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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Ethic systems in fantasy

    I have a world where alignments (Good/Evil, Chaos/Law) exist within the setting and are universally known thing.
    However there are several philosophies discussing good and evil in my setting:

    Alignmentism belief that alignmental or "traditional" good and evil are true evil and good. Progressive people of cities often find this belief as outdate, primitive or even barbaric stage of development that all peoples are destined to go through. Yet this more conservative folk and wild tribes still support that belief. Alignmentism divided between antagonistic and unantagonistic: unantagonistic urges you to do everything to became good, while antagonistic insists on the eradication of all evil and they often contradict each other.

    Harmonism belief that true good is actually an alignmental Law. Often piked as their state ideology by different authoritarian leaders, both monarchs and dictators.

    Nutralism concept that states that Good and Evil exists and are alignmental, but they both are equally bad and destructive for the world and people.

    Nihilism there is no true good and evil.

    Resultism the true good is what results in the benefit of the as much people as possible evils and intentions are irrelevant. If your actions couldn't results in harm you can have any alignment, any views and so on. The opposite is also true: if your actions even with good intentions ends up in harm, then you are evil. That's belief of more progressive part of the world that allows to coexist alignmentaly Good and Evil creatures.

    I feel like that's not enough different views to fill the world. Can you please help with some more interesting beliefs of good and evil in the world, where alignments are general fact?
    Last edited by MercuryAlloy; 2020-07-08 at 01:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    Revisionism: rejection of the original interpretations of good and evil and substitution of an alternate definition.

    Often revisionism is a reaction to rigid traditionalism.

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    Quote Originally Posted by MercuryAlloy View Post
    I have a world where alignments (Good/Evil, Chaos/Law) exist within the setting and are universally known thing.
    However there are several philosophies discussing good and evil in my setting:

    Alignmentism belief that alignmental or "traditional" good and evil are true evil and good. Progressive people of cities often find this belief as outdate, primitive or even barbaric stage of development that all peoples are destined to go through. Yet this more conservative folk and wild tribes still support that belief. Alignmentism divided between antagonistic and unantagonistic: unantagonistic urges you to do everything to became good, while antagonistic insists on the eradication of all evil and they often contradict each other.

    Harmonism belief that true good is actually an alignmental Law. Often piked as their state ideology by different authoritarian leaders, both monarchs and dictators.

    Nutralism concept that states that Good and Evil exists and are alignmental, but they both are equally bad and destructive for the world and people.

    Nihilism there is no true good and evil.

    Resultism the true good is what results in the benefit of the as much people as possible evils and intentions are irrelevant. If your actions couldn't results in harm you can have any alignment, any views and so on. The opposite is also true: if your actions even with good intentions ends up in harm, then you are evil. That's belief of more progressive part of the world that allows to coexist alignmentaly Good and Evil creatures.

    I feel like that's not enough different views to fill the world. Can you please help with some more interesting beliefs of good and evil in the world, where alignments are general fact?
    How do they know these are real forces? What impact does this have on every day life? This will give you a lot more to work with.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Vibranium: If it was on the periodic table, its chemical symbol would be "Bs".

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    How do they know these are real forces? What impact does this have on every day life? This will give you a lot more to work with.
    Well, character alignment could be known with certain spells such as Detect evil, other spells and powers such as Smite Evil or Holy word has effect based on alignment that's the first their effect on the world. Some outsiders and supernatural creatures won't help to an Evil or Chaotic character in their plans and won't answer to their summon and some Outer planes would be closed for some people.

    Alignmental good and evil however aren't just different labels for the same thing evil actions (according to alignment) are such actions that intentionally cause harm and pain or letting harm to be caused, while good ones are intentionally preventing harm and helping others. The one who do a lot of evil actions and little good actions became evil by alignment and vice versa.

