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    Default Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Disclaimer: The original Color Wheel was designed by Wizards of the Coast for their trading card game, Magic: the Gathering. Parts have been changed to make it more applicable to Dungeons and Dragons.

    Color as Alignment

    The Color Wheel differs from the traditional D&D alignments in that the five Colors possess both literal incarnations (such as Outsiders) and non-literal philosiphies; that is, they are both ideologies and forces that shape the cosmos. While no part of this system falls apart when dealing with literal incarnations, the following is centered around mortals, for whom the colors are ideologies. That last bears repeating - any given character's color-alignment is not irrevocable, and does not represent some cosmic force nesting in their soul; it serves merely as a baseline descriptor for personality and methodology.

    Each character, then, has a Primary Color - this represents the greater portion (or most fundamental portions) of their personality, ideology, and goals. For a character who only possesses a Primary Color, it also represents their most commonly used methodology. Primary Color is very intrinsic to the character; while it can change, it should only change after long, involved character development, or after especially severe or sudden stress, trauma, or magical interference. The death of a loved one, the birth of one's child, systemic magical torture, or witnessing an incarnate deity are all examples of events that might change a Primary Color.

    Each character also has up to two Secondary Colors, which modify their Primary Color. Secondary Colors combine with the Primary Color to create a new philosiphy and outlook on life, but the Primary Color retains precedence; that is, the goals and outlooks of the Primary Color are still a greater part of the alignment mix than those of the Secondary Colors. Most often, Secondary Colors represent the lengths that a character is willing to go in order to fulfill the goals postulated by their Primary Color; that is, Secondary Colors most often represents methodology, as opposed to ideology. This isn't always the case, but it is important to note that a character needn't support or believe in their Secondary Colors - merely use them. Secondary Colors are much more fluid than their Primary counterparts, and change as a character's belief in what is acceptable or effective changes.

    Each color has two Allied Colors - colors closely related to them. A color shares certain aspects of ideology and methodology with its allies, and societies based on those colors often get along to a certain extent. What this means is that a given character doesn't necessarily have to take on Secondary Colors or change their Color alignment if they're dipping into the methods/ideas of their Allied Colors.

    Additionally, each color has two Enemy Colors - colors opposed to them in both ideology and methodology. It is important to note that a character can have a Color Alignment that includes Enemy Colors; the combinations are not impossible, but do create sources of self-conflict. Generally speaking, any given color actively opposes its enemy, even if only out of self-interest, but this needn't necessarily be the case, and it's certainly possible for a mixed-color group to cooperate, even if they bicker and fight over methods (or ideas) whenever they have the chance to sit down with a few pints. Generally speaking, repeated or prolonged participation in the methods or ideas of an Enemy Color should necessitate taking it on as a Secondary Color or an alignment shift to include that color.

    The five colors are broken down as follows:

    White - Order and Community: White believes in the rule of law. Only by upholding the fabric of society can life become peaceful and ideal. White believes in a clear-cut sense of right and wrong, and works with unity, intelligence, and planning in order to accomplish its goals. To White, the individual is not as important as the society; though it might regret it afterwards, the sacrifice of the one to save the many is perfectly acceptable to White. At its best, White creates utopian societies where well-managed rules ensure peace, tranquility, and happiness. At its worst, White creates war-driven dictatorships ruled by fanatics and madmen. Good luck explaining that to White. Allied Colors - Blue and Green. Enemy Colors - Black and Red.

    Blue - Knowledge and Discovery: Blue believes in perfection; every thing and every being has infinite potential, and all it takes to unlock that potential is enough knowledge. Thus, the "Platonic" goal of Blue is omniscience - if one knows all the answers, one can do anything, be anything, and change anything. Blue loves learning secrets, and trickery, roundabout solutions, logical thought and careful, methodical planning are all hallmarks of its methods. At its best, Blue's is the enlightened scientist, fulfilling an obligation to society in order to improve and perfect all aspects of life. At its worst, Blue is an emotionless torturer, prying into forbidden secrets and vivisecting its victims for the sheer sake of knowledge. Allied Colors - Black and White. Enemy Colors Green and Red.

    Black - Power and Individuality: Black believes that everyone is selfish. It's a cold, bleak philosiphy, but it's there - everyone's going to look out for Number One, and so should you. Black's "Platonic" goal is omnipotence; only if you have all the power are you assured of your freedom. Those who espouse Black's philosiphies often end up participating in some rather unwholesome and/or bizzare practices (blood sacrifice, for example, or ritual scarification), but it is important to note that the profit-centric shopkeeper is just as Black as the soul-trading sorcerer. At its best, Black creates societies of enlightened self-interest, where individual rights and opportunities take precedence over communal rules. At its worst, Black creates societies where the worst atrocities are permissable so long as one is capable of committing them without retribution. Allied Colors - Blue and Red. Enemy Colors - Green and White.

    Red - Freedom and Emotion: Red believes in acting on one's emotions, and in the freedom to do so; if you love, act upon it. If you rage, attack, if you feel sorrow, weep. Red believes in absolute freedom, and that people are happiest when they're honest with themselves. Trickery, spontenaity, and direct solutions are all hallmarks of Red's methodology; Red is far more likely to simply smash a wall or blow it up than it is to, say, build a door through it. At its best, Red is genuinely loyal, caring, and committed to the idea of personal freedom. At its worst, Red is random and pointlessly destructive, smashing through restricting obstacles, laws, and people simply because they're there. Allied Colors - Black and Green. Enemy Colors - Blue and White.

