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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Does D&D Still Need Alignment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roxxy View Post
    I'd rather ditch it and introduce a mandatory Paladin code that mimics Lawful Good tenants.
    You could have done that easily by one of:
    - restrict all Paladins to the Oath of Devotion.
    - replace all Oath Tenets with the Devotion Tenets
    - play in Forgotten Realms with SCAG Paladin Tenets

    A lot of people don't realize all FR Paladins have a dozen new Tenets per SCAG, all of which are very difficult for non-LG Paladins to adhere too.

    (As far as I know they're not AL mandatory, despite it nominally being set in FR.)

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    Default Re: Does D&D Still Need Alignment?

    I am not sold on the downsides of the alignment system. Even if you do not have "Evil" written on the character sheet you will still have players that trying to kill every npc, steal from the party, or side with the intended villains and call it role-playing. If you have that player that wants to be Evil but the DM Banned it, so they pick Chaotic Neutral and say "I am murdering everyone I meet because its random." Having the alignment system doesn't create these problems, players not understanding nuance creates these problems.

    I kind of agree with the paladin Lawful Good thing, ish. However, I always liked the concept of blackguards and having one class for the knight embodiment of an ideal feels like the right direction for book keeping. I wish their was a little more guidance for DMs for how to handle a paladin breaking their oaths.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: Does D&D Still Need Alignment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Witty Username View Post
    If you have that player that wants to be Evil but the DM Banned it, so they pick Chaotic Neutral and say "I am murdering everyone I meet because its random."
    And if a player says that, the DM can point them to the Chaotic Neutral and Chaotic Evil alignment behavior descriptions. That's pretty clearly arbritray violence, not just following your whims.

    By which I mean, I agree with:
    Having the alignment system doesn't create these problems, players not understanding nuance creates these problems.
    At least, in so far as 5e alignment goes.

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    Default Re: Does D&D Still Need Alignment?

    The framing of the question is off, imo. Framing things as whether or not alignment is "needed" has one clear, obvious answer: no, it doesn't. You can always cobble together replacements, rewrites, rule changes, etc to fill any gaps left by it's absence.

    More importantly: is it valuable, and is the game better for having it? I think the answer is yes, and this thread is a good demonstration of that. Because at every turn, people who don't like the alignment system (which, fair enough, that's a reasonable opinion) have suggested replacements, rewrites, rule changes, etc to cover over the absence of the alignment system; any one of those changes is small, but taken all together the system begins to feel less cohesive. The alignment system is woven so tightly into the game that removing it elegantly almost requires writing a different game. The best you can really do is politely pretend the alignment system isn't there, at which point getting rid of it does us no good: we'd might as well leave it in.
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    Default Re: Does D&D Still Need Alignment?

    Alignment is just one aspect of a character, but it’s still a useful one. Picking an alignment makes a player give some thought to how his character will interact with people outside of the party. Together with ideals, bonds etc., it helps the player create a more well-rounded character.

    For example, in a situation where the party takes some bandits prisoner, your alignment is a helpful role-playing aid to figure out the range of options available to your character, from setting them free to slitting their throats.

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    Default Re: Does D&D Still Need Alignment?

    Quote Originally Posted by crayzz View Post
    The framing of the question is off, imo. Framing things as whether or not alignment is "needed" has one clear, obvious answer: no, it doesn't. You can always cobble together replacements, rewrites, rule changes, etc to fill any gaps left by it's absence.

