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Page 951 in Cocoyashi Village
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Page 951


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Average Rating: 5
Number of people who have voted: 3


By the same author as Grand Line 3.5
Comments:

Jake




20th Jan 2017, 2:09 AM
""Are you SURE we're the good guys?""

The alignment system. A common theme in many arguments that have something to do with the Monk slaughtering a platoon of Goblins, or a Paladin burning down a orphanage. Like in any game, it's in place because it's a rule that makes sure that the characters actually stay IN character.

But not every situation is black and white, and sometimes the heroic, valor filled goody two shoes characters will find themselves in a situation where they had to commit a act or break a moral code for the sake of progression, be it as pragmatic as leveling up, to as personal as saving a characters life, and they will always involve arguments talking about the delicate balance of alignments.

Tell a story about a character, yours or otherwise, doing something that would normally go against their alignment, for any reason.

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Kaze Koichi




20th Jan 2017, 3:47 AM

For those too annoyed by alignment system to screw them over too many times the only way is to play chaotic neutral. There is no way DM can call you out on not following that alignment.
DM: "Why did you do this?"
CN: "Meh..."
There is no counterpoint to that!
Basically, you're good as long as you don't throw an acid in people's face... if they are not hostile... more then twice per campaign... Listen, just avoid to be full psychopath or sacrificing all you money to charity, and you are pretty much an idea chaotic neutral.

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Tempestfury




20th Jan 2017, 5:37 AM

Which is 100% lame and is the most boring way to play I have ever heard.

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Joe the Rat




20th Jan 2017, 10:00 AM

It's also not a very good CN.
Neutral is self-interest, where no person's life is necessarily more important than another's, but does not delight in the suffering of others, or if you prefer, "has standards." Chaotic is setting your own code, your own rules, and holding to them as much as you feel like. It's what you want to do, not really caring about what others think, and letting *them* do their own thing. The less monstrous flavors of the Unfettered.

But at least he's not advocating chaotic stupid. CN hasn't been canon lolrandom insane since 1st edition (mind you, back then canon alignment ideal behaviors were pretty much 9 flavors of jackwagon, but I digress). And I despise CN as CE-lite-because-the-DM-said-no-evil.

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Kaze Koichi




20th Jan 2017, 2:38 PM

Following specific code, specific rules, even if they are your own, is still lawful. Chaotic is doing whatever you want. I'm chaotic, no one tells me what to do, take your rules and shove them.
Neutral is not good or evil, but it doesn't mean you can't do good. You can do good deeds as much as you want. You'll probably do a lot, if you are neutral in good-alignment party. What neutral won't do is self-sacrifice or unnecessary risk. You can still risk yourself for something you consider your own.
Neutral can do evil when there is good reason for it. Self-interest, because they must, whatever. IF I am neutral, can I sacrifice a human to the devil? Give me good reason, and I may. But if you want to burn an orphanage once a session, play chaotic evil.
That's what CN really should be. It's you who is not good CN at all. "Has standards" is not neutral on good-evil scale, it's lawful on lawful-chaotic scale. "Your own code" is lawful. You are not "chaotic neutral" at all, you are true lawful. Get out of town.
"Chaotic stupid" is my guess what a "boring way" guy above is. "I'm chaotic, so let's have fun with it! I'm going to do stupid and insane things, because I am not lawful." That's not alignment, that's mental illness.

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Rathonje

Rathonje




20th Jan 2017, 4:04 PM
"Warning: Wall of Text - TL;DR at bottom"

It could be argued that the chaotic-lawful axis has to do with one’s level of acquiescence to the standards of others in the interest of preserving an orderly paradigm beneficial to them. For instance, a lawful good character would be more likely to try to get an enemy taken to court and tried as part of a game-theory based uncommunicated agreement with others preventing wanton violence, while a lawful evil character may do the same thing to prevent a paradigm in which they personally are in constant danger of assassination. A chaotic evil or good character, on the other hand, may be more likely to simply off somebody who opposes their overarching goals. This does not prevent a chaotic character from following a code of personal principles which they do not expect or desire anyone else to follow, as such would have no impact on the decisions of others – it may, however, influence the character’s place on the good-evil axis.

