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


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LightPhoenix

First Post
I disagree. Alignment doesn't exist within normal RL people so why should characters that are supposed to be complex and interesting have to stick to some arbitrarily decided moral code.

Because we're not talking about real life and real people, we're talking about D&D. Leaving aside all the in-game arguments (gods exist and are known, etc) the big meta-game argument is that D&D, at it's core, is basically good versus evil. Sure, the system can be used to play more morally complex games, but more often than not it's about good heroes and evil villains.
 

Flipguarder

First Post
Because we're not talking about real life and real people, we're talking about D&D. Leaving aside all the in-game arguments (gods exist and are known, etc) the big meta-game argument is that D&D, at it's core, is basically good versus evil. Sure, the system can be used to play more morally complex games, but more often than not it's about good heroes and evil villains.

Emphasis mine.

This is entierly your opinion and has no basis in any rule in any book of 4th edition.

It can be the way YOU play and that's totally fine. But your gaming style doesn't apply to what I like and appreciate about D&D. Nor what I think is "absurd" or not.
 

DracoSuave

First Post
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?

Alignment was always terribad. It was bad in BECMI, bad in Advanced, bad in 3rd edition, and it's mostly bad now.

The only alignment that matters is that of monsters, and the only time it matters is with very few paragon paths. Other than that, it's just a guideline for possibly morality that can be tossed aside or used as appropriate.
 

FreeTheSlaves

Adventurer
Alignment is merely a moral structural tool for players (including dm) in a game of imagined fantasy.

4E is particularly forgiving about discarding it if it's unnecessary to your game, as there isn't any mechanical consequences.

So really the power is with you the player and your group about what you want.
 

Kinneus

Explorer
I have to admit, this is something that turned me off about 4e initially. I've pretty much gotten over it, but dang, I miss my Chaotic Good.

I agree with the design philosophy of removing alignment from the mechanics of the gameworld. That was a great decision. But why can't it remain as part of the fluff? It was such an interesting little philosophical question to ponder... what separates Lawful Good from Chaotic Good? How would a Lawful Good paladin react to, say, the situation in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure? Would he side with Antonio, or recommend mercy?

Also, I feel like the concept of 'alignment' was one of the few things that intrigued people who were otherwise turned off by D&D. People who weren't even interested in D&D still enjoyed talking about alignment with me, you know, the classic "what alignment is Batman?" sort of questions. I hope if there is ever a 5th edition that they re-introduce alignment, but as purely a construct of fluff, not crunch. It just feels like an important part of D&D's "mystique" to me, and I frankly miss it, warts and all.
 

Kinneus

Explorer
This one made me laugh. I'm trying to imagine a special interest group that would complain about this...
Dear Wizards of the Coast,

We're writing you today to express our concern over your continued bigotry and close-mindedness regarding alignment. Year after year, edition after edition, players are encouraged to be not only Good, but Lawful. Your fine corporation seems to believe that just because agents of chaos and evil seek to extinguish all of reality in a swirling hellfire of primeval nothingness that we are somehow "the bad guys."

We've also been keeping an eye on your hiring practices, and according to our sources, the overwhelming majority of your staff trend toward both Good and Lawful. Chaotic employees can be a major asset; the occasional battle-axe wielding rampage through the marketing department is a small price to pay for a being capable of thinking outside the box, or indeed, outside of what you so foolishly call "reality." We ask you to please re-examine your frankly discriminatory practices, lest we be forced to take legal action against you and/or rape your souls with a veritable carnival of mind-shattering agonies not meant to be known by man or god.

Sincerely,
Mr. Trestrigammarumadethintrasisollamarget,
Chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of the Slaad Master Race, Conquerors of All Conceivable Realities (NAASMRCACR)

P.S.- Ineffable crayon orgies recycle halfling tarnishes in the unblinking organ of the red banana hand-god intestinal bicycle chiming port scar! Pus wrinkling mind-stampings waltz in churlish green thoughts of fuzzy transubstantiation!
 

Nahat Anoj

First Post
I still think it was a bad move. And not having any alignment at all, would be absurd.
I think if I ever run D&D again, I'm just going to drop the idea of alignment all together. It's turned out more trouble than it's worth IMO.

Having said that, I do think it wouldn't hurt for 4e to have two new alignments: Lawful and Chaotic. It's always been weird to me why Erathis and Kord should share the same alignment when they both have very different perspectives IMO.
 
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I look at it this way, if you just need alignment as a simple way to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys then why do you need a 9-point alignment system? The 4e version provides that simple distinction as-is. If OTOH you want to build a game around subtle moral distinctions and ambiguity then why do you want anything as simplistic as alignment at all? Even if you DO want alignment there are other equally valid and interesting scales to use besides law/chaos, and good/evil, so why not be free to explore those as well? The 9 point system was both overly complex and at the same time overly simplistic.
 

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