The Very Last Book About Alignment (PFRPG)

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Every choice has a consequence.

Your character can be a beacon of hope and justice in dark and dangerous world, or cultivate a soul so black that angels hide their faces in fear. Whichever way you prefer to play, this book will provide you with the rules, resources, and inspiration to take perhaps the most maligned and misunderstood aspect of the game and make it a vital part of the roleplay experience once more. Within these pages, age-old questions are answered and new powers are unlocked for those willing to take a stand for Good or Evil, Law or Chaos... and even for those who choose to remain scrupulously Neutral. New dangers await also: threats which go beyond loss of life and limb and which can imperil your character's very soul!

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Taking Alignment in New Directions

5/5

The Very Last Book about Alignment is a 38-page treatise on the nebulous effect that alignment can play in any Pathfinder campaign. It can be dry reading at times, but each section is short enough to digest in a few minutes, and nothing is presented in an illogical order, so there isn’t any flipping back and forth trying to find out "just what does -that- mean?" until the document sees in-depth reference use. The artwork, while of the creative commons open source variety, suits the subject matter and does not detract in any way from the material.

The book has several sections (each detailed below) so I would have liked to see at least a basic table of contents to make reference use a little easier, but that is a minor quibble in an otherwise well-presented document.

1. Defining Alignment: A good précis of the alignment system, its shortcomings and necessity as a mechanic.

2. The Nine Alignments: A decent recap of the alignments themselves. What I like about this section is the first-person reactions of each alignment to the same given situation. This more than anything highlights the subtleties of each point of view.

3. Interpersonal Alignments: The first section to provide alternate rules, this section gives a good broad-based description of how each axis on the Lawful/Chaotic/Neutral/Good/Evil scale is perceived by others and details small bonuses each outlook can give a character.

4. Setting the Tone: GMs will appreciate the details given here of the concept of an overarching campaign alignment.

5. Monsters Vs. People: This is a well-thought-out, reasoned essay on the pitfalls of extending alignments to monstrous races. It gives GMs a good benchmark on how in-depth of a role alignment can play in their campaign.

6. Alignment and Class: In detailing what the implications of alignment are for the various classes, this section will help players more fully develop their characters’ background and reason for being.

7. The Alignment Grid: This expansion of the typical Law/Chaos/Neutrality/Good/Evil three-by-three alignment grid acts as the basis for rules presented in the rest of the book. While at first daunting, its simplicity becomes evident with further reading.

8: Table of Consequences: In one of the largest sections of the book, various types of actions that might affect a character’s alignment are described. This makes a good brief resource for the GM by covering the basics of the effects of potential actions without delving into the minutiae and philosophical debate that could easily expand the book to the size of an encyclopedia.

9. Redemption and Corruption: Expanding on the simple Diplomacy, Bluff or Intimidate skill rolls, this section gives a mechanic for non-combat actions that might influence NPC reactions and alignment. This expansion of the social skills is simple and easy to implement.

10: Aligned Paragons: Characters whose alignments shift to the extreme ends of each alignment axis as a result of the effects of the alternate rules presented in the book are given here. The resulting bonuses are neat Trait-like effects that characters can build toward.

11. Aligned Auras: The way in which alignment or caster level can affect reactions to certain detection/protection spells, channeled energy and spell resistance is detailed here along with the bonuses given by these auras. The minor bonuses provided are not gamebreakers in any way, and can add to the strengths of either side in both combat and non-combat scenarios.

12: Alignment-focused Magic: Two variations on existing spells and one new spell appear in this section. The variations expand on the standard alignment detection and protection spells, and the new spell gives an interesting temporary alignment-changing effect.

13: Aligned Feats: This section features several alignment-dependent feats where class or alignment aura strength might affect the character’s actions. For players who have chosen to focus on their characters’ alignment, these feats are a nice addition.

14. Paladins and Alignment: The alignment concerns of the paladin class are discussed and clarified here. For those whose understanding of the paladin code of ethics is unclear, this section is essential reading.

15: Aligned Outsiders: This section gives GMs a reference for dealing with alignment issues concerning PC interaction with outsiders in an easy-to-follow grid format. As with the Table of Consequences, the quick reference should prove to be a valuable resource.

16: Alignment & the Afterlife: Each alignment’s ultimate fate is theorized here. Such details are, like the other material in the book, suggestions for the GM, but they are presented in a logical manner that makes them acceptable for any player who has made the character’s alignment a concern.

17. Aligned Spells: The final section of the book presents a simple list of spells which the GM can use to quickly determine if “aligned casting” has taken place. This is another handy reference source.

All in all, this book gives an explanation of alignment that turns what could be a cookie-cutter "set-and-forget" feature of the game into a dynamic element that can bring depth to any campaign. In my opinion, it is well worth the purchase price and should be a welcome asset at any game table.


Webstore Gninja Minion

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Now available!

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks, Liz!

This latest book represents an attempt to make the alignment rules more specific, more intuitive, and more integrated into the game. It should provide lots of resources and inspiration for new characters and new adventures. If you liked The Very Last Book About Mounted Combat, then you should also enjoy this volume. I promise: You'll never leave the "alignment" box on your character sheet blank again.


As a very satisfied owner of 'Mounted Combat', I'll definitely have to see about getting this one.

Scarab Sages

Eric Hinkle wrote:
As a very satisfied owner of 'Mounted Combat', I'll definitely have to see about getting this one.

Thank you! I hope you enjoy this one just as much.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Hmm angles hiding their faces? I don't know sounds a bit obtuse to me.

