Monday, June 02, 2008

Alignment and Deities and Other Cosmological Nonsense

Unless there's significant rules cruft that makes it unfeasible, I'm might just house rule the 4e alignment system into something that's a little more recognizable to me. I might ressurect the 9-point system, but at the moment I'm leaning towards replacing "good" with "chaotic good," "evil," with "lawful evil," and leaving it at that.

I could leave in plain "good" and "evil," but the shades of distinction aren't absolutely necessary, and if I leave them out I can maintain the law/chaos axis as the one that's actually important, something I've wanted to implement for a while.

Cosmologically, that is. In such a system, mortals -- meaning the PCs -- think of evil/good as the important axis, and think lawful good and chaotic good have more in common with each other than lawful good and evil. But the gods might think differently, seeing themselves and the devils on one side of a great struggle with elementals and demons.

Such a set up would run the risk of putting too much setting emphasis on things the PCs aren't involved in and don't care about. On the other hand, it would let me have religious wars between two good churches. (Chaotic good gods are renegades from the standard divine set up? Or chaotic good mortals worship something else entirely?) Not sure whether that would be a good thing, but it could be interesting.

Something to play with. I need to see the 4e deity set up, and decide whether I want to use it, to really be sure what I'm going to do. I might not even use gods at all.


  1. Dude, I think a campaign that focused on theological issues like that would be amazing. But then, I read about religions for fun...

  2. I love this idea, especially if you keep it in the background. The players are killing themselves, struggling to defeat the BBEG, and the gods don't seem to care. Why? Because the gods feel they have more in common with the BBEG than they do with their true enemies. That difference of perspective can create all sorts of amazing tension.

    I'd move the elementals out of the Chaos camp and make them the prize being fought over, honestly. Whoever controls the elementals controls the very building blocks of Creation, and holds the power to build or destroy anything. But that's just me, and that's a theme I'm very comfortable with, having used it a lot in my campaigns.

    I can't wait to hear how your 4e campaign shakes out.

    - Brian