One thing that’s important to keep in mind is that D&D’s alignment system is not symmetrical. According to the BoED, evil acts are still evil even if done for a good cause – Good characters are thus prevented from performing evil acts for the benefit of the world at large. On the other hand, evil characters are not prevented from performing good acts for the benefit of themselves – otherwise, even the most utterly self-serving of characters would be neutral, by virtue of their willingness to violate their “evilness” when it suits them. This is clearly ludicrous and invalidates the primary motivation for the majority of realistic villains.

Considering this, I would argue that while following a set of principles not consistent with the “good” of D&D, such as “might makes right,” “my happiness is the only thing that matters,” or “the faster anybody is goes to their appropriate afterlife the better,” is evil, the kind of moral apathy described as Chaotic Neutral above – an alignment with which one can justify any action as consistent, regardless of means or consequences – also slots quite neatly into chaotic evil.

Finally, unless they are a paladin or similar class, no character “is lawful good” any more than they “are a fighter.” Alignment, like class, is a metagame construct which can be used variably to describe a whole host of possible behavior patterns, and your character is probably going to end up more realistic if you determine their actions by approximating the reasoning and motivations behind them, then choose an alignment that seems most consistent with that.

Sorry for the essay. I have strong opinions on ethics, and especially on how a consistent system of ethics can be a derived from a 3x3 grid and an absolutist attitude.

TL;DR: don’t claim that a character can be completely uncaring about what’s right or wrong, and also not evil.

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Rooker

Rooker




20th Jan 2017, 11:34 PM
"My Two Bits"

I reviewed Alignment and formed my own opinion after a long time of struggling with what it all meant. Partly because I felt like "Chaotic Neutral do what it want" was the lamest and least believable cop out I'd ever heard. Along that line, I was always confused how Neutral was this obsessive fixation with balance (opinion of some friends that were playing D&D a long time). I ultimately came to the idea of comparing the Lawful-Chaotic and Good-Evil axes both to different levels of Id, Ego, and Super Ego. Chaotic Evil is Id-Id. Impulsive, violent, completely self-centered. Opposing it with Lawful Good is Super Ego-Super Ego. Disciplined, altruistic, selfless. Those sound like bad and good qualities, but both are just as prone to having the opposite be true of them. The point that helped me understand alignment is how "out for yourself" are you based on it? Chaotic and Evil are almost always out for themselves with any act in favor of another or simply creating risk to themselves being a very difficult conclusion for them to come to. Not because they can't comprehend the benefits, but because those benefits don't usually make sense to them. Neutral is the true "free" Alignment for the simple fact that you aren't aligned any particular direction. You aren't good, but you aren't evil either. You don't go out of your way to break the law, but you aren't obsessed with it.

What brought me also to this conclusion was to review the simplest representation of the rules, Commoner NPCs. They're neutral unless you or the story otherwise states it. Why aren't they CN? Because they aren't making inherently selfish decisions. They don't care about any of that. They want to survive and move along with their lives. Preferably with their friends, family, and homes still in tact. The ultimate representation of indifference.

When you say that you can do anything you want as Chaotic Neutral, you're deceiving yourself. CN characters don't typically make decisions based on the good of others. They are more apt to do so than CE, but it still doesn't jive with their frequency. They want to take care of themselves first.

