Alignments and Rules
So, WOW! I just wanted to ask a few things since this is the first time I’m getting to look at everything.
What sources were all the alignment commandments and sins pulled from? I recognize only the paragraph or two at the top of each alignment page as being from the core rule book. The way you define certain alignments may be very different from the way I define them, but so long as the core rule book definition is followed (no matter how vague it may be) that should be good enough in my opinion. My worry is that focusing on these details will do nothing, but take away from the enjoyment of the game. I can’t tell you how much I hated the time I was repeatedly harassed for the decisions I took with my Neutral Evil character. When the suggested actions showed no foresight and fell more under the category of chaotic evil in my opinion.
Also I noticed that the land in this campaign is Varisia, which could work out since I’ve been developing a caster who utilizes Varisian Tattoo Magic. My statement leads to this next question, I plan to make a Tattooed Sorceress, so are there still issues with players making opposite gender characters? This is how I see my character and how I developed her. I’d rather not sacrifice my creativity for the sake of social comfort.
The tattoo mage sounds badass! and I really really do WANT people to LOVE their characters. I want them to be so invested in them that they can imagine themselves AS their PCs or if we got transported to DND you’d want to be that PC in a story.
What I don’t want is people taking an alignment, Race, class, sex or anything just to gain an advantage without really bringing something out in the character not role-played. (Not that I’m singling anyone out at all)
(Example – someone taking a flaw of slow movement to gain a feat of something, but not give a storyline to the why or how of the slow movement)
(example – taking Chaotic Neutral – just so you can kill whom you want when you want without a morale role-play and then not role-play them in a group as chaotic or neutral when it comes to every other situation…if you’re chaotic, play it chaotically, if its neutral BE neutral)
Play how you want, whatever you want. Alignment isn’t a strict structure to play within; it is a guide as to what the PC tends to do in situations. If one alignment doesn’t fit your definition of it, look for the one that most closely does. That still doesn’t mean that you have to play within those confines. A lawful good character can commit murder just as a Chaotic Evil one could. The lawful good just tells the DM that in most cases that PC will tend to do good and follow a lawful pathway. There are no penalties for not playing with in an alignment the DM thinks you are supposed to be playing in, but if you tend to do more evil than good or you follow a more lawful path than chaotic or neutral then the DM has the ability to move your AL one step this way or that way. Such as a Lawful Good Character committing murder might be moved to Neutral Good for a time until (if he even wants) to atone for such actions….not that he even has too. Many characters in stories move across the AL grid as they develop. You definitely don’t have to stay in one.
I posted the definitions because I feel it helps a person play IN character. My main thing isn’t to hamper creativity, but to avoid people flip flopping from good to evil and then just justify it as neutral. If it’s truly neutral then play it as neutral.
In regard to men playing woman pc’s I just want to avoid (Not that you do this) but avoid guys using the female role to gain benefits without truly playing it as a woman might. Such as someone playing a female and if the bartender says he won’t give the information out that the male PC sucks him off when most woman wouldn’t do that, but then complain if the DM sets an encounter that would benefit a male PC and complain about it. (Not that you’d do such)
Re-reading your post, these descriptions of Alignments were based on Gary Gygax and his first use of alignment since the creation of the game and have been the ‘ideal’ and standard description since 1974 in Tactical Studies and Rules, D&D, Chainmail, Battlesystem, AD&D, AD&D 2nd edition, 3rd Edition, 3.5, and the basis of Pathfinder…as well as with me since 1986. =)
So again use you own interrupt in the short term, but as most players/DMs, GM’s know – the final version is up to the DM’s interpretation. I posted these not to hinder or take away from the game, but to give you all the version of how Jeff DM’s. So that if a situation arises and a point of view is in dispute – you have a reference as to “how I see it” or “how I will rule on it”
Plus I think for the most part it’s very accurate, but with all that said, again, it’s just alignment to act as a guide in the average situation, not concrete law.