Why do we have Alignment?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

51 to 100 of 299 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't mind the system. You just have to remind yourself and players that you are allowed nuances. Alignment really only describes tendencies and not an entire personality. Only hiccup is champions with their restrictions.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The only time I've ever seen alignment become problematic is when someone wanted to have "Good" on their sheet so they could be a champion of a Good deity and also be a complete a@&@#&$. Like, literally the only time that comes to mind right now is when a Liberator of Desna (I think that was a deity) almost sold another party member to be a gnoll's sex slave for a shiny sword. They got mad when I pointed out that went against literally everything their character claimed to stand for.

Otherwise the only times it's come up in games I've been in is situations like "Alright, so I'm going to change my alignment from X to Y because [insert character] is going to do Z in response" or a gentle prompt from the GM with people going "Yeah, that's fair, I have been leaning in that direction recently".


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Guntermench wrote:
The only time I've ever seen alignment become problematic is when someone wanted to have "Good" on their sheet so they could be a champion of a Good deity and also be a complete a#!&&$#. Like, literally the only time that comes to mind right now is when a Liberator of Desna (I think that was a deity) almost sold another party member to be a gnoll's sex slave for a shiny sword. They got mad when I pointed out that went against literally everything their character claimed to stand for.

That's less of an issue of alignment and more of an issue of the player not understanding what alignment means. Champions in particular is very strict when it comes to aligned actions. They should have known better.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

That's kind of my point, the only time I remember seeing alignment come up negatively in play it wasn't the actual issue. The player was.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:
Animate Dead doesn't have the Evil tag in 2e.

Which is an interesting choice by Paizo. In most other games everything undead is evil. Followers of Pharasma would probably consider it to be so. But now we have PC undead options. Good vampires have been around for a while in fiction.

Neither is Finger of Death Evil. It just has the Death and Necromancy traits. Really? I suspect that followers of Sarenrae might consider it Evil.

I think it reflects similar tensions which exist in the real world. We disagree about what Evil is.

I'm not entirely sure what Paizo's policy is WRT assigning alignment traits except perhaps to minimise it.

I'm not comfortable roleplaying wise with using a lot of negative energy spells, nor animate dead as a Good cleric. So I just don't use them with such a character.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The thing is there are still examples that counter that argument. Tieflings get a feat, that gives them weakness to good and makes them take good damage even if they aren't evil aligned. So it is possible to harm someone who is *Good* with good damage. Perhaps the damage types should have been something like celestial damage, or fiend damage. Or divine lance shouldn't have had that trait. I'll admit to all those potential things

I actually went to double check something. The good tag when talking about effects says this "Good effects often manipulate energy from good-aligned Outer Planes" it says nothing about those effects being inherently good but rather like how a produce flame manipulates fire so to do these spells manipulate energy from good planes. Which means someone who did lets say have access to it and used it for nefarious or unethical purposes would still be doing something *wrong!*

These facts along side the previous stated facts about how they are not inescapable. Suggests(in my understanding) that alignment is not prescriptive, that alignment is complex and nuanced in the setting of Golarion. And that the statement I was disputing is not only rigid but inaccurate to the world of Golarion.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gortle wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Animate Dead doesn't have the Evil tag in 2e.
Neither is Finger of Death Evil. It just has the Death and Necromancy traits. Really? I suspect that followers of Sarenrae might consider it Evil

I'm inclined to disagree. While we do not know what kind of pain the target experiences from Finger of Death, surely a spell which executes a foe instantly is not any worse than doing the same amount of damage through excruciating burns. The act of using it to kill a creature may be evil in certain circumstances but same goes for running them through with a sword. It doesn't even use negative energy (despite dealing negative damage) if the traits are to be believed. It doesn't seem to stand to reason that Sarenrae nor goodly clerics would have anything against its use except generic 'light is good, dark is evil' optics and depending whether they have reason to want their foe alive at the end of a fight.

--

While I'm already here I might as well add that the idea that you could improve society by just murdering all the murderers or other 'bad' people in it sure is a take. An incredibly simplistic and unrealistic take, but sure is a heck of a one.


keftiu wrote:
Animate Dead doesn't have the Evil tag in 2e.

Oops, I must have mistook it for the Create Undead ritual. But we can change this to have it be a spellcaster who uses one of the [Fiend] Form spells instead, since powering yourself up to go toe to toe with Evil via a Fiend Form spell is still technically committing an Evil act for a Good reason.


pixierose wrote:

The thing is there are still examples that counter that argument. Tieflings get a feat, that gives them weakness to good and makes them take good damage even if they aren't evil aligned. So it is possible to harm someone who is *Good* with good damage. Perhaps the damage types should have been something like celestial damage, or fiend damage. Or divine lance shouldn't have had that trait. I'll admit to all those potential things

I actually went to double check something. The good tag when talking about effects says this "Good effects often manipulate energy from good-aligned Outer Planes" it says nothing about those effects being inherently good but rather like how a produce flame manipulates fire so to do these spells manipulate energy from good planes. Which means someone who did lets say have access to it and used it for nefarious or unethical purposes would still be doing something *wrong!*

These facts along side the previous stated facts about how they are not inescapable. Suggests(in my understanding) that alignment is not prescriptive, that alignment is complex and nuanced in the setting of Golarion. And that the statement I was disputing is not only rigid but inaccurate to the world of Golarion.

The Tiefling feat in question, Final Form, implies a lot of the same things from 1st Edition, which is that things which are inherently Evil (such as Fiends) will suffer a lot of the negative effects of being Evil, even if they don't have the alignment anymore. This was true for a lot of redeemed fiends back in PF1, and there was rules that governed this. And this isn't the only case where the specifics trump the general rules for something like this, even in this very edition. The fact of the matter is that this shows that there are things which simply cannot be switched by simply being of a different alignment. If said Tiefling whom had this feat was Evil, and somehow managed to turn Good, through a lot of sidequesting and honest redemption, turns out, they're still considered Evil by the powers that be! Doesn't matter if they go save orphanages or donate to the poor; that Tiefling done be pure raw Evil, regardless of whether they change forms or not. (It's also an absolutely terrible feat to begin with, taking it is just plain stupid to do.)

