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Please implement alignment in some form. #664773
23/03/20 01:49 AM
23/03/20 01:49 AM
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Tyr2000 Offline OP
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I know this wasn't Larian's decision but I believe omitting alignment altogether would be a mistake. WoTC seems to have had it out for alignment since 4th ed where there was a great deal of backlash and criticism to the changes they made and they eventually backtracked, restoring the original axis. I am fine with it being downplayed but how would spells like detect alignment, protection from evil, and alignment restricted items work?

I think the argument for removing it is that not having alignment is somehow more realistic and allows more player freedom. My response to this is that in the real world good and evil are just social contructs but in a fantasy world, particularly the Forgotten Realms, they are real tangible, quantifiable forces. Fantasy evil isn't the same as real world evil. Of course, like everything else there are exceptions and good storytelling should always takes precedence over rules.

In short I believe the alignment axis is an important part of the game mechanically and lore wise and should be kept

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664774
23/03/20 01:52 AM
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Umm..I've only had 1 5E character so far, but from what I learned, ALignment is almost not a thing in 5E.
It's not Larian removing it, it's WoTC removing it, and Larian is not going to add it if it's not in the 5E rules, I don't think.

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664775
23/03/20 01:56 AM
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I hope this helps.

Quote
Q: The variety of alignments in Baldur's Gate I & II allowed for many interesting party compositions and conflicts (for example, Edwin becomes openly hostile towards some companions and will straight up start a physical fight with them or refuse to be in the same group as them due to his Lawful Evil alignment). It's been said there won't be an alignment system on Baldur's Gate 3 as it's no longer relevant to 5e, but will we still get to have openly evil/selfish party members that actively support "evil" actions and might leave the group if you play in a more heroic fashion, or will all party members have a more neutral/good behavior?

Jan: Alignment may carry less weight in 5th edition, but all companions definitely have their own moral compass. Some are fine with evil and underhanded deeds, others are not - and they’ll be vocal about their approval or opposition to the decisions that you make. It’s absolutely possible to take actions that cross the line for someone and he or she will leave the party, or even decide to attack you.

From a player perspective, there’s the freedom to play the game in any which way you want from an alignment perspective. In dialogs, there are plenty of choices to be made, from heroically good to patently evil and the different shades in between. Added to that, there are unique options to be had from a player race or class point of view that fit within the good/neutral/evil perspective. As you would expect, a drow will get different options compared to a Paladin of Tyr for instance. For sure, the world will react to your actions, and the choices you make, since these will in some way define you. For example, Astarion is a vampire spawn and when you play him, you can try and hide this from the party. But if they find out -because, well, you might try to bite them as they sleep- they will obviously be shocked and unless you manage to handle the situation with the necessary tact and diplomacy, you may just find you’re left behind companionless.



AMA answer compilation

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Stabbey] #664776
23/03/20 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Stabbey
I hope this helps.

Quote
Q: The variety of alignments in Baldur's Gate I & II allowed for many interesting party compositions and conflicts (for example, Edwin becomes openly hostile towards some companions and will straight up start a physical fight with them or refuse to be in the same group as them due to his Lawful Evil alignment). It's been said there won't be an alignment system on Baldur's Gate 3 as it's no longer relevant to 5e, but will we still get to have openly evil/selfish party members that actively support "evil" actions and might leave the group if you play in a more heroic fashion, or will all party members have a more neutral/good behavior?

Jan: Alignment may carry less weight in 5th edition, but all companions definitely have their own moral compass. Some are fine with evil and underhanded deeds, others are not - and they’ll be vocal about their approval or opposition to the decisions that you make. It’s absolutely possible to take actions that cross the line for someone and he or she will leave the party, or even decide to attack you.

From a player perspective, there’s the freedom to play the game in any which way you want from an alignment perspective. In dialogs, there are plenty of choices to be made, from heroically good to patently evil and the different shades in between. Added to that, there are unique options to be had from a player race or class point of view that fit within the good/neutral/evil perspective. As you would expect, a drow will get different options compared to a Paladin of Tyr for instance. For sure, the world will react to your actions, and the choices you make, since these will in some way define you. For example, Astarion is a vampire spawn and when you play him, you can try and hide this from the party. But if they find out -because, well, you might try to bite them as they sleep- they will obviously be shocked and unless you manage to handle the situation with the necessary tact and diplomacy, you may just find you’re left behind companionless.



AMA answer compilation


I stand corrected smile

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664781
23/03/20 02:18 AM
23/03/20 02:18 AM
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Wizards didn't tell them to take alignment out of the game. They told them to tone it down because 5e didn't emphasize alignment like the previous editions used to.


