D&D General Do you use Alignment in your D&D games?

Do you use Alignment in your D&D games?

  • No

    Votes: 22 18.5%
  • "Yes, always." - Orson Welles

    Votes: 40 33.6%
  • Not for player characters, but yes for NPCs and monsters

    Votes: 7 5.9%
  • Not for player characters or NPC, but yes for monsters

    Votes: 1 0.8%
  • Not for most creatures, but yes for certain "outsiders" (ie particular fiends, celestials, etc.)

    Votes: 17 14.3%
  • Not for 5E, but yes for some earlier editions

    Votes: 1 0.8%
  • Yes, but only as a personality guideline, not as a thing that externally exists

    Votes: 37 31.1%
  • OTHER. Your poll did not anticipate my NUANCE.

    Votes: 17 14.3%

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
As long as there are previous editions of D&D, it will always be a part of D&D and consequently brought up in threads like this one. :)

So because Comeliness and weapon attack speeds are in previous editions of D&D, they will always be a part of D&D. Okay...

It's worth noting that this poll is reaching ENWorld posters, who are overwhelmingly 40-60-year-old white guys who came in through editions where Alignment was a big deal. Even here, 20% of people aren't using it and a plurality are using it in a light/optional way. I suspect a broader poll of the actually current D&D player base (which is way younger than we are), those numbers look quite different.
 

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Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
People bring those up all the time.

Totally. I just find it hard to believe that this is what he meant by saying "Alignment will always be part of D&D". Because it sure SEEMED like he meant "they'll never remove it from the game in the future." But I will take him at his word.
 

Jacob Lewis

Ye Olde GM
Totally. I just find it hard to believe that this is what he meant by saying "Alignment will always be part of D&D". Because it sure SEEMED like he meant "they'll never remove it from the game in the future." But I will take him at his word.
Yeah, lots of people SEEM to know what I mean. But its SEEMS easier to make assumptions than to ask ME for clarification. Odd, really.

But to clarify (without waiting for no one to come forward and ask me, you're welcome!), it will always be a part of the history of D&D, and therefore a part of D&D. Sometimes I think a statement like that would be obvious, and if I had to spell it out for anyone, they might find it insulting. But then I have to spell it out anyway. 🤷‍♂️
 

Stormonu

Legend
I still use alignment in my games, as well as spells and abilities that detect and affect certain alignments (though in the latter case it rarely affects mortals and usually only has effects against extraplanar entities strongly tied to an alignment, like Evil for fiends, Good for angels, Lawful for modrons and Chaos for slaad or the like, possibly also paladins & clerics over 9th level).

Also, I use it to gate players from playing evil alignments. I run co-operative D&D games and have had issues with interparty conflict in the past; disallowing Evil alignments goes a long way towards putting a firm foot down against such practices. (Save the interparty stuff for Vampire: The Masquerade and the like).
 

Voadam

Legend
This is just fascinating to me. I didn't even cut anything out between those two sentences. And I hate to pick on this because I'm generally in agreement with everything said. But to say you find something distasteful, and then immediately follow it up by allowing yourself some exceptions? :unsure:
Are you having trouble wrapping your head around the idea that I find something generally distasteful, but not every instance of it under all circumstances?

The charm thing left me with a lot of discretion and a range of autonomy (treat the charmer as a trusted friend, that's it) was for a limited period of time (a party member figured it out and dispelled the charm on me fairly quickly), and there was no policing from the DM, they did not say I was doing it wrong, and it did not derail the game or my fun or have significant unfun consequences.

This would be significantly different from always having a DM judging your roleplay as being correct or not and stepping in to change what you were doing or to always have to play to x stage direction (paladin code, dice roll result, DM prompt, whatever) in a game where I consider player direction of their own choices and roleplay a big value of the game.
 

