"Alignment" - Homebrew


Homebrew and House Rules


For starters... I generally ignore "alignment" for my campaigns. It only comes up on a few occasions.

I've seen some interesting threads pop up recently that related to alignment. "Good vs. Evil" kinda stuff. The topic is of course a fairly heated one. That said... I've taken some things away from those conversations and am thinking of creating a house-rule for alignment in my campaigns to build upon my general "neutral" view.

I'm of the belief that characters come into the game world as Neutral, and that Neutral should be the base alignment for everyone.

Of immediate impact the axis of Law vs. Chaos changes depending on the rules of land you reside. If you have a habit of breaking or following those laws determines your position on that axis. This is fairly easy to rule on. It seems to me that "society" generally determines on if you are considered lawful or chaotic. What defines this would change to a certain extent from society to society.

The Good vs. Evil axis should also have a back and forth to it as well. What immediately comes to mind is the channeling of positive or negative energy, casting of spells with the Good or Evil descriptor, or other such acts that are "magically" inherently evil or good. These acts should accumulate the most "points" back and forth as you are magically bleaching or tainting your soul.

Of less ease in ruling on are other "evil" or "good" acts. Killing? Saving? Maiming? Healing? Taunting? Encouraging?

For example ... Killing someone at their own request to put them out of their misery. "Killing" is "evil". However acting out of compassion to end pain?

I'd like help in developing some charts that give a point value to these acts. Any takers?


Here is something you can start from

Pre-meditated murder Evil act
Manslaughter-Chaotic act borderline evil pending upon intent
Maiming I consider it an evil act in most decent societies especially done to another individual. In general falls under chaos.
Torture: Generally evil however some socities could accept such things as ritual torture as a form of cleansing.
Theft:depends on circumstances and intent it can be either or. For convenience sake Neutral
Healing:Healing the body and soul of ailments and helping is generally a good act. I consider it the opposite of Maiming and torture.
Slavery-Extreme Lawful could borderline with evil as you forbid an individual to exercise his free will
Taunting:Neutral act mainly disrespectful
blasphemy:Disrespectful act neutral depends upon circumstances and intent.
Vandalism:Chaotic act most of the time pending on circumstances either good or evil.
encouraging:Neutral act dpends on circumstances
Saving:A good act even when the person being saved is evil
Euthanasia/Abortion:depends how the society views it. Societies can either publicly frown upon such practices and brand them as evil, or they might not have a stance generally not encouraged for a number of social/political/religious reasons. However there are exceptions to the rule...Thats your call.
Rape:Chaotic and Evil act however some barbaric societies might practice a form of ritual copulation which can be very close to rape depends on how you want to view it
Suicide:Depends on the moral religious beliefs of a society. Tragic act I call it the result of evil. However there is the thing as honorable suicide, its highly subjective
Underage Sex: tricky one mainly neutral sometimes chaotic. Rarely evil.
Homosexuality:Neutral, pending on society could be viewed as something evil or chaotic.


PS - For the system to work and for all adventurers to not be considered as harbingers of death... I'd like to have balancing points so that just killing in of itself does not qualify you to be a evil fiend.

Killing in self defense should therefore balance. I.E. - you are attacked and kill those that attacked you.

The standing system of alignment for monsters should not change. Thus... if you kill an evil opponent, it should also balance as you are destroying evil.

However, for example if you kill a "helpless" foe who has stopped fighting and surrendered, then that would tip further in the scale of being "evil".

So on these proposed charts, there should be qualifiers that also have a point value of "good" vs. "evil".

Thusly... for ease of use. Standard "adventuring" should not overmuch incur a credit or debit either way on the point scale. Only specific acts should inherently tip the balance. On those specific acts you should easily be able to look at the situation >Choose an act from the appropriate chart >Choose qualifiers from another chart >end up with your total.


Lokie wrote:

PS - For the system to work and for all adventurers to not be considered as harbingers of death... I'd like to have balancing points so that just killing in of itself does not qualify you to be a evil fiend.

Killing in self defense should therefore balance. I.E. - you are attacked and kill those that attacked you.

