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D&D 5E WotC's Jeremy Crawford Talks D&D Alignment Changes

Jeremy Crawford has spoken about changes to the way alignment will be referred to in future D&D books. It starts with a reminder that no rule in D&D dictates your alignment.

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Data from D&D Beyond in June 2019

(Note that in the transcript below, the questions in quotes were his own words but presumably refer to questions he's seen asked previously).

Friendly reminder: no rule in D&D mandates your character's alignment, and no class is restricted to certain alignments. You determine your character's moral compass. I see discussions that refer to such rules, yet they don't exist in 5th edition D&D.

Your character's alignment in D&D doesn't prescribe their behavior. Alignment describes inclinations. It's a roleplaying tool, like flaws, bonds, and ideals. If any of those tools don't serve your group's bliss, don't use them. The game's system doesn't rely on those tools.

D&D has general rules and exceptions to those rules. For example, you choose whatever alignment you want for your character at creation (general rule). There are a few magic items and other transformative effects that might affect a character's alignment (exceptions).

Want a benevolent green dragon in your D&D campaign or a sweet werewolf candlemaker? Do it. The rule in the Monster Manual is that the DM determines a monster's alignment. The DM plays that monster. The DM decides who that monster is in play.

Regarding a D&D monster's alignment, here's the general rule from the Monster Manual: "The alignment specified in a monster's stat block is the default. Feel free to depart from it and change a monster's alignment to suit the needs of your campaign."

"What about the Oathbreaker? It says you have to be evil." The Oathbreaker is a paladin subclass (not a class) designed for NPCs. If your DM lets you use it, you're already being experimental, so if you want to play a kindhearted Oathbreaker, follow your bliss!

"Why are player characters punished for changing their alignment?" There is no general system in 5th-edition D&D for changing your alignment and there are no punishments or rewards in the core rules for changing it. You can just change it. Older editions had such rules.

Even though the rules of 5th-edition D&D state that players and DMs determine alignment, the suggested alignments in our books have undeniably caused confusion. That's why future books will ditch such suggestions for player characters and reframe such things for the DM.

"What about the werewolf's curse of lycanthropy? It makes you evil like the werewolf." The DM determines the alignment of the werewolf. For example, the werewolf you face might be a sweetheart. The alignment in a stat block is a suggestion to the DM, nothing more.

"What about demons, devils, and angels in D&D? Their alignments can't change." They can change. The default story makes the mythological assumptions we expect, but the Monster Manual tells the DM to change any monster's alignment without hesitation to serve the campaign.

"You've reminded us that alignment is a suggestion. Does that mean you're not changing anything about D&D peoples after all?" We are working to remove racist tropes from D&D. Alignment is only one part of that work, and alignment will be treated differently in the future.

"Why are you telling us to ignore the alignment rules in D&D?" I'm not. I'm sharing what the alignment rules have been in the Player's Handbook & Monster Manual since 2014. We know that those rules are insufficient and have changes coming in future products.
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Aldarc

Legend
Considering entire handbooks have been written on the subject I disagree that the game isn't about playing characters of principle.
I'm saying that the game's culture and assumptions have changed since its Gygaxian genesis.

The answer is simple, alignment is a more broad and useful abstraction. As the DM, I don't have the time to write an oath for all my npcs or write a detailed psychoanalysis. . With alignment I can convey a wide range of principles to anyone wanting to pick up a module without having to write long lists of oaths and principles for each of my npcs, races, groups etc.
Considering how debatable this point has been for decades, I'm not sure if the answer is simple. Overly simplistic? Yes. Simple? No. And the idea that alignment is "a more...useful abstraction" would definitely require some extraordinary evidence for such an extraordinary claim.

Also, you don't have to write anything as a GM because - much as you said when you entered this thread - the books have already been printed, and in 5e paladins follow their oath rather than their alignment.
 

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dmgorgon

Explorer
I'm saying that the game's culture and assumptions have changed since its Gygaxian genesis.

Considering how debatable this point has been for decades, I'm not sure if the answer is simple. Overly simplistic? Yes. Simple? No. And the idea that alignment is "a more...useful abstraction" would definitely require some extraordinary evidence for such an extraordinary claim.

Also, you don't have to write anything as a GM because - much as you said when you entered this thread - the books have already been printed, and in 5e paladins follow their oath rather than their alignment.