    That's why where is a strong bias against evil alignment: many tribes and some cities around the world exiling any members that become evil, test all strangers to see if they deserve to enter their lands and their help. But in more populated and developed land exile is not a death sentence anymore so people of such land found another way to deal with evil antagonistic alignmentalism "we need to fight evil to protect people from it". AA occurs in different forms from idealistic paladin-style fight with dragons to anti-evil inquisition, genocides of evil races or even bloodlines whom members tend to be evil, mandatory charity, restriction of rights of evil people and more progressive "Evil tax" (payment to society for evil you committed or might commit as evil person). And even persona who once was evil still will face a lot of problems in society.

    Nutralism and Harmonism may also introduce some restrictions based on alignment.

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    Quote Originally Posted by MercuryAlloy View Post
    Nihilism there is no true good and evil.
    Not fond of this one, mostly just mismatch of the name to the meaning. Nihilism is less about the existence of good or evil, but rather there is no point to either as it will not amount to anything. No punishment for an evil life, no rewards for a good life. It is the disillusionment of life in believing there is not great meaning to it all, where nothing you do matters.

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    I think this is a pretty cool idea, and you can probably draw a lot of inspiration (and perhaps already have) from critiques of the alignment system on the forum.

    So, essentially: there are Facts that some sort of force known as Law, Chaos, Good, and Evil exist. Between spells, outsiders, and perhaps literal gods interacting with mankind, those forces are known.
    Contemplate what real, in-universe discussion could arise from that?

    My conception: What's debated is what those forces are and what the names mean. Is Good good, or is it called that because the gods that generally support the main 'civilized' humanoids call themselves Good? And similar questions for other alignments.
    You might want to read the pantheon homebrew by LudicSavant, here on the forum. It has an interesting idea, especially related to the three main gods, and if the Evil one is really evil or just he lost the war between the gods.

    EDIT: here's the link for Lloth, which is particularly nice as it rejects Law and Good, for other virtues (while still seeming like realistic virtues.) Basically, each god has a theology and following that make sense, as opposed to just "murderers/evil folk serve evil god".
    https://forums.giantitp.com/showthre...olth-Lady-Luck
    Last edited by JeenLeen; 2020-07-10 at 07:59 AM.

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    I think this is a pretty cool idea, and you can probably draw a lot of inspiration (and perhaps already have) from critiques of the alignment system on the forum.

    So, essentially: there are Facts that some sort of force known as Law, Chaos, Good, and Evil exist. Between spells, outsiders, and perhaps literal gods interacting with mankind, those forces are known.
    Contemplate what real, in-universe discussion could arise from that?

    My conception: What's debated is what those forces are and what the names mean. Is Good good, or is it called that because the gods that generally support the main 'civilized' humanoids call themselves Good? And similar questions for other alignments.
    You might want to read the pantheon homebrew by LudicSavant, here on the forum. It has an interesting idea, especially related to the three main gods, and if the Evil one is really evil or just he lost the war between the gods.

    EDIT: here's the link for Lloth, which is particularly nice as it rejects Law and Good, for other virtues (while still seeming like realistic virtues.) Basically, each god has a theology and following that make sense, as opposed to just "murderers/evil folk serve evil god".
    https://forums.giantitp.com/showthre...olth-Lady-Luck
    Thank you!

    But I'm against idea of good and evil being the same under different names it's a bit cliche.

    My idea is that alignmental good and evil are not the same and actually somewhat fit their names, but that do not automatically mean that all people will react the same way on them or even agree with them. And different philosophies are in fact different reactions on their existence.

    And LudicSavant seems good so far, thank you)

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    My conception: What's debated is what those forces are and what the names mean. Is Good good, or is it called that because the gods that generally support the main 'civilized' humanoids call themselves Good? And similar questions for other alignments.
    You might want to read the pantheon homebrew by LudicSavant, here on the forum. It has an interesting idea, especially related to the three main gods, and if the Evil one is really evil or just he lost the war between the gods.

    EDIT: here's the link for Lloth, which is particularly nice as it rejects Law and Good, for other virtues (while still seeming like realistic virtues.) Basically, each god has a theology and following that make sense, as opposed to just "murderers/evil folk serve evil god".
    https://forums.giantitp.com/showthre...olth-Lady-Luck
    Quote Originally Posted by MercuryAlloy View Post
    Thank you!

