Stratis's alignment

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Big Mac
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Stratis's alignment

Post by Big Mac » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:27 am

Icarus mentioned Stratis's alignment back 2015, in my Where is the Ghostwind Plateau? topic, but I didn't notice at the time.

However, a Chainmail fan, called Jovem just mentioned Stratis not having an alignment on Twitter. I recalled that there was a Battlesheet called "Human Paladin of Stratis" and (as Paldins are Lawful Good" said that means that Stratis must be LG, NG or LN (assuming the normal one-step away from your deity's alignment rules apply to Chainmail).

Chris Pramas himself popped into the conversation and said this:
@Pramas on Twitter wrote:LN IIRC.
I've checked the Stratis article on the Great Library of Greyhawk and even they are unsure. They seem to suggest that Stratis might be Chaotic Neutral:
Stratis article on the Great Library of Greyhawk wrote:Stratis was an Oeridian god of War once worshipped in Western Oerik. He is now dead. He is morally neutral in alignment, neither good like Heironeous nor evil like Hextor. It may seem likely that he was lawful in alignment like his mother and brothers, but the fact that he grew to adulthood on the plane of Ysgard makes a chaotic neutral alignment a possibility.
What do you make of all of this?

Does Stratis need to be one step away from Lawful Neutral to have paladins?

Could the Human Paladin of Stratis be a Chaotic Good paladin? Are there any other sources on the miniatures that give alignments to them?

Could Stratis have grown up as Chaotic Neutral and then switched to Lawful Neutral later?

Could the assassination of Stratis have caused a Lawful Neutral deity to carry out an action that might be interpreted as chaotic?

Is there anything else going on here?
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Re: Stratis's alignment

Post by Icarus » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:08 pm

Well ... the internet eats a full, long post, once again.
I'll summarize it, perhaps slightly more concisely:

I hadn't recalled making reference (in 2015) in the Ghostwind thread to my conversation with Chris Pramas in 2012.
I'll put the text of my 2012 discussion of that here, so that there's reference for it.
Icarus, on Canonfire wrote: One note that I would like to put out there ... in the Chainmail Miniatures game, there were only three alignments: Good, Neutral, and Evil. That is *IT*!! There's no such thing in Chainmail (or the Sundered Empire) as Law vs. Chaos!! I know, shocking, right?! In the D&D Miniatures game, this was changed to four alignments, LG, CG, CE, and LE. But, by then, the factions weren't named anymore.
So … it's not that the designers left it off, or anything, it was specifically written that way. With that thrown in, if I were to advocate any alignment other than LN for Stratis, I think that it would have to be True Neutral.
[EDIT: I FOUND AN ANSWER!!]
So ... I just got a message from Chris Pramas, the Creative Director for Chainmail, and author of the setting articles in Dragon Magazine. I told him that we were wondering whether he would be willing to say what Stratis' full alignment may have been if he'd been given a writeup in D&D stats. So, his response follows:
Chris Pramas wrote:... As for Stratis, I would peg him as Lawful Neutral. So then you'd have Heironeous as LG, Hextor as LE, and Stratis between the two as LN.
Now, I totally understand that every DM has their own campaign, and can do whatever they would like to with the material, and I love some of the ideas that I've read in this thread. But, I guess that at least puts a tag on what the author would have written for Stratis' alignment.
I think that one of the strongest points to be made here is that it was exactly as designed. Going back after the fact and begrudging the fact that the alignments in that rules system weren't the same as in D&D isn't gonna get us anywhere.
That having been said, though ... for me, there's not anything that could be more accurate than what the author, and Creative Director states.
Last edited by Icarus on Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Stratis's alignment

Post by Icarus » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:12 pm

I would say that, yes, Stratis does need to be one step away. That's been the case ever since St. Cuthbert (LN) sponsored paladins.

I would like to point out that if a holy warrior isn't LG, by definition, that's not a paladin. I'm sure there's another name for them ... but, it's not "paladin". It doesn't matter if other people (or products) have used the word incorrectly as a matter of advertisement, or marketing, or whatever.
The Human Paladin of Stratis, by necessary game mechanics, would be listed as something else, if it were not a standard paladin.
The description of the warlord of Thalos, Zadkiel, (who uses the human paladin of Stratis model) gives further insight. In The Ghostwind Campaign, the D&D stats for Zadkiel specifically shows him as a LG 2nd level paladin - of the typical sort; Smite Evil, and all. So, there's that. Also, we know how a paladin of Stratis gets his power:
The Ghostwind Campaign, p11 wrote: The Shield Mother watches over the paladins of Stratis, but even she cannot heal their souls.
So, we know that she's LN. That pretty much precludes the paladins from being CG.

Stratis *could* have grown up CN and later become LN, but, so can anyone. That would be just the purest form of speculation. Without any canon hint for that, I'm not comfortable making things up out of whole cloth.

A very minor nitpick: there's nothing that really characterizes the murder of Stratis as "assassination". The original engagement may've been an ambush, but, my personal opinion is that casting it as assassination puts it in a light that really isn't the case. Especially since those who attacked him thought they were defending humanity from Stratis. They thought that he was the one creating the wars. IMO, the lesson we learn is that humanity would still be fighting, even without someone to lead us into war. We'd start fights all on our own.
You're certainly not the first I've heard use the word in conjunction with Stratis. But, I think it's more accurately described as "murder" or other things, but, not assassination.

I'm going to assume that the "action that might be interpreted as chaotic" to which you're referring is his dying curse, and spreading his panoply. I would point out that there's nothing chaotic about laying a curse on someone. Not the act, itself. A person's motive can be argued 'til we're blue in the face. But, the act of a curse is actually very lawful. There's a specific set of rules that has to be followed. There's always the escape clause, the set of fulfillment clauses, a process for removing the curse - everything about how a curse works is lawful.
Even the act of dictating the successor to the "throne" of the War God -no matter how difficult to attain- is a lawful thing. Trial by Combat is still a ritual and is supported by millennia of tradition ... so, it's not chaotic, either, it's lawful.
Can a Chaotic creature take Lawful action? Sure they can. But, by Occam's Razor, the more likely answer is that he is Lawful.


These are all good questions, though, and lead us to explore what we known of the setting.
Last edited by Icarus on Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stratis's alignment

Post by combatmedicreturns » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:29 am

I prefer making Stratis N, but it appears the designers had a different notion.

I like the idea of Stratis as the wayward son, a warrior god who battles for the love of conflict, not for the high ideals of Heironeous or the wicked ambitions of Hextor.


This requires ignoring some of the material cited by Icarus. It's not canonical. But it is how I'd handle things in a game I ran.


My take on Stratis would not include paladins.

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Re: Stratis's alignment

Post by combatmedicreturns » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:55 am

Paladins IMC


Paladins IMC do not derive their powers from the patronage of specific deities in the manner of clerics or priests.
One can say their power comes through" the gods" and that would be essentially correct. Or "Lawful Good" and this would also be correct. It's mysterious. Paladins are special.
They must adhere to their code in letter and in spirit.
Paladins, like pretty nearly everyone, know the gods exist. They choose LG gods as patrons and models.
There are no orders of Paladins, no organizations.
They can join knightly fraternities, of course. They may also swear fealty to a LG lord-- who might be a priest.
And while they must gain training at arms, paladin-ness itself can never be trained. It is something you are or are not.
The class is an archetype and not a mere progression or skill set.

I would only allow a dual-class to paladin with a mighty quest, a long record of consistent alignment RP, and so on.



The notes above apply to everything I run with the class, except Birthright.

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