    More importantly: is it valuable, and is the game better for having it? I think the answer is yes, and this thread is a good demonstration of that. Because at every turn, people who don't like the alignment system (which, fair enough, that's a reasonable opinion) have suggested replacements, rewrites, rule changes, etc to cover over the absence of the alignment system; any one of those changes is small, but taken all together the system begins to feel less cohesive. The alignment system is woven so tightly into the game that removing it elegantly almost requires writing a different game. The best you can really do is politely pretend the alignment system isn't there, at which point getting rid of it does us no good: we'd might as well leave it in.
    I played in a reasonably long 5E campaign and alignment didn't come up even once, even though we had a paladin in our party. I wrote "neutral" on my character sheet and didn't think about it again. It might be useful to replace alignment with something else to help people roleplay, but you can also just ignore it entirely without losing anything.
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    Default Re: Does D&D Still Need Alignment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    I played in a reasonably long 5E campaign and alignment didn't come up even once, even though we had a paladin in our party. I wrote "neutral" on my character sheet and didn't think about it again. It might be useful to replace alignment with something else to help people roleplay, but you can also just ignore it entirely without losing anything.
    It is one of those things you ignore until suddenly it matters mechanically and you scramble to figure out your ‘real alignment’ for the effect

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    Default Re: Does D&D Still Need Alignment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hail Tempus View Post
    Alignment is just one aspect of a character, but it’s still a useful one. Picking an alignment makes a player give some thought to how his character will interact with people outside of the party. Together with ideals, bonds etc., it helps the player create a more well-rounded character.

    For example, in a situation where the party takes some bandits prisoner, your alignment is a helpful role-playing aid to figure out the range of options available to your character, from setting them free to slitting their throats.
    That's doing it backwards. Alignment should be defined by how the character would treat the bandits or other prisoners, along with other regular behaviour.

    So, does your character kill them out of hand as a "too many mouths" situation, maybe they kill everybody they don't like, maybe they think everybody deserves a second chance and takes them back to legitimate authorities. Whatever the behavior is should define the alignment.

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    Default Re: Does D&D Still Need Alignment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    I played in a reasonably long 5E campaign and alignment didn't come up even once, even though we had a paladin in our party. I wrote "neutral" on my character sheet and didn't think about it again. It might be useful to replace alignment with something else to help people roleplay, but you can also just ignore it entirely without losing anything.
    If your character steered clear from moral questions, you chose the right alignment.

    If they really didn't steer clear of moral questions, and more typically behaved in a different manner closer to one of the other alignment descriptions, then you had really chosen an alignment anyway, you just didn't label it.

    Really it's very easy to play a game in which the alignment doesn't matter, you just steer clear of moral questions, and all the characters are technically neutral.

    Edit: plus you don't interact with any of the relatively limited mechanical rules that reference alignment, of course.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    That's doing it backwards. Alignment should be defined by how the character would treat the bandits or other prisoners, along with other regular behaviour.
    Nah. That makes Alignment mostly meaningless IMO, apart from very few mechanical effects. What makes it useful is the other way around as described: The alignment behavior is one motivation along with personality, ideal, bond and flaw. And the player uses those together to make decisions, aka Roleplaying.

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    Default Re: Does D&D Still Need Alignment?

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Your assertion of a universal problem is unsupported. We don't have that problem at the tables where I play. There is no denial going on. There may be, however, a lack of wit, or technique, on the part of {some players and DM's} in applying alignment in D&D 5e - which is what this sub forum is about.

    If you want to talk about all editions, the general RPG forum is over there. ------------->

    If people import previous edition assumptions into 5e, that's their mistake.
    Good for you. And you know, I haven't personally had problems with alignment either. If only there was some way for people these days to find out what others' experiences were like...
    And as I keep struggling to find new ways to say, just because individual players/DMs are at fault doesn't mean the game isn't also at fault. If the same types of problems exist in many individual games, either there's some big conspiracy or coincidence going on or there's some flaw in the game causing these problems. This flaw should be treated as a flaw, because it's causing problems.
    If people are playing alignment wrong, the game should explain more clearly what the right way is. If people are importing outdated assumptions about alignment from older editions, the game should work harder to differentiate the new alignment from the old. In short, if so many people don't understand the "right" way to play alignment, the game should work harder to make sure they do.
    I've explained this more times than I want to count, even in the first godsdang post in the thread. If people have a problem with the core logic, please, elaborate on them! Don't just keep repeating the same mantra of "It's the players' fault" that I've responded to so many times.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthaer View Post
    In fact, "good" and "evil" in a character's alignment already doesn't really mean the same thing as "good" and "evil" in the sense of Elysium vs Hades.
    That's a criticism of D&D's alignment system (or of its cosmology) that I hadn't considered, but it's quite apt.


