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('''Alignment''' reflects how your character reacts to the concepts of good, evil, law and chaos.)
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'''Alignment''' reflects how your character reacts to the concepts of good, evil, law and chaos.
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<nowiki> Alignment can best be illustrated as a tic-tac-toe board. The top of the board is Good, and the bottom of the board is Evil. The left side of the board is Law, and the right side is Chaos. The middle between Law and Chaos, and between Good and Evil, is Neutral. Thus, alignments combine to form nine combinations: Lawful Good, Neutral Good, Chaotic Good, Lawful Neutral, True Neutral, Chaotic Neutral, Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Evil.
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Law, generally, holds to the precept that structure is necessary to society, that it must be organized in order to survive. Lawful characters generally reflect the concepts of authority in their own lives. They are organized, capable of establishing and maintaining chains of command, giving and taking orders. They will defend existing governments, even when they are manifestly "wrong" by some other standard. They prefer strong governments such as monarchy over weaker forms such as democracy, and believe that order intrinsically permeates the universe. It is the antithesis of Chaos.
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Chaos, generally, believes in the rights of individuals. Those who adhere to this belief prefer randomness, and shun order. While some of these presume to give orders, chaotics will rarely take orders except when a) unity is required temporarily to oppose some alternative threat, b) some threat of force sufficient to enforce obedience accompanies the order, or c) the order is something which the chaotic would do anyway, or at least is something which it would not be sensible to disobey (e.g., if the command is issued with the intent that the chaotic will do the opposite). Chaotics prefer anarchy over government, and adhere to the maxim that the government which governs least governs best. Chaos is the antithesis of Law.
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Good, in game terms, is the belief in the promotion of the general well-being of all creatures. It is, at times, necessary that those who oppose this should be forcibly stopped, even killed; but those who are good will avoid causing unnecessary suffering, and will only resort to violence when it is necessary and justifiable. In monetary terms, good characters tend to spread wealth around, and will only hoard money on the justification that the character will ultimately be able to use the money to further good, such as by buying a ship to pursue pirates, or building a keep or fortress to defend the local peasants, or constructing a chapel to further the worship of good deities and provide a focal point for charity. It is the antithesis of Evil.
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Evil is characterized by selfishness of purpose. It maintains that it is both important and correct that those who are worthy should succeed, while the weak and unworthy perish. The efforts of good to distribute wealth generally are viewed as cheating the truly deserving. Evil characters do not regard other characters--not even other evil characters--as worthy of respect. They are always willing to take advantage of another's misfortune. Any generous act, either by giving away treasure or by taking risks on behalf of another, must be justified by some advantage to the character taking the action. Evil characters often believe that good and neutral characters are pretending they are not evil in order to fool others and gain an advantage.
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Good and Evil are usually referred to as the "moral" dimension or axis of alignment, while Law and Chaos are referred to as the "ethical" dimension or axis. Thus neutralities may be distinguished as Moral Neutrality or Ethical Neutrality.
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Neutral is the denial of the values of Law and Chaos, or Good and Evil. A character may be neutral in the moral dimension or the ethical dimension or both; neutrality in both dimensions is called True Neutral.
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True Neutral--or "Neutral Neutral"--is a rare and tough alignment to play. It is generally used to describe either those who are ignorant of the part that the forces of Law, Chaos, Good, and Evil play in their lives (i.e. animals and humanoids of very low intelligence) or they actively support the concept of balance between the four.
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Alignments which are part neutral are generally more dedicated to that aspect of the alignment which is not neutral; those which combine one extreme with another (the "corner" alignments on the tic-tac-toe board) constantly play off one value against the other. So for example, if a commander orders the character to kill someone whom the character believes may be innocent, the Lawful Neutral will almost always obey, and the Neutral Good will almost always disobey, but the Lawful Good must answer the moral dilemma: Law or Good? Similarly, if the order is to indefinitely detain and torture an enemy, the Chaotic Neutral will almost always refuse, and the Neutral Evil will almost always comply, but the Chaotic Evil faces the moral dilemma: Evil or Chaos?</nowiki>
 
