D&D General Reconstructing Neutral: Two Scores or Four?


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A possible house rule would be "grace" working like the levels of humanity in "Vampire: the Masquerade". If you are very good then your score of grace is high, and with 20, the top, you are practically a saint, literally.

My house rule is spells with aligment key can hurt enemies with same aligment but different allegiance(family, nation, religion, brotherhood, guild), for example a drow cleric vs a orc shaman (then being neutral wouldn't help to avoid worse damage). And I add allegiance to aligment, even when these could be opposite. For example a fanatic witch-hunter would be evil-aligment with good allegiance, and a sheriff who breaks rules to fight the crime would be caothic aligment with law allegiance.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Speaking from personal experience...

I really don't think it will. It's just transforming one form of energy into another. Acrimonious debates about whether Batman is Lawful because he has a personal code and fights crime, or Chaotic because he works outside the system and distrusts any form of central authority that isn't himself, are more than ample evidence to me that Law and Chaos are just as fraught.
I blanket write off all batman alignment arguments. Every person who uses them takes from 12 different batmans to make their case.
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Ah well. Thought it might be a neat idea for those still wanting the mechanical aspects of alignment.
I appreciate the effort, but I dont think alignment needs to be more complex to satisfy folks.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Speaking from personal experience...

I really don't think it will. It's just transforming one form of energy into another. Acrimonious debates about whether Batman is Lawful because he has a personal code and fights crime, or Chaotic because he works outside the system and distrusts any form of central authority that isn't himself, are more than ample evidence to me that Law and Chaos are just as fraught.
I find that Law/Chaos is more fraught than Good/Evil. But that's the point of shifting to an "alignment = allegiance" model instead of "alignment = behavior." All you have to do is ask: Which side of the cosmic conflict between Law and Chaos has Batman cast his allegiance with?

Presuming that "criminals and supervillains" are the DCU equivalent of cosmic Chaos, and "police and the Justice League" are Law, then Batman has certainly picked the latter. And that's all you need to know. He's Lawful. His behavior is irrelevant.

Now, anyone who makes the effort of picking a faction has a reason for doing so. Maybe you approve of that faction's goals, or you feel comfortable working within it, or all your friends are there... whatever. Furthermore, people tend to adapt themselves to the groups in which they live and work. Therefore, most people in the Law faction will exhibit "law-like" traits. But you'll also get the occasional "chaos-like" oddball who had some strange reason to hook up with Law. And likewise, Chaos will have a handful of "law-like" people who chose Chaos. I regard this as a feature rather than a bug--it adds a new dimension to the system and opens up cool RP options.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I find that Law/Chaos is more fraught than Good/Evil. But that's the point of shifting to an "alignment = allegiance" model instead of "alignment = behavior." All you have to do is ask: Which side of the cosmic conflict between Law and Chaos has Batman cast his allegiance with?

Presuming that "criminals and supervillains" are the DCU equivalent of cosmic Chaos, and "police and the Justice League" are Law, then Batman has certainly picked the latter. And that's all you need to know. He's Lawful. His behavior is irrelevant.

Now, anyone who makes the effort of picking a faction has a reason for doing so. Maybe you approve of that faction's goals, or you feel comfortable working within it, or all your friends are there... whatever. Furthermore, people tend to adapt themselves to the groups in which they live and work. Therefore, most people in the Law faction will exhibit "law-like" traits. But you'll also get the occasional "chaos-like" oddball who had some strange reason to hook up with Law. And likewise, Chaos will have a handful of "law-like" people who chose Chaos. I regard this as a feature rather than a bug--it adds a new dimension to the system and opens up cool RP options.
While I personally find this very interesting, I suspect a lot of folks who like alignment enough to want to keep it would have issues. That is, by making it so behavior explicitly and completely does not matter, you may have made it something other than what (many) fans would consider "alignment" to be.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I blanket write off all batman alignment arguments. Every person who uses them takes from 12 different batmans to make their case.
Then consider Monks being required to be Lawful in 3e despite the whole "drunken master" archetype, while Bards have to be Chaotic despite the rote memorization and practice required to do a goodly amount of performance art.

I appreciate the effort, but I dont think alignment needs to be more complex to satisfy folks.
Alright.
 

Shiroiken

Legend
The best thing (possibly the only good thing) that 4e did for alignment was the introduction of Unaligned. Add that to the existing nine alignments, and you cover both the 'active' and 'inactive' flavours of Neutrality.

That said, if I still used alignment I'd be strongly inclined to remove Neutral as an option for PCs - require them to pick a side!

(That would give eight options for alignment: LG, G, CG, L, C, LE, E, and CE.)
I would go the other direction and give 10 options: LG, NG, CG, LN, TN, CN, LE, NE, CE, U. The classic 9 are tied to the four fundamental forces of Law, Chaos, Good, and Evil, with the Balance between them. Unaligned is for unintelligent beings and those who deliberately choose not to care. I can see the argument for avoiding PC's being unaligned, but choosing True Neutral is making a choice.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Then consider Monks being required to be Lawful in 3e despite the whole "drunken master" archetype, while Bards have to be Chaotic despite the rote memorization and practice required to do a goodly amount of performance art.
3E varied the alignments per class to try and shuffle parties up, and/or avoid some overpowered multiclass combos. On one hand, I like the idea of parties being varied, on the other, I am not in favor of tying abilities to strict behavioral adherences. Moving away from that trend is not something you will hear me protest.

However, I'm not sure what a precludes a drunken monk from being lawful? Nor do I see why a chaotic person cant be disciplined?
 


EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
3E varied the alignments per class to try and shuffle parties up, and/or avoid some overpowered multiclass combos. On one hand, I like the idea of parties being varied, on the other, I am not in favor of tying abilities to strict behavioral adherences. Moving away from that trend is not something you will hear me protest.

However, I'm not sure what a precludes a drunken monk from being lawful? Nor do I see why a chaotic person cant be disciplined?
...which would be a great demonstration of how Law and Chaos can be controversial.

Having had a family member go through alcoholism and get out the other side, yeah, being drunk all the time (note that I said the archetype, not the style; the former almost always actually DOES have to drink alcohol to use their powers, the latter simply uses moves which sway like a drunken person) is absolutely a Chaotic thing, and terribly self-destructive.

But there's not really much point in debating it. The fact that we disagree at all--and that both of us find it strange that the other could disagree--is ample demonstration that the thing in question isn't anything like "commonly agreed."
 


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