    Quote Originally Posted by crayzz View Post
    More importantly: is it valuable, and is the game better for having it? I think the answer is yes, and this thread is a good demonstration of that. Because at every turn, people who don't like the alignment system (which, fair enough, that's a reasonable opinion) have suggested replacements, rewrites, rule changes, etc to cover over the absence of the alignment system; any one of those changes is small, but taken all together the system begins to feel less cohesive. The alignment system is woven so tightly into the game that removing it elegantly almost requires writing a different game.
    That game is called "Fifth Edition D&D," which has already done more to remove alignment from the system than most of the fixes here proposed would do.


    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post
    It is one of those things you ignore until suddenly it matters mechanically and you scramble to figure out your ‘real alignment’ for the effect
    Except that basically all effects referencing alignment have already been rewritten, and it would be simple (if not effortless) to use the same principles to rewrite the rest.
    There's a reason I put this thread specifically in the 5e subforum. Removing alignment from other editions would be the horrible mess crayzz described if WotC hadn't done all the heavy lifting.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    I've never been a fan of the "unfortunate implications" argument against alignment. Orcs aren't real and their evil nature is only problematic if you take them to be representative of a real-world people. Which is pretty clearly not the intention. And if you use D&D as an excuse to treat people different from yourself poorly IRL, it's still a you problem. The game didn't teach you that.
    The response to this is quite outside the scope of this thread...but luckily, there are plenty of essays (video and otherwise) about orcs in other settings that answer that particular issue. Take Lindsay Ellis's video about Bright or this analysis of Tolkien's use of race as examples, since they're the first two I thought of Googling. Oh, and it might not hurt to learn a bit about cultivation theory. If you don't accept the conclusions such essays come to, then just say so and I'll leave it at that; I'm not getting into that kind of argument on top of the rest of this thread.

    If you do accept those conclusions, though, the rest falls into place. Speculative fiction has such a long history of using races as a stand-in for, well, race, and even works which don't explicitly treat it as such still use same symbols and images of those who do as well as dynamics, terminology, framing, etc inspired by both allegorical fantasy races and real-world races (most obviously the term "race"). Because of this, audiences naturally slot fantasy races into the same general category as real-world races, just for a fictional setting (because that's how human minds work), unless the author takes active action to distance the fantasy races from real-world races. An author who doesn't account for that is as incompetent as one who expects people to automatically empathize with a tentacle monster just because other characters say it's intelligent.
    From this framework, it should be clear why portraying fantasy races as inherently wicked is problematic, especially given the number of people who have similar beliefs about other real-world races.

    Spoiler: RedMage125 is still wordy and apparently doesn't read spoiler titles
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    I really don't know what you mean by that. I explicitly do not advocate for a "right" or "wrong" way to play D&D, as long as people are having fun, and I believe I qualified any opinion or experience based statements as such.
    The "glass house" joke was a reference to the spoiler title, where I called you wordy. But I'm wordy, too, hence the glass house joke.

    I think in order to answer that, we'd have to have some kind of quantifiable, objective source data that indicates that it is "ruining play experience" for a significant majority of players. Which we do not have.
    1. So problems only experienced by a minority of players aren't worth fixing?
    2. How can you have a "quantifiable, objective" measurement of if a play experience has been ruined, let alone of what caused it? That demand basically asks that no problems ever get fixed.

    I was also speaking of alignment mechanics in general, even across editions. Example from 3.5e, Holy weapons that are effective against ANY creature of evil alignment (could be flavored as "impure heart"). Without alignment being something clearly defined for a given creature, it would be entirely DM fiat as to whether or not it worked on a given creature.
    I was speaking of 5e in specific, because it's the edition that this question can actually be asked of. Other editions throw around alignment mechanics like shuriken, but 5e has a wealth of examples of mechanics which fulfill the same thematic function without needing explicit alignment mechanics.

