Sunday, October 18, 2015

Obligatory Alignment Post

To start, here's a brief overview of the major types of alignment categories used in the various version of D&D (in case this is your first time reading anything about D&D):
  • Three-point (Lawful, Neutral, Chaotic). Used in OD&D, B/X, BECMI, and RC.
  • Five-point, type 1 (Good, Lawful, Chaotic, Evil, Neutral). Used only in Holmes, as far as I know.
  • Nine-point (LG, LN, LE, NG, TN, NE, CG, CN, CE). Used in almost every edition after AD&D 1e, including AD&D 2e, 3e and 3.5e, and the current 5e.
  • Five-point, type 2 (Lawful Good, Good, Unaligned, Evil, Chaotic Evil). Used only in 4e and "Essentials".
Personally, I prefer the nine-point alignment system, since it's the one I started off with. It also informs my interpretation of the three-point system I use in B/X; I generally assume that all PCs are in the middle of the Good/Evil axis, so they are either Lawful Neutral, True Neutral, or Chaotic Neutral. One of my players, her play style informed by Pathfinder, chose Chaotic for her character's alignment, and heavily implied that her outlook was Chaotic Good. This is why I generally prefer the nine-point alignment system, if indeed any such system is present.

EDIT: Just realized that I did absolutely no research on Holmes for this, and therefore made a horribly inaccurate statement. I'm leaving it as it stands, though.

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