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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    we all know alignments have serious issues, especially if you are playing a more morally gray campaign.

    A post in an unrelated thread got me thinking:
    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    The trouble with Lawful Good is that it is the alignment of self-righteous fools and dishonest tyrants who seek to impose their will upon others. They reinforce their position by protecting those too weak to support themselves in order to gather those peons into a collective whole that will keep them enthroned in power. They suppress the rights and privileges of those who actually make things happen, and get in the way of solving problems by protecting the guilty from the retribution they deserve. They slow down justice with rules about when and how you can punish wrongdoing, and they enshrine ineptitude and laziness and foolishness by insisting that those who are too incapable of protecting their own for some reason have a right to demand that others let them dictate the disposition of resources rather than the natural law that those who can, do. Worse, they sneer down their noses at you if you don't acceed to their demands that you actively help protect the selfish weaklings who won't bother to protect themselves.

    This alignment is the worst because it imposes rules for no reason other than to tell people who know what they're doing not to do it, and at the same time insists that those who don't have any strength or wit to make anything of themselves have privileges over those who do.
    this is a very good show of a pragmatic evil person.

    on the other hand, this kind of evil is completely different from what is normally associated with the word (namely, demon-worshipping, baby-eating, murdering, or at least being fully willing to rob people if given the chance to get away with it).
    in fact, what differentiates this evil so much from its other conception is that this is a kind of evil that's actually useful, in some ways. Unlike the demon-worshipping kind of evil, where the world would be better off if nobody pursued it, this kind of ruthless pragmatism is necessary in small doses. a society that does not pursue it to some extent is going to fall for being incapable of defending itself from crime and exploitation of social services. On the other hand, a society based entirely on ruthlessness would be a hellhole based on the exploitation of the weaker.
    So, unlike the general good and evil axis, the rutlhless/idealistic axis is one where equilibriium is desirable.

    but if you remove good and evil, you can't differentiate between a self-serving thief and a good rebel. So you still need an axis to determine how much one is willing to help others, or to hurt others for personal gain.
    this axis could be called selfish/selfless.

    law/chaos can easily be discarded, as everybody has a different opinion on what they mean, and they are not very useful anyway. A lawful good character can be perfectly willing to lead a rebellion if there is no feasible way to change a corrupt system from the inside, and a chaotic good rebel may be perfectly willing to oppose a rebellion and work from within the system if he believes there are more chances to do good that way.

    By using those two axes, a ruthless/selfish would definitely describe conventional evil, and most opponents. An idealistic/selfish would fit better to a slightly evil or neutral individual, one who is unwilling to directly hurt others but would gladly take advantage of stuff happening. A person finding a lost wallet and keeping it for himself would be a good example of this behavior.

    where this system really gets better than common alignments is at describing most pcs. neutral/selfless would describe how much the pc would go out of his way to help before asking for a reward, and ruthless/ideallistic would describe how much one would be willing to do the dirty job.
    The archetypical paladin would be selfless/idealistic, the functional evil teammate would be neutral/ruthless. a well-intentioned extremist like redcloak would be selfless/ruthless.

    I wonder if this system could improve on alignments.
    It certainly will be a better descriptor of personality than the common law/chaos and good/evil axis. it is also a better descriptor for the world: "this government is selfish/idealistic" would mean that the country has good laws that protect the people, but that also take a substantial cut of the national wealth and give it to those in charge. and that's a far better descriptor than "lawful evil", because lawful evil is generally associated with a cruel dictatorship - which would instead be selfish-ruthless or neutral-ruthless, or even selfless-ruthless depending on how functional it is (the selfless-ruthless is the one where crime is at a minimum and the trains run on time, because they'll make disappear anyone who interferes with that state of things)
    On the other hand, it may be even worse at telling how well peoople can work together. Both miko and redcloak are selfless/ruthless, and they attack each other on sight. I also can't see a "protection from ruthlessness" spell. So, no mechanical benefits to implement those descriptors.

    What do you think?
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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    I think the best system of alignment axes would be one that differentiates people based on their position on the great axe versus hand axe spectrum, and their position on the war axe versus fireman's axe spectrum.


    Now hear me out.

