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#823551 26/07/22 07:33 PM
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Something I've enjoyed in RPGs is alignment.

I really enjoy when the world reacts to your alignment, and while I realize BG3 certainly accounts for past behavior, I'm not sure BG3 leverages alignment to do so.

From a UI/UX perspective, I thought KOTOR did a great job of displaying alignment. In KOTOR it wasn't just a score, but your character's appearances would also change based on behavior.

In the old Baldurs Gate games, party members would even turn on each other depending on how far the party deviated from their baseline alignment.

Hope to see this feature!

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They said explicitly at the beginning of development that they WERE planning an alignment system but dropped the idea when WoTC asked them to not put any emphasis on alignment, since it's a concept they are basically discontinuing even in tabletop/pen&paper.

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Personaly im glad that there is no Aligment Tag, game would react on ... i dont want people in middle of nowhere magicaly know about my Evil deeds. :-/


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Originally Posted by Tuco
They said explicitly at the beginning of development that they WERE planning an alignment system but dropped the idea when WoTC asked them to not put any emphasis on alignment, since it's a concept they are basically discontinuing even in tabletop/pen&paper.
God I hate the direction WOTC's been going for like... a while.


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Originally Posted by Zerubbabel
God I hate the direction WOTC's been going for like... a while.
Agreed, it appears that WOTC is determined to sabotage their best selling property.

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I never liked Alignment, at least in computer adaptations. At the very best it feels like poor’s man reputation/morality system, which has been done better in other titles.

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Originally Posted by SteinMoves
In the old Baldurs Gate games, party members would even turn on each other depending on how far the party deviated from their baseline alignment.

This is still the case in BG3. Even though there is no alignment stated in the character sheet, the companions have their own ideals and things they wouldn't do. First, they will express their dislike and eventually leave the party when you have crossed the line.

Personally, I like that there is no alignment system in BG3. I must say I would not mind at all if the alignment system would be discontinued in pen & paper. I think with the traits, ideals, bonds and flaws in 5e character creation, you can describe a character in a more differentiated/complex way, but still define if your character is, for example, helpful or selfish.

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Originally Posted by Staden
Originally Posted by Zerubbabel
God I hate the direction WOTC's been going for like... a while.
Agreed, it appears that WOTC is determined to sabotage their best selling property.
I hate to be THAT guy, but it's clear the recent changes to race and alignment are an eggshell-walking attempt at not offending certain contemporary ideologies, without considering that the race and alignment implementation had systems involved that made race and alignment feel more real in the context of a tabletop campaign, and sacrificing everything for "woke" (hate the word, have to use it) appeal makes the collaborative, systems-based storytelling less convincing. You might as well gut combat while you're at it, and say that having probability-based combat wasn't inclusive enough to people who don't like math, so now everyone just DESCRIBES what they're doing in combat and we get rid of those pesky rolls and +1s (not actually happening, but I feel it is in the same vein). WOTC could have replaced the current alignment and racial system with a more inclusive one that doesn't involve chunking the systems that made game storytelling persuasive, but there's still too much social risk involved, so might as well trash them.

Anyway, my feedback to Larian in particular: If we can't get alignment, and many roleplay options are based on tags, give us a tag-based reputation later on in the game based on our decisions. No "inherent" alignment, but we still get to define our character in certain moral/social contexts.

Last edited by Zerubbabel; 26/07/22 09:24 PM.

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it is great we get rid of dnd's alignment system, because it is bad.
Like it is really really bad, one axis is an absolute morality that is not only boring to play with but is also kinda fucked up what is considered good! And the other Axis is nonsense too! Law and Chaos are not even close to opposites, and saying "lawful means order actually" than it should be called order, since law and order aren't even that closely related.
So, either a massive overhaul what the alignment system is, or just remove it, like any other ttrpg.

