D&D 5E Recent Errata clarifications

Oofta

Legend
I don’t personally think it’s very useful for that. We have much better RP aid tools that don’t cause arguments like alignment does.

Do you not consider these threads that pop up every few days, devolve into bickering, and then get locked problems? Also, just because it has been 20 years since you had a an argument about alignment in person doesn’t mean this isn’t a more recent occurrence for other people. Any time you try to hard-code moral judgment like “good” and “evil” into the rules of the game, you’re going to cause arguments.
I think people like to argue about things. That's not necessarily indicative or real world issues. 🤷‍♂️

In any case, I just don't see why it's a big issue when it can be completely ignored and people say that it's completely "broken" because some people somewhere said something they disagree with.

But I'm done with this. I primarily was commenting that the removal of default alignment at this time only applies to PC races and is not applied across the board.
 

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AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Without wading into the topic of alignment too deeply, what do you find nonsensical and redundant about the Great Wheel Cosmology? Honest question, as someone who quite likes it.
I've discussed this in other threads, but it's primarily due to there not just being Planes of Existence for every alignment, but also for every in-between alignment. Like, I'm fine with the Abyss and Nine Hells, but Hades, Gehenna, and Pandemonium are really unnecessary. The same applies to most of the Upper Planes as well. Also, it doesn't make sense that there are two separate Planes of War (Ysgard and Acheron), and I believe that the setting/cosmology would be better if they were just combined into one Plane of War (like Shavarath from Eberron did), and, in general, there's just too much grid-filling in the cosmology and not enough consideration of how to run adventures in the planes.
 
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AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Couldn't you just not use it? You know, like you're telling people who like alignment to just add it back in themselves? Giving up gaming altogether seems a bit extreme.
It's a bit harder to ignore a part of the game if it's built into Class/Race Prerequisites, the base cosmology of the base setting is entirely designed around it, game mechanics are affected by it, and monster books and stat blocks are designed with alignment in mind than it is to just add a 2 word morality descriptor to any part of the game that you want without having to bake it into the core of the game. Removing core parts of a system is harder than adding in 2 words of fluff text.

I wouldn't quit gaming, I'd still play other TTRPGs and 5e, but if 6e or 5.5e did bring back Alignment as a core mechanic as some previous editions had it, I would not play that game.
 

I disagree. I think alignment being just an RP aid when you want it works well. I occasionally use it to help shape attitudes of my PCs, don't care for my player's PCs and rely on it when facing monsters that are only going to matter to the game for 5 minutes.

You can do that better with two or three words of description about attitude more than you could about alignment, given that there are very wide-ranging disagreements about how things like "Lawful vs Chaotic" relate to societal structures. I've seen people claim that someone who has a strong personal code of honor is both lawful (They are following a strong structural code) and chaotic (They prefer to adhere to their own ideas of right and wrong over the overarching societal structures). Look how long it took for us to get an "Unaligned" spot, or the two different conceptions of "True Neutral".

I still don't get what problems alignment causes because in almost all cases it's because "20 years ago I had a bad DM therefore it's bad" or "I don't personally find it useful so burn it all down".

confused-wth.gif


I've not seen either of those as much as it seemingly causes a bunch of problematic issues, especially in regards to pigeonholing sentient races in poor ways. Given how utterly vestigial alignment is at this point (now that even the spells that used to be associated with it no longer key off it) we might as well put it in the DMG under optional rules. It's more impactful as a meme than it really is as a tool within the game nowadays.
 