What one edition takes away another will provide. Do you know what will be in 6e or 7e? I really don't think you will ever see alignment disappear. WotC can do as they wish, but the fan base remains, and they will do as they so please as well.

It's probably a safe bet that alignment is part of D&D and it's here to stay. Its one of those things that makes it 'feel' like D&D for many players. It's like the force in Star Wars, it's part of the lore. You can't discount a huge portion of the fan base and think that catering to a new generation players is going to help. The last edition tried all of that and it didn't work out very well. D&D is played by people across every generation.
 

Aldarc

Legend
What one edition takes away another will provide. Do you know what will be in 6e or 7e? I really don't think you will ever see alignment disappear. WotC can do as they wish, but the fan base remains, and they will do as they so please as well.

It's probably a safe bet that alignment is part of D&D and it's here to stay. Its one of those things that makes it 'feel' like D&D for many players. It's like the force in Star Wars, it's part of the lore. You can't discount a huge portion of the fan base and think that catering to a new generation players is going to help. The last edition tried all of that and it didn't work out very well. D&D is played by people across every generation.
Okay? But this new argument seems orthogonal to your previous point on the virtues and utility of alignment, not to mention what I wrote in your quotation.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
...
Considering how debatable this point has been for decades, I'm not sure if the answer is simple. Overly simplistic? Yes. Simple? No. And the idea that alignment is "a more...useful abstraction" would definitely require some extraordinary evidence for such an extraordinary claim.
...

If we took everything out of D&D that has been debated over the years there wouldn't be much of a game left. HP, AC, healing, Vancian casting, classes, sub-classes, ability scores ... well the list goes on.

You may not find it a useful abstraction, most people in my experience do find it handy.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
What one edition takes away another will provide. Do you know what will be in 6e or 7e? I really don't think you will ever see alignment disappear. WotC can do as they wish, but the fan base remains, and they will do as they so please as well.

It's probably a safe bet that alignment is part of D&D and it's here to stay. Its one of those things that makes it 'feel' like D&D for many players. It's like the force in Star Wars, it's part of the lore. You can't discount a huge portion of the fan base and think that catering to a new generation players is going to help. The last edition tried all of that and it didn't work out very well. D&D is played by people across every generation.

Oh no.

"D&D 6e has a new and revamped alignment system. Previously, alignment in D&D was viewed as a moral or ethical system. Now, however, your character will have midi-chlorians that correspond to your character's alignment!

That's right. If your Paladin is Lawful Neutral, then your Paladin's cells will be suffused with Lawful Neutral midi-chlorians. Detecting alignments and protection from alignments never made so much sense!

D&D 6e, new, improved, midi-chlorian-er."
 

dmgorgon

Explorer
Okay? But this new argument seems orthogonal to your previous point on the virtues and utility of alignment, not to mention what I wrote in your quotation.

I don't think so, my point is that WotC and JC can do whatever they want. It really won't change things. there will always be division and disagreement on alignment. My entire group likes alignment and I don't see that changing. Even if JC decides that the game is going in the wrong direction it doesn't mater.

On the other hand, if an edition becomes unplayable because it doesn't allow for my group's playstyle, we won't play it. I'll just wait for the next edition "FIX" and continue to play the edition that suits my play-style the most.

5e did a good job at bringing many playstyles to the table again. With 5e, the game became playable again for my group (we rejected 4e completely). Now, if Wotc goes down another divergent path again, they do so at their own risk. We just won't play it, and history repeats itself.
 
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Yes you can. Because "lawful" is a pretty big tent.

I have a desk I am typing at. I also have a bookshelf next to me. They are both "objectively" members of the set "furnishings in my house", but they are not the same. A person who builds desks is objectively a furnishing-maker. But they still aren't an expert on bookshelves. They are objective, but limited in scope. If you ask an objective but limited being about things outside their scope, and the answers will not necessarily eman what a mortal thinks they do.

You may also be missing a major element - the fact that "objective" and "explainable to a mortal mind" are not equivalent. It is possible that, from a mortal point of view, two lawful gods seem to be in conflict or disagreement, when in fact the whole thing together is in in some ineffable way still objectively lawful.

Consider Chaos, andthe issue gets worse - two objectively chaotic beings are rather prone to disagree because that disagreement is itself an aspect of chaos!

