Tag Archives: Evil

Alignment

alignment

A lot of people despise alignment.  I think the distaste for it comes from the idea that alignment as a mechanical character attribute impedes your ability to roleplay.  However, I’m not in the group of GMs that insist characters play their selected alignment so I don’t think I’ve ever really gotten that complaint from any of the players in my game.  In my view human beings (and I suppose, by extension the other playable races) aren’t consistent, and certainly characters of the disposition of adventurers may not always be consistent in their internal philosophies.  I’ve rarely said, “are you sure?” to a player’s actions for reasons of alignment.  Even so, I’m perfectly willing to adjust a player’s alignment if they either perform acts contrary to their alignment (over time), or are willing to perform significant actions contrary to their alignment (immediately).  I will almost never do this without thoroughly discussing with the player, outside of the game and away from the other players, whether they have the same view of their actions and their alignment shift.  Only in the most extreme circumstances would I change a character’s alignment without the agreement of the player.  I think it’s only happened once, and not since the players of my game hit puberty.  I think the most hated arguments I’ve witnessed related to alignment were players debating with other players, which can sometimes, for a short while, be an interesting debate to have at the table.  It can elevate the game to a level of self-analysis that surpasses simply slaying the gremlins of the world.  I also like to include plenty of morally grey choices, although my group is pretty sophisticated in understanding the moral issues involved and they try to interpret how their individual characters would respond.

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