    Someone who is more great axe is prone to acting decisively in big gestures, and someone who is hand axe is quicker and more subtle while also being more able to adapt to different circumstances.

    On the other spectrum, people who align with war axes favor violence or military solutions, while people who are more fireman's axe are usually concerned with helping others and are more likely to focus on utilitarian concerns.


    So you can have rogues and monks which tend more towards hand axe, while the fighter and barbarian obviously favor the war axe alignment. A blaster wizard will be most likely GA/WA, while an enchanter will be HA/WA and a battlefield controller type will be GA/FA. Healers, bards, and abjuration specialists would likely fall under HA/FA. Paladins would vary between alignments depending on if they are more focused on smiting the bad guys or on protecting the innocent, but tend to the extremes regardless.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krellen View Post
    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    I've been thinking of "principles/consequences" and "altruism/egoism" as an alternate alignment system. It's a bit more complicated, but a lot of the same things can emerge from it, although good/evil don't really map 1-to-1 on it. Explanations below.

    Principles/altruism: they will help others but not at the expense of violating whatever set of rules they follow - could be anything from a personal code through religious obligations to a societal honour code. Paladins wind up here, as do clerics of many good gods. Maps best to LG and NG.

    Consequences/altruism: they will do what they believe is best for others, regardless of what rules it breaks. Your Robin Hood types can be thought of as being in here, but so can many villains of the "good intentions but awful actions" variety. Maps oddly, as some of what is commonly thought to be LE (i.e. good intentions villains) falls in here with CG.

    Principles/egoism: they will do what's best for themselves, but as above, not at the expense of violating the rules they follow. Your classic "evil with standards" can go here. Maps most closely to some of LE, LN, NE and TN.

    Consequences/egoism: best for themselves, no matter what. Could be anything from a loveable rogue to a sociopath. CN and CE fit here best.

    It's not perfect, but it's a damn sight better than classic alignment in terms of consistency.

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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    Great Axe/Hand Axe sounds like Pink Mohawk/Mirror Shades sometimes brought up in more cyberpunky type systems.

    I'd also like to point out the axis of funkitude.

    There's also bacon/necktie that was meant to be a joke but can be argued to be the axis of how somebody presents themselves to others.

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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    I would use Light and Dark

    Light isn't inherently good. Dark isn't inherently evil.

    Light is about community, stability, idealism and safety. At its most extreme it becomes oppressively obsessed with order and collectivism to the point where it forces everyone to be happy in an effort to make everyone equal in a society thats more of a prison than good, or absorb everyone into a hivemind to eliminate all war, various high-minded ideals played out in horrible ways like that. But in day to day to life, it serves a useful moderate function of protecting people from danger, enforcing laws, and encouraging people to be considerate of others.

    Dark is about individuality, freedom and pragmatism. At its most extreme its purely anarchic and individualistic, resulting in hives of scum and villainy, greed run rampant, megalomaniacs trying to achieve godlike power and so on. But also serves a useful function in keeping people free with civil rights, self-expression, economics, skepticism, and encouraging you to stand up for yourself. It encourages you to be more, to know more, to know yourself.

    Light wants to eliminate suffering as much as possible, Dark wants you to be able to strong enough to deal with suffering yourself. Light is more idealistic and optimistic but can be dangerous because it focuses more on how things should be than what they are in the pursuit of achieving them, and Dark is more realistic and cynical but can cause them to discard ideals to strive for entirely and live hollow meaningless lives of selfishness and decadence.

    Both can be bad, but not when the other is there to help steer the other straight- after all, the Light needs to keep the Dark from growing too out of control, and the Dark needs to keep criticizing and questioning the Light to make sure it keeps on the straight and narrow so that it doesn't become oppressive.
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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    What about character who do good things in the name though? where do these types fit on these scales?

    Example: I had a character who was a knight of the lily, the evil Tiamat worshiping alternative the knights of the rose from dragonlance, he donated charity and even founded orphanage. Every time he donated he would do so in full lily knight regalia, thus bringing prestige and goodwill to the order, and the children in the orphanage were raised on stories of the glory and honor of the knights of the lily, an uncharacteristically high amount joined the order of the lily when they grew up. He would also happily kill all these people he help if that's what the vision told him to do. There's nothing inherently evil about any of actions, but he was still evil. The current alignment axis really doesn't have anything for characters like him.