The standing system of alignment for monsters should not change. Thus... if you kill an evil opponent, it should also balance as you are destroying evil.

However, for example if you kill a "helpless" foe who has stopped fighting and surrendered, then that would tip further in the scale of being "evil".

So on these proposed charts, there should be qualifiers that also have a point value of "good" vs. "evil".

Thusly... for ease of use. Standard "adventuring" should not overmuch incur a credit or debit either way on the point scale. Only specific acts should inherently tip the balance. On those specific acts you should easily be able to look at the situation >Choose an act from the appropriate chart >Choose qualifiers from another chart >end up with your total.

Killing in Self Defense act of self-preservation can also fall under saving.

Killing a helpless opponent evil act most of the time.


Frostflame wrote:
Lokie wrote:

PS - For the system to work and for all adventurers to not be considered as harbingers of death... I'd like to have balancing points so that just killing in of itself does not qualify you to be a evil fiend.

Killing in self defense should therefore balance. I.E. - you are attacked and kill those that attacked you.

The standing system of alignment for monsters should not change. Thus... if you kill an evil opponent, it should also balance as you are destroying evil.

However, for example if you kill a "helpless" foe who has stopped fighting and surrendered, then that would tip further in the scale of being "evil".

So on these proposed charts, there should be qualifiers that also have a point value of "good" vs. "evil".

Thusly... for ease of use. Standard "adventuring" should not overmuch incur a credit or debit either way on the point scale. Only specific acts should inherently tip the balance. On those specific acts you should easily be able to look at the situation >Choose an act from the appropriate chart >Choose qualifiers from another chart >end up with your total.

Killing in Self Defense act of self-preservation can also fall under saving.

Killing a helpless opponent evil act most of the time.

Exactly. So in those separate acts of "killing" we have several qualifiers of "helpless" or "self-preservation".

So... I guess what I'm saying is needed is a chart for "Acts" and a chart for "Qualifiers" at the very least.

Examples could be given on a Positive to Negative point range. A base range of points ... say 0-20 would keep you neutral. Having a positive credit above 20 or a negative debit below 0 would set your "Goodness" or "Evilness". Perhaps having "levels" of goodness or depravity depending on point total. Saint to Homicidal Murderer.

There could be a increased debit or credit of evil vs. good for certain acts depending on how high up or down the scale you are. As a Saint who acts in a cold-blooded murder should have a much greater cost and greater fall.


Even easier I guess would be to have a base of 10 to -10 as "Neutral" on perhaps a 100 point scale split 50/-50.


Well in Self defense protecting your own life is really neither good or bad. But you could give positive points say in the example, the villain is getting ready to torch a bunch of commoners and the PC sneaking up and gutting him. Pc saved lives and stopped an evil person.

In the case of killing a helpless opponent. My take on it personally is its an evil act unless the opponent is by nature evil a fiend especially a daemon, one of the undead, or a foul aberration such as an aboleth. In that case good is served and the PC should get positive points.
Here is where it gets a little tricky evil characters shouldnt really accumulate negative points for killing helpless opponents. Its something routine. Good Characters should take a big hit, and neutral characters a medium hit of negative points.


Frostflame wrote:

Well in Self defense protecting your own life is really neither good or bad. But you could give positive points say in the example, the villain is getting ready to torch a bunch of commoners and the PC sneaking up and gutting him. Pc saved lives and stopped an evil person.

In the case of killing a helpless opponent. My take on it personally is its an evil act unless the opponent is by nature evil a fiend especially a daemon, one of the undead, or a foul aberration such as an aboleth. In that case good is served and the PC should get positive points.
Here is where it gets a little tricky evil characters shouldnt really accumulate negative points for killing helpless opponents. Its something routine. Good Characters should take a big hit, and neutral characters a medium hit of negative points.

Well... once you are a "Homicidal Murderer" you've reached -50 and could not "gather" any more points for the act anyway. However the act of "murder" would stain the soul with repeated offences. The fact that the act is easy for you would not lessen its impact.

