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How do you role-play alignments in BG1 & BG2?

Over the years I tried to play both good and evil characters in BG1 & 2 but certain characters are very hard to play. Mostly evil ones. How does one become evil? I would say mostly through an abusive upbringing or perhaps, opposite one – being spoiled. Now Gorion strikes me as being a wise sage that endeavours to teach his adopted child how to be moral and disciplined. Therefore, how his prodigy can come out of Candlekeep and play as evil of any sort? Evil person is someone who disregard a wellbeing of others I would say. Mostly you will find evil people in criminal structures mostly because of their destructive upbringing or perhaps on positions of power, people who changed over the years of dealings with brutal reality and schemes, plots on their political scene. Where is that in Baldur’s gate? How the protagonist can be evil?

Also, how do you play the alignments in gameplay perspective?

What frames you throw on yourself?

I mean as I understand some examples of basics of the alignment system gameplaywise:
If you are lawful you should not walk into people’s homes not to mention about looting them. Therefore, even if you are a good character you will skip a number of good aligned quests because there is no reason to just walk into someone’s house uninvited.
It is much more alright form roleplay perspective if chaotic character will walk into random people houses but only chaotic evil allows you to just walk in wherever you want and loot whatever you want.
Another question is on what roleplay/alignment basis you go to explore and simply kill monsters? You know, what is the reason to go off road to check if behind that rock over there, there are no monsters with juicy +2 sword and 5000 experience points? What determines you to walk in to a cave roleplay wise if you do not have a quest to find a missing child?

I have prepared some basic chart of gameplay limitations of what you can and cannot do based of your alignment, it would be great if you could help me expand it. I began doing it and it’s mostly done based on interactions in cities and villages.

Lawful Good: Help people in need, discuss payment only if the person can pay. Never walk into people’s homes uninvited. Fight injustice and criminals when caught them on doing something wrong. Never accept quests from criminals.

Neutral Good: help me here?

Chaotic Good: You can walk into people’s houses only to check out if there is something they need; never loot their houses. You can take quests from criminals only if there is a good cause to help someone good, but still, whenever possible fight and kill criminals and wrong doers - kick butts like Minsk and Boo.

Lawful Neutral: help me here?

True Neutral: be always safe, avoid danger, do not accept dangerous side quests, be like a donkey from Winnie the Pooh ^^

Chaotic Neutral: help me here?

Lawful Evil: Don’t walk into people’s houses with no story reason. Don’t steal. Never help anyone without a solid payment. Kill only when someone wronged you and never forgive.

Neutral Evil: Don’t walk into random houses, but you can walk in places that look like a good loot, a mansion, a palace, etc. Then you can loot them. Never help anyone in need with no good payment. Generally, you should honour your word, feel free to break it if it is against your interest. Don’t kill anybody but you can if it is for a good profit.

Chaotic Evil: Walk in wherever you want, loot whatever you want, kill or pickpocket whoever you want (still no reason to kill mindlessly). Never, ever help anyone in need, especially if they are lower than you in status or power. Honour your word only when it greatly benefits you, but general rule is to break your word even if it is lose-lose situation (at least when it’s worst for them than it is for you). You basically play as a very, very dangerous criminal strait from some 3-world slum.

What are your thoughts?

When I play BG or any video game I naturally try to complete the most content but after years of playing this game I am bored with it and I would like to roleplay except it’s hard to skip all the containers in houses where I know from experience, there is a good loot. This is but a minor example I can think of, even harder thing is to decide which quest to take and which to ignore.

Now, I wish to try a character shift from good to bad. Let’s say BG1 – good (Gorion’s upbringing) ; BG2 SOA – neutral (traumatic experiences of losing soul) ; BG2 TOB – bad (experiences of hell, lust for power and accepting the legacy of Faerun’s power)
Any advices?

Anyway, how do you roleplay your games?


  • BroninBronin Member Posts: 29
    A long time ago I remember finding an old website with detailed information about how each alignment believes and acts. Maybe I can try to find it if you can't find good info. However, I think I took some electronic notes about some alignments, I will see what I can find and hopefully reply before next weekend.
  • IseweinIsewein Member Posts: 439
    Might you be thinking of this page?
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,291
    I approach alignment a little differently to some D&D players. Good/Evil is fairly straightforward; Good characters will go out of their way to help people and to ease suffering, while Evil characters are the opposite, going out of their way to hurt people and cause suffering. Neutral characters usually will not act to help or harm, unless there is some tangible benefit for them in doing so.

