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 5 aligments better than 9
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Sluban
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  15:03:52  Show Profile Send Sluban a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Am I only one who think that 5 aligments are better than 9? Purely lawful evill and chaotic good make no sense. Also unaligned is better than 3 neutral aligments. Dont know why they revert to archaic 9. There always were too many aligments for me. Btw is there any crpg on d&d4 rules?

Seethyr
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  15:26:11  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sluban

Am I only one who think that 5 aligments are better than 9? Purely lawful evill and chaotic good make no sense. Also unaligned is better than 3 neutral aligments. Dont know why they revert to archaic 9. There always were too many aligments for me. Btw is there any crpg on d&d4 rules?



I’d have to disagree for a number of reasons. Purely lawful evil to me is the very definition of oppressive governments and corruption. As recently shown in Descent Into Avernus, devils embody this evil perfectly.

Chaotic Good is the diametric opposite in every way. Think of the countless heroes in real world lore, history, even religions that didn’t exactly follow the rules. They are no “less good” than any others.

Neutrality isn’t just an average between chaos and law imo, though I think a lot of official products treat it that way. Instead you seek a healthy balance between the two extremes. This neutrality can work on both the law/chaos or good/evil axis.

Finally, and I find this to be so more for selfish reasons - it just dumps on too many years of lore to make a sudden switch. What’s the advantage exactly? Even if the pro-5 alignment argument was the valid one, is the shake up in planar cosmology (again) and other massive changes in lore really worth it. In the FR context, I feel like it would inherently create its own “worst RSE ever” as 40 years of lore get the “well it’s always actually been this way” treatment. That’s exactly what drove me so nuts about 4e, even though I could have loved a lot of the new lore introduced during that time.

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Irennan
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  15:27:45  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not sure why CG and LE make no sense, but alignment is one of the most pointless rules in D&D. Don't use alignment; use flaws (a character's weakness is its most important trait), personality traits, motivations; also, what a character wants (their goals), and what a character needs (what they need to do to become a better person, to be happier, to overcome their flaws--which is often different from what they want). Basically, if you define your character, alignment becomes a pointless label.

As for 4e D&D CRPG, you have only the Neverwinter MMO, which doesn't even sue the 4e rules; it just takes some 4e powers for the various classes and tries to translate them in MMO mechanics.

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Edited by - Irennan on 09 Oct 2019 15:30:40
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BadLuckBugbear
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  16:15:46  Show Profile Send BadLuckBugbear a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Five, eh?

Why not just three? Law, Neutral, Chaos. It works just fine for the original game and the Basic/Classic editions.

Holmes Basic uses Gygax's expanded five alignment system from Dragon (or was that the Strategic Review--I have read the article in Best of Dragon #1). That version uses Lawful Evil and Chaotic Good.

Lawful Good -------Chaotic Good
-----------neutral-----------
Lawful Evil--------Chaotic Evil



Warhammer Fantasy makes good use of a five alignment schema, one which seems descended from Holmes Basic D&D or the same literary roots.
Lawful-Good-Neutral-Evil-Chaos

I don't see much difference between 4E D&D's 'unaligned' and the neutral or other editions. It's the same thing, unless you mean by neutrality some strange adherence to 'Balance.' A balance between Law and Chaos makes sense, but it's hard to imagine why anyone would consciously wish to balance Good and Evil.


I do like alignment. I think it is a useful game tool. It shows where a character, monster, cult etc stands in relation to cosmic forces--with which forces or powers he or it is aligned.





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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  16:30:39  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
LE and CG are among my preferred alignments for NPCs, though I prefer NE and NG most of all. Really, I only dislike CN, N, and CE.

That said, I see no issue with the current setup of 9 alignments, and I've never understood the viewpoint that alignment rules were restrictive or any sort of problematic.

At most, I can see relabeling true N to Unaligned. I don't see a need for any other changes.

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Irennan
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  16:36:58  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
I've never understood the viewpoint that alignment rules were restrictive or any sort of problematic.