There is also another element here - Objective does not mean complete. Take an entity that is objectivley lawful good. They are objectively lawful, and objectively good... but sometimes that which is good is not lawful, and vice versa. In order to be objectively LG, they may sometimes have to lean a bit to L or a bit to G to make it work out.

Some good points, but I want to dig into a few of them.

1) "Not explainable to mortal minds" is generally a cop-out. Especially since it means that mortals cannot possibly understand objective law and objective good, meaning they are essentially living in a subjective reality. The give a poor analogy, this is like asking a blind person if they are in a blue room. Whether or not the room is actually blue doesn't matter, they can't see it, so how are they supposed to act with the knowledge of whether the room is blue or not?

2) The limited in scope only sort of works. The concept would then be if you had a deity like Chauntea (no idea her actual alignment) who is good and in charge of nature, she would only be able to talk about what is good from the perception of nature. But, immediately, I've run into a problem. "The perception of nature" makes this a subjective view. To keep it objective, it would have to be that she knows what is objectively good as pertains to nature and land management, but does not know what is objectively good in terms of medicine.

The problem with that (not only in creating objective good things that no-one can know because no deity covers that but that some deities should logically know far more) is that Chauntea knows that Pelor as a god of Medicine is the absolute authority on what is good about Medicine. To argue with Pelor about that would be (to steal your analogy) a desk maker telling the tax lawyer about tax codes.

3) Which brings me to kind of the last problem, which is that if alignment can be objectively known, we are back in the same place. Even if the Gods and deities are only experts in their fields, there are enough of them covering different fields to make make a clear picture on known behavior. It is simply a logic puzzle, but it is one that would be solved relatively quickly if objective alignment is knowable, and once it is solved, you can't have disagreements about the truth. It is the truth, just like you said that you are typing at your desk. I can't tell you that you aren't. It is a fact.


I think you need some qualifiers in there.

The default cosomolgy is not that gods are elementals of their alignment and bound by their alignments so they can only have aspects consistent with their alignment and cannot act contrary to their alignment. A Good god need not be omni-benevolent.

Generally Deities get assigned alignments just like mortals do, overall they are a specific alignment but their individual actions and individual values can be all over the alignment spectrum.

Apollo is the god of enlightenment and the arts and healing and is generally good overall, but he also shoots people with disease arrows and has been a jerk to a lot of nymphs and satyrs and mortals at points.

A Lawful Good god will probably lay down some law and practices that are Good and Lawful, but there is no guarantee that all such laws and practices handed down will be objectively Lawful and Good or that they will even lay down laws and practices.

Any laws and practices they hand down can be objectively evaluated as to their lawfulness and goodness, or their neutrality, or their chaoticness or their evilness.

This issue is stemming from the position of @R_Chance who began talking about objective "good" and objective "law" coming from Divine Law.

This concept supposes that the idea of "good" and "law" comes from the Divine sources, and therefore it is the gods that define alignment. If we accept that the gods define alignment, and that definition is objective and not just the gods opinion, then it follows that they must act in those manners as a general principle.

Now, Apollo is a greek God, and to be fair, no one in their right mind would define any of the Greek Gods as "good" except maybe Hestia and possibly Hades (I've got a soft spot for the guy). But more importantly, even the Greeks never tried to present the actions of the gods as being Objective. They acted just like humans, and human behavior is subjective and influenced by manner factors.

And in a subjective world, that is fine. But in an objective world where Apollo Objectively defines what it means to be good... then his every action is objectively good if he defines it that way. And if you feel like "no, Apollo would be wrong that X is objectively good" then you are either in a subjective world, or you are trying to say that Objective "Good" and "Law" were defined by something else, and that is either knowable, or not.



One prominent theory in psychology is that of schemas. In simplified terms is that we see the world as we expect to see it. We frame everything based on experience, preferences, biases. You can read about the basic theory here, it has nothing to do with introspection, people automatically put cognitive input into understandable categories, frameworks and schemas. It's how we know the difference between a cat and a dog.

Some people see a clockwork universe with a logical order and mathematical precision. If they are killed by a giant, it was meant to be. It was their time. Others see any order that we assign to the universe as being arbitrary. There is no "reason" someone is killed by the giant it just happens because of luck. In other words, law versus chaos.


Which is meaningless in the context of alignment as a guideline for PC behavior. For a random example (or a pre-ordained one) let us say that you have a character who rolls a die whenever he enters a shop. If he rolls a 1, he kills attempts to kill everyone inside and burn the place to the ground. He does so with the belief that it is fate that is guiding this. That the people he kills are meant to die, and that those who are spared are meant to be spared.

