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Author Topic: Alignments, and how to use them?  (Read 1438 times)
Bhurano
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« on: August 01, 2011, 06:08:05 AM »

Ok,

since quite a while the whole alignment thing causes me headaches. For my conversion of our campaign world I am currently rebuilding the pantheon. I got the whole part of assigning the different pathes laid out. No problem there.

But what bugs me is the fact that several spells (Castigate, I look at you) mention that they work only against a opposing alignment.

I take it that I have to assign some markers to the pantheon, who's good or bad... or in my case the entire pantheon is good at heart (not necessarily the priests, but that's another point) and their counterpart the demon lords/princes are the evil with their heart's content.

So if a spellcaster who adheres to the pantheon smites some demons with castigate he does the damage as stated, right? If he tries so with with some guys who happen to have the good alignment, since they believe like nobodys business in the gods... he is out of luck, right? No damage in that case with Castigate... I suppose.

And where stand those who don't have a alignment? Since they are neutral, do they happen to suffer no damage from either a good or evil castigate?

On another note? A pantheon/god can have multiple markers like good and chaotic, I take it. If you happen to be a true follower - per alignment - you can then choose which aspect you embrace more or less, right? This would also cause the different faith to have wildly different opinions in a lot of matters... like in the real world, with all the major faiths splintered in thousands of different opinions how to do things right.

So I hope you can help me to clear the whole alignment thing up. I have read the whole passage up and down - several times, but for now it seems I just can't wrap my head around it. Tongue Undecided

Feel free to rain on my parade. Grin
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TheMadGent
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2011, 07:24:57 AM »

In the RAW, each alignment, in your case each god, would have a single opposed alignment on whose followers spells like Castigate would work. In this situation, Castigate would only work against the followers of any given God's opposite counterpart. Followers of other gods and neutral individuals would not be affected.

However, in each of my settings I have modified this rule somewhat to fit my needs. In an ancient China setting, each alignment, representing one of the five Chinese elements, had two opposed elements. In my Pirates setting, each alignment (the constellation under which a character was born, and it's associated Celestial Spirit) instead opposed an entire pantheon of Elder Gods and vice versa.

In your case, it would seem like doing something similar to my second example would be the proper solution. Make each god oppose each demon lord. Another possibility, of course, if you want to stick closer to the RAW, would be to give each god an opposite counterpart among the demon lords and have him oppose that.
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spinningdice
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2011, 12:13:56 PM »

I don't think anything in RAW prevents you having multiple opposed alignments.
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Coyote0273
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2011, 12:55:36 PM »

Nothing in the book says it has to be 1 specific alignment that you're opposed to. As long as the alignments oppose each other, than they're affected. Note also, these don't need to be enemy or good/evil, a God of Life and a God of Death would be opposites even if they're both good or lawful, as the tenants followed by the gods themselves oppose each other. Same thing with a Merchant God and a Thief God.
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Agent 333
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2011, 02:20:37 PM »

The first thing to remember is this is not D&D. Law/Chaos and Good/Evil have no meaning for Castigate unless you want them to. Your alignment isn't "Lawful Good worshiper of Pelor" it's "Pelor" (For example). What that means in world is up to the GM (who I take it is you, in this case). If you want it to be more realistic, all kinds of different people might interpret His teaching's different ways. Or, more dogmatic, Everyone with that Alignment has the same basic set of beliefs and morals.

In your case, to get the affect you're looking for, all the Gods have every Demon Prince as it's opposing alignments. And vice-versa. This basically boils it down to an "us vs them" for purposes of Castigate and whatnot. People without an alignment are unaffected by alignment spells unless specifically stated otherwise.

As far as your comments on markers... well, the alignments all should have 2-4 paths, and if you'd like them to include Good and Order or whatever, that's fine. A Priest gets one path step every other level, so chances are they'll have more steps in one path than another (most games I've seen so far, Priests tend to stick with one Path till its done, sometimes they take Blessed to pick up the first step in another Path for some diversity). If you want to take that as seeing the priest 'valuing' that Path more than the others his god teaches, that's up to you. It could be a moral difference, or it could just be that the god grants his followers different gifts for whatever reason.
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the331st
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2011, 09:15:29 PM »

I love this game...  Grin

D&D -> Thousands of Hours of alignment arguments
Fantasy Craft -> 5 posts...
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Krensky
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2011, 10:00:54 PM »

I love this game...  Grin

D&D -> Thousands of Hours of alignment arguments
Fantasy Craft -> 5 posts...

Yeah. No is this lawful or evil or whatever.