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Originally Posted by Mechfried
it is great we get rid of dnd's alignment system, because it is bad.
Like it is really really bad, one axis is an absolute morality that is not only boring to play with but is also kinda fucked up what is considered good! And the other Axis is nonsense too! Law and Chaos are not even close to opposites, and saying "lawful means order actually" than it should be called order, since law and order aren't even that closely related.
So, either a massive overhaul what the alignment system is, or just remove it, like any other ttrpg.
The problem with getting rid of alignment is not that DnD's alignment system was some sort of accurate or insightful portrayal of values or morality. It is that taking away in-game systems with dynamic rules and responses to your character's nature or their decisions is a bad idea. It oversimplifies the experience of the game for the sake of accessibility and inclusivity. I couldn't give less of a shit about the bathwater being thrown out, but I'm pretty sure there was a baby in there.


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I strongly doubt D&D will get rid of alignment fully... for player characters and most sentient monsters, maybe. But their cosmology depends too much on it to remove it completely.

And yes, I like alignments as a game mechanic and will certainly continue to use them.

Last edited by Kendaric; 28/07/22 06:32 PM.
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I feel like alignment should just be a very minor thing that develops without the player even knowing.
It could have in game consequences like with dialogue options, but it should be almost insignificant, especially at the start. Like if everyone started with a hidden default alignment of True Neutral, with the actions you take affecting your alignment as you go.
What we definitely should not use are the antiquated class restrictions that alignments gave. The only one I would think would matter is the relationship with your deity if you are a Cleric, and that shouldn't be a restriction either, maybe more like if your alignment shifts too far from your deity then it triggers a quest at your campsite where you either correct your course or choose a new deity, and maybe that's something that every class could even do if we all had the option to choose a deity, Clerics would just be that much more invested because it relates to their class.

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Originally Posted by Kendaric
I strongly doubt D&D will get rid of alignment fully... for player characters and most sentient monsters, maybe. But their cosmology depends too much on it to remove it completely.

And yes, I like alignments as a game mechanic and will certainly continue to use them.
One day, one day there will be a game that attempts to adapt actual ethics and ethical philosophy into its alignment system, and I will be all for it. Giving multiple systems of values, like utilitarianism, virtue ethics, universalist hedonism, stoicism, Nietzscheanism, etc, etc. And you would have a percentage adherence to various ethical systems, and the problems presented to you wouldn't be a simple boiling down of ethical reality along a binary, but a competition between conflicting value systems. And reaching certain milestones in adhering to certain value systems would open up decisions and define your combat and gameplay experience. One day.


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Tha sounds basically like DIsco Elysium.

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Originally Posted by Tuco
Tha sounds basically like DIsco Elysium.
I get your point, but I think Disco is more political. I am talking more abstract in the quality of values which would go more in-depth as to why we behave certain ways, believe certain things, and discard certain worldviews. More meta-ethical than ethical-political.

Edit: But you very much have a point mechanics-wise. Not disagreeing, just clarifying my position.

Last edited by Zerubbabel; 28/07/22 09:05 PM.

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Disco Elysium is more absurd than political, kind of like Kafka...did I just call something Kafkaesque?

A point based system has it's merits, if the system from Pillars of Eternity was built upon you might get something really interesting, but I'm not sure it would work as well for alignment or personal philosophy, basically the same way it can get weird in Disco. If the way Disco Elysium deals with identity and politics as seriously as D&D treated alignment where on the chart does the fascist/communist/neo-liberal suicide cop go?

Actions that effect alignment shouldn't be additive they should be absolute. And if your characters actions are inconsistent to their motivations that just becomes a way you fail to live up to your own personal ethic.

I'm off to internet prison now.

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I don't trust a DM to tell me what my character's alignment is.

"You did this so you're this!" --okay, buddy, thanks for your interpretation.

That said, it's also a 'whatever' to me. If it's fun having paladins who can detect evil, let's do it.

