08 April 2011

G is for Good and Grell

Good. Everyone wants to be good, right? Well, I guess that's the assumption anyway, at least by good people. :) I generally prefer my players to portray good characters. Not because I like to restrict their choices but rather because people who play evil characters tend to play a parody of an evil character, some moustache-twirling guy in a top hat and cape. It's just like a male player running a female character; something's just not right about the portrayal.

Besides, especially for new players, NG is one of the easier alignments to run. "Just act like they tell you to in Sunday school," I tell people. That does pretty much cover the basics: kind, courteous, helpful, etc. And that's not to say that there's not moral dilemma involved with playing good characters. One just has to browse the forums at Dragonsfoot to find numerous discussions about whether good characters can kill baby kobolds or the like. It reminds me of the dilemma back in the day with Star Fleet Battles. According to some players and modes of thought, unless it was after the "General War" (the great war between EVERYBODY that occurs after the end of the Original Series in SFB's timeline) had begun, then Federation vessels, in their respect for all lifeforms and abhorrence of bloodshed, should always use "non lethal" combat [i.e., a form of targeting that concentrates on control systems (like the bridge and auxcon) and engines in an attempt to lessen the amount of deaths]. Here's an idea...try telling your players that they have to use non-lethal combat (subdual damage) in your fantasy games. Let me know how that works out. Hmmmm.....now I have an idea for my LE cavalier in my Hackmaster game. Muhahah!

Now Gary is quoted as saying that the players should determine their alignment and whether or not they are "heroic" in outlook and bearing. I can see his point. One thing that really irritated me about 2E Forgotten Realms was the fact that the modules almost railroaded one into a "good" resolution. While classics like Little Keep or Hommlet do presume that the party will be good or even neutral, things are so open-ended (sandbox!) that the DM does not feel constrained in any direction. The PCs could be agents of the cult of Hextor and charged to prevent the Ascension of the Chaos and Evil of the Temple, for instance. 

Besides, do any of us really want to play evil or just slightly naughty? 


AC: 4 [15]                                                  Special: Entangle attack, immune to lightning
HD: 5                                                         Move: 12
Attacks: bite, tentacles                               HDE/XP: 8/800

This fearsome creature is a floating, disembodied brain with a giant beak and 10 tentacles. It attacks a single target will all 10 of its tentacles; each does 1d6-1 damage, but the barbs also inject a paralyzing poison. If the the victim fails to save at +4, he is paralyzed, and the grell will latch onto him with two of its tentacles. On succeeding rounds, the grell will lash out with the other 8 tentacles as well as biting with its beak (1d6 damage); all attacks on the paralyzed victim automatically hit. Limbs can be target targeted and a successfully hit will temporarily disable the limb (1-2 days) but will not damage the grell (i.e., it does not take HP damage from hits to the tentacles).
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