Yo, we talking Animorphs in this thread? Hell yeah

I think I've realised after re-reading that Animorphs is also the reason why I hate alignment so much because it very much goes into the "Individuals are evil, not entire races thing". The Yeerks we encountered are forced into a hostile regime that's basically gone "Either do this thing, enslave these free-thinking people, or we're going to kill you", and the Yeerks we encounter run the entire gamit from "True believer in this cause", "Forced into this and resisting when they can", and of course "Wants to take over the entire dang thing rest of the universe be damned". And these are the brain slugs that mind control you, having this nuance to them

The only specifically Evil things are characters who are very much that way after time
 

Oofta

Legend
You can do that better with two or three words of description about attitude more than you could about alignment, given that there are very wide-ranging disagreements about how things like "Lawful vs Chaotic" relate to societal structures. I've seen people claim that someone who has a strong personal code of honor is both lawful (They are following a strong structural code) and chaotic (They prefer to adhere to their own ideas of right and wrong over the overarching societal structures). Look how long it took for us to get an "Unaligned" spot, or the two different conceptions of "True Neutral".



confused-wth.gif


I've not seen either of those as much as it seemingly causes a bunch of problematic issues, especially in regards to pigeonholing sentient races in poor ways. Given how utterly vestigial alignment is at this point (now that even the spells that used to be associated with it no longer key off it) we might as well put it in the DMG under optional rules. It's more impactful as a meme than it really is as a tool within the game nowadays.

I don't really care about previous editions. As far as orcs and whatnot, alignment is not the cause of pigeonholing races, it's a symptom. If orcs are still described as "... savage humanoids ... that gather in tribes that satisfy their bloodlust by slaying any humanoids that stand against them." then nothing really changes.
 

I don't really care about previous editions. As far as orcs and whatnot, alignment is not the cause of pigeonholing races, it's a symptom. If orcs are still described as "... savage humanoids ... that gather in tribes that satisfy their bloodlust by slaying any humanoids that stand against them." then nothing really changes.

That you can make the same old Orcs under the new system isn't a problem, it's that you can make new, different Orcs much more easily and immediately intelligible to anyone looking at it. The point is that, with the alignment system, pigeonholing along broad ideological lines is inevitable. But with short descriptions, I can have a general idea of a race or culture that is colorful without trying to fit it into an abstract "Good versus Evil" that will inevitably paint with too broad a brush.
 
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Oofta

Legend
That you can make the same old Orcs under the new system isn't a problem, it's that you can make new, different Orcs much more easily and immediately intelligible to anyone looking at it. The point is that, with the alignment system, pigeonholing along broad ideological lines is inevitable. But with short descriptions, I can have a general description of a race or culture that is descriptive without trying to fit it into an abstract "Good versus Evil" that will inevitably paint with too broad a brush.
There's nothing stopping DMs or WOTC from creating new orcs. I do think we should go back to a frequency qualifier to alignment.

As far as abstract good and evil ... it's a game. It oversimplifies everything, why would anyone expect morality to be any different? Why is it held to a higher standard than 99% of mass media TV, movies or video games?

Last, but not least, I'm done with this conversation. Have a good one.
 

I don't really care about previous editions. As far as orcs and whatnot, alignment is not the cause of pigeonholing races, it's a symptom. If orcs are still described as "... savage humanoids ... that gather in tribes that satisfy their bloodlust by slaying any humanoids that stand against them." then nothing really changes.
But it's the chicken and the egg situation. They're described thusly, because they are evil and are evil because they're described thusly.

Also, once we get rid of alignment, it is easier to add nuance and shades of grey to the situation. Instead of childish "are they good or bad?" we can actually explore why creatures behave how they do, what sort of beliefs and drives they have. And then it is up to the reader to decide what they think of that. I'm sure many real human groups have been described in a manner similar to the description of the orcs, yet the reality behind such generalisations tends to be far more nuanced than simplistic good or evil.
 

There's nothing stopping DMs or WOTC from creating new orcs. I do think we should go back to a frequency qualifier to alignment.

And I think this is why alignment is just bad. Not only is it vague, you have to make all these things to get something that looks even close to alright. And even then, it doesn't really provide you the definition you want because the definitions are so wide open to interpretation. Instead of creating clarity, it causes confusion.

As far as abstract good and evil ... it's a game. It oversimplifies everything, why would anyone expect morality to be any different? Why is it held to a higher standard than 99% of mass media TV, movies or video games?

