View Full Version : Alternate "Alignment" for Homebrew Campaign

2009-07-28, 04:11 PM
I was wondering if anyoen had good ideas for alignments other than law vs chaos and good vs evil. Ideas or something that could be embodied in everything and that could replace the regular alignments. The homebrew campagin I'm planning to run is a medieval world where magic and fantasy are more common place than traditional D&D campaigns, but things are more extreme. I want to think up alignments other than good vs evil or law vs chaos. It can be as serious or silly, as long as it can be applied to the world in general. For all reasons related to rules, it shoudl match the regular D&D universe. Ideas?

2009-07-28, 04:20 PM
Make the alignment Red VS Blue, and never make it clear which side the players should root for. For best results alternate between Red & Blue campaigns. Blue happens to have undead and Inflict spells and such, but does that make them the wrong choice?

As for the Law/Chaos axis... keep the names, but it only reflects how strongly you adhere to the Red code (if Red) or the Blue code (if Blue).

2009-07-28, 04:23 PM
As I put in the other thread:

This looks less like good versus evil and more like yin versus yang. It's not quite the same, but I think it makes for a more interesting alignment axis.

If I had to do alignments myself, I'd probably make the two axes "Aggressive-Passive" and "Conscientious-Neurotic."

2009-07-28, 04:31 PM
There have been a couple of alignment axes described based on hungriness or funkiness. I'm not sure where to find them, though.

2009-07-28, 04:44 PM
Ask and ye shall receive. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55828)

2009-07-28, 04:46 PM
some possible alignments:
sane and insane
stable and unstable
big and small
up and down
left and right
one way and the other way.


2009-07-28, 05:16 PM
Ask and ye shall receive. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55828)


I may actually go with this. I'm serious, I want nothing better than to see the party have a dance off against a group of zombies. It'd be like the Dance Fights in Erfworld.

I'll start working on a few additions, like Funky and Square PrC for the core classes.

2009-07-28, 05:22 PM
Ask and ye shall receive. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55828)


ten characters

2009-07-28, 05:43 PM
You know what I found can be very good: The Magic the Gathering color system.

Players can choose one or two colors which represent their character, and it can also be a power source for mages and such.

The advantage is that it covers all things and it doesn't include an inherent good/evil judgement, so it avoids the problem of "yes I was killing him, but it was for the greater good", because doing something with a greater good motivation is green/white regardless of whether it's 'right' or 'wrong'.

2009-07-28, 05:44 PM
Here's a homebrew reinterpretation of Alignment I once suggested, but I've never used. It's incomplete, but see if it grabs your interest:

[quote]6.1: Alignment as Birthmarks

Under this system, every human being is born with a certain Mark that indicates his soul's Alignment. This Alignment is determined at birth by the Gods, with each God "claiming" a certain individual as his. However, the Mark is not an absolute indicator of someone's moral tendencies, and certainly not his personalities. While it defines an individual's first instincts, those instincts can be resisted with proper upbringing and discipline. Demihumans all share a specific mark, which is the mark of their deity and gravitates them towards that deity's alignment. However, they too can resist this basic nature. No matter what actions an individual takes, his Mark/Alignment will be unchanged. Scarring or burning can disguise a physical mark, but will not change an Alignment. Only certain spells and effects can alter a soul's Alignment, such as an Atonement spell. Likewise, these effects do not altar the physical mark.

The nine marks are as follows:

Mark of the Hound: Lawful Good

Those born under the Mark of the Hound are by nature loyal, honest and courageous. They firmly believe that laws and rules should exist to help every individual in a community, but that too much freedom inevitably gives way to cruel anarchy. Hounds like to work within the system, but they will not honor laws that are obviously unjust or cruel. Hounds love to punish evil, and may actively seek it out. They gravitate towards careers in law enforcement or as government judiciaries. Their strong morals can often prevent them from being effective soldiers, however.

Mark of the Unicorn: Neutral Good

People with a Mark of the Unicorn are generally less concerned with the question of freedom vs control, and more with simply helping as many as they can. They tend to be more empathetic and understanding of others. While Unicorns are lovers of life and tend towards selflessness, they hate to see wrongdoing and will fight to protect what they value. They are the most altruistic alignment, simply helping where they see it needed without the caveats of instilling order or freedom. Unicorns gravitate towards careers as teachers, priests, doctors and other "pillar of the community" type professions.

Mark of the Lion: Chaotic Good

Someone with a Mark of the Lion is altruistic and good-intentioned, but hates to take orders. They are solitary individualists, and can often throw a wrench into group dynamics. That said, Lions are often the feircest opponents of oppression in any form, and the most likely Alignment to produce a courageous individual. This is not to say that all Lions are anarchists, or that they want to tear down society, but they dislike having too many laws or governance of peoples' lives. As professionals, Lions are likely to be hunters or woodsmen of some kind, or explorers and pathfinders: anything that gets them away from the constraints and hustle of community life.

Mark of the Horse: Lawful Neutral

The Mark of the Horse characterizes someone as a lover of organization, rules and discipline. They do not have the hand-wringing hangups of the Hound, or the lusts of the wolf. They are simply attracted to order itself as the highest morality. This is not to say that Horses don't have loved ones or are incapable of emotion; but often they accept that no society is perfect, and that a few perhaps must be downtrodden for society to continue. They are creatures of habit and obey orders almost without thought. They can make excellent and well-organised, if uninnovative leaders. Beurocrats, soldiers, and more than a few monks or religious ascetics will bare the Mark of the Horse.

