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Forum » Role Playing Games » Dungeons & Dragons » Alignments
Alignments
RussDate: Wednesday, 12 Mar 2014, 4:07 PM | Message # 1
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I came up with this list of analogies to describe the various alignments from original D&D.  I posted them in a heated forum discussion at ENWorld.org.

Lawful Good: "I borrowed my neighbor's lawnmower with his permission. I accidentally broke it. I will pay to have it repaired and I will mow his 

yard for a month to make up for it."

Neutral Good: "I borrowed my neighbor's lawnmower without his permission. I accidentally broke it. I will pay to have it repaired and I'll mow his 

yard once to keep him off my back."

Chaotic Good: "I borrowed my neighbor's lawnmower without his permission. I accidentally broke it. I will sneak it back into his garage and I'll 

leave $20 for him."

Lawful Neutral: "I borrowed my neighbor's lawnmower with his permission. I accidentally broke it. I will pay to have it repaired but I'm not mowing 

his lawn."

Chaotic Neutral: "I borrowed my neighbor's lawnmower without his permission. I accidentally broke it. I will leave it in his yard for him to find in 

the morning."

Lawful Evil: "I borrowed my neighbor's lawnmower with his permission. I accidentally broke it. I contacted a lawyer to sue my neighbor for his 

faulty equipment."

Neutral Evil: "I took my neighbor's lawnmower without his permission. I left it in my yard to rust. I told the other neighbors that he's a 

pedophile."

Chaotic Evil: "I took my neighbor's lawnmower without his permission. I then burned his house down and laughed."

True Neutral: "I can't be bothered with mowing."
 
MichelleDate: Wednesday, 12 Mar 2014, 8:11 PM | Message # 2
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I think you need to post the link to this heated discussion, it sound like interesting reading.
 
RussDate: Wednesday, 12 Mar 2014, 8:52 PM | Message # 3
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http://www.enworld.org/forum....erience
 
MichelleDate: Friday, 14 Mar 2014, 7:03 PM | Message # 4
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This is a super long post and still going ... interesting discussion though.   tongue
 
Bad-AshDate: Wednesday, 21 May 2014, 8:14 PM | Message # 5
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Yeah, I'm not going to get involved in that big argument. But my basic point remains the same - what is one alignment to one person can be another alignment to another. Getting two people to agree, except in the very basic vague assumptions, is extremely unlikely. Then you have the whole "one-POV" concept, which is innately flawed and basically offers an excuse for PCs to be "murdering hobos with shotguns".

I'll infer from the fact that there's a huge debate about it still, what, 35+ years after D&D brought the concept in that I'm right. It also suggests that a lot of people like the alignment system and that a lot of people don't.

But for what it's worth, here's my two cents on the mowing/alignment comparison:

Lawful Good: "I mow my lawn regularly because it's the right thing to do and the homeowner's association have a rule about it."
Neutral Good: "I mow my lawn regularly because it's the right thing to do."
Chaotic Good: "I mow my lawn whenever I like, but I try to keep it neat because it is the right thing to do."

Lawful Neutral: "I mow my lawn regularly because the homeowner's association have a rule about it. I really couldn't care less otherwise."
Chaotic Neutral: "I mow my lawn whenever I like, and only because I want to."
True Neutral: "I replaced the grass with concrete."

Lawful Evil: "I mow my lawn regularly because the homeowner's association have a rule about it, but I do it early on Sunday morning to wake the neighbors."
Neutral Evil: "I don't mow my lawn, because I don't really care."
Chaotic Evil: "I don't mow my lawn, won't mow my lawn, and I'll piss on your lawn. Screw the rules. Screw the property values."

But it's all nonsense. The alignment system, I mean. Russ, your examples are great and I can see where you're coming from with most of them. I disagree with certain points about some of them too, however. And I'm sure you can do the same with mine. That's not saying you're wrong, nor is it me saying I'm wrong, it's just different perspectives. And those different perspectives make the whole concept of the alignment system invalid.

In short (yeah, right ;)) the alignment system is nothing more than a tool. Unfortunately it's a sledgehammer when you need a laptop, or better yet, nothing at all.
 
MichelleDate: Thursday, 22 May 2014, 8:47 PM | Message # 6
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I have heard of people replacing the "alignment" restrictions for a paladin with a "code" they have to follow instead.  That seems a better solution and as it can have more well defined parameters and can be directly related to the deity they worship.
 
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