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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    Obligatory mention of the Magic: the Gathering colour pie alignment system

    I've always been more partial to the "alignment as roleplay fodder" idea, but there have been a few I've tried out over the years. Note that all but one was used in addition to the base alignment system to make a 3-axis alignment.

    Sharp/Neutral/Rounded: Representing their method of delivery and preference on how interaction should work. Sharp people are typically blunt, straight to the point, and they make sure their words strike true. Rounded people are typically prone to winding their way through long and drawn out conversations, meandering their way to the point. When given a quest, sharp people are likely to beeline towards it and get it done with few distractions getting in their way while rounded will check out any and all points of even minor interest on their way there and will gladly give into temptation to enjoy every distraction. Example being a CNR rogue would check out every fiddly detail while working the job and probably get a bigger payout but lose precious time while the CNS rogue would get in and get out with the quarry and making sure to never be distracted even once.

    Inner/Prime/Outer: Used during a campaign with far too much planar jumping. Showed the character's preference towards the 3 classes of plane and specifically to which side you would end up in due to some weird plot dung that caused souls to be sent to the inner and prime material plane as well as the outer planes.

    Animal/Vegetable/Mineral: Kind of a joke in the campaign really, but was fun nonetheless. It showed how animate you are at a glance and how quick you were on the uptick.

    Stars/Home/Void: This is the one that was used in place of the Good/Evil axis. Used in a campaign with a ton of cultist groups trying to bring in great beings of ancient terrible power to spite the other groups. They were loosely aligned to one of two sides:
    • Stars, the side of luminescence and scouring flame trying to summon beings entombed beyond even the plane of fire in the hearts of stars and the causes of supernovae as they tore themselves out to feast upon worlds.
    • Void, the side of utterdark and devouring hunger trying to summon things completely divorced from existence itself yet could be found in the abysses beyond the planes where even the far realms cannot reach.

    Home is a bit different though, as that was the side of neither evil and as such was fighting both for the survival of the world itself. Morality wasn't a big deal in this campaign as you were literally stuck between a burning rock and a hungry place fighting just to keep your home intact.
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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    It's not, exactly, fit for OP request, but let me quote the S&S Arcana Unearthed:

    No Alignments

    There are no alignments in Arcana Unearthed into which you must shoehorn your character's outlook. This rulebook does not attempt to define good or evil, nor does it address law or chaos. Characters should decide for themselves what is good and what is evil, the way real people do. There are no spells that reveal whether a character is evil or good - his actions and the perspectives of those around him determine that. No (or at least very few) characters think of themselves as evil. The truth is, such concepts are relative.

    Yet even without alignments, villains still do terrible things to further their own goals. Heroes still make great sacrifices to stop them. The classic conflicts all remain. But now there are even more. Two noble and altruistic characters might oppose each other. Their personal ideologies might even cause each of them to define the other as "evil."

    Characters with a conscience still act responsibly, and those with a code of conduct still adhere to it: having no alignment is not an excuse for all characters to act wantonly. As in the real world, things are much more interesting if there are not nine alignments but, in fact, an infinite number of them - each character becomes his own alignment.

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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    I tried with measuring the classic alignment system, by putting a score between 1 and 10 to how close they were to Good, Evil, Chaotic or Lawful, being 0;0 True Neutral. But eventually turned to color wheel, from MTG, and was the best decision i could make. None of the colors is inherently good or evil, some of them may have a tendecy towards chaos or law, but they are not necessarily aligned with one of them, and being able to use One, Two or Three colors combinations allows for many different alignments.

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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    First of all, let me clarify that I have no problems with the current alignment axes. I have always considered the complaints about them ridiculous and a sign of lack of understanding on the part of the complainers. In addition, I consider the "selfish/selfless" and "altruistic/egoist" axes to literaly be the exact same thing as "good/evil". I mean, I consider "altruism" to just be another word for "good" and "selfishness" to just be another word for "evil" even IRL.

    Remember that each alignment is supposed to represent a broad range of behaviour. After all, DnD confirms that approximately a third of all humans you meet would be considered evil. That's a lot of very different people. In addition, the alignment axes are meant to not just be opinions, but things people come into conflict over. Law and Chaos each believes the other is ruining things. Good hates evil and wants to stop it while evil hates that good does so.

