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TuggyNE
2013-02-02, 07:45 AM
So, a recent post in another forum made me think it would be useful to collect a bunch of different oppositional pairs that could define alignment. Each of these should probably fit most or all of these traits:
Pairs of opposites
Plausible reasons for choosing each
Defines a major aspect of a being's life
Represents some metaphysical or philosophical ideal
Has strong mortal advocates who may be willing to fight against their opposite numbers
Strongly influences the cosmos
Widespread or ubiquitous in the setting
Can't be easily reduced to a more conventional pair

Most people are familiar with Good and Evil, and Law and Chaos; in the linked post are Pax and Strive (as well as references to some others from published systems like Magic and Tech), and various posters have described things like Funky and Square. How many others can we come up with?

So, here's a list, as best I can figure, of the axes so far.
Fits all listed traits: Pax vs Strive
Magic vs Tech (in some cases)
Light and Dark side of the Force (in theory)
Altruist vs Mercenary
Love vs Hate
Aggressive vs Defensive (in theory)
Yin vs Yang
Art vs Science (?)
Life vs Death
Nature vs Artifice
Productive vs Destructive
Winter Court vs Summer Court
Faith vs Skepticism (in some cases)
Neutral vs Opinionated
Rose vs Flame
Energy vs Entropy (?)

Not a pair of opposites: Meta vs Natural vs Power

No rational reason to choose one or the other: Right vs Wrong
Zombies vs Robots
Obnoxious vs Charming
Divine vs Mundane (?)
Cheese vs Flour
Happy vs Sad

Represents no particular philosophical ideal: Funky vs Square
Charming vs Tedious
Subtle vs Overt
Sneaky vs Blunt
Fonzie vs Potsie
Mary Ann vs Ginger
Obnoxious vs Charming
Straight vs Funny
Introvert vs Extrovert
Function vs Form
Affable vs Maniacal

Creates no substantial mortal conflict: Funky vs Square
Instinct vs Analysis
Charming vs Tedious
Optimist vs Pessimist
Fonzie vs Potsie
Mary Ann vs Ginger
Obnoxious vs Charming
Straight vs Funny
Introvert vs Extrovert
Passion vs Thought
Function vs Form
Personality traits in Pendragon (Chaste/Lustful, Energetic/Lazy, Forgiving/Vengeful, Generous/Selfish, Honest/Deceitful, Just/Arbitrary, Merciful/Cruel, Modest/Proud, Pious/Worldly, Prudent/Reckless, Temperate/Indulgent, Trusting/Suspicious, and Valorous/Cowardly)
Ninja vs Monk
Active vs Passive
Stasis vs Dynamism
Affable vs Maniacal
Cynic vs Dreamer
Wonder vs Wariness
Internal vs External
Ego vs Id

Does not majorly affect cosmic structure: Funky vs Square
Open Palm vs Closed Fist
Paragon vs Renegade
Kalserens vs Falicians
Wild vs Civilization
Glory vs Stability (?)
Instinct vs Analysis
Charming vs Tedious
Optimist vs Pessimist
Tradition vs Progress (?)
Long Term vs Short Term
Subtle vs Overt
Fonzie vs Potsie
Mary Ann vs Ginger
Superman vs Batman
Total Match vs Complete Opposite
Obnoxious vs Charming
Ninja vs Pirate
Straight vs Funny
Introvert vs Extrovert
Nice vs Jerk
Ninja vs Monk
Active vs Passive
Faith vs Skepticism (in some cases)
Happy vs Sad
Liberal vs Conservative
Affable vs Maniacal
Antihero vs Traditional Hero
Cynic vs Dreamer
Wonder vs Wariness
Internal vs External
Undead vs Alive
Ego vs Id

Uncommon in setting mindsets Glory vs Stability (in most cases)
Instinct vs Analysis
Subtle vs Overt
Aggressive vs Defensive (often)
Fonzie vs Potsie
Superman vs Batman
Total Match vs Complete Opposite
Ninja vs Monk
Affable vs Maniacal
Antihero vs Traditional Hero
Wonder vs Wariness
Internal vs External

Renamed version of a more conventional pairing: Light and Dark side of the Force (Good vs Evil, in practice)
Open Palm vs Closed Fist (Good vs Evil, in practice)
Kalserens vs Falicians (Chaos vs Law)
Honor vs Dishonor (Law vs Chaos)
Wild vs Civilization (Chaos vs Law?)
Many vs Few (Law vs Chaos)
Community vs Individualism (Law vs Chaos)
Control vs Spontaneity (Law vs Chaos)
Spock vs McCoy (Law vs Chaos, to some extent)
Gryffindor vs Slytherin (LG vs CE)
Dogs vs Cats (LG vs CN, loosely)
Masculine vs Feminine (Yin vs Yang)
Zombies vs Robots (CE vs LE)
Organization vs Entropy (Law vs Chaos)
Cheese vs Flour (CG vs LE)
Generous vs Selfish (Good vs Evil)

Yora
2013-02-02, 08:06 AM
Jade Empire describes Open Palm and Closed Fist at the beginning. It then completely ignores the description and continues as a simple Good/Evil alignment, but the idea is basically Doves/Hawks.

The gentle way avoids confrontation and focuses on deescalation, but has the downside that it could wait too long when decisive action is required and allow a problem to grow too big to be solved.
The hardass way is about direct action and taking control, but has the downside of escalating conflicts that could have been avoided and making people more forceful and ruthless than would have been needed.

darni
2013-02-02, 08:38 AM
You can find a lot of discussion about this in this older post (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=254815)

KillianHawkeye
2013-02-02, 11:13 AM
Well, there is always blue and orange... (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlueAndOrangeMorality)

SowZ
2013-02-02, 11:19 AM
Jade Empire describes Open Palm and Closed Fist at the beginning. It then completely ignores the description and continues as a simple Good/Evil alignment, but the idea is basically Doves/Hawks.

The gentle way avoids confrontation and focuses on deescalation, but has the downside that it could wait too long when decisive action is required and allow a problem to grow too big to be solved.
The hardass way is about direct action and taking control, but has the downside of escalating conflicts that could have been avoided and making people more forceful and ruthless than would have been needed.

Bioware does it similarly in Mass Effect. It has Paragon and Renegade, which mirror Open Palm/Closed Fist better than Good/Evil. I also think it does it in a more reasonable way. Personally, for the big decisions and many of the smaller ones, I usually agree with Renegade Shepard. Which goes to show one side isn't right or wrong.