Because of the corrupting nature of evil as portrayed in fantasy literature, it should be easier to fall to evil than to maintain the perfection of sainthood. Also... it should be harder to purge yourself of such evil once you've reach the greatest level of depravity. Donating some money to charity should pretty much do nothing for you. You'd need to do an act of great goodness (having many modifiers on the good scale) to have a impact large enough to bump you out of the soundly evil category much less into a higher category of goodness.


So... greater impact to negatives for a "greater good" to do an act such as "murder". Lesser impact for a "greater evil" who does a goodly act such as charity. Over all... it should be easy that with a little effort you can maintain the norm of "neutrality".

Picking certain classes should give you a credit or debit on the chart at the beginning of play. Setting yourself up as a Paladin would give you a immediate positive balance. (You've set your character up with that ideal so picking the class shows possible past acts to achieve that ideal.)

Picking Cleric should give you a positive or negative balance based on what type of channeling/god you pick. You are effectively a conduit for that gods power after all.


Lokie wrote:
Frostflame wrote:

Well in Self defense protecting your own life is really neither good or bad. But you could give positive points say in the example, the villain is getting ready to torch a bunch of commoners and the PC sneaking up and gutting him. Pc saved lives and stopped an evil person.

In the case of killing a helpless opponent. My take on it personally is its an evil act unless the opponent is by nature evil a fiend especially a daemon, one of the undead, or a foul aberration such as an aboleth. In that case good is served and the PC should get positive points.
Here is where it gets a little tricky evil characters shouldnt really accumulate negative points for killing helpless opponents. Its something routine. Good Characters should take a big hit, and neutral characters a medium hit of negative points.

Well... once you are a "Homicidal Murderer" you've reached -50 and could not "gather" any more points for the act anyway. However the act of "murder" would stain the soul with repeated offences. The fact that the act is easy for you would not lessen its impact.

Because of the corrupting nature of evil as portrayed in fantasy literature, it should be easier to fall to evil than to maintain the perfection of sainthood. Also... it should be harder to purge yourself of such evil once you've reach the greatest level of depravity. Donating some money to charity should pretty much do nothing for you. You'd need to do an act of great goodness (having many modifiers on the good scale) to have a impact large enough to bump you out of the soundly evil category much less into a higher category of goodness.

Well its easier to fall than to climb, true in most literature.

Anyway for a PC to purge themselves of an evil act, you should require some sort of penance and atonement pending on the severity of the sin. It depends on the society and how you have set it up. An example in Ancient Greece murderers could be purified by the Kings. They were required to perform some tedious service for about a year, but the King through Zeus had the power to absolve the penitent of their sin.


Lokie wrote:

So... greater impact to negatives for a "greater good" to do an act such as "murder". Lesser impact for a "greater evil" who does a goodly act such as charity. Over all... it should be easy that with a little effort you can maintain the norm of "neutrality".

Picking certain classes should give you a credit or debit on the chart at the beginning of play. Setting yourself up as a Paladin would give you a immediate positive balance. (You've set your character up with that ideal so picking the class shows possible past acts to achieve that ideal.)

Picking Cleric should give you a positive or negative balance based on what type of channeling/god you pick. You are effectively a conduit for that gods power after all.

Naturally some classes are restricted by alignment. Paladins should get points for being both Lawful and Good, Cleric as well. barbarians should get for Chaos, and Monks for Law


Frostflame wrote:


Well its easier to fall than to climb, true in most literature.
Anyway for a PC to purge themselves of an evil act, you should require some sort of penance and atonement pending on the severity of the sin. It depends on the society and how you have set it up. An example in Ancient Greece murderers could be purified by the Kings. They were required to...

Hmm...

Perhaps include a system that gives the point values of various acts a "ranking". For example you could have acts of "lesser", "moderate", and "greater" evil. Acts of lesser evil could be purged with goodly effort. Acts of moderate or greater evil would require atonement.

Perhaps include that an act of "Greater Good" could potentially work as atonement as well. It would require an act of great self-sacrifice or the destruction of greater evil.