    But I'm against idea of good and evil being the same under different names it's a bit cliche.

    My idea is that alignmental good and evil are not the same and actually somewhat fit their names, but that do not automatically mean that all people will react the same way on them or even agree with them. And different philosophies are in fact different reactions on their existence.

    And LudicSavant seems good so far, thank you)
    You summoned me?

    I wouldn't say that Good and Evil are the same thing under different names. But they also may not be exactly what people think they are (and what exactly people think they are depends on who you ask... both in-world and if you've ever seen basically any alignment thread). All that we really know is that there are 4 different physical forces that affect magic, vary by person, and seem to correlate to behavior in at least some ways. But correlation is not necessarily causation. And who decided that those behaviors are right or wrong, and named the alignments accordingly? Heck, how do we even know from an in-world perspective that the Detect Alignment test is accurate 100% of the time? How do we even know the alignments of the gods at all, when far less powerful mages can casually fool alignment tests (both on themselves, and their associates)?

    Here's one example of a perspective on a rather Eberronesque alignment system.

    Some, especially amongst the Gruumshar, claim that "Good" and "Evil" are subtle mistranslations from the scrolls of the ancient Iosan archmagi. Linguists argue that "Sacred" and "Profane" are more precise translations. The Sacred serves the moral authority of the current Kings of the Gods (Corellon + Moradin), while the Profane stands in opposition. Profane creatures pursue their own moral philosophies, in rejection of divine authority.

    The trouble is, Moradin tends to avoid politics, and Corellon is somewhere on the moral spectrum of Apollo or Zeus (from an entirely different pantheon in the PHB). Oh sure, he wants to make the world a better place, but he also responds with extreme prejudice to any challenge to his cosmic-size ego or chaotic whims. And his "Noblesse Oblige" style philosophy has some very questionable aspects.

    For the followers of Gruumsh, to profane can be a heroic endeavor, a triumph of one's spirit over oppressors, a rejection of the concept of the "divine right" to rule. Gruumshar clerics scorn the idea of the sanction of Heaven, for the skies of Heaven stretch over all equally.

    Anyways, under this model of alignment, both a terrible person who would be categorically condemned by just about anyone would be Evil, but so would any other enemies of Corellon Larethian that Moradin doesn't specifically intercede on (which he rarely does). Even if those declared "enemies" have a really, really damn good reason for what they're doing. It is only natural that those who benefit from the status quo would seek to perpetuate the confusion that Good and Evil are true representations of morality.

    PS: Some say that Chaotic means 'more like Corellon" and Lawful means "more like Moradin." Some even theorize that prior to Gruumsh losing his crown (reducing the triumvirate of kings to a duo), there was a different number of alignments.

    PPS: Here's an old post I did on alignment for a particular setting: https://forums.giantitp.com/showsing...14&postcount=9. Several of the theories under 'long, detailed answer' may be relevant to your interests.
    Last edited by LudicSavant; 2020-07-12 at 11:42 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Expected View Post
    Thank you again, LudicSavant, you math skills are VERY useful and so are your graphs and explanations.
    Some of my Stuff:
    Frequency of Resistances in MM, Volo's, MToF | Comprehensive DPR Calculator | An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds | Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts

    A Reinvented Pantheon (Made for 3.5, but adaptable):
    Nerull | Wee Jas | Olidammara | Erythnul | Hextor | Corellon Larethian | Lolth | The Deep Ones

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    You summoned me?

    I wouldn't say that Good and Evil are the same thing under different names. But they also may not be exactly what people think they are (and what exactly people think they are depends on who you ask... both in-world and if you've ever seen basically any alignment thread). All that we really know is that there are 4 different physical forces that affect magic, vary by person, and seem to correlate to behavior in at least some ways. But correlation is not necessarily causation. And who decided that those behaviors are right or wrong, and named the alignments accordingly? Heck, how do we even know from an in-world perspective that the Detect Alignment test is accurate 100% of the time? How do we even know the alignments of the gods at all, when far less powerful mages can casually fool alignment tests (both on themselves, and their associates)?

