Law, Chaos, Monks and Barbarians


Prerelease Discussion

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Alignment is great if you want to play something like LOTR and be able to do extra damage against evil beings. And I think once upon a time that's what everyone wanted to play.

Now that everyone wants to play things like GoT, it gets in the way and is a nuisance.

But the alignment system definitely has a purpose... depending on what kind of fantasy you want to play in of course.


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The Raven Black wrote:

Alignment is a respected and comforting part of the game to me. I do not wish it apart from the core game though I believe that it will be rather easy to work without it in PF2.

If we do not have alignment, then we relinquish broad descriptive categories for creatures, such as outsiders. Also iconic spells such as Protection from Alignment, Holy Word and even Detect Alignment

It becomes more difficult to tell the usual tales of Fantasy RPG. It might even end up in people replacing the usual alignments with other notions that will be but pale copies of the originals

The usual tales of fantasy rpg? Wait, the usual tales of Dungeons and Dragons you mean? Because fantasy as a literary & cinematic genre has moved *way over* anything like the simplistic good-evil dichotomy alignments represent in favor of more realistic and nuanced motivations.

You're right, we'd have to do without Detect Alignment. Good riddance! That spell tends to short-circuit any possible murder mystery you throw at it. Holy Word could work against *enemies of the faith*, which would make a lot more sense. Protection from Whatever could be Protection from Celestials, Protection from Fiends, and Protection from Order and from Chaos, each repelling the appropriate outsiders. We do not have to relinquish categories of outsiders like Inevitables and Angels and Daemons, we just need to describe in the fluff what they want and what they do, which we already do anyways! A devil can have Vulnerability 5 Celestial, and a Paladin's Smite can inflict Celestial damage! Or Holy! Whatever! JRPGs are working with Holy-categorized spells since *the late '80s* for chrissakes!

But okay, I agree, some of you like it, I see where you're coming from. Can't we at least compromise? Could we at least have *optional* alignments? Like, they're *explicitly stated* as optional? It would remove a lot of stupid assumptions and disrupting fights because "your paladin must be LG but I was acting LG no that wasn't LG that was LN" and so on... who wants to use them uses them, and they are included, we who don't want to see them even on a postcard just ignore them. Really, *orcs are all chaotic evil*??!

And NO, paladins don't need to be LG already, it has never been enough, that's why they have a paragraph of code to follow and another of anathema to avoid or to atone for, because LG *means too many subjective things*, one for each player and GM!

Oh and Tholomyes, thanks, but there's a better alternative to alignment, just for the sake of example: goals and allegiances. "Helping Sandpoint". "Revenge against my father". "Freedom from slavery". It's slightly longer than an alignment, but gives you a lot more info, and much more useful. Goals can also be stuff like "Defeating Rovagug's avatar", or "Becoming a full-blooded demon", and allegiances can be "My family", "My friends", "My party", "My city", "My nation", "Church of Desna", "Only myself", "The Hellknights"... it tells you a lot more, and it's not really pages of extra stuff, right? If the Hellknights have a certain philosophy, and a 1 line npc has allegiance to them, then you know what to expect even without a paragraph of psychoanalysis. If I'm NG... what does that actually say about me? I'm a good person. Wow. We needed the alignment rules to blending that key info in.

Also - it doesn't really matter. A 1-line npc is already so bare and unimportant you can have it act however you want and feel appropriate to the situation, and also, they are never really 1-line - their class and ancestry is 1 line, but more text is always needed to describe at least a couple key details about them. So why not?

But again, I don't hate alignment so much I don't want anyone to use it. If Paizo just made it *optional* we would all have our cake, and eat it too.

Sovereign Court

Azih wrote:


Now that everyone wants to play things like GoT, it gets in the way and is a nuisance.

I actually find alignment to be even more useful in GoT. GoT is pretty much all motivations, actions, and morality (or lack thereof). Its a custom fit.

I think folks these days want to be Dr. Strange, Thor, loki, and Beowulf. Probably anime stuff too, but I dont have any examples. Essentially, larger than life stuff of legends. Thats is, if the love of legendary skills and discounting of bounded accuracy are as popular in the PF community as they are on the forums.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
World's most interesting Pan wrote:

As GM, I want quick shorthand to guide running the thousands of characters in any given campaign.

Only this line sort of requires something like alignment. And even then a set of personality traits would serve this purpose even better.

I mean what is more useful in deciding how to play x npc? An alignment of Chaotic Neutral that means a thousand things to a thousand different NPCs or a personality line with the traits: Liar, Protective, Hopeful.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

While I don't really have a horse in the alignment/no alignment race (I generally prefer it as a convenient shorthand, but would be fine if it was optional for those who wanted that), I'd like to bring up that I've pretty much never seen alignment played the way Roswynn describes.

Alignment is a shorthand for your general philosophy and outlook on life; it doesn't dictate what you do in every single situation. It's not mutually exclusive with goals, allegiances, or personality either.

The general bestiary entries for creatures (like orcs) are explicitly said to be "typical" alignments, and that mortal creatures can vary in those alignments. There are examples of orcs in the lore who are not chaotic evil. The way every game I've been involved in has gone is that any creature can be good/evil/lawful/chaotic, even if it's not what someone would expect. (I didn't think that was that unusual...is it?) I guess I've seen a lot of people describing alignment in very prescriptive terms lately, and it makes me wonder how frequent that really is and if I've just gotten lucky at the games I've been in. I feel like alignment arguments are decidedly un-fun, but the boards are the only place I've encountered them.

Also, if someone is telling you that you're playing your character wrong and alignment-policing, they're being kind of a jerk, and I suspect removing alignment wouldn't fix that. People who do stuff like that usually have more than one jerky behavior going on.

Roswynn wrote:
You're right, we'd have to do without Detect Alignment. Good riddance! That spell tends to short-circuit any possible murder mystery you throw at it.

Er...how? Just because someone detects as evil doesn't mean they're guilty of the particular crime you're investigating. I could see the lie-detection spells being a problem, but not this.

Sovereign Court

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Malk_Content wrote:
World's most interesting Pan wrote:

As GM, I want quick shorthand to guide running the thousands of characters in any given campaign.

Only this line sort of requires something like alignment.

And even then a set of personality traits would serve this purpose even better.

I mean what is more useful in deciding how to play x npc? An alignment of Chaotic Neutral that means a thousand things to a thousand different NPCs or a personality line with the traits: Liar, Protective, Hopeful.

Honestly, chaotic neutral is more helpful to me than "liar, protective, hopeful." Under the hood it doesnt matter if I agree with my players on what CN means or not. CN lets me know both the NPCs overall goals and methods of achieving them. Once I know that, I can quickly imagine how the NPC would act in any situation.

Also, how do I use axiomatic/anarchic weapons/spells against cosmic foes without alignment?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Pan wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
World's most interesting Pan wrote:

As GM, I want quick shorthand to guide running the thousands of characters in any given campaign.