@1:45:15



Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664787
23/03/20 03:19 AM
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Its taken me years to admit this, but alignment sucks and it actuallly handycaps the story telling, its too rigid, and most don't know gow to RP it well. So I'm okay if they leave it out.

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Omegaphallic] #664788
23/03/20 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Omegaphallic
Its taken me years to admit this, but alignment sucks and it actuallly handycaps the story telling, its too rigid, and most don't know gow to RP it well. So I'm okay if they leave it out.

I have mixed feelings on the alignment system like you have said it is rarely done well but a part of my also want them to keep the alignment system but really this is not up to Larian to do so if things go wrong we can blame Wizards for telling Larian to keep the alignment system out of Baldur's Gate 3


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Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664792
23/03/20 05:26 AM
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TadasGa Offline
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I really dislike alignment system - it makes characters so one dimensional. Being evil for the sake of being evil and reveling in "evilness" is such a played out trope (in reality chaotic evil most likely to play out as murder hobo and lawful good plays out as lawful stupid). I much prefer game of thrones type of morality - no one is really that bad, no one is really that good, they all have different conflicting goals and seek them in variety of means.

I really like Larians stance on this one.

Last edited by TadasGa; 23/03/20 05:40 AM.
Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: TadasGa] #664793
23/03/20 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by TadasGa
I really dislike alignment system - it makes characters so one dimensional. Being evil for the sake of being evil and reveling in "evilness" is such a played out trope (in reality chaotic evil most likely to play out as murder hobo and lawful good plays out as lawful stupid). I much prefer game of thrones type of morality - no one is really that bad, no one is really that good, they all have different conflicting goals and seek them in variety of means.

The problem with that is DND started with alignment system when there was creating DND and pretty much every plane monsters deities and npcs have alignments I mean the whole reason why demons and devils are at war is because of there behaver if you take out the alignment system in DND you are going to have a hard time trying to explain why demons and devils don't work together to take on the higher planes in a great war


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Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664794
23/03/20 05:51 AM
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TadasGa Offline
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I am only vaguely familiar with DnD lore, most of it trough osmosis trough games. I've read the dark elf trilogy, but tbh writing felt very shallow just rushing from one plot point to another to show off how cool Drizzt is and it kind of put me off to wanting to read more. I don't know, maybe dnd writers wrote themselves into the corner with whole alignment system, but do we really need to double down on a mistake or maybe we can admit it, learn from it and try writing multidimensional characters with depth?

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: TadasGa] #664795
23/03/20 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by TadasGa
I am only vaguely familiar with DnD lore, most of it trough osmosis trough games. I've read the dark elf trilogy, but tbh writing felt very shallow just rushing from one plot point to another to show off how cool Drizzt is and it kind of put me off to wanting to read more. I don't know, maybe dnd writers wrote themselves into the corner with whole alignment system, but do we really need to double down on a mistake or maybe we can admit it, learn from it and try writing multidimensional characters with depth?

The dark elf trilogy books are really bad if you want lore on the drow you are better off with the war of the spider queen books there do a way better job on the drow and has way more depth than Drizzt books


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Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664798
23/03/20 07:16 AM
23/03/20 07:16 AM
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>Alignment is bad for storytelling
wrong.
RPG stands for role playing game. Its about playing a role in the world, alighment helps to cement that role.
In a fantasy world, morality is absolute.
In my opinion people that disregard the moraltiy axis are a detriment to the game.

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Sordak] #664799
23/03/20 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Sordak
>RPG stands for role playing game. Its about playing a role in the world, alighment helps to cement that role.


Only if you play one dimensional character, if you would like character have more depth it's a detriment.
Edit: also lack of alignment doesn't prevent you playing a single minded character.


Originally Posted by Sordak
>In a fantasy world, morality is absolute.


That's not a rule, there is huge number of fantasy worlds with a more realistic version of morality, for example - game of thrones. Fantasy world having black/white type of morality usually speaks to the lack of skill and imagination of the writer, not some kind of limitation of fantasy genre.

Last edited by TadasGa; 23/03/20 08:11 AM.
Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664801
23/03/20 09:09 AM
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Sordak Offline
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Moral relativism isnt a character trait and not stickign to an alignment istn depth.
its the opposit of depth. it means your character has no principles. a character with no principles cannot have their principles challenged.
What you are saying is a very popular, but undercooked idea in roleplaying. it has come with the rise of 5 and Critical role and it doesnt understand the point of a roleplaying game.

What you discribe is the Moral equivalent of a Classless system. What it sounds like is that its a system that allows you to play outside of rigid forms and make your own character.
What it ends up beeing is a System wehre your character has no identity at all.