    Back on topic: I think that alignment mechanics serve adequately for those DMs who do choose to make their stories about epic conflicts between Good and Evil. I don't favor complete abrogation of alignment entirely, because without objective alignment standards, fiends are just extraplanar races with a different point of view and set of values.
    1. Of course alignment mechanics help DMs who use alignment-based storylines; the question is, are they a big enough help to people wanting to tell Good-versus-Evil story to justify the hindrance they can be to others? I don't think so, not without other benefits attached (like the cosmology angle).
    2. If I must accept that fiendish values dictate that they torture mortals and eat souls, they must accept that my values dictate that mine dictate that I oppose such creatures. Less-snarkily, the absence of objective morality doesn't imply the absence of morality, and I thought you were smart enough that I wouldn't have to explain that.

    And cars are sometimes treated as murder weapons. Are cars "weapons", objectively?
    "Weapon" isn't the important word. Knives are weapons, but that doesn't mean...I'm actually not sure what your point was. That if cars are weapons, they should be...banned?
    The real

    That only goes to show that the "problems" are, themselves, subjective. What you call "lazy-conservatism", is also Practical Utilitarianism. "If it's no broke, don't fix it" is a common maxim among those who are the ones actually charged with fixing things. I maintain Naval Aircraft for a living, this is absolutely a measure of not risking making something worse by "trying to fix it", more than "laziness".
    There's a difference between "Don't fix something because it's working" and "Don't fix something because it can't be made to work better" (or "because trying to fix it would make things worse in the interim to a degree which isn't compensated for by improved performance in the future"). The latter is practical utilitarianism, the former is how you get the mess that is the modern social/economic/political quagmire. I call it "lazy conservatism" not because I'm trying to equate it to Republicans or whatever, but because it's an attitude which opposes change (conservative) for no reason aside from the effort required to implement a better system (lazy).
    The analogy you provide is...imperfect. I assume you shouldn't fly an airplane while repairing it, which means that any gains (or avoided costs) from repairing a system need to be weighed against not just the cost of the repair and side effects on other systems, but also the costs of having an airplane out of action for that long. That's the rough equivalent of tinkering with an alignment system in the middle of a session.
    What I'd suggest (if I hadn't accepted at the start of this thread that none of this would ever happen) is not that, but instead changing the game for the next version, which is more akin to suggesting an upgrade to be added to the next version of an airplane. At that point, the only costs involved (beyond any side effects of the upgrade) would be enough testing to make sure the upgrade worked and didn't cause any unexpected issues. My argument is that, as of 5e, alignment is so inconsequential to the game that removing it would have negligible side effects on the rest of the game and little testing required to make sure it still worked.

    And one of my pet-peeves, likewise, is when people conflate "this is true for me, based on my preferences and experiences" with "this is objective truth". If you're willing to acknowledge that these "flaws" are opinions and not facts, bully. We can have a wonderful discussion, and I can contribute meaningfully by offering suggestions that might aid in your proposed "fixes". if you insist that these "problems" are somehow "universal fact", I will dig in my trenches and debate so hotly.
    Universal fact, no. Problems, yes. And problems require a reason not to fix them. To me, "This is how it has always been" is not a good enough reason to leave any problem alone, even if it only affected one person in a million.
    Again, a problem doesn't need to affect a majority of people to be worth caring about. If only 40% of the world went without food, would world hunger not be a problem worth worrying about?

    But I'm also not really interested in defending the perceptions of the RAW against people who "didn't think to read the bit...where details were explained and defined" (as you mentioned in your post I responded to).
    I'm not interested in defending them, either. But I don't think they bear exclusive blame for the issues, either, not when the issues are so often so similar to each other.

