Tuesday, 25 October 2016

What if Alignment was like Sanity?

Plot your alignment scores on and see if you gain any positive or harmful effects. Alignment rolls like Pendragon with temptation saves.

I say make oldschool alignment more complicated!
Players win points for acting up to an alighnment
The higher scores more extreme characters become
High scores earn you a boon and special features or mutations
If you get a point to choose what to do with you can remove a point you already have

Characters might start with some points (WIS bonus +1) and earn a point per level 
Gods award points every adventure based on conduct
Doing awful things makes you more evil etc
Points awarded by gods and cosmic powers
Remember they are jerks
Alignment is shorthand from the gods who must be killed
It is to help you start fights and possibly pick your allies faster

Hopefully with alignment as stats characters might try to gain certain effects or try to keep alignment to the middle ones. The middle states of alignment make you harder to detect with detect alignment powers and dont stand out so much in a crowd. At zero in both ends of brackets you you are in the middle state. You might also have high numbers in both sides protecting you from standing out as one extreme over the other.

I would be interested in playing this system next peril and sin filled campagn. Would players min max to get powers or remain low profile. Would clerics be used as alignment advisors more? Would people role play up all kinds of shenanigans? It opens lots of doors for oddness. You could trick a antipaladin into doing good deeds to make him lose some boons. Or behave differently to balance out a previously gained point. Im pretty open to ideas here. Possibly come up with other uses for scores in play or temporary effects that alter alignment scores or items that add to them. A +1 sword that adds 4 to alignment score might be interesting. Possibly some spells could supress evil or enhance devotion to influence NPCs or gain temporary boons. Feilds that temporarily modified alighnment. Lawful Artifacts that change everyone 10 steps to good making chaos mutants more human in presence.

Alignment Schemata

(0) Chaos - Balance - Law (0) 

(0) Evil - Nuetral - Good (0) 

Types are categorised according to left and right axis
Left handed path - Middle path - Right handed path

or to type of social order - morals defined by groups and imposed by the community
(0) Chaos - Balance - Law (0)

or to type of personal order - ethics defined by individual in interpersonal interactions
(0) Evil - Neutral - Good(0)

The sets are arranged in order - left hand extreme with bracket indicating characters score in this alignment. Then the middle state when a character has no score in either side. Then the right hand extreme with bracket indicating characters score in this alignment.

So a character could have an alignment score of:
(1) Chaos - Balance - Law (2)
(1) Evil - Neutral - Good (4) 

making them mostly lawful good


(0) Chaos - Balance - Law (0)
(3) Evil - Neutral - Good (0)
making them balanced on order related matters and a minor evil

A starting character starts with 0 in both brackets making them the middle state on both axis. They can allocate 1 + WIS bonus to any of the brackets if they choose or they can save these points and use them later or to negate points gained in game.

In game after completing a adventure DM considers each players actions and possibly adds one point to a alignment score. One exceptional player in a session can get two points if they truly stand out in conduct and other players bow to there extreme actions. You might reward a very good roleplayer by letting them choose where to allocate a point instead of allocating for them. If you find their actions complex yet not aligned any ony way just let them spend the point as they see fit.

Every level you get a point and can give it to a follower or yourself or subtract a point

At three points higher on one side of axis you detect as that alignment with magic which might effect your reactions with some beings.

Every four points more one one side you get a minor boon
and you develop a new temptation that you require WIS saves to resist

If you get 10 more on one side than the other you gain a major boon
and your temptation that you require tough 2/3 WIS saves to resist temptation

If you get 20 more points you may start receiving direct communication with the powers and receive a relic

Boons are minor or major. They could include mutations or magic gifts or other kinds of abilities. Minor ones are mostly cosmetic

Most normal NPC's have zero to four points at zero or first level

WIS saves to prevent temptations

Evil Temptations:
Sadism - seek opportunities to make others suffer
Greed - seek wealth and power and tempted to gain any unfair means
Selfishness - resist urges to steal, betray and put your life before others

Good Temptations:
Altruism - try to help every lame duck
Charity - not motivated by wealth, give it to needy
Benevolent - will risk life to save others

Chaos Temptations:
Pride - self aggrandizing, boastful, likes to look at self, others don't matter
Deceit - lies as often as possible
Discord - likes to disrupt society with jokes, pranks and cause trouble