I have always taken a reductivist approach to the alignments, putting down the basics, and then extrapolating them as they need. For me then:

Lawful means to have a code(s) of conduct that you will never knowingly or willingly break. It could be something like never stealing, or it could be more esoteric, like always making sure a balance is maintained. Whatever it is, whenever it would be applicable in a situation, it is what you must do. Being lawful does not necessarily mean being a slave to the written laws, but it means having a more meditative approach to life that will make you much more appreciative of the written laws, as you will tend to view them in the context of a larger code of conduct.

Chaos in its purest form would mean flipping a coin and reacting based off of that. Since no one plays like that though, it also means to treat each situation as an absolute novelty. You are likely to do something just to see what happens as a result, regardless of the situation.

Neutrality is usually thought of as the lazy alignment. While it could mean not really caring about the philosophies of the extremes, it could also be characterized by trying to maintain a balance between them in the world.

Good is the one I always had the most trouble with. Most people think of good in terms of 'small good'. This is the immediate one where you try to redress all wrongs and provide succor to all who need it right now. It thinks of people as individuals and considers the situation as it is happening. 'Big good' on the other hand, could actually be better described as neutrality. This is more concerned with ideas than with people. Big good would allow a horde to overwhelm a town because it knew that after doing so, they would be exhausted. Big good would them lead its forces in and wipe out the horde once and for all. The lives that were in essence sacrificed were a paltry number in comparison to what the horde would have been able to take if left alone, so in the long run, good was achieved. You can see why I got into arguments with my DM, yeah?

Evil is also hard for me to describe. It falls into the same sort of big versus small categories I think. However, a good short hand is to ask yourself, is this going to cause undue harm, suffering, or loss? It will? Okay then, that's evil. Have fun. Murdering for profit rather than anything else is evil as an example. Really though, these are the times that would require a sort of pause in the action to really take into consideration the real ramifications of an action.

Combining alignments should be just that. You look at their basics, and think of how they would interact to inform your world view. They are not really the steadfast markers of how a character is allowed to act, rather they should for, the guidelines for how they think and approach situations.

I know I sort of ignored the Point system you were working on. Sorry. I do hope that this helped out regardless though. If only in some small way.


Lokie wrote:
Frostflame wrote:


Well its easier to fall than to climb, true in most literature.
Anyway for a PC to purge themselves of an evil act, you should require some sort of penance and atonement pending on the severity of the sin. It depends on the society and how you have set it up. An example in Ancient Greece murderers could be purified by the Kings. They were required to...

Hmm...

Perhaps include a system that gives the point values of various acts a "ranking". For example you could have acts of "lesser", "moderate", and "greater" evil. Acts of lesser evil could be purged with goodly effort. Acts of moderate or greater evil would require atonement.

Perhaps include that an act of "Greater Good" could potentially work as atonement as well. It would require an act of great self-sacrifice or the destruction of greater evil.

Something along those lines. However, I usually find it difficult to classify evil acts as lesser or greater. A lesser evil act could be vandalizing a goodly temple. Some form of penance and compensation would be required to absolve this sin. A greater evil act lets say a betrayal where lives are lost would require a more stringent and serious atonement. In game terms it could be a very perilous quest where the Pc must face his sin and overcome it, and also maybe compensate the families of the people who died.


The reason for the point system is that recently (within the last year or so) I've had a player a player who really likes living on the edge of evil. Wants to consort with demons. Use "evil" against "Evil" for good purposes and the like. This includes casting some arcane spells with the evil descriptor, summoning demons/devils, and taking prestige classes that require non-good alignments.

I've never really be trouble by the whole "Law vs. Chaos" issue as that is mostly handled in-game based off of what the players do.

What I really need is a system that shows the effects of consorting with evil and doing evil acts and the effect it has on your alignment. Some of the basis for the point system I'm working on is from the "Taint" systems I've seen in the Oriental Adventures and Heroes of Horror books.

However, since this is not mutations or corruption of a physical nature we are dealing with, those systems have less use to me.

Question boils down to this... What should the effects of "evil" acts be. How much "evil" happens before you become "Evil" or "EVIL".