Then, of course, there is light side and dark side of the force. Looking at their philosophy, there are actually perfectly valid arguments for both and some of the things in the light side philosophy seem wrong, even. Of course, every movie/game/etc. depicts dark side as scenery chewing puppy eaters and the light side is usually full of self sacrificing noble heros. In practice, it is good/evil. In theory, it could be a lot deeper than that.

Mr.Silver
2013-02-02, 12:37 PM
Jade Empire describes Open Palm and Closed Fist at the beginning. It then completely ignores the description and continues as a simple Good/Evil alignment, but the idea is basically Doves/Hawks.
The gentle way avoids confrontation and focuses on deescalation, but has the downside that it could wait too long when decisive action is required and allow a problem to grow too big to be solved.
The hardass way is about direct action and taking control, but has the downside of escalating conflicts that could have been avoided and making people more forceful and ruthless than would have been needed.

What you're describing there is Paragon/Renagade from Mass Effect, which is basically a distinction in approach to the same goal. That is not how Open Palm and Closed Fist are descirbed. The difference between Open Palm and Closed Fist is that they're fundamentally opposed philosophies, both of which place a strong emphasis upon self-improvement.
Open Palm is probably closer to what you'd consider traditional 'good' behaviour - it's about developing and using your strength/wisdom/etc. to help others to resist tyranny. While it does advocate avoiding violence where possible, it is not about opposed to fighting where necessary (most of its followers are martial artists, after all). The traditional 'failure' when following Open Palm is using your own power to control others, to force them to do what you see as being the right thing - effectively becoming the source of tyranny yourself.

Closed Fist, on the other hand values personal strength as the end-goal. It sees life as being a constant provider of adversity and that only by facing adversity can one become strong. The purpose of following closed fist is to provide an example of this, and if your purpose requires you to you injure or kill then that's what you do - because it is always more noble to die fighting against adversity then survive by surrendering to it. The traditional 'failure' of following Closed Fist is to forget that violence must always serve a purpose - toying with enemies or killing for pleasure is worthless and pathetic - and that personal strength is something that must always be strived for.

To give an example, an open palm follower would hold a slaver in contempt because slavery is a form of tyranny and would fight to free the slave. A closed fist follower might hold a slaver in contempt because the slaver relies on the strength of his slave rather than his own and would arm the slave so that they could then overthrow their master.
To put in simple terms, Open Palm helps others; Closed Fist teaches others to help themselves.

That's how it's presented anyway, the gameplay itself largely ignores this.

ArcturusV
2013-02-02, 04:33 PM
Well, I used to use a few others but people always confused them for Good/Evil or Law/Chaos even if they weren't meant to be, and played with it accordingly.

Like in one of my RPGs there was the split between the Kalserens and the Falicians. Now neither side was meant to be Good/Evil. However the Kalserens were about individualism and the evolution of mankind by teaching each man to rely on themselves and foster their own strengths. The Falicians were about Community, and every member of a society giving up everything they could to help out the worst off, eventually making all people equal for the betterment of everyone.

Eventually this got framed up as Kalserens Evil, Falicians Good. Because of things like if you were injured, a Falician would heal you in return for a promised tithe to something like an orphanage, etc. A Kalseren would toss you a needle, thread, scalpel, and a copy of Grey's Anatomy and tell you to do it yourself.

So I suppose the point is, unless something is almost non-sensical or masterfully done, they tend to put that "good/evil" or "Law/Chaos" axis on stuff. Even if it's something like Aggressive/Defensive. No matter how much I frame it up, they'll still attribute Aggressive to Evil, and Defensive to Good. Even if it's in a situation where say, Aggressive means proactively fixing evil things, and Defensive means retroactively trying to cure the aftermath.

Tengu_temp
2013-02-02, 06:17 PM
ME Paragon and Renegade are opposites in that Paragon is consistent, but Renegade is anything but. With Paragon, you can expect acting like a total ace who persuades everyone to do better with sheer charisma and do-goodness. Renegade, on the other hand, has hardcore actions of a badass who has good intentions but won't take **** from anyone, pointless violence and asshollery for the hell of it, and close-minded anti-alien racism, all in one package. And you never know which interrupt is which until you take it.


Personally, for the big decisions and many of the smaller ones, I usually agree with Renegade Shepard. Which goes to show one side isn't right or wrong.

Actually, no. There's only a handful important decisions when Paragon is not clearly the right option. If you end up agreeing with Renegade choices on most things, you should ask yourself why. Because a lot of them are being a petty, close-minded douchebag obsessed with vengeance over long-term gain.

Silverbit
2013-02-02, 07:06 PM
Honour vs Dishonour.
The Wild vs Civilisation.
Glory vs Stability.

NotScaryBats
2013-02-02, 07:44 PM
How about instinct vs analysis?
Going with your gut being instinct, and stopping to think about something as it's opposite.

Mark Hall
2013-02-02, 08:10 PM
“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”
Oscar Wilde

TuggyNE
2013-02-02, 08:46 PM
You can find a lot of discussion about this in this older post (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=254815)

Well, there is always blue and orange... (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlueAndOrangeMorality)

Heh, yeah, I've seen those before but forgot about them while writing this up. :smallredface:

Still, this thread isn't so much about determining the One True Alignment system as it is determining interesting possibilities for alignments in specific games: a slightly different task. :smallwink:


What you're describing there is Paragon/Renagade from Mass Effect, which is basically a distinction in approach to the same goal. That is not how Open Palm and Closed Fist are descirbed. The difference between Open Palm and Closed Fist is that they're fundamentally opposed philosophies, both of which place a strong emphasis upon self-improvement.
Open Palm is probably closer to what you'd consider traditional 'good' behaviour - it's about developing and using your strength/wisdom/etc. to help others to resist tyranny. While it does advocate avoiding violence where possible, it is not about opposed to fighting where necessary (most of its followers are martial artists, after all). The traditional 'failure' when following Open Palm is using your own power to control others, to force them to do what you see as being the right thing - effectively becoming the source of tyranny yourself.

Closed Fist, on the other hand values personal strength as the end-goal. It sees life as being a constant provider of adversity and that only by facing adversity can one become strong. The purpose of following closed fist is to provide an example of this, and if your purpose requires you to you injure or kill then that's what you do - because it is always more noble to die fighting against adversity then survive by surrendering to it. The traditional 'failure' of following Closed Fist is to forget that violence must always serve a purpose - toying with enemies or killing for pleasure is worthless and pathetic - and that personal strength is something that must always be strived for.

