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    Default 4e alignment question

    I just got a look at a copy of the 4e PHB, and noticed that it only had 5 alignment choices: LG, Good, Evil, CE, and Unaligned. Did I miss more elsewhere, or is that it? In the latter case, why is there no CG or LE (or LN/CN, for that matter)?
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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    That's it.

    And the reason why they didn't include CG or LE was due to that claim that a Good person is someone who is flowing towards the alignment of abiding by that of their own personal reasons. When someone doesn't obey the law, they're considered selfish, and these types of feelings can lead toward evil. I'm going by assumption here, however, so I may be right or wrong, though in philosophy, there's no right answer. Basically, you seek to disturb the law, so Good is basically neutral/chaotic good mixed together.

    Evil on the other hand is Lawful/neutral evil mixed together, making a specific chaotic good. The personalities are going by the fact that if you're good, you tend to follow a lawful personality regardless, while being evil means you're going toward chaos, thus wishing for chaos instead of law. That's my take on it.
    Last edited by Silent Musician; 2008-06-07 at 05:51 PM.

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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    Ok, so it's just WotC being stupid again. Hey, let's try to make the alignment system make even less sense!
    Last edited by monty; 2008-06-07 at 05:52 PM.
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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    I'm pretty sure I'll ditch Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil, myself; or just make them "Really Good" and "Really Evil". That's what they mean, and - fortunately - they have very little rules significance.

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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    I saw it basically as NG and CG person having, realistically, the same attitude towards law. Do CG people oppose just laws? No. Does a NG person let the law stand in their way of good? No. In that sense, they both feel bound by lawfulness similarly--which is to say, not at all. Similarly, a NE person will take advantage of the laws, etc, to gain power.

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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    I think one of the deciding factors was that there wasn't a clear dividing line between NG/CG or LE/NE. Any number of characters could qualify for both from the description in the PHB.

    NG: You do what you think is necessary to uphold good in the world.
    CG: You uphold good regardless of law or tradition.
    (Not quotes, don't have my books handy)

    Similarly, the difference between LE and NE was that you had a personal code of conduct if you were LE, except that you could have one and be NE, except then you were willing to break it, but that meant it wasn't a code of conduct...I had an argument go on at the table for three sessions over where a character would fall. (It was brought on by a badly-timed use of Dictum, or whatever the spell is, after which one character protested that he'd been trying to roleplay LE for weeks and should have changed before I used the spell.)

    I can't really say much about LN/CN, as I never really saw any confusion over that. It does occur to me that they might have been trying to save the DM hassles over characters that are as likely to kick someone off of a bridge as cross it, or characters who would refuse to ever break laws, even when necessary. I never had trouble like that, but I can see a character that took it to extremes being highly disruptive.

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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    heh, I thought the line was to blurry between NE and CE, not N and L.
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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    Just change it to
    Angellic
    Good
    unaligned
    Evil
    Demonic

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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Joe View Post
    Just change it to
    Angellic
    Good
    unaligned
    Evil
    Demonic
    Pretty much. They're trying to make it have less a bearing by making it more general. Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil are basically the two extremes of the alignment spectrum, most people should be classified as Good, Unaligned, or Evil. I wasn't entirely sold on it, but I like how it works in practice, I just think they should have used something different for Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil.


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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    There's also the fact that alignment is totally seperate from mechanics now. So in terms of playing the game, it doesn't really matter how much sense it makes, because now it's just another shorthand way of describing the character's outlook. This in turn means you can have whatever personality you want without having to worry about stuff like whether an Axiomatic weapon will hurt more.
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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Joe View Post
    Just change it to
    Angellic
    Good
    unaligned
    Evil
    Demonic
    What about devils?
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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    Quote Originally Posted by monty View Post
    What about devils?
    EVIL. I like the way of the new distinction between devils and demons. At least now it's clear about their motivations. And it's good that it reflects in their overall look.

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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    I think this is one of those places where the streamlining amounts to "remove everything that isn't absolutely necessary to kill them and take there stuff". Under the old system, these were the only alignments that mattered (please mention any fallen barbarians or monks), although there might be a few players who want to give a monk a few levels in barbarian.

    Alignments are one of the first things that would go back into the system if I DMed 4e. I think they missed a huge opportunity here to get a good alignment system going. Most characters would start out "barely aligned", that is: they may be saintly good or diabolically evil, just nobody has made it official. With the BoVD and BoED they implied another level of alignments: exaulted and vile. Presumably Paladins would qualify (1-3e, but not 4e) from level 1, and clerics would be pressured into vows/selling of souls as they leveled up. Paragons and Epic heroes would be assumed to be more aligned (have a stronger aura), and the paragon/epic breaks gives natural places to make the changes.

    If you want to see a *bad* D&D alignment system, just ask an old-timer about "alignment language" - heh, heh, heh.

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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Joe View Post
    Just change it to
    Angellic
    Good
    unaligned
    Evil
    Demonic
    Well, angels are no longer good-only. Their alignment now depends on which god they serve.

