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 How do You Feel About Alignment?

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Garthanos
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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:28 am

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Garthanos wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Garthanos wrote:
The translation/synopsis I just read includes no murder .. but rather a Dwarf who volunteers the Cart. IE his villainy at that point is riding like a peasant ;p
Recent retellings of Arthurian legend tend to be Disney-fied in order to appeal to children and modern romanticism.
The writer of the Cart story was a frenchman who one could actually expect to have altered it the opposite direction for his french lady - other sources seem to have retrofitted elements from that telling in to renditions because of its popularity. My french is crapola so I certainly couldn't translate it directly.  But not thinking there actually IS a earlier version of this element you have conjured a murder out of.
Read Le Mort before you start throwing accusations of 'conjuring' around, my friend. It's right there, in the world's oldest compilation of Arthurian legends.
300 years after the  Chrétien wrote that story with the Dwarf apparently somebody wanted a Darker more criminal activity.. sometimes making things more modern is the opposite of making it Rosey.

Quote :

If you want to use a more rosy version of the Lancelot character as your inspiration for paladinhood, I'm not going to stop you, but you should be aware that his image is highly dependent on source. Which is appropriate for what the paladin class should be -- a flexible class that can handle a wide variety of knight-in-armor archetypes.
Agreed - though personally I want to start with Fighter then add "Blood-line" gifts and "Raised by Fae" blessings and prophecied births and Grand Master training and Oath bound blessings and boons.. and hang the need for a distinct "paladin" class.

Quote :

Garthanos wrote:

(Disneys Faeries were naked and not so light and fluffy - you do him disservice)
I don't know what you mean, or what this has to do with anything. I do remember Tinkerbell and the fairy godmothers being both clothed and helpful, though.
Fantasia is Disney's Primal Faeries naked little nature spirits.
Tinkerbell laid a nasty and potentially deadly trap against wendy due to jealousy.
Faerrie godmothers often include atleast one dark sidhe to lay the curse... which the others try to offset.

You made the references to Disnifying things? Did you know that Pin-head and his crew (Hellraiser is damn dark and bloody) are distributed by Disney ;p

Quote :

Garthanos wrote:

Tequila Sunrise wrote:

Garthanos wrote:
I did notice something else Lancelot is featured fighting armed and armored knights while himself unarmored in a number of versions including this one - I tend to lump him in with the independent combatants who do not rely on their gadgets along side Beowulf.
Like I said, Lance is Mallory's Mary Sue character, and as a result would be undefeatable naked and with no limbs.
This isn't Mallory, tho its possible any given rendering of the character infected others... and actually I think the version which presents the character as the ideal knight seems to be Lanzelet. Lancelot had miraculous events associated with the character that were most definitely unrelated to skills and quite lacking in Galahad... ranging from plunging himself in to thorn hedges and emerging unharmed to rescuing damsels from pools of boiling water without injury. I know he dodges thorns with uberskills ;p and like CuCulaine is so hot himself he makes the water boil.
He does these same kind of things in all versions of the legend, and while the later author of your Lanzelet character may have attributed these amazing abilities to an oath, other legends simply attribute them to his badassery. Essentially, Lancelot is a sort of medieval John McClain.
Lanzelet is NOT newer than La Morte dArthur and very close to concurrent with the Knight of the Carte (its also not necessarily my favorite rendering). The thorns are definitely religious symbols and I have seen it being an act of self flagellation the divine stepped in and signified its forgiveness by sparing him. Though in my favorite rendering it might be simply be craft acquired due to fae background. See I actually advocate flexible. The resilience to boiling water may also be symbolic of sexual heat, just as cauldrons are the womb.
Quote :

And in every version I know of, Galahad is outright better in every way to his father, due to being righteous. His father can't even catch a glimpse of the Grail, due to his moral failings, while Galahad ends up finding it.
He was a johny come lately (even moreso than Lancelot). Better in lip service I would say, he sat on a chair and had a vision next to no substantive miraculous accomplishments.
I seem to recall Lancelot did get to see the Grail but from behind a veil. (see also the possiblity that this Mary Sue is the same as a much earlier Mary Sue - in Geoffreys Monmouth grail quest who succeeded ).