    Green - Growth and Nature: Green believes that everything was made perfect as it is. Nature has already given you all the tools and weapons you need to survive, thrive, and excel - all one has to do is find one's place in Nature, accept it, and embrace it. Green opposes artifice and encroachment upon nature; direct, physical solutions, instinct, and enhancing magic are all hallmarks of Green's philosiphy. Important to note is that Green believes in destiny and predestination - but also that these forces can be violated (hence Green's violent opposition of what others might call progress). At its best, Green creates peaceful, group-oriented societies that live in harmony with nature. At its worst, Green's traditionalistic nature drags societies down into violent, anti-technological fanatacism. Allied Colors - Red and White. Enemy Colors - Black and Blue.

    Making the Shift - Introducing the Color Wheel to Your Game

    Shifting the nine traditional alignments to the Color Wheel isn't as hard as it might seem. Certain classes require certain alignments; all one has to do is examine why they require those alignments and then translate to a color restriction. Paladins, for example, are required to be Lawful Good because they are expected to produce the most good for the most people whenever possible; this translates easily into a requirement that Paladins have White in their alignment mix. Monks, on the other hand, are required to be Lawful because they need strict self-discipline and control to learn their art; thus, a Monk's alignment requirement would be "Any Non-Red, Non-Green".

    Abilities such as Smite translate simply into Smite Enemy Color; any given character/monster is treated as all of its colors for the purposes of such abilities. Similar methods can be applied to spells which require certain alignments.

    Recommended Mechanical Changes

    The following changes are recommended (but certainly not required) for games that include the Color Wheel.

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    - Clerics no longer channel positive/negative energy to spontaenously cast spells. Instead, a cleric may sacrifice a spell of equal or greater level to spontaenously cast a cure spell on a creature which either shares a color with them or has a color allied with their own, or to spontaenously cast an inflict spell on a creature which has a color opposed to their own. If a creature has both (a W cleric casting on a B/U wizard), they may choose whether to heal or harm. Keep in mind that, under this system, positive and negative energy no longer exist. That means that cure spells no longer hurt undead, and inflict no longer heal them; instead, the undead are affected by cure and inflict just as other creatures are.

    - Smite [Alignment] becomes Smite Enemy Color. In the case of paladins, it becomes Smite Red/Black (affecting creatures who are red, black, or both).

    - Detect [Alignment] becomes Detect Alignment; creatures are entitled to a Will save to avoid the affect. The Detect [Alignment] group of spells is otherwise unchanged.


    Two-Color Mixes

    The following are general examples of what might happen when you start mixing two colors. It's important to note that these mixes can be done with either color Primary. One's choice of Primary color shifts the focus of the mix a bit, one direction or the other; for example, a White primary character with Black as a secondary color would more often put the agenda of their group as a whole first.

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    Black/White: Black/White, at first glance, look like they won't mix, but they find common ground in a compromise; a small group which constantly strives to increase its own power, wealth, and comfort. Organized crime is a great example of Black/White in action, but so would a small group of men who constantly pass the mayorship of a village between each other. The biggest self-conflict that occurs with a Black/White character is when the desires/needs of the group conflict with the desires/needs of the individual.

    Black/Green: Black's conflict with green is one of individualism vs. predestination; their compromise is found in the idea of fluid destiny. In essence, a Black/Green individual or organization has a different idea of "natural" than a purely Green organization, while still adhering to the idea of conforming to Nature that would be distasteful to a purely Black one. The biggest self-conflict facing a Black/Green character is one of motivation and the definition of "acceptable" - how far can one push the boundries before one has left "nature", however vaguely it is defined. Pushed too hard or too far, Black/Green becomes paralyzed by indecision or else snaps into manic fanatacism.

    Black/Blue: Black/Blue combines knowledge with the ruthless will to pursue it. Black's focus on individuality and selfishness gains a serious edge when combined with Blue's trickery and pursuit of knowledge, creating characters and organizations that delve deep into forbidden lore, make extensive use of blackmail, and other, similar maneuvers. Power corrupts, though, and combining knowledge and raw power can very easily lead Black/Blue to showcasing the worst examples of both colors. Black/Blue's biggest weakness is indecision - should it take a direct approach, or try something more subtle?

    Black/Red: Anarchy ascendant; Black/Red "organizations" barely qualify as such. Black/Red believes in both selfishness and absolute freedom, and while this can, occasionally, lead to genteel philosiphers espousing the virtues of both, it most often ends up with hedonistic sociopaths gleefully seeking their next thrill without heed to the consequences or the collateral damage. Their unwillingness - or inability - to empathize with others is their biggest weakness; very often, Black/Red fails to understand the concept of consequences to their actions, let alone anticipate them.

    White/Green: Harmony is the key word when talking about this color pair; White/Green integrates nature into its society, combining White's love of order with Green's belief in predestination. White/Green's greatest weakness is pride; all too often, it falls into the trap that its way is best, and that no one else can possibly know what's good. At its best, White/Green is genuinely caring, wise, and harmonious. At its worst, White/Green creates emotionless hive-minds, where each individual is enslaved to the will of the whole.