I believe that part of the CN fallacy coming into existence is because CN is the alignment that has a strong likelihood of being the guy that did something stupid/crazy "for the lulz." That doesn't mean you do what you want, that means you often act on impulsive urges without consulting your allies or even considering their feelings. What that can amount to is that CN is less of a "whatever" alignment and more like "Lite Evil" as others have pointed out already. You're not wholly wrong, you can do what you feel like, but you have to bear in mind that you're doing what your feelings tell you to. That's impulse. On the bad side, you come off acting like a child. At best you don't know what you're doing and you don't care either. On the positive spin, you're the badass rogue (not the class) whom nobody can figure out whether you planned it all out or made it up as you went along. You're just that good at going with the flow.

I feel like Alignment has a lot of bad reputation for multiple reasons, too. It's not to be set in stone, it's a helpful guideline for character building. If you're playing a game where building your character is valuable to you, then use an Alignment and follow along that path as it fits to your character. If you reach a point where your Alignment and your Character clash, the character usually should win that argument. The Lich God Vecna used to very much care for his mother while she was alive according to lore (I think it was Mother), very un-evil of him. But he was still a crazy, Evil necromancer and trickster. That's okay! It's not uncharacteristic, it's a character trait that clashes with his Alignment's core nature. We all have these in us. That's what I feel Alignment is. It's the pillar of identity that we fall on when we're unsure what our character might actually do, but we don't rely entirely on it to decide everything. A Lawful Good Paladin will probably massacre a bunch of bandits who killed his family or raided a village that he was in some way connected to. Is it against his alignment? Usually. That's okay, too. His patron for his class will normally backlash on him for this selfish act, but his alignment doesn't have to change just because he made a decision that mattered to him.

If you want to just be a morally bankrupt murder hobo, don't even waste time with an Alignment. You aren't playing with character development in mind to begin with. Your Alignment is worthless no matter which direction it goes. Especially if you genuinely believe that an impulsive and selfish nature is as likely to sacrifice himself as he is to stab someone in the back. That's no character. That's just a power fantasy. And that's honestly not bad either, just don't lie to yourself about it.

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nflchamp




21st Jan 2017, 1:19 PM
"Lawful-Chaotic axioms"

I feel like this entire discussion brings out the issue with axioms and perspective. Take our pirates here. Insofar as they don't follow the laws of the world they travel they're chaotic. But if they have a set of values they all follow, and expect all other members to follow, then they're lawful insofar you limit the perspective to only the group. That can leave us with the paradoxical feeling that someone is being lawful while causing utter chaos.

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Otaku

Otaku




22nd Jan 2017, 12:39 PM

I think it best not to give too much weight to alignments. There are basically three reasons for them to exist:

1) An aid to roleplay, suitable for those who are beginners or just do best with more freeform expression.

2) Separating the in-game morality from that of the actual players, or at least providing plausible deniability of such a thing.

3) Enabling a check-and-balance system for certain game elements.

The second option may be the most valuable in the long run. Even if my character shares my personal moral convictions, it is a bit easier to cope with those views being labeled with one of the "Evil" alignments in the game than to actually try to convince even a group of friends that they've got some ethical concept completely turned around.

For the first idea, I recognize its usefulness but favor a system where there isn't a lot constraining the character's behavior. Let the player organically learn to roleplay, ya know? GURPS does this well with its Disadvantages and Quirks. Both are optional, but the latter are like really minor, often narrowly defined flaws and unlike more substantial Disadvantages, you're even allowed to take up to five and fill them in over the first few gaming sessions.

As for the latter, that I find to be at least questionable game design, to be blunt. Then again I just referenced GURPS so as you can guess, I prefer at least having the option of tailoring my character (as a player) and the actual system (as a GM).

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Guest




2nd Sep 2017, 4:40 PM

yeah, this is the problem i've alway's seen with the idea of oposing "lawful" to "chaotic", the inverse of chaos would be more "order", and this of "lawful", depending of the definition you take of the word, "outlaw" "disloyal" or "treacherous".