    But it's more than that, because "alignment and outer essence reflect the inner essence of which they are physically comprised".
    The "physically comprised" part is made basically irrelevant if what you're physically comprised of can change as easily as people change their worldviews. Which, you know, isn't easy, but it's easier to change someone's mind than it is to change their brain. Saying that Ash is made of evil doesn't matter if they can be made of good after a character arc or two.

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    Or, "GWG watches with horror as a tangent he created turns into a mass of people not understanding why he's so disturbed by everyone in Faerun being okay with godless souls being tortured for eternity just because they thought the gods were pricks"

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    I suppose the "protection racket" is a fair perception of that. At least until you dive deeper into the lore (like in some of the books), and you see that it's not something the gods really have a say over. it's somehow intrinsically tied with the nature of reality there.
    -snip-
    That argument fell apart when I saw how much of it was based on the presupposition that not worshiping the gods is a bad thing, that letting some people ignore the gods is somehow a moral issue rather than just working against the interests of the gods, and that torturing all people who don't worship gods (even the innocent) is somehow better than torturing fewer people.
    I accused the gods of setting up a protection racket, but the true blame obviously lies on the authors for not adequately exploring the unconscious assumptions.


    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post
    In FR lore... the original God of death, Jergal, was immensely powerful and didn’t need the Wall. When he stepped down, his replacement Myrkul, created the Wall to maintain the fear of death his predecessor commanded. Cyric then kept it around because he is a jerk.

    When Kelemvor ascended, he tried to take down the wall and institute what he saw as a more fair afterlife; but it didn’t work... people had gotten used to the system (and Ao sort of encouraged the tight worshiper/God relationship it fostered anyways post time-of-troubles) and with it gone people started killing themselves for the ‘greater good’ and the like... ultimately Kelemvor reinstated it (with some oversight that was lacking before), which was his big turning point moment from Good to Neutral
    I appreciate that keeping the Wall around was treated as an un-Good act, but my basic research on this topic revealed a game where destroying the Wall was treated as a greatly Evil act, so it's clearly not a point that all authors agree on. Also, that game and Jergal's reign make it pretty clear that the gods (let alone the world in general) don't actually need the Wall, and make it clearly just a tool used by the gods to make mortals do what they want (fear death and worship them).

    ...the souls of children still migrate to Lunia
    Does anyone else see "Kids' souls go somewhere else" as being a red flag for a grossly unfair system that was hastily patched to remove some of the most obvious problems?
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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    Default Re: Does D&D Still Need Alignment?

    I don't care about them anymore.

    That is because most players don't even act like their alignment, or know how to act according to their alignment.

    For example I never ever met anyone who would for every possible situation/decision/emotional state explain the difference between Neutral, Lawful Neutral, True Neutral, Chaotic Neutral etc. Sure there are some "clear" examples, but how do you think those players will act when it comes to most everyday things? Same pretty much, or even opposite sometimes to their alignment.

    Also when it comes to roleplaying, players usually roleplay more their character, not their alignment.

    Can't Lawful charcter be Chaotic sometimes? Sure he can, that is living beings nature. Can Chaotic character sometimes be Lawful? Sure, why not? People don't have some magical barriers that prevent them from acting differently as it's not natural, both in "real life" and roleplaying.

    I tend to treat PCs as: Good, Evil and Neutral. That is for the sake of spells/deities/artifacts etc.

    Also I have rule that PCs should not choose their alignment at character creation. Usually after few session and some roleplaying we can see how his character is acting and to what alignment he has closer.

    I think DnD would be fine with finally dropping alignments. You don't need alignment to tell if someone acts evil (killed innocent) or neutral (let those innocent be killed as it had nothing to do with his duties as forest guardian). It's just roleplaying.
    Last edited by Benny89; 2019-05-18 at 04:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post
    It is one of those things you ignore until suddenly it matters mechanically and you scramble to figure out your ‘real alignment’ for the effect
    I encourage all my players to make their PCs neutral unless they have an overwhelming reason to give them something else. That's their "real alignment" for any mechanical effects.

