin cloths.  SO due to their allegiances and alien nature, their evil seems to go unnoticed, and they are too cunning to wear their evil openly.  They are just silly little muppets who are gross and funny.  Love us! hug us...

I think it's the typical forms of evil that have the most difficulty coexisting with good.  The necromantic schemers raising zombies in front of the paladin, or the wanted criminals with a track record of being witnessed in the act and hunted for their actions.  Or the shady types who one can't bring themselves to trust.  It is easier to love an unrepentant blowhard like Kurn than it is to accept a slimy snake in the grass like Wormtongue or some plotting necromancer.  I have no doubt that a LE mercenary with copious amounts of greed and cruelty but plays by the book of acceptable behavior would be better accepted than say, a tricky CN rogue who continually tries to bilk the party out of their treasure.  Just my thoughts on the matter.  While it is more rare to see good and evil work together, its hardly unheard of.  I think the stereotypical Paladin/Rogue combo in D&D groups has us desensitized to the inevitable conflict between law and conflict.

With one exception of course... SHADON!  If one worships Shadon, they are usually seen as scum to goodly folks, even if they themselves are harmless, silly tricksters just looking to pull a good prank.  Of all the gods, I think Shadon has the worst and most undeserved reputation of being vile.  He's not that evil at all, but most heroes would sooner party with an evil backstabber than a goodly prankster.  Just my experience with my old CN cleric/rogue Ezekiel Gortsmorfer and that old CN hero Hawlken.  Oh man, how Paladins hated Hawklen.  They would sooner group with a puppy slayer than that madman.
 

geloooo

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2011, 08:42:38 pm »
"I give to you the world, my son. It is yours for the taking. Lie, cheat, steal, and kill for the greater glory of the Hound."

-Branderback
 

davidhoff

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2011, 03:23:19 am »
Quote
These are general questions, aimed not at Xaltotun but tossed out for consideration by all:

Why are Law and Chaos more compatible than Good and Evil? Why is the Good/Evil axis treated differently? Why are Good and Evil considered 'farther apart' than Lawful and Chaotic? Lawful and Chaotic characters travel together all the time, and even become very close friends, despite having very different outlooks. Why is the same not possible with Good and Evil characters? Aren't Law and Chaos just as opposite as Good and Evil?


That's a good set of questions and difficult to ponder.  I think for me whether someone is lawful or chaotic deals more with their decided political views on whether there should be lots of strict laws and heavy enforcement or whether we should be able to be more free.  The lawful/chaotic element is more a subjective choice for another character and doesn't seem to have a direct consquence so much on opposed characters.  The lawful/chaotic element is kind of a choice, not so much part of the character's dna.

However, the evil/good element goes to a character's core and their inate makeup.  An evil person is out for their own and cares nothing for others and a good person wants to help others, even at the sacrafice of them selves.  This can have direct consequences to these opposed characters, especially in battle.

I can see two opposed characters having an educated and constructive discussion about laws and chaos, but I can not see two opposed characters really having that discussion regarding whether its better to be evil or good.  It seems easier and more possible that one could sway another's views through counseling and action on issues of chaos/lawful, and less likely that one could change another's views regarding being evil or good.

I think a lawful-good character and a lawful-evil character would have much less in common than a chaotic-good and a lawful-good.  The desire to be good and do good, to me, is a greater calling than the desire to be lawful and uphold laws.  I see being lawful as a smaller subset within the greater set of being good.

Wow....I feel like I'm back in college  :D
 

Nehetsrev

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2011, 07:26:35 am »
Here're some examples of Lawful vs. Chaotic as I see them possibly manifested in inherant lifestyles:
 
 Lawful:
 Believes order and structure should be part of every aspect of life. These are the neat-freaks. They do everything with thoughtful planning and organization. They develop systems for everything they do, and get agravated when they cannot execute their system precisely they same way all the time. They are good at analyzing things systematicly, and thus will more often see patterns in the world where others would tend to overlook them. Where they see no pattern, they will often try to impose one, simply because they feel there must be some order to things for the good of everyone or because they can't stand to see disarray.  They can be good problem solvers, finding elegant and efficient solutions to most anything they set their minds to, even if the solution isn't something enjoyable to others it may be imposed upon. They tend to work toward positions of leadership because they like to be in control, though that doesn't always mean they're good leaders. People who criticize or interfear with their system in some way also agravate them deeply. They want to leave their ordered mark upon the world because they believe their way is best.
 
 Chaotic:
 Believes they should just go with the flow through most aspects of living. They chafe at being told how to live by others. In fact, they will sometimes openly rebell against a directive by someone in authority, not because they believe the directive itself to be wrong, but simply because they believe they should be free to choose to follow that directive at their own will. They're often disorganized or slobbish, but even they will clean up when they realize things are at a degree of disorganization that even they don't enjoy (usually when they decide to clean up it's not because they believe things should be neat and tidy, but because they don't want to be nagged at anymore by those who do, or give a bad impression to someone they wish to impress). These are the people who often lose things because they don't have a system that defines a place for everything and puts everything in it's place. The bright side to this aspect is that they often are better at finding things, having had so much practice searching in their day-to-day living. They can be easilly distracted, and can find a moment or two of wonderment in just about anything they experience. This often leads them to be wildly creative from the inspirations they find. They will strongly voice their opinion that no one should have the right to tell them or others what to do or how to do it, and this can lead to clashes with the system (which some of them enjoy quite a bit). They like to leave their mark on the world through their uniqueness (if they're even concerned enough with leaving a mark, that is). They believe their way is best because it embodies ultimate freedom.
 
 Nuetral:
 These are the people who are moderate. They believe there should be some order to life, but that obsession with order is just as damaging as a total disregard for it. They believe personal freedom is good, but that it must be handled with an equal measure of personal responsibility. They order important aspects of their lives, but enjoy a degree of spontanaity as well. These are the people who can actually stand to live with those who fall to either of the other extremes. When with someone who is lawful, they show the lawful person that freedom from structure can be worthwhile and enjoyabel too, without being quite as agravating or annoying as someone totally chaotic. When with someone chaotic in nature, they're the ones who remind them when to bring some structure back into their lives to make things a little easier so that freedom can be enjoyed responsibly. They live by the laws of the land because they do understand that in most cases the laws bring structure and safety, but they aren't afraid to bend the rules a bit and make exceptions when they think that would be of more benefit to themselves or others. They believe their way is best because they've seen the unfavorable examples that extremes to either law or chaos can bring to life. They aren't as likely to strongly voice their opinion, because they'd rather everyone just got along so they could get on with living life comfortably themselves. Harmony is better than dischord.
 

RollinsCat

Re: Branderback Questions
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2011, 09:34:20 am »
Quote from: davidhoff
I can see two opposed characters having an educated and constructive discussion about laws and chaos


And they have...I remember a long conversation between Andrew and Jennara regarding just that, after a certain deep dwarf encounter on a Harlas quest.

I agree with the Hoff, good vs evil feels more primal, and law vs chaos feels like the way you achieve your goals.

one thing about evil though - I think that we assume too often it's self-aware.  Evil, or selfishness, rarely sees itself that way.  You can't convince an evil person they're evil because to them, they're just much more practical and less inhibited about their place in the world and how they are going to preserve/elevate it.  Survival of the fittest, or sneakiest, or cleverest.  And I think everyone assumes they're good, to some degree, even if society in general would not agree.