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Author Topic: New Alignment System  (Read 630 times)
Doublebond
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« on: April 03, 2011, 02:53:23 PM »

I have been trying to put together an alignment system for my setting. The basic premise, I suppose you could say, is to shift the focus of the alignments from gods and deities to heroes, by which I mean to refer to beings closer to earth yet who remain larger than life figures which, in the setting, are the subject of a great many legends and tales passed down through generations. In my setting the gods are great enigmas whose will and exact nature is practically impossible to determine, and as such the races of the world venerate something more relatable. But there could be any number of reasons to explain this shift in focus. For example, perhaps the real deities of the setting are evil, and the heroes exist as eternal guardians of the common races of the world. I can even see this functioning alongside a typical alignment system of gods and goddesses quite easily.

Regardless, the idea is that you have these five immortal figures who each loosely represent archetypal concepts of heroes. The exact people who fulfill these roles are not so much important as the concepts themselves; should a hero die (which is indeed a distinct possibility, particularly at the hands of another hero), a mortal who particularly embodies the ideas and values of that archetype ascends and takes up the mantel.

So the five roles I’ve thought up run thus: the Knight, the Knave, the Bard, the Scholar, and the Hermit. Note that they are each not given specific names but rather referred to only by their title. This is intentional. As said before, heroes can die and when such an event occurs they are replaced. As such hundreds (possibly thousands) of individuals have filled each of these mantels, thus allowing one to fine tune the characters themselves to fit his setting and campaign.

I've started writing some more in-depth flavor text to help explain the concepts further but as of yet I am more concerned with the mechanics, paths, and general premise of the system then it's flavor—there are still some holes needing to be filled, some other aspects quite open to alteration, and still other aspects that may or may not work at all and thus need general critique.

Each hero opposes two of the other heroes and is  are opposed, while those connected by a green line are friendly (or at least they are until I can come up with a more respectable sounding synonym). Opposed alignments operate according to the vanilla rules, while friendly relationships share a path. Knaves and Hermits, for example, share the fortune path, while the Knave and the Bard share the secrets path.

Skeletal profiles for each alignment run thus (paths marked * indicate it's found in the Monk supplement or Adventure Companion):

Knight

Alignment Skills: Athletics, Tactics, Ride, Survival

Opposed Alignments: Hermit, Knave

Ritual Weapon: Long Sword

Paths: Heroism, Order, Righteousness*, War, Honor


Knave

Alignment Skills: Acrobatics, Sneak, Prestidigitation, Bluff

Opposed Alignments: Knight, Scholar

Ritual Weapon: Stiletto

Paths: Secrets, Fortune, Darkness, Travel, Chaos


Bard

Alignment Skills:  Prestidigitation, Blend, Bluff, Disguise

Opposed Alignments: Hermit, Scholar

Ritual Weapon: (????)

Paths: Secrets, Heroism, Beauty, Deceit, Hope (whatever the final version is)


Scholar

Alignment Skills: Investigation, Search, Haggle, Crafting

Opposed Alignments: Bard, Knave

Ritual Weapon: Quarter Staff (?)

Paths: Order, Life, Knowledge, Magic, Truth


Hermit

Alignment Skills: Search, Survival, Blend, (????)

Opposed Alignments: Bard, Knight

Ritual Weapon: (????)

Paths: Life, Fortune, Harmony*, Nature, Spirits


Aside from finishing the basic skeletons, there are some other stuff I also hope to eventually complete as well. Among them:

  • Avatars (with stat-blocks) for each alignment
  • An artifact associated with each alignment
  • Example stat-blocks for each hero

Any comments, critiques, contributions, or suggestions?
« Last Edit: April 03, 2011, 04:08:41 PM by Doublebond » Logged
SilvercatMoonpaw
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2011, 03:14:04 PM »

Unfortunately I think it would help to have more info on what each of these characters is about: I'm not sure exactly how the Hermit fits into the line-up (perhaps it needs a better name), I'm not sure how the Rogue and the Bard are so different as to need to be separate alignments.............I'm sure there are other things.
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Doublebond
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2011, 03:42:09 PM »

Unfortunately I think it would help to have more info on what each of these characters is about: I'm not sure exactly how the Hermit fits into the line-up (perhaps it needs a better name), I'm not sure how the Rogue and the Bard are so different as to need to be separate alignments.............I'm sure there are other things.

I'll make sure to get some detailed explanations as to the fluff up soon. In the meanwhile, The Hermit was intended to fill out the traditional role of a healer/close-to-nature type character, while the bard is supposed to be an entertainer/story teller/general socialite type character (his skills end up being odd since Priests and Paladins already get impress, which would undoubtedly be one his main skills).

So the Hermit has an association with nature,  balance, and peace; the bard has an association with civilization and society, and the rogue with crime, vice, and thievery. Besides this, the Knight is supposed to epitomize a crusading spirit who strives for order and justice, while the Scholar has an association with the acquisition of knowledge.
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Morgenstern
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2011, 04:00:06 PM »

Since D&D and co. have gone to such lengths to make the rogue more lovable/socially acceptible, while your alignment seems to focus more on the genuinely dastardly, you might rename it 'knave'.

That and having opposed knights and knaves just appeals to my faux-Elizabethan sensibilities Wink.
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Doublebond
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2011, 04:08:54 PM »

Since D&D and co. have gone to such lengths to make the rogue more lovable/socially acceptible, while your alignment seems to focus more on the genuinely dastardly, you might rename it 'knave'.

That and having opposed knights and knaves just appeals to my faux-Elizabethan sensibilities Wink.

Easily done.
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paddyfool
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2011, 04:22:20 PM »

If the hermit includes nature in its portfolio, Ride might fit for a fourth skill (at least, no worse than any of the other options).
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SilvercatMoonpaw
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2011, 06:57:19 PM »

So the Hermit has an association with nature,  balance, and peace....
Perhaps "hermit" isn't the best name for it: doesn't bring to mind "nature" immediately, but does bring up too many ideas of isolation.  Something more like "oracle" or "shaman", some name connected to a profession/position of being the intermediary between the world of civilization/society and some "other place".
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VisualStatic
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2011, 10:13:15 PM »

So the Hermit has an association with nature,  balance, and peace....
Perhaps "hermit" isn't the best name for it: doesn't bring to mind "nature" immediately, but does bring up too many ideas of isolation.  Something more like "oracle" or "shaman", some name connected to a profession/position of being the intermediary between the world of civilization/society and some "other place".

I would think Oracle would be better as an alternate for Scholar,  then either Shaman or Druid instead of Hermit.  Just my 2 cents.
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