well, i think it is pretty apparent that "goods", "chaotics", "evils", "lawfuls" and "neutrals" don't work together be they same or different alignments. i have some lawful good characters that were acting perfectly lawful and good according to their beliefs, but get accused of not being such by other lawful good types who happen to follow different laws and a different view of good. alignment is only as restricting as the dm/player is lax. conflict between players and dm come when they didn't work it out ahead of time and bother to define which is what.
I know that's not really the case. I'm merely referring to some of my experiences with PC-based RPGs where, for some odd reason, everyone in (usually) the "Good" group were working together without any faction-shattering differences. There may be some tensions between nations or subfactions, but they always seem to work together against a common enemy. My problem with that is that it assumes that everyone will band together to fight the Evil Wizard. What if the Lawful Good Merchant decides that he thinks he could profit more by not involving himself in the war, and instead waiting until later to provide goods to either side. I agree with Tesral and others when they say that the Alignment mechanic might serve a purpose in the as-is D&D game, but is ultimately flawed as it adheres to too many assumptions.
Someone else even mentioned that it is a bad idea to assume that the Evil Kingdom is the Evil Kingdom because the King is Evil. What if everyone else isn't?
Now I realize that many players and DMs like the simplicity that a black and white system provides, and I'm even willing to play with this sort of system. However, I think I prefer the Alignment thing better if it applies only to extreme circumstances. For the most part, I feel that characters should have their own motivations, and that their "alignment" is primarily based on those motivations.
Allegiances are always cool to bring into a game. Again, these should be a freeform sort of thing. The "Super Secret Council For Spying on the King's Enemies" could just as easily have psychopaths in addition to those loyal to the crown and/or humanity. Something like this seems more interesting to me, because the end result is the fact that a "Good" faction has Evil elements within it.
I really wish we had some sort of "Thumbs Up" feature on here. It really is all about communication - and if you fail to do it, you fail as a DM _or_ Player.
Originally Posted by nijineko
Foehunter82, regarding your experience with everyone agreeing, it's because we tend to game with people in our own socio-economic and cultural world, so there are few people with outside guidance that can cause friction. We, as players, are similar, so our PC's are similar - no matter what we do. It's HARD to play a character that is highly different than we are as people!
And the darned definitions are so squishy - at least as far as good/evil are considered. The law/chaos thing is pretty easy - you are either law abiding or you aren't. The good/evil thing can shift depending on your culture. At risk of breaking Godwin's Law, in WWII, the Allies believed that they were good and the Axis were evil... and the Axis thought THEY were good and the Allies were evil... and both groups were totally correct.
Religion can be seen to give "good" morals... and that includes the people that feed thousands of homeless people and those that bomb abortion clinics - BOTH groups think they are doing "good" - and you can find people that agree with both of those ideologies. Liberals and Conservatives both believe that they do "good' and the other side does "evil" - and both are correct. This is why standards alignments don't work - because they are nothing but squishy.
unless there is an absolute moral and/or ethical principle in the universe, or even a law, just like gravity or electromagnetism.
Compliments of dictionary.com:
GOOD - adj -
1.morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious: a good man.
2.satisfactory in quality, quantity, or degree: a good teacher; good health.
3.of high quality; excellent.
4.right; proper; fit: It is good that you are here. His credentials are good.
5.well-behaved: a good child.
Do you see anything that's not subjective in there?
Talk about alignment too long, and Nihilism will start to make sense.
By the way, Malruhn, I like to think of Law as something beyond following laws. Let's throw Order and Predictability into its scope.