    White/Blue: White/Blue believes in the rule of law, and creates and enforces laws that it believes will benefit the most number of people. It also uses those laws as a weapon and a shield, turning them so deliberate and obtuse that, in some of the most extreme cases, it can take a lifetime to learn all of the rules. White/Blue's greatest failing is overanalyzation; White/Blue has a very reactionary nature, and would often prefer to do nothing until it has more information rather than take a risk.

    White/Red: White/Red believes in societies which support and protect individual freedoms while still looking out for the common good. Very often, White/Red is willing to use less-than-ordered means to achieve order or defend the public good; a vigilante might be White/Red, as might the leader of the mob out to lynch a local pedarast. White/Red's greatest source of self-conflict is when personal freedoms conflict with societal good; they must decide where to draw the line or go mad with the unresolvable conflict.

    Red/Green: Savage is the term to describe Red/Green - raw emotion mixes with instinct to create a being that acts less on thought than it does intuition. Red/Green is brutally direct, preferring quick physical solutions over more lengthy intellectual social ones. Red/Green does not mix well with societies in general; Green's love of nature combines with Red's raw emotion (in this case, rage) with predictable results. Its greatest failing is an utter lack of thought; unless they fight to retain some form of self-control, Red/Green often barrels headfirst through life, unaware and unheeding of the consequences for their recklessly destructive actions.

    Red/Blue: Red/Blue combines intuition with logic; mad tinkers, eccentrict old wizards, and gibbering oracles might all be Red/Blue. A Red/Blue character might resemble an obsessive fanboy, researching and practically worshipping their object of interest, but they might also easily resemble an absentminded genius, leaping from one project to the next without testing or sometimes even finishing their previous work. Red/Blue's greatest weakness is consistency; all their brilliance won't help them a lick if they can't carry a project, plan, or thought to completion.

    Blue/Green: Blue/Green believes that nature's basic blueprint can be improved. At first, this attitude seems purely Blue, but Blue/Green is adamant that nature has the right idea; they're just speeding things along. Blue/Green mixes Blue's intelligence and foresight with Green's penchant for direct solutions, applying just the right amount of brute force to a weak point in a problem for maximum results. Blue/Green's greatest weakess is self-denial; rather than deal with the paradox of change vs. destiny, Blue/Green ignores it, and thus often misses vital flaws in its plans, thought patterns, and personality.


    Alignment Subtypes and Outsiders

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    The idea of living beings which represent aspects of philosiphy, ideology, or morality is as old as human myth, and the Color Wheel certainly does not exclude the idea. However, each color shifts somewhat when one is dealing with it as a universal force, rather than purely as a matter of philosiphy. It is important to note that the forces represented by each color are amoral, and thus their creations carry quite a bit of that amorality with them. The colors as forces of reality break down as follows:

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    White - Order: White distills into pure cosmic order; the force that resists chance and independance. Where purely White forces pass, ironclad patterns and laws are left in the fabric of reality; overexposure to the distilled essence of White can leave local reality in a kind of feedback loop, forever caught in the same predictable chain of events.

    Blue - Change: Distinct from the idea of Chaos, Blue distills into pure change; anything that can be changed is in the wake of Blue energy, refining or debasing itself into entirely new forms. Fabulous inventions of magic and technology are the result of the application of raw Blue energy - so are world-shattering catastrophes.

    Black - Entropy: Individual cases may very, but the cold stark truth of it is that Black takes; in the presence of raw Black energy things break down, fall apart, and die. Left unchecked, raw Black energy consumes whole worlds, attempting to feed its endless hunger.

    Red - Chaos: Red's love of freedom distills into pure Chaos; anything that can happen, will happen, and the passing of pure Red energy would often be hilarious if the effects weren't so devastating. Red leaves spells unstable and unsafe, rewrites the laws of physics, and turns the universe upside down; toying with it is not reccomended.

    Green - Life: Unchecked growth is the consequence of pure Green energy; new forms of life emerge and change at a terrifying rate which, if left unchecked, will result in the rapid consumption of available resources and then itself. Raw Green energy spreads like a cancer; uncontrollable life, inevitably destroying all around it.


    What this means for beings that are shaped by the raw Color forces, yet have intelligence (such as Outsiders with alignment subtypes) is that they either embody the color's "distilled" form and espouse the philosiphy (as modified by their secondary colors) or that they embody the philosiphy and are only marginally shaped by the "distilled" form. In the first case, the being's alignment mix isn't affected by their color; that is, their motivations are their own to choose, and they may be any color, or none of them. In the second case, their alignment subtype is also their Primary color.

    Regardless of their actual alignment mix, any creature with an alignment subtype is treated as though it included that color in its alignment mix for the purposes of being targeted by spells and abilities.


    Enemy Color Conflicts

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    White vs. Black - Morality vs. Amorality: The core of the conflict between Black and White - even beyond the idea of Individual vs. Society - is the idea of morality. White believes firmly in the idea that there is Right, and then there is Wrong, and that failure to do Right is, by elimination, Wrong. Serving the needs of the whole over your own needs is Right, to White; after all, the whole will protect even its weakest member. Does this mean that all White characters are paragons of their virtues? No. But they either strive to be, or believe they already are.

    Black, on the other hand, is amoral. Note the important difference between the terms "amoral" and "immoral"; Black does not believe in the concepts of Good and Evil. Black believes it's a cold, stark universe and that when push comes to shove, you can be damn sure that people are going to prioritize themselves. To Black, the ideas of Right and Wrong are, at best, tools used to manipulate others and at worst justifications for horrid atrocities, and as far as Black's concerned that's just low. If you're going to slaughter thousands of innocent people for power, at least have the courtesy to say so.