More than problematic, I'd say pointless. It's far from enough for defining a character, and once you define a character, it becomes redundant.

I mean, there's the point that BadLuckBugbear makes about alignment showing which side a creature or whatever stands on in the cosmic conflict, but I still fail to see the point for similar reasons. If you have a faction or foe, just slapping an alignment on them won't be enough to play them out in a game or storyline, and once you add the elements that allow you to play them, their allegiance becomes evident without the need of alignment.

It could be a quick reference, but nothing more than that.

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Edited by - Irennan on 09 Oct 2019 16:41:12
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BadLuckBugbear
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  17:00:05  Show Profile Send BadLuckBugbear a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
I've never understood the viewpoint that alignment rules were restrictive or any sort of problematic.



More than problematic, I'd say pointless. It's far from enough for defining a character, and once you define a character, it becomes redundant.

I mean, there's the point that BadLuckBugbear makes about alignment showing which side a creature or whatever stands on in the cosmic conflict, but I still fail to see the point for similar reasons. If you have a faction or foe, just slapping an alignment on them won't be enough to play them out in a game or storyline, and once you add the elements that allow you to play them, their allegiance becomes evident without the need of alignment.

It could be a quick reference, but nothing more than that.



I find that quick reference rather handy from a DM point of view, although in practice alignment remains mostly submerged in play.

I do think the game runs fine without alignment so long as certain magic items, spells, and class features are modified or left out.
I seem to recall an article in Dragon that provided alternate spells.abilities for detect evil. Stuff like detect heresy, detect enemies, etc.

3E's Taint rules can be used as an alternative to the alignment system
So can Powers Checks and levels of corruption from Ravenloft.

The question for me is: what does this rule do? What's it supposed to do?

Is it showing alignment to a faction or force? Describing personality and behavior? Both?
Showing a metaphysical status?

If your setting is not much concerned with cosmic struggles and metaphysics, maybe alignment won't be very important and can be left out.




Ewan Cummins

Edited by - BadLuckBugbear on 09 Oct 2019 17:05:20
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Irennan
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  17:23:37  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Indeed, it sounds an optional rule that is best suited for certain kinds of settings, but that can make absolutely no sense in others.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  17:29:57  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I only use 2 alignments, because in the end they are the only two that matter - Good and Evil, you can also not be either and therefore Neutral but that is more of an absence of alignment.


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BadLuckBugbear
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  18:05:13  Show Profile Send BadLuckBugbear a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

I only use 2 alignments, because in the end they are the only two that matter - Good and Evil, you can also not be either and therefore Neutral but that is more of an absence of alignment.





Nice and simple.

I've been tempted to do something like that with Ravenloft.

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Seethyr
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  18:18:25  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Maybe I am just antiquated in my thinking but I still see D&D's main point being the cosmic struggle between opposing forces and Planescape's Rule of Three (in this case 3 by 3) still factors heavily in my games.

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Irennan
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  18:33:00  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

Maybe I am just antiquated in my thinking but I still see D&D's main point being the cosmic struggle between opposing forces and Planescape's Rule of Three (in this case 3 by 3) still factors heavily in my games.



That's not being antiquated, that's preferring one style of setting over the rest. However, esecially as of late, D&D has kinda moved on from this, especially in its attempt to be a ruleset that can be applied to most generic fantasy campaigns, and even other fantasy genres, rather than being tied to one single setting.

Alignment starts to be relevant if the rules say "this game is about the struggles between cosmic forces, and your character, willing or not, is tied to one of them. Choose one". That's the case for Planescape, but not even all D&D settings involve that.

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Edited by - Irennan on 09 Oct 2019 18:34:25
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BadLuckBugbear
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  19:19:12  Show Profile Send BadLuckBugbear a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The HR series was an admirable attempt to modify AD&D2E to run different historical fantasy genres, Earths without all the Tolkien races, dinosaurs, killer slimes, and mythological mashup of 'kitchen sink' D&D. I owned most of them but hardly ever used them and I eventually sold them off.traded them away.

