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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Yeah, I think alignment could be one of these "modules" they keep talking about. Optional, and well-explained. No reason not to print a fifty-page essay in a supplement exclusively on alignment.

    Well except that nobody else would read it.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    But they should care about the customers and clearly alignment has been a huge headache since forever.
    Hardly.

    Back in the TSR days folks had a pretty good sense of Alignment -- or at least I never ran into a single person who didn't. Could be a pre-Internet deal in which the scope of the problem was obscured but I can personally say I never even realized people could be so confused about the issue until I started reading Alignment Threads on this forum.

    The whole Paladin-thing was always an issue but for separate reasons: it was bait for your basic Sadistic DM to torture the rare Paladin you might see in game. Getting rid of that particular stick in 4e was a good change IMHO.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    I think the alignment system needs a 350+ page book right off the bat when the next edition comes out to minimize the stupity caused by misusing the various alignments on all ends.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    Hardly.

    Back in the TSR days folks had a pretty good sense of Alignment -- or at least I never ran into a single person who didn't. Could be a pre-Internet deal in which the scope of the problem was obscured but I can personally say I never even realized people could be so confused about the issue until I started reading Alignment Threads on this forum.

    The whole Paladin-thing was always an issue but for separate reasons: it was bait for your basic Sadistic DM to torture the rare Paladin you might see in game. Getting rid of that particular stick in 4e was a good change IMHO.
    It could also be caused by a shift in focus. Alignment works out pretty well in a game about killing things and taking their stuff, but when the game starts to become about moral and philosophical dilemmas alignment falls apart.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    It could also be caused by a shift in focus. Alignment works out pretty well in a game about killing things and taking their stuff, but when the game starts to become about moral and philosophical dilemmas alignment falls apart.
    I think it has more to do with the fact that in (most of) the TSR days, alignment was as simple as lawful, neutral and chaotic. Note that good and evil (and therefore protection from and detection of good and evil) is not part of the alignment question. The introduction of the 9 way alignment system made alignment more complicated than necessary.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by 1337 b4k4 View Post
    I think it has more to do with the fact that in (most of) the TSR days, alignment was as simple as lawful, neutral and chaotic. Note that good and evil (and therefore protection from and detection of good and evil) is not part of the alignment question. The introduction of the 9 way alignment system made alignment more complicated than necessary.
    No, the nine alignments we all know and argue about now were core in AD&D, published in '77, iirc. Just a few years after D&D was first published. Cheese would appear to be right, except even that early there were plenty of 'modern' campaigns being run.

    And as Oracle said, Paladins were a different story. not only were DM's often evil to them, but the Paladin class itself was conductive to really dodgy practices by the player in pretty much running the group.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grac View Post
    No, the nine alignments we all know and argue about now were core in AD&D, published in '77, iirc. Just a few years after D&D was first published. Cheese would appear to be right, except even that early there were plenty of 'modern' campaigns being run.
    And there are still plenty of hack-and-slash style campaigns now. The question is whether these more "modern" D&D-styled games, where Alignment becomes worse than useless, are the majority at actual tables, or if they're just overrepresented by the type of people who go on the internet to discuss game design issues. That's not something I'm terribly qualified to answer, though.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    I don't mind alignment. I think it serves as a guildline for RPing characters. I don't like mechanics which differentiate based on alignment though. Someone should be able to tell whether another is "good" or "evil" based on a class feature, for example. Nor should spells have different effects based on one's morality.

    My one exception is paladins because I think there is a place for roleplaying "knights in shining armor." However, I think paladins should only be played when everyone else is on board. That is, paladins should only be played in game sessions where the players want to be lawful goodish and where the DM isn't thinking of ways to make the paladin fall. Think Disney and not "Grimdark."

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy13a View Post
    My one exception is paladins because I think there is a place for roleplaying "knights in shining armor."
    I don't see how you need alignment to do this at all, let alone need mechanical enforcement of it.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Or alternately, a more grimdark setting where the players and DM work together to make the story, and the conflict caused by the paladin is factored into their plans.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by invinible View Post
    I think the alignment system needs a 350+ page book right off the bat when the next edition comes out to minimize the stupity caused by misusing the various alignments on all ends.
    I can explain the alignment system in a page, I actually wrote an essay on alignment awhile ago, and I put the TLDR version early in this thread.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    The Paladin, like any other class, needs to be disentangled from the alignment system. I don't want to read descriptions like "Paladins fight against evil" ever again.

    How about "Paladins take up the sword to defend society, to protect the weak and to lead by example."? You don't need the alignment system to define what a Paladin is.

    Also, you can play a Paladin just fine in non-Disney and non-Grimdark settings.
    Last edited by Zombimode; 2012-09-14 at 04:05 AM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    The Paladin, like any other class, needs to be disentangled from the alignment system. I don't want to read descriptions like "Paladins fight against evil" ever again.