I would be interested to see what sort of Evil people can do with Good spells, though, because again, logically speaking, the Divine Lance cheese is just that: cheese. It doesn't really function the way people imply, it can't harm level 1 commoners that are Evil because they steal from their place of employment to afford luxuries they otherwise couldn't because they aren't a level of Evil to warrant being affected by such magic. And it gets annoying from both the player perspective and the GM perspective when repeated overtly, which is the meta (and main) reason why people don't like it. If there's other Good-aligned cheese, I'd be inclined to hear it. As it stands, there is only one stupid example that doesn't hold up when properly scrutinized, and the others are either inoptimal to the point of being pointless, or don't actually affect Good characters or their actions in any way any more than Evil effects already do.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Albatoonoe wrote:

I have a certain fondness for alignment, but I don't blame people for disliking it. I think sympathetic and relatable villains shouldn't be over used. There are a lot of bad dudes in the world that are just bad dudes. It's nice to have fiction that doesn't always split hairs and throw Poison Ivy at me to make me question what I'm doing.

Sometimes there are folks that need their butts kicked, and those people tend to have a capital E. Real life 'villaims' have shifted my perspective a bit.

I mean, I've played three ttrpg systems before a d20 game, none of which used alignment, and there were still irredeemably beyond a doubt evil villains; I didn't need an E in their alignment box to tell me that.

Generally speaking, I prefer to present my villains as they are, and let the player decide how to react to them and determine if they are sympathic. Sure, they all have motives, but whether those motives justify the actions or call for redemption are kinda up to them


There's definitely some oddities like that tiefling thing where you have something that is completely separated from actual moral implications and is just "this thing is evil because I say so" regardless of circumstance. That's few and far between though for alignment shenanigans I think.

Silver Crusade

6 people marked this as a favorite.

So, this thread made me look up what Gygax had to say on alignment. I hadn't realized he had those opinions. Explains a lot :-).


8 people marked this as a favorite.
pauljathome wrote:
So, this thread made me look up what Gygax had to say on alignment. I hadn't realized he had those opinions. Explains a lot :-).

A lot of the problems in this hobby harken from how we've been dealing with that guy's issues for the past 30+ years.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
pixierose wrote:

The thing is there are still examples that counter that argument. Tieflings get a feat, that gives them weakness to good and makes them take good damage even if they aren't evil aligned. So it is possible to harm someone who is *Good* with good damage. Perhaps the damage types should have been something like celestial damage, or fiend damage. Or divine lance shouldn't have had that trait. I'll admit to all those potential things

I actually went to double check something. The good tag when talking about effects says this "Good effects often manipulate energy from good-aligned Outer Planes" it says nothing about those effects being inherently good but rather like how a produce flame manipulates fire so to do these spells manipulate energy from good planes. Which means someone who did lets say have access to it and used it for nefarious or unethical purposes would still be doing something *wrong!*

These facts along side the previous stated facts about how they are not inescapable. Suggests(in my understanding) that alignment is not prescriptive, that alignment is complex and nuanced in the setting of Golarion. And that the statement I was disputing is not only rigid but inaccurate to the world of Golarion.

The Tiefling feat in question, Final Form, implies a lot of the same things from 1st Edition, which is that things which are inherently Evil (such as Fiends) will suffer a lot of the negative effects of being Evil, even if they don't have the alignment anymore. This was true for a lot of redeemed fiends back in PF1, and there was rules that governed this. And this isn't the only case where the specifics trump the general rules for something like this, even in this very edition. The fact of the matter is that this shows that there are things which simply cannot be switched by simply being of a different alignment. If said Tiefling whom had this feat was Evil, and somehow managed to turn Good, through a lot of...

If by the powers at be mean the universe, no not really. Because they gain that weakness regardless of their alignment, and they don't gain the evil trait. Which means if someone cast detect alignment on them, they would register as their true alignment! Especially since they would be 17th level and thus pass the 6th level requirement to be registered by detect alignment. It also means when its time for judgement upon their soul it would still be who they are, the actions they have done that will decide where there soul goes.

And back to the issue of divine lance, it does not care if you are divine or not. It doesn't have any limits or exclusivity like detect alignment , or stuff like searing light which call out it does something more for undead or fiends. All you need to be effected by it is the ability to be effected by the alignment damage it uses. Alignment damage does not innately ignore non divine evil aligned people. That was more of a 1e mechanic. In 2e some specific spells have mechanics based on that but divine lance is one of them.
And since we know there are things that are exceptions that prove the rule. Divine lance is capable of harming good aligned entities, if they have been marked by some form of evil energy.

So all my points still stand.

A persons individual alignment is escapable, sometimes there are things in universe that can cause someone to be affected by alignment damage that they aren't opposed to but that does not have any effect on what their actual alignment has.

Divine lance when used to do good aligned damage is not innately good, it can harm people who are not evil aligned, it is a violent act regardless and enacting the violence without question against a public whthout regard for anything is morally questionable( You are under the sincere belief that it would be chaotic, I am under the sincere belief that is evil. I don't think either of will change that stance.)

That being said maybe alignment at this point is just best for people who like it to incorporate it into their own games. The more I talk on here the more I realize, people often come from such widely different view points. Who view the setting, the world, the metaphysics, the nuance of it all is so far different, or at least come to far different conclusions. This can be exhausting and maybe the existence of alignment in the base game is the problem. I do not know. I am also not gonna try and claim my answer is the right one. I feel I do have evidence and a good amount of logic, but the fact that people can have such difference and that I feel like i tend to be in the minority opinion perhaps I am indeed wrong. Or there is no right or wrong way to view it. IDK

I've seen people justify horrible actions because of alignment, but I've also seen people who advocate for there to be no alignment and when they have the chance choose to play the most abhorrent, disruptive kind of character. I know my own experience just means i was probably playing with bad players so I try not to apply it to the opinions at large. And I want to be clear i am not trying to claim you are one of those people Darksol.(I hope that was clear but my own anxiety tells me I should state it outright)

Anyways I do appreciate the conversation we had.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
So, this thread made me look up what Gygax had to say on alignment. I hadn't realized he had those opinions. Explains a lot :-).
A lot of the problems in this hobby harken from how we've been dealing with that guy's issues for the past 30+ years.

