New take on alignments: The basics

At one point, I was working on another take on alignments. It probably could use some work, but here was the start of the idea. The main thing to pull is the 1000 foot idea of each of the alignments.

Alignment has been the source of much griping and fighting in D&D (and not in-game either). A ton of groups don’t give a darn about most of the character’s alignments, only really having them apply for Clerics/Paladins. What if most mortals weren’t aligned, though. Sure, a mortal might be CE compared to other mortals, but it is rarely the sort of thing that even blips on the cosmic scale. Only characters that are gifted or punished by the forces of the alignments even appear on the cosmic scale. Mechanically, it means only creatures who have earned an aura of an alignment come up on a Detect Alignment spell. These creatures are the only ones not penalized by aligned weapons/items, and these are the only creatures affected by Smite Alignment or aligned Word.

Alignment in a few words:
Good: The best actions are the ones that make as many lives as good as you can while damaging as few lives as possible. Protecting the weakest of the world is the best way to mitigate problems.
Pragmatism: The world itself is what has to be protected. It’s not necessary to destroy everything in the world to save it from worse, but there are some creatures, strong or weak, that are doomed. Only by solving the right problem, and not being distracted by unnecessary power, nor by possible bloodshed can anyone protect the world.
Evil: Power is everything. Creatures that are weaker than you are you have full dominion over. Creatures that are stronger than you you respect until then can no longer ruin you. The best way way to solve the world’s problems is to throw incredible power at them, no matter the cost.

Chaos: The best way to “improve” the world is to take advantage of opportunities, no matter how far fetched. The best way to solve the world’s problems is to give each and every person the power and agency to solve individual problems.
Observant: The right answers are never easily found, always weaving itself into the strangest patterns. Creatures on their own will do as they need to survive, and disrupting that with either order or randomness risks destroying the answers we all need. Only by careful observation to these undisturbed answers will one also find the way to solve the world’s problems.
Law: Order and planning are the best way to improve the world. Only by having different talents work in lockstep can the world’s problems be truly solved.

I know having such a simplistic view on alignment is not enough to rewrite a whole system, and there are purposes that alignments serve that aren’t served by deciding most mortals aren’t aligned, but one problem at a time.

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