    I'm not a fan of the new alignment system either, but I can live with it if I changed "Good" to "Chaotic Good" and "Evil" to "Lawful Evil." However, I do think that Neutral Good and Neutral Evil were a bit too vague and overlapped with their Lawful and Chaotic counterparts too much. As such, I think removing them was a good decision.

    I think I also prefer the "Unaligned" term to "Neutral," for some reason that I can't quite place. I think it's because it's less of "I will betray you if it suits my needs, good/evil ally!" and more of "Can't we all just get along?"


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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    I think I also prefer the "Unaligned" term to "Neutral," for some reason that I can't quite place. I think it's because it's less of "I will betray you if it suits my needs, good/evil ally!" and more of "Can't we all just get along?"
    "I'll betray you if it suits my needs"? Sounds evil to me, not neutral. Neutral is more like "I won't betray you, but I won't help you if it endangers me either."
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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    Actually, coming from someone who skimmed the descriptions, it seems like straight 'good' is close to the same attitude as 3.5 'Chaotic Good', and that 4e 'evil' is close to 3.5 'Lawful Evil'. If it makes you feel better, feel free to amend the list accordingly.
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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    Why did they even feel the need to keep alignment in the game, a lot of games don't have it why does DND need it at all.

    Seems like a very slopy and poorly done fix to the alignment system to me, I'm really against it.
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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    Why not keep it? If it has no effect on the mechanics, then there isn't much harm in keeping something that a lot of people expect to be there.
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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    A friend on another forum wrote this and he made excellent points so I'm gonna repost it here:

    --------
    What was wrong with the alignment rules was poor writing and that is all.

    The neutral on the good/evil axis was poorly defined, and evil itself was poorly defined.

    Neutrality in good/evil meant one of two things; unaligned due to laziness (which is what it means now) or fence-sitting. Many players took this to mean "doing good or evil things on a whim is fine, so long as I don't lean heavily one way or the other. So I'll save this orphan from a fire, and then stab this hobo." This is, of course, ridiculous; no one acts that way. The more appropriate take on neutrality, is laziness which is what they went with in the new unaligned choice. They go about their days looking for the easiest path to success with the least amount of work, like 90% of people in all societies. It's the catch-all "normals" alignment. As such, I've never felt it was a good fit for heroic people and have mostly excluded it from my games as a playable alignment. Not that I'm restricting anyone's play-style, it's just that no one wants to play the guy who doesn't do stuff because it would put him and/or his loved ones in danger so it doesn't affect anyone. If players want questionable heroes, they have choices on either the good or the evil spectrum that better fit the bill than lazy, selfishness.

    The problem with evil is that the vagueness led to people playing "chaotic stupid," where they felt that it was important to stab, shoot, mug, lie to, extort, suspect, defile, and set fire to every single NPC they come across. Nobody in real life ever acts like this, why the hell would a fantasy character do it?

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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    What I'll miss most with 4e alignments:
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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    The Alignment system has never been that great. I remember some descriptions for True Neutral that had it as keeping an active balance between good an evil while eschewing both. And while this was noted as hard, it still makes no sense. Then there was True Neutral as big fat nothing. That said even if it was hard to define I think the Law vs. Chaos and Good vs. Evil dynamic underlies a lot of depth that will now be harder to create.

    Case in point: Devils versus Demons are now different how? Does D&D really want the position that Demons are somehow "worse" then Devils now? I mean wanting the annhilation of everything is all very horrible, but systematic, sustained, orderly evil is totally different but just as evil.

    While there is an argument I think for cutting down the Alignment, their choices puzzle me. Why not have LG, CG, LE, CE, and Unaligned? This preserves the best potential for conflict between characters who are otherwise on the same side with the Law versus Chaos dynamic. And I dare say there are more people out there used to playing Chaotic Good then there are Neutral Good. And nothing is more badass then Lawful Evil.

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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavin Sage View Post
    While there is an argument I think for cutting down the Alignment, their choices puzzle me. Why not have LG, CG, LE, CE, and Unaligned? This preserves the best potential for conflict between characters who are otherwise on the same side with the Law versus Chaos dynamic. And I dare say there are more people out there used to playing Chaotic Good then there are Neutral Good. And nothing is more badass then Lawful Evil.
    They pretty much have done this, though they renamed it. Neutral Good and Chaotic Good have always pretty much meant the same thing: A person who will not always follow the law of the land if their actions serve a greater good. While at the same time Lawful Evil people and Neutral Evil people have always been pretty much: I live by my code of conduct and will always put my intentions before the well being of others no matter what actions I have to do in the process.