    (Also, while I know that that the Colour Pie is meant to not map anything to good and evil, I still see the Black colour as evil. Every time people disagree, they say things like, "It's not evil! It's *list of evil things*! It has good heroes like one who *description of evil person*!" Of course, that's presumably because I am extremely Bant (Green, Blue, White) according to MtG).

    That said, I do appreciate the desire to add axes to better describe characters, behaviour and conflicts, while replacing certain alignment restrictions with more fitting ones. The axis of funk is silly, but fun and descriptive. I have also been intending to add axes for the Myers-Briggs traits and he Big Five personality traits.

    Extroverted-Introverted (The only one that comes from both and means you can change the Bard's alignment restriction from "non-lawful" to the more fitting "Extroverted")

    Intuitive-Sensing

    Thinking-Feeling

    Judging-Percieving

    Agreeable-Disagreeable

    Neurotic-Stable

    Open-Closed

    Conscientious-Relaxed

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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Sereg View Post
    (Also, while I know that that the Colour Pie is meant to not map anything to good and evil, I still see the Black colour as evil. Every time people disagree, they say things like, "It's not evil! It's *list of evil things*! It has good heroes like one who *description of evil person*!" Of course, that's presumably because I am extremely Bant (Green, Blue, White) according to MtG).
    The way black is defined in mtg and the way evil is defined in dnd, black can at best achieve neutrality on the moral axis. It's kinda telling when the big color fluff revisit articles could only manage "indifferent social darwinist" or "nihilistic realist" as the noblest version of the color's philosophy.

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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    I think you can mostly keep the actual axis as they are, and simply rename the current ones to something else to help serve as a reminder of the distinction between cosmic alignment and morality, that would do enough. Good and Evil are very loaded terms that I believe shouldnít have been used. I think a more accurate set of names would be something like altruism vs egoism. That way, you still have an accurate description of the philosophies of the four alignments, without as much of the loaded language associated. Things are Egoistic because they assert oneís control over their surrounding without regard for otherís control. The associated philosophy is that a society functions best when each personís self interest drives them to produce results for the society as a whole, while an altruistic one is that society functions best when each person attempts to shoulder the furtherance of society for its own sake.
    Last edited by Necroticplague; 2019-09-24 at 05:04 AM.
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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    I would use Light and Dark

    Light isn't inherently good. Dark isn't inherently evil.

    Light is about community, stability, idealism and safety. At its most extreme it becomes oppressively obsessed with order and collectivism to the point where it forces everyone to be happy in an effort to make everyone equal in a society thats more of a prison than good, or absorb everyone into a hivemind to eliminate all war, various high-minded ideals played out in horrible ways like that. But in day to day to life, it serves a useful moderate function of protecting people from danger, enforcing laws, and encouraging people to be considerate of others.

    Dark is about individuality, freedom and pragmatism. At its most extreme its purely anarchic and individualistic, resulting in hives of scum and villainy, greed run rampant, megalomaniacs trying to achieve godlike power and so on. But also serves a useful function in keeping people free with civil rights, self-expression, economics, skepticism, and encouraging you to stand up for yourself. It encourages you to be more, to know more, to know yourself.

    Light wants to eliminate suffering as much as possible, Dark wants you to be able to strong enough to deal with suffering yourself. Light is more idealistic and optimistic but can be dangerous because it focuses more on how things should be than what they are in the pursuit of achieving them, and Dark is more realistic and cynical but can cause them to discard ideals to strive for entirely and live hollow meaningless lives of selfishness and decadence.

    Both can be bad, but not when the other is there to help steer the other straight- after all, the Light needs to keep the Dark from growing too out of control, and the Dark needs to keep criticizing and questioning the Light to make sure it keeps on the straight and narrow so that it doesn't become oppressive.
    Isn't that very analogous to law and chaos?
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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Isn't that very analogous to law and chaos?
    Perhaps, if you want to look at it that way. its viable, but personally I see "individualism" as more than just chaos, and "community" as more than just the rules they set down. Light unlike Law, has an actual goal and vision of a better world but is more idealistic and less about reason, Dark unlike Chaos has a direction and a sense of pragmatism to its methods. Light is likely to have more empathetic individuals while Dark is likely to have more logical ones, while I see Law as the logical one and the Chaos as the empathetic one in that conflict.

