We looked very hard at the real world and tried to put in perspective the differences races have when interacting with one another. It was our contention that not a single race going back to the beginning of time was truly “evil”. They just acted differently and in most cases they did this to simply survive. This caused us to re-evaluate alignment and the way most described it.
Many forums, blogs, and articles later we came upon the Escapist’s article on alignment and stopped. This is the first time we came across an article that used concrete words to describe an abstract concept and did so in a fashion that could be easily translated into game play.
We wholeheartedly adopted the Escapist’s view on alignment thus changing three major aspects of game play: priests, paladins, and races. All three of these important game facets have been redeveloped using the new alignment definition.
You will find the class and racial changes in their respective Campaign Description subtopics on the previous page. Alignment in general is summarized below. We hope you find alignment to no longer burden your game or role playing.
Ethic Axis (Lawful, Neutral, Chaotic)
By selecting Lawful as a character’s ethic axis, he has decided upon an existence that is regulated by a rule set. Lawful means deonotological ethics as defined by Wikipedia, “…judges the morality of an action based on the action’s adherence to a rule or rules.” In short, a person is lawful if he chooses and judges actions based on a predefined set of rules.
By selecting Neutral as a character’s ethic axis, he has decided upon an existence based on the values of decisions. Neutral means virtue ethics as defined by Wikipedia, “…emphasizes the role of one’s character and the virtues that one’s character embodies for determining or evaluating ethical behavior.” In short, a person is neutral if he chooses and judges actions by the intent of the people making those actions.
By selecting Chaotic as a character’s ethic access, he has decided upon an existence based on the effects of actions. Chaotic means consequentialism as defined by Wikipedia, “…the consequences of one’s conduct are the ultimate basis for any judgement about the rightness of that conduct.” In short, a person is chaotic if he chooses and judges by the outcomes of actions.
Moral Axis (Good, Neutral, Evil)
By selecting Good as a character’s moral axis, he has decided that other people’s needs are more important than his own. As stated in the Escapist’s article above, “…a character feels an obligation to help, serve, and benefit others, even at the sacrifice of their self-interest.”
By selecting Neutral as a character’s moral axis, he has decided that other people’s needs are equal to his own. As stated in the Escapist’s article above either, “…me against my brother; my brother and I against our cousin; my brother, my cousin and I against the stranger,” or “I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for me,” are acceptable applications of this moral axis.
By selecting Evil as a character’s moral axis, he has decided that his needs are more important than other people’s. As stated in the Escapist’s article above, “…narrow moral circles that encompass themselves and perhaps their closest friends or family…”
Note: From now on a character’s alignment is described as ethic and moral (ex. lawful and good, neutral and evil), though it is still written as common practice without the “and”.