The one I didn't own, Crusades, is the one I'd be most likely to actually run. For that I'd probably replace the standard alignment system with allegiances or piety traits. I'd want a mechanic for sure, just not nine point alignment, AD&D style.


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Edited by - BadLuckBugbear on 09 Oct 2019 19:20:24
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BadLuckBugbear
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  19:22:44  Show Profile Send BadLuckBugbear a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Does Realms work without alignment?

I suppose patron gods could take its place.

Characters without a patron or with multiple and conflicting patrons would be unaligned.

I'm thinking of the Down to Earth Divinity article in Dragon#54, which I just reread last night.

Ewan Cummins

Edited by - BadLuckBugbear on 09 Oct 2019 19:24:25
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  19:49:42  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Part of the reason I've never seen an issue with the 9 alignments is because it's just a guideline.

People who are this alignment tend to favor X over Y, and A over B. People who are this other alignment favor Y over X, but A or B depends on the scenario -- and so forth.

It's not a hard and fast rule that forces people into a behavioral strait-jacket, though a lot of players have acted like it is.

A lot of people seem to not understand that it's behavioral tendencies, and it's normal and acceptable to sometimes act in ways that aren't specific to the listed alignment. Being a paladin doesn't mean you can't put your feet up, enjoy an ale, and flirt with the barmaid, and even the most chaotic evil despot may still have a wife and family he dotes on. (I once had fun with the idea of an assassin who never outgrew his childhood fear of his grandmother)

It's kinda like politics -- without getting into specifics, just because you are a member of one party/political group doesn't mean you can't think another group, even a rival one, has the better approach or viewpoint on a particular topic. (Note: NOT an invitation for real-world political commentary!)

I think the alignment system is a good system for judging how someone is likely to act; the type of behavior you can reasonably expect -- but it covers a broad spectrum of possibilities and doesn't force people into specific niches.

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Sluban
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  20:41:40  Show Profile Send Sluban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know about mmo but I dont consider it proper crpg. I agree that in some way all alligments are pointless but if they have to be 5 are better than 9. As for examples:

-Lawful evill is pointless because evil characters always should take advantage if they can. Tyranies and corrupt goverment are evill not lawful evill. Law is only useful tool and if they can they break it themselfs (corruption etc. isnt lawful). They just prefer to enjoy safety and power from law. They are simply organized evill which is paradoxaly more decieful than chaotic evill. Devils use contracts as means to decieve and demons are openly evill using pure strength.
-Chaotic good make no sense because there is no reason for good character to opose good laws. Most heroes going against rules are good not chaotic they fight rules as means to fight evill. If some hero breaks laws for breking laws sake and not for good they are unaligned at best.
-As for neutral there is no reason for three diffrent aligment. Lawful neutral is more puppet following any authority than aligment. True neutral is almost impossible to exist and really make no sense, chaotic neutral is simply unaligned or evill if they cross the line.

As for lawful good and chaotic evill they are in some way also somewhat strange so as someone said good, unaligned and evill as only three are also good possibilities. Many games have system with only 2 aligments and only one neutral in between.

-Lawful good isnt as bad becuse it represents someone restrainet by rules but still wanting to do good so in some way is less pure good as simply good aligment
-Chaotic evill is also pretty strange as someone evill should take advantage from law if its profitable, they are more like savages which cant restrain themselfs for greater gain.

