Monday, March 4, 2019

On Alignment

In the world of Emberfell, people are morally aligned in different ways. Anyone who has played an RPG in their time will understand the three alignments. Law, Neutrality, and Chaos. The three tenets set forth by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in the original 1974 publication of “Dungeons and Dragons” has caused strife in the role playing community ever since. But this article isn’t for RPG history, I’ll save that for another time. This article is for a dissection of alignment in the campaign setting “Emberfell”.

The people of Emberfell will recognize that someone is a more chaotic individual, or a more ordered and lawful personage. But they will not look at this as some part of a person’s basic info. Instead, they will judged people on those traits the same way we today would judge someone with those traits.

Instead, the idea of alignment, even as it pertains to  in-game religion, is a mechanic to help the readers understand the subject. Not as a calculable in-world factor. As such, players in the world of Emberfell should never be defined by their alignment. A character who defines themselves as Lawful may, at times, do chaotic things. And vice versa. That being said, players should thoroughly think through their character and how they would behave before they select an alignment.

The purpose of alignment, for me at least, is to help a Dungeon Master tailor an adventure to the players. An adventure would obviously be handled differently for Chaotic characters than it would be for Lawful characters.

As a side note, regardless of the ruleset used with Emberfell, characters can speak their alignment language and this is a common way for distant cultures to communicate. Alignment language is tied to Religion. Any follower of a Lawful god can speak Law. Same goes for Neutral and Chaos.

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