It was a different game. A harsh detailed game designed to be a deadly challenge. It wasn't designed to be fair. It was a war game between Law and Chaos, then later on Good and Evil.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Gortle wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
So, this thread made me look up what Gygax had to say on alignment. I hadn't realized he had those opinions. Explains a lot :-).
A lot of the problems in this hobby harken from how we've been dealing with that guy's issues for the past 30+ years.

It was a different game. A harsh detailed game designed to be a deadly challenge. It wasn't designed to be fair. It was a war game between Law and Chaos, then later on Good and Evil.

...which the modern d20 fantasy genre is not, so I don't understand why we're still saddled with the damn thing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gortle wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Animate Dead doesn't have the Evil tag in 2e.

Which is an interesting choice by Paizo. In most other games everything undead is evil. <...>

Neither is Finger of Death Evil. <...>
I'm not comfortable roleplaying wise with using a lot of negative energy spells, nor animate dead as a Good cleric. So I just don't use them with such a character.

But Chilling Darkness is 'evil'. Just because it does additional damage to celestials. And they shoved this spell into the Shadow sorcerer spell list regardless of their alignment. We remember that 'bloodline' spells can't ever be exchanged. So the list now has not only bad spell attack spell which is only useful against good celestials (and maybe to turn off the light effects?), it now has a spell using which could theoretically change the character's alignment over time. Clerics have it easier :)

I'm not saying that Finger of Death should be made 'evil', I'm saying that this whole thing doesn't make much sense.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

While I don't have a strong preference for alignment one way or another my wife really likes it. It helps her to conceptualize her character and to decide on their actions in-game. I know that alignment is not meant to determine your actions but it really helps her and adds to her enjoyment. The same goes for alignments and gods it helps her creativity a lot because sometimes it makes her consider a character concept she hadn't before. I think for some people rules and restrictions, like alignment, can help focus their creative process but for others that could feel like a weight holding them down.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Animate Dead really should have been called Create Undead or Summon Undead because it is actually just summoning a simulacrum of an undead creature and doesn't require a dead person. (Though the Reanimator archetype could utilize one.)

Meanwhile the Create Undead ritual is actually Animating the Dead in a permanent fashion and has the evil tag. So the tag usage is fine, the spells were just poorly named.

Also, Finger of Death isn't evil because killing living beings is the whole point of negative energy. It is why using it to animate undead is problematic to the fundamental forces of the universe.

Acquisitives

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
Gortle wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
So, this thread made me look up what Gygax had to say on alignment. I hadn't realized he had those opinions. Explains a lot :-).
A lot of the problems in this hobby harken from how we've been dealing with that guy's issues for the past 30+ years.

It was a different game. A harsh detailed game designed to be a deadly challenge. It wasn't designed to be fair. It was a war game between Law and Chaos, then later on Good and Evil.

...which the modern d20 fantasy genre is not, so I don't understand why we're still saddled with the damn thing.

it's an easy way for a DM to see a general monster's outlook in the context of an adventure.

if you are a new DM, it's pretty helpful. what's a graveknight supposed to do in the context of an adventure, v. the role of an agathion, or a phlumf?

two letters. boom. nice and easy.

if you don't want to do that? if you want your agathions to fight the players in the service of a banal tyrant? then go do that. phlumfs to be the agents of the apocalypse, and graveknights the champions of the dead god of valor, seeking to avenge the murder of their hero-deity?

go ahead. do that.

would i rather be in the first game or the second?

eh. whatevs. as long as its fun. while the trad alignment system is often maligned as a vestigial organ, i think it has its advantages. and Paizo has put out some great rules changes if you want to adopt those instead... big fan of 'radiant' / 'shadow' for instance.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:
Gortle wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
So, this thread made me look up what Gygax had to say on alignment. I hadn't realized he had those opinions. Explains a lot :-).
A lot of the problems in this hobby harken from how we've been dealing with that guy's issues for the past 30+ years.

It was a different game. A harsh detailed game designed to be a deadly challenge. It wasn't designed to be fair. It was a war game between Law and Chaos, then later on Good and Evil.

...which the modern d20 fantasy genre is not, so I don't understand why we're still saddled with the damn thing.

But you still haven't explained why you feel saddled with it? I've spent a lot of time explaining that it is really completely optional part of any story. Yes it is always potentially in the background. But it is ignorable if you don't want it. I'm just not seeing anything in your statement that is actually a significant objection to a mechanic which does have a use.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

You know, I don't think the two letter code has been as useful to me as a GM as it has been said in this thread. I know what a graveknight does as opposed to an agathion (to borrow the example just used) because one is a typical undead monster with wrath and destruction toward the living as its driving factors and the other is a type of celestial. One will try to destroy the players the other might help, if it appears.

In fact, really alignment only stands out to me most when it differs from what I would have expected. Flumphs are a good example because they stand out among tentacle monsters for being friendly LG oathkeepers. Unfortunately, this only really directs me to the actual description that already exists to figure out what that means. Flumphs being LG doesn't tell you whether they're supposed to behave like generic Paladins or even what kind of law an alien tentacle monster believes in.

Meanwhile, it's not really often to me that the specifics of a monsters alignment matter. Learning that this vampire is CE vs that one whose LE doesn't mean much about what they're actually going to do that can't be inferred from a description about their organization if it even comes to something other than "kill the PCs". The 2 letter code about monster behaviour doesn't really tell me anything unless I read the full description why they have that code or just have them act like whatever stereotype of their alignment comes to mind.

Fair, there is one time that alignment notably helped me in running some monsters. In Book 3 of Carrion Crown...

Spoiler:
There are 5 different werewolf factions in the Shudderwood. All are CE except one which is CN. I found this uninteresting from the standpoint of keeping the factions straight in my head, and since all but one of these factions are natural werewolves, I chose to change their alignments. The Primals became CN barbarians who cared about personal honour and strength, the Mordrinacht became NE schemers, the druid-led pack followed her Neutral ideals, and the Prince's Wolves became a CG hunters of undead.

