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D&D 5E The October D&D Book is Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons

As revealed by Nerd Immersion by deciphering computer code from D&D Beyond!

Fizban the Fabulous is, of course, the accident-prone, befuddled alter-ego of Dragonlance’s god of good dragons, Paladine, the platinum dragon (Dragonlance’s version of Bahamut).

Which makes my guess earlier this year spot on!

UPDATE -- the book now has a description!



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EEA82AF0-58EA-457E-B1CA-9CD5DCDF4035.jpeg

Fizban the Fabulous by Vera Gentinetta
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
What data does "Chaotic Evil" tell you? And more specifically, how does it help you differentiate between a chaotic evil orc and a chaotic evil red dragon and a chaotic evil werewolf? Do they all perform the exact same type of evil? Do they all think the same sort of evil thoughts? Do they all have the exact same goals and motivations?
So those questions show a fundamental lack of understanding of alignment. It's a loose tool to help with personalities. That's it. You could have 3 different orcs who are CE evil in different ways. All CE orcs are not the same. If this tool doesn't help you, that's okay. You don't have to use it. Those of us who do understand it make great use of it.
 

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Bolares

Hero
I can't believe I'm gonna defend alignment, as I basically don't use it anymore. But alignment doesn't need to differentiate between an chaotic evil orc and dragon. It's just shorthand, just a guide for the DM to start roleplaying that NPC. I don't think it's necessary, but it is a tool for those who like it
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I can't believe I'm gonna defend alignment, as I basically don't use it anymore. But alignment doesn't need to differentiate between an chaotic evil orc and dragon. It's just shorthand, just a guide for the DM to start roleplaying that NPC. I don't think it's necessary, but it is a tool for those who like it
Exactly.
 

What data does "Chaotic Evil" tell you? And more specifically, how does it help you differentiate between a chaotic evil orc and a chaotic evil red dragon and a chaotic evil werewolf? Do they all perform the exact same type of evil? Do they all think the same sort of evil thoughts? Do they all have the exact same goals and motivations?

But you could say the same thing about "orc", "red dragon", or "werewolf" as well. What does "orc" tell you about that particular orc's motivations? Do they all do the same orc actions, etc? Any collective description comes at the expense of describing the individual, whether it be alignment, race, or anything else for that matter. It's all just shorthand so that they don't need to publish unique stats and lengthy backstories for each and every individual. Exceptions and nuances are up to the DM, should they wish to include them...
 
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Faolyn

Hero
If you read and understood my prior post, then you know that "because they're evil" isn't a reason at all. You would have understood that alignment is simply a method(if you opt in) for the DM to interpret HOW they are warlike and aggressive.
Which makes "evil" a useless descriptor.

I have enough to worry about. I'll sit down and do in depth thinking for important NPCs and Monsters, but not for run of the mill monster encounters. If YOU want to worry about them all, you can opt into that. Alignment should be there for those of us like me who don't want to do that kind of thing for a group of orcs or whatever for the party to fight.
So you're saying that, if you want the PCs to fight some bad guys, you'd rather go through the MM to determine which monsters are evil, in the right terrain, and of the appropriate CR, rather than grab any monster that's in the right terrain and of appropriate CR?

Determining alignment makes you go through a whole 'nother step there. If you have enough to worry about, then make it easier on yourself by removing alignment and opening up more options.

Like when you say that it's up to the DM to determine how a creature is warlike, then also saying the monster is evil is an unnecessary step and puts unnecessary limits on how the DM can play those monsters, especially if there's another monster with a similar description but is given the neutral or good alignment. As an example, elves. A lot of people have pointed out the rather awful things elves have canonically done. According to the 5e MM, elves tried to genocide quaggoths in order to seize their lands, and quaggoths only survived by fleeing underground. I've seen people suggest that Mystaran elves caused unnecessary ecological problems by controlling the weather in a way to make Alfheim into an elven paradise (and thus creating a rainshadow). I admit I don't know if that's canon, but the Mystaran maps I've seen seem to support that idea. Elves in most settings are fairly bigoted, and those in Spelljammer were outright fascist. But elves, as a D&D race, are most often chaotic good.

(Is it because elves are pretty and orcs aren't?)

And by putting an alignment there, it makes it difficult to DMs to have a race be different on their own world without having to repeatedly remind people that no, on this world, orcs are mostly neutral and get their aggressions out by becoming mercenaries or playing orcball.

