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    Default Alignment scale 5e

    I know that strictly speaking there is no functional change with alignment but i am curious if the alignments exist on a scale.

    I have a character who is without a doubt Lawful Good at the start of his background (scholar). His wife and daughter are murdered. Joins the army in an attempt to get away from his pain...only finds more pain and a thirst for revenge. I believe at this point his alignment has shifted

    Coming back home with revenge his only desire it is snatched from him and in his despair he accepts the offer of a fiend to become a warlock. When he next leaves the house he has a renewed sense of purpose towards his goal of revenge against the people/system who let him down (think Law Abiding Citizen).

    His focus is on the the murderers -2, judge, corrupt crowns guard?, political benefactor (maybe a couple of others but i don't know the judicial system), but i think that he will become more accepting of collateral damage as he makes his way thru his list and thats not even considering what the fiend may require in return.

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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by KyleG View Post
    I know that strictly speaking there is no functional change with alignment but i am curious if the alignments exist on a scale.

    I have a character who is without a doubt Lawful Good at the start of his background (scholar). His wife and daughter are murdered. Joins the army in an attempt to get away from his pain...only finds more pain and a thirst for revenge. I believe at this point his alignment has shifted

    Coming back home with revenge his only desire it is snatched from him and in his despair he accepts the offer of a fiend to become a warlock. When he next leaves the house he has a renewed sense of purpose towards his goal of revenge against the people/system who let him down (think Law Abiding Citizen).

    His focus is on the the murderers -2, judge, corrupt crowns guard?, political benefactor (maybe a couple of others but i don't know the judicial system), but i think that he will become more accepting of collateral damage as he makes his way thru his list and thats not even considering what the fiend may require in return.
    You can change alignment just fine, and this character sounds like the sort of person who absolutely would see that change - probably in two directions.
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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Monte Cook uses an alignment scale:

    Quote Originally Posted by Clistenes View Post
    Monte Cook uses a gradation for Evil/Good and Chaos/Law:

    Level of Good
    1 Doesn’t like to see bad things happen to others
    2 Helps others occasionally, particularly friends
    3 Willing to help strangers on occasion
    5 Gives of himself to help others, whether it be time, money, possessions, or something else
    7 Takes concepts like purity, innocence, and other higher principles very seriously
    8 Would sacrifice anything, even his life, for others in a heartbeat
    9 Refuses to harm anything or anyone, even if it brings misfortune or death on himself

    Level of Evil
    -1 Finds joy in the misfortune of others, but usually wouldn’t act to hurt others
    -2 Willing to cause others pain or misfortune to better himself
    -3 Actively enjoys lying, stealing, and inflicting pain on others
    -4 Willing to cause harm even to friends to get ahead
    -5 Willing to kill to better himself
    -7 Will kill for the sheer pleasure of bringing pain and death to others
    -9 Hates life, goodness, and light and does everything in his power to destroy them

    Level of Law
    1 Generally tries to keep his promises and, when in doubt, follows the rules
    2 Has a set of guidelines he generally lives by
    3 Genuinely respects authority figures for their positions
    4 Willing to see one person killed or hurt if it helps large numbers of people
    5 Willing to follow a code or a strict set of principles even if it brings misfortune on himself
    8 Would be willing to see many people harmed or killed if it helped society as a whole
    9 Follows a set path in such an orderly manner that it risks blind self-destruction. Despises and fears individuality.

    Level of Chaos
    -1 A bit of a nonconformist or free spirit
    -2 Will lie if it suits him, hates to be ordered around
    -3 Disorganized but extremely easygoing
    -5 Rejects the idea of majority rule
    -6 Would prefer anarchy to any other form of organization
    -7 Occasionally destroys things in reckless abandon
    -9 Hates structure and order so much that destruction for its own sake becomes desirable

    An individual needs a level of at least 2 or -2 to be considered Good/Evil/Lawful/Chaotic. Somebody with a level 1 of Good or Law or a level -1 of Evil or Chaos registers as Neutral to all alignment-detecting spells and effects.
    For reference, your average Paladin is Good 5 and Lawful 5...
    Last edited by Clistenes; 2018-11-03 at 05:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    One of my favorite things to reference in cases like this is the Great Wheel cosmology.