    Here's one example of a perspective on a rather Eberronesque alignment system.

    Some, especially amongst the Gruumshar, claim that "Good" and "Evil" are subtle mistranslations from the scrolls of the ancient Iosan archmagi. Linguists argue that "Sacred" and "Profane" are more precise translations. The Sacred serves the moral authority of the current Kings of the Gods (Corellon + Moradin), while the Profane stands in opposition. Profane creatures pursue their own moral philosophies, in rejection of divine authority.

    The trouble is, Moradin tends to avoid politics, and Corellon is somewhere on the moral spectrum of Apollo or Zeus (from an entirely different pantheon in the PHB). Oh sure, he wants to make the world a better place, but he also responds with extreme prejudice to any challenge to his cosmic-size ego or chaotic whims. And his "Noblesse Oblige" style philosophy has some very questionable aspects.

    For the followers of Gruumsh, to profane can be a heroic endeavor, a triumph of one's spirit over oppressors, a rejection of the concept of the "divine right" to rule. Gruumshar clerics scorn the idea of the sanction of Heaven, for the skies of Heaven stretch over all equally.

    Anyways, under this model of alignment, both a terrible person who would be categorically condemned by just about anyone would be Evil, but so would any other enemies of Corellon Larethian that Moradin doesn't specifically intercede on (which he rarely does). Even if those declared "enemies" have a really, really damn good reason for what they're doing. It is only natural that those who benefit from the status quo would seek to perpetuate the confusion that Good and Evil are true representations of morality.

    PS: Some say that Chaotic means 'more like Corellon" and Lawful means "more like Moradin." Some even theorize that prior to Gruumsh losing his crown (reducing the triumvirate of kings to a duo), there was a different number of alignments.

    PPS: Here's an old post I did on alignment for a particular setting: https://forums.giantitp.com/showsing...14&postcount=9. Several of the theories under 'long, detailed answer' may be relevant to your interests.
    Thank you! I guess I'll use some of your theories.
    I think mine situation is fits under the theory №3 aliments indeed marks some personal traits and choices, but not everyone agrees that what it marks is really an evil.

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    So the biggest question is what makes one "Good" or "Evil" in your setting? Intentions? Actual actions taken? The way you think? Are you obliged to be good to bad people? Are you obliged to be bad to them.

    Once you establish what corresponds to detect alignment, you can better establish people's attitudes towards it.

    Mortalism: Nominal "Good" and "Evil" are just labels that have no sound relationship to being genuinely good or evil. (this is somewhat a variant of Nhilism as you defined it). The gods opinions of what is good are of no special value.

    Intolerance of evil: The believe that being evil is itself enough reason for a being to be punished or pressured into goodness. (related to your antagonistic alignment-ism)

    Goodness toward evil: The belief that (absent some specific reason) good and evil people alike should be treated with goodness. (related to your non-antagonistic alignment-ism)

    Legalism: The belief that the the good/evil axis has no place in law, beyond influencing what the law tries to achieve.

    Sanitism: The belief that a person cannot truly be good while being ignorant and irrational, regardless of their intentions or actions so far. For example, by this reckoning Miko was never good.
    Last edited by Quizatzhaderac; 2020-07-24 at 09:25 AM. Reason: typo

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    So the biggest question is what makes one "Good" or "Evil" in your setting? Intentions? Actual actions taken? The way you think? Are you obliged to be good to bad people? Are you obliged to be bad to them.

    Once you establish what corresponds to detect alignment, you can better establish people's attitudes towards it.

    Mortalism: Nominal "Good" and "Evil" are just labels that have no sound relationship to being genuinely good or evil. (this is somewhat a variant of Nhilism as you defined it). The gods opinions of what is good are of no special value.