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Guest




2nd Sep 2017, 5:16 PM

not at all, your are lawfull only if you set of rule colide with the law (or what's considered moraly correct).
for exemple, a assassin who come from a clan of assassin following strict rule about how they do they're work is still not lawful if said rule are "You can kill anyone, be it a king or a beggar, a enemy or a friend but only if you're comissioned to do so, but cannot kill just because you feel like it." "2. you'll fight dirty and use any sneak attack or mean to fullfil the jow efficiently" and "3.In time of war, pay for both camp, except if working only for one guarantee your survival." "don'k kill member of the clan" "if you are comissioned to kill your comissioner, fullfill you first mission, get paid, and then kill him fullfilling you second mission", thoses are rule, but work only as chaotic neutral or neutral neutral, even if they guarantee that you won't kill people because they piss you off, because you're won't be avoiding killing these peoples because the law or because you want to preserve order(so still not lawful), nor because it's the right thing to do or morality say so(so still not good), and you can still end up killing innocent and good people while living by these rules or not killing horrible bastard. if you standard ar not those of a lawful person, your either neutral or chaotic.
(on a side note, it's hard to play, as you'll need someone to hire you everytime you have to kill someone. work better in a evil campaign i guess.)

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Malroth

Malroth




20th Jan 2017, 6:58 AM

Also don't go for massive bureaucracy laden corporations with extra red tape.

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terrycloth




20th Jan 2017, 2:46 PM

You violate chaotic neutral by being non-ironically lawful, basically. Appealing to authority or berating people for not following the rules.

Although you can always claim you were just faking to mess with people.

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Reeder




2nd Sep 2017, 4:50 PM

We had a rule of "no using chaotic neutral as a excuse to play "i don't give a rat ass" except if we're on a evil campaign. So playing chaotic neutral was actually a bit more challenging, which lead me to pick this one.
The character ended up being moraly like Arsene Lupin. Go by his own rules, will help people sometime, steel other time for show or adventure or because we really need that thing for our journey, sometime play tricks or mock someone, but no downright vilainous actions like.
had to pay attention not making him to good, but i mostly managed to keep the alignement.

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Frostglare




20th Jan 2017, 7:01 AM
"Why I Hated Furries For The Longest Time"

An infuriating example. DM and his boyfriend are both furries, so naturally the boyfriend goes with a female kitsune druid. Fine, I think, whatever, you play what you want even though ever since they got together every campaign had been a medium to experience their fetish (with us as unfortunate passengers). But whatever, we were playing Skulls and Shackles, and between my NE alchemist, our CN drow rogue, and... I forget the last character because he died so quickly, but he was also not a good person. Anyway, it was looking to be like a pretty villainous campaign. There was no way they were going to mess this up.

Except the kitsune is NG.

Goddammit.

We proceed to pillage our way through the first act of the campaign. She somehow manages to maintain her pristine attitude because she's being 'strung along' for the whole thing, and all she wants is to pilot a ship of her own. How very noble.

Got a chip on my shoulder about it. It got so bad that I lost a 6-year friendship I had with the DM over it. He became into such a much shittier person since he met his boyfriend. I sometimes miss him, but then I remember how horrible things got and I decide it's better to let it be.

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Super_Big_Mac

Super_Big_Mac




20th Jan 2017, 8:54 AM
"Friends like these..."

Not a D&D story, but I had a friend who got a girlfriend who is just... such a /bad/ person. He's in the army, but her apartment (which was paid for by her mother) is a drug den. He's become a complete asshole towards me, and everyone else, just because literally EVERYONE can see that his GF is no good for him at all, but he won't hear it. She lost her apartment (the other people living there all got hauled off to jail for cocaine possession, from what she's said), and now drugs are starting to take over HIS apartment. Seeing as how he's always been the goody two shoes that his High School Nickname was "Boy Scout," he's getting involved in shit he shouldn't. But sometimes you can't help them realize that, so I've taken a step back, and won't offer a hand unless he asks for it.

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Frostglare




22nd Jan 2017, 9:42 PM
"Probably the Wisest Choice"

Title says it all. I'm sorry. I know what it's like to lose a friend due to circumstances out of your control.