By your definition, he is lawful. He might also act to kill any man who gives him an order, believing that if he can kill them that was meant to be, but if he fails, then he was meant to follow that order.

However, watching this person rolll a dice to decide if people live or die, no one would say they are lawful. Belief in fate and destiny does not make you lawful. It means you believe in fate or destiny.


Yeah and that would be fine to be CN or CE, but the point of choosing a different alignment is to challenge yourself. If you do just whatever you want in game, the DM may tell you that your alignment changed to that based on your actions.

The point is that you can play as you see fit, but as the DM I will tell you want your alignment currently IS. you have no say in that.

If you have no say in your own aligmenmt, how is it supposed to guide your roleplaying and actions?

Also, I have to agree with Crimson. If I need to see "LG" on my sheet to care about the lives of innocents, or not murder shopekeepers, then I... frankly the concept is so bizarre I have no clue how I'd react. That is fairly worrying if only a self-imposed limit of two letters prevents you from slaughtering the innocent and drinking their blood from their skulls.




I don't think so, my point is that WotC and JC can do whatever they want. It really won't change things. there will always be division and disagreement on alignment. My entire group likes alignment and I don't see that changing. Even if JC decides that the game is going in the wrong direction it doesn't mater.

On the other hand, if an edition becomes unplayable because it doesn't allow for my group's playstyle, we won't play it. I'll just wait for the next edition "FIX" and continue to play the edition that suits my play-style the most.

5e did a good job at bringing many playstyles to the table again. With 5e, the game became playable again for my group (we rejected 4e completely). Now, if Wotc goes down another divergent path again, they do so at their own risk. We just won't play it, and history repeats itself.


If you don't care what the rules say... then why do you care if the rules exist?

You literally just said that no matter what WoTC does, it won't change anything. And you are arguing that DMs can just assign alignments to players, this is sounding less and less like a useful abstraction to guide role-playing and more like a game of Taboo.
 

Aldarc

Legend
If we took everything out of D&D that has been debated over the years there wouldn't be much of a game left. HP, AC, healing, Vancian casting, classes, sub-classes, ability scores ... well the list goes on.
I'm not suggesting that we take everything out that has been contested, but, rather, I am debating the point that this is "simple" and the assertion that it is more useful than a paladin's oath.

Likewise, we would hardly call these things you listed a simple and closed case. While many of these things variously existed in some form or another, they have also changed and our approaches to these things have also changed over the years. Vancing Casting? One of the cornerstones that people claimed to want after 4e replaced it with At-Will, Encounter, and Daily powers? It is non-existent in 5e as well. It's just repackaged in a familiar format. And likewise the at-will, encounter, and dailys are variously part of the classes. AC? Remember THAC0?

You may not find it a useful abstraction, most people in my experience do find it handy.
"My anecdotal dad could beat up your anecdotal dad."
 

dmgorgon

Explorer
If you have no say in your own aligmenmt, how is it supposed to guide your roleplaying and actions?

The point is that even if you don't follow your character's alignment, the DM can evaluate what alignment your character is based on his/her actions. That's because each set of actions can be attributed to an alignment component.

Also, I have to agree with Crimson. If I need to see "LG" on my sheet to care about the lives of innocents, or not murder shopekeepers, then I... frankly the concept is so bizarre I have no clue how I'd react. That is fairly worrying if only a self-imposed limit of two letters prevents you from slaughtering the innocent and drinking their blood from their skulls.

No, it's more like if you saw LG on your character sheet wouldn't rob from the rich to give to the poor. You wouldn't break the law, but if you are CG you probably would. On the other hand, if you saw CE you just might. Alignment is a great way to jump into a character someone just handed to you. It get's the job done by providing a guide on how to role play that character.

If you don't care what the rules say... then why do you care if the rules exist?

You literally just said that no matter what WoTC does, it won't change anything. And you are arguing that DMs can just assign alignments to players, this is sounding less and less like a useful abstraction to guide role-playing and more like a game of Taboo.

Don't get me wrong, I do care what the rules say. I mostly play 2e and some 5e. I posted previously some of the rules on alignment are for 2e. And I do believe my group is following them. Now, 5e isn't bad, but at least it keeps alignment in the game. If another edition takes it away, that's fine, my group won't play that edition.