It was actually "often" that was 40-50%. That's what orcs were. "Usually" was simply a majority, so as low as 50.01%. I misremembered.
So that means that WotC itself didn't use its own metrics, which means they're utterly pointless and unsupported--especially since as pro-alignment people frequently like to say, DMs can decide that a particular monster is any alignment they want. Just like, if there's no alignment listed

That was up to the DM. If the DM didn't do that, that's the DM's fault.
That's... a really stupid argument. It's like saying that if WotC put out a broken spell or archetype, it's the DM's fault for not homebrewing a solution.
 

Remathilis

Legend
I can't believe I'm gonna defend alignment, as I basically don't use it anymore. But alignment doesn't need to differentiate between an chaotic evil orc and dragon. It's just shorthand, just a guide for the DM to start roleplaying that NPC. I don't think it's necessary, but it is a tool for those who like it
One of it's biggest uses was random encounter tables, where they would give the DM in a small amount of words the tendencies of the encounter.

Imagine a forest rain encounter table with the following encounters: unicorn, orc, dryad, green dragon. If told you nothing else about these encounters, you could use alignment as a starting point for each encounter. The unicorn is probably going to be a benevolent encounter (assuming the PCs aren't evil), the dryad may or may not be, the orcs will most likely be a violent one, while the dragon will likewise be antagonistic. The DM can fill in details or subvert expectations, but if they're not in the mood, you have a decent starting point to determine what this encounter might look like.
 

Faolyn

Hero
But you could say the same thing about "orc", "red dragon", or "werewolf" as well. What does "orc" tell you about that particular orc's motivations? Do they all do the same orc actions, etc? Any collective description comes at the expense of describing the individual, whether it be alignment, race, or anything else for that matter. It's all just shorthand so that they don't need to publish unique stats and lengthy backstories for each and every individual. Exceptions and nuances are up to the DM, should they wish to include them...
"Orc" isn't a descriptor. You can say that orcs tend to act in a particular way and that's fine if you aren't using moralistic language with those ways. You don't need to publish unique descriptors for each and every individual.

If you say that orcs are chaotic evil, even if it's only "usually", then you are saying that all orcs act the same way. Except for that one orc over there, he's the exception.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Which makes "evil" a useless descriptor.
But only to you and those who don't understand alignment.
So you're saying that, if you want the PCs to fight some bad guys, you'd rather go through the MM to determine which monsters are evil, in the right terrain, and of the appropriate CR, rather than grab any monster that's in the right terrain and of appropriate CR?
No.
Determining alignment makes you go through a whole 'nother step there. If you have enough to worry about, then make it easier on yourself by removing alignment and opening up more options.
No it doesn't. I don't determine the alignment. It's already in the book as the default for me to choose to use if I want to. Having short descriptors like "warlike" and "aggressive" causes me to go through multiple additional steps, though.
Like when you say that it's up to the DM to determine how a creature is warlike, then also saying the monster is evil is an unnecessary step and puts unnecessary limits on how the DM can play those monsters, especially if there's another monster with a similar description but is given the neutral or good alignment. As an example, elves. A lot of people have pointed out the rather awful things elves have canonically done. According to the 5e MM, elves tried to genocide quaggoths in order to seize their lands, and quaggoths only survived by fleeing underground. I've seen people suggest that Mystaran elves caused unnecessary ecological problems by controlling the weather in a way to make Alfheim into an elven paradise (and thus creating a rainshadow). I admit I don't know if that's canon, but the Mystaran maps I've seen seem to support that idea. Elves in most settings are fairly bigoted, and those in Spelljammer were outright fascist. But elves, as a D&D race, are most often chaotic good.
Elves were "usually" CG, which meant that 50.01% or more of them were, yes.
(Is it because elves are pretty and orcs aren't?)
Nope. Lots of elves were not CG and lots of orcs were not CE. Both races were treated the same.
And by putting an alignment there, it makes it difficult to DMs to have a race be different on their own world without having to repeatedly remind people that no, on this world, orcs are mostly neutral and get their aggressions out by becoming mercenaries or playing orcball.
If by difficult you mean that it takes all of less than a second to make that decision, then sure. Otherwise that's just flat out wrong.

It takes less than a second to make the decision to have your orcs be LG and a few seconds to tell the players, "Orcs in this setting are LG." Unless your players are dumb as a stump, they're going to understand what LG orcs mean.