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Joe the Rat




20th Jan 2017, 10:13 AM

Not alignment, but compass.
5th Ed, I'm running a monk with an Accomplished Perfect Physician theme - slef mastery (and awesome butt-kicking) as an expression of health, healing feat, potion brewing, stabilizer of wounded opponents, mediator of conflicts.

He has the most killing blows at the table, which includes multiple fighters and a rogue-warlock (who gets mechanical benefits for killing things). Problem, right? Monks are a sunblade away from being Jedi already, so we take A Certain Point of View. These fool creatures are going to need to die, so the least I can do is deliver them a quick, clean death. multiple times she shanks a goblin, then lowers them gently to the ground making calming, soothing noises. And then he goes to kick the next one.

(Which is all totally befitting the LN written on the character sheet).

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CrowMagnon




20th Jan 2017, 11:32 AM

My group recently started playing Hell's Rebels, and my character is a LG former member of the city watch. The conflict between her views on the role of the law and how it's being abused by the LE tyrant who's taken over the city is her primary reason for taking part in the rebellion.

This doesn't just come into play when dealing with the main villain's forces, of course. Last night, we were searching a place for a member of the halfling underground railroad who had gone missing. Instead, we found a nervous tengu woman, and it became apparent from her behavior and a Sense Motive check that while she didn't directly kill the halfling, she was involved in his death as she'd taken part in beating him after he tried to screw her and her sisters over, then let him get killed by a monster the group had fought earlier.

So, while under normal circumstances my character would have wanted to arrest the tengus for their part in the halfling's death, who would she have turned them in to? The best course of action at the time, since the tengus had nowhere else to go, seemed to be to get them to work for us and pay their "debt to society" that way, though it left my character feeling VERY conflicted.

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Otaku

Otaku




20th Jan 2017, 1:12 PM
"Alternate (But Related) Topic"

Yeah... how about those of us who would enjoy it try and have a civil discussion over the pros and cons of the alignment system.

My first few RPG systems did not use the alignment system, so I don't even have nostalgia for it. Mechanically, D&D (plus similar systems) may be stuck with it; you have broad concepts like good and evil, lawful and chaotic, and even though they should be redundant in most cases, or have been romanticized into something they are not... that is how the setting works. The game isn't balanced against having a more detailed ethic.

Besides the system often requiring such distinctions, the one merit I can give it is that it has the potential to reduce a lot of GM/player and player/player conflict. Simply put, everyone can more or less agree to use a third party to decide morality in the game. Even in games that go out of their way to address real world issues, sooner or later something crops up at least two members of the group will disagree upon. Instead of hard feelings because of values dissonance with each other, its just "We agree to go with what the game says is right or wrong... so your alignment calls for you to do X."

I prefer avoiding such broad strokes, and just building my character to behave like my character is supposed to behave. It means a bit more work up front, but once the GM and I go over my character, we both have a good idea of what will constitute good role-playing. I won't be locked into broad categories but can have more complicated characters that aren't all good or all evil.

Then of course there are concepts like lawful and chaotic and many more which I don't remember. I understand (I think XP) what RPGs like D&D are trying for with such things, but it is so hard to separate them from broad real world concepts. For a shallow, rushed comment this is already getting kind of deep, so I am not sure if I should try and really explain (if someone wants to continue the discussion, of course I will, but until then...).

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Rooker

Rooker




20th Jan 2017, 11:40 PM

I can understand that position, Otaku. I think Alignment was a helpful reference guide that got turned into a core mechanic with a lot of misrepresentation. I believe it to be less of a monument to your character's nature and more like the guide rope you clip so as not to get lost in the blizzard before you're ready to face it. If that comparison makes any sense.

Is there a way to message other users? I'd love to discuss your views on Alignment more in-depth.