To give an example, an open palm follower would hold a slaver in contempt because slavery is a form of tyranny and would fight to free the slave. A closed fist follower might hold a slaver in contempt because the slaver relies on the strength of his slave rather than his own and would arm the slave so that they could then overthrow their master.
To put in simple terms, Open Palm helps others; Closed Fist teaches others to help themselves.

Interesting (especially since they're both, in D&D terms, CG or CN). While they obviously disagree with each other, would practitioners of one ever fight those of another?


Well, I used to use a few others but people always confused them for Good/Evil or Law/Chaos even if they weren't meant to be, and played with it accordingly.

Yeah, that's quite unfortunate.


Like in one of my RPGs there was the split between the Kalserens and the Falicians. Now neither side was meant to be Good/Evil. However the Kalserens were about individualism and the evolution of mankind by teaching each man to rely on themselves and foster their own strengths. The Falicians were about Community, and every member of a society giving up everything they could to help out the worst off, eventually making all people equal for the betterment of everyone.

Eventually this got framed up as Kalserens Evil, Falicians Good. Because of things like if you were injured, a Falician would heal you in return for a promised tithe to something like an orphanage, etc. A Kalseren would toss you a needle, thread, scalpel, and a copy of Grey's Anatomy and tell you to do it yourself.

Interestingly, this is much more Law/Chaos than Good/Evil, but I suppose that's a matter of education.


So I suppose the point is, unless something is almost non-sensical or masterfully done, they tend to put that "good/evil" or "Law/Chaos" axis on stuff. Even if it's something like Aggressive/Defensive. No matter how much I frame it up, they'll still attribute Aggressive to Evil, and Defensive to Good. Even if it's in a situation where say, Aggressive means proactively fixing evil things, and Defensive means retroactively trying to cure the aftermath.

What sorts of framing devices did you try? I'm curious if we can figure out something better.

Of course, any alignment that really does boil down to "Good/Evil" or "Law/Chaos" is kind of redundant, so weeding those out is a good thing.


Honour vs Dishonour.
The Wild vs Civilisation.
Glory vs Stability.

Hmm, the first two of those sound like nuanced variations on Law/Chaos, but the third one is rather more unique. What might an exemplar of stability act like?


How about instinct vs analysis?
Going with your gut being instinct, and stopping to think about something as it's opposite.

Well, that's more a personality trait; it doesn't seem to have any particular cosmic echo, as it were.


“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”
Oscar Wilde

:smalltongue: Heh. That's another vote for "funky/square", I guess.

Ninjadeadbeard
2013-02-02, 10:01 PM
I usually go with a Altruism-Mercenary and Pessimism-Optimism axis.

AM rates how altruistic or egotistic you are. An Altruist will turn down a reward for a good deed, while a Mercenary will take the reward as is, or ask for more if they feel it is deserved.

PO rates how someone views the world around them. Pessimists tend to think about the worst possible outcomes, and Optimists aim for the very best.

Example:
An Altruistic Pessimist, for example, would be Roy Greenhilt or Master Vrook from Knights of the Old Republic. Basically cynical heroes who, despite their unending efforts to save lives and promote freedom and justice, verbally and physically berate, mock and belittle the world around them (Roy's opinion on Elan, Vrook's opinion of you).

A Mercenary Optimist is best represented as Titus Pullo from HBO's Rome, or Post-Romance Haley Starshine. Selfish? Maybe. A jerk? Naw. They look out for themselves, but tend to like to limit the collateral damage to people they don't like.

Mr.Silver
2013-02-02, 11:27 PM
Interesting (especially since they're both, in D&D terms, CG or CN). While they obviously disagree with each other, would practitioners of one ever fight those of another?

Yes. The philosophies are opposed on a number of points which can often put practitioners in conflict. For instance, if someone is in need of money then according to Closed Fist they are entirely justified in resorting to, say, mugging someone else. In fact from a Closed Fist standpoint this would actually be a better thing to do than asking for a handout. Open Palm would very much disagree.

Silverbit
2013-02-02, 11:30 PM
An exemplar of stability would reduce change, where it harms. They would try to keep the status quo. In combat, they would act like an anti-Cϊ Chulainn, carefully and methodically blocking every attack, not taking any risks. Any stability magic would probably stop time briefly, freeze opponents in place, or calm emotions.

Kind of like Law, but focused on the lack of change. Glory is easier to separate from chaos though, it being the pursuit of fame, honour and revenge at any cost. Think Achilles or just about any norse saga hero.

SowZ
2013-02-03, 12:14 AM
ME Paragon and Renegade are opposites in that Paragon is consistent, but Renegade is anything but. With Paragon, you can expect acting like a total ace who persuades everyone to do better with sheer charisma and do-goodness. Renegade, on the other hand, has hardcore actions of a badass who has good intentions but won't take **** from anyone, pointless violence and asshollery for the hell of it, and close-minded anti-alien racism, all in one package. And you never know which interrupt is which until you take it.



Actually, no. There's only a handful important decisions when Paragon is not clearly the right option. If you end up agreeing with Renegade choices on most things, you should ask yourself why. Because a lot of them are being a petty, close-minded douchebag obsessed with vengeance over long-term gain.

I specifically ousted the major decisions, though. Sure, throughout the game there are tons of small decisions where Renegade is just being a douche for no reason. At the same time, there are a number of places where being Renegade really makes the most sense and, to me, seems like the best thing for the galaxy. The 'bad' is often in hurting people who have already opened themself up to retribution.

Things like not letting people leave alive who are more guilty than the people you have been gunning down in a battle. Or roughly interrogating someone who won't tell you what they know when all sentient life is at stake.

Choosing to not try and take Saren alive, but just set out to kill him. Choosing to value the lives of the human fleet over the corrupt and unwieldy council.

Kane0
2013-02-03, 12:25 AM
The many vs the few (or the one)
individualism vs community
Tradition vs progress
Control vs spontaneity
Love vs hate (specifically, which brings forth more power)
Long term vs short term
Subtlety vs overtness

Alternatively, any of the Planescape factions can provide good touchstones for morality viewpoints.

ArcturusV
2013-02-03, 12:39 AM
Well here's a For Instance, because I like drawing examples.