I don't think distinguishing these factions without alignment would have been difficult, but it's the tool I used at the time. It also did at least help me keep straight "these factions may help the players if it serves their own interests" rather than letting myself get swept up in having every non hostile NPC behave overly reasonably toward the heroes rather than actually have their own reasons or own agendas.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Captain Morgan wrote:
Animate Dead really should have been called Create Undead or Summon Undead because it is actually just summoning a simulacrum of an undead creature and doesn't require a dead person. (Though the Reanimator archetype could utilize one.)

This interpretation that is not supported in the spell description. It temporarily creates a real undead

Your magic dredges up a corpse or skeleton and fills it with necromantic life
The summon tag is actually just the rules mechanisn. The spell itself has the Necromancy Trait not the Conjuration one. So despite the fact this post got some likes it is false.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Meanwhile the Create Undead ritual is actually Animating the Dead in a permanent fashion and has the evil tag. So the tag usage is fine, the spells were just poorly named.

I don't see much difference between temporary and permanent Evil acts.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Also, Finger of Death isn't evil because killing living beings is the whole point of negative energy. It is why using it to animate undead is problematic to the fundamental forces of the universe.

So one use of Animate Dead is problematic and the other isn't?

Yes there is a conflict here as alignment is being used in different ways. In once sense it means morality in another it means an energy associated with certain planes of exisitence. Negative damage is not the same as Evil damage. It is not clear to me that there is a firm reason why the writers have designated some things as Evil and others not, except for the reason of minimising the use of the Evil tag.

Radiant Oath

I've only skimmed the discussion here, because I've been in too many alignment arguments (And I'm a young fella by some of your standards) I'm generally against alignment, but

Squiggit wrote:
keftiu wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
I hope alignment stays a staple of DnD descendants. In fact I think a game without alignment cannot really belong to that family.

D&D launched without Good and Evil alignments, I believe, originally sticking to Chaos and Law. Most OSR systems that I’ve seen do away with Alignment, while 13th Age replaced it instead with your Relationships to a number of major Icon characters in the world.

There’s lots of d20 fantasy gaming out there without Alignment, so it feels strange to me to declare all of those somehow illegitimate when 99% of their bones is D&D.

Or 5e, which does have an alignment grid, but almost completely divorces it from actual mechanics. They even crossed the dreaded rubicon of letting paladins be whatever and it turns out it wasn't a big deal and nobody cares and the game was better off for it.

I cringe when I see a CN Paladin. You swore an oath? And it's the power of that oath that empowers you? Were you planning to abide by that oath? Does the Oath restrict your freedom? Have you got a detailed explanation for why you chose two opposing stances? No, you just wanted to smite things and be edgy? Rogue sucks, but you want to deal big amounts of damage, you say?

keftiu wrote:
Animate Dead doesn't have the Evil tag in 2e.

Thank the divinity within!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

For those following along at home I thought it might be worth clarifying a few notes.

The use of negative energy is neutral, same as using cold, fire, and lightning. Most negative energy magic thar doesn't destroy a soul is not inherently aligned.

According to the lore (to each their own) rituals which Create Undead are inherently evil because forcing negative energy into a body to animate it is against its natural purpose in the universe. In short, the universe has a moral stance toward how negative wnrgy should be used, and it is only for destruction, not life. A previous explanation also includes that every act of undead creation also traps or harms the soul of the creature to whom the body belonged. I'm not certain if this is still considered a significant factor (and besides, mindless undead formerly complicated this explanation)

The Animate Dead spell, which is the undead equivalent of a temporary Summon spell, lacks the evil tag. Some have suggested that is because it uses negative energy to create a facsimile of an undead rather than a true undead, and that it lasts less than a minute. The spells own description suggests that it animates a real corpse out of the ground, however there seems to be no mechanical requirement for you to supply a real corpse, so casting the spell in an isolated environment does not explicitly work any differently.

As always, using these abilities to harm innocents or the like are still evil regardless the tag on the spell.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
AceofMoxen wrote:
I cringe when I see a CN Paladin. You swore an oath? And it's the power of that oath that empowers you? Were you planning to abide by that oath? Does the Oath restrict your freedom? Have you got a detailed explanation for why you chose two opposing stances? No, you just wanted to smite things and be edgy? Rogue sucks, but you want to deal big amounts of damage, you say?

That doesn't actually track for PF2: every single cleric, spanning every single alignment, needs to follow their gods Edicts and Anathema. As such, having a code to follow doesn't disqualify you from the Chaotic alignment of 1/3rd of the clerics wouldn't get their powers. Same for druids and Anathema. You can follow some specific rules while also valuing flexibility, creativity, and spontaneity. It's why, IMO, the 9 point alignment is a poor representation of the full complexity of a persons personality.


pixierose wrote:

If by the powers at be mean the universe, no not really. Because they gain that weakness regardless of their alignment, and they don't gain the evil trait. Which means if someone cast detect alignment on them, they would register as their true alignment! Especially since they would be 17th level and thus pass the 6th level requirement to be registered by detect alignment. It also means when its time for judgement upon their soul it would still be who they are, the actions they have done that will decide where there soul goes.

And back to the issue of divine lance, it does not care if you are divine or not. It doesn't have any limits or exclusivity like detect alignment , or stuff like searing light which call out it does something more for undead or fiends. All you need to be effected by it is the ability to be effected by the alignment damage it uses. Alignment damage does not innately ignore non divine evil aligned people. That was more of a 1e mechanic. In 2e some specific spells have mechanics based on that but divine lance is one of them.
And since we know there are things that are exceptions that prove the rule. Divine lance is capable of harming good aligned entities, if they have been marked by some form of evil energy.

So all my points still stand.

A persons individual alignment is escapable, sometimes there are things in universe that can cause someone to be affected by alignment damage that they aren't opposed to but that does not have any effect on what their actual alignment has.

Divine lance when used to do good aligned damage is not innately good, it can harm people who are not evil aligned, it is a violent act regardless and enacting the violence without question against a public whthout regard for anything is morally questionable( You are under the sincere belief that it would be chaotic, I am under the sincere belief that is evil. I don't think either of will change that stance.)