    Intolerance of evil: The believe that being evil is itself enough reason for a being to be punished or pressured into goodness. (related to your antagonistic alignment-ism)

    Goodness toward evil: The belief that (absent some specific reason) good and evil people alike should be treated with goodness. (related to your non-antagonistic alignment-ism)

    Legalism: The belief that the the good/evil axis has no place in law, beyond influencing what the law tries to achieve.

    Sanitism: The belief that a person cannot truly while being ignorant and irrational, regardless of their intentions or actions so far. For example, by this reckoning Miko was never good.
    Thank you for answer.
    Alignmental Good and Evil defined by intentions to do certain actions Evil is generally any intention to harm others or increase their suffer for whatever reason, while Good is intention to prevent harm and decrease suffer for any reason but personal gain, and if you do harm to prevent harm that's most likely Neutral. So to be alignmentaly Good you obligated to be good even with evil people.

    And I guess you missed some words in the description of Sanitism.

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    Quote Originally Posted by MercuryAlloy View Post
    And I guess you missed some words in the description of Sanitism.
    I did. Correction is:
    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    Sanitism: The belief that a person cannot truly be good while being ignorant and irrational

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    I believe that evil needs a victim in order to be evil, if you can't define the victim it is hard to judge it as evil.

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    Refrainist: Philosophy of good alignments. Because it is not possible to ascertain all the consequences of an act, it is never possible for a mortal to decide objectively whether an act is good against the grand moral order. Evil, however, is more readily discerned on its immediate consequences: immediate suffering, violence, theft, etc. Ergo: Refrainists believe the path of Good is served by refraining from evil acts at all times, but by not presuming upon the universe to perform what might be otherwise overtly seen as a good act.

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    Materialism The alignments have no more or less philosophical significance than any other concrete force (ie. gravity, electricity, the elements, etc). Similar to Nihilism and Mortalism (above)

    Skew- LG, LE, CE, and CG are the true primary alignments. They may be renamed to Honorable (LG), Dishonorable (CE), Liberty (CG), and Tyranny (LE); The formians, in particular, make more sense when evaluated under this naming scheme, in which they are Honorable Tyranny. Similarly, the yugoloths are dishonorable tyranny, the slaadi are dishonorable liberty, and the guardianals are honorable liberty, all of which are also elucidative.

    Trapezoidal or Oblique- A variation of skew (above). LG, LE, CE, and CG are are seen as the primary alignments and are renamed Creative (CG), Destructive (CE), Protective (LG), and Stagnating (LE). Each one is opposed by its diametric opposite, but the chaotic alignments are also opposed by their moral opposites, whereas the lawful alignments compliment their moral opposites.

    Rotated- In the English language, and its fantasy equivalent Common, "Good" and "good" are denoted by the same word. The word for the Good alignment is the same as the word for something desireable. In other languages this may not be the case, and in some cases may correspond, with varying amounts of strength, to a different alignment. The Yuogloth word for something desireable for instance, may be better translated by the colloquialism "wicked", for Orcs it's "smashing", for CG races it's "choice", etc. This concept is essential for understanding anything that goes on in the D&D world.
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2020-09-19 at 01:26 PM.
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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    I think that one important thing to keep in mind is that people in this world won't necessarily agree on what the forces of Good, Evil, Law, and Chaos really stand for. LudicSavant already started this train of thought:

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    All that we really know is that there are 4 different physical forces that affect magic, vary by person, and seem to correlate to behavior in at least some ways. But correlation is not necessarily causation. And who decided that those behaviors are right or wrong, and named the alignments accordingly?
    LudicSavant had a suggestion for how alignment could be re-interpreted in a broad sense, focusing on the lore of a setting, but I'd like to drive this train of thought into a different station.

    What will the average person, who has a given alignment, think that their alignment means for them? (I'm going to use capital letters to denote the alignment, and lowercase letters to denote the value judgement.)