In my expirience only the most rigid class systems lets players act as a team.
Likewise, stringend rules of morality let players actually tackle moral issues.

Very few people are as good roleplayers that they can method act to the point of fully understanding the consequences of their actions in the world.
And even fewer players can suspend their disbelief so much that they feel actual empathy for fictional entities.
And even if one would be able to do that, its a game, not Improv theatre.
rules exist for a reason, because they need to be played out.

A paladin should have a strict code of laws that he must adhere to.


>Muh black and white moraltiy bad
Moral relativism is the most lazy writing possible and ironically Game of Thrones features some of the most stringend characters when it comesot their convitions, for every Cersei, theres a Stannis, who ends up with his convitions challenged.
The "morally gray" characters in game of thrones arent actually gry.
They are chaotic evil. At least if you go by Gygax definition of it (which isnt "i eat babies")

The idea that DnD Morality somehow means one dimensional cardboard characters is a meme perpetuated by people who havent an actual understanding of why Systems exist in a roleplaying game, and what the morality axis means to represent.
Thus comes the idea that a Lawfull good character is somehow less deep and basiclaly a rules lawyer, or that a Chaotic Evil character would constantly eat babies, kick the dog or kills NPCs.
Gygax for example talks about a Chaotic Evil character sparing evil NPCs and employing them, doing evil for the sake of a higher goal.
meanwhile a lawfull good character would execute them to prevent them from fallign to evil again.



TL;DR: You dont know what youre talking about.
Get off your high horse.

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Sordak] #664804
23/03/20 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Sordak
Moral relativism isnt a character trait and not stickign to an alignment istn depth.


The reverse is also true.

Aligments aren't that bad in tabeltop, where you can discuss your reasoning for an action with the DM. But in a CRPG, the game cannot take any of that into account. This is especially true for classes like Paladins, who tend to fall unless they act like the most extreme Lawful Stupid 100% of the time.
Then there's also the subjective aspect of interpreting rules and what "Lawfull Good" means and how someone like that SHOULD act... and you end up with a clusterf****.

Furthermore, aligments are unnecessarily restrictive. That is largely due to people not understanding them and thinking they MUST act in a specific way, rather than it being a preference, a tendency, a goal.

And thirdly, humans are complex creatures. I don't mind some monsters/races being evil/good by nature, but I do mind humans being so stiff.


Lastly, I'll say your experience is lacking. Class systems being a requirement for teamwork is bollocks. In fact, I tend to like class-based systems lass and less, because of how rigid and bloated they end up being. D&D is actually a great example with so many classes, subclases, prestige classes with overlaps, silly abiltiies/power and brainless restrictions.

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Sordak] #664807
23/03/20 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Sordak
>Alignment is bad for storytelling
wrong.
RPG stands for role playing game. Its about playing a role in the world, alighment helps to cement that role.
In a fantasy world, morality is absolute.
In my opinion people that disregard the moraltiy axis are a detriment to the game.



Did you know that there have been thousands of stories written where characters have a moral code and a role, without the entire framework of the universe bending to put a box around every single character? That's called "character". The box isn't needed to have characters which have a moral code (or lack thereof).

Worse yet are frameworks which put the box around every single race/species, so that an infant of that species, too young to have much of a mind of its own, is considered to be inside a box just for being a member of that species, so that Drow baby is Evil without having actually done anything.

The point of alignment in D&D is not to lock players in and say "You can't do this thing because that act is 3 points too chaotic for you", it's a framework to help players build their characters identity and keep it consistent. If they do not, that shifts their alignment. Alignment change is a thing in the game which can happen, so your "moral relativism" is already built in.

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664809
23/03/20 11:42 AM
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Sordak Offline
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i am not lacking expirience, ive seen it happen.
you can recommend people GURPS all day long, youll end up with number crunching one man army characters in the vein of pathfinder or youll end up with gimmicks.

Restrictions breed creativity. Too much freedom ends up with everything beeing just the same.
Ive seen it happen. the most fun ive had in any system is when players have restrictive roles and clear parts to play.

And honestly, yes. characters SHOULD act in certain ways.
Thats where the dilemma part comes on.
Beeing good should be hard.
beeing good should be playing the game on hardmode. Beeing lawfull good doubly so, no bending the rules because its convenient.
I think Pathfinder Kingmaker actually does this exactly right.

Moral relativism is boring.
Any culture in the real world has rules on one hand and virtues on the other.
Thigns you ought and things you ought not to do.

Especialy in a setting like DnD where there literaly are Aspect outer planes for those concepts, it would be ridiculous not to consider what is right and what is wrong, even if the players, with a modern framework, might not agree.

