Where is this coming from?
- Where the Wright Way differs from the rules as published, the Wright Way will take precedence.
- While there will be some differences from the rules as written, most of the differences are “fluff’. They affect the fiction of the game more than anything else, and it is hoped that players will step up to the challenge and direct their characters’ actions and words accordingly.
- Most importantly, the Wright Way Alignment rules will be enforced in play by the GM. This will be the biggest difference from how my games have been conducted for the past 30+ years.
- This House Rule represents a refining process. I expect to alter things as we play, to get the best fit. I will welcome feedback with an open mind, while I maintain a clear vision of how I want Alignment to be handled in the Wright Territory.
What Alignment is not
- I don’t like being judged or told what to do, so my character is Chaotic.
- This adventure has a lot of Demons, who are susceptible to Lawful attacks and spells. So my Cleric is Lawful.
- My character doesn’t steal or kick puppies, so I’m Good! Now let’s slit these Orcs’ throats while they’re asleep before the Sleep spell wears off!"
The Cosmic Struggle
- · Chaos is the Primal origin from which Creation sprang. It is the Abyss, it is survival of the fittest. Chaos resists any establishment of anything. It wants to return to the roiling ocean of life’s origins, the Primal Chaos which existed before The Creator spoke and created the Cosmos. Chaos is emotion and passion without reason. It is the Law of the Jungle. It is Tiamat. It is Azathoth.
- · Law opposes Chaos. Law represents order out of Chaos. It is civilization and community. It is duty and discipline. It is logic’s triumph over emotion. Law represents the rise of intelligent beings from the Chaos, who established homes and communities, and who sought to understand things, and to unlock secrets.
- · Good is Life. It is the beauty of creation. Good is compassion and charity. Good is Spirit. Good can be Lawful or Chaotic or neither, but not both. Good respects others, and seeks to heal wounds. Good sees the value and beauty in all things.
- · Evil opposes Good. Evil is murder and destruction. Evil is deception. Evil considers all others as enemies, and dehumanizes them to the point of non-personhood. Evil is greed, and can never steal, kill or destroy enough to ever satisfy its hatred. Life is not meaningless to Evil, it is an affront; something to be hated and extinguished if not corrupted, exploited and dominated.
- · The Balance is the perspective of the Cosmos as a whole. It is a holistic consideration of all things. It is the Big Picture. It is Time, Fate and Truth. It is the Cycle: Birth-Death-Rebirth. Balance is extremely abstract and most mortals do not have the ability to fully grasp its scale and perspective. Balance looks on as puppies are kicked and as babies are born. It does not judge. When one of the four Axis Alignments above gains too much advantage over the others (on the Cosmic Scale- not necessarily locally), Balance steps in to tip the scales toward the center. Balance opposes excess and abhors a vacuum.
- · The Atheist does not argue the existence of the Gods, only their merits. The Gods exist, as any fool knows. The Atheist denies participation in The Cosmic Struggle. Atheism denies the worthiness of the Gods to be worshiped by mortals. Atheists may see the Divine as something in themselves, and are determined to find their own destiny in the world. Atheists are individualistic free spirits who resent the idea that they are not in control of their own fate.
- · Most mortals live out their short lives Unaligned. Many see the merits of the Axis Alignments and cannot choose to commit to only one faction. Others take no care for The Cosmic Struggle, their time and attention being consumed with the struggles of day to day life. The vast majority of the population has never heard of The Cosmic Struggle and has no idea that there was ever a choice to be made at all.
Why choose any Alignment?
A character’s Alignment has several game affects.
- · Characters gain a Hero Point when an Alignment is chosen. They will continue to gain Hero Points whenever they pass a Test of Faith- a quandary wherein they are presented with a choice of actions, some of which may be more convenient but compromise the character’s commitment to their Alignment.
- Aligned characters gain in-game support and benefits from allies and followers of their Alignment.
- Aligned characters also gain the enemies and hardships of their Alignment.
- An Aligned character is held to a standard, and will be judged constantly.