Explicit oaths being in conflict are the exact mirroring of duties/oaths of fealty in conflict which is in every interpretation of Lancelot... Its common that the miraculous powers of these knights were attributed to divine intervening on there behalf.  Lancelot was robbed of sanity itself over this. Samson merely lost his strength (Oath betwixt marital honesty and divine fealty). Culaine perhaps lost warp spasm (oath conflict between hospitality and totem). The latter two died of it but lancelot had his sanity returned.

Here is a cake and eat it too option... Lancelot was unable to maintain the regimen associated with his martial practice and lost his edge when he was unable to resolve his conflicting oaths...(even if his abilities are not divine it works)

I would like to see actual sources earlier than Chretien...there is some linguistic evidence that points to Lancelot being a derivative of much earlier Celtic heroes. I have read there are ones referring to Arthur and and Llwch the Irishman going on an otherworld  Grail Quest , (the grail would be the Cauldron of Life?)
Here is a Geoffrey of Monmouth where one of the 7 great companions is Lleawch Lleminawc
http://d.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/text/preiddeu-annwn

Is the Lleawch Lleminawc in this referencing Lancelot? (it has been asserted possible)
The flashing sword of Lleawch  has been lifted to it.. And in the hand of Lleminawc it was left.
(The it is referring to the Cauldron).

To add confusion Galahad is asserted by some as the childhood name of Lancelot and so his son is even more a stand in for him and symbolic his childhood innocence through which he still glimpses the holy.

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One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.


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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:23 pm

Fardiz wrote:
Garthanos wrote:
I tend to lump him in with the independent combatants who do not rely on their gadgets along side Beowulf.
Beowulf has both a magic sword (Hrunting) and the magic of the dragon horn. Depending on which version of the tale you are following of course.
It isnt having the items which is significant.. though .. its often putting it down and not relying on it. How do you get Grendel put down your sword (and have supernal strength)... how do you get Grendels mom... take off your armor (and have supernal endurance ).

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:21 pm

Fair shout.
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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:30 pm

Alignment is primarily useful for setting the tone (and expectations) for campaigns, where "heroic adventuring" involves good guys vs. bad guys, law & order vs. chaos & destruction, gods vs. demons, that sort of thing. Is it necessary to produce such a campaign? No, but it makes it easier to frame it in a way that mimics your classic (cleaned-up) fairy tales and heroic stories as portrayed especially in more recent years.

Once you step out of the very limited storytelling that is framed by alignment, you might as well either adopt it into a more generic "faction" system (where "bad guys" aren't necessarily bad, and "good guys" aren't necessarily good, see: 13th Age, PARANOIA, or Don't Rest Your Head), or drop it altogether and instead design your RPG around a different set of rules and focus on play (see: Golden Sky).

[ Just because alignment-based/related stories are the most popular in the US or maybe even the world[citation needed], doesn't mean that it's the most enriching form of storytelling or the only form of storytelling out there. ]
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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:51 pm

Fardiz wrote:
Fair shout.


I wouldn't mind if 4e supported the concept of the item independent hero - a little more ;p
though I think it is nigh the best edition for it so far.

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:53 pm

Alignment encourages weird and esoteric discussions of philosophy and psychology and their relations to mythic and legendary character archetypes Panic scratch 


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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:48 pm

Garthanos wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Garthanos wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Garthanos wrote:
The translation/synopsis I just read includes no murder .. but rather a Dwarf who volunteers the Cart. IE his villainy at that point is riding like a peasant ;p
Recent retellings of Arthurian legend tend to be Disney-fied in order to appeal to children and modern romanticism.
The writer of the Cart story was a frenchman who one could actually expect to have altered it the opposite direction for his french lady - other sources seem to have retrofitted elements from that telling in to renditions because of its popularity. My french is crapola so I certainly couldn't translate it directly.  But not thinking there actually IS a earlier version of this element you have conjured a murder out of.
Read Le Mort before you start throwing accusations of 'conjuring' around, my friend. It's right there, in the world's oldest compilation of Arthurian legends.
300 years after the  Chrétien wrote that story with the Dwarf apparently somebody wanted a Darker more criminal activity.. sometimes making things more modern is the opposite of making it Rosey.
My point is, don't go accusing me of inventing dark stories until you read Le Mort. Chretian may have invented the Lancelot character, but Malory was the one who wrote the first large compilation of Arthurian tales. His take on things was grim, and that's because medieval society was grim. Chivalry was about noble men treating other noblemen honorably, protecting noble ladies, and everyone else be damned.