Stabbey: And thats how especialy the Law / Chaos axis works anyway.
Its a framewor a character agrees to.
>Moral relativism is inbuilt
you just discribed the opposit.
Changing your alignment isnt moral relativism. Doing morally reprehensible things and justifying them for yourself and not getting an alignment change would be moral relativism.
Saying "But its good because".
>killing drow children
Goblin slayer has been quoted so much that its basically another kind of cringe, but realy the show isnt wrong.
Kill the goblin babies.
Not because goblins are "always chaotic evil", DnD hasnt done that for a while (besides demons obviously), they are mostly chaotic evil.
but mostly, they are goblins. Goblins do goblin things, having less goblins is generaly a pretty good thing for any Human.
Drow are another case entierly, they are a magical race created from a divine curse, nowhere else is it more justifiable.
a drow isnt nurtured by society to be Evil alone. They start Evil due to their nature, and their society makes em worse.
A Drow needs to consciously make the descision to be good.

Now, you could say you can try to raise the drow children to be good.
but for a high level Paladin whose raiding a drow city, killing the drow kids is probably the more practicable appraoch.
Gygax would certainly agree that this is within the bounds of the alignment restriction.
Now if you DM the game , you can decide that this is evil and the paladin needs to take another action.

Just because "Evil" exists doesnt mean that Good character can kill the evil creatures withotu reproach, well, in modern DnD it doesnt apepar to be the case, in the olden days it certainly was.

This makes me think of the newest Dark Sun supplement we got, which discribes Slavery as beeing incompatible of a Good alignment, even enslavement of evil creatures. But it also isnt an inherently evil act in Athas so most slave owning characters are neutral.


To Summarize, id say alignment adds far more nuance than it takes away.
So do character classes to circle back to classes.

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664811
23/03/20 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyr2000
I am fine with it being downplayed but how would spells like detect alignment, protection from evil, and alignment restricted items work?


I don't think Detect Alignment is a spell anymore.

Protection from Evil has been changed to "Protection from Evil and Good" and grants its bonuses vs aberrations, celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead.

Alignment restricted items seem rare, but do exist. For example, a Talisman of Pure Good states "A creature that is neither good nor evil in Alignment takes 6d6 radiant damage upon touching the talisman. An evil creature takes 8d6 radiant damage upon touching the talisman."

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664812
23/03/20 12:26 PM
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> the most fun ive had in any system is when players have restrictive roles and clear parts to play.

I think ultimately it's just us trying to justify our emotions. You have your fun doing that way, for me it's the opposite. For me alignments destroy choice, you make one choice at char selection screen and then stick to it trough the game. There is no real conflict, your solutions have been decided when you made char.

Edit:

Originally Posted by Sordak
>killing drow children
Goblin slayer has been quoted so much that its basically another kind of cringe, but realy the show isnt wrong.
Kill the goblin babies.
Not because goblins are "always chaotic evil", DnD hasnt done that for a while (besides demons obviously), they are mostly chaotic evil.
but mostly, they are goblins. Goblins do goblin things, having less goblins is generaly a pretty good thing for any Human.
Drow are another case entierly, they are a magical race created from a divine curse, nowhere else is it more justifiable.
a drow isnt nurtured by society to be Evil alone. They start Evil due to their nature, and their society makes em worse.
A Drow needs to consciously make the descision to be good.

.


But this is exactly my point - everything you are decribing is so 1 dimensional and shallow and is exactly as a consequence of alignment system.

Last edited by TadasGa; 23/03/20 12:46 PM.
Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664817
23/03/20 01:41 PM
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I have not played a DnD 5E game so far, but I like what I see.
Alignment is there, so you can see if your actions are considered good/evil/lawful/chaotic by the game world, but you are not forced to act in a specific way.

I also think this is mostly a problem of computer games.
In PnP you can discuss why you consider an action good or evil.
The computer gives you options a,b and c and tells you a is good, b is evil and c is chaotic.
Sometimes this can produce problems:
- In PK some players complained that their paladin sometimes had to select lawful evil options in order to remain lawful, because selecting a good answer would move you towards neutral good.
I suggested to seperate both axes, so some options influence only the good/evil axis, some options influence only the law/chaos axis and an option influences both only if it absolutely fits to a specific alignment.
- Some players will complain why a specific option is considered good or bad.

I think it is good when players argue if an option is good or evil because it means they actually care about the stuff that happens.
Its just that computer games are not designed to create a philosophic discussion, they simply give you a limited amount of options to chose from.
The options are limited because everything that could happen has to be programmed by someone.


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