In other words, D&D isn't what WotC says it is. It's actually a large collection of playstyles that have evolved over the decades. If a particular edition excludes my play-style, that's fine it's just a less inclusive edition of the game. .
 

Aldarc

Legend
In other words, D&D isn't what WotC says it is. It's actually a large collection of playstyles that have evolved over the decades. If a particular edition excludes my play-style, that's fine it's just a less inclusive edition of the game. .
If a hypothetical 6e excludes two old playstyles, but opens up six more new playstyles, is it less inclusive just because yours was the one excluded?
 

R_Chance

Adventurer
This issue is stemming from the position of @R_Chance who began talking about objective "good" and objective "law" coming from Divine Law.

I proposed a reason that their could be a divine background to alignment in a post at a point in the thread when the subjective nature of alignment was being expounded on as a reason why alignment was flawed. I also proposed (in later posts) differences between lawful gods over it and used some of my own setting elements as examples. You brought up a single objective interpretation and logic into it. Assuming that (I assume you believed this anyway ) that all objective divine interpretations would be the same. You stated that an LG god would not allow for differences that caused conflict among their own worshippers. I gave you that one (good being good) and asked what about two lawful good deities, or other alignments and you stated you were only talking LG and other alignments were not in the discussion. I believe I also stated (? to you or another poster) that I didn't think gods were all knowing omniscient beings in D&D. And that there could be reasons for difference and conflict. @Umbran mentioned much the same thing.

I'm enjoying this discussion, but it has drug on for over 70 pages now. It's getting hard to keep track of all the opinions and posts. I for one, do not have the time to go back through dozens of posts hunting for a specific bit someone posted. I am working on my game (the pandemic has certainly been good for my prep time) and my classes for the Fall 2020 Semester which have all gone on line. We are using Canvas now which, as an instructor, to be honest I find to be a pain...
 
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That's funny because the 2e book I quoted explicitly stated that alignment was not a straitjacket. So if that's the way it was being played at your table then it was being played incorrectly. At least you admit that that.
I wouldn't even say its the table though, it was 3E full stop. Yeah, 2E has its alignment things but uh, delve into 3E's stuff. Or Dragonlance. And then there's BoVD and BoED which were.... Well. They sure Were.

Now do I think that Paladins should be LG only and Assassins should be evil. Absolutely.
On the other hand, I'd argue that limits you. What about the paladin who thinks he's doing the right thing until the very end, where it corrupts him? Or the paladin who believes the law's failed him, he's given up on his order but still tries to fight the good fight as best as he can? As for good assassins... Well, that's where two popular video game franchises in Assassin's Creed and Hitman alone provide enough example of the opposite, as Agent 47 at least I'd be ascribing the more Lawful Neutral side of things without a doubt
 


MGibster

Legend
I like alignment, I really do. But for my current campaign I haven't even bothered asking any of my players what their alignments are because it doesn't seem to matter much during game play. I'm pretty much ready to just accept that alignment isn't meaningful to most players I run into these days.
 

The point is that even if you don't follow your character's alignment, the DM can evaluate what alignment your character is based on his/her actions. That's because each set of actions can be attributed to an alignment component.

And if you say you are playing your alignment, and the DM disagrees with you... what then? I have disagreed with almost half of the alignment definitions I've seen on this thread. So, that would lead to this exact scenario where I'm playing my interpretation of the alignment, and then the DM tells me I'm a different alignment.

Do I argue with them over moral philosophy? I've had a few posters on this thread tell me that not writing an alignment is fine, but I better watch out if I encounter certain monsters or magic items, because they will know my "true" alignment and cause me problems, so this isn't something I can just ignore.

And if it is something I can just ignore, then why does the DM care enough to take control of my character sheet and rewrite it?



No, it's more like if you saw LG on your character sheet wouldn't rob from the rich to give to the poor. You wouldn't break the law, but if you are CG you probably would. On the other hand, if you saw CE you just might. Alignment is a great way to jump into a character someone just handed to you. It get's the job done by providing a guide on how to role play that character.

Says who? Breaking the law can get you in serious trouble, too much of a hassle, much easier to do things the legal way.

Also, LG guy would like to talk to you about that tax evasion we found in your letters, he feels that you owe the state quite a bit.


And the DM is free to alter those actions to fit whatever box he deems necessary, I guess.