[[Category:Game rules]]
 
[[Category:Game rules]]

Revision as of 20:27, September 29, 2005

Alignment can best be illustrated as a tic-tac-toe board. The top of the board is Good, and the bottom of the board is Evil. The left side of the board is Law, and the right side is Chaos. The middle between Law and Chaos, and between Good and Evil, is Neutral. Thus, alignments combine to form nine combinations: Lawful Good, Neutral Good, Chaotic Good, Lawful Neutral, True Neutral, Chaotic Neutral, Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Evil. Law, generally, holds to the precept that structure is necessary to society, that it must be organized in order to survive. Lawful characters generally reflect the concepts of authority in their own lives. They are organized, capable of establishing and maintaining chains of command, giving and taking orders. They will defend existing governments, even when they are manifestly "wrong" by some other standard. They prefer strong governments such as monarchy over weaker forms such as democracy, and believe that order intrinsically permeates the universe. It is the antithesis of Chaos. Chaos, generally, believes in the rights of individuals. Those who adhere to this belief prefer randomness, and shun order. While some of these presume to give orders, chaotics will rarely take orders except when a) unity is required temporarily to oppose some alternative threat, b) some threat of force sufficient to enforce obedience accompanies the order, or c) the order is something which the chaotic would do anyway, or at least is something which it would not be sensible to disobey (e.g., if the command is issued with the intent that the chaotic will do the opposite). Chaotics prefer anarchy over government, and adhere to the maxim that the government which governs least governs best. Chaos is the antithesis of Law. Good, in game terms, is the belief in the promotion of the general well-being of all creatures. It is, at times, necessary that those who oppose this should be forcibly stopped, even killed; but those who are good will avoid causing unnecessary suffering, and will only resort to violence when it is necessary and justifiable. In monetary terms, good characters tend to spread wealth around, and will only hoard money on the justification that the character will ultimately be able to use the money to further good, such as by buying a ship to pursue pirates, or building a keep or fortress to defend the local peasants, or constructing a chapel to further the worship of good deities and provide a focal point for charity. It is the antithesis of Evil. Evil is characterized by selfishness of purpose. It maintains that it is both important and correct that those who are worthy should succeed, while the weak and unworthy perish. The efforts of good to distribute wealth generally are viewed as cheating the truly deserving. Evil characters do not regard other characters--not even other evil characters--as worthy of respect. They are always willing to take advantage of another's misfortune. Any generous act, either by giving away treasure or by taking risks on behalf of another, must be justified by some advantage to the character taking the action. Evil characters often believe that good and neutral characters are pretending they are not evil in order to fool others and gain an advantage. Good and Evil are usually referred to as the "moral" dimension or axis of alignment, while Law and Chaos are referred to as the "ethical" dimension or axis. Thus neutralities may be distinguished as Moral Neutrality or Ethical Neutrality. Neutral is the denial of the values of Law and Chaos, or Good and Evil. A character may be neutral in the moral dimension or the ethical dimension or both; neutrality in both dimensions is called True Neutral. True Neutral--or "Neutral Neutral"--is a rare and tough alignment to play. It is generally used to describe either those who are ignorant of the part that the forces of Law, Chaos, Good, and Evil play in their lives (i.e. animals and humanoids of very low intelligence) or they actively support the concept of balance between the four. Alignments which are part neutral are generally more dedicated to that aspect of the alignment which is not neutral; those which combine one extreme with another (the "corner" alignments on the tic-tac-toe board) constantly play off one value against the other. So for example, if a commander orders the character to kill someone whom the character believes may be innocent, the Lawful Neutral will almost always obey, and the Neutral Good will almost always disobey, but the Lawful Good must answer the moral dilemma: Law or Good? Similarly, if the order is to indefinitely detain and torture an enemy, the Chaotic Neutral will almost always refuse, and the Neutral Evil will almost always comply, but the Chaotic Evil faces the moral dilemma: Evil or Chaos?

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