That being said maybe alignment at this point is just best for people who like it to incorporate it into their own games. The more I talk on here the more I realize, people often come from such widely different view points. Who view the setting, the world, the metaphysics, the nuance of it all is so far different, or at least come to far different conclusions. This can be exhausting and maybe the existence of alignment in the base game is the problem. I do not know. I am also not gonna try and claim my answer is the right one. I feel I do have evidence and a good amount of logic, but the fact that people can have such difference and that I feel like i tend to be in the minority opinion perhaps I am indeed wrong. Or there is no right or wrong way to view it. IDK

I've seen people justify horrible actions because of alignment, but I've also seen people who advocate for there to be no alignment and when they have the chance choose to play the most abhorrent, disruptive kind of character. I know my own experience just means i was probably playing with bad players so I try not to apply it to the opinions at large. And I want to be clear i am not trying to claim you are one of those people Darksol.(I hope that was clear but my own anxiety tells me I should state it outright)

Anyways I do appreciate the conversation we had.

That really falls on GM FIAT though. While I'm an advocate of specific trumps general, and sticking to what the rules say (because implying more than what's written doesn't really help when it comes to determining how rulings work), the issue I have is that there is no lore justification for this happening, and the closest thing that comes to mind is from PF1, "This creature is infused with something so primarily Evil that not even the instinctual nature of the energies from the Plane of Good can resist assaulting this creature with that type of power." There were rules back in PF1 that stated that Redeemed Fiends and Fallen Celestials were essentially treated as both alignments, whichever is worse, for effects that call upon alignment. Throw in a Protection from Evil, and it works on the Redeemed Fiend. Magic Circle Against Good, and it works on the Fallen Celestial. And so on, and so forth. And while it doesn't lean that heavy into it with this edition (for balance purposes at the very least), the concept is still there with abilities like Fiend Form. I suppose the idea falls apart when you consider that not every alignment-based effect is based in damage, though those are even less abundant compared to the likes of using Evil spells to stop Evil enemies, and it's possible for a GM to create exceptions to those general rules based on rules like the above. A jerk move, perhaps, as it might not have been discussed or based on RAW, but certainly not unfounded, either.

I've never heard of a Good creature being affected by an Evil effect creating "false positives" for damaging them via effects like Divine Lance, so I'd be inclined to hear how that comes to pass, because it seems pretty corner-case at best, and inconsistently ran at worst. Because if the target is possessed, for example, the damage usually would not pass onto the target unless the ability says any damage the possessor takes, the possessed takes as well. Of course, that comes with an issue when the damage that the possessor takes, the possessed is immune to, so once again, GM FIAT will have to adjudicate this, and IMO, I wouldn't have the Good damage transfer to the host (because they're immune to that type of damage). It would certainly be funny to do on Evil characters in the group, if only to create some interesting drama between the characters that they will have to either deal with or abandon altogether, but again, taking damage that you're immune to makes no sense from a mechanics perspective as well as a lore perspective.

I can believe things based in alignment are escapable, so long as the rules don't actually put in an effect that contradicts that concept. The Fiend Form feat is one of those things that I find is a specific that trumps that general rule, since no matter how much they might register on the Good radar, Good damage still affects them, whereas somebody that doesn't have this feat is immune to it.

For Divine Lance to harm people that aren't Good-Aligned, they would have to have an effect that specifically says they take damage with or possess a weakness to Good for this to be true. Joe Schmoe the Fence from down the street most likely doesn't have an effect like this present on their person, so the idea that this is such a common occurrence that it's considered an Evil act is absurd. Again, I find it to be an "unjust" or chaotic act to do, since randomly going up to people and using cantrips on them to function as a broke man's Detect Alignment spell doesn't serve a purpose, much less only works to aggravate GMs or other players, this isn't an issue of Good V.S. Evil, it's an issue of breaking down the game to picking fights with random strangers on the street, which is not adventurous, heroic, or even funny after the first time or two it happens. It might be an interesting tactic if it's a notable NPC and the players want to verify that they can be trusted, but I honestly think there are better (and more subtle) ways for players to acquire that information.

You kind of said it yourself: Justification for horrible things (whether opinionated or not) stems from people regardless of whether alignment is or isn't a factor. If this is an issue people want to avoid, implementing it or not implementing it doesn't seem to matter, because that's down to the individual's own desires, not to whether a system of morals is present or absent. Whether you keep or remove such a system, you're still going to have those people exist at tables. The question is what the implications for that behavior is going to be, what the consequences for that behavior might be, and whether it is quantified by a system or not.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Animate Dead is not necessarily evil for the same reason that creating a flesh golem is not necessarily evil- the thing you're animating the ex-person with is not their soul but just "a convenient other kind of energy" (as you can make golems now by channeling pure positive energy into the space where the soul would go, it doesn't require trapping an elemental anymore.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

There is a fascinating lore question in there that I don't know we will ever get a clean-cut answer on, which is fundamental to the existence of undead in the setting. If there is a way to create an ethically sourced facsimile soul out of positive energy in order to power a golem without resorting to elemental slavery, there must be something which prevents doing the same for a corpse.

A corpse is rather famously designed for the purpose of bearing a soul fuelled by positive energy, one would think the easiest way to get one moving again would be to fill it with more of the same energy it used to have in life. As necromancers no doubt discovered long ago, however, this clearly doesn't work that way. It is somehow easier to use the exact opposite kind of energy and twist it against its nature in order to cause a body to move.

Mind you, I'm not saying that this makes no sense and there is no reason--there's clearly supposed to be some reason we simply don't know yet, and which it's possible the setting's lore writers don't have nailed down yet. Even so, it is funny and interesting that you can sew a bunch of corpses together and turn them into a object that is animated by lightning and piloted by a pseudo-soul when you can't put that same pseudo-soul into a regular corpse.

---

(I guess that was more than a bit off topic... I suppose to tie it all together with the weirdness that is undead morality, I will add this: It seems like on some level the reason for creating undead is evil is because it's narratively supposed to be evil; a thing only unwholesome types do. People may ask what's so evil about it, and the variety of explanations can be seen as responses to 'gotchas' that poke holes in other explanations. This is not to say that I think we should all just accept it without explanation, just that creating undead is evil because the intent in this setting is that it should be an evil thing first, and for whatever lore explanation second)


There is probably a way to make the corpus of dead person, whose soul has passed into River of Souls and has been judged and became a petitioner, walk around and do stuff with just positive energy like you do with a golem. The reason "making undead" is normally evil is that you're making negative energy do positive energy things, and that this is harmful to the soul that once inhabited the body.