As for the rest of it, I'm going to agree to disagree with you, because I'm honestly not sure what we're actually disagreeing about anymore. No offense, Garth, but your grammar makes it really hard to work out what you're saying sometimes.

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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:15 pm

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Holy Bovine wrote:
Lawful --- Good --- Neutral --- Evil --- Chaotic
This spectrum implies that Law is ideal, while Chaos is eviler than Evil. But from your description, it sounds like Law and Chaos are equally bad. So I'm confused; is WH alignment supposed to be a linear spectrum, where 'just left of center' is ideal? Or is it more like the 9-alignment system, where Law and Chaos are orthogonal to Good and Evil, and therefore unbiased toward them?
If you were to place them in their 'ideal' line (i.e. most altruistic first most selfish last) it would look more like this

Good - Neutral - Evil - Lawful - Chaos

So yes while Good is seen as the ideal it is pretty rare in itself (unless you're an elf) and Evil is more preferred than Lawful as Evil is more of a selfish, out for one's self and don't help others (unless you can get something out of it of course) while Lawful is so rigid and demanding that it never gives an inch. Truly Lawful beings are seen as fanatics who care only about enforcing laws because they are laws and don't care who gets hurt or what is ruined/lost in the process. Chaos is just a pure destroyer and never seen as a PC alignment (neither is Lawful for that matter). Lawful is seen as just a little bit 'better' than Chaos - at least Lawful people have an actual reason to burn your barn down - the Chaos creature did it because it was a Tuesday.

In the game world, of the races players are likely to interact with, about 90% of them are Neutral with Good and Evil splitting the other 10%. Neutral is the default though and you learn pretty quickly that just because someone doesn't have a big flashing neon 'Evil' sign over their heads doesn't mean they won't club you over the head to steal that fancy gemstone you keep showing around town!
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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:36 pm

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Garthanos wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Garthanos wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Garthanos wrote:
The translation/synopsis I just read includes no murder .. but rather a Dwarf who volunteers the Cart. IE his villainy at that point is riding like a peasant ;p
Recent retellings of Arthurian legend tend to be Disney-fied in order to appeal to children and modern romanticism.
The writer of the Cart story was a frenchman who one could actually expect to have altered it the opposite direction for his french lady - other sources seem to have retrofitted elements from that telling in to renditions because of its popularity. My french is crapola so I certainly couldn't translate it directly.  But not thinking there actually IS a earlier version of this element you have conjured a murder out of.
Read Le Mort before you start throwing accusations of 'conjuring' around, my friend. It's right there, in the world's oldest compilation of Arthurian legends.
300 years after the  Chrétien wrote that story with the Dwarf apparently somebody wanted a Darker more criminal activity.. sometimes making things more modern is the opposite of making it Rosey.
My point is, don't go accusing me of inventing dark stories until you read Le Mort.
Sorry for the accusatory, you may not have invented it but your expression very much makes it a hard line assertion that this dark is the one true way and "kids these days" have corrupted that way in to more light hearted forms.... when its funny that Malory twisted it dark hundreds of years after its invention, perhaps in an era where doom and gloom had supplanted the ideals and the concepts were fallen in to corrupted decay or perhaps because of his own personality wanting it all more edgy and realistic to his own mind.
Tequila Sunrise wrote:

Chretian may have invented the Lancelot character, but Malory was the one who wrote the first large compilation of Arthurian tales. His take on things was grim, and that's because medieval society was grim. Chivalry was about noble men treating other noblemen honorably, protecting noble ladies, and everyone else be damned.
Arthur was subject to and in part made victim by his own rules (he wanted to forgive Lance/Gwen even in Malory) in some interpretation bit because he believed they were very much not above the law - ie that Chivalry meant turning might towards the service of "right" and protection of the innocent not just protection of the nobles, which is inconsistent with your assertion and I say that fantasy is altogether more about the ideals than the "reals".

Tequila Sunrise wrote:

As for the rest of it, I'm going to agree to disagree with you, because I'm honestly not sure what we're actually disagreeing about anymore.
We are supposed to be making  pointless alignment derived arguments aren't we? Lancelot the oath bound and doomed hero.. who's conflicting oaths/devotions disempowered him. Is to me very much a Samson, a CuCulain and the most interesting of Paladins.

