View Full Version : Alignment System, newish

2007-04-17, 05:17 AM
This is an alignment system that I put together as to still work within D&D's mechanics yet allow for more character freedom.
I made this for intent of use in the campaign I will soon be running.
Alignment will be taken outsider and influence based only. Characters will (usually) default to balanced or no alignment (true neutral) for the purposes of spells or effects.
Alignments will only apply to creatures born from one influenced outer plane or another or directly touched by said planes.
For the purpose of spell effects, item effects, and similar, these creatures will represent the alignment of their planes and not their actions/intents. For example, an angelic being (astral deva), even a blood thirsty mass slaughtering astral deva, will be considered good for effects such as swords that are a bane against good creatures.
This also applies to magic and beings formed of magic. Magic the is inherently evil (evil descriptor) will be 'evil', and anything made from such magic will be as well. The animation of the dead shall be included in this. This may still apply to the same intent bindings as the above as well, for example, if a necromancer raises an army of dead to, lets say, help reconstruct a ravaged town for the sake of the people - completely 'good' intent - the undead will still be evil for the purposes of spells and effects.
The only time a character would change alignment is when directly blessed/altered by that of an already evil or good source. For example, the human butcherer may be evil in personality, but will only detect of evil when the god of murder issues his direct blessings upon him. Or, a devout paladin will normally be neutral under this system, however, when the party's fiend of possession (which must be an evil outsider) possesses his body in order to give him bonuses and assist him, the paladin will register as evil.

A few other changes come as a result of this. First, all detect spells/abilities (such as the paladin's) of which detect one type of alignment or the other become just a "Detect Alignment" that will allow the character to notice whether a creature is good/evil/neutral. Also, any sort of protection against, when crafted/formed/cast/gained/etc., will be fully chosen at that time as to which it effects against. This means Protection from Good will just become Protection from Alignment and the alignment chosen upon cast. Or the sword that is aligned will be chosen when the sword is made/enchanted.

For characters with an alignment requirement, also, there is a bit of change. Each alignment only becomes a minor code of conduct.
You usually will not perform massively chaotic influences, such as deciding to just burn down the city and get it over with.
You are usually unresting in your actions. You may strive for peace, but you generally won't settle down for the sake of settling down or favor the active route rather than the political route.
You usually will be fair and just and would assist others in need when applicable.
You are usually not just - with a bias towards yourself. Personal gain or other factor usually is a strong motif.
Also, there's a "good/evil" option of which you can take instead of either evil or good, which will be the "mafia/gang" option:
You are usually just and fair towards your group and would assist your group when in need - mainly for the power or gain with a bias towards the group.
The group could be the party, organization, or other.
Pay respect towards balance in some way - usually.

This is only to sort of give classes the feel they originally represent as to not give classes such things as the diplomatic barbarian who runs an organized life and only rages on weekends or the monk who must burn down and destroy every creature who walks in its path.

Another change is with the paladin's code of conduct. Knowing association with evil characters is changed to knowing association with evil intent characters. A paladin may align, for example, with a benevolent fiend.
Also, the rest of the code of conduct shall be deity emphasis based only. What is an infraction against your deity (who is the being that gives you powers and must not be evil) shall be the limits of your code of conduct. For example, if you honor a deity of trade and then willfully steal (which normally is an infraction against trade), since this is a direct action against the ideas of your deity you will lose your paladinhood immediately.

2007-04-17, 07:13 AM
if you use this alignment system then there is really no need to have one at all because it tells you nothing about the person, that is what the system is curently for. the system is for when a paly wants to find bad people to bring the vengence of the gods on

2007-04-17, 07:35 PM
With a system like this, your better off simply having no aligments whatsoever, you get a bit more drama from taht
Maybe having detect evil detect evil people from the god's perspetive?

Innis Cabal
2007-04-17, 11:55 PM
the alignment system is also for spells, how do you know when a spell is evil? True magic should be neutral but making people explode into one million nails is a cosmic no no, and should be kept as such

Amphimir Míriel
2007-04-18, 12:35 AM
Imagine a scale;

In one end, there's the people who don't bother with alignments at all, except perhaps for the purposes of a spell or magic item (protection from / detect evil, etc.)

In the other end, there's the people who play with their alignments strongly stitched to their sleeves, and enforce things like the paladins code strictly. (they may roleplay their characters right or wrong, but that's not the point right now)

Your proposed system is quite close to the first end of the scale, and that's fine if it works for you. In our campaign group we developed what we believe is a "middle of the road option" where the standard D&D alignment system is flexibilized a bit.

See the link below.

2007-04-18, 01:00 AM
Yeh, I'm very much on the first end. Since there are enough spells and effects that is alignment specific I tried to allow them to still somewhat work and somewhat be effective. That and I rather dislike the "I'm defined as evil by intent or actions??" arguments and feuds, this gets rid of most of the issue by simply making everybody human - which allows for more roleplay anyways.

The code from alignments is only for classes that require alignments, just to leave them with a bit of strict flavor and to guide roleplaying a bit without trying to overrestrict it as I felt the normal alignment system has done.