In a homebrew setting I had an NPC named Jakar. Now most write him off as Chaotic Evil (Even taking some Alignment Test on WotC's site, answering as him came up as that. Though I don't think he's really chaotic evil. Chaotic Neutral maybe).

He was labeled Evil for being, well, overly aggressive.

Now the Aggression/Defensive thing came in that, among his contemporaries there was a split among how to handle a problem. The problem being that Jakar (And the others) were human, in a setting where Humans were being pulverized and genocided left, right, and center by everyone and everything for a variety of reasons.

Some of his contemporaries thought that what humanity should do is basically lock down. Hole up where they are, and try to ride out the storm, and hope that the overwhelming odds against them, which by all rights were going to crush them 99.99% of the time, would somehow be fended off, or that some scattered humans hiding in the hinterlands would survive.

Jakar was of the camp that aggression was the only way to counter this. That he needed to go around, band together as many humans capable of fighting as possible, and break up attacks on Humanity and kick all the various elves, minotaurs, goliaths, shifters, gnomes, dwarves, etc, etc, etc, square in their nuts (or nearest equivalent), before they stomped out humans.

Which he did somewhat successfully, and is the reason more or less that humans still exist in that setting. He was painted as evil however for his aggression, bloodshed, and xenophobic behavior (Regardless of justification), and for the fact that in said setting he pretty much invented Necromancy as the modern people know it, raising those killed in battle to join his army and sapping the strength out of enemies with negative energy effects.

Still I have yet to have a player in that setting not look at Jakar as he gets described in the history, or as they see his actions the couple of times they were there to witness it, not paint him as "evil" but merely "Aggressive". Which was more his theme. Aggression in that Pissed off Mother Bear had her Cubs Messed With sort of way. And despite the fact that the defensive types probably would have lead to humanity dying out in a generation or two, they are hailed as Good, rather than craven and evil/neutral, as it was usually people NOT fighting to hold the walls who were adherents of the "hold the wall" philosophy.

EccentricCircle
2013-02-03, 05:45 AM
In one game I ran they discovered that Drow society had no concept of good and evil, but considered alignment to be Law vs Chaos on one axis and Sneakyness vs Bluntness on the other.

Jay R
2013-02-03, 11:20 AM
Spock / McCoy is the logic / emotion axis.

Gryffindor / Slytherin is the heroic vs. self-centered axis.

Fonzie / Potsie is the cool vs. blah axis

Mary Ann / Ginger is the farm girl beauty vs. cosmopolitan beauty axis.

Superman / Batman is the combination of the natural power vs. developed power axis, and the light vs. darkness axis.

Sith_Happens
2013-02-03, 12:45 PM
Dogs vs. cats

-------------------------------------------

Dogs represent giving, and are associated with ideas such as loyalty, sociability, and unconditional love. No matter what, dogs want to be with you and make you happy. They seek you out when you're home, wait for you when you're away, and always seem to brighten your day in the process. "Dog people" are known to go to their dogs to the park, where they interact with other like-minded people and their dogs.

Dogs do have a darker side, however, as they are often associated with roteness and complacency; they tend to fall into a simple routine or set of behaviors and are content to live their whole life as such.

Cats represent taking, and are associated with ideas such as selfishness, reclusiveness, and unpredictability. More often than not, cats want to be left alone. That's not to say you can ignore them and their needs however; attempt to do so and you will quickly find your vases knocked over and your toilet paper shredded. "Cat people" often express a preference for the company of their cats over that of other humans, and can extreme cases go into complete isolation.

Cats do have a lighter side, however, as they are often associated with variety and exploration; they have a wide set of behaviors and tend to be much funnier on the Internet.

-------------------------------------------

While seeming on the surface like a mere personality clash, the ideological struggle between dogs and cats is very much embedded in the cosmos themselves. So much so, in fact, that the reconciliation of the two is thought by experts (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3ZOKDmorj0) to be a foremost sign of apocalypse.

DonDuckie
2013-02-03, 01:19 PM
WARNING: I love the alignment sytem.

I'm playing around with some homebrew and I intend to have a thrid axis:

Right vs. Wrong

I don't know how to do it yet but it is inspired by the whole alignment debate(at least how I see the debate(and I know 'debate' is a generous term)):

Is killing one to save many Good? probably not... but is Right? maybe...
See; it's just as vague as the others :smallsmile:

The way some people play paladins, "You must do as I say because I'm LG" would be LG-Wrong, whereas living altruisticly and upholding law and tradition, without imposing your own morals(in the form of additional restrictions) on friends/innocents, could be LG-Right.

I don't have it worked out - at all... but an axis that spans the different behaviors within an alignment. "I'm TN so I don't care" is Wrong, "I'm TN so I weigh both sides and deside for my self and purely based on this specifics of this situation and myself" could be Right (or Neutral)

Also: What the deal with anti-paladins: "You absolutely have to be Chaotic" and "If you do Good willingly, you lose your powers." ... just silly ... So this class would have the additional restriction(if I ever had an anurism and allowed it in my game): She must be Chaotic Evil Wrong, as in "I'm CE, so I can't love a person, I must hate everything, even hate itself, and the fact that I hate hate itself, and facts in general, and hating, and not hating... AAARRGGGG" :smallbiggrin: "And that this smiley is called smallbiggrin, it should just be grin..."

nedz
2013-02-03, 04:12 PM
Masculine/Feminine — AKA Yin-Yang

ReaderAt2046
2013-02-03, 10:10 PM
I've been working on a world that defines everything in terms of the two opposing forces of the Rose and the Flame. The Rose is that which adds, the force of growth, creation, and life. The Flame is that which takes away, the force of destruction, death, and unmaking. Both are held to be essential to the functioning of society. To quote a philosopher, "Without the Flame to burn it away, the Rose grows upon itself and becomes twisted and cancerous. Without the Rose to replace what it burns, the Flame burns away all its fuel and dies."

To provide some practical examples: medicine and agriculture are considered Rose-aligned, while law and war are flame-aligned.

