... now with 35% more arrogance!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Amoral Alignment

Everyone's talking about alignment again. Michael Curtis, Michael Shorten (Chgowiz), pulcherius of Dice of Doom. I've already talked about it extensively, but I'll add my own quick thoughts to the current mix.
  • To me, "neutral" isn't an alignment, it's the lack of one.
  • I prefer a two-alignment Law/Chaos system to Good/Evil or a two-axis system, because...
  • I don't interpret Law and Chaos as personality descriptions or moral guidelines, but as factions in cosmic conflict.
  • Aligned people and monsters have a supernatural "taint" (which can be detected) and minor powers granted by this taint, which more powerful alignment leaders can take away at their (dis)pleasure.
Thus, servants of Law can kill people, even Lawful ones, and can spread anarchy, and may or may not get punished for their actions. Servants of Chaos and Law can travel together and aid one another; the powers that be don't care about stuff like that, only whether their servants are helping or hindering their cause.

Protection from Evil, in this interpretation, isn't protection from an alignment, but from evil intent.

I have a swords & sorcery setting with unique alignment rules on the backburner that I'm calling "Malignment" for now, unless I come up with a better name. It has two opposed alignments, locked in a cosmic struggle, but the alignments aren't Good/Evil or Law/Chaos, but Legend/Dream. It's a very Michael Moorcock/Elric-flavored setting. I'm proud of it.

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