Same with your neutral orcball orcs. You're selling your players short in an effort to make alignment seem bad when it's really not.
So that means that WotC itself didn't use its own metrics, which means they're utterly pointless and unsupported--especially since as pro-alignment people frequently like to say, DMs can decide that a particular monster is any alignment they want. Just like, if there's no alignment listed
They did, though. I've shown in thread after thread that in the 3e Forgotten Realms, there were thousands of non-evil orcs living side by side with humans in a human country, including being in positions of power and authority. And then there were the orcs in 3e Eberron. I suspect if we combed through, we'd find even more examples.


That's... a really stupid argument. It's like saying that if WotC put out a broken spell or archetype, it's the DM's fault for not homebrewing a solution.
The tool isn't broken, though. Misuse is the fault of the person, not the tool. There was no "solution" as there was no problem. Nor did it require homebrew as it was RAW.
 

Faolyn

Hero
So those questions show a fundamental lack of understanding of alignment.
Of your interpretation of alignment. I've seen probably dozens of interpretations of alignments over the years. Why is yours better.
It's a loose tool to help with personalities. That's it. You could have 3 different orcs who are CE evil in different ways. All CE orcs are not the same.
Then how does that alignment help you determine their personality?

If this tool doesn't help you, that's okay. You don't have to use it. Those of us who do understand it make great use of it.
I'm still waiting for people to tell me how they make any use of it. So far, it always seems to be used as an circularly-reasoned afterthought. Basically every single conversation I've had on this goes as follows:

"I want there to be a bad guy race. Orcs are evil. Therefore, I will use orcs as the bad guy race."

Why are orcs evil?

"The books say that it's because they're warlike and aggressive."

Why are they warlike and aggressive?

"Because they're evil. Anyway, if you want there to be one or two orcs that aren't warlike and aggressive, you can make them. Even though everyone else in the entire world will think they're warlike and aggressive."

But why are they warlike and aggressive? What makes them that way? And why are there other races that are warlike and aggressive but listed as being neutral or good?

"Look, I just want to kill some orcs. Are you telling me my fun is wrong?"

No, but why not have zombies, constructs, demons, bandits, slavers, and cultists as bad guys? Why not have orcs be like humans, in that some are good, some are neutral, some are evil, and some are "it's complicated"?

"Because orcs are evil!" This last statement may also take the form of "Oh, well, we might as well make demons good now!" or "so now all people who murder travelers for their money are evil, hmm?" or "You're using alignment wrong! You have to use it exactly like I do to use it right"
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Of your interpretation of alignment. I've seen probably dozens of interpretations of alignments over the years. Why is yours better.
I don't care if it's better or worse than other interpretations and misinterpretations. You made an absolute declaration that "evil" was useless and since it's not useless to those great many of us who understand alignment, your declaration is objectively wrong. It's only useless to YOU.
Then how does that alignment help you determine their personality?
As a loose tool describing the possible ways to play that alignment.
I'm still waiting for people to tell me how they make any use of it. So far, it always seems to be used as an circularly-reasoned afterthought. Basically every single conversation I've had on this goes as follows:

"I want there to be a bad guy race. Orcs are evil. Therefore, I will use orcs as the bad guy race."

Why are orcs evil?

"The books say that it's because they're warlike and aggressive."

Why are they warlike and aggressive?

"Because they're evil. Anyway, if you want there to be one or two orcs that aren't warlike and aggressive, you can make them. Even though everyone else in the entire world will think they're warlike and aggressive."

But why are they warlike and aggressive? What makes them that way? And why are there other races that are warlike and aggressive but listed as being neutral or good?

"Look, I just want to kill some orcs. Are you telling me my fun is wrong?"
Meh. A few individuals say that. Most of the arguments, and I know you see them because you are in the many alignment threads, simply go like this.

Our side: "Alignment is useful as a loose tool to help DMs roleplay monsters and NPCs by providing a starting point to jump off of. Oh, and new players and less creative players also make use of it. If you don't like it, you don't have to use it."

Your side" "But alignment is always bad, because I hate it due to mechanics that haven't been present for 13 years, and there is no use for it, because I don't understand it. It has to be gotten rid of so that you guys can't use it, either.
 

"Orc" isn't a descriptor. You can say that orcs tend to act in a particular way and that's fine if you aren't using moralistic language with those ways. You don't need to publish unique descriptors for each and every individual.

If you say that orcs are chaotic evil, even if it's only "usually", then you are saying that all orcs act the same way. Except for that one orc over there, he's the exception.