Lokie wrote:

The reason for the point system is that recently (within the last year or so) I've had a player a player who really likes living on the edge of evil. Wants to consort with demons. Use "evil" against "Evil" for good purposes and the like. This includes casting some arcane spells with the evil descriptor, summoning demons/devils, and taking prestige classes that require non-good alignments.

I've never really be trouble by the whole "Law vs. Chaos" issue as that is mostly handled in-game based off of what the players do.

What I really need is a system that shows the effects of consorting with evil and doing evil acts and the effect it has on your alignment. Some of the basis for the point system I'm working on is from the "Taint" systems I've seen in the Oriental Adventures and Heroes of Horror books.

However, since this is not mutations or corruption of a physical nature we are dealing with, those systems have less use to me.

Question boils down to this... What should the effects of "evil" acts be. How much "evil" happens before you become "Evil" or "EVIL".

Mental corruption to say the least. The player is consorting with evil powers beyond his understanding. In literature its a common theme those who dabble in the black arts and consort with demons eventually are damned. Such characters inevitably lose their sanity over time and commit acts of greater and greater depravity, until their own evil destroys them. There is a saying you can't use the devil's weapons to fight the devil, unless you willing to become the devil. I would say the more and more contact he has with evil should fray his mind.


Frostflame wrote:
Lokie wrote:

The reason for the point system is that recently (within the last year or so) I've had a player a player who really likes living on the edge of evil. Wants to consort with demons. Use "evil" against "Evil" for good purposes and the like. This includes casting some arcane spells with the evil descriptor, summoning demons/devils, and taking prestige classes that require non-good alignments.

I've never really be trouble by the whole "Law vs. Chaos" issue as that is mostly handled in-game based off of what the players do.

What I really need is a system that shows the effects of consorting with evil and doing evil acts and the effect it has on your alignment. Some of the basis for the point system I'm working on is from the "Taint" systems I've seen in the Oriental Adventures and Heroes of Horror books.

However, since this is not mutations or corruption of a physical nature we are dealing with, those systems have less use to me.

Question boils down to this... What should the effects of "evil" acts be. How much "evil" happens before you become "Evil" or "EVIL".

Mental corruption to say the least. The player is consorting with evil powers beyond his understanding. In literature its a common theme those who dabble in the black arts and consort with demons eventually are damned. Such characters inevitably lose their sanity over time and commit acts of greater and greater depravity, until their own evil destroys them. There is a saying you can't use the devil's weapons to fight the devil, unless you willing to become the devil. I would say the more and more contact he has with evil should fray his mind.

Hmm...

In that case I could just use the mental half of the Taint rules I mentioned and wipe my hands and be done.

However... that would not give me a way to judge on a scale of good vs evil actions. The game world is not going to be any more "black and white" than the real world. There are shades of grey they need to be accounted for. There is also the "epic" fight of good vs. evil to sway the hearts of mortals.

There are also PrC's that help mitigate the effects of casting evil spells.


Shades of gray is fine and all. However, when a character starts to consort with fiends even if he has good intentions all bets are off. The fiend will use every nasty trick to tempt the Pc and sway him to the side of evil. The fiend will ask for something in return for services rendered. Indeed the devils enjoy this game with mortals. Short term things might seem fine. I summoned a devil to destroy the demon who was terrorizing the village. However fiends do not forget. Payment will come in one form or another. Often said Pcs end up the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders and end up alone as those they love most end up being the victims.

Shadow Lodge

Lokie wrote:
Even easier I guess would be to have a base of 10 to -10 as "Neutral" on perhaps a 100 point scale split 50/-50.

It might work if you dropped neutral and made it more ralistic with "less" Evil or "less" Good/Chaotic/Lawful. On such a polar scale, only absolute zero would be Neutral, and such could not be anything but temporary, so there is no point for Neutral. Really isn't one in the current alignment system, either, but a scale system really show it.


Ah then, if this is based on such a specific inquiry then things get a lot easier.