    • People who are aligned with cosmic Good are probably quite happy to call themselves good. They consider their alignment to be desirable, and will be entirely comfortable calling their alignment by a name which also means "thing which is desirable."
    • People who are aligned with cosmic Law probably won't object strongly to the use of the word "law", but they might prefer to refer to themselves as being aligned with justice. After all, they don't just follow any old law written up by any old leader - they see themselves as following the law, Law with a capital L, where what is Lawful is by definition always right and good. Lawful people may quibble that the so-called Good alignment really has more to do with kindness than actual good, because in the eyes of the lawful, law and good are the same.
    • People who are aligned with cosmic Chaos will likely be at least a little uncomfortable with that name. They value freedom. They believe in self-determination, whereas chaos implies non-determination.
    • People who are aligned with cosmic Evil are very likely to outright deny that they are evil. People in the real world don't like admitting to being wrong, either factually or morally, and people in a fantasy world aren't likely to be different in this regard. They may deny that they are aligned with Evil, that their association with Evil is truly a reflection of their nature or choices, or that Evil is actually evil. The sourcebook Champions of ruin has some discussion on the attitudes that Evil creatures take to their alignment which you might find useful.


    Overall, the descriptions and names of the four fundamental alignments in DnD read like something that could have been written in-universe by someone who is Good and identifies that with good. People with different alignments would write something quite different.

    Thus far, we've not asked the question of how reliably someone's alignment tracks to their actions - whether, for example, it's possible for someone to be Evil through no fault of their own. Suppose that a vampire dedicates their (un)life to helping others and subsists off small amounts of blood willingly given by people who then have restoration cast on them. Would this person be Evil because they are a vampire, or Good because they are good? If alignment usually corresponds to people's actions but there are known cases where that link does not hold, then there are a few ways that people might react to that:
    • They could double down on the idea that everyone's real nature is reflected in their alignment. If the aforementioned supposedly well-behaved vampire is Evil, then they must be doing something evil, probably secretly. If all vampires are Evil, then it's a very short step from this worldview to plain bigotry.
    • They could abandon the idea that everyone's real nature is reflected in their alignment. Someone's alignment is sometimes evidence of their true moral status, but it isn't reliable.
    • They could stridently reject the idea that everyone's real nature is reflected in their alignment. Some people are Evil though no fault of their own, and treating that as in any way a mark against them is just plain unfair to those people.


    Also:
    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Skew- LG, LE, CE, and CG are the true primary alignments.
    I love this. You've applied what is essentially a coordinate transformation - a mathematical concept - to morality. In doing so, you've provided a way to reframe an issue in a way that allows for a new perspective while leaving the system functionally equivalent to what it was previously, which is exactly what a coordinate transformation usually does. I don't see it as particularly useful in the average game - it's too thinky and abstract and doesn't have clear RP application - but still, I love it.

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    I'd like to put forward an idea: just because alignment is a tangible thing in D&D (depending on the edition, most so in 3.X), doesn't mean everyone in-world necessarily has a really concrete notion of it, much less an opinion of how it works. How many people in the real world can name the four fundamental forces of physics, anyway? So I guess that most people that aren't spellcasters or paladins, and that don't have ranks in Knowledge (Arcana, Religion or The Planes) either have a very vague notion of it or even aren't aware of the concept at all. Furthermore, even for people who do know what alignment is and how it works, most won't be too interested in the philosophy of it, and just want to know how they put into words the result of their spell and move on with it. The whole argument about what "Good", "Evil" etc. really mean, or what alternate words they may use to refer to those concepts, and so on, is mostly for philosophy "wonks" who are really dedicated to this concept; most other people who apply the concept of alignment in a practical way probably just go along with whatever they learned from their mentor who taught them their character class, or from the local equivalent of Sunday school, you get the idea.

