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Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664823
23/03/20 04:02 PM
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Sordak Offline
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No it isnt one dimensional.
Theres already humans.
you already have the moral dilemma with humans.
If all fantasy races are like Humans, it doenst make it more deep, it just takes away one more thing in the world.

If you make drow into Humans, then you sitll have demons who are, by definition in any mythology, evil and killing them is of absoluteley no consequence.
Does that mean only creatures that do not have offspring are evil?
Do you not realize that this takes AWAY the dilemma of killing the goblin children?
this takes away a factor in the worldbuilding and in the moral dilemma of a lawfull good paladin.

>Arguing about it
tbh this is why i like to codify it.
A lot of old fantasy writers were christians and thus their worlds had a christian world view.
So it was very easy to say what is and isnt good or evil since big religions tend to have very clear instructions (well, christianity does contradict itself more than other major religions do,btu you get the point)

likewise, if you define what consittues good or evil, within the boundries of your setting, then you have a set of rules to follow.
And THEN your players might say "But i think killing goblin kids is bad"
and then you got drama, Because god disagrees wtih you.

that stuff is great roleplaying if you ask me. better than morally grey "I can do whatever i want"

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664824
23/03/20 04:08 PM
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What is their motivation? Oh they are evil because they are born this way and magic. For me it's incredibly shallow, it's laughable. Like can you make their motivations more shallow than that? Like they are just evil probably, without magic?
We won't agree on this, I am done, good luck.

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664830
23/03/20 05:23 PM
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"i dont like it".
Ok.

ivehad this debate many times before and it seems like people dont want a fantasy setting.
They want some game of thrones larp setting where everyone is a human.
In that case, why even bother with fantasy.

Why not get into historical reenactment? youre not getting any closer to it that way.

And of course your analysis is getting it wrong.
Your NATURE is not your MOTIVATION.
Your nature DRIVES your motivation.

With the drow, they are evil, in the sense of beeing selfish and ruthless.
This drives them to be scheming, power grubbing and distrustfull. It drive stheir schemes to amass wealth and influence, but beyond any reasonable moral expectaiton.
you get villains like this from Humans.
btu you dont get an entire society completley devoid of any sense of altruism.

The drow are hillarious because of how dysfuncitonal they are. You cannot portray this kind of ludicrous clown car of a society with humans.

If you did, it would seem to be downright insultign towards whatever ethnicity you portray them as.
The drow are a society that only works because of stringent ules and divine meddling, specifically because everyone in it, while having different goals, is trying to achieve those without any regard of one another.

How do you portray that without the caveat of them beeing evil?

Having the same "Local lord Gudmund wants to own the mill of Local Lord Godfrey and also his wife cheated on him with Local Prince Goderic and now there is war" just doesnt do it for me.
i enjoy myhtology.
Human struggles are a good backdrop, but if they become the entierty of the story, then why the fuck am i playing a video game.
Why am i not at work, struggling, humanly.

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Sordak] #664833
23/03/20 06:57 PM
23/03/20 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Sordak

ivehad this debate many times before and it seems like people dont want a fantasy setting.
They want some game of thrones larp setting where everyone is a human.
In that case, why even bother with fantasy.
[...]
Human struggles are a good backdrop, but if they become the entierty of the story, then why the fuck am i playing a video game.
Why am i not at work, struggling, humanly.

I agree that fantasy allows the entire race to be good or evil (though far more interesting when it is MOST of X race is Y alignment and not ALL of them). If this were the case, Drizzt, Jarlaxle, and Zaknafain would not have been written. They are only interesting because they are deviated from their race's normal identity.

Saying that your character in a roleplaying game has to figure out their moral code while the world around them has a predetermined moral code is not the same as saying that "everyone is a human."

I also disagree that there needs to be a super strict guideline of alignment upheld for characters. I think that it is enough to answer the question "are the actions I choose to take accepted by the strict alignments of my party and the society I am in?"