But still chaos is more compatibile with evill and law with good so these two aligment are somewhat possible. Its hard for evill to stick to rules and its hard to be good destroying all rules. Chaos and goodness simply dont match themselves only evill law can be broken by good characters. Also pure evill characters cant be dedicated to rules as rules are often disadvantage for theirs selfish needs. All lore can be esily converted to 5 aligments system and not throw away. For example blood wars is war between evill and chaotic evill. Its organized evill against savage evill. Imagine conflict between chaotic good and lawful good its ridicolus. Good character is at odds with lawful good when lawful one dont want to break evill rules and try to be good or change them but not going against them. When there is no need for breaking law both good and lawful good are coexisting at peace. Where is the place for chaotic good? There is none. Chaotic good is only side of of good character not aligment on its own. The same way lawful evill is only side of evill aligment and it break when evill character is threartened by law or rules. Imagine lawful good paladin being unjustly sentenced for death. He will accept it and at most pledge innocence. So called lawful evill in the same situation rather would break law than die even if he is guilty. There is much more examples of it but in the end all aligments are pointless when you consider that not all agree that the same thing is good or evill.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  20:59:00  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There are plenty of people who don't break laws but twist them to their advantage. That's lawful evil.

And plenty of good people either find laws oppressive or unnecessary. Even good laws can have a negative effect, because of scenarios unforeseen by the writers of those laws. CG is about about pure freedom, without any artificial restraints imposed from above -- kind of a "I know what is right and don't need to follow someone else's rules to do the right thing."


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Sluban
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  21:13:41  Show Profile Send Sluban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

There are plenty of people who don't break laws but twist them to their advantage. That's lawful evil.

And plenty of good people either find laws oppressive or unnecessary. Even good laws can have a negative effect, because of scenarios unforeseen by the writers of those laws. CG is about about pure freedom, without any artificial restraints imposed from above -- kind of a "I know what is right and don't need to follow someone else's rules to do the right thing."





For me you somewhat described Evill and Good aligments not Lawfull Evill and Chaotic Good. For good character good law isnt necessary to break because its compatibile with their idea of good. Living without laws is impossible even so called chaotic character must have some rules if they are not pure evill savages. And characters twisting law to their advantage are Evil not Lawful Evil they would not endanger themselves for these laws.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  21:47:51  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sluban

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

There are plenty of people who don't break laws but twist them to their advantage. That's lawful evil.

And plenty of good people either find laws oppressive or unnecessary. Even good laws can have a negative effect, because of scenarios unforeseen by the writers of those laws. CG is about about pure freedom, without any artificial restraints imposed from above -- kind of a "I know what is right and don't need to follow someone else's rules to do the right thing."





For me you somewhat described Evill and Good aligments not Lawfull Evill and Chaotic Good. For good character good law isnt necessary to break because its compatibile with their idea of good. Living without laws is impossible even so called chaotic character must have some rules if they are not pure evill savages. And characters twisting law to their advantage are Evil not Lawful Evil they would not endanger themselves for these laws.



This is your opinion. Many people feel that living without laws is not only possible, it's the best possible outcome.

And it doesn't matter if a lawful evil person wouldn't endanger themselves for laws -- if they're working within a system and twisting it to their advantage, it's lawful evil. Self-endangerment is not a factor.

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Sluban
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  22:07:25  Show Profile Send Sluban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Sluban

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

There are plenty of people who don't break laws but twist them to their advantage. That's lawful evil.

And plenty of good people either find laws oppressive or unnecessary. Even good laws can have a negative effect, because of scenarios unforeseen by the writers of those laws. CG is about about pure freedom, without any artificial restraints imposed from above -- kind of a "I know what is right and don't need to follow someone else's rules to do the right thing."





For me you somewhat described Evill and Good aligments not Lawfull Evill and Chaotic Good. For good character good law isnt necessary to break because its compatibile with their idea of good. Living without laws is impossible even so called chaotic character must have some rules if they are not pure evill savages. And characters twisting law to their advantage are Evil not Lawful Evil they would not endanger themselves for these laws.



This is your opinion. Many people feel that living without laws is not only possible, it's the best possible outcome.

And it doesn't matter if a lawful evil person wouldn't endanger themselves for laws -- if they're working within a system and twisting it to their advantage, it's lawful evil. Self-endangerment is not a factor.