    In the NW portion of the Great Wheel, you have Lawful Good... the Seven Heavens are Pure Lawful and Pure Good. Slightly south of the Seven Heavens is Arcadia, which is Pure Lawful, and slightly less good... its inhabitants might be LG or LN. Slightly east of the Seven Heavens are the Twin Paradises, which is Pure Good, but slightly less Lawful. Its inhabitants might be LG or NG.

    Every alignment is a spectrum. Lots of True Neutral druids tend a bit Lawful and Good, because they live within a society and are generally helpful to the people around them, even if it's not in a completely altruistic way. Others tend Chaotic and Evil, because while they embrace balance, their idea of balance involves dismantling society, even if it hurts some people.
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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Clistenes View Post
    Monte Cook uses an alignment.
    Very interesting if not disturbing for my character as it indicates that at least at his purist intent he will be chaotic evil (7/7). His everyday actions would not be but certainly he could be at times.

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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    5e doesnt have Law vs Chaos and Good vs Evil as partiularly meaningful to Alignments, in terms of seperate concepts on crossing axis defining the alignment, as previous editions. Each alignment is given its own single sentence individual associated behavior.

    Of course can still see the clear trends / commonalities between the associated behaviors of the Lawful alignments or Chaotic Alignments etc. But they are provided as 9 whole packages, not a coordinate system of two crossed axis.

    Also, nothing in 5e says a player cant choose to change their PC Alignment when they want to. And outside of a few specific circumstances, there isnt anything to recommend that a DM can force a player to change their PC alignment either. It can easily be viewed as the domain of the player, and RP tool for their use.

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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    5e doesnt have Law vs Chaos and Good vs Evil as partiularly meaningful to Alignments, in terms of seperate concepts on crossing axis defining the alignment, as previous editions. Each alignment is given its own single sentence individual associated behavior.

    Of course can still see the clear trends / commonalities between the associated behaviors of the Lawful alignments or Chaotic Alignments etc. But they are provided as 9 whole packages, not a coordinate system of two crossed axis.

    Also, nothing in 5e says a player cant choose to change their PC Alignment when they want to. And outside of a few specific circumstances, there isnt anything to recommend that a DM can force a player to change their PC alignment either. It can easily be viewed as the domain of the player, and RP tool for their use.
    I did have a DM tell a player that "After that, you're no longer CG. You're CN."

    And, while I feel that it was a little excessive, it didn't REALLY matter. Virtually nothing procs off alignment in 5E, so it literally just required him to erase Good and put Neutral. That's it.
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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Clistenes View Post
    Monte Cook uses an alignment scale:
    There seems to be some entries missing, like good 4, or evil 8.
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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Yeah just spotted that too

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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by hymer View Post
    There seems to be some entries missing, like good 4, or evil 8.
    The table Monte Cook gave was incomplete too. It is supposed to work as general guidelines in order to know where to put a character in the alignment scale...

    A -2 Evil character may raise the rent to a poor family; a -7 character will kidnap, torture and kill children if they can get away with it... A Paladin using Detect Evil would react very differently to both...
    Last edited by Clistenes; 2018-11-05 at 09:35 AM.

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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Clistenes View Post
    . A Paladin using Detect Evil would react very differently to both...
    That depends on how sensitive the spell is. It may not be able to tell the difference between -1 Evil and -7 Evil.
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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    That depends on how sensitive the spell is. It may not be able to tell the difference between -1 Evil and -7 Evil.
    The 3.5 version DOES say that you can discern the relative strength of the auras, but it seems to be referring to what level the evil cleric is compared to the one casting the spell.

    It's unclear if using an optional alignment scale would also register in the aura.
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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    What if you do super bad things but you also do super good things on the whole and most think you're a good guy... who does bad things.

