Sympathetic Alignments

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Purpose

Lawful/Chaotic, Good/Evil Alignment (LCGE Alignment) favors Lawful and Good alignments over Chaotic and Evil. The alignments do not reflect real-life motives or desires, characters are expected to follow their alignment because they ARE that alignment. Whenever a player wants to play something morally complex the system begins to break down and becomes largely circumstantial.

My Ramblings to Give Context

In Dungeons and Dragons, alignment is black and white and do not match real-life motives. It is difficult to define a complex character with well defined motive with LCGE Alignment. The name of the alignments are Lawful Good centric. with the word "lawful" being more positive than the word "chaotic". chaotic aligned people think of themselves as free and adaptable, not impulsive, reckless, or irresponsible and certainly wouldn't call themselves "chaotic" and would prefer to be called "independent" or some such. All alignment are equally faulted and the language that surrounds it isn't reflecting it.

NPC Heroes and PC should embody positive aspects of their alignment. honor, trustworthiness, and reliability (law). freedom, adaptability, and flexibility (chaos). altruism, respect for life, and dignity (good). Determination, self ­reliance , and steadfast (evil). Villains would embody negative aspect of their alignment. closed-mindedness, judgmental, and a lack of adaptability (law). Recklessness, and irresponsibility (chaos). Self-righteous, martyr, and pacifistic (good). Harming, oppressing, and killing others (evil).

As it stands only Lawful and Good alignments are portrayed positively, which I find problematic.


Research

Basic Human Values Shalom H. Schwartzstates that there are ten basic values.

  • Self-Direction - Independent thought and action; choosing, creating, exploring. Associated single values are: freedom, creativity, independence, choosing one's own goals, being curious, having self-respect.
  • Stimulation - Excitement, novelty, and challenge in life. Associate single values are: having an exciting and varied life, being daring.
  • Hedonism - Pleasure and sensuous gratification for oneself. Associated single values are: experiencing pleasure and enjoying life.
  • Achievement - Personal success through demonstrating competence according to social standards. Associated single values are: being ambitious, influential, capable, successful, intelligence, and having self-respect.
  • Power - Social status and prestige, control or dominance over people and resources. Associate single values are: having social power, wealth, and authority, preserving one's own public image, and having social recognition.
  • Security - Safety, harmony, and stability of society, of relationships, and of self. Associate single values are: ensuring national security, reciprocation of favors, ensuring family security, having a sense of belonging, preserving the social order, being healthy and clean.
  • Conformity - Restraint of actions, inclinations, and impulses likely to upset or harm others and violate social expectations or norms. Associated single values are: being obedient, having self-discipline, being polite, honoring parents and elders.
  • Tradition - Respect, commitment, and acceptance of the customs and ideas that traditional culture or religion provide the self. Associated single values are: respecting tradition, being devout, accepting one's own portion in life, being humble, and taking life in moderation.
  • Benevolence - Preserving and enhancing the welfare of those with whom one is in frequent personal contact (the "in-group"). Associated single values are: being helpful, responsible, forgiving, honest loyal, and having mature love for others and true friendships.
  • Universalism - Understanding, appreciation, tolerance, and protection for the welfare of all people and for nature. Associated single values are: advancing equality, being one with nature, having wisdom, filling the world with beauty, advancing social justice, being broad-minded, protecting the environment, and see the world at peace.

These values are arranged in a pie with the four cardinals being Self-Transcendence opposite of it, Self-Enhancement. Conservation, opposite of it, Openness to Change. A pattern begins to emerge. It isn't too far of a stretch to interpret this as the four cardinal alignments.

Alignments are broken into these values

Traditional Humane Conformity/Tradition and Benevolence Practical Humane Benevolence and Universalism Self-Directed Humane Universalism and Self-Direction
Traditional Realistic Security and Conformity/Tradition Practical Realistic any Self-Directed Realistic Self-Direction and Stimulation
Traditional Ambitious Power and Security Practical Ambitious Achievement and Power Self-Directed Ambitious Hedonism

Character Creation

  1. Select top three values in order of Priority for your character.
  2. Select an alignment using the table.

Additional Resources