Self-endangerment is factor its proof that laws are only tools for them and they dont like tools being used against them. They would easily break these laws if it would be advantageous for them. And so called chaotic good must use some rules to coexist with others otherwise they are selfish and self serving so no good. For example how would they use land resources and resolve conflicts with other chaotics? This look too much as rule by might so no good here. If they have some morality this morality is laws for them so they naturaly coexist with others sharing this morality creating good alignent society which naturaly have some rules even if they dont enforce these rules they must deal with those they consider immoral. So nonexistence of laws is illusion.
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BadLuckBugbear
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  22:19:01  Show Profile Send BadLuckBugbear a Private Message  Reply with Quote
RE Neutrality and 'Balance' I think the concept is fine in relation to Order (Law) and Chaos, but breaks down badly with Good and Evil.

What would deliberately balancing good and evil look like?
Kick a puppy because you helped an old lady across the street?

Rather than seeking balance, I'd say apathy, cowardice, and muddled shades of gray are what Neutrality between Good and Evil represent. It's not an ideology or a principle, but a condition of not being good enough to be good-aligned nor evil enough to be evil-aligned. The Neutral may consider himself a 'good person' but he's not walking the walk.
He's hardly even trying.
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As he steps over the hungry beggar...

Your views may vary, as ever.

:)


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Edited by - BadLuckBugbear on 09 Oct 2019 22:25:41
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Diffan
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  22:24:07  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've always thought alignment was pretty mutable as a mechanic, which also meant that it wasn't that important overall. Something I am happy they've steered away from is the requirement of certain alignments for classes or punitive consequences when said alignment is broken.

The thing is you can easily adopt whichever system you want and it roughly works out the same. A 9 Point alignment in 4e is perfectly fine and a 5 point one works in 5e. 3e requires a tad switching but by no means difficult.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  22:30:43  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sluban


Self-endangerment is factor its proof that laws are only tools for them and they dont like tools being used against them. They would easily break these laws if it would be advantageous for them. And so called chaotic good must use some rules to coexist with others otherwise they are selfish and self serving so no good. For example how would they use land resources and resolve conflicts with other chaotics? This look too much as rule by might so no good here. If they have some morality this morality is laws for them so they naturaly coexist with others sharing this morality creating good alignent society which naturaly have some rules even if they dont enforce these rules they must deal with those they consider immoral. So nonexistence of laws is illusion.



Self-endangerment is not a factor. Rules and laws can be twisted without any self-endangerment; that is often part of the appeal -- the laws are protecting the person twisting them.

People don't need laws to come to a consensus or to do their own thing while letting others do theirs. Laws are necessary for society after that society grows past a certain point, but smaller numbers can readily live with just the simple thing of not getting in each others way.

Laws and morality are not the same thing -- a law passed by a corrupt regime for the benefit of that regime is most likely not a moral one. Morality and law are often opposed -- some people find some legal things to be immoral.

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Sluban
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  22:35:46  Show Profile Send Sluban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thats why unaligned is better than neutral. I already said that true neutral is ridiclous and impossible. Law and chaos also dont work nice as chaotic good and lawful evill also look ridiclous. In end its narrowed to good and evill, and even this is questionable as not all agree if something is good or evill.
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Alexander Clark
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  22:37:19  Show Profile Send Alexander Clark a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sluban
-Lawful evill is pointless because evil characters always should take advantage if they can. Tyranies and corrupt goverment are evill not lawful evill. Law is only useful tool and if they can they break it themselfs (corruption etc. isnt lawful).


What about people supporting some kind of evil tyranny while honestly believing it's for a greater good?

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Sluban
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Posted - 09 Oct 2019 :  22:39:45  Show Profile Send Sluban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alexander Clark

quote:
Originally posted by Sluban
-Lawful evill is pointless because evil characters always should take advantage if they can. Tyranies and corrupt goverment are evill not lawful evill. Law is only useful tool and if they can they break it themselfs (corruption etc. isnt lawful).


What about people supporting some kind of evil tyranny while honestly believing it's for a greater good?





But they dont consider themselves or the tyranny evil so its not question of alligment but of whats good or evil.
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