View Full Version : [Houserule] Perspective

2007-10-22, 10:23 AM
There are many assessments out there of what truly qualifies as Good, and what truly qualifies as Evil. Usually, this just leads to arguments over the PC's alignments, but oftentimes, it's good to bring some shades of grey into one's NPCs. Here's one way to do that.

As it stands, Detect Good / Evil / Law / Chaos functions as explicitly stated--a creature with Good / Evil / Lawful / Chaotic alignment reads as such. But what about when the caster's perspective is such that the crimes a Chaotic NPC committed were patterned, were structured, were... lawful? And what about when the detection is only due to racial alignment (ex. he reads as Evil because he's a goblin)? This house rule is fairly simple: if, by the standards of the character casting the Detect Alignment spell, the target or signal source does not qualify for the alignment in question (like a Paladin who realizes that being a Goblin does not make one evil), the target does not read as such. This would factor in any deeds the individual has done and their race, but not things such as the race of the caster and the caster's personal experiences prior to meeting said individual with other members of the individual's race.

This allows Detection spells to give conflicting reports because of conflicting perspectives, and, I think, can add some good variety to crusader-style parties.

2007-10-22, 12:16 PM
There is a huge difficulty here: you need to come to a great understanding of your caster's definitions of alignment. I mean, the last thing you'd want is to have to ask your caster "so, if someone killed a man who was trying to rob her, when she could have easily scared him off without actually killing him... is that evil? Yes? Ok, in that case she's evil." Especially if the caster was using detect evil to help narrow down suspects in the first place...

Another easier way to do it is to go by the target's definitions of evil/etc, instead of the caster's.

2007-10-22, 12:28 PM
Generally speaking, this would only work in games where characters give you thorough backgrounds beforehand, so the DM can get a feel for characters' perspectives on difficult moral questions.

If they've been doing morally complex things that the DM is unsure how the character would evaluate the target's alignment, then I think you could very easily toss in an 'ambiguous' aura as well.

Doing it from the target's perspective would make it more a 'detect self-esteem' spell than a 'detect alignment' spell (the way I see it), excepting people who are evil with a flair, but those kind of people you generally don't need to check.