There doesn't really need to be a morality system put in place to deal with something like that. Look at literature, as was said earlier, for a quick and easy solution. The mental taint thing is a good idea, but even simpler is the fact that the player is dealing with pure evil on a tangible level.

Just, every so often mind you, allow something terrible to happen as a direct result of that player's well intentioned actions. Summon a demon to defeat a very mortal threat? Well okay, the mental taint comes into effect, maybe some morality lost, but what's this? Ah crap, the demon summoned was masquerading as a lower caste creature and is actually quite capable of casting a spell to bind it to 1)this plane 2)a person 3)the player themself. Now not only do you have a possibly amazing story hook to play around with, but also a nice way of letting the player know just what it is they are messing around with.

I really must caution away from coming down too hard on them too often though. This is almost exactly the sort of character that I always enjoyed playing the most. As you said, the world is not black and white, and there is a great attraction to getting to use the more evil bits. Plus, since (I'm guessing) no one else is doing anything like this, it is a good way for them to stand out in the group. I always really enjoyed classes like the Dread Necromancer for that exact reason. Everyone else in the group (Dm included) only ever looked at direct damage characters, and always were squarely in the good good echelon of alignment. Needless to say, there were some sessions that I really did not enjoy as much as I could have because of pushing from other characters to either be good, or from the Dm who was always thinking of some way to force me out of neutrality and into either good, or into evil, where I would then get killed by the other players or her self insert npc character.

Like you said earlier, let them have fun doing what they are, just remind them every so often that there are consequences to dealing with the absolute evil that they are. The Malconvoker class is an easy out. You have to be good to take it, and it lets you 'trick' demons into serving you. It really is a cheap solution, but hey, there you go. Apart from that, the mental taint is a really good idea. Look at how Warhammer Fantasy handles their sanity system (what they have instead of morality), but make sure it is the 2nd edition. Their new 3rd is just a rip off of D&D's 4th, and it really shows. So once more: as long as everyone is having fun, then everything is good. And as long as something goes terribly wrong just every so often, things are even better.


Just my two bits, in keeping the characters in line with their alignments (it has a pretty big impact in our games actually) we use a point system now that is 200 points wide. 0/0 is true neutral, 100/- is the most good, -100/- is the most evil, -/100 the most lawful, and -/-100 the most chaotic. The thing new players found initially wierd is that we put the "borderlines" between neutral and other alignments at the 50 point lines.

This makes neutral 100 points wide, and the other two 50 apiece. More people than not are neutral, and as such it's given a bigger range.

Whenever a player is unknowingly commiting an act, the most change that they can change is one point in any direction. When a player commits a willful act of alignment, they get 1-5 points movement, based on the extremeness. These are nominated by other players 90% of the time. In extreme cases the GM steps in and can deem up to a 10 point change, but this must be seconded by another player.

We started using this system after two of the players we have (one who plays evil character like assassins closer to chaotic good and another who plays a paladin very chaotic neutral) kept acting out of alignment. When the GM finally stripped the paladins powers (needed atonement) the pally cried unfair and pointed at the assassin. The asssassin said itwas no big deal for him to break it. It was kinda screwy the pally was knowingly traveling with the assassin, but I digress.

The system really helped to keep the roleplaying actions of the players in check where the visiably knew how close they were to an alignment change. It also limits taking levels in classes with alignment requirements when not acting in character (the rewuirements are there for a reason). Oh, and one more thing, we use the 3 variant paladins from Arcana Unearthed, and there is always an alternative options availabe, but keeping to the alignment is key.

I hope this helps FWIW... YMMV.

Dark Archive

Since having posted this thread I have mostly done away with alignment.