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Originally Posted by Zerubbabel
Originally Posted by Mechfried
it is great we get rid of dnd's alignment system, because it is bad.
Like it is really really bad, one axis is an absolute morality that is not only boring to play with but is also kinda fucked up what is considered good! And the other Axis is nonsense too! Law and Chaos are not even close to opposites, and saying "lawful means order actually" than it should be called order, since law and order aren't even that closely related.
So, either a massive overhaul what the alignment system is, or just remove it, like any other ttrpg.
The problem with getting rid of alignment is not that DnD's alignment system was some sort of accurate or insightful portrayal of values or morality. It is that taking away in-game systems with dynamic rules and responses to your character's nature or their decisions is a bad idea. It oversimplifies the experience of the game for the sake of accessibility and inclusivity. I couldn't give less of a shit about the bathwater being thrown out, but I'm pretty sure there was a baby in there.

I have to disagree with you here as I feel the old alignment system itself was guilty of oversimplification, and did not help with storytelling on a deeper level. Especially in pc games where the "DM" can't ask for a motive behind your action and solely has to deem it based on set prereqs. I also feel the whole cosmology being built on Good VS Evil is, a bit childish to be honest. Truth is that, in most situations, who's good and whos evil is based on which side is telling the story.

I also agree with Mechfried about Law VS Chaotic. If I have to break a law to save someone's life, can that really be considered chaotic? Or, unorderly? Aren't there laws that can chaotic by themselves?

No, I can agree with hidden alignment systems or approvement systems in a game that will keep track on when your party member will leave you based on your actions etc but the tags and visual charts needed to go imo

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Originally Posted by PrivateRaccoon
Originally Posted by Zerubbabel
Originally Posted by Mechfried
it is great we get rid of dnd's alignment system, because it is bad.
Like it is really really bad, one axis is an absolute morality that is not only boring to play with but is also kinda fucked up what is considered good! And the other Axis is nonsense too! Law and Chaos are not even close to opposites, and saying "lawful means order actually" than it should be called order, since law and order aren't even that closely related.
So, either a massive overhaul what the alignment system is, or just remove it, like any other ttrpg.
The problem with getting rid of alignment is not that DnD's alignment system was some sort of accurate or insightful portrayal of values or morality. It is that taking away in-game systems with dynamic rules and responses to your character's nature or their decisions is a bad idea. It oversimplifies the experience of the game for the sake of accessibility and inclusivity. I couldn't give less of a shit about the bathwater being thrown out, but I'm pretty sure there was a baby in there.

I have to disagree with you here as I feel the old alignment system itself was guilty of oversimplification, and did not help with storytelling on a deeper level. Especially in pc games where the "DM" can't ask for a motive behind your action and solely has to deem it based on set prereqs. I also feel the whole cosmology being built on Good VS Evil is, a bit childish to be honest. Truth is that, in most situations, who's good and whos evil is based on which side is telling the story.

I also agree with Mechfried about Law VS Chaotic. If I have to break a law to save someone's life, can that really be considered chaotic? Or, unorderly? Aren't there laws that can chaotic by themselves?

No, I can agree with hidden alignment systems or approvement systems in a game that will keep track on when your party member will leave you based on your actions etc but the tags and visual charts needed to go imo

I fundamentally disagree with your philosophical positions, but won't get into it because I think it will derail the purpose of the thread.

Additionally, it seems that people are fixating on the actual quality of the alignment system, which is not the point of my post. I agreed with both you and Mechfried on the quality of DnD's actual, explicit moral positions when I said that, "The problem with getting rid of alignment is not that DnD's alignment system was some sort of accurate or insightful portrayal of values or morality." My complaint is that morality and social/value positioning in characterization and decision-making should adhere to a set of rules, rather than being arbitrarily imagined by the player. It's like combat: the rolls can be pesky and unreasonable, and sometimes a roll will happen that makes certain things not make sense (how could someone so powerful miss? How can you harm something in that particular way? Why can't I just describe how the things I am doing will damage the enemy?) Worlds have rules, whether we want to acknowledge them or not. And worlds with internally consistent rules are more convincing than those that leave the consistency of rules to the imagination. Sure, completely revamp alignment if you need to, but getting rid of it without a viable (and hopefully BETTER) replacement in the name of leaving morality and value-orientation/social-positioning up to roleplaying takes away from the world because you are subtracting from the depth and consistency of perceptions which are INTERNAL to the world (example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meinong%27s_jungle ). Your DM can say there is a ledge and you climb it, or you can be moving around, something like a ledge is described by the DM, and you roll to understand/climb/destroy it, sometimes in that order, with rolls for each, and specific mechanical consequences for each. And you can succeed or fail in that endeavor. Your equipment and attributes change how you perform in combat and in dialogue. To divorce the roleplaying aspect of the game from the systems-based aspect of the game is a mistake. Otherwise you could just sit in a circle with a group of friends and play make-believe, forgetting the dice entirely. The systems underlying an RPG are what make it convincing outside of just being told a collaborative story.

