Same Side

14th Apr 2023, 12:00 AM in Earth's Greatest Un-Team
Same Side
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Author Notes:

5th Apr 2023, 12:35 AM
They may all be on the same side of the Good <-> Evil axis, but there's still the Lawful <-> Chaotic axis to consider.


14th Apr 2023, 11:04 AM
They may all be on the same side of the Good <-> Evil axis, but there's still the Lawful <-> Chaotic axis to consider.

Yes, and a friend of mine finally gave me a Lawful <-> Chaotic axis explanation that works for me. I mean, I still don't love it, but at least now I can see the "Chaotic" alignment as something other than "Lacks impulse control". As for the Lawful Alignment, I've more or less understood for a while now, because...

...yeah, bringing up GURPS...

GURPS has a Disadvantage called "Honesty": it's basically the Lawful Alignment genericized so it works even in settings that don't subscribe to Alignment systems. A character with Honesty has the compulsion to obey the law. Not just "the good laws" or "the serious" laws, but any and every law. Moreover, such a character must do their best to get others to as well. Even if there is a completely, legitimate and good reason to break the law, they'll have to make a Self Control roll to resist your Honesty and disobey the law. After breaking the law, whether because they were convinced it had to be done or did so unknowingly, they have to make a Self Control roll to resist turning themself into the proper authorities. If imprisoned by the authorities, the character with Honesty will wait for their trial date unless they know they are innocent and are treated harshly or know they won't receive a (fair?) trial.

There's more: a character with Honesty can engage in combat, even start fights but it must be in a legal manner. They can even kill but they will not commit murder. If there is a legitimate need to steal something, they can do so as a last resort. They'll also try to compensate the victim, whether in the present or later on. A character with Honesty must always keep their word, though they are otherwise allowed to lie if it does not violate the law. During war, Honest characters can act "dishonestly" towards enemies but they won't like it. Perhaps the worst bit is Honest characters assume other people are Honest unless presented with proof they aren't. If the Honest Character has reason to suspect someone else is not Honest, they can make an IQ roll to work it out for themself. In places that have fewer laws than your own (even completely lawless areas), a Character with Honesty will still act as if the laws of their homeland are in effect e.g. no going wild. There is one built in benefit: if you survive long enough, a Character with Honesty can gain a good reputation for it. When a Reaction Roll is made, an Honest Character get a +1 to it, or +3 if it specifically involves matters trust or honor.

I don't like this Disadvantage. I do not mean wouldn't take it for any of my characters. I don't mean I dislike the baseline concept. It is a pretty obvious relic of early GURPS; like I said, it is the Lawful Alignment with the serial numbers filed off... and GURPS is more granular than that. Notice how I am not listing a Disadvantage that is the equivalent of the "Chaotic" Alignment. That's because there are multiple Disadvantages you'd need to modify and combine to make it. A lot of what is built into Honesty can be replicated with other, more specific Disadvantages, and that's how I would prefer it.

There's a good thread discussing it here, on the GURPS forums. Well, I suspect it is a good thread, but I actually need to read it sometime myself. Probably find out I've been handling something incorrectly. XD
16th Apr 2023, 10:56 PM
This sounds... ridiculously hampering.

Really anything that outright requires you to follow any and every law regardless of intent or validity is already a no from me pretty much from go, but yikes. XD
17th Apr 2023, 9:50 AM
See, I'm too "honest" to hide an area where GURPS drops the ball! XD

Yeah, I can see why I stopped taking it back in high school. I mean, I was originally taking it for my more "good guy" kind of characters but not only was that from when I had a less developed worldview, but also when neither myself nor our GMs were all that great at remembering what was required of the Honesty Disadvantage. This very much feels like a "Lawful Stupid" Disadvantage, as opposed to a "Lawful Good". Which also means I misspoke earlier: it clearly is not the generic equivalent to the Lawful half of the D&D alignments. XP

Fortunately, GURPS has a built in way of dealing with this:

1) Players can simply opt not to take it.

2) GMs can also opt not to use it (either at all, or just not on NPCs).

3) One can attempt to replace it.

and reading just a bit further into the thread I linked to before, seems like others agree. One of the things I like about the Fourth Edition of GURPS is that it seems to push strive for more "generic" and "universal" traits. What I dislike is that a lot of old jank from previous editions survived the initial transition. The short explanation for that being the time/page crunch was real for GURPS Basic Set Fourth Edition. XP

Honesty very much feels like an early GURPS leftover; a "legacy trait" from the First Edition (perhaps even from The Fantasy Trip, a pre-GURPS thing). The fact that it insists you might gain a positive reputation from your Honesty is a telltale sign; either the player pays for their Honest Reputation and have it or they don't and they... don't. On the bright side, at least now I know; my bias against alignments meant I never properly scrutinized Honesty!
18th Apr 2023, 11:46 AM
Addendum to better explain something... and I dunno if Comment Edits show up for TheScarletTroll's Notifications or not.

Like I said, newer traits will try to avoid "bundling" so many different things together. For Honesty, you can probably break it down into a couple different things:

1) Compulsive Behavior, either Obeys the Letter of the Law or Obeys the Spirit of the Law.

2) Odious Personal Habit might cover asserting your land's laws over the local laws, or it may just be part of Compulsive Behavior: Obeys the Spirit of the Law.

3)The bit about assuming others behave as if they also have Honesty unless adequately disproven could similarly be an Odious Personal Habit, or perhaps a Limited form of Gullibility.

4) Any Reputation (for good or ill) your character has due to their Honesty is best purchased during character creation, so as to avoid it being at the GM's whim. That might sound pricey, but GURPS allows multiple Reputations [b]to be lumped together, provided they're about the same facet of your character. Doing so lets you record the net cost, so the Reputation might be an Advantage, a Disadvantage, or even a zero-point trait! Honesty could justify a positive reaction from those who value it, a negative one from those who oppose or want to exploit your Honesty.

Oh, and if someone actually wants the Honesty Disadvantage as written, they can still take it, but having it broken down as above helps with both roleplaying and roll-playing it. ;)
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