Yeah, but in simplifying something you want to increase clarity, not lessen it. I'd rather a system that works well with simpler ideas as well as complex ones, rather than one that only kind-of works with simple ones and falls apart with any sort of nuance.
 

Oofta

Legend
But it's the chicken and the egg situation. They're described thusly, because they are evil and are evil because they're described thusly.

Also, once we get rid of alignment, it is easier to add nuance and shades of grey to the situation. Instead of childish "are they good or bad?" we can actually explore why creatures behave how they do, what sort of beliefs and drives they have. And then it is up to the reader to decide what they think of that. I'm sure many real human groups have been described in a manner similar to the description of the orcs, yet the reality behind such generalisations tends to be far more nuanced than simplistic good or evil.
And I think this is why alignment is just bad. Not only is it vague, you have to make all these things to get something that looks even close to alright. And even then, it doesn't really provide you the definition you want because the definitions are so wide open to interpretation. Instead of creating clarity, it causes confusion.



Yeah, but in simplifying something you want to increase clarity, not lessen it. I'd rather a system that works well with simpler ideas as well as complex ones, rather than one that only kind-of works with simple ones and falls apart with any sort of nuance.

Most monsters don't need a lot of nuance at their core, orcs already have more lore and thought but into them than the vast majority of villains in mass media. There is absolutely nothing stopping anyone from changing the default behavior and many settings do and have always done so. The tail is not wagging the dog.

I'm not trying to be rude, I just disagree and don't see any reason to continue because this never goes anywhere.
 

Most monsters don't need a lot of nuance at their core, orcs already have more lore and thought but into them than the vast majority of villains in mass media. There is absolutely nothing stopping anyone from changing the default behavior and many settings do and have always done so. The tail is not wagging the dog.

But the point is not just the nuance, but actually working as advertised: alignment is just terrible at what it sets out to do. It's not good at providing nuance, but when it comes to simplicity it doesn't work either because it uses concepts that have very individualized meanings and are argued over constantly.

I'm not trying to be rude, I just disagree and don't see any reason to continue because this never goes anywhere.

Sure, and I'm not going to hound you or tag you into a continuation. But I'm gonna post a response because I'm interested in putting my view out there. ;)
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Yo, we talking Animorphs in this thread? Hell yeah

I think I've realised after re-reading that Animorphs is also the reason why I hate alignment so much because it very much goes into the "Individuals are evil, not entire races thing". The Yeerks we encountered are forced into a hostile regime that's basically gone "Either do this thing, enslave these free-thinking people, or we're going to kill you", and the Yeerks we encounter run the entire gamit from "True believer in this cause", "Forced into this and resisting when they can", and of course "Wants to take over the entire dang thing rest of the universe be damned". And these are the brain slugs that mind control you, having this nuance to them

The only specifically Evil things are characters who are very much that way after time
This 100%!

If a race of mind-controlling alien-slugs that are the major antagonists from a kids sci-fi book series can have good individuals because they have free will, so should every sentient species in fiction. If that means that Demons stop being Demons if they turn good (like Naviask from Exandria), that's perfectly fine by me. However, sentient creatures have free will and there can/will always be the possibility of an outlier individual (or even group of individuals).

#NotAllYeerks, I guess.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
There's nothing stopping DMs or WOTC from creating new orcs. I do think we should go back to a frequency qualifier to alignment.
We have done, as of Witchlight.
As far as abstract good and evil ... it's a game. It oversimplifies everything, why would anyone expect morality to be any different? Why is it held to a higher standard than 99% of mass media TV, movies or video games?
Umm… We’re holding other mass media to the same standard…
Last, but not least, I'm done with this conversation. Have a good one.
You as well!
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Yo, we talking Animorphs in this thread? Hell yeah

