Welcome again fellow adventurers! Let’s take on Alignments and Attitudes this time.
In the last article, we discussed how to make an interesting character concept to role-play. But part of having something interesting to role-play is also having something that you can role-play – and keeping on track with that.
Alignment is one of those things. From the conception of roleplaying came alignments and how they affect and direct certain classes. With some systems it is more of a guidance and direction for the classes or templates or whatever they may be called.
It may appear by the wording I have been influenced by “the Force”, and maybe I have, but this did not come from that source. I based this article on a table in a book I saw a long time ago in this galaxy called Central Casting: Heroes of Legend (Paul Jaquays, Task Force Games, 1988. ISBN 0-922335-00-1). You will see this approach offers a different way of looking at the alignment schema and it fits in quite well as an overlap with the D&D schema and others.
The idea is that this gives you the D&D alignment equivalent and allows you more freedom at the same time. In the square brackets you will see things like [Lawful Neutral with good tendencies] as noted in the “Chivalrous Attitude” in the lists below. This means in the D&D schema the character is Lawful Neutral with good tendencies.
If you are Lawful Neutral with good tendencies that means you are not hard Lawful Neutral and typically lean towards having good ethics. This concept came out of early editions of the game but I do not remember if it is an idea adopted by the masses or is actually “in the books.” This supports the idea that some people fit between, sit or even lean on the fences, but it is not the strong side of their alignment views.
Let’s dive in and start with the good guys.
Followers of the lightside respect others rights. The preservation of life and freedom are among their highest goals. Such characters are often considered “good.”
Exemplar: Someone who feels that, overall, society is good and therefore so are the laws that come from that society. They are worthy of respect and honour. The best way to give back to that society is to do well and contribute while protecting it and its’ people from destruction. Holy characters would also add religion to this. [(Lawful Good) (5 LS)]
Chivalrous: Lives by the belief that the strong must protect the weak and can always be counted on to do the noble and honourable thing by choosing the “right” path. He is committed to upholding the laws, traditions, and values of a patron, order, or faction. He may have to fulfill more than one commitment in those regards. [(Lawful Neutral with good tendencies) (4 LS, 1 NS)]
Axiomatic: He is solidly respects the three categories of authority, rationality, and consistency. He will respect authority, follow logic and reason, and will not shift his behaviour easily. However, he won’t necessarily come at the absolute best at all three though. He wants what is best for all personally and societally. [(Lawful Neutral with neutral good tendencies)(3 LS, 2 NS)]
Worthy: The character has flaws in his moral fibre. Even so, he always tries to live by a high standard, but slips on occasion. He attempts to meet his commitments and do his duty out of a firm sense of self-respect. This character is primarily concerned with being good in general and trying at all times to work with and/or within the law. [(Neutral Good with lawful tendencies) (3 LS, 2 NS)]
Benevolent: “All have a right to their own views as long as it does not harm another.” He champions any side as long as their causes have good morals and ethics. He believes in fair play for all. He is like a knight, dedicated to his personal code of honour and the betterment of society and the individual. [(Neutral with lawful good tendencies) (3LS, 2 NS)]
Conscientious: Lives according to a strict personal code of ethics. An individualist who works for the benevolence and the good of the greatest number of people, but who may distrust authority, even living and working “outside the law.” These individuals behave much like Robin Hood who tried to work within the law but resorted to other means when pushed. [(Chaotic Good) (2 LS, 3 NS)]
The neutral side Attitudes and Alignments!
Keith R. Byers, A.Sc.T., Esq.