    But I've got a different system I came up with recently:

    The Functional Axis:
    This first axis is the most important one. It is limited to the three alignments detailed here and measures how well someone balances their beliefs with reality. Most people are assumed to be Balanced, a large minority assumed to be Void and a rare few people are assumed to be Insanity.

    Insanity:
    Your beliefs blind yourself to reality. Whether your megalomaniacal, a complete zealot, an absolute monster, or delusional, this alignment means your completely crazy, unreasonable and stupid. You take whatever you believe too far and try to force it upon all the world without any regard for the consequences of your actions. You are completely sure that your always in the right, never reconsider or feel regret or guilt for anything you do, and never swerve from your beliefs. This alignment is not recommended for PCs and should probably not be allowed to be taken by them at all.

    Balanced:
    You are a healthy reasonable person who balances their beliefs with the reality of the situation as well as can be expected. You remain aware of the changing situation to see whether its good idea to really push your beliefs or not, and you cooperate well with others and their beliefs most of the time. You also acknowledge that your beliefs are not perfect and that sometimes you can be wrong and are willing to learn from your mistakes.

    Void:
    Reality has crushed your beliefs. You are a broken, hollow person in despair or depression who seeks to find happiness and wholeness once again. You still on some unconscious level, believe in your Outlook alignment, but only in a jaded, depressed hollow sense, seeing it as a foolish thing you still cling to despite knowing its fake and worthless. Reality looks like a bleak and desolate place to you. Despite this most people with this alignment continue to live on and function in society. It can sometimes be a bit of a fight to get back to being Balanced once again, but may not always come out of it with the same Outlook Alignment they had before. While PCs are allowed to take this alignment, be sure that everyone in the group is okay with it as some may not want to play with a depressed character like this.

    The Outlook Axis:
    In contrast, the Outlook Axis is pretty much infinite in what alignments you can choose. The alignments here all describe your outlook on life and what you consider ideal about yourself. Thus you can come up with pretty much almost anything and put it in as an Outlook Axis alignment as long as it can reasonably interact with the three functional axis alignments above.

    Here are some examples:
    Lawful Good:
    A Balanced Lawful Good person is virtuous and restrained, do all that they can to help others while acknowledging that not all rules are legitimate nor can all evil be defeated within the rules. They strive for a civilized virtuous society regardless, knowing their ideals are unreachable at least in their lifetime.
    Insane Lawful Good people are complete zealots and extremists,trying to kill all that they perceive as evil mindlessly without nuance or restraint.
    Void Lawful Good has lost hope that their virtues and laws can truly change the world for the better, continuing to only hold to their beliefs out of defiance of the darkness around them.

    Logical Independent:
    A Balanced Logical Independent thinks out of their own rational self interest and plans for the long term and thus takes into account their friends emotions and the situations where being selfless benefits them as well. As well as being aware they can't plan for everything and acknowledging they can fail.
    An Insane Logical Independent is utterly obsessed with themselves, coldly using everyone around them as pawns for their goals alone and denying any action they don't see any logical reason to do and unwilling to budge from their own intricate well thought out plans, and are known to be control freaks
    A Void Logical Independent is convinced its that there is no rationality or independence in the universe, depressed that they can't truly be a rational independent person in a world of random meaninglessness, only continuing in their beliefs to keep themselves sane and focused on what they want to gain some sort of benefit at all.

    Klepto Adventurer:
    A Balanced Klepto Adventurer while taking loot from dungeons and killing monsters, can restrain themselves from attacking innocent villagers, be social in civilized lands while enjoying their thrills and the loot they gain from their jobs.
    An Insane Klepto-Adventurer is your typical murderhobo, killing anyone that moves aside from shopkeeps and inns and interacting with no one outside of combat, utterly committed to nothing but slaughter without thought for consequence
    A Void Klepto-Adventurer continues killing and looting, but the exercise has become repetitive and hollow to them, seeing their lifestyle as pointless and endless, but continuing on because they know nothing else.

