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View Full Version : Roleplaying 5x5 alignment chart, where is it from?



NerdyKris
2014-02-21, 10:54 PM
So this just came up in conversation, and I'm curious where it's from. Is this from an actual game system, or was it just made up for those "stick a bunch of characters in an alignment chart" memes?

The chart is 5x5, with the headings

Lawful Social Neutral Rebel Chaotic
Good
Moral
Neutral
Impure
Evil

Here is an example (http://doaspotcheck.deviantart.com/art/5-by-5-Alignment-Chart-211890094).

Gnoman
2014-02-21, 11:22 PM
Read the comments section of the very link you posted.



randomocity132 Jun 5, 2011
Apparently I can't delete previous comments.

=\

Oh well. No, the new 4 categories were made up by DoASpotCheck and I.

It was created for that image.

NerdyKris
2014-02-21, 11:26 PM
Good lord I'm stupid.

There were others though, I swear. But that explains why it was the first result of a google search. :smalltongue:

TuggyNE
2014-02-22, 12:23 AM
Good lord I'm stupid.

Happens to nearly anyone if you roll two natural 1s in a row. :smalltongue:

Mark Hall
2014-02-22, 09:05 AM
I'm not seeing much difference between this and the only X tendencies.

(L)NG is this one's Social Good, as is L(N)G.

Eldan
2014-02-22, 09:09 AM
I really dislike the implications that chaotic characters are antisocial.

Eulalios
2014-02-22, 09:12 AM
I really dislike the implications that chaotic characters are antisocial.

Yet they are. Socialization is the process of subjecting the individual will to the cultural mores - in DnD terms, lawfulization.

Xefas
2014-02-22, 09:15 AM
While this chart is wrong (http://imgur.com/gallery/OJDQdNg), it's another example of someone using this schema, for comparison's sake.

Reaper_Monkey
2014-02-22, 10:16 AM
As the original question has been answered, but this is an interesting topic, I thought I'd weigh in generally on alignment/personality grids...

I use to a +/- notation for d&d to note a bias from the standard 3x3 into a technically 9x9. L+G+ being the top left, and C-E- being the bottom right. It does the same thing, but in an easy to assess way with less verbs and a with a 'higher resolution' for when it doesn't matter if you're only slightly good or not, you're still Good (or Evil, etc).

But the idea of sticking an inclination within the usual 3x3 grid isn't new or unique, even multiple axis (adding a Squid vs Bunny, and/or a Orange vs Blue axis to the usual two are common ones I've seen) as a method of further sorting or distinguishing personality types. There's even ones that apply to gamers rather than avatars, with things like the Bartle Test. The question isn't how you break down personalities, its what you do with that classification once you've done it - and so far even the original d&ds linear scale of Good vs Chaotic is heavily disputed and argued over what goes where.

So what have people found to be the best alignment/personality system?

Mark Hall
2014-02-22, 10:26 AM
So what have people found to be the best alignment/personality system?

I think it's an error to make alignment and personality systems equivalent. There's jerkish LGs and jerkish CGs, but a personality system tends to attribute value to "jerk", IME. Alignment is about your place in the universe, not your Meyers-Briggs.

That said, the Palladium alignment system has one great advantage: Clarity. Principled does X. Scrupulous does Y. Palladium's got a lot of problems, but their alignment system is pretty clear, at least, while remaining flexible enough that all Unprincipled characters don't look the same.

Tengu_temp
2014-02-22, 10:42 AM
Meh, this chart is pointless. Good/neutral/evil and lawful/neutral/chaotic are sliding scales, not absolutes. This just gives names to non-extreme alignments.


Yet they are. Socialization is the process of subjecting the individual will to the cultural mores - in DnD terms, lawfulization.

No they're not. You can be chaotic and be a perfectly functioning member of society, you can be lawful and be an outcast who doesn't find himself in normal society.



So what have people found to be the best alignment/personality system?

None. Alignment is a crutch that helps some very new roleplayers, but in the long run causes more trouble than it's worth.