Also one interesting quirk of this culture's law is that the King is always a fire-mage and the Queen always a rose-mage. (this has to do with their different legal powers and responsibilities. For example, war and law are some of the most flame-aligned of activities, so the king has total authority over the armies, courts, and police.) However, magical proficiency, though gender-aligned, is not gender-specific (i.e. about 75% of rose-mages are women, and about 75% of fire-mages men), which means that you occasionally get a male Queen and a female King. They are always married to each other, so they do have to be opposite genders.

nedz
2013-02-03, 11:26 PM
Art/Science

TuggyNE
2013-02-03, 11:41 PM
I've been working on a world that defines everything in terms of the two opposing forces of the Rose and the Flame. The Rose is that which adds, the force of growth, creation, and life. The Flame is that which takes away, the force of destruction, death, and unmaking. Both are held to be essential to the functioning of society. To quote a philosopher, "Without the Flame to burn it away, the Rose grows upon itself and becomes twisted and cancerous. Without the Rose to replace what it burns, the Flame burns away all its fuel and dies."

To provide some practical examples: medicine and agriculture are considered Rose-aligned, while law and war are flame-aligned.

Also one interesting quirk of this culture's law is that the King is always a fire-mage and the Queen always a rose-mage. (this has to do with their different legal powers and responsibilities. For example, war and law are some of the most flame-aligned of activities, so the king has total authority over the armies, courts, and police.) However, magical proficiency, though gender-aligned, is not gender-specific (i.e. about 75% of rose-mages are women, and about 75% of fire-mages men), which means that you occasionally get a male Queen and a female King. They are always married to each other, so they do have to be opposite genders.

Now that's what I'm talking about! Awesome.

Interestingly, Wheel of Time has a vaguely similar setup with the Flame and the Void, except backwards. (Well, actually it has a lot of slightly different thematic echoes with male/female, saidin/saidar, flame/void, Flame of Tar Valon/Dragon's Fang, Creator/Dark One, and so on and so forth. But you know what I mean. :smalltongue:)

Blightedmarsh
2013-02-04, 12:56 AM
Zombies Vrs Robots

Or to put it another way the singularity verses the virus.

Two mutually opposing and implacable forces ripping each other to shreds and destroying everything in their wake. Humanities continued survival is dependent of a delicate balance of terror; if one side where ever to win we would be extinguished in a heartbeat.

EccentricCircle
2013-02-04, 05:51 AM
WARNING: I love the alignment sytem.

I'm playing around with some homebrew and I intend to have a thrid axis:

Right vs. Wrong



Interesting. I've considered a similar concept, although not adding a new axis, just making the good and evil axis circular with two more categories, Greater Good beyond good and Neccersary Evil beyond evil.

SowZ
2013-02-04, 09:55 AM
Interesting. I've considered a similar concept, although not adding a new axis, just making the good and evil axis circular with two more categories, Greater Good beyond good and Neccersary Evil beyond evil.

That sort of takes any interest in classic Good and Evil away, though, because now Evil is always for evils sake and Good is always for goods sake, which I fine kind of boring.

Jay R
2013-02-04, 10:28 AM
You might take a look at the virtues and vices in Pendragon.

They are complementary, and always add up to 20. (If you have a cowardice of 7, then you have a Courage of 13, for instance.)

But they change based on your actions over the year. If you continue facing foes instead of running, Courage will go up, and Cowardice will go down. But if you routinely run, then when you try to make a stand you are more likely to fail the morale roll.

Mono Vertigo
2013-02-04, 10:48 AM
A bit meta, in that it needs other axes to work, but well.
Self-perception! Goes from Total Match to Complete Opposite (change these names as you want, they're awkward but I can't find much better; hell, you might just want to make a Perceived Alignment table that's identical to the tradition Law/Chaos+Good/Evil one and see for yourself how close/far are the actual and believed alignments).
A Chaotic Evil character can honestly believe they're acting for the greater good and be very close to the Complete Opposite end. Contrast with a Chaotic Evil character who's very lucid about his own alignment and is pretty much evil for the lulz. *coughbelkarcough*
Works with Good characters (generally those who did something questionable or Evil once and think they are beyond redemption, but still act in a Good way), Neutral (True Neutrals are of course never going to believe their alignment to be the Complete Opposite of what it actually is.), Lawful, and Chaotic (mostly about rebels without a cause who think they're not obeying the system, but actually do obey the rules of another one. See: teenagers). Admittedly doesn't work so well with alignments that don't strictly rely on axes (such as the popular alignment system here that includes Blue/Red/Green/White/Black and combinations thereof as valid).

ReaderAt2046
2013-02-04, 11:33 AM
Obnoxious and Friendly:

Miko would be Lawful Good Obnoxious (at least at first).

Roy and Durkon would be Lawful Good Friendly.

Haley and Elan would be Chaotic Good Friendly.

Ian would be Chaotic Good Obnoxious.

Belkar is Chaotic Evil Friendly.

SowZ
2013-02-04, 01:19 PM
Obnoxious and Friendly:

Miko would be Lawful Good Obnoxious (at least at first).

Roy and Durkon would be Lawful Good Friendly.

Haley and Elan would be Chaotic Good Friendly.

Ian would be Chaotic Good Obnoxious.

Belkar is Chaotic Evil Friendly.

Hmm, see, I don't think Obnoxious is incompatible with friendly. A lot of obnoxious people are friendly.

Ashtagon
2013-02-04, 01:19 PM
Ninja v Pirate.

Ninja is all about getting the job done as quickly as possible. No mess no fuss just do it and leave.

Pirate is all about doing it in as flashy a way as possible. Taking credit for getting the job done is at least twice as important (if not more) as getting it done in the first place.

nedz
2013-02-04, 02:19 PM
Fanatic v Fanatic

Fanatics always oppose other Fanatics

ReaderAt2046
2013-02-04, 02:25 PM
Hmm, see, I don't think Obnoxious is incompatible with friendly. A lot of obnoxious people are friendly.

Friendly means that readers (and other players) like you.

Obnoxious means that they don't.

nedz
2013-02-04, 02:49 PM
Straight man / Funny man

Covert / Overt

Introvert / Extrovert

Hyena
2013-02-04, 02:50 PM
I tend to think that "Lawful-Chaotic" axis is completely obsolette. What we truly need is the axis "Nice-Jerk".
For example, Lex Luthor is Nice Evil, while Miko is Jerk Good.

SowZ
2013-02-04, 03:32 PM
Friendly means that readers (and other players) like you.

Obnoxious means that they don't.

I'd just make it likable and unlikable. Clearer, IMO.

Blightedmarsh
2013-02-04, 03:58 PM
Meta V Natural V POWER

The natural is in tune with the now, they roll with instinct and the flow.
The meta sees what lies beneath, they are measured and act to the bigger picture.
The POWER focuses on their goals; they make the world shape to their will.

ideasmith
2013-02-05, 10:47 PM
You can find rules for the following alignment pairs in Radical Re-Alignment and the various Colours of Magic product here (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=64&term=plot%20device).