I think I've realised after re-reading that Animorphs is also the reason why I hate alignment so much because it very much goes into the "Individuals are evil, not entire races thing". The Yeerks we encountered are forced into a hostile regime that's basically gone "Either do this thing, enslave these free-thinking people, or we're going to kill you", and the Yeerks we encounter run the entire gamit from "True believer in this cause", "Forced into this and resisting when they can", and of course "Wants to take over the entire dang thing rest of the universe be damned". And these are the brain slugs that mind control you, having this nuance to them

The only specifically Evil things are characters who are very much that way after time
Animorphs was part of a trend of children’s media at the time increasingly being willing to respect the emotional intelligence of its audience. Creators were willing to show moral nuance to kids, to not paint everything in black and white terms. Anti-heroes, anti-villains, gray vs. gray morality all exploded in children’s media of the 90s and 00s. And it definitely impacted our tastes as adults.

Interestingly, children’s media of the 10s and 20s has pushed back against that trend to a certain extent. There’s still a lot of nuance on display, but the sympathetic villain has become kind of passé. “Cool backstory. Still murder.” was a popular phrase for a while, though with the pace of internet discourse I imagine that’s old hat by now.
 


There's nothing stopping DMs or WOTC from creating new orcs. I do think we should go back to a frequency qualifier to alignment.

As far as abstract good and evil ... it's a game. It oversimplifies everything, why would anyone expect morality to be any different? Why is it held to a higher standard than 99% of mass media TV, movies or video games?

Last, but not least, I'm done with this conversation. Have a good one.
I am waiting for people to boycott a sci-fi movie because most or all of the aliens are bad.

I presume the same people excoriating D&D are lapping up the other media.

too bad—-with a little more angsty hand wringing we could make people feel uncomfortable for watching alien invasion movies too.

Wookiees are strong? Too much stereotyping. Not enough depictions of short weak ones. Haha oh well.
 

Oofta

Legend
I am waiting for people to boycott a sci-fi movie because most or all of the aliens are bad.

I presume the same people excoriating D&D are lapping up the other media.

too bad—-with a little more angsty hand wringing we could make people feel uncomfortable for watching alien invasion movies too.

Wookiees are strong? Too much stereotyping. Not enough depictions of short weak ones. Haha oh well.
If we got rid of everything in D&D that was constantly debated I'm not sure there would be anything left. :)
 

If we got rid of everything in D&D that was constantly debated I'm not sure there would be anything left. :)
Correct. It would be interesting to know what most appeals to the vocal critics and compile a list. Then build a game with only the elements that are approved of and see what it would look like.

there are tons of rpg products and systems. If we went with their wish/hit list would the game look as much like D&D as it did some other game?
 

guachi

Adventurer
if they are going to remove alignment from PC races can we get more flavour for the races as they feel just slightly too bland especially dwarves and halflings?

When WotC does their surveys and a question about favorite races is included I always choose Dwarf and Halfling because they are criminally under utilized in many of the supplements going back to 1e. A million subraces of elf but what I'd love is more interesting dwarfs and halfling. I know it can be done!

I'd love if 5.5e or 6e did like Level Up has done (plug for the books!) as I really like it. I backed it sight unseen and I think species, culture, background is a great way to build a PC and how I've tried to do it (poorly) as a DM so far. Being a human from here is different from a human from here and these are how we can simulate it for your PC. Plus, in Level Up many of the cultures are named right after the species indicating what the default is.

The Level Up book highlights what I find missing from so many 5e official supplements. We get new species after new species, but what I really want are loads of new cultures and backgrounds with mechanical fiddly-bobs that I can graft onto my home game. Doesn't matter to me if it's a generic supplement with generic cultures and backgrounds or a setting book with specific ones.

Too much of D&D seems to lean on the race itself to provide depth by rolling culture directly into the race description and I think that does D&D a disservice. I don't think Tasha's and other changes by WotC have done an effective job of moving away from that and instead have left what I considering a dissatisfying mix that's neither fish nor fowl.
 

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