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Otaku

Otaku




22nd Jan 2017, 12:21 PM

I can also understand your own position; in fact, it isn't too far removed from my own. I think it was a useful tool for earlier RPGs, and might still be for a select style of play now. It was something of an intermediary step between no roleplay elements and really crafting your character's behavior, ideals, etc.

As for private messages, Comic Fury has them so long as the person has an actual account. We both seem to, so just click my screen name to go to my profile, then there should be a link near the bottom of my profile that is labeled "Send this user a private message".

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Tucker




20th Jan 2017, 3:13 PM

Our campaign takes place in a rural mountain village, and one night it was attacked by a horde of kobolds. When we found out they were using poisoned arrows, we reasoned that they must have an antidote to protect themselves. In desperate need of said antidote, my character (a lawful good sheriff's deputy) picked up one of the arrows, grabbed a captured kobold, and stabbed him in the leg with it. The kobold was then set free to run back to wherever the antidote was, and we tracked it. Well, we tracked it until it dropped dead part way there, but at least we had the general direction. Not only did the DM and the other players question whether that was something that would make my alignment shift, the characters themselves reacted like it was the weirdest thing they'd ever seen...

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Luminous Lead




20th Jan 2017, 12:58 PM

Ah. While Arlong was using only natural attacks before, by using manufactured weapons rules to replace his claws with hand-held teeth he becomes vulnerable to Luffy's improved disarm =D

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yarrik




21st Jan 2017, 1:32 PM

I just love the expression on Luffy's face in that last panel. The perfect 'Light bulb!'expression.

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Lloyden




21st Jan 2017, 8:25 PM

Whenever you see a look like that on one of your players, you just KNOW something stupid is going to happen.

And then it'll work anyways.

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Robotpeter




22nd Jan 2017, 10:33 AM
"The Most Passive Monk"

Alright, so, we had this AD&D game going. Just two characters, using this side book I got from a flea marker. A naga (The head of a person but body of a snake kind) and an Ogre.
The Naga? Pretty much you're standard snake, a thief, willing to do anything to get the job done.
The ogre? A self proclaimed 'monk' (though he was actually a paladin) that had made a vow to never kill another living creature.
He was the most powerful character in the group due to some lucky rolls, so he actually had to try REALLY hard not to just crush people into paste. He worked with the Naga, trying to get her to change her ways, but never went on any rant against her or anything, since it WAS always to fulfull their missions (as they were working with a temple at the time that was trying to convert monster races and such). They worked great off eachother.

To make a long story short, after an entire game of forcing himself to fight bare handed as to not accidentally kill anyone, he sees his Naga friend get one shot with lightening by the final boss, a 'demon', after trying gosh-dang hard to convince him to stop, and decided to go all out, took out his 'holy sword' (a regular short sword), used his holy power and ONE SHOTS THE FINAL BOSS, CLEAN IN HALF. Critical role, max damage, breaking through his magical barrier.

They got promoted and the ogre spent a week straight praying for the *demons* spirit. That was probably the most fun I've ever had with a Lawful Good character, and a monster character no less.

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Robotpeter




22nd Jan 2017, 10:40 AM

Just a side note to show how passive he was, to show how killing even that demon was a hard decision, he was once beratted by the corrupt town guard and told to leave at once, since they didn't need any 'Monster freaks' around.

He refused because of his mission, so the guard threatened to stab him.

"Go ahead, if that makes you feel better."

So the guard stabs him in the chest.
One Damage + 2 Strength.

"Does that make you feel better?"

(He had a similar character in a freaking Call of Cthulhu game that had less qualmes about killing, (he was working with two japanese gang members) but was an actual buddhist monk. THAT game is going down as a masterpiece in my mind.

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Guest




26th Jan 2017, 4:18 PM

Details please

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gueist




2nd Sep 2017, 5:24 PM

since they're pirate, and the fishman used as a shield is a bastard, i'd say it's still in alignement.

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