Only this line sort of requires something like alignment.

And even then a set of personality traits would serve this purpose even better.

I mean what is more useful in deciding how to play x npc? An alignment of Chaotic Neutral that means a thousand things to a thousand different NPCs or a personality line with the traits: Liar, Protective, Hopeful.

Honestly, chaotic neutral is more helpful to me than "liar, protective, hopeful." Under the hood it doesnt matter if I agree with my players on what CN means or not. CN lets me know both the NPCs overall goals and methods of achieving them. Once I know that, I can quickly imagine how the NPC would act in any situation.

Also, how do I use axiomatic/anarchic weapons/spells against cosmic foes without alignment?

I don't see how specific traits would be less useful for knowing how a character is portrayed. Even if I am consistent with how I think about any alignment, each alignment stills allows for hundreds of different personality traits.

Vulnerability: Axiomaitic 10


Hey guys,
I made my position on alignments pretty clear up thread, so I don't feel that I need to rehash my position. I would like to comment on the opposing views, not to be argumentative but to foster healthy conversation...
Roswyn: The idea that Alignment has *NEVER* helped, not even once, is a bold statement. There are countless of people, GMs and players alike, who would totally disagree with you. These people might not even like alignments (might even hate it) but to say it has *NEVER* helped. They could not bring themselves to that. As you said yourself, it is a "label". If you don't like calling Orcs Chaotic Evil, then don't just stay there. Go into HOW and WHY they are CE. (In which you have beautifully done) Alignments are a doorway into the inner workings of the PCs and Monsters. They are a shorthand, a tool. (Tholomyes points this out with the NPC shorthand) They are clumsy at times, I give you that. But they're not made to be too concise. If they were, people would be screaming bloody murder about how you're restricting my character concepts. In fact you can see this on the Barbarian thread. They temporarily shut it down yesterday because of the dissenting voices against the anathemas. (which I find ironic as they are less constrictive than the non-lawful restriction) But I digress... The only time that these general descriptive terms are *straitjackets* are when YOU let them. As I said before, I may be LG in nature but that doesn't stop me from acting NG or CG or LE or even CE at times. I'm LG because I act in that way *most of the time*.
My question to anyone who wants to jettison alignments is this: Do you think we live in a world that doesn't have Good, Evil, Law, or Chaos? (however you define it) The world I live in is bereft with all these aspects as general concepts. So why can't Pathfinder have these as well? Sure you can take away the terms, but they are still there...
So why do we need them? They are a quick, easy, universally recognizable shorthand form of dealing with REAL concepts that live in our Fantasy world as well as our real World. Take that away and you're left grappling to find another (non-unified, probably equally if not more clumsy) system. I dig how you guys are grappling with it and trying new things (Liar, protective, hopeful thing)
One last thing I want to mention is that the designers designed 2e to be easy to drop the alignment system if you want. Furthermore, the reason you'll find few alignment spells/powers/etc in the game is because they also have the philosophy that RP should not effect game mechanics. (at least it should be kept to a minimum...)


Meraki wrote:
While I don't really have a horse in the alignment/no alignment race (I generally prefer it as a convenient shorthand, but would be fine if it was optional for those who wanted that), I'd like to bring up that I've pretty much never seen alignment played the way Roswynn describes.

Lucky you!

Meraki wrote:

Alignment is a shorthand for your general philosophy and outlook on life; it doesn't dictate what you do in every single situation. It's not mutually exclusive with goals, allegiances, or personality either.

The general bestiary entries for creatures (like orcs) are explicitly said to be "typical" alignments, and that mortal creatures can vary in those alignments. There are examples of orcs in the lore who are not chaotic evil. The way every game I've been involved in has gone is that any creature can be good/evil/lawful/chaotic, even if it's not what someone would expect. (I didn't think that was that unusual...is it?) I guess I've seen a lot of people describing alignment in very prescriptive terms lately, and it makes me wonder how frequent that really is and if I've just gotten lucky at the games I've been in. I feel like alignment arguments are decidedly un-fun, but the boards are the only place I've encountered them.

So a whole species of free-willed beings tends towards chaos and evil. Mmmm. I find that hard to believe, honestly. Or at least, mildly repulsive (not the species, the people who came up with the idea of an "okay to kill" race in the first place).

Well, let's say when you see a type of monster described as "typically chaotic evil" most GMs will "typically" have you meet chaotic evil individuals.

Alignment arguments are the worst. They are, in my opinion, incredibly tedious and silly, referring as they do to a completely artificial aspect of play that shouldn't correspond to anything in the fiction. Sure, your paladin obeys his code and tries to be a good person. But that they're Capital Lawful Good and can be *detected as such* by a spell? Maybe the spell could detect their holiness, since they're a paladin. Detect Holy/Unholy/Order/Chaos - works on paladins, supernatural creatures like celestials, demons, devils, inevitables, aeons... probably even clerics of deities strongly associated with one side of the cosmic struggle, like Lamashtu, Sarenrae, Shelyn...

Meraki wrote:
Also, if someone is telling you that you're playing your character wrong and alignment-policing, they're being kind of a jerk, and I suspect removing alignment wouldn't fix that. People who do stuff like that usually have more than one jerky behavior going on.

You're right, it's true, but wouldn't it be best to actually discourage that kind of dick-head behavior by removing the bone of contention? Also, alignment-policing almost feels like an inalienable right to some GMs when they get paladins in their groups. Theorically monks, barbarians and clerics should be similarly restricted, but paladins! Some people *love* to get antagonistic with them. And some of their players think that because they're lawful good they need to police their party. No, thankfully that doesn't happen in my group, because my players are awesome, but we still would like not to have to figure out what damn alignment our characters would be, because we honestly can't give a crap about it.

So again, please, optional alignments.

Meraki wrote:
Er...how? Just because someone detects as evil doesn't mean they're guilty of the particular crime you're investigating. I could see the lie-detection spells being a problem, but not this.

Sometimes this too. In certain circumstances it really destroys all manners of uncertainty. Wouldn't a detect supernatural beings as described above work better, even in the fiction of the game?


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Generally when I see people frustrated about alignment it's because they are using it as a straightjacket, not a tool. It's just a short descriptor for personality. It should never be used to tell a player that they can't do something (unless they are a divine servant, but there are other things going on there). Any other way to give such a short description for a character's motivations would be either needlessly complicated or insubstantial. A dozen descriptors saying liar, hopeful, or whatever would just be clunky, and bring up even more questions. What do they lie about? Is it pathological, or do they lie when the occasion suits them? What are they protective of? Besides, any descriptors would have to do without the decades of support that is behind alignment. I might not know what honorable means for this character, but I have a pretty good idea of what LG means. Without alignment, we would need a whole bunch of extra character descriptions, and everything would just get jumbled together.