There may be something like "the shape of the soul space in the body is specific to the soul" so it pulls the soul back somehow. Which you'd lose if you're using parts from a lot of different people.

There may also be the fact that the leading scholars of "animating the dead" are people like Geb ad Tar-Baphon who don't think "reanimating things with negative energy" needs to be reinvented and frankly that animating things by suffusing them with incredible amounts of positive energy is reckless and dangerous.


I've been working under the premise that a newly deceased corpse is "primed" for negative energy in a manner that makes using positive energy to regenerate a soul difficult. Some weapons, like the Radiant Fire, work by bursting an overwhelming amount of positive energy and then bringing a large amount of negative energy after the fact as a kind of cosmic backlash. Perhaps a soul, which is a complicated construct of positive energy, leaves behind a sort of negative imprint after it departs.
There's also the symbolic link between something newly dead, read destroyed, and negative energy as a force of destruction that might make it easier to work with.


Gortle wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Gortle wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
So, this thread made me look up what Gygax had to say on alignment. I hadn't realized he had those opinions. Explains a lot :-).
A lot of the problems in this hobby harken from how we've been dealing with that guy's issues for the past 30+ years.

It was a different game. A harsh detailed game designed to be a deadly challenge. It wasn't designed to be fair. It was a war game between Law and Chaos, then later on Good and Evil.

...which the modern d20 fantasy genre is not, so I don't understand why we're still saddled with the damn thing.
But you still haven't explained why you feel saddled with it? I've spent a lot of time explaining that it is really completely optional part of any story. Yes it is always potentially in the background. But it is ignorable if you don't want it. I'm just not seeing anything in your statement that is actually a significant objection to a mechanic which does have a use.

I like Divine characters… in theory, anyway. Alignment is unavoidable for them.

Champions are completely mechanically defined by Alignment - it’s literally their subclass choice, and by RAW, you literally can’t pick a subclass that doesn’t match your deity’s Alignment grid. The example I point to is Casandalee - who has the Freedom domain, and is patron of a widely-enslaved people - has no option to empower Redeemers, but *can* have Redeemers, despite that not being thematic ground for her cult at all. A number of Neutral divinities cannot have Champions at all, currently.

For divine casters, their readiest source of damage is a spell that deals Alignment damage.

Speaking more broadly, “you can homebrew it out” is of little use to anyone playing in PFS games, and also to anyone who cares about the lore of a setting where Alignment absolutely still exists.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:
Gortle wrote:


But you still haven't explained why you feel saddled with it? I've spent a lot of time explaining that it is really completely optional part of any story. Yes it is always potentially in the background. But it is ignorable if you don't want it. I'm just not seeing anything in your statement that is actually a significant objection to a mechanic which does have a use.

I like Divine characters… in theory, anyway. Alignment is unavoidable for them.

Champions are completely mechanically defined by Alignment - it’s literally their subclass choice, and by RAW, you literally can’t pick a subclass that doesn’t match your deity’s Alignment grid. The example I point to is Casandalee - who has the Freedom domain, and is patron of a widely-enslaved people - has no option to empower Redeemers, but *can* have Redeemers, despite that not being thematic ground for her cult at all. A number of Neutral divinities cannot have Champions at all, currently.

For divine casters, their readiest source of damage is a spell that deals Alignment damage.

Speaking more broadly, “you can homebrew it out” is of little use to anyone playing in PFS games, and also to anyone who cares about the lore of a setting where Alignment absolutely still exists.

I am not home brewing anything. This is just GM and player choice. There is so little that is actually defined in Good and Evil, that you can do a wide range of things. If you take a cleric or champion of a particular deity and you role play your action based on how you see your religion. Then that is perfect. It will fall appropriately under alignment behaviour for your character.

Yes there is some text about effects of changing alignment to a not allowed alignment for clerics. Changing alignment is a player option not a GM one. Plus there is a simple atone ritual. There is GM discretion.

Nothing is going to protect you from a hostile GM. But there is no advice anywhere in the game for people to monitor other people alignments like there was in ancient versions of d20 games. That is long gone.

Yes there are no neutral Paladins. Yes it is a pest if a thematically appropraite Champion can't be taken because of alignment restrictions. That is on Paizo. They just haven't written one. They can losen that restriction. But quite honestly a lot of the features of the champion do come from their different ethical codes, so I think it is appropriate.

Your example Casandalee only has a minor interest in freedom. It is not her core premise. Being Neutral is right for her. A Champion of Casandalee can be NG but not CG. Why? Ask Paizo. You may as well ask why Sarenrae's favourite weapon is a scimitar. I'm sure there is a lore reason, but ultimately it is an arbitrary game choice. There are 10s of thousands of these arbitrary choices in this game.
My guess it is too extreme for an android. There is a lot about balance in her background. If you want to be a freedom orientated Champion there are better deity options.

Yes I want to see mutiple different Champions including more good options and some neutral options. Each having a particular alignment and code. IMHO only 1 type of LG Champion is an oversight. I also want to see defender options that are not Champions.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Gortle wrote:
You may as well ask why Sarenrae's favourite weapon is a scimitar. I'm sure there is a lore reason, but ultimately it is an arbitrary game choice.

Actually, speaking for the meta-reasoning, we recently learned that a part of the conceptual DNA that went into making Sarenrae comes from James Jacobs creating the kind of a deity which could be the kind of mercy and redemption goddess that a drow like Drizz't might worship--scimitars included. Obviously this doesn't offer any internal lore answer nor is it by any means a direct line from inspiration to finished goddess, but it just so happens we have an answer for that why.

---

Incidentally, I too initially thought it should be simple to strip alignment from my next game. I suppose if I simply did not care for any mechanic which formerly rested on alignment it indeed would be. As it stands, I have found that the actual practice is somewhat more difficult to fill the gaps in a satisfying manner.

If I were to tell my hypothetical future cleric that Divine Lance just doesn't exist or doesn't do damage, that'd be one thing, but in my last game the party's Champion gained considerable use from the feat Blade of Justice. The benefits of this feat as I see it are three: It allows the Champion to do extra damage to evil foes, it allows them to mitigate many resistances by converting the attack to a block of good damage, and it allows them a way to back out of an attack against a foe which is surprisingly non-evil (by converting the damage to good, thus rendering the target immune).

