July 14th, 2010

Voodoo Dolly

Screw Morality!

So, I've a player in my nWoD game, and we're having a little trouble seeing eye-to-eye.  He's playing a Sin-Eater, and has decided to ignore the entire 'joy of life' that is espoused in the game.  He's so far burned down an apartment building filled with addicts, devoured a revenant's spirit, cut the fingers off of a homeless addict in the street (so he could attach one to his hand when he had a finger blown off), and used a Death Note like device to murder Morgan Freeman (!)  He's dropped 2-3 points of Morality so far, and is on his way down.

Recently, as a foil for him, I made an NPC Sin-Eater with a Synergy of 8.  This is a guy who very much embraces the Sin-Eater mindset, is in good relations with his geist, and is trying to make the world a better place by finding those who 'harm' life, with the intent to coax them to change their ways.  If they're set on inflicting harm on the world, he'll eventually off them to send them through the cycle once more and give them a second chance at life.

The two had a confrontation, and the PC was completely against everything the NPC stood for -- the idea of having a noble purpose, the idea of doing 'what was right for others', the idea that one was, in some way, beholden to the geist that brought them back, and so forth.


This comes to his attitude about the nWoD in general.  From his perspective, the 'morality' trait is something he's completely against.  From his perspective, a vampire is only playable once you hit Humanity 0... because then he's not beholding to any 'morals' or 'higher purpose'.  I asked him if he was against games which have a moral or psychological paradigm (such as Call of Cthulhu's sanity mechanic, Torg's 'Corruption' mechanics, Seventh Sea's hero/scoundril/villain, and Legend of the Five Rings's Honour trait), and his response was pretty much that morality is something inflicted by outside forces, trying to restrain you to follow what they think is appropriate, rather than letting you decide for yourself.

I find this kind of mindset almost boggling.  To see someone so adamantly against the idea that following a moral code is a good thing -- be it chivalry, bushido, a code of ethics, or anything even remotely akin to it.  Just... wow.  So, what's your view on morality in RPGs, especially those which are built into the paradigm of the setting as an actual semi-tangible force?  I love these kind of things myself, I like making characters which follow the code, holding to the straight and narrow of the religion / culture they're a part of.  Of course, this means at times making characters I'd personally not like to be around (especially those who follow the darker codes), but all in all I like the idea of 'pure in thought, pure in deed', and having it produce an actual impact on the game setting.
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