So, you are seeming to define any alignment, such as "chaotic evil", as a single, precisely defined behavior, that will cause any creature defined as such to behave in the exact same manner as any other so defined. However, most of the rest of us in this thread see any particular alignment as a quite large spectrum of behaviors that fall under a big tent (or nine big tents in this case), so that creatures defined as such would behave similarly, but with a lot of room for individuality, which may indeed even bleed into neighboring alignments.

So, as these viewpoints are incompatible with each other and you seem very set on your POV, I'm not sure exactly what more I (or anyone else agreeing with my viewpoint) can add to this conversation, so I must regretfully drop out of this part of this thread's conversation...
 

Faolyn

Hero
Meh. A few individuals say that. Most of the arguments, and I know you see them because you are in the many alignment threads, simply go like this.
You've said those things.

Our side: "Alignment is useful as a loose tool to help DMs roleplay monsters and NPCs by providing a starting point to jump off of. Oh, and new players and less creative players also make use of it. If you don't like it, you don't have to use it."
I've asked you and many others to describe how alignment is actually useful. So far, the answer has always just been "I find it useful." Which is not an answer.

So go on. Show me what Chaotic Evil means to you with three different monsters.

Your side" "But alignment is always bad, because I hate it due to mechanics that haven't been present for 13 years, and there is no use for it, because I don't understand it. It has to be gotten rid of so that you guys can't use it, either.
I don't care about those mechanics at all. You and others keep bringing it up like it means something.
 

Faolyn

Hero
So, you are seeming to define any alignment, such as "chaotic evil", as a single, precisely defined behavior, that will cause any creature defined as such to behave in the exact same manner as any other so defined. However, most of the rest of us in this thread see any particular alignment as a quite large spectrum of behaviors that fall under a big tent (or nine big tents in this case), so that creatures defined as such would behave similarly, but with a lot of room for individuality, which may indeed even bleed into neighboring alignments.
So if chaotic evil, or any other alignment, can't or shouldn't be precisely defined, then what do you find useful in it when determining the behavior of individuals and races, and what do you do when there's two monsters that act in similar ways but are given different alignments?

And more importantly, why should entire races be defined using a single primary alignment?
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
One of it's biggest uses was random encounter tables, where they would give the DM in a small amount of words the tendencies of the encounter.

Imagine a forest rain encounter table with the following encounters: unicorn, orc, dryad, green dragon. If told you nothing else about these encounters, you could use alignment as a starting point for each encounter. The unicorn is probably going to be a benevolent encounter (assuming the PCs aren't evil), the dryad may or may not be, the orcs will most likely be a violent one, while the dragon will likewise be antagonistic. The DM can fill in details or subvert expectations, but if they're not in the mood, you have a decent starting point to determine what this encounter might look like.
That, and Adventures and Settings. It's the helpful to know if King is Lawful Neutral or Neutral Good, 8fthe Bishop is Lawful Good or Neutral Evil, if the Captain of the Guard is Lawful Evil or True Neutral. It helps populate a Dramatis Personae with few words and leaving plenty of room for DM interpretation.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You've said those things.
So have most others in the threads, as well as liking my posts when I say it.
I've asked you and many others to describe how alignment is actually useful. So far, the answer has always just been "I find it useful." Which is not an answer.
It's actually WE find it useful, which is an answer. We've also specifically said to you that we use it as a loose tool to guide us as a stepping off point for running monsters. that's an explicit answer for how we find it useful.

What you're asking for is a very specific, "CE means exactly this and nothing more." and you aren't going to get it, because alignment isn't meant to be specific like that. It's not a straightjacket, but instead is just a general tool to AID in roleplay, not dictate it.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Save have most others in the thread, as well as liking my posts when I say it.
So it's more than a "few individuals."

Almost like all y'all have the alignment "chaotic obstructionist."

It's actually WE find it useful, which is an answer. We've also specifically said to you that we use it as a loose tool to guide us as a stepping off point for running monsters. that's an explicit answer for how we find it useful.

What you're asking for is a very specific, "CE means exactly this and nothing more." and you aren't going to get it, because alignment isn't meant to be specific like that. It's not a straightjacket, but instead is just a general tool to AID in roleplay, not dictate it.
No, what I'm asking for is for you to tell me what about any particular alignment is actually useful, what about it guides you, what provides a stepping-off point.

Right now, your answer is "it's useful because it's useful," which is not a useful answer and doesn't actually do anything to make alignment actually seem worthwhile.