Just: Would my god approve of this?
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ironpeanut
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« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2011, 01:56:59 AM »

One idea I've been rolling around in my head, trying to better understand, is using Alignments to represent something other than beliefs or pantheons or good-evil/law-chaos.
You ever play Final Fantasy Tactics? Everyone has a Zodiac sign assigned to them. Assigned in the typical way, by when that character was born.
When a character attacks a character with an opposing sign, like a Tarus attacking a Gemini (pulling off the interweb here, I don't actually know anything about astrology), they deal extra damage. When they try to get heal that same character, it doesn't work as well.

You can do this in FC. Just kick out the following campaign qualities:
Strict Universe: characters gain an alignment and never lose it.
Warring Universe: +ChaMod to attacks and opposed rolls targeting characters of opposing Alignments.

So every PC (and NPC, if you want to keep it legit), gets a sign assigned to them. Roll a d12, keep it random. Then, when they attack or oppose someone of an opposing sign, they get a bonus.
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Rhishisikk
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2011, 02:33:17 PM »

Forgiveness is divine.
So's vengeance, if you have the right god.  - Primal Order

YES, this isn't 3.5; paladins can go around smiting each other all day long, as long as their deities don't like each other.

Having no alignment is a GREAT way to protect against alignment targeting effects.  But the only way to those paths is through alignment, and in my homebrew I'm going to make magical school an "alignment" as well.  (I'm mixing up the divine/arcane/elemental magical lines, among other things.  You'd think it would be a mess, but it actually works well together.)
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ironpeanut
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2011, 07:38:53 PM »

Having no alignment is a GREAT way to protect against alignment targeting effects
Is there any incentive (other than roleplay) for a character to have an alignment if they're not planning to get Paths at any point? I can't think of anything off the top of my head.
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Coyote0273
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2011, 07:43:44 PM »

Having no alignment is a GREAT way to protect against alignment targeting effects
Is there any incentive (other than roleplay) for a character to have an alignment if they're not planning to get Paths at any point? I can't think of anything off the top of my head.

Access to Alignment skills, which may mean up to 4 more class skills. You can gain a path level if you're using the Beneficial Universe (I think that's it) house rule, plus any campaign bonuses for actually being a believer, rather than an outsider going "Yeah, I believe."
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Morgenstern
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« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2011, 07:47:59 PM »

Having no alignment is a GREAT way to protect against alignment targeting effects
Is there any incentive (other than roleplay) for a character to have an alignment if they're not planning to get Paths at any point? I can't think of anything off the top of my head.

Heh, heh, heeehhh.

I just put "unaligned" in as an opposing alignment for some of my more zealous faiths.

"Sitting on the fence is still a position - and one that makes you darn easy to shoot at."
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Krensky
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« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2011, 08:45:17 PM »

Having no alignment is a GREAT way to protect against alignment targeting effects
Is there any incentive (other than roleplay) for a character to have an alignment if they're not planning to get Paths at any point? I can't think of anything off the top of my head.

Spell Conversion: Alignment.
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spinningdice
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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2011, 11:42:08 PM »

Having no alignment is a GREAT way to protect against alignment targeting effects
Is there any incentive (other than roleplay) for a character to have an alignment if they're not planning to get Paths at any point? I can't think of anything off the top of my head.

Access to Alignment skills, which may mean up to 4 more class skills. You can gain a path level if you're using the Beneficial Universe (I think that's it) house rule, plus any campaign bonuses for actually being a believer, rather than an outsider going "Yeah, I believe."

You only get Alignment skills if you're a priest or paladin, in which case an alignment is part of the entry requirements anyway.
I view that most people don't have an alignment, in most D&D-ish worlds I think the general populace are unaligned, but give offerings to various gods for their activities. i.e. your going on a voyage, donate to the god of the sea, your farms failing, give to the god of agriculture to save your crops.

Alignments should be reserved for the truly devoted.
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ironpeanut
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« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2011, 01:21:26 AM »

Alignments should be reserved for the truly devoted.

So, returning to the original post, spells that target based on Alignment, like Castigate and Purge seem really circumstantial. I was playing a port of the Spycraft 2.0 Seer in my last game, and spells from the Word school were pretty much my guns. Depending on the campaign setting you're in and the qualities you're playing with, those spells can either be very potent or utterly useless.

We ended up going a little more fast and loose, ad-hoc-ing a lot of Alignment effects. Granted we were doing Planescape, and philosophies and their interactions are a huge part of that game. At no point was a list made, but when my Guvner Seer cast such a spell, I would expect it to mess up Chaosmen and demons and Anarchists and maybe Indeps. But being as I was playing a Guvner, and I am an Awful Lawful kind of guy, I'd prefer things more clear-cut.
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