Playing a Good-Aligned Character

Guild Wars 2 is a game where one begins the game and we see the rise of a hero. As the game asks at the end of the races of Tyria Trailer, ‘what is your story’. The trouble with this is in the roleplayers world everyone can’t be the main character, everyone can’t become the hero. What a good group will do is instead of highlight a singular members achievements they will instead highlight what the group does together. At the same time the singular group ends up playing the heroic story which then ends up making them the focus of most Rp and in some cases this can be detrimental to maintaining community.

The first rule of thumb in communal Rp is do not relegate yourself or others to one trick pony positions. Everyone can be a main character, everyone can contribute. But not creating a sense where one person is more important, but where we can all partake we set the pace for a great dynamic environment.

However, this blog is about playing a good person and avoid the pitfalls so lets begin!


The Good Alignment in Tyrian Societies

What is a Good Person?

Good characters are those with a sense of ethics, a sense of what is right and what is wrong. This is however really is quite ambiguous as each culture, group or even person has their own idea of what this all means. A good rule to creating a character that is “good” is to read up on the paragons of your races culture. So, Charr would envy people such as Pyre Fierceshot, Kalla Scorchrazor and Rytlock Brimstone. To the Charr to be good is to aspire to victory and to challenge things that to them seem wrong. In this case this usually means oppressive individuals who abuse the term “god” to get what they want. To be a good charr is to go against the teachings of the Shaman Caste one found in the Flame Legion and to find victory where you can.

The problem with this is idea is it doesn’t fit what others might see as good. To be honest, this is great. Because culturally each race should apply the term “good differently.

So here are examples and suggestions for good characters in each race.

The Norn

Norn respect heroes and they respect legends. As a people the Norn are individualistic and independent, meaning that their actions speak louder than words. This can also lead to the norn have a huge variance on what can be considered “good” or even in some cases “bad”. Because the norn are so tolerant of actions they will even suffer the ravings of a Son of Svanir in their community. The totems themselves are probably one of the greatest influences on what a norn sees as right and wrong. Including the teachings from the different totems norn probably consider cowards, and until they become an open threat to the community they are tolerated.

At the same time norn can consider some actions horrible why others may not this is seen in the story of Viskar there is an inference of blood price against Grimhilde. This means that in general it is probably a mixture of community and individual decision to what a norn comes to think of as good or evil.


The Human

Humans most likely have one of the clearest notions of good and evil in some circumstances. Class probably changes this especially with professions such as Necromancy. As a species on the edge of survival Humans are more likely to have defined ideas of what is right and what is wrong. This will become skewed with the political climate in Kryta and issues in Ebonhawke. Cultural exchange and understanding varies in each region as the truce with the Charr is still pretty recent. Ebonhawkers are more likely to hold some issue with the Charr while Krytans are more likely to be so so on the history with the High Legions. Lion’s Arch residents are probably the most open minded when dealing with other races.

Common folk are likely to have issues with Necromancy because of the effect Zhaitan has had on the continent for the past century. Overall, humans because of their ideals and strength in faith are very likely to consider those with national pride and interest in defending their fellow humans to be “good”. However, those that are greedy and think of themselves are more likely to be seen as bad.

The Asura

The Asura are perhaps one of the harder races to understand when it comes to ethics. As a culture the Asura are more than willing to wipe out a scratch of skritt if necessary, and in other cases take risks to get results (Gadd was shown to do this in EOTN). The Asura do not necessarily have a large organize government and tend to favor independent research done in small teams krewes. There is also a noted tendency for Asura to be quite competitive and even paranoid with their research and inventions.

With everything that asura week has taught us, the idea of practicing science on sentient is a definite taboo within their society. Another thing to consider is the Inquest’s almost overpowering sense of ownership when it comes to inventions. If one tries to leave the Inquest, well they just don’t leave. With a society that is heavily based upon working together to finish individual projects, the Inquest would be seen as detrimental or overtly controlling. All who work for the Inquest do it solely to better the Inquest, not the inventor or the rest of society.