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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    Quote Originally Posted by HeirToPendragon View Post
    They pretty much have done this, though they renamed it. Neutral Good and Chaotic Good have always pretty much meant the same thing: A person who will not always follow the law of the land if their actions serve a greater good. While at the same time Lawful Evil people and Neutral Evil people have always been pretty much: I live by my code of conduct and will always put my intentions before the well being of others no matter what actions I have to do in the process.
    That doesn't matter, though. They're still presenting Lawful Good as "more good" than regular Good, and Chaotic Evil as "more evil."
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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    It was ALWAYS presented like that

    That's why Paladins had to be Lawful good

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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    What I understood of it from the previews (still need to get the books ) is that alignment now is like this

    It was just made so people stoped whinning about how the alignment system was (insert dozens of adjectives here). Thing is, D&D is not an amoral game. As they said, the "good vs evil" is a classic theme. If you remove it from D&D, it is no longer D&D, but some generic medieval fantasy game. What they did was to simplify things.
    Unaligned just means normal people.
    If you do go around kicking puppies and setting hobos on fire, you slip to evil. If you stab every single creature and take their stuff, you'll go to chaotic evil (could use a better name, really).
    If you activelly try to be good, helping people around, protecting the innocent, etc, you are good. If you go the hero route, risking your life to save the world, etc, you are lawful good (once again, a better name would be better).
    To me, it sounds like what they got rid was the chaos/law axis. How you act (at a whim, or with carefuly crafted plans) is not so much important now. What matters is if you are good or evil.
    You can remember how parties works in 3.x. If you have a chaotic good and a lawful good character in the group, they'll argue on how to do things, but will mostly be fine. If you have a chaotic evil and a lawful evil character in a part, the same happens. But if you have an chaotic evil and a chaotic good (or other evil/good combination) characters in the party... However, I see too many people wasting hours arquing about how chaos/law works, and how should be played, when, in the end, it doesn't matter. They just cut off half the problem.
    Then there's what someone called "dissossiated mechanics". 4e is missing a chance to make the alignment system work fine with the rest of the game, that's true.

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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    Quote Originally Posted by HeirToPendragon View Post
    It was ALWAYS presented like that

    That's why Paladins had to be Lawful good
    No, it wasn't? LG wasn't inherently more Good than other Good alignments, and there wasn't anything in the rules that'd imply that. Paladins needed to be LG because they're fighting not only for good, but also to uphold the law.
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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    Quote Originally Posted by HeirToPendragon View Post
    It was ALWAYS presented like that

    That's why Paladins had to be Lawful good
    No, it wasn't. Paladins only have to be Lawful because they follow a strict code (monks have to be lawful, but they aren't necessarily more good than, say bards).

    Looking at the alignment descriptions in the SRD:
    Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion.
    ...
    Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order.
    ...
    Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit.
    It even goes into how Neutral can be more "good" than Good:
    Lawful neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you are reliable and honorable without being a zealot.
    ...
    Neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion.
    ...
    Chaotic neutral is the best alignment you can be because it represents true freedom from both society’s restrictions and a do-gooder’s zeal.
    Now for evil. Apparently, they are all "worst"; chaotic evil isn't more so:
    Lawful evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents methodical, intentional, and frequently successful evil.
    ...
    Neutral evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents pure evil without honor and without variation.
    ...
    Chaotic evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents the destruction not only of beauty and life but also of the order on which beauty and life depend.
    I don't see it "presented like that." I see a reasonable argument for each of the alignments being good or bad.
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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    Quote Originally Posted by HeirToPendragon View Post
    They pretty much have done this, though they renamed it. Neutral Good and Chaotic Good have always pretty much meant the same thing: A person who will not always follow the law of the land if their actions serve a greater good. While at the same time Lawful Evil people and Neutral Evil people have always been pretty much: I live by my code of conduct and will always put my intentions before the well being of others no matter what actions I have to do in the process.
    Except Chaotic Good could also include a fundamental distrust of order and law. Not merely objecting to tyrants but maybe even objecting to nation-states in favor of smaller local governments. Or codified honor codes, versus an emotional "in-the-moment" approach. Sure these are possible under the 4E system, but it implies a lack of respect for all possiblities.

    Where's does this alignment system allow for a Libertarian and a Socialist to have there personal disputes over how to do the most good for the most people. Or the Paladin and the Anti-Hero? When you have "Lawful Good" versus "Good" this makes those conflicts far less obvious. And Lawful Good inherently gets more respect because it is more defined and identifiable.

    Its not that its impossible but its inherently more fufilling to have the respect of being Chaotic Good as a perfectly valid path in life, not being placed in any way as inferior to Lawful Good.

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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavin Sage View Post
    Case in point: Devils versus Demons are now different how? Does D&D really want the position that Demons are somehow "worse" then Devils now? I mean wanting the annhilation of everything is all very horrible, but systematic, sustained, orderly evil is totally different but just as evil.
    Wait...you just described one HELL of a difference, but still can't figure out how they're different just because one doesn't have "lawful" in front of its alignment?

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    Default Re: 4e alignment question

    Quote Originally Posted by HeirToPendragon View Post
    They pretty much have done this, though they renamed it. Neutral Good and Chaotic Good have always pretty much meant the same thing: A person who will not always follow the law of the land if their actions serve a greater good. While at the same time Lawful Evil people and Neutral Evil people have always been pretty much: I live by my code of conduct and will always put my intentions before the well being of others no matter what actions I have to do in the process.
    Actually, I thought Ne and CE were the smiler ones. They both mean "doing whatever gets you the best stuff, without being constrained by any ethical code.
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