I don't necessarily feel obliged to accept the measure of degradation Malory brought to that story - when the original story was about willingness to act beneath his station in the name of his lady love - socially and symbolically injuring his reputation and his lieges standing - Malory transformed it to the point of being easy murder and theft - it utterly missed the point.

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.


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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:42 am

Holy Bovine wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Holy Bovine wrote:
Lawful --- Good --- Neutral --- Evil --- Chaotic
This spectrum implies that Law is ideal, while Chaos is eviler than Evil. But from your description, it sounds like Law and Chaos are equally bad. So I'm confused; is WH alignment supposed to be a linear spectrum, where 'just left of center' is ideal? Or is it more like the 9-alignment system, where Law and Chaos are orthogonal to Good and Evil, and therefore unbiased toward them?
If you were to place them in their 'ideal' line (i.e. most altruistic first most selfish last) it would look more like this

Good - Neutral - Evil - Lawful - Chaos

So yes while Good is seen as the ideal it is pretty rare in itself (unless you're an elf) and Evil is more preferred than Lawful as Evil is more of a selfish, out for one's self and don't help others (unless you can get something out of it of course) while Lawful is so rigid and demanding that it never gives an inch.  Truly Lawful beings are seen as fanatics who care only about enforcing laws because they are laws and don't care who gets hurt or what is ruined/lost in the process.  Chaos is just a pure destroyer and never seen as a PC alignment (neither is Lawful for that matter).  Lawful is seen as just a little bit 'better' than Chaos - at least Lawful people have an actual reason to burn your barn down - the Chaos creature did it because it was a Tuesday.

In the game world, of the races players are likely to interact with, about 90% of them are Neutral with Good and Evil splitting the other 10%.  Neutral is the default though and you learn pretty quickly that just because someone doesn't have a big flashing neon 'Evil' sign over their heads doesn't mean they won't club you over the head to steal that fancy gemstone you keep showing around town!
Well that is the thing, good, evil, lawful, chaotic: they are all rough categories for types of motivations and dispositions and are up for personal interpretations.  There are no methods to quantify them unless you attach cretin types of values and actions to them.  Power, for example, can be a motivational value that anyone can understand, but that doesn't mean you are locked into being, say evil.  There are people out there who value power and see it as a good thing because it allows them to make the changes they believe need to happen, which they believe are good.  Now if you attach Power as a motivation with say Achievement as a structure to gain power, even though you might not be evil, you may be more inclined to end up using the people around you as a means to an end.  In doing so, you might be seen as evil in the eyes of the people around you, or at least neutral.

I personally find the idea of structural and motivational values (what you want and how you choose to get it) to be less subjective, easier for people to understand, and easier to implement in a game environment.  Let the players decide if they think it is good or evil since that is more subjective anyways.
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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:28 am

Garthanos wrote:
Fardiz wrote:
Fair shout.

I wouldn't mind if 4e supported the concept of the item independent hero - a little more ;p
though I think it is nigh the best edition for it so far.
DMG 2 Inherent Bonuses and Dark Sun Campaign Setting's equivalent does that just fine if you ask me Smile cumulative +1 [enhancement bonus] to hit and damage at levels 2, 7, 12, 17, 22 and 27, and a cumulative +1 [enhancement bonus] to defenses at levels 5, 9, 15, 19, 25 and 29 removes the need for magical weapons Smile All you need left would be 1) the concept of "masterwork weapons" with each of them giving a +1 [feat] bonus to hit and damage per tier of item quality, and 2) adjusting the concept of "masterwork armor" that allows them to give a +1 [feat] bonus to AC/non-AC defenses per tier of item quality, and I think that pretty much covers it Smile
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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:34 am

I think this article I stumbled upon should be mentioned, given how it's related to the topic: Save My Game: Morality Plays.
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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:59 am

You build him as a hero with items and refluff him as a hero without items.

E.g. The Hulk - a half-orc (or goliath) barbarian in hide armour and dual-wielding waraxes. Refluff as a big green thing with bullet-proof skin and fists as his weapons.
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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:08 am

Fardiz wrote:
You build him as a hero with items and refluff him as a hero without items.