Not to mention how ingrained it is in the cosmology, which is something I would hate to lose. When we classify a group of things, we are better able to compare and contrast them. Without alignment, a lot of lines would become blurred and players would just be confused. Instead of "These guys are LN and those are CN. They hate each other" we would get long articles about why these two similar but different (but how are they different? We can't classify them?!) species have been warring for millennia.

Besides, alignment is already optional. It's really very easy to remove. There will even be a sidebar on it in PF2.

Sovereign Court

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Malk_Content wrote:
Pan wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
World's most interesting Pan wrote:

As GM, I want quick shorthand to guide running the thousands of characters in any given campaign.

Only this line sort of requires something like alignment.

And even then a set of personality traits would serve this purpose even better.

I mean what is more useful in deciding how to play x npc? An alignment of Chaotic Neutral that means a thousand things to a thousand different NPCs or a personality line with the traits: Liar, Protective, Hopeful.

Honestly, chaotic neutral is more helpful to me than "liar, protective, hopeful." Under the hood it doesnt matter if I agree with my players on what CN means or not. CN lets me know both the NPCs overall goals and methods of achieving them. Once I know that, I can quickly imagine how the NPC would act in any situation.

Also, how do I use axiomatic/anarchic weapons/spells against cosmic foes without alignment?

I don't see how specific traits would be less useful for knowing how a character is portrayed. Even if I am consistent with how I think about any alignment, each alignment stills allows for hundreds of different personality traits.

Vulnerability: Axiomaitic 10

Liar. What does she lie about? Things that matter, things that dont, or everything? Does she lie because she is a coward? Does she lie to manipulate people?

Any shorthand is going to run into the multiple meaning problem. With an alignment description, I can choose how the person acts in any fashion I see fit. Liar also allows some flexibility, but much less overall.

Vuln:Aximotic 10 indicates that lawfully aligned weapons still exist, and thus alignment is still a necessary thing.


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Quote:
I actually find alignment to be even more useful in GoT. GoT is pretty much all motivations, actions, and morality (or lack thereof). Its a custom fit.

The alignment system doesn't do a good job of representing GoT politics, after all there's no smite evil or detect chaos or other trappings of the alignment system. The Unchained 'Loyalties' system does a far better job of it.

In any case they seem to be making alignment in 2E less important than it was in 3.Pathfinder and so easier to remove. I think that's a good compromise. It wasn't *that* hard to file off alignment from Pathfinder and it should be even easier to do in 2E.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Pan wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Pan wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
World's most interesting Pan wrote:

As GM, I want quick shorthand to guide running the thousands of characters in any given campaign.

Only this line sort of requires something like alignment.

And even then a set of personality traits would serve this purpose even better.

I mean what is more useful in deciding how to play x npc? An alignment of Chaotic Neutral that means a thousand things to a thousand different NPCs or a personality line with the traits: Liar, Protective, Hopeful.

Honestly, chaotic neutral is more helpful to me than "liar, protective, hopeful." Under the hood it doesnt matter if I agree with my players on what CN means or not. CN lets me know both the NPCs overall goals and methods of achieving them. Once I know that, I can quickly imagine how the NPC would act in any situation.

Also, how do I use axiomatic/anarchic weapons/spells against cosmic foes without alignment?

I don't see how specific traits would be less useful for knowing how a character is portrayed. Even if I am consistent with how I think about any alignment, each alignment stills allows for hundreds of different personality traits.

Vulnerability: Axiomaitic 10

Liar. What does she lie about? Things that matter, things that dont, or everything? Does she lie because she is a coward? Does she lie to manipulate people?

Any shorthand is going to run into the multiple meaning problem. With an alignment description, I can choose how the person acts in any fashion I see fit. Liar also allows some flexibility, but much less overall.

Vuln:Aximotic 10 indicates that lawfully aligned weapons still exist, and thus alignment is still a necessary thing.

Yeah it would still need a write up most likely. But as I could fit all of those traits into a character of any alignment I think it is better than alignment as a role playing guide on a specific NPC.

For players I wouldn't want it all. Unless they wrote them down themselves, because I feel alignment tells you nothing about a character. If someone describes their character to me by saying Alignment, all that means is I have to ask for more details anyway.

And you don't need the Alignment tag to make axiomatic or anything else like that a thing, Axiomatic can exist as a trait without the need of an over aching Alignment structure. In fact I feel the existence of them as is shows the wonderful flaws of the alignment system. Does extra damage against Chaotic creatures? Cool, who defines that. The sword? The player, the creature? If two people can look at a someones story so far and come out with a range of alignments, do we really want to be tying stuff like extra damage to it?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The thread got a bit long to properly quote, so:

Yeah, maybe I am just lucky. I'm picky about who I play with, so I imagine that has something to do with it.

Roswynn wrote:
So a whole species of free-willed beings tends towards chaos and evil.

(My tongue-in-cheek initial reaction was: so, like humans?) I wouldn't say that's too out of line as long as you establish that this isn't dictated by their natures; i.e., an orc is chaotic and evil because she does typically chaotic and evil things, not because she is an orc and this is how orcs are, and not all orcs behave like this but many do in a particular society, etc.). Though I'm not wild about the idea of "always evil" mortal races myself. I feel like the fix for that is pretty simple, though: emphasize that the bestiary example presented is just that. Maybe I just see "tends to" as having less of an impact than you seem to?

Do most GMs do that? Maybe they do. I don't. There's a tribe of Milanite trogolodytes in our version of Golarion.

Roswynn wrote:
Alignment arguments are the worst. They are, in my opinion, incredibly tedious and silly, referring as they do to a completely artificial aspect of play that shouldn't correspond to anything in the fiction. Sure, your paladin obeys his code and tries to be a good person. But that they're Capital Lawful Good and can be *detected as such* by a spell? Maybe the spell could detect their holiness, since they're a paladin. Detect Holy/Unholy/Order/Chaos - works on paladins, supernatural creatures like celestials, demons, devils, inevitables, aeons... probably even clerics of deities strongly associated with one side of the cosmic struggle, like Lamashtu, Sarenrae, Shelyn...

Isn't Holy/Unholy just a renamed version of the same concept, though? I don't know if that would fix any arguments.

Roswynn wrote:
No, thankfully that doesn't happen in my group, because my players are awesome, but we still would like not to have to figure out what damn alignment our characters would be, because we honestly can't give a crap about it.

I feel like ruling it out is already pretty simple, though. As for player and GM issues...yeah, that can be a problem, but I think alignment is only one bone of contention among many. Would going without it help? Maybe, but more likely the focus would just shift to code/anathema arguments, or nitpicking your character build or choices, or disagreements on the party's choices in certain situations...