Jacob Lewis

Ye Olde GM
Are you having trouble wrapping your head around the idea that I find something generally distasteful, but not every instance of it under all circumstances?
Not at all. I just think distasteful is a strong word. Do you find yourself distasteful when you do it, or does it only apply to someone else? Or only in certain situations? Because you clearly stated that it was DMs in general who did that. And then you admit to doing that, but somehow that was either less distasteful or not at all. See how that might be viewed.... differently than what you might have been going for? I'm just trying to help... :whistle:
 

payn

Legend
I still use alignment in my games, as well as spells and abilities that detect and affect certain alignments (though in the latter case it rarely affects mortals and usually only has effects against extraplanar entities strongly tied to an alignment, like Evil for fiends, Good for angels, Lawful for modrons and Chaos for slaad or the like, possibly also paladins & clerics over 9th level).
Nice, I like this look.
Also, I use it to gate players from playing evil alignments. I run co-operative D&D games and have had issues with interparty conflict in the past; disallowing Evil alignments goes a long way towards putting a firm foot down against such practices. (Save the interparty stuff for Vampire: The Masquerade and the like).
...annnd you lost me. I agree with folks that dont find alignment to be useful in stopping disruptive behavior. I actually find it sometimes challenges players to try and be evil without it showing up on their alignment. Like good aligned assassins? Its an odd play space I don't care for. I find it better challenging folks to play evil characters that are actually useful partners and members of society. My thought is it takes the entire table to play evil characters. In that co-operation is more interesting and enjoyable, than individuals shanking each other. YMMV.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Evil PCs aren't inherently disruptive. But I've played with people who ran evil PCs, that got way into too much detail about how they slowly choked someone to death because they enjoyed watching the life slowly fade from their eyes. That was one of the milder things they said.

If you actually play an evil PC as evil, I don't want anything to do with it and it wouldn't matter what TTRPG I'm playing. I also ask people to not play disruptive PCs and if someone is too disruptive I'll have a chat with them. Also doesn't have anything to do with alignment.
Sounds pretty disruptive to me 🤷‍♀️
 

Voadam

Legend
Not at all. I just think distasteful is a strong word. Do you find yourself distasteful when you do it, or does it only apply to someone else? Or only in certain situations? Because you clearly stated that it was DMs in general who did that. And then you admit to doing that, but somehow that was either less distasteful or not at all. See how that might be viewed.... differently than what you might have been going for? I'm just trying to help... :whistle:
I generally find it distasteful. I specifically only played a paladin in 3e games where I checked with the DM that they would be fine with me playing my concept of a good guy without getting into morality or code issues as I generally have zero interest in trying to play to others' conceptions appropriate morality or roleplay and I knew with some of my friends that it would be asking for unfun situations for me to play a paladin in their game. I found the idea of a DM-player disagreement about LG versus evil actions being backed by a DM saying the player did their morality wrong and taking away character powers as a consequence particularly distasteful. If I did that as a DM I would consider that a distasteful action in what is supposed to be a fun game.

As a DM I tell my current 5e PCs to pick whatever alignment they want under whatever view of alignments they hold and I am fine with it. I then do not police their portrayal of their alignment.

The example I gave above was of me as a PC demon hunter being charmed by a demon in a dungeon and going with it and having fun for the brief time I was charmed. I would generally resent being told by a DM that I was playing my character wrong, or having my autonomy of running my character significantly taken away for a long period of time.

As a DM I have had monsters I run use charm type powers in combat and generally stick to the wording RAW which usually does not take over a character for more than a fight at the most. A 5e vampire fight I ran comes to mind with the charm powers. When this happens I try to be explicit about what exact conditions are imposed so the player can work around them as best they can and stay engaged as much as they can.
 

