----- Original Message -----

From: "Ryan B. Caveney" <ryanb@CYBERCOM.NET>

Sent: Monday, September 08, 2003 4:51 PM

> I agree it should never have existed in any way as a rules construct. As

> a kind of shorthand roleplaying aid, it can be useful for beginners or DMs

> without enough time to flesh out every cameo NPC. It should certainly not

> in any way have spells or magic items or suchlike which depend upon it as

> part of the rules.

There are backround assumptions behind all mechanics. One`s game cosmology

(the world you want to construct for the purposes of gaming) will influence

how you interpret rules and which one`s you`ll find suitable and unsuitable.

Therefore, to say that the idea that alignment should give power in the

world is not for your game world is a perfectly reasonable. Its another

indeed to argue that a game that is based on ManichŠism, Zoroastrianism, or

any other good-evil dualism in which I can detect the agents, work, and

powers of the opposite forces, and have spells that reflect my own

commitment either to the light or to the dark is childish or foolish. The

same goes for many of the earlier mythological models in which creation was

a struggle between order and chaos in which order won, but chaos (for

Babylonians in the form of the serpent Tiamat).

For a campiagn world in which the published materials tell of a cataclysmic

struggle between good and evil, such a ManichŠn cosmology makes sense. For

a setting in which two gods are gods of law and order, one authoritativly

the other rationally, and others advocate luck (soft chaos) or are just

anti-social (hard chaos), a similar construction is sensible.

Alignment is not a training wheels for role play, or a bungled psychology,

it is a lurking cosmology which lays behind D&D as much its naturophilia,

its planar structure, or its magical system.

Kenneth Gauck