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D&D 5E Do you find alignment useful in any way?

Do you find alignment useful in any way?


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    233
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Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
The question is not how useful you find alignment. The question is just if you find alignment useful in any way in any of your 5e D&D games?

If you care to comment how you've found it useful, or how you've found it to be no use at all, please do so.
 

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Yeah.

it’s like bonds and flaws and such. It helps to summarize the way the character might express his bonds and flaws.

I cannot help but still enjoy the idea of evil and good as forces a la interacting with magic items. I know that is old fashioned and don’t care
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I voted "No," because it's just not all that necessary in my view. I leave it in my games since it's not doing any harm, but it's not referenced except in the odd situation where I decide I want to hang some kind of mechanic on it like how a magical ward may respond or whether an item curses someone or whatever. I replaced Ideal with Alignment in my D&D 5e Planescape game because that was on brand. But really it's very rare when I bother with it. I find personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws to be much better descriptors and more useful to the players.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Alignment is super-useful as a thumbnail sketch for where a character is ethically.

• Good (altruistic)
• Evil (predatory)
• Lawful (group oriented)
• Chaotic (individual oriented)
• Neutral (mixed)
• Unaligned (beast, plant, etcetera)

Now once an alignment is decided on, I also like a sentence describing HOW the character puts that alignment into action.

For example, a Chaotic Good person might go out of ones way to help out an individual be the best version of oneself, but dislike social expectations.

Gandolf who I view as Neutral Good, is humble like ash and self effacing, but is passionate like fire in pursuit of ideals.



The choice of Alignment definitely belongs with Ideal and Flaw.
 
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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I like it, not as a straitjacket for how to play characters in but as a basic (and detectable, with magic) descriptor of each one's general ethos; and as a property of certain places and-or items and-or spells in terms of who they'll accept and who they'll affect; and as a gate for certain classes (e.g. to be this class you cannot be Lawful) and descriptor of others (e.g. a Cleric's alignment is nearly always going to match that of its deity).

Removing alignment and trying to fill those roles with something else would end up in effect just changing the name.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Nope. Characters and creatures have personalities and/or instincts. Those already imply any "alignment" they might have, while also going into more detail and how/when those personalities and instincts might change depending on who they are facing.

I don't want basic info, I want detail. Detail makes things more interesting and makes things different from the last time.
 


I do find it a bit useful. Not the Good/Evil axis so much, but the Lawful/Chaotic axis can be a useful notation for me. I also prefer either the Moorcock version of Law and Chaos or Poul Anderson's from 3 Hearts and 3 lions.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Yes, it's a quick 10,000 ft sketch of motivation and behavior for NPCs and monsters. Probably all I need for a starting point 80% of the time.

On the other hand, I don't care what alignment my player's characters are, I explain how I view alignment and ask that they don't play an evil character.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The question is not how useful you find alignment. The question is just if you find alignment useful in any way in any of your 5e D&D games?

If you care to comment how you've found it useful, or how you've found it to be no use at all, please do so.
I personally find it most useful for my NPCs. I typically have MANY more NPCs than I have the time or inclination to create in depth personalities for, so alignment is great foundation for me to graft an improvised personality onto. Beyond that? Not really.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I do find it a bit useful. Not the Good/Evil axis so much, but the Lawful/Chaotic axis can be a useful notation for me. I also prefer either the Moorcock version of Law and Chaos or Poul Anderson's from 3 Hearts and 3 lions.
I agree I get more use out of the lawful-neutral-chaos axis than the good-neutral-evil axis.
 




As a DM, not really. I'm not in the business of telling someone how to play their character. If they're LG on paper and resort to torture at the drop of the hat, I might say something (though really, if a player was creepily-big on torture, I'd probably have a talk with them about the tone of the games I run anyway), but aside from the big deal stuff, I don't really care.

As a player, definitely. It helps me come up with my character's personality and how they respond to situations.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I find the nine division alignment slightly useful in many cases, and problematic in others (sometimes significantly so).

I wonder if: "A few words or a phrase to describe the ethics, morals, and motivations" (or something like that) might do more of what I like about the nine-class alignment set-up with less of the drawbacks.

"Lawful Greedy but doesn't want to see the pain"
"Will bend truth as needed but has a Heart of Gold"
"Habitual Liar with a Heart of Gold"
"Gentle and Friendly unless Hunger makes him Homicidal"
"Strict personal code of honor valuing others efforts"
"Justice over Mercy or Law"
"Law over everything"
"Everything else is food, but food stocks should be managed"
"There is only now, everything else is food"
"Everything else is a plaything, but some playthings are treasured"
"Wants acceptance, tries to be good, susceptible to peer pressure"
"Balance between Law and Freedom, but Chaos is downright evil"
 

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