E.g. The Hulk - a half-orc (or goliath) barbarian in hide armour and dual-wielding waraxes. Refluff as a big green thing with bullet-proof skin and fists as his weapons.
aka boons/blessings/grand master trainings and inherent bonuses ;p

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:12 am

chaosfang wrote:
Garthanos wrote:
Fardiz wrote:
Fair shout.
I wouldn't mind if 4e supported the concept of the item independent hero - a little more ;p
though I think it is nigh the best edition for it so far.
DMG 2 Inherent Bonuses and Dark Sun Campaign Setting's equivalent does that just fine if you ask me :)cumulative +1 [enhancement bonus] to hit and damage at levels 2, 7, 12, 17, 22 and 27, and a cumulative +1 [enhancement bonus] to defenses at levels 5, 9, 15, 19, 25 and 29 removes the need for magical weapons :)All you need left would be 1) the concept of "masterwork weapons" with each of them giving a +1 [feat] bonus to hit and damage per tier of item quality, and 2) adjusting the concept of "masterwork armor" that allows them to give a +1 [feat] bonus to AC/non-AC defenses per tier of item quality, and I think that pretty much covers it Smile
how about that critical bonus damage die of d6 per 5 ?

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:50 am

I think the issue of alignment in D&D is strong, opinionated, and constantly changing. This is because it parallels psychology/psychiatry. Which is also mostly opinion, often hotly contested, and full of business and capitalism at its best and worst. It's also amended. 40 or 50-some years ago; homosexuality was a mental disorder. Check the DSM III.

Right now, if you act in opposition to the 'alignment' of your society several things can happen. At the most extreme, you are jailed or even executed.

Most of the time, however, you are given pills that (theoretically) make you more 'lawful'. Everything from ritalin, anti-depressants, and hard core anti-psychotics are really designed to do this. And designed to make money. Or, if you're lucky; (and not exhibiting too much difference from the societal norm) you are just given a stern talking to by some authority figure. "Straighten up and fly right".

Alignment is also highly personal and subjective. Very few 'evil' people feel like they are evil. Even if the overwhelming majority of modern humanity gladly labels them evil. Morality, guilt, passion, concepts of what is 'normal' and what isn't....All of these things F* with us every day. And we all deal with it by forming opinions. Historically, people have tried to control and codify it all through religions, cultural taboos, stigmas, and (my favorite) that statement of "common sense". It's my favorite because no one ever explains what 'common sense' is; you're just expected to have it. I find that funny. But, I digress way too much.

Where does it fit into a game? Well:
1) Nostalgia. I fall for this myself. I like the 2e/3e alignments. They are pretty and comforting to me.
2) It was a mechanic. 4e got rid of that. Thankfully. Smile
3) Role Playing aid/DM aid? Maybe...Ever play KotOR? I liked how that game had you start 'neutral' and go either light side or dark side depending on your actions and in game conversations. It was a new idea back then; for video games. I DM like that too, sometimes.
4) Some of my favorite drama of late has been on TV. Movies, IMO, have gotten weak lately. Too many Marvel super heroes, and too many teenage vampires/wizards/archers, and too many bad comedies. I like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. Both show 'alignment' as...Plastic. Both show how one can do 'good' or think 'I'm doing good' when to others; they are not. And the opposite. And then again, because of deep thought and personal reflection, or circumstance, the characters CHANGE 'alignments' sometimes.

That grey area; the confusion...Situations where there is _no_ 'good' answer.* Those are the most interesting. Especially in a dramatic fiction environment, and a TTRPG environment. Even Joseph Campbell/mythological archetype heroes can be  're-seen' as people who weren't just in a world of black and white.

Bottom line for me, if I'm DMing...I expect a PC to uphold at least the most basic (ie: most agreed upon) ideals of their alignment. But only if they make it a point to tell me their alignment as part of their character description when we start playing. If a PC doesn't say "I'm lawful good" I don't hold them to that ideal, lol.
I never make any monster a specific alignment; they are what they are. Some attack on sight. Can a black dragon be 'good'? Sure. Depends on the situation. It can certainly seem good...If it wants to.
When I play, I usually have an idea as to what kind of dude I want to RP...One who tries his best to be wise or neutral. Or one who is greedy...or one who is idealistic and charitable...Or one who is caught up in stuff he thinks can't control; and feels like a pawn, a patsy, or a tool.


*I think there is a generic default 'good' answer: Sacrifice of yourself to help others; with no thought of reward. After all, that could be you. Enjoy helping others enjoy life. Try to feel others. Never be so into yourself that you cannot say you are sorry for offending or hurting people. In two words: Empathy and Compassion.

