The search continues…

I come across a piece like this and it piques my interest. A dynamic framework for conceptualizing a character’s thoughts that helps to inform their actions? Yes, please. The writer in me wants more.

Then I check the links and see who we’re referencing…

And a little part of me dies inside.

To summarize the concept: instead of having a single alignment that the player uses to dictate ~ I mean, impede ~ I mean, limit…

Okay, so providing a summary of an obviously restrictive set of rules ~ that has no positive impact on the game ~ is a difficult thing to do. I’ll try again…

To summarize: instead of having a single alignment that guides everything a player character might do, we have many alignments that guide how the PC interacts with certain groups of people.

Ignoring, for a moment, the obvious turtle in the room, the system still does not address the primary question: why do we need alignments at all?

I’ve heard the answers, insufficient as they are. The player needs a guide to acting the part of his character. The fantasy world is built upon metaphysical principles that are observable and distinct from our world. Gods and demons and angels are real.

As if we haven’t spent literally years doing exactly that in our childhood ~ pretending to be other people ~ without the wisdom of alignment. And most fantasy worlds are boring as shit, given that their concept of evil is, “Oh no’s! Elven slavers are attacking the village!” And let’s be honest with ourselves: “gods” in the game are synonymous with the role of the DM. No astute player is going to accept an argument otherwise (and you shouldn’t want to play with anyone who does).

If there is a benefit to alignment, I’m open to discussing it and understanding what it brings to the table. In the meantime, I’ll keep half an eye open for something… I’m not sure what. We’ll see how it goes.

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9 thoughts on “The search continues…

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  1. So your basic argument is that you don’t like alignment, therefore, fuck anyone who tries to improve it? Alignment is a terrible system that a lot of people do love. It has survived 5e of the game. But anyone who suggests a different take on it should go fuck themselves? The only worthy post is one that tells anyone who likes alignment that they are an asshole for doing so. Your post is condescending and full of strawmen. In the future, perhaps you can just ignore my post instead of shitting on them. Afterall the internet should be large enough for ideas you don’t like.

    1. I love the idea of alignment. And I like what you’re trying to do with it. But there’s a good forty years of the game, plus at least twenty years of internet analysis, that have failed to deliver.

      Given your reaction, I’m assuming you haven’t taken the time to look into any of that.

      Set aside the emotional response for just a moment. Can you answer this question: what does alignment add to the game? What do we lose by ignoring it?

  2. Nothing emotional about pointing out how full of shit what you wrote. If I had written a post about how to get more mileage out of your Honda, your post is, “Your post doesn’t ask the question of why buy a Honda. Fuck anyone with a Honda. There should be no advice about Hondas! because I don’t like Hondas. Oh, I say I do like Honda, but fuck anyone who doesn’t spend 24/7 attacking it.”

    1. Well hello, welcome to the Internet. I’m not necessarily a subject matter expert, but I can provide you a few pointers around this site.

      First, cussing is a prime indicator that someone is pissed off about something. That’s an emotional response. It also suggests a lack of professionalism. I’m certainly no stranger to cussing in my work ~ one of my tags is “Your D&D is Shit” ~ and I need to weed it out. Speaking from experience, I’ve found that people generally shut down when you start swearing, no matter the topic. The only way to really get around it is to establish yourself as a trustworthy source.

      Second, I’m hoping that these posts demonstrate that I have put in quite a bit of time to research the topic at hand. I’ve also clearly demonstrated that I don’t think alignment is a bad thing in theory, but that it’s a bad thing in practice because it’s convoluted and poorly defined, leading to misunderstandings concerning what is does (and fails to do) for your game. I recommend taking the time to check out the history on the topic.

      I suspect that you won’t. You haven’t read the other posts linked above. Judging from your history and etiquette, I see someone who’s only really interested in pushing his own product, as opposed to engaging in a conversation.

      But I’m willing to give it a shot, if you’re capable of civil discourse. For example, above you say the comparison between having an alignment system and not having it, is comparable to owning a Honda and not owning a Honda. This is a false equivalency. A more apt resemblance would be owning a car and not owning a car. There are clear advantages to owning a car and clear disadvantages to obverse. No such clarity exists where the alignment system is concerned. (A position I will defend until such time that someone can offer a defensible counterpoint.)

      1. Once again you Strawman, so there is no point in having any fucking civil debate.

        Case in point, in no way did I say anything about Alignment is like owning a Honda. I was making a point that I was posting similar to advice on how to get better millage with a Honda. And your response was fuck you for not shitting on a Honda. Your post was that to give advice without first question if Honda are a good car is not worthy of a post. That is dishonest and shitty. And you are smart enough to know that.

        So for all your high and mighty talk, you again strawman and Ad Hominem, while I have repeatedly told you to fuck off for doing so. Who is less civil? The one that shits on another with a smile on their face or the one that says, fuck you for shitting on me?

        You want to have a civil conversation then stop the bullshit. It is ok to say, “Hey I like/don’t like this post for reason xyz. But do you even think alignment itself is worthwhile?” That will get a different response than, I read this shitty post look at it, the fucker is so stupid he made a suggestion on how to use alignments, fuck him for not shitting on alignments.

  3. If alignment has any purpose, it’s for a table of gamers who for some odd reason want to play in the world described by Three Hearts and Three Lions, which inspired the idea. It *barely* is serviceable in that context, and then progressively results in more and more disastrous results as you leave that context.

    I’d definitely be happy to see it go. Pathfinder 2nd Edition has proposed rules for getting rid of it (or turning it into a variant rule that the core system isn’t dependent on).

    As much as such baby steps pain me (really? You need to keep a variant in?) there’s an element of corporate and mainstream culture which resists change. Maybe by the time we have the 14th Edition of D&D, we’ll be rid of it for good, eh?

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