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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleh View Post
    The 3.5 version DOES say that you can discern the relative strength of the auras, but it seems to be referring to what level the evil cleric is compared to the one casting the spell.
    Nope - it just refers to level of target only.

    Whether you are 1st level or 51st level doesn't matter - a 51 Hit Dice evil-aligned creature will radiate an Overwhelming aura of Evil:

    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/detectEvil.htm

    however, if you are Good, and have half (or less than half) the Hit Dice/level of the generator of the Overwhelming aura, you will be stunned by it.
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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Um.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD (that you linked)
    3rd Round
    The power and location of each aura.

    Aura Power
    An evil aura’s power depends on the type of evil creature or object that you’re detecting and its HD, caster level, or (in the case of a cleric) class level; see the accompanying table. If an aura falls into more than one strength category, the spell indicates the stronger of the two.
    That's pretty much what it says. An Evil Cleric's Aura is based on their class level.
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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    I thought you were saying that level compared to caster of spell, matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleh View Post
    it seems to be referring to what level the evil cleric is compared to the one casting the spell.

    The point I was trying to make is that Aura Strength of a cleric of a given level, is always the same. It doesn't matter if the caster of the Detect Evil spell is 1st level or 20th level - a 5th level cleric will always have an aura of the same strength.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2018-11-05 at 01:41 PM.
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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Nope - it just refers to level of target only.

    Whether you are 1st level or 51st level doesn't matter - a 51 Hit Dice evil-aligned creature will radiate an Overwhelming aura of Evil:

    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/detectEvil.htm

    however, if you are Good, and have half (or less than half) the Hit Dice/level of the generator of the Overwhelming aura, you will be stunned by it.
    Monte Cook's Sword & Sorcery system uses slightly different rules than standard 3.5; I'm not sure, but I think their Paladins could sense your Evil scale rank in addition or instead of your character level... I would have to seek the books...

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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    The point I was trying to make is that Aura Strength of a cleric of a given level, is always the same. It doesn't matter if the caster of the Detect Evil spell is 1st level or 20th level - a 5th level cleric will always have an aura of the same strength.
    Point taken.
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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by KyleG View Post
    I know that strictly speaking there is no functional change with alignment but i am curious if the alignments exist on a scale....

    In long ago D&D Alignment was explicitly on a scale.

    5e has Alignment as:

    "the moral compass that guides his or her decisions"

    and says that

    "Individuals might vary significantly from that typical behavior, and few people are perfectly and consistently faithful to the precepts of their alignment."

    Quote Originally Posted by Clistenes View Post
    Monte Cook uses an alignment scale...

    ...For reference, your average Paladin is Good 5 and Lawful 5...

    Monte Cook co-writer of 3e?

    Cool.

    I'll go further back.

    In THE MEANING OF LAW AND CHAOS IN DUNGEONS & DRAGONS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIPS TO GOOD AND EVIL by Gary Gygax FEBRUARY 1976 the article that added the "good and evil axis" to D&D, it was made clear in this graph:



    ..that creatures don't just exist on one of nine points of ethics/morality, there's a range.

    Also in the article Gygax states:

    "Placement of characters upon a graph similar to that in Illustration I is necessary if the dungeonmaster is to maintain a record of player-character alignment. Initially, each character should be placed squarely on the center point of his alignment, i.e., lawful/good, lawful/evil, etc. The actions of each game week will then be taken into account when determining the current position of each character. Adjustment is perforce often subjective, but as a guide the referee can consider the actions of a given player in light of those characteristics which typify his alignment, and opposed actions can further be weighed with regard to intensity....

    ....Alignment does not preclude actions which typify a different alignment, but such actions will necessarily affect the position of the character performing them, and the class or the alignment of the character in question can change due to such actions, unless counter-deeds are performed to balance things.
    "

    Per Gygax, I infer from that "Alignment" didn't control the PC's actions, PC actions are a guide to what "Alignment" the DM rules a character is for game effects.