    That said... my take on alternate interpretations of alignment is that people might assign different names and descriptions to the four cosmic forces of alignment ("Law", "Chaos", "Good" and "Evil") depending on how they interpret these forces, and especially where they sit in the alignment scheme themselves. Some ideas:

    Good vs. Evil: The nomenclature of this alignment axis is very heavily biased toward the Good alignment; after all, extremely few people would agree with being called "evil", and even being Neutral means you're, well, not Good. On the other hand, there's the fact that "Good" people are arguably the ones that have the most moral investment, so to speak, in alignment; for Lawful, Chaotic and Evil people, the opposite alignment may be dumb, but it's not necessarily harmful or even monstrous, while that's certainly the case if you're a "Good" person thinking about the "Evil" alignment. This leads me to conclude that people of "Good" alignment would be very invested in the nomenclature of "Good" and "Evil", and unlikely to opt for alternate, less "biased" names.

    Those of "Evil" alignment, on the other hand, are clearly the ones with the most reason to object to what the alignments are called. I think they'd probably say that "Good" and "Evil" are misnomers (or even harmful propaganda by Good-aligned races), and might refer to those instead as, say, "Weak" and "Strong", or "Passive" and "Driven" (or "Active"), depending on their exact interpretation.

    Neutral (neither "Good" nor "Evil") folks may accept the nomenclature of "Good"/"Evil", but like I said, that's not very flattering to them, so perhaps they might adhere to the "Passive"/"Active" scheme, or even argue for something else, say, "Altruist" or "Communalist" for "Good" and "Egotist" or "Individualist" for "Evil", implying a dichotomy of focusing on other people vs. focusing on yourself, with the subtle implication that a balance between the two is ideal.

    Law vs. Chaos: As has been alluded to in this thread, this nomenclature is also somewhat biased toward Law and against Chaos, although much less strongly than the other axis. I'd think it would be mainly "Chaotic" people that might object to it, since "chaotic" implies disorderly, random, meaningless, stuff like that. People of "Chaotic" alignment would probably use different words for "Lawful" and "Chaotic"; say, "Tyrannical" vs. "Free" if they're more confrontational, or "Rigid" vs. either "Loose" or "Free" if they're more amicable.

    "Lawful" people would likely stick to the old "Lawful"/"Chaotic" scheme; while it's not perfect (Lawful people don't blindly follow anything that's written as law), they'd feel it gets the point across just fine, and is widely understood. However, those who are more chauvinistic about alignment might argue for the use of "Rational" vs. "Irrational" instead, since that's how "Lawful" people are likely to see this axis anyway.

    People who are Neutral in the "Law"/"Chaos" axis probably wouldn't mind those alignments being called "Lawful" and "Chaotic"; again, they get the point across and are widely understood, and not being either doesn't sound that bad (well, "not lawful" sounds kinda like you're a criminal, but still). But, since these two names aren't quite that accurate, some Neutral folks might want to use other nomenclature instead; maybe "Rigid"/"Loose" (as mentioned above) if they want to sound more diplomatic, or even "Axiomatic"/"Anarchic" if they make a big deal of their neutrality and want to emphasize its value by making the other options sound extreme.

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    Quote Originally Posted by MercuryAlloy View Post
    Thank you for answer.
    Alignmental Good and Evil defined by intentions to do certain actions Evil is generally any intention to harm others or increase their suffer for whatever reason, while Good is intention to prevent harm and decrease suffer for any reason but personal gain, and if you do harm to prevent harm that's most likely Neutral. So to be alignmentaly Good you obligated to be good even with evil people.
    Okay, so if it's intention based then there's the question of people that have terrible ideas about how the world works.

    If a person chases a racial minority (let's say still human) out of town with the sincere believe that all members of that minority are a genuine threat to innocent women and children, is that person evil despite only intending to do the minimum to protect the innocent?

    Maybe instead of the expression "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" they say "Good people are capable of doing terrible things."

    Good's relationship with the law
    What legal implications do being detected as good or evil have? Is being "good" considered proof of not having committed a horrible crime? Is being "evil" evidence of guilt? Could you refuse to employ people solely based on being "evil"?
    Last edited by Quizatzhaderac; 2020-09-30 at 09:52 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    Crossposted from my post in "Why Is Creating Undead Evil?"