Life Vs Death
Organization Vs Entropy
Nature Vs Artifice
Divine Vs Mundane
Passion Vs Thought
Function Vs Form

The Glyphstone
2013-02-06, 12:17 AM
How has no one mentioned Square vs. Funky yet?

ideasmith
2013-02-06, 12:24 AM
You might take a look at the virtues and vices in Pendragon.

They are complementary, and always add up to 20. (If you have a cowardice of 7, then you have a Courage of 13, for instance.)

But they change based on your actions over the year. If you continue facing foes instead of running, Courage will go up, and Cowardice will go down. But if you routinely run, then when you try to make a stand you are more likely to fail the morale roll.

tuggyne did, in post #12 of this thread.

TuggyNE
2013-02-06, 12:29 AM
How has no one mentioned Square vs. Funky yet?

I did, in the OP. :smalltongue:

Joe the Rat
2013-02-06, 12:46 AM
Active/Passive (Many discussions of what the ?%@!& True Neutral is supposed to be touch on this)

Productive/Destructive

Stasis/Dynamism (not order v. chaos. dynamic order and static chaos are possible states.)

Summer Court/Winter Court

communal/individualistic

nedz
2013-02-06, 08:00 AM
How has no one mentioned Square vs. Funky yet?

There's also Ninja/Monk

SowZ
2013-02-06, 10:06 AM
Pointy/Round

The Glyphstone
2013-02-06, 10:19 AM
tuggyne did, in post #12 of this thread.


I did, in the OP. :smalltongue:



...we can fix this.....it's only a small abuse of power...:smalltongue:


There's also Ninja/Monk

Wouldn't Ninja/Samurai be better?

ReaderAt2046
2013-02-06, 08:17 PM
Cheese vs Flour:

Cheese is the force of art, religion, patriotism, literature, emotion, freedom, originality, innovation and variety.

Flour is the force of dullness, homogeny, despotism, communism and unoriginality.

FreakyCheeseMan
2013-02-06, 08:32 PM
Faith vs. Skepticism
Happy vs. Sad
Conservative vs. Liberal

Actually, I like Happy vs. Sad.

Thajocoth
2013-02-06, 09:58 PM
Neutral vs Opinionated. This puts the center of the usual alignment grid on one end and it's outer edges on the other.

nedz
2013-02-06, 10:12 PM
Alive / Dead
Alive / Undead

Actually these seem to form a bidirectional axis
Undead / Dead / Alive — Dead is like neutral here.

TuggyNE
2013-02-06, 10:14 PM
The OP now contains a summary of which axes appear to fit which criteria; in general, an axis will either fit all the criteria or miss one or two, so I organized it by which criteria (if any) it seems to fail. (I couldn't resist my usual organizational tendencies. :smalltongue:)

However, I'm not necessarily familiar with all of these, so I may well have made some mistakes. :smallredface:

Also, I eventually gave up out of exhaustion about three complete thread discussion links in. Sorry.

EccentricCircle
2013-02-07, 06:08 AM
That sort of takes any interest in classic Good and Evil away, though, because now Evil is always for evils sake and Good is always for goods sake, which I fine kind of boring.

I can see where you are coming from but would disagree. I guess its the difference between alignments being fixed boxes of more of a continuum.
If you want alignments to be fixed boxes, universal philosophies which people opt into as in the RAW of many early descriptions of the alignment system then definitely the interest within each alignment box is going to come from the motivations behind the action.
However if you see alignment more as a continuum then it becomes more useful to have a category that is Evil for evils sake, and another that is evil for a good cause, so that its possible to start out doing good things for all the right reasons, then find yourself doing slightly dubious things for all the right reasons, then evil things for the right reasons and so on. Its the slippery slope to the dark side, but without the need to neccersarily end up eating puppys for the evils at the end, because no matter how far you fall you can still believe what you are doing to be justified on some level.

Jay R
2013-02-07, 11:55 PM
That sort of takes any interest in classic Good and Evil away, though, because now Evil is always for evils sake and Good is always for goods sake, which I fine kind of boring.

Right. There is no such thing as Evil for Evil's sake.

People are Evil for power's sake, or evil for money's sake, or evil for some other goal, or even Evil out of fear or pride or lust or wrath, but being evil is not a goal, and nobody ever does anything for Evil's sake.

ReaderAt2046
2013-02-08, 10:46 AM
Right. There is no such thing as Evil for Evil's sake.

People are Evil for power's sake, or evil for money's sake, or evil for some other goal, or even Evil out of fear or pride or lust or wrath, but being evil is not a goal, and nobody ever does anything for Evil's sake.

Very insightful. Incidentally, this is why the D&D alignment system doensn't make any sense. Because good is primary and evil secondary, they cannot be equal and opposed in the way an alignment matrix requires. To quote Chesterton, "Right has a right to be there, and wrong has no right to be there, or to be at all."

ReaderAt2046
2013-02-08, 10:48 AM
The OP now contains a summary of which axes appear to fit which criteria; in general, an axis will either fit all the criteria or miss one or two, so I organized it by which criteria (if any) it seems to fail. (I couldn't resist my usual organizational tendencies. :smalltongue:)

However, I'm not necessarily familiar with all of these, so I may well have made some mistakes. :smallredface:

Also, I eventually gave up out of exhaustion about three complete thread discussion links in. Sorry.

BTW, I don't agree with your classing the Rose and Flame as being Yin-Yang. Could you explain where you are coming form on this?

mikalife1
2013-02-08, 01:53 PM
well one alignment system I've been working on is altruistic vs. selfish.
this replaces the standard alignment system entirely, basically this removes a lot of the intraparty alignment conflict but it adds a new level of complexity.

that complexity comes when you become fanatical about "good" or "evil" those who become to fanatical and start to see the world as black and white can become metaphysically tied to the "good" or "evil" planes, now these are not actually good or evil that is how they characterize them selves.
thing law vs. chaos from Moorcock with everyone else caught in the middle.

SowZ
2013-02-08, 02:03 PM
well one alignment system I've been working on is altruistic vs. selfish.
this replaces the standard alignment system entirely, basically this removes a lot of the intraparty alignment conflict but it adds a new level of complexity.

that complexity comes when you become fanatical about "good" or "evil" those who become to fanatical and start to see the world as black and white can become metaphysically tied to the "good" or "evil" planes, now these are not actually good or evil that is how they characterize them selves.
thing law vs. chaos from Moorcock with everyone else caught in the middle.