Problem players/GMs gonna problem. Alignment is one thing, but far from the only one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Malachandra wrote:

Generally when I see people frustrated about alignment it's because they are using it as a straightjacket, not a tool. It's just a short descriptor for personality. It should never be used to tell a player that they can't do something (unless they are a divine servant, but there are other things going on there). Any other way to give such a short description for a character's motivations would be either needlessly complicated or insubstantial. A dozen descriptors saying liar, hopeful, or whatever would just be clunky, and bring up even more questions. What do they lie about? Is it pathological, or do they lie when the occasion suits them? What are they protective of? Besides, any descriptors would have to do without the decades of support that is behind alignment. I might not know what honorable means for this character, but I have a pretty good idea of what LG means. Without alignment, we would need a whole bunch of extra character descriptions, and everything would just get jumbled together.

Not to mention how ingrained it is in the cosmology, which is something I would hate to lose. When we classify a group of things, we are better able to compare and contrast them. Without alignment, a lot of lines would become blurred and players would just be confused. Instead of "These guys are LN and those are CN. They hate each other" we would get long articles about why these two similar but different (but how are they different? We can't classify them?!) species have been warring for millennia.

Besides, alignment is already optional. It's really very easy to remove. There will even be a sidebar on it in PF2.

Actually, you know, that's a way more concise version of what I was trying to say. +1 for Malachandra.


Iron_Matt17 wrote:

Hey guys,

I made my position on alignments pretty clear up thread, so I don't feel that I need to rehash my position. I would like to comment on the opposing views, not to be argumentative but to foster healthy conversation...
Roswyn: The idea that Alignment has *NEVER* helped, not even once, is a bold statement. There are countless of people, GMs and players alike, who would totally disagree with you. These people might not even like alignments (might even hate it) but to say it has *NEVER* helped. They could not bring themselves to that.

Hyperbole. Of course someone in their life will have benefitted from alignment in some way, shape or form. Still think treating people like PEOPLE instead of moving targets makes for a better game - and a better story.

Iron_Matt17 wrote:
As you said yourself, it is a "label". If you don't like calling Orcs Chaotic Evil, then don't just stay there. Go into HOW and WHY they are CE. (In which you have beautifully done) Alignments are a doorway into the inner workings of the PCs and Monsters. They are a shorthand, a tool. (Tholomyes points this out with the NPC shorthand) They are clumsy at times, I give you that. But they're not made to be too concise.

Indeed I HATE calling orcs chaotic evil, but can't Paizo do us a solid and leave them as just an option? That way you have them, and I can ignore them. Win win.

Iron_Matt17 wrote:
If they were, people would be screaming bloody murder about how you're restricting my character concepts. In fact you can see this on the Barbarian thread. They temporarily shut it down yesterday because of the dissenting voices against the anathemas. (which I find ironic as they are less constrictive than the non-lawful restriction) But I digress...

I'll digress too: I find anathema being infinitely more valid than alignment as a design choice, as a fictional element, and as a roleplay opportunity, and I really, REALLY don't understand why people got so angry. I wouldn't mind having anathema for monks too.

Iron_Matt17 wrote:
The only time that these general descriptive terms are *straitjackets* are when YOU let them. As I said before, I may be LG in nature but that doesn't stop me from acting NG or CG or LE or even CE at times. I'm LG because I act in that way *most of the time*.

Yet another interpretation. Because, see, that's what all this talking about alignment is: a lot of rulings from different GMs. Because no one will ever manage to make actual rules regarding alignments. They're supposed to be a guide to play your character, but they're so vague as to be actually useless, and still you find yourself thinking whether you're respecting your alignment or not, if you maybe need to change it, which detracts from the fun of the game. Can't we make them just optional, is that really such a divinely sacred cow?

Iron_Matt17 wrote:
My question to anyone who wants to jettison alignments is this: Do you think we live in a world that doesn't have Good, Evil, Law, or Chaos? (however you define it) The world I live in is bereft with all these aspects as general concepts. So why can't Pathfinder have these as well?

Umm... moral relativity. Good and evil are subjective. IMHO. Ethics, now, those I like, but I still wouldn't put them in a game as rules, b/c humans and even more fictional beings just are too varied for a simple 2-axes-system to categorize. No, good doesn't exist in the world. Peace exists, and charity, and love, and all or any of those could be a much better way to roleplay your character. People try to do good in VERY different ways. Evil? Most "evil" people turns out are deeply ill individuals. They're still to blame for what they do, but society plays its part as well. An Evil culture? Evil monsters? Well... IDK, demons and devils sound pretty damn evil, right? But do we need rules for that?

Iron_Matt17 wrote:

Sure you can take away the terms, but they are still there...

So why do we need them? They are a quick, easy, universally recognizable shorthand form of dealing with REAL concepts that live in our Fantasy world as well as our real World. Take that away and you're left grappling to find another (non-unified, probably equally if not more clumsy) system. I dig how you guys are grappling with it and trying new things (Liar, protective, hopeful thing)

They simplify things too much. Good and evil oversimplify actual life. If we could actually determine what's good and what's evil in non-relativistic terms we would use the alignment system in real life. Surprise, we don't. THEY BREAK OUR SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF. Maybe it's better to just describe how a culture, a character, a beast, a demon ACT. And perhaps some interesting tidbits about their sense of aesthetics and their priorities in life...

Iron_Matt17 wrote:
One last thing I want to mention is that the designers designed 2e to be easy to drop the alignment system if you want. Furthermore, the reason you'll find few alignment spells/powers/etc in the game is because they also have the philosophy that RP should not effect game mechanics. (at least it should be kept to a minimum...)

One thing is to design a game so that dropping an element is easy, but still not optimal because you still have Detect Alignment, Holy Word, Protection from Alignment, and mentions of alignments in every, single, fluff, piece. A totally different thing is to JUST MAKE THEM OPTIONAL so that those of us who are just tired of dealing with this frankly silly 4-points model can finally let it die, unmourned.

Look, I don't want to come off as this abrasive, honestly, and I respect your opinion and your right to still have alignments, since you find them useful, flavorful, and so on. It's totally alright, I'm not attacking you guys. I just don't like it, really not at all, and I know mine is not the only group who can't stand it. We just want it to be officially optional. I don't think it's such an outrageous request.

Sovereign Court

Malk_Content wrote:
And you don't need the Alignment tag to make axiomatic or anything else like that a thing, Axiomatic can exist as a trait without the need of an over aching Alignment structure. In fact I feel the existence of them as is shows the wonderful flaws of the alignment system. Does extra damage against Chaotic creatures? Cool, who defines that. The sword? The player, the creature?

All those things.

Malk_Content wrote:
If two people can look at a someones story so far and come out with a range of alignments, do we really want to be tying stuff like extra damage to it?

Absolutely. At the end of the day, I want cosmic battles and beings of pure alignment. As for disagreements, you have to pick an alignment eventually, and that has mechanical implications. As GM, ill let the player make their case, but they have to land on something. It tends to be more of an easy decision in my games because of my love of cosmic conflict and its relevance in my campaigns.

Good news though, alignment is a losing battle. Each edition it gets easier and easier to ignore. In about 30 years it wont even be a thing.