    What this means is that White sees Black as a threat to the common good - a maverick at best and a foul source of infernal corruption at worst. Black, on the other hand, sees White as foolish, naive, and a threat to its freedom. It's interesting to note that, in a way, Black is less concerned with White than White is with Black; Black doesn't care if you choose to live your life kowtowing to someone else's set of rules, which often makes White the aggressor in their conflicts.

    White vs. Red - Conformity vs. Freedom: The core of the conflict between White and Red are the concepts of rules and restrictions. White believes in the rule of law, and that the greatest good can be achieved by following laws. White is quite willing to enforce its laws with dire penalties, and members of White societies who don't conform are ostracized at best and may face much worse.

    Red, on the other hand, upholds freedom as a moral ideal. Red hates restricting rules, laws, objects, spells, et cetera. More often than not, a Red character will flout or break a law or rule she doesn't like simply to demonstrate that the law does not rule her - and react savagely to any attempts to make her conform.

    This definitely makes Red the aggressor in the relationship; White's laws are reactionary in nature, while Red is pro-active. That said, both sides of the debate hate each other, and a White/Red conflict can turn savage and bloody, especially between two organizations.

    Blue vs. Red - Thought vs. Emotion: Blue thinks, Red feels. This basic conflict, much less visceral than that between, say, White and Black, is the reason that Blue and Red drive each other absolutely nuts. Blue prizes logic and learned, tested reasoning, eschewing emotion as unreliable and unsafe. Red, on the other hand, prizes emotion as the truest expression of who a person is; Red trusts its feelings. This only rarely leads to the kind of conflicts found between more viscerally opposed colors, though when it does, it should be pointed out that Red, following its impulsive nature, is usually the aggressor.

    Blue vs. Green - Choice vs. Destiny: Blue believes in infinite potential; anything can be improved and anything can be perfected, if one has the will and knowledge to do so. Indeed, many Blue characters feel a sense of obligation - their knowledge can be used for good, so it should be used for good. Blue sees no problem whatsoever in changing and improving its environment into something wholly different if that's what it takes for improvement.

    Green, on the other hand, sees Nature as something that as gotten it right; every creature has its own niche that it fills perfectly; to Green, perfect happiness and harmony is achieved when one finds one's own niche and fills it. Blue's "progress" is frightening and threatening to Green, because it endangers the entire system - change one thing out of its niche, and who knows how many others might be affected?

    Like most conflicts in which one side is motivated by fear, Green is often the aggressor in these disputes, attacking and destroying that which it feels is threatening to its environment. Occasionally, the sitution reverses, usually because some profit-motivated Blue organization wants to exploit the resources that Green is protecting. Very often, these conflicts turn extremely savage, extremely quickly, with Green lashing out in overwhelming attacks and Blue responding with superior destructive technology/magic.

    Black vs. Green - Entropy vs. Growth: The conflict between Black and Green is one of ideological consequences. Green sees Black as pointlessly destructive, consuming without creating and divesting people, places, and the environment of all its resources. Black, on the other hand, sees Green as hopelessly naive, incapable of comprehending that unchecked growth leads to the same kind of overconsumption that Green accuses it of. Like the conflict between Blue and Red, this only rarely leads to open, bloody conflict. However, when it does, one side or the other is usually the underdog; either a Green force is attacking a well-established Black organization (which is consuming/tainting the land around it), or a Black force is desperately trying to hold Green in check as an unrestricted tide of Nature threatens to overwhelm all else.


    The Colorless
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    Colorless creatures, at first glance, seem as though they lack alignment, and in a sense this statement is true, in that any creature incapable of making moral choices (animals and mindless beings) is colorless. However, it is possible for a sentient creature to have an "alignment" of colorless.

    A colorless creature suffers from indecision or lack of motivation; general apathy pervades their belief system and methodology. Colorless creatures might resemble hell-in-a-handbasket depression cases, unmotivated slackers, or office drones who labor each day just to get by and get through without really knowing why. Alternately, a creature who has had their ability to make moral choices stripped from them is also treated as colorless; those who suffer from the Soulless template, for example, or creatures under the influence of dominate monster.

    Colorless has no allied colors and no enemy colors. A colorless creature has no secondary colors. No creature may have colorless as an alignment subtype. For the purposes of determining the effects of friendly/hostile magics, a colorless creature is treated as a creature who is possessed of both an allied and an enemy color to the caster (meaning, generally, that the caster chooses the effect their spell has upon them).

    A lack of color has no effect on any given part of the cosmos.


    I'll gladly take any questions, clarify any confusions and, if requested, provide examples of color combinations to create alignments.

    Additional Reading

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    Quote Originally Posted by Latronis View Post
    Additional Reading: Basic Reading on The Colour Wheel

    Good flavor articles for the individual colours: Green, White, Blue, Black, Red. Including character examples.

    Articles on the colour pair combinations, also with good examples: Green\White, Black\Green, Black\Blue, Red\White, Red\Green, Blue\Red, White\Black, White\Blue, Green\Blue, Black\Red.
    Last edited by Lord_Gareth; 2010-01-26 at 11:11 AM.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Someone's been playing Magic: the Gathering lately, hmmm?

    That aside, it looks interesting, if a little restrictive. There are, after all, more than five primary allegiances a character can have, and, as of now, your brushstrokes are very broad, making me a little hesitant about categorizing a character as anything in particular.