Don't get me wrong, I do care what the rules say. I mostly play 2e and some 5e. I posted previously some of the rules on alignment are for 2e. And I do believe my group is following them. Now, 5e isn't bad, but at least it keeps alignment in the game. If another edition takes it away, that's fine, my group won't play that edition.

In other words, D&D isn't what WotC says it is. It's actually a large collection of playstyles that have evolved over the decades. If a particular edition excludes my play-style, that's fine it's just a less inclusive edition of the game.


Right, you don't care about the rules of 5e. You care about the rules of 2e.

Which again, great for you and your playstyle developed over decades. But for the player who discovered DnD last month, and decided to DM with his buddies, 2e and your decades of expeirence are nearly meaningless. They have the 5e PHB and the rules within it.




I proposed a reason that their could be a divine background to alignment in a post at a point in the thread when the subjective nature of alignment was being expounded on as a reason why alignment was flawed. I also proposed (in later posts) differences between lawful gods over it and used some of my own setting elements as examples. You brought up a single objective interpretation and logic into it. Assuming that (I assume you believed this anyway ) that all objective divine interpretations would be the same. You stated that an LG god would not allow for differences that caused conflict among their own worshippers. I gave you that one (good being good) and asked what about two lawful good deities, or other alignments and you stated you were only talking LG and other alignments were not in the discussion. I believe I also stated (? to you or another poster) that I didn't think gods were all knowing omniscient beings in D&D. And that there could be reasons for difference and conflict. @Umbran mentioned much the same thing.

I'm enjoying this discussion, but it has drug on for over 70 pages now. It's getting hard to keep track of all the opinions and posts. I for one, do not have the time to go back through dozens of posts hunting for a specific bit someone posted. I am working on my game (the pandemic has certainly been good for my prep time) and my classes for the Fall 2020 Semester which have all gone on line. We are using Canvas now which, as an instructor, to be honest I find to be a pain...


It sounds like we have had some miscommunication then, because if you were basing your response on the idea that alignment within the world of DnD being subjective was the problem, that is not the problem.


The problem is that alignment is subjective and poorly defined in our universe, as the game rules, where we have to try and take this vague grouping of ideas and apply them as objective truths to the universe, but still keep the tropes and conflicts that come about from subjective points of view in the real world.

There are the problems I listed with objective truths that are clearly knowable in the DnD worlds, but in our world the problem is that the alignment system is contradictory and applies equally validly to dozens of set-ups, making it nearly useless as a definitional tool.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
1) "Not explainable to mortal minds" is generally a cop-out.

No. It is a choice of metaphysics.

Unless you want to claim the ability to read minds, you do not know why people make a choice unless they tell you explicitly. Please do not tell people why they do things - they get cranky, especially when you make it uncomplimentary.

And you don't want to make people cranky, do you?

Especially since it means that mortals cannot possibly understand objective law and objective good, meaning they are essentially living in a subjective reality.

So, there was a time when you did not know Newton's Laws of Motion. You could not, at that time, accurately predict the motion of objects, in general - you could have a decent idea of some special cases with which you have a lot of personal experience (like, say, playing catch), and have some general ideas of broad trends, but no way to predict in accuracy or detail.

Did you assume that the movements of items had no objective reality behind them? Or did you figure there were some rules you didn't know?

I expect that the result of not understanding the rules probably would not look like subjective, unless you were very lucky. if the rules are subjective, you merely have to find the point of view for each case, and they become understandable. Subjective systems are still understandable.

In all likelihood, in a world where mortals could not fully grasp the rules, there would be times (more or less frequent, depending on the rules) where they'd look arbitrary.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Things being 'ineffably objectively lawful' is in practical terms exactly the same situation than lawfulness being subjective.
No it's not. Subjective alignment means that what is good or evil is in the eye of the person committing the acts. Objective, but ineffable means that there is an objective good and evil, but the person committing the acts doesn't know about it. The former doesn't allow for the person committing the acts to be wrong. All that matters is his subjective views on the matter. The latter does allow for him to be wrong. For example can THINK he's being good, when in fact he's acting in an evil manner.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Considering how debatable this point has been for decades, I'm not sure if the answer is simple. Overly simplistic? Yes. Simple? No. And the idea that alignment is "a more...useful abstraction" would definitely require some extraordinary evidence for such an extraordinary claim.

It is pretty simple. I think you're underestimating humanity's ability to complicate simplicity.
 


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