Roswynn. I think the issue here is that Pathfinder is both a set of rules for a game and also a setting of Golarion.

And in the Golarion setting Paizo has very officially decided that there are some ancestries of sentient beings that are evil, the end, point blank. Orcs are evil. No ifs ands or buts. Hobgoblins are evil, no ifs, ands, or buts. These creatures are there for players to kill or be killed by and not worry about the morality of it. They're Uruk-Hai. They're Nazgul. They're chromatic dragons. They're devils. They're demons. They're evil.

The reason we need rules mechanics for it is so Smite and the like can work on them.

The reason we need it for flavour is so players don't have to feel like they're in a moral grey zone by trying to wipe them off of the face of Golarion. I think there's a bunch of stories out there of Pathfinder GMs getting it across to their players that goblins are irredeemably evil by showing goblin children torturing puppies for kicks when the players first come across them.

Heck that's why making Goblins a core player race is causing such a kerfuffle and will require Paizo to have a pretty good in universe explanation for how a formerly no ifs and or buts evil species can now be player characters.

But in a homegroup this can be removed. Your group is already doing so right? 2E will make it even easier it seems like. But for the pulpy stories that Paizo themselves seem to want to tell (Hell's Vengeance, Wrath of the Righteous etc.) I don't they'll ever make them optional for their own offical setting material.


Azih wrote:

Roswynn. I think the issue here is that Pathfinder is both a set of rules for a game and also a setting of Golarion.

And in the Golarion setting Paizo has very officially decided that there are some ancestries of sentient beings that are evil, the end, point blank. Orcs are evil. No ifs ands or buts. Hobgoblins are evil, no ifs, ands, or buts. These creatures are there for players to kill or be killed by and not worry about the morality of it. They're Uruk-Hai. They're Nazgul. They're chromatic dragons. They're devils. They're demons. They're evil.

The reason we need rules mechanics for it is so Smite and the like can work on them.

The reason we need it for flavour is so players don't have to feel like they're in a moral grey zone by trying to wipe them off of the face of Golarion. I think there's a bunch of stories out there of Pathfinder GMs getting it across to their players that goblins are irredeemably evil by showing goblin children torturing puppies for kicks when the players first come across them.

Heck that's why making Goblins a core player race is causing such a kerfuffle and will require Paizo to have a pretty good in universe explanation for how a formerly no ifs and or buts evil species can now be player characters.

But in a homegroup this can be removed. Your group is already doing so right? 2E will make it even easier it seems like. But for the pulpy stories that Paizo themselves seem to want to tell (Hell's Vengeance, Wrath of the Righteous etc.) I don't they'll ever make them optional for their own offical setting material.

Correlation isn't Causation but there's a reason the best selling rpgs are dominated by ones that have an alignment system. I suspect the subset of players who are interested in moral naval gazing in a grey world of perhaps antiheros is pretty small.


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Azih wrote:

But for the pulpy stories that Paizo themselves seem to want to tell (Hell's Vengance, Wrath of the Righteous etc.) I don't they'll ever make them optional for their own setting.

Frankly you could have just included every AP paizo's written as an example of pulpy story telling. If there isn't a bbeg evil guy that would bring a tear to Skeletor's eye for being evil for the sake of EVIL then either you are the bbegs or you're off being pirates.


No, Azih, my group isn't already leaving alignments in the dump, because g@+@*!mit they're so ingrained in both fluff and game mechanics. And evil races are f$%%ing stupid in our opinion, we would much prefer different cultures instead of evil cultures, and hostility and violence breaking out notwithstanding everyone's best intentions, and bigots and specieists clamoring for the blood of anyone that's other, and shades of grey, and nuanced behavior...

But.

Okay, lots of different opinions, I'm tired (it's almost 10pm here), and some people upthread mentioned there's a sidebar in the Playtest that tells you how to drop alignments. I'll have a look at it as soon as I download the pdfs on August 2. We'll playtest without alignments and we'll tell Paizo our opinions.

Hopefully it doesn't leave gaping holes in the system and it's really downplayed as some of you say. Otherwise, me, my players, and about half a dozen other people will feebly protest against alignments while all of you merrily keep using them to your heart's content. Beauty of a democratic system after all.

Thank you for reading and see you next time.


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Azih wrote:

Roswynn. I think the issue here is that Pathfinder is both a set of rules for a game and also a setting of Golarion.

And in the Golarion setting Paizo has very officially decided that there are some ancestries of sentient beings that are evil, the end, point blank. Orcs are evil. No ifs ands or buts. Hobgoblins are evil, no ifs, ands, or buts. These creatures are there for players to kill or be killed by and not worry about the morality of it. They're Uruk-Hai. They're Nazgul. They're chromatic dragons. They're devils. They're demons. They're evil.

The reason we need rules mechanics for it is so Smite and the like can work on them.

The reason we need it for flavour is so players don't have to feel like they're in a moral grey zone by trying to wipe them off of the face of Golarion. I think there's a bunch of stories out there of Pathfinder GMs getting it across to their players that goblins are irredeemably evil by showing goblin children torturing puppies for kicks when the players first come across them.

Heck that's why making Goblins a core player race is causing such a kerfuffle and will require Paizo to have a pretty good in universe explanation for how a formerly no ifs and or buts evil species can now be player characters.

But in a homegroup this can be removed. Your group is already doing so right? 2E will make it even easier it seems like. But for the pulpy stories that Paizo themselves seem to want to tell (Hell's Vengeance, Wrath of the Righteous etc.) I don't they'll ever make them optional for their own offical setting material.

This... is demonstrably untrue. Even in Golarion exceptions to the "generally chaotic evil" nature of orcs exist; the biggest example being a tribe in Belkzen that's led by a CG Warpriest of Sarenrae.


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Oh good, more pick the exception that proves the rule and inflate it as though its common enough to be treated as a norm.


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Oh good, more of Ryan dismissing anything that contradicts his grognard biases.

Liberty's Edge

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Secret Wizard wrote:
Working for the collective is being Good, not lawful.

No, working to help others (whether a collective or an individual) is Good. Altruism is Good.

Focusing on the collective over the individual is Lawful, while focusing on the individual over the collective is Chaotic.

Roswynn wrote:

Let's abolish alignments.

There, I said it.

Personally, I'd rather not.

Roswynn wrote:

Since the hoary beginnings of this hobby they've tried to impose rules for how individuals are expected to act. At first it was merely to make sure no player engaged in anti-party shenanigans, like the off chance a rogue would steal more than their fair share of a monster's treasure. Then moral judgment was added to the mix, and various examples started being given to help players and GMs understand what the heck these arbitrary restrictions meant. Every group debated whether any given action or character was lawful or chaotic, good or evil, neutral, true neutral, and so on - and it too often stopped at that.

It has *never helped once*.