    Color me interested (heh), but not convinced yet. I'll need to see more first.

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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Meh, personally I just dump alignments in games I run and adopt the d20 modern system's alliegance system, as you dont even have to devote yourself to an 'alignment' at all - your 3 allegiances could be "God, Country, Family" and to hell with law, chaos, good, or evil. :P

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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Definitely interesting, but why do you need it? (I mean, aside from designing something cool.) The alignment system in DnD, to my (admittedly limited knowledge) only becomes problematic if rigidly interpreted by players and DMs.
    There are dozens of interpretations within a single alignment as it is already; what's the reasoning behind these?

    I think it's a cool way to express a character's alignment, don't get me wrong. But do you need to replace alignment as it is now? (Unless you aren't trying to replace or fix traditional alignments but just offer another version, in which case disregard this.)

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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    That aside, it looks interesting, if a little restrictive. There are, after all, more than five primary allegiances a character can have, and, as of now, your brushstrokes are very broad, making me a little hesitant about categorizing a character as anything in particular.

    Color me interested (heh), but not convinced yet. I'll need to see more first.
    Keep in mind that color doesn't equal allegience. Someone who believes firmly in rule of law can serve a Black-aligned dictator because they believe that person is the legitimate authority. A Red-aligned barbarian might be motivated by loyalty or love to help a Blue-aligned wizard, or a Black-aligned rogue. Color Alignment is a matter of philosiphy and methodology, not loyalty.

    Coming soon - Color Manifestations: Alignment Subtypes in a Color-Aligned World and Color Pairs - the Basic Breakdown


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    The most obvious question is: what happens to Colorless people? There are bound to be some characters who don't fit any of the five colors, at least not to any meaningful degree, which seems to indicate a Colorless class somewhere.

    Secondly, I can see two vastly different characters ending up with the same color scheme, for no apparently logical reason. A ravaging sorcerer wishing to bring about an end to the "evils of society" will be Blue (change) and Red (freedom) while a simple wizard who wants to do nothing more than study his spellcraft would also be Blue (knowledge) and Red (freedom).

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    Paladins, for example, are required to be Lawful Good because they are expected to produce the most good for the most people whenever possible; this translates easily into a requirement that Paladins have White as their Primary Color.
    Here's an example of where the Color Alignment starts to break down. The way you have described the system, a Paladin must have White as their Secondary Color, not their primary. Primary is ideology, Secondary is methodology. If the Paladin's methods are expected to match up to White, then they need to have White secondary.

    A Paladin who wishes for nothing more than adoration and martial power would easily be Black/White, producing good (methodology) in the interest of gaining personal power (ideology). On the other hand, a Paladin who believes that society is the best protection for the people (White ideology) but who fights any system which suppresses the rights of their people (Red methodology) would be White/Red, completely the opposite of what you are recommending.

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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Sounds cool, I can imagine already paladins dedicated to the purging of heretics, with no need of the law (Red/white)
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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    The most obvious question is: what happens to Colorless people? There are bound to be some characters who don't fit any of the five colors, at least not to any meaningful degree, which seems to indicate a Colorless class somewhere.
    Interesting idea. I'm taking suggestions ^_^

    Secondly, I can see two vastly different characters ending up with the same color scheme, for no apparently logical reason. A ravaging sorcerer wishing to bring about an end to the "evils of society" will be Blue (change) and Red (freedom) while a simple wizard who wants to do nothing more than study his spellcraft would also be Blue (knowledge) and Red (freedom).
    Not necessarily. The first wizard could clearly be Blue/Red, yes, but the second one doesn't have to be; he could easly be just Blue. Taking on a color suggests an active commitment to that ideal, even if one doesn't acknowledge it consciously.

    Here's an example of where the Color Alignment starts to break down. The way you have described the system, a Paladin must have White as their Secondary Color, not their primary. Primary is ideology, Secondary is methodology. If the Paladin's methods are expected to match up to White, then they need to have White secondary.

    A Paladin who wishes for nothing more than adoration and martial power would easily be Black/White, producing good (methodology) in the interest of gaining personal power (ideology). On the other hand, a Paladin who believes that society is the best protection for the people (White ideology) but who fights any system which suppresses the rights of their people (Red methodology) would be White/Red, completely the opposite of what you are recommending.
    I think you may have missed something - Primary color includes methodology. If a character has Secondary colors, it doesn't represent one's complete methodology, but the Primary methods are still there. However, I do agree with your second example...perhaps a requirement of having White in there somewhere? As mentioned above, Secondary colors can be included to create blended ideologies; they don't have to, but they can. Your second paladin, then, is an example of a White/Red blend; he believes that society is important, but also believes that the ideal society supports the rights of its people.

    So, while my reccomendation was bad, I don't think it indicates a flaw in the system just yet.

    Thanks for commenting, though - this kind of critique is what I need ^_^
    Last edited by Lord_Gareth; 2009-12-24 at 03:09 PM.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Anythings better than alignment. This works quite a bit better than ditching the entire system with all the alignment based effects.

    This does however have the effect of making Paladins weaker as except animals and constructs, just about everything the average Paladin fights is evil (same with holy weapons), though I doubt everyone a Paladin fights is black and red. While it's nice to hurt Word of Law and co, the melee guys don't really need the hurt.