Maybe change the wording from Altruistic vs. Selfish to Altruistic vs. Egoistic. Selfish has inherent negative connotations. Plus, the word altruist sounds fancier than the word selfish, so it doesn't balance well. Egoistic fits better.

FreakyCheeseMan
2013-02-08, 02:18 PM
I'm amused by the fact that a discussion of different alignment axes only took a page and a half to descend into debate about what those alignment axes mean.

SowZ
2013-02-08, 02:24 PM
I'm amused by the fact that a discussion of different alignment axes only took a page and a half to descend into debate about what those alignment axes mean.

To be honest, I was a little confused from the beginning as to why we were limiting ourselves to discussing alignment axes as opposed to alignment swords and alignment pitchforks and alignment scythes and such.

TuggyNE
2013-02-09, 12:01 AM
BTW, I don't agree with your classing the Rose and Flame as being Yin-Yang. Could you explain where you are coming form on this?

Hmm. Rose and Flame is very very similar to WoT's Flame and Void, which I automatically assume is Yin/Yang. Let's see....

For what it's worth, WP says "Yin is characterized as slow, soft, yielding, diffuse, cold, wet, and passive; and is associated with water, earth, the moon, femininity and nighttime.

Yang, by contrast, is fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, and aggressive; and is associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity and daytime."

However, there isn't necessarily such a strong element of opposed creation/destruction.

So yeah, those are probably separate enough to justify splitting off. Thanks for the note.

Actually, reading that makes me wonder if yin/yang would actually justify any serious amount of conflict between representatives of one side and the other.


To be honest, I was a little confused from the beginning as to why we were limiting ourselves to discussing alignment axes as opposed to alignment swords and alignment pitchforks and alignment scythes and such.

Heh. It's because axes are sharp things that are often used to beat people over the head.

nedz
2013-02-09, 07:33 AM
BTW, I don't agree with your classing the Rose and Flame as being Yin-Yang. Could you explain where you are coming form on this?

All of these are Yin-Yang.

Maybe this thread should be called I-CHING ?

ReaderAt2046
2013-02-09, 07:50 AM
Hmm. Rose and Flame is very very similar to WoT's Flame and Void, which I automatically assume is Yin/Yang. Let's see....

For what it's worth, WP says "Yin is characterized as slow, soft, yielding, diffuse, cold, wet, and passive; and is associated with water, earth, the moon, femininity and nighttime.

Yang, by contrast, is fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, and aggressive; and is associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity and daytime."

However, there isn't necessarily such a strong element of opposed creation/destruction.

So yeah, those are probably separate enough to justify splitting off. Thanks for the note.



Thanks! Glad you agree.

TuggyNE
2013-02-09, 08:35 AM
All of these are Yin-Yang.

Maybe this thread should be called I-CHING ?

All of which are? Because I rather disagree that (say) zombies vs robots, or Mary Ann vs Ginger, or art vs science, or Kalserens vs Falicians (whatever their merits or lack thereof as alignments) can be at all reasonably reduced to yin and yang.

Jay R
2013-02-10, 11:20 AM
All of which are? Because I rather disagree that (say) zombies vs robots, or Mary Ann vs Ginger, or art vs science, or Kalserens vs Falicians (whatever their merits or lack thereof as alignments) can be at all reasonably reduced to yin and yang.

It doesn't mean anything to say refer to something being "reduced" to yin and yang, which includes the entire world and all its history, past, present and future.

The truth is the other way around. Any set of complementary principles can be used as an extremely limited example of one aspect of yin and yang, but most of these examples cannot be expanded enough to fully encompass the principles of yin and yang.

Remember that the full principle isn't merely that they are opposites, but that neither can exist without the other. There is no shadow without light. No race can continue to exist without both males and females. Falling asleep implies having been awake; waking implies sleep. There was no moral choice to make unless one possible option was immoral.

jaybird
2013-02-10, 11:56 AM
Actually, no. There's only a handful important decisions when Paragon is not clearly the right option. If you end up agreeing with Renegade choices on most things, you should ask yourself why. Because a lot of them are being a petty, close-minded douchebag obsessed with vengeance over long-term gain.

I'm pretty sure Renegade actually ends up winning out when it comes to war assets in ME3, simply by compensating for a slightly weaker Krogan with the Salarians.

EDIT:

No race can continue to exist without both males and females.

Asari :smallbiggrin:

TuggyNE
2013-02-10, 07:20 PM
The truth is the other way around. Any set of complementary principles can be used as an extremely limited example of one aspect of yin and yang, but most of these examples cannot be expanded enough to fully encompass the principles of yin and yang.

Remember that the full principle isn't merely that they are opposites, but that neither can exist without the other. There is no shadow without light. No race can continue to exist without both males and females. Falling asleep implies having been awake; waking implies sleep. There was no moral choice to make unless one possible option was immoral.

Either way, if one cannot be reasonably reduced to the other, they are not logically the same at all.

Frathe
2013-02-10, 08:11 PM
Community vs Individualism (Law vs Chaos)

How is this true? These aren't necessarily equivalent. A person can be both very individualistic and very lawful, because their personal moral code includes the belief that unduly helping others will ultimately harm them. Think of someone like Ron Swanson, if you watch Parks and Rec.

Someone can also be both communalistic and chaotic, with the most extreme example being hive-mind aliens like the Zerg (http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Zerg)--an integrated swarm, but one that uses chaotic rush tactics.

Edit: Also, when would Faith vs. Skepticism affect the cosmic structure? How is personal belief of that type more relevant than, for example, Liberal vs. Conservative?

nedz
2013-02-10, 08:58 PM
All of which are? Because I rather disagree that (say) zombies vs robots, or Mary Ann vs Ginger, or art vs science, or Kalserens vs Falicians (whatever their merits or lack thereof as alignments) can be at all reasonably reduced to yin and yang.

The whole concept of Yin-Yang is that of connected opposites. It is like a template, or pattern, and has the same form as alignment axes.
If your examples are valid alignment axes: then they must form connected opposites.

ReaderAt2046
2013-02-10, 09:23 PM
The whole concept of Yin-Yang is that of connected opposites. It is like a template, or pattern, and has the same form as alignment axes.
If your examples are valid alignment axes: then they must form connected opposites.

