D&D 5E Players voting on each other's alignments?


Morkus from Orkus
Except this thread has nothing to do with having or not having an alignment, and everything to do with expressly encouraging other players to judge the actions of other people's characters as Good or Evil in an open forum for all of their roleplay, not just extremes people like to use to justify 'real' alignment.

Yes, we can appeal to people's visceral emotion talking bout murdering little old ladies, but that ignores the 'evils' some people see in things like drinking, diet, sexuality, language, lifestyle, or, say, being judgmental of other people's behavior when it's none of their business.
Nothing wrong with judging if it's up front and presented as good fun. What the OP suggested was fine until that one sentence which he said isn't the purpose of what he was trying to do, so there's no reason to think that's how it would end up.

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Victoria Rules
Given that alignment isn't a "commitment", and in 5e has no mechanical impact to speak of, I don't think this exercise has much value.

Here's an alternative: Everyone plays their character for 3-5 sessions. Then, everyone goes and chooses one or two songs or musical pieces that seem to thematically match each character. Make a playlist for the campaign. Have fun trying to guess which song is for which character.
Each character gets a theme song, either chosen by its player or chosen for it by others if the player can't (or won't) come up with one.

Love it! (and, to some small extent, already do it in our games)


Victoria Rules
There’s a difference between your alignment dictating what actions your character should take, forcing you to do things and the decision to actively lean into a certain character mindset
Indeed, which comes first - the actions, or the alignment?

Very early in a character's career, when its personality etc. haven't really been established yet, I've little to no problem with a player in effect letting the character's alignment determine its actions. But once the character gets established, for me it turns around: its actions determine its alignment and that alignment can drift over time.

Very relevant in my game where aligned items, spells, and detections are still a thing.


Victoria Rules
Probably something to the effect of

“I can’t believe you murdered those men in cold blood”

“They were thieves and criminals, it was an act of justice”

“They had surrendered to us willingly, it was our duty to deliver them to the guards safely”

“Their crimes were too numerous, to let them live would be a crime in itself”

“You’re just a bloodthirsty thug”

“Lies and slander, I am a noble warrior of what is right and good”

and so on and so forth...
Nothing wrong with this at all! It's exactly the argument the characters would have in-character. Great stuff! (and this is why there's no rule stopping PvP in my games - these in-character arguments IMO have to be allowed to play out, even if it means the party splits or they throw down on each other)


Morkus from Orkus
Um... no.

'Presented as good fun' is not the same as 'taken as good fun', or 'carried out in good fun'.
Just out of curiosity, do you really think the players can't tell whether they would enjoy it or not when the idea is presented? Because I think that people can tell what the might like.


Would it mitigate the potential social fallout by discussing how the PCs rather than the players view other characters’ behavior?


One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
Would it mitigate the potential social fallout by discussing how the PCs rather than the players view other characters’ behavior?
Probably not, all that would likely happen is the player would make their own criticisms and then tack ‘thinks [character]’ onto the end of it most of the time

Assuming the players are on board and willing to recognize the arguments other players' make regarding their behavior, sure, I'd probably go along with this. And, likewise, if the other players are willing to consider what I say to explain my character's behavior.

It helps, of course, that I have a pretty solid idea of the alignment I almost always prefer to play (LG), and do in fact choose to play most characters in accordance with it. (E.g., don't tell lies even if they would be really really useful right now, be kind to people especially the sick, elderly, disabled, children, etc., show respect to authority unless that authority has clearly abrogated its responsibilities/duties/limitations, uphold just laws and work to fix/replace/repeal unjust laws, resorting to defiance/rebellion/etc. only as a last-ditch effort after sincere commitment to upholding tradition/government/loyalty, etc.)

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