I do also think there is an generic 'evil' answer too: Screw or use everyone, intentionally (even joyfully), to make myself richer, stronger, and generally better off than everyone else. Constantly comparing yourself to others in terms like they are 'richer', 'better', 'hotter', 'smarter', etc. than I am often lead to envy and/or greed. In two words: Avarice and Hubris.

IMO. But, lol. I digress again. Sorry guys.
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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:54 am

seti wrote:


Right now, if you act in opposition to the 'alignment' of your society several things can happen. At the most extreme, you are jailed or even executed.
I would judge that most societies are Lawful - what their idea of order is may differ, though.


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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:04 am

CHIA wrote:
seti wrote:


Right now, if you act in opposition to the 'alignment' of your society several things can happen. At the most extreme, you are jailed or even executed.
I would judge that most societies are Lawful - what their idea of order is may differ, though.

Oh, most definitely. 'Lawful' seems to be the preferred way of most (or all, even) human cultures. The 'good' and 'evil' suffixes are so ridiculously subjective. Most are literally 'meh' to neutral.

LOL, many of our wars, conflicts, disagreements, are about what 'laws' are the correct ones. Even us D&D people fight the most about D&D rules/mechanics. ie: laws.

Chaos is often thought of as bad by many...The best description of 'chaotic evil' (IMO) is that of the serial killer/rapist/psycho. And 'chaotic good', to me, is often the ridiculed protester/artist/hippie type. You know; their heart is in the right place, but they can't hold a job or 'fit' into society...Or, a chaotic good person will do really dangerous stuff...Like running across a 6 lane highway (endangering many people) to rescue a limping dog.
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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:05 pm

CHIA wrote:
seti wrote:


Right now, if you act in opposition to the 'alignment' of your society several things can happen. At the most extreme, you are jailed or even executed.
I would judge that most societies are Lawful - what their idea of order is may differ, though.

Agreed.  Different cultures and even different subcultures have different criteria for what this looks like, as well as different methods of social punishment.  One of the things that I try to do as a DM is figure out what is acceptable and non-acceptable behavior in a community (values and motivations of the community as a whole) and I use that to figure out antagonist to the party groups, allies, and general events that come up in game-play.  My players find this route to be much more involved and I find it easier to be adjustable to different campaign types.

There is a website I found that helped me come up with the current model I use.  My model is not the same as what they presented, but it did put together an interesting framework.  They also have a nice breakdown of the traditional D&D nine alignments:

http://easydamus.com/alignment.html
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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:16 pm

thanson02 wrote:
CHIA wrote:
seti wrote:


Right now, if you act in opposition to the 'alignment' of your society several things can happen. At the most extreme, you are jailed or even executed.
I would judge that most societies are Lawful - what their idea of order is may differ, though.

Agreed.  Different cultures and even different subcultures have different criteria for what this looks like, as well as different methods of social punishment.  One of the things that I try to do as a DM is figure out what is acceptable and non-acceptable behavior in a community (values and motivations of the community as a whole) and I use that to figure out antagonist to the party groups, allies, and general events that come up in game-play.  My players find this route to be much more involved and I find it easier to be adjustable to different campaign types.

That sounds really interesting! I have to admit that I usually just model the societies in my games on clichés of medieval fantasy civilizations.

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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:26 pm

Garthanos wrote:
Alignment encourages weird and esoteric discussions of philosophy and psychology and their relations to mythic and legendary character archetypes  Panic scratch 

So that's exactly what I did with my previous post/tl;dr rant in this thread, LMAO. I should have noticed that earlier Wink

PS: thanks, thanson02, for that link. It sums up a lot of what I think about alignment, but puts it more succinctly than I have (both on this thread, and in general. LOL.)
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PostSubject: Re: How do You Feel About Alignment?   Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:44 pm

seti wrote:
Garthanos wrote:
Alignment encourages weird and esoteric discussions of philosophy and psychology and their relations to mythic and legendary character archetypes  Panic scratch 

So that's exactly what I did with my previous post/tl;dr rant in this thread, LMAO. I should have noticed that earlier Wink

PS: thanks, thanson02, for that link. It sums up a lot of what I think about alignment, but puts it more succinctly than I have (both on this thread, and in general. LOL.)
Glad to share! I will always throw stuff out there if I think it is relevant. Whether people like it or not, well, that's up to you guys. Smile
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