So yes, the DnD alignment system is deeply flawed. That does not mean there should not be rules for morality, social positioning, and values that interface with the PC at the level of gameplay, beyond just pure roleplaying.

Edit: DnD's explicit alignment system is the bathwater. Internally consistent rules and dynamic responses for morals/socials/values at the level of gameplay beyond pure PC imagination or roleplaying is the baby.

Last edited by Zerubbabel; 28/07/22 10:45 PM.

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Originally Posted by Dagdraumur
I feel like alignment should just be a very minor thing that develops without the player even knowing.
It could have in game consequences like with dialogue options, but it should be almost insignificant, especially at the start. Like if everyone started with a hidden default alignment of True Neutral, with the actions you take affecting your alignment as you go.
What we definitely should not use are the antiquated class restrictions that alignments gave. The only one I would think would matter is the relationship with your deity if you are a Cleric, and that shouldn't be a restriction either, maybe more like if your alignment shifts too far from your deity then it triggers a quest at your campsite where you either correct your course or choose a new deity, and maybe that's something that every class could even do if we all had the option to choose a deity, Clerics would just be that much more invested because it relates to their class.

Pretty sure I've spoken at length about alignment on here before, but I am happier with Wizards pushing alignment from a mechanical system to a roleplaying system. I know that my experiences playing D&D are not universal, but I have lost count of the number of times I have seen the alignment system abused or misused as a stand in for actual role-playing. Eg: "It's what my character would do because *insert overly simple explanation of alignment*, or a Paladin who uses the claim of "but I'm lawful good" when their party accuses them of being a terrible person, because they've been acting like terrible person. Ever see a grown adult just about throw a tantrum because their DM told them to change their alignment from chaotic good to chaotic neutral? People getting too attached to specific alignments without actually thinking about how their behavior affects said alignment. Actions inform alignment, not the other way around.

Alignment should be something you think about when choosing your background, as part of what makes up your character's motivations, ideals, and flaws, not a series of hard mechanical rules (at least, not for players characters). I consider the motivations, ideals, and flaws from the background to be part of crafting my character's morality, their alignment.

As for Clerics, it's an odd case. Alignment *is* a series of hard mechanical rules for deities, and other planar creatures. It's part of their fundamental beings, and if they change their alignment, then they change what they are. Even in their revisions of alignment, Wizards kept this intact, and they don't seem willing to rewrite their cosmogony entirely. Clerics are still attached to deities, and probably always will be, so there is an argument to be made for a Cleric staying close to their deities morals, their alignment. This is how it worked in 3.xe actually, your personal alignment couldn't be more than one position removed from that of your deity, and while I'm not a fan of the hard alignment mechanics, I also don't think Clerics should be able to get away with acting against their deities' values and tenants without some kind of consequence.

EDIT: I forgot to talk about alignment as a video game mechanic. my bad. So it really depends on the game, because sometimes your alignment is a fixed value that offers specific actions in game, and sometimes it's a flexible value that can change as you take specific actions in game. I prefer it as a flexible value, but video-games are usually more limited in what options you are able to take, which don't always fit well with the alignment you've made for your character.

Take Neverwinter Nights 2: you will always become Knight Captain, regardless of your choices or alignment. Even if you are the most selfishly evil bastard who cares only about themselves and not the wellbeing of the city-state of Neverwinter. This is a limitation of the format (and exacerbated by the fact that the game had initially planned to have more options for non-good characters, but they got cut). Usually alignment in video games is something that I work around, not with.

Last edited by Piff; 29/07/22 01:00 AM.
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