    I feel that necromancy being evil is best explained in light of Good and Evil being objective concrete forces in the D&D multiverse. In this context, the creation of undead being evil can be understood as an arbitrary physical reaction. Like why do radioacfive elements decay? There's a material cause but there's not a reason.
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2020-09-24 at 06:29 PM.
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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    Okay, so if it's intention based then there's the question of people that have terrible ideas about how the world works.

    If a person cases a racial minority (let's say still human) out of town with the sincere believe that all members of that minority are a genuine threat to innocent women and children, is that person evil despite only intending to do the minimum to protect the innocent?

    Maybe instead of the expression "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" they say "Good people are capable of doing terrible things."

    Good's relationship with the law
    What legal implications do being detected as good or evil have? Is being "good" considered proo of not having committed a horrible crime? Is being "evil" evidence of guilt? Could you refuse to employ people solely based on being "evil"?
    1. Casing minority out of a town is a harm to them. But if this person genuinely believes that he prevents the bigger evil like slaughter by his actions, his intentions would be counted as alignmentally good, but of course not as good as if he would found a way to prevent slater (even if imaginary) without causing harm to minority. In cases where evil he intend to prevent is roughly equal or bigger then evil he caused his actions would be interpreted as alignmentaly neutral or evil. Of course he should think that every single one of minority is going to do harm or else he will also commit the evil deed by causing harm for any other reason but preventing harm.
    So yes, you can be Good, pure-hearted idiot in this world.

    2. Legal implications depends on city, country, etc.
    a) Yes it could, because after horrible crime you are unlikely to keep your alignment Good, but some of more modern ideologies argue with using it as an evidence.
    b) Antagonistic alimentists think "yes". Alignment reflects choices you already made even if these choices doesn't or won't have impact. It doesn't necessarily marks your guilt in some particular actions but judges can punish you for your overall bad choices rather then your guilt in these particular crime.
    c) Yes. And even refuse to sit at the same table with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    Okay, so if it's intention based then there's the question of people that have terrible ideas about how the world works.
    This would go a long way towards explaining how the formians maintain a neutral alignment despite practicing institutionalized slavery, as well as how some lizardfolk have canonically maintained neutral alignments after commiting a series of Sweeny Todd/Hannibal Lecter-style murders*

    *(Book of Lairs p.63 columns 1-2)
    "Lizard men (50): AC 4; Move 6" //12"; HD 2 + 1; hp 13; #AT 3; Dmg l-2/l-2/ld8; THACO 16; AL N
    ...
    The lizard men are particularly fond of a diet of human flesh. They regularly raid nearby human farms and villages for their meals. This raiding can be brought to the PCs' attention in several ways, as noted in the "Set Up" section."


    EDIT:
    As well as the contradiction of Ur-Priests needing to be evil, whereas Zagyg Yragerne, who actually imprisoned the gods in his basement, was neutral.
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2020-09-26 at 03:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    Quote Originally Posted by MercuryAlloy View Post
    c) Yes. And even refuse to sit at the same table with them.
    This would cause feedback loops. A person is detected as evil and then turns to crime because they can't get work. (real life analogues abound, but aren't appropriate for this forum).

    Also some people might give up to trying to be good once they are detected as evil.

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    This would cause feedback loops. A person is detected as evil and then turns to crime because they can't get work. (real life analogues abound, but aren't appropriate for this forum).

    Also some people might give up to trying to be good once they are detected as evil.
    Well, yes. I love morale ambiguous situation)

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    Default Re: Ethic systems in fantasy

    I usually have the PCs subscribe to a guiding principle. That principle is usually tied to their faith. If you're a Cleric or Paladin then it's going to be much more restrictive than a fighter or wizard of the same faith. Druids will almost always be what you called naturalists and rangers will trend towards that direction. Monks would be about harmony. Clerics, Paladins, and Warlocks would need to be more focused on their spiritual team's ideas. Everyone else is.mostly free to choose. Everyone agrees that the alignment system is kindof broken but not having mechanical consequences for violating your beliefs is just as broken imo. I'd be really interested in a discussion on how everyone keeps players on whatever their version of the straight-and-narrow is.

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