Since it's come to my attention that we don't actually describe what LAWFUL, CHAOTIC, GOOD, and EVIL mean anywhere, I decided to type this thread up to remedy that lack. Shards of Dalaya's alignment system is based partly on the one in the Dungeons and Dragons pen and paper roleplaying game, so those of you familiar with that will be right at home. Note that NEUTRAL isn't covered much here--it doesn't need to be, as it simply lies between all the other options. A NEUTRAL EVIL person is not particularly LAWFUL or CHAOTIC but you probably wouldn't want to turn your back on them, for example. To reiterate: None of this attempts to define 'goodness' as an abstract or any other such. This is ONLY talking about what this stuff means in SHARDS OF DALAYA. Mechanically, SoD's alignment system is a gradient--kicking a child won't move you from 'completely neutral' to 'ridiculously evil' no matter how close to a line you are. You recieve bonuses if your alignment matches your god's (see the alignment and religion thread in Balancing Discussion), and it's probably best to play the alignment that feels most 'natural' and then select your diety based on that. GOOD: Decency, altruism, and empathy. The Obvious One. While the high elf bard who sings all day about rainbows and sunshine is likely to be GOOD, that's not the essence of GOODness. Rather, GOOD refers to a simpler, more abstract notion of morality that is commonly referred to as, well, 'common decency'. For Philosophy nerds out there, vanilla Utilitarian ethics (with an emphasis on what *you* do) most fit with this definition of GOOD. GOOD is the thing you know you ought to do whether or not you actually do it. Giving to charity, helping a stranger, helping others regardless of reward, and even a kind word can all be GOOD. EVIL: Selfishness, pettiness, and antipathy. The Other Obvious One. While the dark elf necromancer who sings all day about death and skeletons is likely to be EVIL, that's not the essence of EVILness. Rather, EVIL refers to a simpler, more abstract notion of morality that is commonly referred to as 'being a jerk'. EVIL tends to be a failure to follow the tenants of one of the actual branches of morality, sometimes accompanied by a 'might makes right' notion--for example, Kaezul's forces believe in a flavor of social selection pressure/Darwinism, where the weak are left to fend for themselves such that the overall whole might be stronger. However, most of the time EVIL is simply what you want to do when you should do something else. Walking past the homeless without making eye contact, stealing from people (distinguished from CHAOS), acting only for self-interest, and even an unkind word can all be EVIL. LAW: Authority, justice, karma, and nosiness. The idea, whether implicit or explicit, that your judgement should ever supercede that of another's. Acting to stop someone from commiting EVIL is a LAWFUL GOOD act. Indeed, acting to override the decision of another being is, by and large, LAWFUL. On the other side of the LAW coin, taking orders and accepting the judgement of others is equally important to LAW. If your superior/diety/elder tells you to do something and, while you don't agree that it ought to be done, you do it anyway, that's a LAWFUL act. The notion of fairness in all its forms is strongly associated with LAW. For Philosophy nerds out there, vanilla Utilitarian ethics (with an emphasis on what *others* do) most fit with this definition of LAW. LAW is when you call the newport guard because you think your neighbor might be smoking something illegal. LAWFUL GOOD is when you call the newport guard because you think your neighbor might be hurting someone. Playing a game with handicaps, ruling against yourself in a dispute when you believe yourself to be wrong, and investigating the strange sounds next door can all be LAWFUL. CHAOS: Freedom, respect for privacy, and disrespect for authority. The idea, whether implicit or explicit, that your judgement should not supercede that of another's. CHAOTIC people don't like to be told what to do, even when it's by people who know more. CHAOTIC people generally don't tell others what to do, generally attempting to bargain for favors or bribe or other such instead. If your superior/diety/elder tells you to do something and you decline because you don't agree, that's a CHAOTIC act. CHAOTIC people believe in free play governed by few rules, and tend not to particularly mind an advantage or two if they happen to have it; they also tend to follow their own impulses and don't filter them as much as other alignments might. Stealing from people or companies is a CHAOTIC act (distinguished from EVIL). For Philosophy nerds out there, Kantian ethics most fit with this definition of CHAOS. Ignoring authority, working for the freedom of others, stealing from anyone, and deliberately ignoring the strange sounds next door can all be CHAOTIC. NEUTRAL: What you are if you're not any of the above strongly enough to mention. Ignoring the sounds next door because you're afraid to get involved is NEUTRAL (instead of LAWFUL or CHAOTIC). Giving authority a small but limited benifit of the doubt is NEUTRAL (instead of LAWFUL or CHAOTIC). Giving to charity once and a while to feel good about yourself is NEUTRAL (instead of GOOD). Stealing when you're desperate is NEUTRAL (instead of CHAOTIC and possibly EVIL), as only the most LAWFUL would rather starve than steal bread. And so on.