Thursday 4 April 2013

Alignment in Ionia

Alignment is an often discussed topic among D&D blogs with widely ranging views on how and whether to use it. For my Ionia setting I took a simple view, deciding to use the basic 3 point system; Lawful, Neutral, Chaotic.

The idea that Lawful=Good and Chaotic=Bad doesn't make much sense to me in a reasonably realistic world. If Chaos is an actual force in your game universe then sure, it's probably pretty much evil, but if thats the case why not use Good, Neutral, Evil as your 3 point system?

Anyway, I took the view that being Lawful or Chaotic are unrelated to concepts such as good and evil, especially in a world where the PCs and NPCs alike act in a decidedly grey moral zone.

In that spirit I decided:

These people believe in the importance of hierarchy and laws in order to maintain society. They would hand over their children to someone who held a position of authority over them if ordered to. Can range from dictators and fascists who enforce their beliefs on others through to thieves who set up guilds.

So most people in positions of power will be Lawful, as are people that make a living from a comfortable and structured society such as merchants, land owners, farmers etc.

Most people are Neutral, holding no strong views one way or the other,simply trying to live their lives and feed their families as best they can, worshipping no one god. This covers most normal people of all the sentient races in Ionia.

Worshippers of natural forces are also Neutral, working to keep the status quo and maintain the world in balance.

These people believe that randomness and decay are a natural part of life and that it should be accepted and encouraged.

Some strive to destroy civilisation in order to bring about a better world where there is no class system and people can be free to live without being ruled over by others while some simply revel in destruction and ruin.

Alignment in Game
In terms of game mechanics there is little effect from alignment, although Protection From spells work, often used by the followers of rival gods. There are a many gods that exist within each alignment bracket, I'll be posting some info about the 12 that are currently detailed later. Each god has some basic info in regards to followers, sphere/s of influence, image etc along with a few bonuses and penalties.

Having variations in spell lists and abilities allows for variant cleric classes such as druids to exist while not having to create a whole extra class for them. So far the rules have had little effect on the party as the cleric is a follower of the god of healing (predictably), allowing her to double the healing power of a spell once per day at the penalty of not being able to use damage causing spells.

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