Mark of the Hare: Neutral

The Mark of the Hare is by far and away the most common mark humans receive. This is the Mark without extremes, but an enormous variety of tendencies. Hares feel that some order is good, but don't want to be repressed. They care for their families and those close to them, but wouldn't risk themselves to help a stranger. They harbor some ambitions, but wouldn't harm scads of people to fulfill them. Marks of the Hare are likely to be found in any position or level of society, but are the least likely to become adventurers due to their more sensible mindset.

Mark of the Dragon: Chaotic Neutral

Marks of the Dragon are individuals, first, last and forever. They aren't much interested in protecting the freedom of others, but will fight to the death to defend their own, holding independance as more important than life itself. They are given to spontanaity and spur-of-the-moment thinking, but they are not, as they are often portrayed, insane. Dragons can rarely hold any single profession long, and most are wanderers or nomads.

Mark of the Wolf: Lawful Evil

The Mark of the Wolf shows someone as a follower of order and tradition, but a soul lusting for power and control. Those with the Mark of the Wolf

Mark of the Vulture: Neutral Evil

Mark of the Boar: Chaotic Evil

Note that the description of each Alignment is given to its tendencies. There is plenty of room left for individual quirks, and of course, one is not necissarily beholden to act like their Alignment at all. Someone born with the mark of the Wolf could force himself to act like a Lion, through sheer will. However, many communities discriminate against those bearing undesirable brands. In most nations it is illegal to force someone to reveal their mark unless you are official Law Enforcement. The marks can be disfigured or removed by mundane or magical means--however, this does not change the fundamental drive of the character's nature. Any spell that would alter alignment will alter those urges, but will not effect the physical mark.

2009-07-28, 06:57 PM
Make the alignment Red VS Blue, and never make it clear which side the players should root for. For best results alternate between Red & Blue campaigns. Blue happens to have undead and Inflict spells and such, but does that make them the wrong choice?

As for the Law/Chaos axis... keep the names, but it only reflects how strongly you adhere to the Red code (if Red) or the Blue code (if Blue).

Neutrality, of course, is Purple.

2009-07-29, 08:21 AM
Ask and ye shall receive. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55828)

At first I thought that was merely humorous. Looking at it further, I realize it is both humorous and useful.

For my part, I have an alignment system for deities. It uses the good/evil axis, but instead of law/chaos they have benevolent/malevolent. St. Cuthbert, for example, is Malevolent Good instead of Lawful Neutral, in my world.

2009-07-29, 08:49 AM
We went with something that was basically the normal alignment system, but branched out: the Planar Alignment system. Players choose the plane their character would end up on after death (if they weren't a follower of a deity). Generally works pretty well. So, your alignment, if you were the typical paladin would be Celestial, but Arcadian or Bytopian would also be allowed.

2009-08-07, 10:28 AM
Instead of starting a new one, I think I'll just take over this thread and maybe it will get active again.

There's apaarently a word in Japanese, that is often translated as "evil", but more accurately means, "that, which causes suffering" So it's opposite would be "that, which prevents and reduces suffering". (Though I'm not too well informed about buddhist theology to say that's actually how it's supposed to work.) I really like the idea and would like to include it as one of the basics for a new alignment system, but it seems a bit simple to me as a system on it's own.

Star Wars has Light Side-Dark side, which comes down to Lawful (Good) vs. Chaotic (Evil).

Jade Empire has the Ways of the Open Palm and the Closed Fist. The Way of the Open Palm stands for help and gentleness, but also tends to take away responsibility from others and causes people to become more dependent. The Way of the Closed Fist is about Strength and Self-reliance, but also tends to cause oppression and is often uncaring. A very intresting idea, as neither is good or evil, and both are lawful and chaotic at the same time. Unfortunately the game simplefied it to nice people following the Open Palm and cruel people following the Closed Fist.

Oriental Adventures (3rd Ed.) and Legend of the Five Rings (d20), have Honor. Either you have much honor, or few honor. It's interesting, since a lawful evil character can have more honor than a lawful good character, but I think it mostly comes down to lawful behavior is better then chaos, and good behavior ist better than evil (but Law is better than Good).

And then there's Taint. Which seems to be contamination by evil radiation in both Oriental Adventures and Heroes of Horror. If you indulge in evil thoughts and acts, you gain taint, but if you are exposed to taint, you also gain it. And it slowly destroyes your body and mind.

Another interesting concept is Allegience from d20 modern. You pick up to three allegiences to any organization, religion, philosophy, or whatever. If a person with the allegiance "police" knows of your allegience "police", he's much more helpful because you're a colleague and you have to stick together. If your allegience "police" is known to someone with the allegience "runnaway kids gang", he will react negatively to you, compared to just a random person. The d20 Warcraft RPG has a very similar system, but you usually just pick Alliance or Horde, and it's preset by your character race.

I, also, think of new ways to handle alignment for my campaign setting. There are no cosmic forces at work, which removes detect evil, cloak of chaos, dictum, unholy weapons, and all other such effect. (Though there are detect hatred and detect compassion spells, which are very specific versions of detect thoughts.)
But I do enjoy the practice of putting small indicators to creatures and NPCs, which serve as very general hints about the characters thoughts and behavior.

I think maybe combining "destructive/preserving" with "personal strengh/communal strength", but it is not really that much different from regular alignment.