    Dank Memelord:
    A Balanced Dank Memelord loves to joke and have fun, ribbing their follow companions with japes and teasing, but knows when to get serious and focus when the chips are down. They seek to bring laughs and joy to the world, but don't make jokes they know are annoying or hurtful.
    An Insane Dank Memelord is utterly random and incomprehensible, trying to make jokes every second without ever being serious or useful at all and just completely annoying.
    A Void Dank Memelord makes weak jokes to hide their own depression within themselves, trying to put on a mask of smiles to hide their pain and get through their own darkness.

    Free Rebellious:
    A Balanced Free Rebellious seeks to give freedom and equality to everyone and change the status quo for the better, but recognizes that people need stability in their lives as well and while the FR may break the rules, they do so to put something better in their place.
    An Insane Free Rebellious rages against the status quo with revenge and distrust for the people in power, destroying all order and restriction and reducing all societies into anarchy in their crazy crusade, killing any noble or form or elite they see as having too much power over others.
    A Void Free Rebellious while continuing walk free and independent, has come to believe that its useless to try and change the status quo and nothing they can do can change the systems or oppression that surrounds them.


    .....And so on. Be creative, come up with whatever works. Why design it so that one axis is limited, and the other is unlimited? Simple. the Functional Axis measures whether how healthy and reasonable you are as a person, but its not a linear scale: the Balanced and Void alignments are both functional in a way, the Void one is just less healthy and going through a rough phase of their life. Insane however represents someone is who is broken, someone who taken whatever they belief way too far and now does nothing but try to fulfill it, and its possible for both Void and Balanced people to become Insane but Void is a little more likely due to their mental state.
    This makes sure that there can be disagreements between a Void and Balanced person even if they have the same philosophy, because the Void will doubt whether its actually true and be more jaded or depressed about it. While both will oppose a Insane person even if that insane person has the same basic Outlook alignment, giving a lot of potential for someone to meet their villainous foil who embodies a dark version of their own philosophy.

    While the Outlook Axis, is unlimited, because what people believe and hold themselves to is similarly unlimited. The Outlook Axis is important because it provides the potential for both conflict and cooperation between people of different outlooks, by making sure people are reasonable in their Balanced state, while also acknowledging that reasonable people can have disagreements over this or that, while still opposing someone completely crazy or threatening.

    Basically? Insane alignment is there to catch all the "Stupid X" alignment stuff right from the start, so that the GM can say "no you've gone Insane" and stop that right in its tracks without needing a big morality debate. why? because the Outlook Axis has to be defined and agreed upon by player and GM as to whats reasonable and balanced for it and if the players breaks their own Outlook's rules well....that tells you all you need to know, doesn't it?

    While Void is there to be a roleplaying opportunity. it represents the low points in peoples lives and them having to struggle with their own beliefs against the reality of the world, and can also be used as a transitional alignment, where instead of a paladin falling, they just go into Void about their own beliefs and code they uphold, struggling to find meaning and happiness in it now they have failed it, or it has failed them, and can either represent a low point where they return back to being Balanced and sure, or a transition into some completely new belief that they think is better.

    while Balanced is just there to be an alignment where you don't have to worry about Void stuff and still have reason so you don't fall into stupid Insane stuff.

    In general this alignment supposed to provide order to peoples viewpoints and how interact with them, while also providing a lot of flexibility for what stories you can tell with it so that people with subjective opinion can debate with each other without coming to a clear answer because some issues are grey and muddled, yet still find people that are clearly wrong that they can fight.
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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    For the record, the MTG color wheel got seriously butchered and scrambled circa 2003. Anyone who cites the post-2003 color wheel for anything is automatically wrong. According to the original color wheel, Black was very explicitly the color of evil.