    A divine caster might have a non-neutral alignment, which represents them trying to behave in accordance with their deity's morality. Or they might have a roleplaying concept in mind, like playing someone like Rorschach -- who is most likely lawful neutral and is treated as a little odd by his (neutral) peers because of it. A character (and a PC in particular) that insists on being a set alignment almost certainly comes across as some kind of ideologue to those around them.

    Older characters also tend to settle into a set morality. A lawful good 20 year old is a naive idealist who probably annoys the party with their "do good" nature, and possibly has to force themself to behave that way. A lawful good 70 year old has just seen too much to be easily swayed from true north.

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    Default Re: Does D&D Still Need Alignment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    If your character steered clear from moral questions, you chose the right alignment.

    If they really didn't steer clear of moral questions, and more typically behaved in a different manner closer to one of the other alignment descriptions, then you had really chosen an alignment anyway, you just didn't label it.

    Really it's very easy to play a game in which the alignment doesn't matter, you just steer clear of moral questions, and all the characters are technically neutral.

    Edit: plus you don't interact with any of the relatively limited mechanical rules that reference alignment, of course.
    No, I did nothing of the sort. I just said that we ignored alignment, why are you claiming we didn't? I simply approached any moral and ethical questions as I believed my character would.
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-05-18 at 05:25 PM.
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    Default Re: Does D&D Still Need Alignment?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    If people are playing alignment wrong, the game should explain more clearly what the right way is. If people are importing outdated assumptions about alignment from older editions, the game should work harder to differentiate the new alignment from the old. In short, if so many people don't understand the "right" way to play alignment, the game should work harder to make sure they do.
    The 5e game does that. It tells you that alignment is about typical, but not always, overall behavior. It tells you a one sentence broad description of behavior for each of the nine alignments.

    And yet people insist on trying to do things like define Law vs Chaos or Good vs Evil separate from those broad descriptions. They persist in thinking individual actions hold alignment weight. They persist in "fall from Grace" thinking, that a single Evil action damns you to be Evil. They persist in thinking of Alignment as the defining personality trait, that it makes you a one dimensional character. They persist in thinking that DMs should judge alignment, and tell players when they've changed alignment.

    And they persist in quoting 3e or older alignment text to back those things up.

    These are all things that are DM and Player faults.

    -------

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    No, I did nothing of the sort. I just said that we ignored alignment, why are you claiming we didn't? I simply approached any moral and ethical questions as I believed my character would.
    *shrug*
    Alignment just makes "how I typically approach moral and ethical questions" an explicit and predefined motivation, and it's often a useful tool to have it spelled out in advance.

    Otoh, yeah, if you know your character motivations well defined in advance, and they cover a variety of moral and ethical situations, or you're good at winging those motivations, you don't *need* that.

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    Default Re: Does D&D Still Need Alignment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthaer View Post
    I'm not terribly swayed by the cosmology argument, because you could keep those arrangements without explicitly mapping them onto the personalities of everyday randos here on the material plane.

    In fact, "good" and "evil" in a character's alignment already doesn't really mean the same thing as "good" and "evil" in the sense of Elysium vs Hades. You could easily swap "Good" with "Celestial" and "Evil" with "Fiendish" without changing anything at all about the cosmology.

    In the end, I think that the classic D&D alignment structure is not currently useful for defining player characters, and is only slightly useful for describing mundane foes. It doesn't really map to any real-life philosophy of people generally, and more importantly, it doesn't map well to modern fantasy storytelling and characterization.

    For a different example, consider Magic: the Gathering's color pie. This approach also doesn't really map to any real-life philosophy of people, but it's excellent at dividing the world into narratively compelling philosophies. It's very customized to its purpose as part of a trading card game, though—it's interesting to describe the colors of fictional characters, but it's clumsy when you try to use it for PCs. You'll notice that even the Planeshift materials that bring M:tG content into D&D largely drop the concept of color.