Law Temptations:
Modesty - never boasts, accepts false credit, just doing my job
Honesty - really hard to lie or use trickery
Order - cannot walk past an injustice or mess without saying something

Common Temptations:
Love - tries to recruit others to change alignments, religion or side
Hate - wants to battle or challenge oposite alignment on sight
Superior - believes own alignment is always best and everyone should join
Inferior - others out to get you, so get them first, they are everywhere
Courage - wants to be forefront of fight and take greatest risk vs opposite

Fear -  avoid and run away from opposite alignment

A Chaos champion after reaching  6th level and going on several campaigns attains 12 points of chaos and have: 3x Temptations and 3x lesser boons and a major boon

(15) Chaos - Balance - Law (3)
(5) Evil - Neutral - Good(1)
Temptations :Superior, Discord, Sadism
Lesser Boons - black blood, small stubby horns, glowing eyes
Major Boon - self reincarnation when killed, appears somehere safe

A 10th lv Paladin (or a fighter acting like paladin like gets some paladin stuff through this)
(1) Chaos - Balance - Law (12) 
(0) Evil - Neutral - Good (16) 
Temptations : Superior, Love, Charity, Honesty, Order, Courage
Lesser Boons - halo, flawless skin, cure light wounds x2, command
Major Boon - Plane shift, Single d6+1 Magic missile at will per roundThis guy is slightly tainted and with one Law point = new boon and temptation

I will make some simplified boons soon
Some spells too
-Every hit with weapons adds temp alignment points +1 good per blow
-Saturate good +10 1" radius
-Suppress evil -10 1R/Lv

I'm interested what ppl think of this or any extra tweeks i could add
It is a refined version of something i kinda did early on in this blog


  1. This is a cool idea.
    You could almost make alignment a pretty important function, you know, that's actually seen as important by players.
    I really like the item and spell versions of, for example, +4 good or +4 chaos (or -4, however you choose to do it! I'd probably make (-) for chaos, (+) for law / good, because I like striving for good in campaigns, but I know some people like going all out nuts too!
    It does make sense that "Jane Doe the Orc-Breaker"'s warhammer has a +4 to good/law, and that this would be felt by NPCs, revolting chaotic and attracting goods. Henchmen could flock to a character if they had such a relic, and lose faith if they lost it.
    "Saint Johan"'s crucifix could be a + to Good, and blind demonics. Even tiefs, making some friction in a party, just because of the bloodlines. Or it could glow with a Holy Light in an evil cultist's dungeon.
    Dragon hide armour could carry a -2 for chaos, causing greed to creep in. The GM could just say, 'You reach into your pocket to retrieve the scroll and find four gold winestoppers and a silver fork from your sponsor's (patron's) drawing room bar! Ouch, that's gonna be hard to explain!
    Liquors could cause the same with law / chaos. Fail your WIS check and suddenly your firewater is getting you a bit too righteous or you turn into a hooligan.
    It's truly endless!

    1. Players not being aware of corruption fx or items will be interesting

      exotic grog and drugs might effect alignment or drug adds +2 STR and +4 Chaotic (Anger}

  2. This is super cool! I definitely agree that you would need this to be specific to the campaign, but makes the boring old alignment system much more interesting/real/useful.

  3. Sweet. I'm also a big fan of Alignment. The only difference between our ways of doing this is that I have a slightly different notation. For my system it is Good(+) Evil(-), Law(+) Chaos(-). So a character alignment might read (-3, 4) which would be read Chaotic Good. Or since the Good is the 'stronger' (more extreme) number I would read this Good Chaotic.

    I really like the way you handle the temptations as part of Alignment. I'm not sure I would codify that for my game by enforcing it (ie - telling the player they should take this or that temptation), but I would definitely be curious to see how often I can spot those temptations, and when I do use that as part of the Alignment modification system in some way. I'll keep an eye out for that. It's a really interesting, and balancing, point.

    Anyway glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks Alignment is actually a pretty darn cool concept. The only problem with it is that it does add accounting overhead to GMing so Alignment tends to slip through the cracks now and then. Still though, it is a great concept, and deserves a coherent system to go with it, imo. Nicely done.

  4. sheet only needs a box with 4 scores for alignment

    i had a +- system for a bit too