Edit: Even this has some problems if implemented poorly. I think BG1/2 did this a lackluster service with Reputation. There were too many small things that could raise your Reputation with too few options to lower it a small amount.

Last edited by Xvim; 23/03/20 07:16 PM.
Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664836
23/03/20 07:11 PM
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There are a lot of good arguments for both sides in this thread.

In my view in a tabletop setting you have your DM so ignoring alignment is easy and they can just tell you if your paladin screwed up too much and has fallen or if massacring that kobold tribe was for the greater good to protect the town and thus a good act or if it was just killing for killings sake and evil. This being a video game we don't have that luxury. We are going to have a list of specific dialog options to choose from rather than being able to say or do whatever we can think of.

While I am for having alignment I understand why people wouldn't want it. I remember playing Pathfinder Kingmaker (A great game) and having issues stuggling to stay Lawful Good, having to pick dialog options I didn't want to in order to keep my alignment. Thats not good. I also don't think alignment should be a restriction to your actions, but rather a general representation of you behavior. Let evil characters do good things that move them towards being good and let good characters do evil things that cause them to become evil but never say "Your character can't do such and such because they are good/neutral/evil". This results in a lot of chaotic neutral charcters that do things just because.

How I would work it is having something like an "intent" setting as something you select or possible tied to your class or personalality traits, ideals, bonds or flaws (which are all part of making a character in 5th ed). This way you could keep all the dialog options the same for the most part but be able to assign a different point value to your choices depending on your "intent" setting or other circumstances. So for example an Oath of the Ancients Paladin might go 3 points towards evil for massacring a tribe as its tenants align with mercy and forgiveness where as an Oath of Vengeance Palading might not change at all because one of their tenants is fight the greater evil.

Unfortunately nothing is going to be perfect with the lack of a DM but I can't think of a better way mechanically to implement stuff like a paladin falling or a hero giving in becomming corrupted by the promise of power or a cutthroat brigand redeeming himself and becoming part of the good fight. I also understand with this being so complicated why they would choose to omit alignment altogether and I wouldn't hold it against them (Even if its WotC decision or not). I think if it was done right it could add a lot though.

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664838
23/03/20 07:14 PM
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I agree with Xvim.
Its makes sense to say: "Most members of race x are good/evil/lawful/chaotic because the society they live in is as it is and this is considered good or evil by most other races or even themselves.
While alignment absolutely exists in the DnD universe. In this context it makes sense to say god x IS lawful good, he is not just a creature that many others consider nice. But I have never seen a good definition what is considered good or evil.
So while it is true saying: Character xyz IS chaotic neutral, its up to the player to interpret what this means.

honestly, some systems are good because its great to make fun of them.
PST was a great game, partly because it turned many fantasy "laws" upside down.
Hallo nice demons, evil angels, chatty skelletons and powerful rats.

Larian is known for a dark setting combined with insane humor.
A running gag in several games were talking skelletons that fall apart when you convince them that something like a talking skelleton cannot exist.
Maybe we meet a chaotic evil demon with a very strange opinion what chaotic evil means.


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Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Madscientist] #664839
23/03/20 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Madscientist

So while it is true saying: Character xyz IS chaotic neutral, its up to the player to interpret what this means.

D&D games almost always ignore the Law and Chaos axis as well. They only focus on Good vs Evil.
I will give credit to Pathfinder: Kingmaker for that, however they didn't split them, so you were forced to choose opposing options. I'm glad to see that will be changed with Wrath of the Righteous.

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Madscientist] #664840
23/03/20 07:54 PM
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Tyr2000 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Madscientist
I agree with Xvim.
Its makes sense to say: "Most members of race x are good/evil/lawful/chaotic because the society they live in is as it is and this is considered good or evil by most other races or even themselves.
While alignment absolutely exists in the DnD universe. In this context it makes sense to say god x IS lawful good, he is not just a creature that many others consider nice. But I have never seen a good definition what is considered good or evil.
So while it is true saying: Character xyz IS chaotic neutral, its up to the player to interpret what this means.

honestly, some systems are good because its great to make fun of them.
PST was a great game, partly because it turned many fantasy "laws" upside down.
Hallo nice demons, evil angels, chatty skelletons and powerful rats.