Some sort of allegiance system, where you choose what is important for your character, works way better.

wumpus
2014-02-22, 02:15 PM
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0644.html

In the beginning, the alignment system was created. This made many gamers unhappy and has widely been regarded as a bad move. As far as I can tell, just as D&D characters were taken from figures in a wargame, alignments simply which side of the "war" the figure (PC/NPC/Monster) was on.

Once the idea the D&D was meant for roleplaying (no idea if it happened before or after they started writing the original three books), somehow alignment turned into a "primary attitude shorthand" for how to roleplay the character. The "good vs. evil" war didn't get removed, and appears to be the default. This just doesn't work.

Note that the 5x5 system with specific requirements for oaths, soul selling, etc. winds up similar to the official option of having exaulted/good/neutral/evil/vile system. Personally, I prefer this system, and would like to point out that the 1e detect evil (the only one I'm familiar with the text) won't detect a non-vile NPC as evil in a single round (note: at 9kn of evil, Belkar likely detects as vile without formally selling his soul), further concentration is required as simply being listed as evil makes the aura *very*faint. A Paladin can't just block the exits in the town square (in 1e, anyway) and cleanse the town of evil by simply detecting and "executing" those who fail (to the sorrow of Mikos everywhere).

Lanaya
2014-02-22, 07:11 PM
Yet they are. Socialization is the process of subjecting the individual will to the cultural mores - in DnD terms, lawfulization.

Socialising and socialisation are two entirely different concepts, despite the similarities in the words.

RPGaddict28
2014-02-22, 08:31 PM
Yet they are. Socialization is the process of subjecting the individual will to the cultural mores - in DnD terms, lawfulization.

But, why would Bards, a class with heavy social abilities, be non-lawful?

hamishspence
2014-02-23, 06:02 AM
That said, the Palladium alignment system has one great advantage: Clarity. Principled does X. Scrupulous does Y. Palladium's got a lot of problems, but their alignment system is pretty clear, at least, while remaining flexible enough that all Unprincipled characters don't look the same.

The Easydamus site basically hybridised the two- and provided a big list of things each alignment generally does and does not do:

http://www.easydamus.com/alignment.html

Brookshw
2014-02-23, 09:12 AM
Have you considered a 3rd axis instead?

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55828

137ben
2014-02-23, 11:07 PM
My preferred alignment system is probably one (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=283341) of these (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=274370).
I actually think the default alignment system in D&D is workable, provided that it is separated from mechanics.

SowZ
2014-02-24, 01:09 AM
How is Ramsay Bolton not Evil?

Lord Raziere
2014-02-24, 01:38 AM
How is Ramsay Bolton not Evil?

By not having enough room on the chart for him in that category, and they needed SOMEONE to complete the Impure alignments. :smalltongue:

Besides "impure" just seems to mean "petty evil" anyways.

SowZ
2014-02-24, 03:39 AM
By not having enough room on the chart for him in that category, and they needed SOMEONE to complete the Impure alignments. :smalltongue:

Besides "impure" just seems to mean "petty evil" anyways.

Which Ramsay qualifies for as much as Mother Theresa qualifies for Chaotic Evil. Seriously, Joffrey is just an evil hearted petulant spoiled brat given way to much power and told he could do no wrong his whole life. But Ramsay Snow's Evil rivals the most evil men that have ever existed in all of human history. Even Joffrey would be squicked out if he knew the extent of Ramsay's depravity.

Rosstin
2014-02-24, 06:37 AM
Meh, this chart is pointless. Good/neutral/evil and lawful/neutral/chaotic are sliding scales, not absolutes. This just gives names to non-extreme alignments.



No they're not. You can be chaotic and be a perfectly functioning member of society, you can be lawful and be an outcast who doesn't find himself in normal society.



None. Alignment is a crutch that helps some very new roleplayers, but in the long run causes more trouble than it's worth.

Some sort of allegiance system, where you choose what is important for your character, works way better.

I feel the need to point out how calm and reasonable Tengu always is. It's like I don't ever even need to say anything because he always takes the words right out of my mouth.

Legato Endless
2014-02-24, 06:25 PM
None. Alignment is a crutch that helps some very new roleplayers, but in the long run causes more trouble than it's worth.

Some sort of allegiance system, where you choose what is important for your character, works way better.

Pretty much.