This isn't what Alignment is useful for. Some people certainly do this, but it's not the useful part of Alignment. What is the useful part of Alignment? Well, I'll quote myself on that one (since I've had this argument before):

Deadmanwalking wrote:

For me, the advantages of Alignment in terms of roleplaying are twofold:

1. If you don't have an idea for who your character is as a person already firmly in mind, Alignment can serve as an excellent starting place. It's certainly not the whole of their personality, but especially in combination with the mental ability scores it can be an very good place to work outward from. This is very nice for some players who are better at working out character personalities in play than beforehand, since it gives them a kernel to build that developing personality around.

2. It's absolutely wonderful from a GM perspective. You simply don't have time to work out detailed personalities for Bandit #3 and similar NPCs, and their alignments are really useful shorthand for 'what kind of people are these?' I mean, NE Bandits are very different people from CN ones and those differences are easily communicated in two letters. That's a wonderful GM tool that makes things so much easier when roleplaying random people in the world.
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Really, a lot of games have some sort of personality or morality mechanic (or both!), often a lot more detailed than alignment, to serve these purposes, and IME games with something in that 'slot' tend to be easier to develop character personalities for than ones lacking anything of the kind. It's not necessary by any means, but it is useful.

It also says something about the kind of game you want to have. A game with no morality mechanics is much more inclined to wind up being driven by ruthless pragmatism than one that has them. That's not precisely universal, but it's a definite trend. Pathfinder is intended primarily as a game where you play heroic people doing something good. That having a mechanic (even an entirely voluntary one...nobody has to be Good) to enforce that is useful in setting the proper tone.

Speaking of tone, the things you have rules for say what's important in the game in question. Those that lack a moral system are saying that moral questions either aren't the focus of the system in question (like, say, Shadowrun) or that PCs are expected to answer such questions however they like, including with 'I don't care.' or 'Murdering people for food is totally fine.' (like Apocalypse World). Either way, I don't think that's the kind of game Pathfinder is or wants to be.

None of which is to say that I don't think there are issues with Alignment in some people's games. There clearly are, even if I personally haven't run into them. But I feel like they're better solved by a combination of discussions regarding alignment and social contract in the GM section and rules for removing alignment if you don't want to deal with it. The latter has explicitly been stated to be included in the PF2 corebook, as has some more discussion of the social contract (though they haven't explicitly said that the social contract discussion will involve alignment).

So that's my point of view on the issue.

Roswynn wrote:
So a whole species of free-willed beings tends towards chaos and evil. Mmmm. I find that hard to believe, honestly. Or at least, mildly repulsive (not the species, the people who came up with the idea of an "okay to kill" race in the first place).

No species is 'okay to kill' in Pathfinder and Golarion. There hgave been canonical CG Orcs and the like in published books. And it's been made pretty clear that for those species that are 'typically Evil', that's mostly a cultural thing (the only biological thing that's ever been mentioned is that they tend to have worse tempers than humans). Orcs on Golarion worship Rovagug (the CE God of Destruction). That's the cultural milieu they are raised in. A religion that actively opposes creating anything and encourages simply taking what you want as what might as well be the state church. Is it any wonder the majority of them are murderous raiders when raised in such an environment?

Roswynn wrote:
Well, let's say when you see a type of monster described as "typically chaotic evil" most GMs will "typically" have you meet chaotic evil individuals.

Yes. And that's correct for the setting. Most Orcs (at least around Belkzen, their biggest population center) are, in fact, CE due to cultural factors. Most of them you meet should be CE. That's a feature, not a bug.

Azih wrote:
And in the Golarion setting Paizo has very officially decided that there are some ancestries of sentient beings that are evil, the end, point blank. Orcs are evil. No ifs ands or buts. Hobgoblins are evil, no ifs, ands, or buts. These creatures are there for players to kill or be killed by and not worry about the morality of it. They're Uruk-Hai. They're Nazgul. They're chromatic dragons. They're devils. They're demons. They're evil.

Uh...this is factually untrue. I think every word of it is factually untrue. There are redeemed Devils and Demons in Golarion. There are Good Aligned Undead and Orcs.

This is not how Golarion works at all.

Ryan Freire wrote:
Oh good, more pick the exception that proves the rule and inflate it as though its common enough to be treated as a norm.

Um...no. That isn't what's going on. Azih said all creatures listed as Evil were in fact Evil, with no exceptions. That is factually untrue and one example proves it to be so (not that there's only one example...1 in 10 tribal leaders in Belkzen is non-Evil, and that's leaders, in the common population that percentage is likely even higher).


A day without CE orcs, is like a day without sunshine...


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<sigh> This thread was pretty interesting back when it was about monks and barbarians....


Arachnofiend wrote:
This... is demonstrably untrue. Even in Golarion exceptions to the "generally chaotic evil" nature of orcs exist; the biggest example being a tribe in Belkzen that's led by a CG Warpriest of Sarenrae.

I stand corrected then. Apologies.

But I think the larger point of Paizo stories depending on 'Evil monsters that are evil because they are and thus can be Smited and mown down by the Holy enchantment' stands. Not only is there a BBEG at the end to kill (with an emphasis on the E) but a whole bunch of Smaller Evil guys to slash through to get to it.

I think a lot of players are looking for monsters to righteously slay as a way to unwind when they play TTRPGs. I know I do. There's too much mundane evil in the world for me and I'd really like to smack around some cartoon villains in my downtime instead of grappling with morally grey conundrums.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Oh good, more of Ryan dismissing anything that contradicts his grognard biases.

I'm not dismissing it, they exist, I'm dismissive of the idea that the one or two exceptions ever printed form some trend.

Both that tribe and the non evil succubus are literal deus ex machina. These are things that exist literally because a god came down and meddled. This is why they are exceptions that prove the rule. It requires deific intervention.


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Okay, one last aside and then I'm really out of here at least until tomorrow: Azih mentioned Unchained, so I went to have a look, and it's definitely a step in the right direction for me, with workable examples on how you might eliminate alignment, substitute it with loyalties or with nothing at all, and how to work alignment effects (if any) into the game, in those cases.

It's good stuff. I hope the Playtest gives us something similar, and 2E after that, because I really like the direction the previews are going, and the world, notwithstanding some frankly ugly racial caricaturing, is pretty cool and interesting for what I've read.

At worst we'll play in a world much like Golarion, but with the serial numbers filed off, and alignment switched out in favor of something from Unchained, or (yes god please) a good enough solution from the coming products.

BTW, again, I really hate chaotic evil orcs and whatnot and one of my favorite novels was Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, in which an angel does some ugly things. Similarly, I love Hellboy, in which a devil does some pretty heroic things, and I'm quite interested in His Dark Materials, with angels again not being shining examples of good by any means. Non-traditional roles must kinda be my thing I suppose.

Cheers, everybody.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Okay, given this thread, maybe my group is more of an anomaly than I thought...


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I can second that Roswynn. Have alignments, but make them easy to remove right from Core.