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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    I'm glad to hear my comments were taken well. It's just that, well, I guess the D&D alignment system is pretty vague too. I'm just not sure if this one will clear anything up, or just change the points of vague reference around.

    My first example was trying to point out that two very different people could still have the same alignment color, which seems contradictory at first. A power-hungry dictator and demon-enslaving wizard would both be Black, which does make sense, and you can see the connection. However, an independant explorer or protestor wanting "power for the people" would be just as Black, and they don't seem to have any relation to the first two Black-aligned characters.

    This is handy for Magic: the Gathering, as when they are developing characters or cards that need to be "Black" they have a lot of source material to draw upon. It's a bit harder for an alignment system, though. If I say that my character is "Good" or "Chaotic", then most people have a vague understanding of what I mean. Well, minus preconceived ideas. However, saying that by character is "Black-aligned" can result in an understanding that is fully within the rules, yet completely off base. That makes it difficult for me to see how your alignment system can work itself out.

    I hope that at least help you with clarifying your system, or ensuring that your system is doing what you intend it to be doing.

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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Alignment and Color are both vague but in very different ways. Alignment is ill defined (One character is lawful because of their devotion to a cause, another is chaotic because they are devoted to their art ) color is broad,

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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    The following will be added to the first post as well:

    Two-Color Mixes

    The following are general examples of what might happen when you start mixing two colors. It's important to note that these mixes can be done with either color Primary. One's choice of Primary color shifts the focus of the mix a bit, one direction or the other; for example, a White primary character with Black as a secondary color would more often put the agenda of their group as a whole first.

    Black/White: Black/White, at first glance, look like they won't mix, but they find common ground in a compromise; a small group which constantly strives to increase its own power, wealth, and comfort. Organized crime is a great example of Black/White in action, but so would a small group of men who constantly pass the mayorship of a village between each other. The biggest self-conflict that occurs with a Black/White character is when the desires/needs of the group conflict with the desires/needs of the individual.

    Black/Green: Black's conflict with green is one of individualism vs. predestination; their compromise is found in the idea of fluid destiny. In essence, a Black/Green individual or organization has a different idea of "natural" than a purely Green organization, while still adhering to the idea of conforming to Nature that would be distasteful to a purely Black one. The biggest self-conflict facing a Black/Green character is one of motivation and the definition of "acceptable" - how far can one push the boundries before one has left "nature", however vaguely it is defined. Pushed too hard or too far, Black/Green becomes paralyzed by indecision or else snaps into manic fanatacism.

    Black/Blue: Black/Blue combines knowledge with the ruthless will to pursue it. Black's focus on individuality and selfishness gains a serious edge when combined with Blue's trickery and pursuit of knowledge, creating characters and organizations that delve deep into forbidden lore, make extensive use of blackmail, and other, similar maneuvers. Power corrupts, though, and combining knowledge and raw power can very easily lead Black/Blue to showcasing the worst examples of both colors. Black/Blue's biggest weakness is indecision - should it take a direct approach, or try something more subtle?

    Black/Red: Anarchy ascendant; Black/Red "organizations" barely qualify as such. Black/Red believes in both selfishness and absolute freedom, and while this can, occasionally, lead to genteel philosiphers espousing the virtues of both, it most often ends up with hedonistic sociopaths gleefully seeking their next thrill without heed to the consequences or the collateral damage. Their unwillingness - or inability - to empathize with others is their biggest weakness; very often, Black/Red fails to understand the concept of consequences to their actions, let alone anticipate them.

    Next up - White mixes!


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    I'm glad to hear my comments were taken well. It's just that, well, I guess the D&D alignment system is pretty vague too. I'm just not sure if this one will clear anything up, or just change the points of vague reference around.

    My first example was trying to point out that two very different people could still have the same alignment color, which seems contradictory at first. A power-hungry dictator and demon-enslaving wizard would both be Black, which does make sense, and you can see the connection. However, an independant explorer or protestor wanting "power for the people" would be just as Black, and they don't seem to have any relation to the first two Black-aligned characters.
    What those four characters have in common is an ideological commitment to the idea of the individual. If you ask the dictator and the wizard what gives them the right to do as they do, I'm willing to bet that the answer is, "Because I can." The explorer's answer is, "Why not?" and the protestor is the one most likely to give an actual, ideological answer. All of them are devoted to individuality, even if they don't admit or recognize as much.

    This system is designed broadly on purpose; the biggest failing of the Nine Alignments is that it attempted to be too specific. While it is starting to dawn on me the sheer amount of material I'll have to reccomend at least minimal edits to (the Planes, the entire magic system...), I think it can be done without too much work.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    So, is it intentional that the color alignments are based on belief, rather than action? That's something that was always a bit confusing about the original alignments; I could never tell whether the deed or the motivation was more important.

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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Very intentional; because the colors do not represent moral absolutes, the intent becomes more important than the deed. Killing does not make one Black, for example, even though a Black character might see killing as expedient. If you, for example, killed a being because you were curious about what killing felt like, the act in question was Blue (done for the sake of knowledge) with slight Red tones.

    And here comes another chunk!

    Alignment Subtypes and Outsiders

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    The idea of living beings which represent aspects of philosiphy, ideology, or morality is as old as human myth, and the Color Wheel certainly does not exclude the idea. However, each color shifts somewhat when one is dealing with it as a universal force, rather than purely as a matter of philosiphy. It is important to note that the forces represented by each color are amoral, and thus their creations carry quite a bit of that amorality with them. The colors as forces of reality break down as follows:

    Spoiler
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    White - Order: White distills into pure cosmic order; the force that resists chance and independance. Where purely White forces pass, ironclad patterns and laws are left in the fabric of reality; overexposure to the distilled essence of White can leave local reality in a kind of feedback loop, forever caught in the same predictable chain of events.