The ability to gain and convert damage to good can be solved simply by retyping the damage, but it falls to me to decide whether there should be any concept which replaces "If your target is evil", both in terms of allowing extra damaging smites on choice targets and permitting the champion to reconsider an attack launched in error against other targets.

Furthermore, even if alignment is removed, it remains to be considered whether and how Champion codes should change. There is narrative value in a knight dedicated to the tenets of good, regardless whether their adherence is judged against an objective standard tied to the alignment of their soul.

I could handwave all these things as irrelevant mechanics but I am interested in understanding how they work and how I can avoid simply creating a long list of various 'do not use' mechanics without striking upon unintended consequences, especially for the narrative functions of the removed alignments.

And even so, this only works for my own games and those who accept my homebrew. If I hop into a random game, alignment is once again the default and my Pharasmin cleric loses Divine Lance unless I can convince the rest of the table.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
So, this thread made me look up what Gygax had to say on alignment. I hadn't realized he had those opinions. Explains a lot :-).
A lot of the problems in this hobby harken from how we've been dealing with that guy's issues for the past 30+ years.

You said it.

Makes me ashamed to be named Gary some days.


Perpdepog wrote:

I've been working under the premise that a newly deceased corpse is "primed" for negative energy in a manner that makes using positive energy to regenerate a soul difficult. Some weapons, like the Radiant Fire, work by bursting an overwhelming amount of positive energy and then bringing a large amount of negative energy after the fact as a kind of cosmic backlash. Perhaps a soul, which is a complicated construct of positive energy, leaves behind a sort of negative imprint after it departs.

There's also the symbolic link between something newly dead, read destroyed, and negative energy as a force of destruction that might make it easier to work with.

As far as I remember the current lore a soul is not a construct of positive (or negative) energy, it's a construct of Spirit 'matter'. Nature 'spirits' could be made of Life essense. There also Mind and Matter. See Secrets of magic.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Gortle wrote:

Yes there are no neutral Paladins. Yes it is a pest if a thematically appropraite Champion can't be taken because of alignment restrictions. That is on Paizo. They just haven't written one. They can losen that restriction. But quite honestly a lot of the features of the champion do come from their different ethical codes, so I think it is appropriate.

Your example Casandalee only has a minor interest in freedom. It is not her core premise. Being Neutral is right for her. A Champion of Casandalee can be NG but not CG. Why? Ask Paizo. You may as well ask why Sarenrae's favourite weapon is a scimitar. I'm sure there is a lore reason, but ultimately it is an arbitrary game choice. There are 10s of thousands of these arbitrary choices in this game.
My guess it is too extreme for an android. There is a lot about balance in her background. If you want to be a freedom orientated Champion there are better deity options.

I mean Casandalee is literally the god of 'free-thinking' and has the Freedom domain.

My easy homebrew advice to the Champion rules would just be to have each PC choose a 'Reaction option' when they first enter the class and divorce the Champion's Reaction from the Causes. No real reason an LG Paladin needs to specialize in retribution over liberaion or offering mercy, nor why Calistria - who's whole deal is Vengeance based - can't give her CG Champions Retributive Strikes.

But that I guess goes back to my preferred system implementation of alignment which is: it's there, it can provide useful starting and reference points, but is mostly divorced from mechanics. Even keeping to Paizo if you look at Starfinder they have alignment, but there's almost no way for a character to detect it and virtually no spells or effects involve it barring the odd weapon fusion or rare DR'd outsider.


Sidebar on spells: I will also say that part of my (and I believe some others') issue with the use of alignment tags on spells is their inconsistency. When Paizo declares certain magic effects 'evil' or 'good' but other very thematically and mechanically similar effects unaligned, it can call attention to how arbitrary the system can sometimes be, as well as how much those tags are actually adding.

1e examples:
Evil - Wracking Ray, Retribution, Cloak of Shadows (just gives you a protective shadow cloak )
Not Evil - Ray of Enfeeblement, Boneshatter, Massacre ('The wave visibly rips the souls from the bodies of those it passes through, which manifest as screaming, transparent versions of the affected creatures.')

I am quite glad this has been minimized significantly in 2e

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Animate Dead is not necessarily evil for the same reason that creating a flesh golem is not necessarily evil- the thing you're animating the ex-person with is not their soul but just "a convenient other kind of energy" (as you can make golems now by channeling pure positive energy into the space where the soul would go, it doesn't require trapping an elemental anymore.)

AFAICT, spells that create lasting undead who can attack creatures have always been Evil in PF1 and PF2. While other undead-creating spells have not.

PF2's Animate Dead is of the latter category.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Zoomba wrote:

Sidebar on spells: I will also say that part of my (and I believe some others') issue with the use of alignment tags on spells is their inconsistency. When Paizo declares certain magic effects 'evil' or 'good' but other very thematically and mechanically similar effects unaligned, it can call attention to how arbitrary the system can sometimes be, as well as how much those tags are actually adding.

1e examples:
Evil - Wracking Ray, Retribution, Cloak of Shadows (just gives you a protective shadow cloak )
Not Evil - Ray of Enfeeblement, Boneshatter, Massacre ('The wave visibly rips the souls from the bodies of those it passes through, which manifest as screaming, transparent versions of the affected creatures.')

I am quite glad this has been minimized significantly in 2e

For me, it's this, and also weird double standards; enchantment rarely gets the evil tag, and I can't think of many things worse in terms of evil as forcibly removing someone's agency over their body. Many of the evocation spells, like acid arrow or boil blood, inflict damage in horribly excruciating ways and arent assumed to be as evil as *checks notes* protecting yourself with a shadow


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The thing is, spells are never evil because of what you *can* do with them. A fireball chucked at an orphanage is pretty evil, after all. If there's a use case for a spell that is not evil (say, using enchantment magic to make someone go home and spend more time with their family instead of carousing, or to tell the stormtroopers they aren't looking for these particular droids) then the spell is not itself evil.

The only spells that should have the evil tag is the ones whose very magical essense is inherently evil (like "Bind Soul").