Liberty's Edge

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Azih wrote:

I stand corrected then. Apologies.

But I think the larger point of Paizo stories depending on 'Evil monsters that are evil because they are and thus can be Smited and mown down by the Holy enchantment' stands. Not only is there a BBEG at the end to kill (with an emphasis on the E) but a whole bunch of Smaller Evil guys to slash through to get to it.

I think a lot of players are looking for monsters to righteously slay as a way to unwind when they play TTRPGs. I know I do. There's too much mundane evil in the world for me and I'd really like to smack around some cartoon villains in my downtime instead of grappling with morally grey conundrums.

There's definitely a fair number of unambiguously Evil persons and cultures in Golarion allowing exactly this. The ones that aren't human are not, however, treated any differently from the human ones in terms of how Evil they are or whether a member can be Good.

Ryan Freire wrote:

I'm not dismissing it, they exist, I'm dismissive of the idea that the one or two exceptions ever printed form some trend.

Both that tribe and the non evil succubus are literal deus ex machina. These are things that exist literally because a god came down and meddled. This is why they are exceptions that prove the rule. It requires deific intervention.

No, it doesn't. Both of those examples have 'deific intervention' in them, but only in the sense of the Deity talking to them in at least one case (the Orc), and there are other examples that have no deific interference at all (a risen Fiend in The Redemption Engine and all the other non-Evil Orcs, which there are several of, just to start with...the non-Evil undead are also mostly free of deific intervention, too, for that matter).

There's definitive evidence that such intervention isn't remotely required.

Roswynn wrote:
BTW, again, I really hate chaotic evil orcs and whatnot and one of my favorite novels was Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, in which an angel does some ugly things. Similarly, I love Hellboy, in which a devil does some pretty heroic things, and I'm quite interested in His Dark Materials, with angels again not being shining examples of good by any means. Non-traditional roles must kinda be my thing I suppose.

Both of these examples are pretty much 100% possible in Golarion with the Alignment rules exactly as they are. For the record.

Azih wrote:
I can second that Roswynn. Have alignments, but make them easy to remove right from Core.

This appears to be a design goal for PF2. There aren't going to be explicit rules for it, but it should be easy.


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Ok, start showing rather than just telling, because your CG warpriest of sarenrae changed her ways after being "plagued with dreams of a flaming angel telling her that her people would face extinction if they did not choose a new path" The succubus was a direct intervention of Desna.

The AP wrote:
Arueshalae first came to the Worldwound in 4636 AR. One fateful night after she'd seduced a priestess ofDesna and drained her nearly to death, on a whim she tried an experiment. Since outsiders don't need to sleep, they don't normally dream. Out of curiosity, she stole into the thoughts ofher dying victim using detect thou!Jhts while the woman lay sleeping, only to be pulled into the Dimension of Dreams. When the priestess died, Arueshalae found herself somehow trapped, but she hadn't gone unnoticed. In daring to allow herself to dream, Arueshalae gained Desna's attention. She had already observed the succubus's murder of one of her priests, but perhaps having learned a bit of forgiveness from her own divine ally Sarenrae, Desna did not smite Arueshalae. Instead, she reached into Arueshalae's soul and quickened her larval core. Memories of her mortal life flooded back at once, memories of dreams that never came true. Desna whispered in her ear: "Even demons can dream."

Desna literally meddled with her demonic makeup to allow her to not be CE.

If i go dig up the redemption engine am i going to find that dvil was also the result of some deus ex machina conveniently omitted?


Oh, its just some novel. Hardly canon.

Liberty's Edge

Ryan Freire wrote:
Ok, start showing rather than just telling, because your CG warpriest of sarenrae changed her ways after being "plagued with dreams of a flaming angel telling her that her people would face extinction if they did not choose a new path"

Yes. That's talking to her, which is what I said.

Ryan Freire wrote:

The succubus was a direct intervention of Desna.

Desna literally meddled with her demonic makeup to allow her to not be CE.

Arueshalae's situation is by far the most debatable. I personally think that her situation could've been duplicated without a God (say, via, wish)...but it definitely involved active, magical, intervention.

It is pretty much unique in this regard.

Ryan Freire wrote:
If i go dig up the redemption engine am i going to find that dvil was also the result of some deus ex machina conveniently omitted?

No. He met an Angel, but not one more powerful then him, and it was her actions that inspired his redemption, not any magic or anything.

Ryan Freire wrote:
Oh, its just some novel. Hardly canon.

The novels are as canonical as the APs according to the people at Paizo. And that one was written by James Sutter.

Also, you're ignoring my non-fiend references (which are not from novels), like the other non-Evil Orcs in Belkzen and the non-Evil undead.


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*digs up incredibly infintesimally small portions of a population and tries desperately to present them as statistically significant*

Liberty's Edge

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Ryan Freire wrote:
*digs up incredibly infintesimally small portions of a population and tries desperately to present them as statistically significant*

10% (which is the percentage of Orc chiefs in the Belkzen book who are non-Evil) is a tiny percentage, now? That's 1 in 10 and very much statistically significant.


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Nice goalpost shift, "non evil"

Of the 44 mentioned orc and halforc npc's, 4 are non evil.

of those 4 non evil ones there is a single good orc, that became good because of the divine intervention of a deity. I'm sorry but plaguing someone with visions of doom is divine intervention, not "a conversation"

The other three are CN. One step away from the standard racial alignment. One a warpriest of gorum. Another a CN druid of a CE god. and the third just a generic CN ranger.

So, if we take this framework as representative. At best you've got 2% good orcs, assuming sarenrae is sending lots of visions of doom out there. and another 6% that sit one step away at CN.

I argue that these are not representative samples, and that things like CG orcs are highlighted precisely because a splatbook exists to highlight the strange and rare in an area. But even if they were, it still doesn't rise to the level of more than exception that proves the rule.

Liberty's Edge

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Ryan Freire wrote:
Nice goalpost shift, "non evil"

Non-evil is actually the only thing I ever specified in anything but small numbers. Any arguments involving large numbers of Good Orcs and the like were either with someone other than me, or in your imagination.

Ryan Freire wrote:
Of the 44 mentioned orc and halforc npc's, 4 are non evil.

Indeed. The number of Orcs alone is more relevant given that we have lots of non-Evil Half Orcs in other books, but that's still 9%. Almost exactly the figure I cited.

Ryan Freire wrote:
of those 4 non evil ones there is a single good orc, that became good because of the divine intervention of a deity. I'm sorry but plaguing someone with visions of doom is divine intervention, not "a conversation"

It's also not magical compulsion. It's putting effort into converting someone, sure, but hardly mind controlling them or 'divine intervention' in the context that term is normally used.

For another Orc who's presumably good without a God being involved (given that he approves of his daughter becoming a Paladin but is in no way described as religious) you can read Irabeth Tirabade's backstory in Wrath of the Righteous.