What I've done so far (I haven't been using the new system long) was eliminate alignment by creature type. Humanoids (most of the party) have no alignments, which are instead replaced by Personality archetypes (and their corresponding traits) from the PHB2. I've found that thus far, my players have had an easier time deciding what their characters would do in a given situation based on those, rather than from two morally ambiguous words attached together to represent a tenth of every possible ethical scenario that could possibly occur. For other creature types, I'm using the following right now, sometimes leaving an axis blank:

Dragon - I honestly haven't decided yet. I use dragons sparingly. Probably Evil if Chromatic and Good if Metallic, with an archetype.
Fey - Chaotic, None, or Lawful (albeit rarely, for the latter) with an archetype.
Outsider - It depends on their homeplane. Devils are Lawful and Evil, while Demons are Chaotic and Evil. I have a PC in the group from the Plane of Fire who is simply Lawful. All of the above would get an archetype.
Undead - Eviiiiil. No archetype if unintelligent.

I'm not going to rattle on through subtypes. Everything else is Neutral or None and if there is a rules difference between Neutral and None, I'll rule on the spot.

Hope this is of some use to you, and others. =)

Dark Archive

Lokie wrote:
Of immediate impact the axis of Law vs. Chaos changes depending on the rules of land you reside. If you have a habit of breaking or following those laws determines your position on that axis. This is fairly easy to rule on. It seems to me that "society" generally determines on if you are considered lawful or chaotic. What defines this would change to a certain extent from society to society.

I'm not sure if I agree with this.

First of all you don't have to hold on the laws of the land to be lawful. You can follow a code of honor, join a monastery or follow the laws of any subgroup.
Second, if a chaotic (N)PC becomes an absolute ruler he can change the law to anything. Stuff like ''it's not allowed to wear pink socks on a wednesday'' and such. That's not lawful, it's stupid.

As for using a point system for alignment. I'd advice against it, but if you want to go through with this ask your players first. Some players don't like houserules.


the David wrote:
Lokie wrote:
Of immediate impact the axis of Law vs. Chaos changes depending on the rules of land you reside. If you have a habit of breaking or following those laws determines your position on that axis. This is fairly easy to rule on. It seems to me that "society" generally determines on if you are considered lawful or chaotic. What defines this would change to a certain extent from society to society.

I'm not sure if I agree with this.

First of all you don't have to hold on the laws of the land to be lawful. You can follow a code of honor, join a monastery or follow the laws of any subgroup.
Second, if a chaotic (N)PC becomes an absolute ruler he can change the law to anything. Stuff like ''it's not allowed to wear pink socks on a wednesday'' and such. That's not lawful, it's stupid.

As for using a point system for alignment. I'd advice against it, but if you want to go through with this ask your players first. Some players don't like houserules.

Generally speaking I have less issue with the Law <> Chaos aspect of the alignment system. Neutral on the law vs. chaos aspect seems to be the norm. You follow the majority of the laws just to stay out of trouble and ignore the "silly" ones that rarely come up. Rogue characters tend to be neutral or chaotic. (Hello! Pirate!)

Generally what I'm trying to do is express a gradual change from base neutral to either good or evil.

Also, my players mostly tend to play along with whatever I want to try. If they have an issue I find out right quick. :)


The way I deal with alignment is using this chart :

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg39/scaled.php?server=39&filename=align mentqx.png&res=medium

Basically,

X is the evil-good axis (-10 is max evil, 10 is max good)
Y is the chaotic-lawful axis (-10 is max chaotic, 10 is max lawful

Over 5 on X axis means you are good
Under -5 on X means you are evil
Over 5 on Y axis means you are lawful
Under 5 on Y axis means you are chaotic

So, If i'm (X6,Y2), I would be Neutral Good
And if I was X-7,Y-4) I would be Neutral Evil, close to chaotic evil

As I dm, when I feel someone is acting somewhat good or evil, I give them points on the chart, same for lawful chaotic axis.

Character keep notes of where they are on the chart, and can know if their alignment is about to change.


Separate Unaligned from Neutral;

Neutral - you try to maintain the balance between Chaos/Law and/or Good/Evil.

Unaligned - you don't/can't care about Chaos vs Law and/or Good vs Evil.


Lokie wrote:
the axis of Law vs. Chaos changes depending on the rules of land you reside.

Is that a perceived problem of RaW or an aspect you want to incorporate in your homebrewed alignment system?

Personally, I don't think that's how RaW describes it, nor should alignment be modified to fit that statement.

'findel

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