Good/neutral/evil and lawful/neutral/chaotic are sliding scales, not absolutes. This just gives names to non-extreme alignments.

Even this is probably too gracious. Law-Chaos mean at least half dozen things, each of which has no direct relation to any of the others. DnD source material typically cluster several definitions together despite any real connection.


The Easydamus site basically hybridised the two- and provided a big list of things each alignment generally does and does not do:

http://www.easydamus.com/alignment.html

For example, according to this site…


"Chaos" implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility.

A person can easily be cautious but inflexible. Flexible but cautious. Neither of which may have any bearing on how they view authority or how much they care about freedom.


Lawful characters tell the truth, keep their word, respect authority, honor tradition, and judge those who fall short of their duties.

Honesty is a pretty odd trait to throw in, considering the nature of social constructs. There are plenty of people who are active and insist in participation in governments but have no respect for old traditions. Not to mention the reams that could be bandied about what authority your character might consider legitimate.

When being lawful or chaotic mean 8 different random personality traits, it gets rather silly. At it's worst, it can cause groups to punish players for playing non stereotypical ideas. Yes, it's possible to strip out the detritus, but the misconceptions are so ingrained it hardly seems worth it.

Lord Raziere
2014-02-24, 08:46 PM
well thats just the thing.

"Law" "Good" "Chaos" "Evil" these are all cosmic forces.

when your an alignment, your not an embodiment of it, your just a supporter, or something that is contributing to that cosmic force.

when you do a good act, your contributing to good, no matter how good is defined.

when you do a chaotic act, your contributing to chaos, no matter how chaos is defined.

your alignment could be considered in one respect, the contributions you make to one cosmic force or another. and there are multiple ways to do that. the cosmic forces aren't picky about how you support them.

AMFV
2014-02-24, 09:45 PM
I think the chart is kind of silly, instead of adding descriptiveness and nuance (the primary problems with the alignment chart), it adds complexity, which is the one thing the chart really didn't need, at least to my thinking that's a step back.

Jay R
2014-02-25, 11:54 AM
There are ten thousand ways to try to make sense of alignment, and they mostly don't work. Back in the seventies, when D&D went from the alignment line to the current square, I tried to work out a triangle, based on the idea that a "Chaotic" person wouldn't be committed to either Evil nor Good.

The points of the triangle were Good, Evil and Chaotic. The line from Good to Evil was Lawful. The line from Evil to Chaotic was Amoral, and the line from Good to Chaotic was Non-malevolent.

RedWarlock
2014-02-25, 03:07 PM
But, why would Bards, a class with heavy social abilities, be non-lawful?

One who rejects the structure of a system can still choose to operate in it at their whims. And when those whims choose to operate differently, one can move counter, without any contradiction.

SowZ
2014-02-25, 03:15 PM
There are ten thousand ways to try to make sense of alignment, and they mostly don't work. Back in the seventies, when D&D went from the alignment line to the current square, I tried to work out a triangle, based on the idea that a "Chaotic" person wouldn't be committed to either Evil nor Good.

The points of the triangle were Good, Evil and Chaotic. The line from Good to Evil was Lawful. The line from Evil to Chaotic was Amoral, and the line from Good to Chaotic was Non-malevolent.

Doesntthatimply law is morally superior to chaos?

Legato Endless
2014-02-25, 03:32 PM
One who rejects the structure of a system can still choose to operate in it at their whims. And when those whims choose to operate differently, one can move counter, without any contradiction.

Right. Chaotic doesn't means antisocial in this case. The classic bardic archetype is the singer who, for a few coins in a bar, will invent a cheery ballad saying all manner of unsavory things about the king. Or when low on supplies and audiences, will waylaid a traveler for food. The character is anti-institutional. He likes people just find. He just doesn't give one wit to the establishment.

Jay R
2014-02-25, 04:09 PM
Doesntthatimply law is morally superior to chaos?

Not all all, since Law is the line stretching from perfect Good to perfect Evil.

It implies that Law is more definite that Chaos.

Manly Man
2014-02-25, 06:27 PM
I remember seeing a really fun third axis someone added awhile ago. It was Funky x Square, I think.