    How about "Paladins take up the sword to defend society, to protect the weak and to lead by example."? You don't need the alignment system to define what a Paladin is.

    Also, you can play a Paladin just fine in non-Disney and non-Grimdark settings.
    What's wrong with fighting evil, D&D is about fantasy adventures, and nothing is more classic fantasy than that. Cliches are not bad in D&D.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOOB View Post
    What's wrong with fighting evil, D&D is about fantasy adventures, and nothing is more classic fantasy than that. Cliches are not bad in D&D.
    I think it should be possible (a module) but not the default (core), based on the varying opinions on it.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    I don't think alignment is that big a deal. Yes, we've all heard the horror stories, but you know what? They're less common than they sound. Nobody is going to pay attention to or repeat a story of "I used alignment and had no problems with it". Everybody is going to remember, repeat, point at, and exaggerate, the one story of the player who got into a fist fight with his DM, even if you weren't personally present for that one. It's just too good a story.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOOB View Post
    But the question is, would D&D be a better game without alignment than with it. Remember that people complained when they simplified the alignment system for 4e.
    Because they kept good and evil and completely changed the meaning of law and chaos.
    People have been playing chaotic good and chaotic neutral characters for over 20 years and have made such alignments have a meaning for their characters and the settings they play in.
    And then 4th Edition comes around and say "sorry, but we decided that from now on chaos means super-evil!"

    You can't do that to people and expect them to be fine with that.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOOB View Post
    I can explain the alignment system in a page, I actually wrote an essay on alignment awhile ago, and I put the TLDR version early in this thread.
    For me to be sortof-satisfied with an alignment explanation of this sort it must be:

    1. Obviously and objectively interpretable by easily memorizable rules such that it is never ambiguous what alignment a particular action is.

    2. Designed such that you never encounter a situation where there's no course of action that suits a particular alignment, i.e., the aforementioned overthrowing dictator scenario. Doing nothing is Evil, helping to overthrow the dictator is Chaotic. There's no option for a Lawful Good character to take without triggering an alignment shift.


    Even that wouldn't solve the meta-problems alignment causes like the trap of character design that (new players especially) fall into where they think choosing an alignment is the *only* decision they need to make in designing their character's personality, and thus tends to produce caricatures. It's why you see so many chaotic neutral characters who are nutcases and lawful good characters who are expies of Superman. Just combining the race stereotype, the class stereotype, and the alignment stereotype is enough.

    It's extremely poor as a roleplaying tool because it doesn't very accurately represent how moral and ethical philosophies actually work, doesn't give very much in the way of actual choice, and doesn't provide any way to have the characters' ideas come up and be tested in actual play.



    If I had to redesign Alignment to make it into an actually useful roleplaying tool, here's how I'd do it:

    Every player character (NPCs have no real need for it as it has no mechanical effect) gets 5 Virtues. A Virtue is a standard of behavior up to which the character holds both themselves and others. Like "Honesty is the best policy" or "Never let down a friend" or "A murderer must never evade justice" or something more interesting and nonstandard like "Only the strong should prosper" or "My country, right or wrong."

    You select one of these virtues as your Primary Virtue, the one your character holds as most important above all else. The others are Secondary Virtues, which are nice but can be compromised occasionally for the sake of more important things.

    The DM should construct situations where the player must decide between upholding their primary virtue or upholding a secondary virtue, or upholding any of their virtues and personal gain. Optionally, they can give roleplaying XP for sticking by your principles even when you could have profited by allowing them to slip.


    Example time: Let's say your character has "My country comes first" as their primary virtue, and "Criminals deserve to die" as a secondary virtue. Ishka the Rabid is a dangerous bandit leader who's robbed and murdered hundreds of travelers on the roads, including unarmed women and children. You've been hunting him down for months to get revenge when you learn Ishka managed to rob an enemy courier and managed to procure valuable military intelligence that could turn the tide in the ongoing war. In exchange for the intelligence and a promise to cease his banditry, he demands to be given a pardon and be allowed to retire in peace with his ill-gotten gains. Your government agreed, and it looks like Ishka is going to get away with it.

    Do you track down and enact justice on Ishka the Rabid yourself, or do you let him go?