Scarab Sages

Ptolmaeus Arvenus wrote:
Hmm angles hiding their faces? I don't know sounds a bit obtuse to me.

heh- yes, I'm trying to get that fixed.

Scarab Sages

Thanks to Liz for fixing up the description. You're the best!

Webstore Gninja Minion

Wolfsnap wrote:
Thanks to Liz for fixing up the description. You're the best!

Thanks! Although I'm sure you could make some angled angels and all will be fine.

Scarab Sages

"I see angles in the architecture, spinning in infinity... I say hey! Halleluja!" - Paul Simon

Scarab Sages

Big thanks to everyone's who's bought a copy in the store - feel free to leave a review!

I'm going to be at Paizocon this year running the 2nd Annual Jousting Competition, so do drop by to say hello!

Scarab Sages

Just a heads up - I'll be bringing some print copies of the Very Last Book about Alignment to Paizocon for the store, so if you want a signed copy, that's the best place until Gen Con.

Thanks!

Scarab Sages

Waiting on the plane to Paizocon now! It's going to be a great weekend!

Scarab Sages

Big thanks to everyone who bought a copy at Paizocon! I can't wait for next year.

Scarab Sages

Print edition is now available at the Paizo Online Store.

Scarab Sages

Just a heads up - I will be at Gen Con this week with print copies available for purchase. Come see me in the author's alley where I am promoting my graphic novel "Dire Destiny".


Hmm.A class whose powers depend on what his alignment along the lawful chaotic scale is. Most abilities have two versions. They change alignment kite easily than most. Something about true neutrality, but due to swinging very fast. Could even use rules from this book?

Just an idea.


Wolfsnap, I said at PaizoCon that I'd send this on to a friend. Finally did that :)

Scarab Sages

Cheapy wrote:

Hmm.A class whose powers depend on what his alignment along the lawful chaotic scale is. Most abilities have two versions. They change alignment kite easily than most. Something about true neutrality, but due to swinging very fast. Could even use rules from this book?

Just an idea.

I like the idea!

Scarab Sages

Also big thanks to BiblioTech for the kind review!

Scarab Sages

The Very Last Book about alignment was recently reviewed in "Know Direction" number 70. Check out this fantastic podcast:

Know Direction #70


Ptolmaeus Arvenus wrote:
Hmm angles hiding their faces? I don't know sounds a bit obtuse to me.

I believe it is a reference to the fact that when Christ was on the Cross, the Father hid His face from Him rather than see His Son with such sin imputed to Him.

True, Wolfsnap?


After listening to review on Know Direction I will have to put this on my wish list.

Scarab Sages

Aaron Lehmann wrote:
Ptolmaeus Arvenus wrote:
Hmm angles hiding their faces? I don't know sounds a bit obtuse to me.

I believe it is a reference to the fact that when Christ was on the Cross, the Father hid His face from Him rather than see His Son with such sin imputed to Him.

True, Wolfsnap?

The expression probably has biblical origins, however in game terms it has to do with new rules related to the strength of a character's aura. :)

Scarab Sages

Big Thanks to authors Amber Scott, Jim Groves, and Nick Milasich for coming out to participate in this year's panel discussion "Alignment: Beyond Good and Evil" at Paizocon. It was a wonderful panel and we had some insightful debate. I look forward to doing it again next year!

Scarab Sages

The Know Direction Podcast group have put up the "Alignment: Beyond Good and Evil" seminar from Paizocon on their site. Check it out!

Alignment: Beyond Good and Evil

Scarab Sages

Having a blast at Gen Con 2014! Come see me in Author's avenue if you'd like a book signed!

Scarab Sages

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hello at Gen Con 2014!


Any idea when this will be back in stock?

Scarab Sages

Print copies of The Very Last Book About Alignment are now back in stock at Paizo!

ALSO: check out this interview I did at RPGMP3.com where we talk about the new book, Dire Destiny, and a whole lot about the fun and complexities of Game Mastering:

Balgin chats with Wolfsnap

Scarab Sages

Thanks to everyone who helped us plumb the depths of many moral conundrums at the "Alignment: Bringing Order to Chaos" seminar at Paizocon 2015! Big thanks to Ryan Costello for joining me in discussing the many ways the Alignment rules can lead to better Role Play.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Just finished listening to the panel. This just moved up a few places on my priority list. Sounds like some really interesting stuff. :)

Scarab Sages

Nate Z wrote:
Just finished listening to the panel. This just moved up a few places on my priority list. Sounds like some really interesting stuff. :)

The panel was a lot of fun and I look forward to hosting another one next year!

Scarab Sages

Thanks to everyone who came by my table at Gen Con 2015! New print copies of this book should be available in the Paizo store in a couple of weeks.

Dark Archive

Though it would go against the title of the book, have you considered expanding this with another volume which incorporates the newest classes or do you feel such isn't necessary?

Scarab Sages

JonathonWilder wrote:
Though it would go against the title of the book, have you considered expanding this with another volume which incorporates the newest classes or do you feel such isn't necessary?

I'm not sure that it's necessary. Most of the new classes relate back in some way to the Core classes, and really apart from the Paladin the section on class and alignment is a small part of the book. Most of what's covered in this volume is applicable to any and all character classes.

Scarab Sages

Dire Destiny will be at Gen Con 2016 this week! Feel free to stop by and see me in Author's Alley. Print copies of all our books will be available.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Hm. Quarterly, Azure and Or. Nice. Simple. I like it. :-)

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