    Law/Chaos, on the other hand, dictates HOW the character goes about doing the above. Lawful characters are methodical, orderly and precise. They like to come up with plans, schedules and dislike surprises and unexpected contingencies. A Lawful person is the type who, prior to putting together an IKEA desk, would thoroughly read all the documentation and follow it to the letter. Lawful characters do not necessarily LIKE laws per se, but they usually function best in a Lawful society because that tends to provide them with the kind of structure and routine that they crave. For example, you could have a Lawful Barbarian who places great importance on honoring the spirits through the proper rituals after hunts, that certain professions belong only to men/women/the old, that children MUST undergo rites of passage because "that is the way of the Clan" etc., but who might scoff at the idea of codifying these beliefs or that they should apply to people not of his tribe.

    Chaotic characters, on the other hand, thrive on novelty and unpredictability. They prefer operating on instinct and gut feeling as opposed to SOP's or rules of engagement. They're the sort of person who, upon getting that same IKEA furniture above, would toss the instructions aside and go "I'll just figure it out as I go along." This doesn't mean that Chaotic characters don't make plans for the future or appreciate the value of planning, it's just that they're the kind of person who's more than willing to toss those plans right out the window the moment something more interesting comes along or if they spot a better opportunity.

    So, putting those two together, there's actually quite a lot of leeway to determining how exactly your character would interact with the world, depending on things like class (a Monk, for instance, might not consider herself bound by any secular laws aside from the Vows she took to her Order, but she adheres to her religious tenets rigidly), race or upbringing.
  • HafirHafir Member Posts: 95
    edited June 2021
    At the begining I tried to aligment dictate the outcome because mainly I had CGood so was helpfull with high reputations, but now I change it and from now Aligment dictate the dialogue option of course to make progress so for example Chaotic good will take first dial opt if there is two to choose if three it still will be first but in nine options will take third dialogue option. If options will not give me reward thats ok I always choosing closest opt. I had few deaths or missed quests but is enjoying so far even was suprising last time with Dorn conversation because it involve Imoen to fight with him and she left party what shocked me... heh you can see that on my channel youtube: TheHafir "Imoen is leaving!"
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,299
    I believe that personality and alignment are totally separate matters, though they sometimes complement each other.

    For instance, if I create a character who is rude and straightforward,
    - If lawful neutral, he'll stick to his word and follow a personal code of honor (while still being rude), if lawful good then he'll often do selfless acts and ask for no reward , and respect moral codes while still being rude to those who wont follow the same kind of morals. If neutral good or neutral then I'll consider that he fights evil but makes up his mind on following rules or not, according to the situation. .

    Just an example. As for the "what's your rp excuse to enter a cave?" I would consider that ot my be charname's decision or perhaps he's been convinced by one of his companions.
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,653
    I play lawful good, and I won't break into houses or steal anything. Sometimes, I'll rp that I knocked if the door is unlocked.

    The alignment system was developed as a set of guidelines for playing characters in an improvisatory acting game combined with a tabletop and graph paper war game. Most of the acting part of it goes out the window when you adapt a ruleset that was written for a group of real life friends playing a game in person together into a single player computer game.

    Good and Evil in original D&D was simply a matter of creating white and black pieces to go on a game board, like chess, and not much more than that. It was metaphysically defined for purposes of the the war gaming element - for example, "Orcs are always evil and therefore they are black pieces on the board." And this was a literal, physical board in the early days of D&D, with literal, physical game pieces.

    People started debating philosophy, ethics, and metaphysics within the context of the ruleset as the game evolved from a simple board game and started becoming more and more about the writing and acting of characters.

    That leaves us with a vague outline of categories for what actions a character will or won't do in a video game. It is highly open to interpretation and argument. Also, it's possible to overthink this in my opinion, to the point that we forget we're in it to have fun in a game. Hypothetical discussions about it can also be really interesting and fun, though, as long as no one is taking it too seriously.
  • BroninBronin Member Posts: 29
    edited June 2021
    YES, that is the page that I found again moments ago! I should have logged into the forum first :p Sorry, been busy at work.
    The most epic adventure I had playing Baldur's Gate was definitely a "no-reload" as LAWFUL EVIL.

    I had a small party of:
    Xzar: Chaotic Evil
    Montaron: Neutral Evil
    Viconia: Neutral Evil

    Of course, in a role play perspective, you can easily imagine that every companions in your party, thanks to battles and exploration are sharing emotions and though links.

    We met Edwin. We agreed about killing the witch.
    Way before the gnoll stronghold he died.
    As, a LAWFUL EVIL, I decided to keep my word. So we headed to our mission.

    Here, at the stronghold, facing all these ennemies, very close to death. The gnoll turned out to be much greater danger than Dynaheir herself.

    We decided to set her free. And after all, her life, loyalty and devotion now had to go to my group.
    My group was in need of another mage for the way back.

    Viconia, despite both alignments shows respect for Dynaheir which is LAWFUL GOOD.

    As I was LAWFUL EVIL.

    It doesn't bother me at all.
    Sometimes, LAWFUL can mean much more.

    I mean, all GOOD aligned characters doesn't go well together.
    Just as EVIL.

    The story behind how people met each other can be a greater reason to remains together.
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