    Blue - Change: Distinct from the idea of Chaos, Blue distills into pure change; anything that can be changed is in the wake of Blue energy, refining or debasing itself into entirely new forms. Fabulous inventions of magic and technology are the result of the application of raw Blue energy - so are world-shattering catastrophes.

    Black - Death: Black's amoral nature distills into the raw force of Death; the ultimate impartiality, as it were. Of all the colors, Black is probably the least devastating to the landscape, though its imprecise applications have been known to leave entire worlds scoured clean.

    Red - Chaos: Red's love of freedom distills into pure Chaos; anything that can happen, will happen, and the passing of pure Red energy would often be hilarious if the effects weren't so devastating. Red leaves spells unstable and unsafe, rewrites the laws of physics, and turns the universe upside down; toying with it is not reccomended.

    Green - Life: Unchecked growth is the consequence of pure Green energy; new forms of life emerge and change at a terrifying rate which, if left unchecked, will result in the rapid consumption of available resources and then itself. Raw Green energy spreads like a cancer; uncontrollable life, inevitably destroying all around it.


    What this means for beings that are shaped by the raw Color forces, yet have intelligence (such as Outsiders with alignment subtypes) is that they either embody the color's "distilled" form and espouse the philosiphy (as modified by their secondary colors) or that they embody the philosiphy and are only marginally shaped by the "distilled" form. In the first case, the being's alignment mix isn't affected by their color; that is, their motivations are their own to choose, and they may be any color, or none of them. In the second case, their alignment subtype is also their Primary color.

    Regardless of their actual alignment mix, any creature with an alignment subtype is treated as though it included that color in its alignment mix for the purposes of being targeted by spells and abilities.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Additional Reading: Basic Reading on The Colour Wheel

    Good flavor articles for the individual colours: Green, White, Blue, Black, Red. Including character examples.

    Articles on the colour pair combinations, also with good examples: Green\White, Black\Green, Black\Blue, Red\White, Red\Green, Blue\Red, White\Black, White\Blue, Green\Blue, Black\Red.

    Personally I think the colours system is the best 'alignment' system I've seen.

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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Bravo! I'm so glad I bothered to recheck the alignment fear thread to see if this had been done. I'm going to start conversion immediately!

    Whee<3

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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Agreed, I've always felt that Magic's system works much better than D&D's.

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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    My overall consensus is that this is very well done and very well thought out. I approve wholeheartedly. Your more recent sections flow nicely, and solve the issue I had with the vaguely defined alignments. This project receives my seal of approval.

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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    What those four characters have in common is an ideological commitment to the idea of the individual.
    Being willing to sacrifice power of your own in order to empower other individuals is the opposite of wanting to limit what other individuals can do so that you personally have greater control. It seems a bit problematic if those are both Black. And the second one strikes me as decidedly Black.

    My understanding is that in Magic, wanting power for yourself is Black, and wanting to liberate other people is Red.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    White/Blue's greatest failing is stagnation; all too often, White/Blue acts as it as always acted, and becomes paralyzed when faced with new experiences or problems.
    That seems pretty backwards to me. Wouldn't White/Blue be quintessentially progressive -- continually seeking to improve the welfare of the populace through new rules, based on changes in knowledge, technology, and society? You identified Blue as the Color of Change, for pity's sake!

    Green seems like it would be the least flexible. It's the color most devoted to doing things a particular way: the "natural" way, whatever that means. (If "natural" doesn't mean anything in particular, then Green isn't a real ideology so much as a specific variety of spin doctoring.) Really, it strikes me as weird that I should even have to argue that the Luddite Color is the stagnant one.
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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Taking a look over the material again, my first question is: how true are you trying to stay to the source material? Should I assuming that the colors match up with M:tG, or are you reinterpreting them for this purpose?

    One thing in particular is that Black is "Power and Individuality" but an overabundance of Black is "Death". This doesn't quite seem to follow, unless you imply that everyone was so selfish and individualistic that they refused to breed. However, I doubt that's what you're trying to say...

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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    It's "Death" because simply put, Death is the ultimate power-that which you can cheat, but you will never beat. Also, Undead are usually Death-aligned, which means that they have seen the ultimate power and twisted it to their use.

    I like this system, especially for morally grey games like what I want my PC lycanthrope game to be. To put it simply, the entire campaign is due to the actions of two villains, one so sympathetic that I'm making backup plans if the PCs decide to work for him, the other so repulsive that the local Pelorites are perfectly entitled to wonder why their god hasn't revoked his powers. In this system, the morally gray one would be Blue with Black and Green undertones (he knows his schemes will change the world for the better, and he values his followers over abstract moral ideas), and the repulsive one White with Red undertones (his vision of what's right is the only true one dammit, and he gets...twitchy when someone calls him out on this).
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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Quote Originally Posted by Devils_Advocate View Post
    Being willing to sacrifice power of your own in order to empower other individuals is the opposite of wanting to limit what other individuals can do so that you personally have greater control. It seems a bit problematic if those are both Black. And the second one strikes me as decidedly Black.

