D&D General Rethinking alignment yet again


log in or register to remove this ad



The Devil is an invention that predates us by a bit more than two thousand years and yet there are people actively believing it will come to tempt them and blame him for all sorts of thing... A scarecrow is still a scarecrow.

Taking bad experiences from the past and putting them back to the front is a thing that happens all the time on various experiences and topics. This is nothing new. We have a say in French: "A cat burned by hot water fears cold water". In other words, if it looks like something that hurt you; there's a big chance you will not even go near it. This is what we are seeing.
My opposition of alignment is not due such bad experiences, I just feel alignment is painfully dumb and the game would be better without it. It is a terrible way to characterise things to begin with, and it fosters simplistic us vs them narratives and often is used justification for uncomfortable apologism for (fictional) racial violence.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
My opposition of alignment is not due such bad experiences, I just feel alignment is painfully dumb and the game would be better without it. It is a terrible way to characterise things to begin with, and it fosters simplistic us vs them narratives and often is used justification for uncomfortable apologism for (fictional) racial violence.
If people like something, that has been in the game for a long time, is the cornerstone of a beloved setting (Planescape), is deeply entrenched in pop culture, and is actually useful to many people, it should not be wholly removed. As has been said many times, if you don't like it, don't use it.
 

Oofta

Legend
My opposition of alignment is not due such bad experiences, I just feel alignment is painfully dumb and the game would be better without it. It is a terrible way to characterise things to begin with, and it fosters simplistic us vs them narratives and often is used justification for uncomfortable apologism for (fictional) racial violence.
Some of us want simplistic 80% of the time. D&D is often an escape from the real world, sometimes I want it to be simple. Even if ... actually especially if ... real world morality is a quagmire. Well, except for pineapple on pizza. Chaotic. Definitely chaotic.
 


My opposition of alignment is not due such bad experiences, I just feel alignment is painfully dumb and the game would be better without it. It is a terrible way to characterise things to begin with, and it fosters simplistic us vs them narratives and often is used justification for uncomfortable apologism for (fictional) racial violence.
Racial violence is part of games without alignments too. Even more so than I ever thought possible. There is a reason I do not play some games. I have seen horrors that alignments would have refrained, made impossible to do without losing the character (remember my no Evil policy?). I am not going to talk about these bad experiences with alignmentless systems in any details but believe me, I would be instabanned just retelling what I saw. Alignment can be very good to stop these stupidities.
 




RuinousPowers

Adventurer
Racial violence is part of games without alignments too. Even more so than I ever thought possible. There is a reason I do not play some games. I have seen horrors that alignments would have refrained, made impossible to do without losing the character (remember my no Evil policy?). I am not going to talk about these bad experiences with alignmentless systems in any details but believe me, I would be instabanned just retelling what I saw. Alignment can be very good to stop these stupidities.
Dealing with out of game problems using in-game mechanics isn't how you handle bad player behavior.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Dealing with out of game problems using in-game mechanics isn't how you handle bad player behavior.

I have to believe some folks on here have observed a character taking their player's well deserved lightning bolt from the heavens.

(But sure, it being funny in rare cases isn't a great reason for doing it).
 

Dealing with out of game problems using in-game mechanics isn't how you handle bad player behavior.
100% agree. Unfortunately, sometimes the behavior springs from nowhere and bites you. Alignment can help refrain bad behaviors from the start unless the problem is deeper than too much beer and pineapple pizza...
 

payn

Legend
I have to believe some folks on here have observed a character taking their player's well deserved lightning bolt from the heavens.

(But sure, it being funny in rare cases isn't a great reason for doing it).
I agree, using alignment to fix player behavior is a bad idea. Though, I haven't seen anyone do it since grade school so not an issue for me.
 

I agree, using alignment to fix player behavior is a bad idea. Though, I haven't seen anyone do it since grade school so not an issue for me.
And I the same. It is easy in an alignmentless system to go boom crazy on some RP depending on where the game is going. Add a bit of beer and some illicit substances which I never advocated. And you sometimes get slides off the roads that were neither wanted nor expected but which happened the same. This is why I no longer allow anything more than a beer or two at my table and banned anything else.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I don't find these labels useful, just like I don't find the OP's idea that each race has its own alignment axis useful. And frankly, I'm amazed how many people think these are needed to visualize a character. In my experience alignment has always just been a vaguely worded stick for DMs to wave at players.
Just because YOU don't need alignment or find it useful, doesn't mean that a whole lot of other people don't. If you don't find it useful, don't use it. Nobody is forcing you.

As a player I write down the letters that are the closest approximation to the personality that I've come up with for my character and then completely forget about alignment and just roleplay my PC the way I envisioned him. The only reason I do that is because it's a place on the sheet and I don't like to see it empty, not because I use alignment.

As a DM I find alignment invaluable. I have neither the time nor inclination to come up with a complex personality for every NPC and monster the PCs are going to meet, so alignment is what I use to build generic NPC/monster RP off of. I only build a personality for important NPCs and monsters.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Alignment doesn't tell you why something is being encountered.
Alignment doesn't tell you what they had for lunch, either. Not that either one matters, because alignment isn't supposed to do either one of those things.
And having shorthand knowledge that every creature of a given alignment has the same motivations is as silly as you claiming you wouldn't be able to understand them without a convenient label.
Here's the thing, and it shows that you really don't understand alignment. Every creature of LE alignment doesn't have the same motivations. Having the shorthand is much easier and faster than having to read and memorize paragraphs about each individual creature, and saves on space in the MM. Why should we have to pay more for a much larger book just so you can have creature motivations spelled out for you in the write up?
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
"Don't like it' don't use it"

~Looks at other places on the forum and in thi thread that celebrate DMs ruling with an iron fist and kicking people out for not respecting their authoritah~

Yup. That's a thing everyone can choose.
Literally everyone who doesn't have a bad DM who is abusing his authority can choose it, yes. The rest should leave the game and find a decent DM.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top