The Sylvari

The Sylvari like humanity may have one of the more clearer foundations for what is good. The Tablet of Ventari creates a basis of all beginning morality for an individual Sylvari. What however can be confusing is if the Tablet is truly good, or if is the interpretation of the Tablet’s meaning. When it comes to Sylvari, one must understand that there is no direct right or wrong. Good Sylvari characters would focus upon honor, and see how their actions affect others. Using the Tablet as a basis, they can disagree or agree with it, how they go about expressing this is what makes them “good” in Sylvari society or troublesome.

Members of the Nightmare Court can be seen as forceful, or just plain violent. Using this as a basis, one could conclude that forcing one’s will upon another Sylvari would be considered an act of dishonor. Another way to look at is that the Sylvari as an emphatic race would see those that do not consider the emotions or feelings of others as bad.


Good Aligned Character Archetypes

The Hero

The most common type of “good” character, the hero can be from almost any background. They seek to save the world, save other people, and to live up to legends they heard. Heroes can either be the savior, or the one who meant best. Some of the best heros are the ones that rarely ever get it right and when they do it resounds across the world. Underplayed heroic types can be more interesting than those with awesome power. The hero that just uses his wits and a bit of ingenuity to solve an issue rather than raw power allows for more complex story driven Rp in some circumstances.


The Crusader

They are the driven type, and the one with the most straight forward goal. Crusaders are strict in their ideals and are willing to do a lot or little to accomplish it. They are the most grey type of character as their actions can easily be seen as evil depending upon the lengths they are willing to go to accomplish their desires. Crusaders can also be one of the more flexible archetypes because of the notion. At the same time they can be quite rigid and almost unerringly so depending upon how they wish to complete their task.

The Freedom Fighter

They are chaotic, they are rebellious and they are not unlikely to be quiet about it. Freedom fighters see something that needs to be fixed and they set a goal to fix it. Often they go up against large groups and try to undo them with few resources. Other forms of freedom fighter can be the Activist and the Outlaw.

The Anti-Hero

They do not have qualities of the hero, and they are often flawed. They can be a savior, but often they do not have the bravery or social connections the hero might. They do not seek to do good, but sometimes end up doing it in some way. They are also those willing to get dirty to accomplish good. In the end they still do the right thing, it just may not be as “good” as some might think.

Actually Roleplaying the Good Alignment

The biggest problem facing people playing good characters is trying to be the main character. Heroes are not always the center of attention, but they can be great cast members in driving a narrative. The other issue is not to let your “goodness’ be the only factor of who you are. Like roleplaying a villain, being a “good” minded character falls upon how your personality interprets flaws and strengths into a believable person. Good people can make bad decisions, so do not be afraid to let your hands get dirty!


Set a Goal

Pick a Goal, or some sort of Objective to accomplish as a good character if you wish to have a basis for your actions. In other cases just go with what your character perceives society would consider right. This can be simply organizing events to help people to rounding up defenders of the local town. The thing about this is do this without trying to grab attention. Good isn’t about being Captain Awesome, its the simple action of playing to what your characters culture and themselves would be the right thing to do. Not all good is physical, a lot of Rp for good characters and revolve around trying to help others via political or via charity. There are many ways to do good than just kill a mob!


Putting it into Practice

Once you have an idea it’s time to execute it in actual roleplay. At this point the idea is to create an individual which takes the norms and values of his or her culture / race into consideration. If you suddenly ignore these to do what you the player think is good then you are ignoring your characters basis of what can be considered good. People do not suddenly come up with ideas, even the greatest paragons of society were influenced by their society in some way be it seeing corruption or seeing how it could have been. Overall the point of executing a “good” character is to be a person that in the end “does the right thing”.


Once again, have fun!

Your only opponents won’t be evil characters, there are going to be other goodies you don’t get along with. Mix it up, get fooled by a villain or make deals with the devil. Avoid a cop vs robbers situation and let the natural social interaction of the world drive your story. And in the end have fun creating dynamic interesting tales!