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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    There's nothing wrong with alignment as long as it's used to categorize a character that's already been established, rather than it itself being used to establish the character. The issue with the quote in your original post was that it stated "Lawful good is this". Yes, but lawful good is also that, and that too, and that other thing as well. Change the alignment system all you like, but the characters that you're categorizing shouldn't change at all. Think of the alignment system as a sorting system in a library, changing the sorting system shouldn't change what books are in the library, just the way in which the books are sorted, but no matter what categorization you use, there's always going to be some caricature of "XYZ alignment" that people will be able to point to and say "this is a problem" if that's what they want to do, just like there are people who complain about certain books being available, no matter what way they're categorized in a library, really the issue they have isn't the alignment of the character, it's the caricature that they've cooked up in their mind of with the archetypal member of that alignment is that they have the issue with, while completely ignoring the fact that there's vastly more than nine character archetypes.
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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Katie Boundary View Post
    For the record, the MTG color wheel got seriously butchered and scrambled circa 2003. Anyone who cites the post-2003 color wheel for anything is automatically wrong. According to the original color wheel, Black was very explicitly the color of evil.
    When people say "Black is not evil" they usually mean "Black is not only evil"

    That said, the color fluff articles painted the most noble take on black's philosophy as something between callous social darwinism and nihilism. So the best black can manage on the moral axis is neutral.

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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    I have had the mind-numbing experience of having multiple people claim that there is nothing evil about black and that it can be as good as any other colour.

    What I will agree with though is that black does not have exclusive access to evil. I will deny that it has access to good though.

    (There is also the ridiculous claim about ammorallity Vs immorality. Ie. The claim that someone is incapable of evil if they don't believe in evil)

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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    we all know alignments have serious issues, especially if you are playing a more morally gray campaign.

    ...

    What do you think?
    Ultimately, if you're playing in a more "morally grey" campaign my best advice is to avoid "cosmic alignment" entirely and to minimize the activity of gods on the material plane (think more laissez faire divinity). Leave morality up to each individual society and religion.
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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    cold/neutral/hot axis versus dry/neutral/wet axis

    Hot & dry = desert
    hot & wet = jungle
    cold & dry = tundra
    cold & wet = Britain

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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Sereg View Post
    I have had the mind-numbing experience of having multiple people claim that there is nothing evil about black and that it can be as good as any other colour.
    Please tell me you're joking. Black is, along with the other colours, amoral and as such neither good nor evil, however, that being said, the vast majority of things possible with black mana are in no possible way good at all and the colour itself gives very little ability for its' practitioners to care for the well being of other creatures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sereg View Post
    What I will agree with though is that black does not have exclusive access to evil. I will deny that it has access to good though.
    I have a bit of a problem with this statement. Not all of the creatures that use black mana or are black-aligned are evil, some could be considered good in the right contexts, but I will give you that it is the majority. Black-aligned creatures can do good if it were to benefit them in some way or bring them closer to the power that they seek though the likelihood of both that happening and the creature knowing that it was happening are slim to none. Black can do good, but it typically has a heftier price to pay than using any other colour for it and the times when you could even use it for good are rare, given that, as said above, it's absolute best could be considered nihilism or "sink or swim".

    I'm assuming you're not counting animals or similar creatures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sereg View Post
    (There is also the ridiculous claim about ammorallity Vs immorality. Ie. The claim that someone is incapable of evil if they don't believe in evil)
    That's just ridiculous.
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    Black for normal/uncaring/bored. Purple for in love. Blue for being a jerk/sarcastic bum.

    Black(Blue and Green) or Sultai is my khanate, and my colour alignment.

    For some strange reason I have a severe reaction to sunlight when it hits my eyes, no clue why or what causes it so yeah...
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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    There HAVE been characters in MtG lore who were both black and "good" (Xantcha, Crovax, and Belbe come to mind), but they're the exceptions. Black is mostly full of necromancers, demon-worshippers, and opportunistic megalomaniacs: Yawgmoth, Davvol, Lietbur, Lim-Dul, Leshrac, Tevesh Szat, Kaervek, Purraj, the whole Sengir family, Greven il-Vec, Volrath...

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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Aniikinis View Post
    Please tell me you're joking. Black is, along with the other colours, amoral and as such neither good nor evil, however, that being said, the vast majority of things possible with black mana are in no possible way good at all and the colour itself gives very little ability for its' practitioners to care for the well being of other creatures.


    I have a bit of a problem with this statement. Not all of the creatures that use black mana or are black-aligned are evil, some could be considered good in the right contexts, but I will give you that it is the majority. Black-aligned creatures can do good if it were to benefit them in some way or bring them closer to the power that they seek though the likelihood of both that happening and the creature knowing that it was happening are slim to none. Black can do good, but it typically has a heftier price to pay than using any other colour for it and the times when you could even use it for good are rare, given that, as said above, it's absolute best could be considered nihilism or "sink or swim".