Larian is known for a dark setting combined with insane humor.
A running gag in several games were talking skelletons that fall apart when you convince them that something like a talking skelleton cannot exist.
Maybe we meet a chaotic evil demon with a very strange opinion what chaotic evil means.


I agree for the most part. Planescape Torment is my favorite story in a game and its themes of good, evil, law, chaos and the reprecussions of going against one's nature. I remember Fall-from-Grace and Nordom and how it explored how these beings that had their alignment intrinsic to their existence were tormented for going against their nature. I played Torment at an impressionable age at it absolutely stuck with me.

I am a huge Larian fan and am ecstatic they got the BG license, but DoS's story wasn't exactly its strong point. There were definitely good ideas (Like dwarves "burying" their dead up on tall platforms. I think that was a clever lore idea) but were I could give a pretty good synopsis of the story of The BG series I would struggle to do the same for the Divinity series. Although in fairness I was much younger when I played BG and things seem to have much more of an impact when you experience them younger and look back. BG dosen't hold a candle up to Torment in my mind however.

I guess I just find exploring the good/evil law/chaos themes compelling but its a matter of personal taste. The last game thats story really gripped me was Disco Elysium and I think I read somewhere that Larian reached out to them for imput so I am hopeful that we get a compelling story in BG3.

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664842
23/03/20 08:21 PM
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@7:00 You have it backward it was Larian who gave Disco Elysium input.


Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664843
23/03/20 08:36 PM
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Xvim:
Wether or not Morality truly is set in stone or up to local custom is obviously up to the DM or the Published material.
Hving your own moral code NOT be good tho, which is what i meant when i said it isnt moral relativism, is quite interresting.
Coming to terms with that, or to express yourself as a fantasy villain.
You might actually go a bit biblical with this, especialy when it comes to freedom and authority in the face of gods. The NWN2 xpac comes to mind.

as for "some might be not evil": i think the important bit about this, and about makign a character like this, is that NOT beeing evil is a voluntary act.
Actually a struggle in itself. To defy ones own nature.

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Nobody_Special] #664845
23/03/20 08:42 PM
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Tyr2000 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Nobody_Special
@7:00 You have it backward it was Larian who gave Disco Elysium input.



You are correct!

I was mislead by reading a reddit thread that stated the opposite. Serves me right for not checking myself. Thank you for correcting me.

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664846
23/03/20 10:17 PM
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Most evil people are perfectly convinced, that they are good. smile

I think it is okay, that people does not have alignment, I always found, that the alignment system in BG does not make sense, in many cases, at the end you only do what you want..

Unless you have a whole system organized, that changes your alignment, like in planescape torment. If you act evil your alignment changes to evil, if you make jokes, your alignment changes to chaotic,
but I think that would be overkill to implement.

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Madscientist] #664858
24/03/20 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Madscientist
I agree with Xvim.
Its makes sense to say: "Most members of race x are good/evil/lawful/chaotic because the society they live in is as it is and this is considered good or evil by most other races or even themselves.


You can go into debate on what is good or evil, or nature vs nurture, but it is irrelevant.
One mans hero is another mans monster and all that jazz. Personally, instead of some global, universal good/evil, I look at it more localized. Good for WHOM? Bad from WHOM?

Since it's fantasy, I'm fine with races being FULLY, 100% good/evil. Which is odd, since I'm usually all for moral greyness and I'm not fond of restrictions - honestly I prefer classless, aligment-less solutions.
But the trope of "evil race X, but you have a companion from that race that is good" is one of my most hated tropes.


Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Sordak] #664859
24/03/20 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Sordak

that stuff is great roleplaying if you ask me. better than morally grey "I can do whatever i want"


Grey morality doesn't mean "doing whatever one wants". You can do whatever you want in regular D&D too.
It means things aren't clear cut. There isn't a 100%, god-approved, sealed and stamped in triplicate modus operandi.