    So what is useful for PC characterization? I agree with GreatWyrmGold here: It's things like Personality, Traits, Bonds, and Flaws. These are the things that make my characters very different from each other, regardless of their alignments or their "color".

    Bringing these explicitly into character creation is one of the best moves 5e made, IMO.

    (So my final answer to the OP's question is: D&D does not need alignment for PCs or most enemies. It still has a place in the cosmology, and for creatures associated with the Outer Planes in some way.)
    Just a question: Isn't this just replacing alignment with a different style of alignment?

    We'll take the MTG color wheel for a moment. If you're tapping into that style of game, your alignment is with a certain color and/or color combination. If you stray too far into a given segment of the color wheel, you gain that color. Ajani during the Shards of Alara block went from being the standard White aligned planeswalker to a Red/White aligned just by tapping into his fury. Isn't that a change in alignment?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Good for you. And you know, I haven't personally had problems with alignment either. If only there was some way for people these days to find out what others' experiences were like...
    If you search for problems, you will find problems.


    Googling "problem with Ducktales (2017)" is not going to give you a fair overview of what the 2017 version of Ducktales is, nor should one conclude that it should be canceled because some people have problems with it or find problems within it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benny89 View Post
    Can't Lawful charcter be Chaotic sometimes? Sure he can, that is living beings nature. Can Chaotic character sometimes be Lawful? Sure, why not? People don't have some magical barriers that prevent them from acting differently as it's not natural, both in "real life" and roleplaying.
    Yes, that's why the alignment section has this written in it:

    Individuals might vary significantly from that typical behavior, and few people are perfectly and consistently faithful to the precepts of their alignment.
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2019-05-18 at 07:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    If you search for problems, you will find problems.


    Googling "problem with Ducktales (2017)" is not going to give you a fair overview of what the 2017 version of Ducktales is, nor should one conclude that it should be canceled because some people have problems with it or find problems within it.



    Yes, that's why the alignment section has this written in it:
    And that is why they are not needed. They are already fluid so why even try to stick to them? No living being has fixed alignment. We might be "most of X, less of Y" but there are no universal boxes to shove people in and call it alignment.

    Besides, try to run games without them. You won't feel a difference at all.
    Last edited by Benny89; 2019-05-18 at 08:52 PM.

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    Default Re: Does D&D Still Need Alignment?

    I can already hear the Devils and the Rakshasas laughing from here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Constructman View Post
    I can already hear the Devils and the Rakshasas laughing from here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny89 View Post
    And that is why they are not needed. They are already fluid so why even try to stick to them? No living being has fixed alignment. We might be "most of X, less of Y" but there are no universal boxes to shove people in and call it alignment.

    Besides, try to run games without them. You won't feel a difference at all.
    That is true of almost anything in the background section of the book except for the two extra skills.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny89 View Post
    And that is why they are not needed. They are already fluid so why even try to stick to them? No living being has fixed alignment. We might be "most of X, less of Y" but there are no universal boxes to shove people in and call it alignment.

    Besides, try to run games without them. You won't feel a difference at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Witty Username View Post
    That is true of almost anything in the background section of the book except for the two extra skills.
    I certainly notice the difference in games where 5e character motivations (including alignment behavior) are explicitly listed and those where they are not. They're not required, but they definitely change the way players play characters.

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    The effect that I observed with players orienting their play to alignment is that they play their characters more cliched and one-dimensional.

    It's an effect, but one I see nothing good in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny89 View Post
    And that is why they are not needed. They are already fluid so why even try to stick to them? No living being has fixed alignment. We might be "most of X, less of Y" but there are no universal boxes to shove people in and call it alignment.
    Alignments are quite literally supposed to be your typical behavior, not your 100% all the time can't deviate behavior. Saying something like "there are no universal boxes" or "no living being has a fixed alignment" is missing the point of what alignment are.

    Its purpose is only to describe in a shortened manner how a character acts and reacts on an every day basis. No more no less.