Zoomba wrote:


1e examples:
Evil - Wracking Ray, Retribution, Cloak of Shadows (just gives you a protective shadow cloak )
Not Evil - Ray of Enfeeblement, Boneshatter, Massacre ('The wave visibly rips the souls from the bodies of those it passes through, which manifest as screaming, transparent versions of the affected creatures.')

Oh, I see, 1e versions. I was about to ask if I was reading the wrong spell bc 2e Cloak of Shadows didn't have the evil trait. Still you might gave undersold the fact that the 1e version gives you Resistance to all non-good damage, meaning on some level it is probably using evil essence with which to weavd this cloak (personally I'd have preferred nonevil shadows so I'm glad it changed, but it didn't have the evil tag for no reason, just an unsatisfying one.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Zoomba wrote:
I mean Casandalee is literally the god of 'free-thinking' and has the Freedom domain.

When I read her description.

Yes we see:
Areas of Concern artificial life, free thinking, intellectual apotheosis

But when you read the text:
Casandalee and her followers seek to promote the advancement of Golarion’s technology so that the world’s inhabitants can better understand— and not fear—the complex mechanisms of so-called artificial life, including androids and free-willed artificial intelligences.

and
Edicts advance the development of artificial intelligence, encourage understanding between artificial and organic life
Anathema treat artificial life as lesser than organic life, foment distrust between artificial and organic life

You understand that she is really the god of artificial life, and as a consequence of this one of her interests is 'free-thinking'. Casandalee is not the god of 'free-thinking'. You have chosen a new emphasis for her. Its is not unreasonable but it is clearly not her priority.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think I'd agree that liberators make more thematic sense than redeemers for Casandalee.

At the same time, I have no idea how a desecrator would work for her with her goals of equality and whatnot.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
aobst128 wrote:

I think I'd agree that liberators make more thematic sense than redeemers for Casandalee.

At the same time, I have no idea how a desecrator would work for her with her goals of equality and whatnot.

What it comes down to is that there are 253 Deities in the game. Each with their own anathemas. But we have 9 Alignments and 6 Champions. It is not a perfect fit. It can't be. But the option of 253 Champions doesn't seem reasonable.

I agree it should be improved. Yes I would certainly allow Liberators for Casandalee in a home game.

To me that falls under normal GM discretion.

It is an optional rule already
Rules Adjustments
Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 185
Alignment restrictions no longer exist in either major variant. You can replace them with edicts and anathema, if necessary, and make the following other adjustments.

All I'm really seeing people ask for here is:
1) Drop alignment restriction for this case.
2) Let me decide what each alignment is.

Both are already in the game.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gortle wrote:
Zoomba wrote:
I mean Casandalee is literally the god of 'free-thinking' and has the Freedom domain.

When I read her description.

Yes we see:
Areas of Concern artificial life, free thinking, intellectual apotheosis

But when you read the text:
Casandalee and her followers seek to promote the advancement of Golarion’s technology so that the world’s inhabitants can better understand— and not fear—the complex mechanisms of so-called artificial life, including androids and free-willed artificial intelligences.

and
Edicts advance the development of artificial intelligence, encourage understanding between artificial and organic life
Anathema treat artificial life as lesser than organic life, foment distrust between artificial and organic life

You understand that she is really the god of artificial life, and as a consequence of this one of her interests is 'free-thinking'. Casandalee is not the god of 'free-thinking'. You have chosen a new emphasis for her. Its is not unreasonable but it is clearly not her priority.

Fair enough, but 'redemption' certainly is even less of a priority.

And the above was as much missing the greater point that prompted that god to come up:

Gortle wrote:
I've spent a lot of time explaining that it is really completely optional part of any story. Yes it is always potentially in the background. But it is ignorable if you don't want it. I'm just not seeing anything in your statement that is actually a significant objection to a mechanic which does have a use.

Alignment as construed, and with its direct connection to mechanics, means that many logical choices (a Liberator Casandalite for example - not unreasonable a thought even if not a 'priority' - or a Retribution Calistrian) are made impossible under the rules. You can certainly argue and believe that those mechanics and how they interact with alignment are fine and that the trade-offs that may result are worth the overall benefit, but equally those are actual, explained objections.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

“Alignment is optional when you alter the mechanics” isn’t an argument that’s doing much to move the needle for me; you could run PF2 as a nonviolent wilderness exploration game if you hit it with a hammer enough. Many people play the game as-written - I mentioned PFS for this reason above - and insisting that it doesn’t really matter when I explain how Alignment-based mechanics have frustrated me since PF2 launched isn’t much of a conversation.

Casandalee is one example of many. I wouldn’t dare demand 253 Champion subclasses… but I *am* allowed to say that it’s goofy the class as it currently stands doesn’t work for many of them, largely because of how firmly Champions are fundamentally about Alignment.

A class designed with something like 5e’s Oaths or without the strictly Alignment-based Causes and Tenets wouldn’t have the problems I describe.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

old Chainmail wargame rules regarding how lawful, neutral or chaotic certain creatures were.

Scarab Sages

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Over my years of gaming the biggest thing I've noticed is the more a game enforces D&D Alignments, the more it inhibits gameplay and storytelling. As a brief two-word sum up of a character's morality and ethics its lacking, but fine. As soon as your GM's vision of what those two words mean is different from yours the game grinds to a halt for another episode of 'Whose alignment is it, anyway?'. Then in the games where its not enforced, it doesn't matter outside clerics/champs. So why is so much ink printed into a book for something that is either fetters or meaningless?

Even the cosmic stuff is a little messy. If a demon is always evil, then does it have free will? If yes, why is it always evil? If not, then what makes it different from a robot running eatmortals.exe on repeat? It makes more sense there, but in general you get better stories explaining why something is rather than stating it as fact. Something bestiaries already do pretty well, describing the sorts of souls that end up as type of creature in a way that's more interesting than "Chaotic Evil".

We've already got systems in Pathfinder regarding causes, tenants, and anathema. Even dividing that out of the classes that have them, you can take them to "what motivates you, what do you hold important, and what lines won't you cross" to get a more well-rounded character than "Chaotic good is like Robin Hood. No not that Costner Robin Hood, the Elwes one." and then a 2 hour discussion about which Robin Hood is actually chaotic good.

51 to 100 of 299 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / General Discussion / Why do we have Alignment? All Messageboards