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    I've already thrown my two coppers in the bucket a while ago on the Wizard site but I'll copy/paste my thoughts on this. It's kind of close to what Cheese is saying
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    So the paladin has always been a weird class, it has it's roots in the myths & fables of King Arthur & other tales of shining knights bootkicking evil in the face, but the classes have always felt lackluster. So here's my thoughts on how they could change it & make it interesting


    Take away the traditional spellcasting, they don't need to be casting spells like a cleric
    Take away their service to a god, paladins are pillars of good who may serve a god but it isn't required
    Don't focus them on horseback, it's hard to lead a destrier into a dungeon or to make climb checks
    The fighter gets styles, the rogue gets schemes, the sorcerer gets heritages. A paladin should be able to pick a "Virtue"

    Valor = A holy warrior that fights on the front line
    Purity = A paladin who's devotion to remain pure strengthen's his mind & body
    Justice = A holy bounty hunter, bonuses to find evil & punish them
    Faith = More like the traditional Paladin, light spellcasting
    Truth = bonuses on Insight and abilities to see invisable & hidden things


    These virtues would give them bonus & come with a code of conduct, such as Paladins of Purity cannot drink intoxicants, & have to remain "pure" but in return they recieve bonuses to all their Saving Throws & AC

    Here's an example of Valor following the DDN format

    You must fight fair you can't benefit from bonuses from flanking & such, you cannot kill an intelligent unarmed foe etc.

    In return you gain divine focus in the eternal fight against evil.
    +1 to melee attack, +1 to Str or Con

    First Level- Smite- If you hit a (evil?) target you can choose to deal 2d8 additional Holy damage

    Third Level- Discretion- Enemies (who are evil?) gain disadvantage to strike you until the end of your next turn

    Yeah these probably arent balanced but with this you can kind of see what I'm going for. As well as Virtures I can see other options for maybe a mage hunter theme & "Sins" that are the opposites of the "Virtues"


    So tell me what you think, am I totally off the mark or would this maybe make a cool paladin?
    Last edited by Anderlith; 2012-09-14 at 08:11 AM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Maybe "can't flank unless the foe is X levels higher"? You see stories where two or more heroes team up to beat some evil that's too strong for either alone.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Where do such powers come from?
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Where do such powers come from?
    Divine origin, but doesn't have to be a deity. You serve as an example of all that is good & noble, & are empowered to be stronger than the common man.

    I'll can but this into a separate thread if this derails the conversation
    Last edited by Anderlith; 2012-09-14 at 08:13 AM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Though this still seems to imply that there is an objective force of good at work in the world. Not a being, but a natural law, if you will. Which I think has the same problems as having alignment as objective cosmic forces.
    Though that's probably not your main intention behind that idea.



    Found a really nice quote from Mike Mearls from yesterday:
    Some spells need to be reigned in, specifically utility spells that are too good for their level, spells that are really powerful when used in combination with other spells, and the ease of stocking up on magic items and spell slots to make those combinations possible.
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/news/32...to-tavern.html

    Finally! The one big problem of 3rd edition, that is at least partially responsible for almost every major problem nailed down.
    We didn't know it when 3rd edition was first released, so one can't really blame them for not noticing it back then. But having the current devs being aware that this is something they really need to watch out for may really improve the chances of getting a good game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galloglaich View Post
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post

    2. Designed such that you never encounter a situation where there's no course of action that suits a particular alignment, i.e., the aforementioned overthrowing dictator scenario. Doing nothing is Evil, helping to overthrow the dictator is Chaotic. There's no option for a Lawful Good character to take without triggering an alignment shift.
    This is a requirement I can't wrap my head around. There's no logical reason for there to always be a "good" option for everyone. On the flipside, there are often loads of reasons why such options would not exists, such as your enemy check-mating you in a conflict. Deadends and crossroads where there's no "right" choice exist in real life, why should they be excluded from RPGs? I've never seen any need to introduce a "feel happy" choice for every character in every situation.

    (Plus, I think there is an option in that scenario - working your way up the hierarchy through legitimate [within the system] means until you are in a place to legitimately usurp, inherit etc. the dictator, or undo their evils as a flipped version of the "evil chancellor". This is about hundred times longer and more complex route, but whoever said being Lawful Good is easy.

    Also, what is wrong with Alignment change? In no iteration has Alignment meant to be static, it's supposed to live with the character and bizarre events that happen to them [read: helm of opposite alignment] )

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    It is lawful to go to war, if it was chaotic only than no one with a lawful disposition would ever war. The paladin can just declare war on the dictator, he is an army of one but still an army

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Anderlith View Post
    It is lawful to go to war, if it was chaotic only than no one with a lawful disposition would ever war. The paladin can just declare war on the dictator, he is an army of one but still an army
    That is what I was thinking, more or less. The paladin would be acting lawful if he could back someone with a legitimate claim on the throne (or presidency or whatever).

    If the tyrant is acting either against the laws of one or more of the gods (such as arbitrarily killing people, which would be against the tenets of a god of mercy or good or whathaveyou) and/or against the laws of society (such as ruling only to better his own position, rather than towards the benefit of the state), then someone could make a claim that the tyrant is unfit to rule, and that they themselves would be a better ruler.

