Originally Posted by hamishspence
Hmm- how do we retain the alignment system (as per the much earlier post about liking some of it) while jettisoning all "unfortunate implications"?
Maybe, for all Monster Manuals, leave out the alignment line in a statblock entirely?
Yeah, I think that would take care of 90% of the problem. I mean, you can still describe the goblins' place in the world and how they usually live by raiding civilized nations without passing a personal moral judgment on all of them. Let alignment be something assigned by the DM when he places that creature in his campaign. If he wants them to be amoral slavers, he gives them and Evil alignment; if he wants them to be scrappy survivors making the best out of their lot in life, he might give them True Neutral or even Chaotic Good (especially if the civilized nations are Evil Empires). DMs already do that for every human that appears, is it so difficult to imagine doing it for the other races, too? Leave inborn alignment to the overtly supernatural—if it exists at all—and away from biological creatures.
Originally Posted by KillItWithFire
But no one is holding a gun to the DMs head and forcing him to play it that way.
This is absolutely true, but there's huge undeniable power in the fact that it's in there, in print. Some people are always going to read it without delving further—without ever even reading the explanation of what "Usually Evil" means technically within the rules. I think a lot of people, just in everyday life, hear the word "usually" and think "almost always."
And by the same token, if you left out the default alignments, it would be just as easy for DMs to house-rule them back in
, but at least the text wouldn't be encouraging it.