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

Jhaelen

First Post
Alignment is a useless vestige that (personally) I've outgrown.
Ditto. Thousands of rpgs work perfectly well without alignments. There are lots of ways to better implement something similar mechanically (if you feel you need it).

Also, it doesn't really change a thing in 4e if you continue using the old alignments.
 

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Well, I hate to muddy the issue up, but I'm seeing a common misconception in this thread.

The five-point alignment system in 4E is not a progression. LG is not "gooder" (sic) than G, and CE is not "eviler" than E.

It's not a line. It's a true 5-point system. It's just that the points aren't equidistant.

Let's see if this comes out looking right:

LG....G
..\....|
...\...|
....\..|
.....\.|
......U
......|.\
......|..\
......|...\
......|....\
......E....CE

IOW, LG and G are both "equally good," they're just different in other ways. Ditto E and CE.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I still think it was a bad move. And not having any alignment at all, would be absurd.

Many alternatives exist.... for instance you can have a series of virtues and vices which are promoted religion by religion or you have a relationship metric deity by deity. I find the alignment system so poorly defined.. that using it is detrimental.
 

jbear

First Post
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.
I guess one of the advantages of alignment being mechanically irrelevant is that, as it is pure fluff, with a slash of your pen you can refluff it to however you like and there are absolutely no far reaching consequences to the game.

What is even better is that I can do the same, only my way.

You said it yourself: No mechanics, so everyone is happy (except for those who not only dislike the change of alignment but also the lack of mechanics, ofc). We both can have our cake (mine might be chocolate with a hundreds and thousands on top and yours ... well I'm not going to presume to know what yours is, lets just say different, but nice also), and eat it too.
 

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"

Although D&D has *always* had that bias, IMHO, going all the way back to original AD&D. I've been annoyed for years by the constant implication that Lawful Good is the "real" good alignment, and NG and CG are just pretenders. Instead of fixing that favoritism in 4E, they codified it, which annoys me to no end. Like you, it's one of the few changes in 4E that I really hate. Fortunately alignment serves no crunch purpose in 4E, so it's easy enough to label my characters Chaotic Good anyway.
 

Ares

First Post
Blarg!

I'm surprised at how many people hated the old 9-point alignment system. Is it really that difficult to tell a CN character from a CE one? As far as I know, CN=selfish hippie and CE=sociopath. Big difference.
 

drothgery

First Post
I'm surprised at how many people hated the old 9-point alignment system. Is it really that difficult to tell a CN character from a CE one? As far as I know, CN=selfish hippie and CE=sociopath. Big difference.

There's very little difference between a CN character that cooperates with the party more often than not and a CG or N character. There's very little difference between a CN character that does his or her own thing no matter what the party wants more often than not and a CE character.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I'm surprised at how many people hated the old 9-point alignment system. Is it really that difficult to tell a CN character from a CE one? As far as I know, CN=selfish hippie and CE=sociopath. Big difference.
Change that.. to
CN/CE = Drug Pusher... hey the enable people to kill themselves not there fault right? see how its an incredibly subtle line.

Selfishness if a fundamental instinct it only becomes wrong in extremity.
 

Squire James

First Post
I think WoTC put a lot of thought into the issue of alignment in 4e, and eventually decided to put in a simple system that someone can easily change or eliminate. They have to accommodate lots of people with lots of different views on morality, politics, and religion after all...

It's pretty simple to change it to a nine alignment system, a Good-Evil axis, a Law-Chaos axis, a system of one or two word descriptions of allegiance, or no system at all. Really, all this obsession over Rules as Written and Rules as Intended gets to me sometimes!
 

Ares

First Post
There's very little difference between a CN character that cooperates with the party more often than not and a CG or N character. There's very little difference between a CN character that does his or her own thing no matter what the party wants more often than not and a CE character.

Change that.. to
CN/CE = Drug Pusher... hey the enable people to kill themselves not there fault right? see how its an incredibly subtle line.

Selfishness if a fundamental instinct it only becomes wrong in extremity.
I think I understand the confusion a bit better now. I believe this arises because of a a fundamental misunderstanding of what the chaotic alignment means for a character. Chaotic only implies that character in question places a high priority on freedom. Law implies a love of order. Although there are exceptions in the Monster Manual (Slaad spring to mind) that is actually all there is to the Chaotic alignment.
CG would have emphasis on everyone's personal rights (ala Robin Hood) whereas the CN character would only put emphasis on his own/his close friends and family's personal freedoms (or as I like to call him, the selfish hippie).
LG would care about using order to benefit everyone at the cost of some personal freedom to the individual (the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few), a LN character would only care about the application of order onto the world regardless of moral distinction (I've always thought of the mad-but-not-necessarily-evil-scientist fitting this role) and the LE character would use order for their own ends or could also be the "principled villains" (Klingons).
Really the original 3.x SRD really sums it up just fine:
Description :: d20srd.org
Again, the confusion seems to relate to a misunderstanding of what the "chaotic" alignment means. It does not necessarily mean "random douche".;)
 

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