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09-09-2003, 01:02 AM #1
----- 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 Manichæism, 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 Manichæn 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.
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