So, seriously. Pick three different monster species with the same alignment. Preferably living, mortal monsters, not monsters that can be described as being preprogramed by dint of being alien-minded entities or beings corrupted by negative energy. Then describe how that alignment provides you with a tool to aid in how you roleplay those three species. Teach me, since you keep saying I'm doing it wrong. Show me the right way.

And then please explain what you do when you have two monsters with similar MOs but drastically different alignments, because clearly I'm not understanding them. Like, why elves are usually chaotic good even when shown as to be bigots willing to commit genocide over land grabs, but orcs are usually chaotic evil when they do the same thing. You didn't answer that. You just went back to talking about percentages, which I don't care about.
 

I would be perfectly happy if every future monster source used the "typical" alignment idea coupled with the personality aspects, like they're doing in Fizban's. Seems like a great compromise, and adding is always better than subtracting in RPG material.
 

So if chaotic evil, or any other alignment, can't or shouldn't be precisely defined, then what do you find useful in it when determining the behavior of individuals and races, and what do you do when there's two monsters that act in similar ways but are given different alignments?

And more importantly, why should entire races be defined using a single primary alignment?
Sigh. It's like colors. A book says a creature is green. As an analogy on how you are attempting to define alignment, you would be saying "green" is one specific pantone, only that pantone, and all creatures described as green must conform to that exact pantone. While the rest of us understand that green covers thousands of different, but still similar hues, and that some of those monsters might be olive green, or forest green, or sea foam green. Some of them might even bleed over to adjacent colors, and be blue-green or yellow-green! The fact that "green" as a descriptor covers thousands of possibilities doesn't invalidate it as a tool, nor does it make it any less useful...
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
So it's more than a "few individuals."

Almost like all y'all have the alignment "chaotic obstructionist."
Yes. More than "a few individuals" are saying what I am saying, and only a very few individuals come anywhere close to that claptrap you posed above about circular reasoning.
No, what I'm asking for is for you to tell me what about any particular alignment is actually useful, what about it guides you, what provides a stepping-off point.
Open up the 3e PHB and read the alignment section and it should be clear. The 5e alignment section is a pile of poo. One sentence isn't much help to anyone.
Right now, your answer is "it's useful because it's useful," which is not a useful answer and doesn't actually do anything to make alignment actually seem worthwhile.
I'm not going to explain to you what you can just read in the 3e book. It's too much typing.
So, seriously. Pick three different monster species with the same alignment. Preferably living, mortal monsters, not monsters that can be described as being preprogramed by dint of being alien-minded entities or beings corrupted by negative energy. Then describe how that alignment provides you with a tool to aid in how you roleplay those three species. Teach me, since you keep saying I'm doing it wrong. Show me the right way.
Each alignment gives a variety of ways that fit within it. Those ways are written vaguely enough that I can extrapolate other similar ways that would also fit within the alignment. Since I know what those ways are, it's easy for me to drum up a quick personality for a monster, which I can then add to or tweak.
And then please explain what you do when you have two monsters with similar MOs but drastically different alignments, because clearly I'm not understanding them. Like, why elves are usually chaotic good even when shown as to be bigots willing to commit genocide over land grabs, but orcs are usually chaotic evil when they do the same thing. You didn't answer that. You just went back to talking about percentages, which I don't care about.
That's easy. An alignment isn't a straightjacket and nobody fits entirely within one. You can be a generally good individually who is also a bigot. Genocides don't taint a race forever. Perhaps those that engaged in them were evil, but that doesn't make all elves evil now.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Sigh. It's like colors. A book says a creature is green. As an analogy on how you are attempting to define alignment, you would be saying "green" is one specific pantone, only that pantone, and all creatures described as green must conform to that exact pantone. While the rest of us understand that green covers thousands of different, but still similar hues, and that some of those monsters might be olive green, or forest green, or sea foam green. Some of them might even bleed over to adjacent colors, and be blue-green or yellow-green! The fact that "green" as a descriptor covers thousands of possibilities doesn't invalidate it as a tool, nor does it make it any less useful...
Except that you shouldn't be killing people because they're green. But you can kill people for acting in an evil manner. So I need a bit more of a definition than just "it's like color."

(Also, pantone is a brand; you want words like hue when you're discussing color.)

(Also, green has a specific definition, defined partially by its wavelength in the visible spectrum. Everything else is green plus one or more additional color.)
 

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