    I'm assuming you're not counting animals or similar creatures.



    That's just ridiculous.
    I am unfortunately not joking, and yes, it's ridiculous.

    For your middle point, the thing is I struggle to find something that is both good and black. Previous examples given to me were always things I see as evil myself.

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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Sereg View Post
    I am unfortunately not joking, and yes, it's ridiculous.
    I have no words that can express how dumbfounded I am to hear that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sereg View Post
    For your middle point, the thing is I struggle to find something that is both good and black. Previous examples given to me were always things I see as evil myself.
    Ah, then it's a clash of moral systems. That I can't really help with, since black deals in shades of grey with major weight on the darker end of the spectrum and even some of the "good guys" being merciless or frankly cruel people.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quarian Rex View Post
    Sometimes you need more than well crafted crunch. Sometimes you need well crafted crunch that is playable in the game.
    Black for normal/uncaring/bored. Purple for in love. Blue for being a jerk/sarcastic bum.

    Black(Blue and Green) or Sultai is my khanate, and my colour alignment.

    For some strange reason I have a severe reaction to sunlight when it hits my eyes, no clue why or what causes it so yeah...
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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Sereg View Post
    I am unfortunately not joking, and yes, it's ridiculous.

    For your middle point, the thing is I struggle to find something that is both good and black. Previous examples given to me were always things I see as evil myself.
    I can think of a few black cards that are at least not outright evil, but I'll take a shot at trying to find a few 'good' ones.

    Here is a card that bolsters all your creatures and allows them to continue reinforcing your army as spirits upon death (a solidly black/white effect).

    Here's a god who handles passage into the afterlife. Maybe not good, but I'd argue not evil.

    This is... technically a black card.

    I'm interested in which things people have claimed were good before, honestly.

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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Aniikinis View Post
    I have no words that can express how dumbfounded I am to hear that.


    Ah, then it's a clash of moral systems. That I can't really help with, since black deals in shades of grey with major weight on the darker end of the spectrum and even some of the "good guys" being merciless or frankly cruel people.
    As I said, I am a very Bant individual. Selfishness is literally how I define evil and I am an almost Kantian deontologist.
    Quote Originally Posted by RatElemental View Post
    I can think of a few black cards that are at least not outright evil, but I'll take a shot at trying to find a few 'good' ones.

    Here is a card that bolsters all your creatures and allows them to continue reinforcing your army as spirits upon death (a solidly black/white effect).

    Here's a god who handles passage into the afterlife. Maybe not good, but I'd argue not evil.

    This is... technically a black card.

    I'm interested in which things people have claimed were good before, honestly.
    I am not talking about individual cards, but concepts.

    But yeah, people sometimes argue that you can only be evil if you believe you are, so black can't be evil as it doesn't believe in evil.


    Otherwise people call Black good for having self-interest, pride, capitalism and ambition, for example.

    (Also, incidentally, people have attempted to make alternative colour pies before. I have recently started studying these attempts to come up with my own idea for one. It is relatively complete)

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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Sereg View Post

    But yeah, people sometimes argue that you can only be evil if you believe you are, so black can't be evil as it doesn't believe in evil.
    A distinction should be made between evil characters who say "There's no such thing as evil" and ones who say "There is such a thing - and I am good."
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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    A distinction should be made between evil characters who say "There's no such thing as evil" and ones who say "There is such a thing - and I am good."
    I agree there's t distinction. But as you said, sub a distinction is not in whether or not they are evil.

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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    In D&D a character who does not believe in evil has an erroneous belief about the entire universe.

    Whereas an evil character who believes in evil, but not in their own evil, has a much smaller scale erroneous belief - about themselves and their own actions/nature, rather than about the universe as a whole.
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    Default Re: Define new axes alternative to good/evil

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    we all know alignments have serious issues, especially if you are playing a more morally gray campaign.
    I reject this premise. Alignment doesn't really have any serious issues at all, and unless you're playing a Paladin or similar, definitely shouldn't be causing you problems in a morally grey campaign at all. If you fret over alignment, you're not really morally grey to begin with.

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