Ryan Freire wrote:
The other three are CN. One step away from the standard racial alignment. One a warpriest of gorum. Another a CN druid of a CE god. and the third just a generic CN ranger.

Yep. All true. And? My point was never that Goods Orcs are around every corner. Indeed, I explicitly and repeatedly specified that, at least around Belkzen, most of them are Evil.

Ryan Freire wrote:
So, if we take this framework as representative. At best you've got 2% good orcs, assuming sarenrae is sending lots of visions of doom out there. and another 6% that sit one step away at CN.

It's be 7% if we're rounding properly (well, or 3% and 6% if you prefer...the two together total 9%, anyway). But sure, I'm willing to go with 2% and 7% as rough figures if you like.

Ryan Freire wrote:
I argue that these are not representative samples, and that things like CG orcs are highlighted precisely because a splatbook exists to highlight the strange and rare in an area.

This sort of ignores that it's 10% of tribal leaders and their tribes presumably follow suit to a large degree. Their tribes are, in fact, described as doing precisely that. And we get descriptions of the leaders of most tribes.

Ryan Freire wrote:
But even if they were, it still doesn't rise to the level of more than exception that proves the rule.

9-10% of the population is not a 'rare exception'. It's a minority, but nearly twice as large of one per capita as Asian-Americans are in the U.S.

It's not a segment of the population anywhere near small enough to ignore.


Don't really care to get involved in this argument since there is no way alignment is getting dropped. I'm not going to waste that much energy since the issue isn't as much a logical one as a personal preference one but Just for numbers sake I will say my vote is to keep alignment.


Would love to see chaotic monks in PF2E core. Also would love it if this thread were about that and not the legitimacy of considering nonevil or good orcs.

For chaos monks, I think it fits better if law/chaos is collectivism/individualism as was mentioned upthread. A monk who follows strict monastic traditions because they preserve the order in her spirit, body, and community would be lawful. One who achieves mystical feats of prowess by using martial arts as an extension of her spirit, using it to free her from physical limitations might be less lawful.

Similarly, disciples of Sun Wukong would make sense as CN monks, assuming pathfinder and real world Sun Wukong are similar (and that I don't have a misunderstanding of the figure). I know the pathfinder version is a martial arts monkey god who sneers at any attempt of authority and the real world myths include him being a martial artist, trickster, and I believe fairly chaotic in general. My apologies if this is not a fair representation.

Maybe monks will have a set of choices with anathema that restricts alignment based on type. Perhaps monk vows or maybe styles will be a core part of the class.

Liberty's Edge

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Paradozen wrote:
Also would love it if this thread were about that and not the legitimacy of considering nonevil or good orcs.

Y'know, you're right. I apologize for the threadjack and will not continue posting on the subject after this post.

I just always feel the need to clarify that Golarion is not a setting where you can 'kill all Orcs' and have that be the righteous thing to do, since it isn't but people often falsely claim it is...which can turn a lot of people off the setting right there. And I hate to see people not give the setting a chance due to factual errors from people describing it.


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Just want to say that I do not hate the existence of Alignment itself, spells and creatures based on alignment, and all that. I'm the first that like hardcore alignment on outsiders, I loved Planescape after all.
But, sadly, is NOT true that alignment is only a way to help define character motivations and that it not define your actions. Why? Alignment restrictions. If I lose like 80% class power because the DM interpretation of some action says that is contrary to my alignment, then is hard to negate that it is a straightjacket.
Alignment restrictions on not divine characters need to go, and I have hopes that the ones on Monk are gone. Things like "drunken masters need to be lawful" have zero sense. I would love to have alignment restrictions disappear from divine classes too, but there they can have some sense.


Back in 1st Edition AD&D, the Fiend Folio introduced the Githzerai, which were Chaotic Neutral, but had Monks. The AD&D 1st Edition rule set never bothered to update itself to provide for this. It would be nice if Pathfinder 2nd Edition (or even a patch to Pathfinder 1st Edition, if 2nd Edition blows apart) actually provided Rules As Written to support this.

Liberty's Edge

Alaryth wrote:
Alignment restrictions on not divine characters need to go, and I have hopes that the ones on Monk are gone. Things like "drunken masters need to be lawful" have zero sense. I would love to have alignment restrictions disappear from divine classes too, but there they can have some sense.

This actually seems very likely. The only two Classes with Alignment Restrictions in PF1 that we don't know the status of in PF2 are Druid and Monk. Monk seems likely to me to be restriction free, and Druid (while not strictly Divine any more) could make some sense.


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Alaryth wrote:

Just want to say that I do not hate the existence of Alignment itself, spells and creatures based on alignment, and all that. I'm the first that like hardcore alignment on outsiders, I loved Planescape after all.

But, sadly, is NOT true that alignment is only a way to help define character motivations and that it not define your actions. Why? Alignment restrictions. If I lose like 80% class power because the DM interpretation of some action says that is contrary to my alignment, then is hard to negate that it is a straightjacket.
Alignment restrictions on not divine characters need to go, and I have hopes that the ones on Monk are gone. Things like "drunken masters need to be lawful" have zero sense. I would love to have alignment restrictions disappear from divine classes too, but there they can have some sense.

I've seen some rather interesting discussions on the paradigm of law versus chaos (and what law versus chaos should even mean), the recent explorations of what a CG code of conduct would look like, I remember one intriguing take on the Incredibles (Bob as NG, Helen as LG, both in terms of their strengths and flaws), and I still value my copy of the 3.0 Manual of the Planes. Even if I don't agree with the concept of the spectra of behavior being parsed out into 9 general boxes and those results being knowable to mortal mind, it's not like alignment as a concept is harmful or toxic.

As long as there's no agenda. But when I need to be able to continue taking levels in Monk, that requires being lawful, and therefore I need to all observers to agree the character is still lawful no matter what, then it's crossed the line.

Alignment is a lot like riddles, actually.

The comments on this webcomic page delved into the nature of riddles and how difficult it can be to successfully use them in an RPG. Namely, that riddles more often than not have multiple correct answers that can be intuitively arrived at, and the trick is knowing/guessing/licking into the specific correct answer the riddle-giver was looking for. Fun enough if you're into that sort of thing and the riddle is little more than an exploration into different ways to view the world with nothing at stake if you guess the wrong-but-still-intuitively-correct answer.

Now consider the Riddler and his deadly stakes and why everyone in Gotham prefers it when he's locked away in Arkham. Running afoul of alignment restrictions and thereby being forced to express your character in a manner you had no intention of is practically the same thing.


Grognardy Dangerfield wrote:
A day without CE orcs, is like a day without sunshine...

While appreciate I the reference, pilgrim, but I prefer my orcs, LE, ala 1st Ed AD&D.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Back in 1st Edition AD&D, the Fiend Folio introduced the Githzerai, which were Chaotic Neutral, but had Monks.

But are they not LN, just like in 3rd Ed?

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