Oofta

Legend
Sounds pretty disruptive to me 🤷‍♀️
There's a difference between disruptive and disturbing. The disturbing guy was a team player, although it was only for the one session I put up with it. I joined a group where the repeatedly did things like burning down buildings that likely had innocents in it to get the guy we were trying to stop. Everyone else was gung-ho part of team, to me it was evil especially because we had plenty of other options. I didn't want to be the disruptive one so I quit the group. I've had people that played PCs that were otherwise doing good things but were disruptive in their treatment of other party members.

Plenty of people play evil PC groups that are part of a team. I just don't want anything to do with it.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
There's a difference between disruptive and disturbing. The disturbing guy was a team player, although it was only for the one session I put up with it. I joined a group where the repeatedly did things like burning down buildings that likely had innocents in it to get the guy we were trying to stop. Everyone else was gung-ho part of team, to me it was evil especially because we had plenty of other options. I didn't want to be the disruptive one so I quit the group. I've had people that played PCs that were otherwise doing good things but were disruptive in their treatment of other party members.

Plenty of people play evil PC groups that are part of a team. I just don't want anything to do with it.
It sounds to me like that disrupts your ability to enjoy the game. But like I said, 🤷‍♀️
 



Aldarc

Legend
What way, exactly? Seems like a lot of people are making a lot of assumptions that I didn't talk about. And very few have been keen to ask me anything.
Maybe they would be more keen to ask you questions if you weren’t busy throwing condescending facepalm memes around? Those don’t tend to invite conversation, but, rather, incite further tension.

Just a friendly suggestion from a thread observer.
 



Cadence

Legend
Supporter
The problem is that most of the time you are being very lawful. Maybe you are LN most of the time, but you have some very specific(and perhaps common) triggers which when you encounter them, cause you to completely lose it and wipe out everyone within sight. When calm, you're clearly LN. When out of control(again fairly common), you're CE.

The point is any semi-realistic personality is going to be consistently falling outside of the one alignment box written down and will have behaviors in multiple other alignment boxes. And even in 3e this was not enough to justify the DM changing alignment, per RAW.

I can't believe you managed to type that with a straight face :)

I'm not sure what the best part is:

Acting like a split from 51-49 L to C vs. 49-51 L to C justifies switching the label from L to C (when N exists),
Acting like the LN indicator is useful at all in the case where the flop happens that often.
Acting like it meets RAW,
1643849121732.png

Acting like it would conceivably meet RAI,
or Typing the word Semi-realistic among it.

Whether it was more Twainsian or more Swiftian, it was certainly good for a laugh. Thank you!
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I can't believe you managed to type that with a straight face :)

I'm not sure what the best part is:

Acting like a split from 51-49 L to C vs. 49-51 L to C justifies switching the label from L to C (when N exists),
Acting like the LN indicator is useful at all in the case where the flop happens that often.
Acting like it meets RAW,
View attachment 151201
Acting like it would conceivably meet RAI,
or Typing the word Semi-realistic among it.
You're assuming choice there where it isn't present in all of my example. The character did make one choice, which precludes neutral. The choice(through behavior) is LN. When triggered(this is not a choice and therefore not an alignment switch), he goes berserk and kills everything around. He has issues, but switching alignment and being neutral are not among them.
Whether it was more Twainsian or more Swiftian, it was certainly good for a laugh. Thank you!
Hey. I try to make people laugh, as you probably know from the sheer number of joke posts that I make. Any time I can do so, I count it a win. This world needs more laughter. ;)
 

Stormonu

Legend
The problem is that most of the time you are being very lawful. Maybe you are LN most of the time, but you have some very specific(and perhaps common) triggers which when you encounter them, cause you to completely lose it and wipe out everyone within sight. When calm, you're clearly LN. When out of control(again fairly common), you're CE.

The point is any semi-realistic personality is going to be consistently falling outside of the one alignment box written down and will have behaviors in multiple other alignment boxes. And even in 3e this was not enough to justify the DM changing alignment, per RAW.
Y'know this almost sounds like the Kingpin - though I'd suspect he's LE than LN. Or a hangin' judge.
 

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