Why Did They Get Rid of the Law & Chaos Alignment?

I've been playing dnd for over 25 years, and I love every change in 4th edition, except for getting rid of the Lawful & Chaos alignments. It's no biggy, I simply still use them. But why the change? Is it more politically-correct or something? Was the company getting flack from special interest groups or something? Was it a marketing thing? (I heard that it makes it more like World of Warcraft). Was it to allow PC's more fexibility? What gives?
 
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Obryn

Hero
I've been playing dnd for over 25 years, and I love every change in 4th edition, except for getting rid of the Lawful & Chaos alignments. It's no biggy, I simply still use them. But why the change? Is it more politically-correct or something? Was the company getting flack from special interest groups or something? Was it a marketing thing? Was it to allow PC's more fexibility? What gives?
No idea. I let my players put whatever they want for Alignment, since it's been mechanically neutered at long last. And Unaligned is a choice now, which I simply love.

For what it's worth, I haven't regretted the loss. Evil basically = Neutral Evil or Lawful Evil. Good = Neutral Good or Chaotic Good.

-O
 

Kingreaper

Adventurer
What annoys me isn't getting rid of mention of the law-chaos axis of alignment.

It's the fact they kept chaotic evil and lawful good.

In essence, they're saying "obeying the law is better than merely being good; not sticking to tradition is worse than simply being evil"

If they'd just ignored that axis, *meh*, but as is, it put me off 4e for a very long time, because of it's sheer inanity.

Maybe it's just the fact that most of my PCs were chaotic good/neutral, and I personally find chaotic good the best alignment for a PC, and lawful evil the best for a villain, the idea that lawfulness is only possible for good people, and chaoticness only possible for evil grates me.


But 4e is a good game, so I just ignore that bit of the book, and go on with the more complex alignment. (I also add personality axes when I feel the need to define a character, resulting in things like: a Chaotic-Evil-Organised-Friendly characters, with their Neutral-Neutral-Spontaneous-Gruff friend)
 

cheard

First Post
Um, 4e doesn't eliminate law and chaos. It just places them at the extremes of the alignment spectrum, so that there's a linear progression from lawful good to chaotic evil. I think there were at least 3 reasons for this move:

1. Simplification. A 5-step spectrum is easier to navigate than a 9-position grid.

2. Elimination of the perceived CN problem. In AD&D through 3.5e, there was a perception that players would choose CN as a "non-evil" alignment, but would then basically take the CN alignment as a license to do whatever they wanted, sometimes in a very destructive fashion (in-game, that is). It became hard to distinguish between CN and CE.

3. Nostalgia. Original D&D had only three alignments: law, neutrality, and chaos. Back then, "law" was equivalent to "good." 4e brings back that element.
 

FreeTheSlaves

Adventurer
They said something along the lines that LE, LN, CG & CN were hard to differentiate.

LN & CN are now rolled into an expanded unaligned.

NG & NE are now simply Good & Evil

CG is now either Good or unaligned - you choose, ditto LE is now either Evil or unaligned.
 


Um, 4e doesn't eliminate law and chaos. It just places them at the extremes of the alignment spectrum, so that there's a linear progression from lawful good to chaotic evil. I think there were at least 3 reasons for this move:
I didn't even notice that there was a progression, but I saw a creature in the compendium that was listed as Chaotic Evil, and it confused me. Thanks
2. Elimination of the perceived CN problem. In AD&D through 3.5e, there was a perception that players would choose CN as a "non-evil" alignment, but would then basically take the CN alignment as a license to do whatever they wanted, sometimes in a very destructive fashion (in-game, that is). It became hard to distinguish between CN and CE.
Oh. Wow. The characters I knew who were CN, were just, basically, chaotic, but not evil. Whereas, the CE characters, were chaotic, and evil.
3. Nostalgia. Original D&D had only three alignments: law, neutrality, and chaos. Back then, "law" was equivalent to "good." 4e brings back that element.
Really. Most people (it seems) who play now, weren't even old enough too play back then, really. So that seems odd to me. And I don't recall there just being only 3 alignments, so no nostolgia for me :( (granted, it's been a long time)
They said something along the lines that LE, LN, CG & CN were hard to differentiate.
LN & CN are now rolled into an expanded unaligned.
NG & NE are now simply Good & Evil
CG is now either Good or unaligned - you choose, ditto LE is now either Evil or unaligned.
I think I understand now. I guess it's just that I had my own concrete concepts of those alignments (except for CN). I actually have more problems trying to distiguish, without them
 
 
 
 
 
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keterys

First Post
The real question is more why they didn't get rid of more :)

At any rate, I suggest thinking of it so:
Lawful Good is Good, but restricted by Law
Chaotic Evil is Evil, with no restrictions (ie, enlightened group interest, civilization, morality) to provide any redeeming virtue
 


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