    My understanding is that in Magic, wanting power for yourself is Black, and wanting to liberate other people is Red.
    I think the issue though is that it is assumed the protester has no power to start with. As such they protest that everyone be given power, and in doing so gain power for them self (even if only a little). Very rarely does someone already in power protest that the power should be given to everyone (for one thing the could just share their power). Also I think it is the idea that they want to have their individual say in things.

    Also on the death thing, I think in part it is because one of the clearest ways to show your dominance over something is to kill it.

    And also:
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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    Quote Originally Posted by Leliel View Post
    It's "Death" because simply put, Death is the ultimate power-that which you can cheat, but you will never beat. Also, Undead are usually Death-aligned, which means that they have seen the ultimate power and twisted it to their use.
    The problem with that, though, is that any power "which you can cheat, but cannot beat" fits that discription just as well. Time? Chance? Fate? The Gods? Heck, you don't even need to be undead to cheat death - D&D offers lots of ways to avoid dying. And dominating or taking control of another would be more "exerting control over another", yet doing so is more Blue or White.

    Plus, it has the problem of tying undead to one specific alignment. Just as undead = evil resulted in unusual and problematic situations with D&D, tying undead = Black will result in all undead characters manditorily changing to Black, or making it impossible for any non-Black undead.

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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    It's how Magic: The Gathering works.

    Don't blame me for it.
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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    erikun:
    Most undead in D&D are evil, and most methods of becoming undead have an alignment shift to evil inherent in them. (Vampires are the most obvious one here.) So why would instead making undead at least partly black cause any problems. Thats why its a multi-color system, so that you can have more shades as compared to the standard D&D's more single focus alignment setup.

    Anyways, if you do become undead in such a way that does not change your alignment, then you would not be forced to change your color in this setup. (This has a M:tG correlation of the various white spirits.)
    If this is a huge problem, well thats why they introduced the undying creature type. They're not undead, but they are the dead that are still up and moving around (which is the best defination of undead I've ever heard). So If you wanted to you could have your black aligned creatures become undead, while your not-black creatures become undying.

    The biggest problem this system might have with undead is the channel positive/negative energy ability. But you could have white & green clerics get positive, while black clerics get negative. While black/white, black/green, as well as red and blue clerics choose. While leaving undead and undying still effected by the energy types normally.
    _______

    Now onto another point: What color would animals, and unintelligent constructs be? As well as unintelligent undead, if they are not automatically black?
    I can see arguments for animals being green, but the counter to that is the argument that any alignment is based on moral/ethical choices which animals lack the mental capability for (likewise animals appear in all colors in M:tG). So would you also have an unaligned group for those mindless and/or animal mentality creatures?

    Unaligned is what I currently use for mindless and animal mentality creatures in my current game, so that they do not suffer from those spells that peripherally affect neutral creatures (such as holy word).

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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    They would likely be colourless. I'd expect one who is colourless would be wholly apathetic about such things, and thus most creatures would fir in there.

    Also, when it comes down to it, what is it that makes a vampire particularly evil? If one considers it, the main thing they would think of is the drinking of blood, but how is that worse than what humans do? Humans often eat meat, which if considered from a practical standpoint is worse. If you take meat from something you have to cut a portion off, to get a reasonable amount to eat you need to cut off a large portion that will likely never fully heal. Drinking blood on the other hand deals much less damage, it makes small wounds, and only takes out a small portion of the total blood that can all be fairly easily replaced with time (much more so than having a sizable chunk of your body cut off). It is much easier for a vampire to keep what they fed on alive than a human (unless you refer to plants). One could try arguing that the idea of feeding on a sentient species is evil, but I find that idea to be rather flawed, after all, otherwise the meat just goes to the animal (who aren't considered evil for it), or to waste (which can be a waste).

    So, there isn't any particular reason undead should be tied to black. A lich or the like could just as easily be blue (due to seeking immortality because there just isn't enough time to learn everything in a mortal lifespan).

    As I said before, the best explanation for why black distills to death is because killing something is among the strongest ways of expressing you have (or rather had) power over it.

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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    The problem is the colours arn't just philosophies, they have distinct powers too (mechanics tied to it)

    The flavour and mechanics are fairly intrinsically linked. Black animates the dead because it's a 'dark' flavoured mechanic, and it's counter to it's (green) enemy philosophy of life and the natural way.

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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    So, Clerics. Primary Color has to match Deity, Secondary can be Allied Colors only? Or Primary Color need be allied? Can a Cleric of a White deity only be White or White/something, or can they be Green or Blue? How about Green/White or Blue/White, but excluding Green or Blue alone?

    My inclination would be the first option, that is, Primary has to match, Secondaries must be allied. So White could be White, White/Green, White/Blue, or White/Blue/Green.

    Paladins must be White, or allow for some Green Paladins (e.g. Elven Paladins devoted as much to Life as to Order)? Or maybe White and Green/White are allowed, but not Green alone? Actually I think I like that one best.

    I imagine any alignment-based spells (Protection from X, Holy Word/Blasphemy/etc., Cloak of Chaos) would just be retooled to various colors. Not that hard of a change, really. Just follow the rules you put down for Smite.
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    Default Re: Alternate Alignment System - the Color Wheel [P.E.A.C.H.]

    You know what? I'm sick of the forum eating long posts. Expect a writeup on my views for each of the alignment colors - which does differ a bit from the ones here - but not today. I'd just get angry losing it again.

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