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664862
24/03/20 10:07 AM
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Moral relativism is well and good in reality, but in the fantasy setting that it´s D&D the alignments are different, more than a moral choice they are also a law of nature, like physics or gravity. I mean, you can cast spells that target specifically one alignment.
In real life you cannot launch a missile that only blast alt-right people, communists, unfaithful husbands or law-abiding people and let the others unharmed; in D&D you can. So more than a thing that can change overnight it´s more durable, because changing alignment is a big deal in a world where "detect evil", protection from chaos or "holy word" exist. Not exactly set in stone, but less fluid than how in reality it could be.

I do not think it can relate.

Last edited by _Vic_; 24/03/20 10:09 AM.
Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664879
24/03/20 01:08 PM
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Alignment as explained by WotC Mike Mearls interview with DnDBeyond Todd Kendrick


Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: TadasGa] #664883
24/03/20 01:30 PM
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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.

I really like Larians stance on this one.


Actually in Game of Thrones the only characters who I didn't concider bad were John Snow, The little guy I forget, and the poor Courtesan who Jaffery murdered with a crossbow. The rest were shades of vile and I stopped watching when I realized I was starting to root for the White Walkers.

Last edited by Omegaphallic; 24/03/20 01:30 PM.
Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664884
24/03/20 01:32 PM
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That said, I don't remember the name of the call girl but I did find that scene particularly disturbing even with so much competition for graphic unpleasantness.


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Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664886
24/03/20 01:48 PM
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I think the alignment system is brilliant, and one of the core tenets of DnD. It would be a shame if it wasn't in the game. This COULD be the first Baldur's Gate game that does evil alignments right... Evil is self-serving, not outlandishly vile. Amusingly, I think many people actually play evil characters in games, who only wrongly believe themselves to be good. It's all about the rewards, rather than doing the right thing. If you could get an extra stat point by killing a random villager, most players would go for it in a heartbeat.

The problem is just that, almost always (certainly in both the Baldur's Gate games), doing the good thing also gives the best results, so there is no point in doing anything morally questionable. No (sane) evil character would do it!

Re: Please implement alignment in some form. [Re: Tyr2000] #664897
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First of all, thanks for the video from the DnD makers.

After some thinking I came to this conclusion:
Alignment is a good idea in theory, but there will be problems when you apply it to characters.
- If you have realistic or complex characters it is often very hard to put an alignment on them. A crazy psycho killer can be nice to his friends and family. A law and order fanatic can have some crazy hobbies. Many people (both in reality and games or movies) are quite inconsistent. Sometimes they act one way and sometimes completely different.
- It is possible to make a character that has a specific alignment and is believable, but its not easy. If you put any alignment to the extreme the result can be quite ridiculous. Its good for some chars, but you don´t want all of them that way.

I have the feeling that sometimes JRPGs are better in presenting archetypical characters for an alignment than DnD does.
Being completely nuts seems to be the minimum requirement to be a villain in such games. some examples:

Trails of cold Steel: Being chaotic evil without eating babies or randomly killing everyone just because
A person stands in a beautiful landscape. He is plotting to start a war. He says something like: "Soon this place will be consumed by the flames of war. I hope I can watch and enjoy this spectacle because the highest form of beauty is the destruction of beauty."


Virgo vs the Zodiac: I think that counts as lawful evil without having contracts to sell your soul
The main char is like this:
- She calls herself holy queen and servant of purity.
- She is on a sacred mission to restore order and bring back a golden age.
- Everyone with a different opinion is a heretic who needs to be purged with steel and fire. It is obvious that she is right, everyone else is wrong and without the right leader (of course herself) everything will be a complete mess.
- She cooperates with everyone (including psycho killers) and commits lots of crimes for the mission, but she would kill everyone, including companions, if they stand between her and the mission.
- She may feel bad about it, but her sacred mission comes before everything else, including her own feelings or the life of any other creature,


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