    If that person truly would be better fit to rule, and the tyrant is truly committing crimes against humanity or the gods or society, then it could be considered a lawful act to declare war on him and back his challenger.

    If you merely assassinated the tyrant, that would be chaotic, since it would result in a power vacuum. But if you find someone with a legitimate claim to be the new ruler (whether it be an ancestral claim or a claim based on moral superiority) and work to instill them as the new ruler, then you are acting towards keeping a lawful and ordered society.
    Last edited by JoeMac307; 2012-09-14 at 09:23 AM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Found a really nice quote from Mike Mearls from yesterday:

    http://www.enworld.org/forum/news/32...to-tavern.html

    Finally! The one big problem of 3rd edition, that is at least partially responsible for almost every major problem nailed down.
    We didn't know it when 3rd edition was first released, so one can really blame them for not noticing it back then. But having the current devs being aware that this is something they really need to watch out for may really improve the chances of getting a good game.
    That's good news. I dislike magic item dependency and 3.X was all about magic item dependency. A Fighter was basically a magic weapon with a few feats thrown on. And the party mage outshining the skillmonkey out of combat was also kind of upsetting. (Though admittedly it wasn't always the mage, a Barbarian I played made the Rogue sad because he'd just cut down locked doors.)
    Metamagic also caused a lot of issues. Like, most of the issues with mage-related shenanigans.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOOB View Post
    I can explain the alignment system in a page, I actually wrote an essay on alignment awhile ago, and I put the TLDR version early in this thread.
    But is that enough space to make it clear to even the dumbest players and dungeon masters that alignments are meant as guides for how to play your characters or guides on what to work towards rather than a stragglehold on how to play the characters or a reason to undermine the spirit of the game?

    Afterall there is a reason the T.V. Tropes: Lawful Stupid, Chaotic Stupid, Stupid Good, Stupid Evil, and Stupid Neutral exists.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    This is a requirement I can't wrap my head around. There's no logical reason for there to always be a "good" option for everyone. On the flipside, there are often loads of reasons why such options would not exists, such as your enemy check-mating you in a conflict. Deadends and crossroads where there's no "right" choice exist in real life, why should they be excluded from RPGs? I've never seen any need to introduce a "feel happy" choice for every character in every situation.
    The issue is if there are real penalties to be had for "not following your alignment" (intentional or not). It's an issue if the Lawful Good Paladin must choose between Evil or Chaos (losing his powers either way). Alignment works when it's either regulated to a roleplaying device, or when it affects everyone equally (i.e. in the Outer Planes of Planescape). The problem is the narrow extremes, particularly when players and DMs see only nine rigid alignments and think everyone should be an exemplar of their respective one. This simply leads to lawful characters who *never* break the law, and chaotic neutral characters who flip coins to determine whether to go left or right. Such extremes benefit no one.

    Granted, I think Kurald is correct, and worrying about alignment is trying to correct a relatively small problem; most groups (regardless of edition, including 4e) will use their alignment as a guide, and then forget about it. Many others will construct "methods" of getting around the cranky Paladin ("walk with me for a minute, while our compatriots look after our prisoner..."). Still others will embrace the no-win situations that alignment sometimes runs into.

    But, I agree that alignment shouldn't be a mandatory "core part" of the system. D&D has moved beyond the relatively black and white distinctions of alignment, and has created a lot of nuance over it's history. Even if people disagree with 4e's dumbing down of the alignment system, I think removing it from mechanical play was a good move; alignment shouldn't be something that a spell can "detect" in my opinion. However, some people do like the various mechanical bits that alignment introduce, so presenting it as an optional component sees to me to be a sensible thing to do.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by invinible View Post
    I think the alignment system needs a 350+ page book right off the bat when the next edition comes out to minimize the stupity caused by misusing the various alignments on all ends.
    The problem being, of course, that a 350+ page book would be an example of how crazy people get with alignments.

    I don't really want or need alignment in D&D - with one exception. And that's campaigns in which those alignments are representative of "real", important cosmic factions. Greyhawk, for example, did this pretty well - which makes sense, considering that's where alignment came from. As did Moorcock's fiction. However, those are seriously campaign-dependent, and IMO shouldn't be the default assumption.

    I especially don't want and never, ever need people trying to describe themselves or other real-world people as specific alignments - one of my pet peeves that's pretty pervasive in the gaming world. :)

    -O

  30. - Top - End - #930
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    I'd like to see one of two things happen with alignment:

    • Eliminate it completely.
    • Reserve it for significant outsiders, deities, etc. For example, a devil is uppercase EVIL, but that swindling merchant down the street is not - he's just a cheat.
    Frolic and dance for joy often.
    Be determined in your ventures.
    -KAB

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