    I bloviate on this a lot more in my D&D Alignment, a history thread.
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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jack View Post
    What if you do super bad things but you also do super good things on the whole and most think you're a good guy... who does bad things.
    Well, since people have been quoting a lot of 3.5e mechanics here, I would point you towards the 3.5e DMG page 134. "Indecisiveness Indicates Neutrality".

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleh View Post
    That's pretty much what it says. An Evil Cleric's Aura is based on their class level.
    Slight correction.

    A Cleric of an Evil deity's Aura is based on their class level.

    You're an 11th level Lawful Neutral Cleric of Hextor (LE deity)? You have an Overwhelming Evil Aura.

    Check the Cleric class description if you doubt me. Clerics only manifest a powerful aura of the alignment of their deity. And for deity-less clerics, they only manifest a powerful aura if they have an alignment domain. Lawful Evil level 20 deity-less cleric with no alignment domain? Moderate Evil Aura. Level 11 LE cleric of Wee Jas (LN deity)? Moderate Evil aura, but Overwhelming Lawful one.

    Cleric is the class with the MOST alignment related mechanics and restrictions (and restrictions in general, to include racial ones), and yet, alignment detractors limit themselves to whining about "chaotic monks", "lawful barbarians", and "non-LG paladins". And occasionally "lawful bards".
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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    In long ago D&D Alignment was explicitly on a scale.

    I bloviate on this a lot more in my D&D Alignment, a history thread.
    AD&D had some really strange warts on the alignment system. I'm pretty sure the whole alignment system grew out of the red/blue sides of the hit table (the chainmail basis that D&D grew from). AD&D included things like harsh penalties for changing alignments and secret "alignment language" for creatures of similar alignments to work together without a common "normal" tongue. There was a comment that blurting out things in public in your alignment language simply wasn't done.

    I'd recommend a simple two-level scale myself. Normal alignments for most people, and more real *alignments* for those whose characters are closely tied with such things (paladins and such). Presumably being exalted/vile (+chaos/law) would typically involve a ceremony/rite including an oath of fealty (possibly more like Jefferson's "for I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man" for chaotic good/neutral types). This lets you keep most of the more-or-less required legacy bits of alignment for D&D play, but also lets most characters mostly ignore the dreaded "nine possible personalities allowed in D&D".

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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by wumpus View Post
    AD&D had some really strange warts on the alignment system. I'm pretty sure the whole alignment system grew out of the red/blue sides of the hit table (the chainmail basis that D&D grew from). AD&D included things like harsh penalties for changing alignments and secret "alignment language" for creatures of similar alignments to work together without a common "normal" tongue. There was a comment that blurting out things in public in your alignment language simply wasn't done.

    I'd recommend a simple two-level scale myself. Normal alignments for most people, and more real *alignments* for those whose characters are closely tied with such things (paladins and such). Presumably being exalted/vile (+chaos/law) would typically involve a ceremony/rite including an oath of fealty (possibly more like Jefferson's "for I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man" for chaotic good/neutral types). This lets you keep most of the more-or-less required legacy bits of alignment for D&D play, but also lets most characters mostly ignore the dreaded "nine possible personalities allowed in D&D".
    Alignment languages were asinine, agreed.

    I really contest the concept of "nine possible personality types" thing, tho. Alignment does not determine personality. Look to OotS for a perfect example of this. Roy, Durkon, and Miko were all Lawful Good. Haley, Elan, and Shinjo were all Chaotic Good. All of these characters had radically different personality types, even from others of the same alignment.
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    Default Re: Alignment scale 5e

    Personally, I only fill out the alignment as a blank space that needs to be filled.
    I don't like when alignment is used to argue against a player for playing their character how they would play it.
    Say if you put lawful evil as your alignment, but the character does a good deed. This doesn't change the alignment drastic ally, It's more of the character IS lawful evil, but his actions are neutral good if that makes sense.
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