    Besides, try to run games without them. You won't feel a difference at all.
    If there is no difference felt if they are here or not, why not keep them?

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    Did any D&D book ever explain what purpose alignment is meant to serve? I think that's the really important question.

    The interpretation that "5th edition alignment exist independent of alignment in other editions" is certainly an interesting one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Did any D&D book ever explain what purpose alignment is meant to serve? I think that's the really important question.
    Yes, the PHB does.

    A typical creature in the worlds of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS has an alignment, which broadly describes its moral and personal attitudes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    The interpretation that "5th edition alignment exist independent of alignment in other editions" is certainly an interesting one.
    Editions aren't beholden to past editions. 4e's alignment is different and separate from 3.X's and 5e's, and 3.X's is different and separate from 5e's and AD&D's.

    It used to be that only literally insane people could be chaotic neutral, but 3.X changed that. Was it an "interesting" interpretation of the previous edition? No, they just changed what alignments were. As does every edition.
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2019-05-19 at 04:45 AM.

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    A typical creature in the worlds of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS has an alignment, which broadly describes its moral and personal attitudes.
    That describes what it does. But what is it for?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    That describes what it does. But what is it for?
    To broadly describes its moral and personal attitudes.

    That's it.

    There is a reason why the whole 5e alignment section takes only one page, with 1/3 of it being filled with the Dwarven Alphabets and 1/6 of it being filled with a "character detail" example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    That describes what it does. But what is it for?
    I would say it's almost entirely a roleplaying guide. There may be some minor mechanical effects that key off it, but mostly it's a hint for how to run your character. It's also a guide for the DM to run NPC, or at least provide a description for any prejudices or biases the PCs might have toward the NPC.

    My problem with it (aside from subjective terminology like "good" and "evil") is that it attempts to ascribe something that should be emergent. It's often unnecessary. If my PC is chaotic, he isn't so because he has "chaotic" written on his sheet. It's because that's how I've been playing him. At best, alignment is just telling you something you already know.

    In 5e, any benefit of alignment has largely been overshadowed by the background system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisBasken View Post
    I would say it's almost entirely a roleplaying guide. There may be some minor mechanical effects that key off it, but mostly it's a hint for how to run your character. It's also a guide for the DM to run NPC, or at least provide a description for any prejudices or biases the PCs might have toward the NPC.

    My problem with it (aside from subjective terminology like "good" and "evil") is that it attempts to ascribe something that should be emergent. It's often unnecessary. If my PC is chaotic, he isn't so because he has "chaotic" written on his sheet. It's because that's how I've been playing him. At best, alignment is just telling you something you already know.

    In 5e, any benefit of alignment has largely been overshadowed by the background system.
    It does not *ascribe* it *describes*. And your character (most likely) existed in the world before you started playing them, so it helps set up how they're like before the in-game actions.

    And yes, it tells you what you already know. It's just a shorthand, same reason why you can write that your character's eyes are blue on your sheet even after making a detailed description of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    It does not *ascribe* it *describes*. And your character (most likely) existed in the world before you started playing them, so it helps set up how they're like before the in-game actions.
    This is why I brought up backgrounds. Alignment works great if you think of it as your PC's history, rather than their current moral attitude. If you have a history of being lawful good, it provides great roleplaying hints, even if you don't actually play as lawful good now. Just like if I have the "I’m too greedy for my own good. I can’t resist taking a risk if there’s money involved" flaw, it doesn't mean I must always take all risks all the time, but it does provide guidance if I (as the player) am unsure about what my PC would do in a given situation.

    They should have rolled alignment into the background system more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    And yes, it tells you what you already know. It's just a shorthand, same reason why you can write that your character's eyes are blue on your sheet even after making a detailed description of them.
    If I write down that my PC's eyes are blue, they're blue. I can't "play him with brown eyes" today. His eyes are blue all the time, not blueish most of the time but change based on circumstances or whatever other incidental things that might make you drift off the alignment you write down. It's not really the same thing.

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