In which case "yin-yang" ceases to mean much of anything at all, and becomes totally irrelevant to this discussion.

TuggyNE
2013-02-11, 01:10 AM
How is this true? These aren't necessarily equivalent. A person can be both very individualistic and very lawful, because their personal moral code includes the belief that unduly helping others will ultimately harm them. Think of someone like Ron Swanson, if you watch Parks and Rec.

I would peg that as Chaotic. In point of fact, that seems like a classic CG attitude. Self-discipline, while often associated with lawfulness, is not central to the concept, nor unique to it.


Someone can also be both communalistic and chaotic, with the most extreme example being hive-mind aliens like the Zerg (http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Zerg)--an integrated swarm, but one that uses chaotic rush tactics.

I would peg the Zerg as being moderately Lawful, but not as much so as, say, Inevitables (which carry the idea of principles and regulation as well).

I should probably also note that collectivism-style Law does also include the idea that proper regulation is essential for people to work together properly.


Edit: Also, when would Faith vs. Skepticism affect the cosmic structure? How is personal belief of that type more relevant than, for example, Liberal vs. Conservative?

Hmm, I think that was one of the sloppier ones... I think my thought process was something along the lines of FR's False/Faithless concept, as annoying as that can be.

Of course, that's not a very symmetrical setup, which suggests it doesn't pass that criterion by much if at all.


The whole concept of Yin-Yang is that of connected opposites. It is like a template, or pattern, and has the same form as alignment axes.
If your examples are valid alignment axes: then they must form connected opposites.

If "yin-yang" means nothing more than "alignment axis", I'll simply take it out entirely.

Frathe
2013-02-11, 02:10 AM
I see that we judged both of those as opposite alignments from each other's judgment. I think part of the problem with trying to decide if new axes are equivalent to existing ones is that the existing ones aren't that clearly defined. From your response it appears--and this is the standard way of thinking about it, and generally simpler--that you judge if someone is Lawful by their adherence to the law of the area, an extrinsic definition. The problem with that way of thinking is that judging alignment by how well someone follows the law of the land stops working as soon as someone enters an evil or corrupt kingdom. After that point, you have to judge by their adherence to real lawfulness, whatever that means. What does it mean? It means their internal moral code. But the problem with judging if someone is Chaotic or Lawful based on their adherence to their own code is that someone very dedicated to, for example, the overthrow of the current government could be counted as Lawful.

The SRD supports my argument that a person can be Lawful because of adherence to a personal code.
Lawful Neutral, "Judge"
A lawful neutral character acts as law, tradition, or a personal code directs her. Order and organization are paramount to her. She may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or she may believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government.

Edit: What about Energy/Work vs. Entropy as an axis? It's an eternal struggle in the universe. I realize it could be taken as Order vs. Chaos, but I don't think it's identical; no human laws are required in its definition, and all living things would be Energy. Because of that, it's not the same as the Organization vs. Entropy you already have either.

JCarter426
2013-02-11, 02:46 AM
Ego and Id? That is, whether one compromises one's desires to suit the needs of others, or whether one strives to change the world to better fit one's desires. I believe this would resolve the "personal code" issue, as that would clearly be Lawful Id.

TuggyNE
2013-02-11, 06:51 AM
I see that we judged both of those as opposite alignments from each other's judgment. I think part of the problem with trying to decide if new axes are equivalent to existing ones is that the existing ones aren't that clearly defined. From your response it appears--and this is the standard way of thinking about it, and generally simpler--that you judge if someone is Lawful by their adherence to the law of the area, an extrinsic definition. The problem with that way of thinking is that judging alignment by how well someone follows the law of the land stops working as soon as someone enters an evil or corrupt kingdom. After that point, you have to judge by their adherence to real lawfulness, whatever that means. What does it mean? It means their internal moral code. But the problem with judging if someone is Chaotic or Lawful based on their adherence to their own code is that someone very dedicated to, for example, the overthrow of the current government could be counted as Lawful.

Sort of. I don't really put much stress on "personal code" (WotC fluff aside); instead, I emphasize their adherence to the ideal of a well-organized society, even if they don't consider the current society well-organized. Usually, of course, they'll tend to accept minor problems, but a Lawful character — one focused on proper, "correct", organization of people — can certainly decide to overthrow a terrible government or reform a hopelessly corrupt bureaucracy.

I specifically do not think a Lawful person is best defined by obeying local law. They are best defined by believing that local law/order/organization (and wider scopes as well, of course) is a nice thing to have around, and what's more that it's essential.


Edit: What about Energy/Work vs. Entropy as an axis? It's an eternal struggle in the universe. I realize it could be taken as Order vs. Chaos, but I don't think it's identical; no human laws are required in its definition, and all living things would be Energy. Because of that, it's not the same as the Organization vs. Entropy you already have either.

Hmm.

There's an odd little continuum here; Rose vs Flame is basically creation vs destruction, but then we have Energy vs Entropy, and then Order vs Chaos. They're all similar to each other, but different at the ends.

I'll probably have to go back through the list and sort through the near-duplicates, but for now I'll put that in.


Ego and Id? That is, whether one compromises one's desires to suit the needs of others, or whether one strives to change the world to better fit one's desires. I believe this would resolve the "personal code" issue, as that would clearly be Lawful Id.

Interesting. Yeah, I don't think that's well described by any common axis. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble figuring out how it generates conflict, either between mortals or between cosmic entities. Debates, yes; actual fighting, not as much.

JCarter426
2013-02-11, 07:49 AM
Good point. While I can easily imagine Id vs Id (a clash of kings, for example) and Ego vs Ego (opposing religions, for example), it's hard to imagine a grander Id vs Ego conflict. I should mention, though, that I don't really like the nature of the grand conflicts in your typical GELC system. I'm not against grand conflicts generally, but I don't think it's that well defined in this case. I'd place a lot of the blame on the dual-axis alignment system, actually. The forces of Evil are constantly fighting amongst themselves, so they'll never unite and destroy Good, so the forces of Good seem to be satisfied in maintaining the status quo, so I can't see the Good vs Evil conflict ever being resolved. And I can't imagine Lawful Good ever going to war with Chaotic Good because they're both Good so they should both try to avoid war, and therefore I can't imagine the Law vs Chaos conflict ever being resolved either. You might say the whole multiverse leans towards Ego.