What alignments mean

Discussion in 'Tome of Knowledge' started by Thinkmeats, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. Thinkmeats

    Thinkmeats War Is Good For Business

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Messages:
    2,039
    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.
     
  2. Finkk

    Finkk Dalayan Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    172
    good job. thx TM.
     
  3. Ponden

    Ponden Dalayan Beginner

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Messages:
    330
    I do not understand which stealing is evil versus chaotic. ?
     
  4. Wesell

    Wesell Dalayan Elder

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    669
    The act of stealing can be both CHAOTIC and EVIL, but depending on the circumstance may not be EVIL. The act of stealing would be CHAOTIC because a LAWFULL character wouldn't see themselves as thieves they would consider themselves to be justifiably confiscating whatever it is.
     
  5. Kirin Folken

    Kirin Folken Dalayan Beginner

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,420
    I think that goes along the lines of...

    Evil stealing, is because it meets thier ends. Its a totaly selfish act, but it is done because it ether brings you advantage or weakens someone else that your dealing wtih as a opposite.

    Stealing is not just the act, it has a long term goal.

    Chaos stealing, just stealing because you can. Because you don't want to have to pay for it. Because you feel in some way stealing brings some kind of odd justice if the chaos charcter was wronged.

    Is just the act with a short term goal.
     
  6. Ykari07

    Ykari07 Dalayan Beginner

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    371
    The difference is more the motive than anything. If you steal someone's jewelry because you want to sell it for cash, then it's evil. If you steal someone's jewelry because you want to sell it so you can buy food for yourself, that's chaotic. If you steal someone's jewelry because you want to sell it so you can clothe orphans in the street, that's chaotic good.

    That's not really a perfect explanation since chaotic good also relies heavily on who you steal from, but it's simple enough to understand.
     
  7. Thinkmeats

    Thinkmeats War Is Good For Business

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Messages:
    2,039
    Generally, what makes stealing CHAOTIC NEUTRAL vs CHAOTIC EVIL is all about who you're stealing from and who you are. Stealing from your neighbor is likely to be EVIL, because you're directly depriving that person of whatever you stole. Stealing from a large organization when you're poor is more likely to be CHAOTIC NEUTRAL (thought not guaranteed), as you're likely to derive more good from what you stole than the Silver Crown Trading Company would have. But really, that's a pretty fine point on it--in the game itself, stealing will almost always be simply CHAOTIC.
     
  8. Dzillon

    Dzillon Dalayan Master

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,325
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Chatillon, France
    That's pretty awesome stuff, beiing an old fan of D&D style I see this is really making alignment stuff deeper. Only thing I fear is it's gonna be hard for non english natives ; but it's necessary. You gave us the keys to understand your points , so it's fair.
    About chaotic neutral I remember it being more about total randomness, unpredictable behaviour ; but I suppose it's hard to make it go along a MMORPG.
     
  9. vittorio

    vittorio Dalayan Beginner

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    perhaps a disclaimer for those new to EQ

    Do certain NPCs' kill you based on racial hatred, or the implicit alignment tied to your race or class? I'm new to EQ entirely so, when I - a Dark Elf SK - was killed instantly in South Newport by some guard/NPC, I was quite shocked. A friend of mine who plays a Wood Elf - and since they have past EQ experience - was smart enough to con a Grobb Warden before going into Grobb, otherwise he would have been slain as well.

    I'm having a hard time finding info about what classes, races, alignments hate each other. Maybe some info in the Wiki about what towns aren't safe for certain races/classes or whatever. Like what towns are neutral (Oggok for instance(I think)), what towns are good, and which are evil. Unless the info is already out there... maybe someone could point me to it?

    That said, I believe being insta-killed by NPCs (345 damage is insta-killed for low levels anyway) does indeed make your race/class/alignment (or whatever it is that makes NPCs kill you) a significant factor in dealing with the SoD civilization. Now I have to re-plan my main quest route, since I can't sail out of Newport... or at least I'm scared to :)

    Thanks.
    V
    IG:Leivem
     
  10. Allielyn

    Allielyn *Pony*

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Messages:
    2,391
    I can't speak for the wood elf, but for Newport the animosity is based on your class - not your race. In fact, the SK guild is buried in the Newport sewers (with the necro and rogue guilds, far far away from the guards) and contains its own alignment quests that will allow you to obtain a 'gate neck' to newport. As far as the boats go, you can get close to the docks via the sewers, and an invisibility spell or potion should get you the rest of the way without any problems.

    A Dark Elf Cleric or Warrior would be able to walk around Newport with no fear for her life.

    Generally speaking, Oggok, Erudin, Athica and Newport are fairly 'neutral' towns. Many of these cities were based on the Kaezulian Lore, where people stopped bickering about good and evil as defined by "Race" and started to band together against a common threat they couldn't hope to face alone. Grobb doesn't look favorably on the traditionally 'good' races, but there are 'evil' quests you can do to improve faction there. I haven't played in Kelethin enough to know how their faction runs.

    "Class" however, can cause some problems if npcs think you might be out to raise their beloved father/brother/friend to be your undead minion but even then the residents of the cities tend to be forgiving if help their local economy or security (read: do quests). Someone who's actually played a necromancer might be able to give a more thorough account, though.
     
  11. vittorio

    vittorio Dalayan Beginner

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Ok, thanks for the clarification. Initially, when I was slain, I thought it was my race/alignment (neither being exclusive of the other as I understand it). Now I realize however, that it is my profession that some find unsavory. So be it! I'll have my revenge! :)

    No but really, the faction aspect is neat, definitely adds to the RP.
     
  12. Kaervexi

    Kaervexi Dalayan Beginner

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    I have never played EQ, and this is all completely new to me. I would just like to say, thanks a ton for the info in this thread. Also, thanks for implementing such an awesome game mechanic...I can't wait to get in game!
     
  13. j0kie_smurf

    j0kie_smurf Dalayan Beginner

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    The Black Swamp
    Hi. I am not exactly new to EQ, but I don't often get to play as much as I would like. I was wondering about the alignments and class/racial reactions. I am very familiar with the dungeons and dragons alignment system, so it did clarify a lot of questions I had. After reading this post, I just wanted to say thanks a bunch for posting this information. It will help me make better in-game decisions. I love RPG's, especially EQ on shards of dalaya. Thanks a bunch.
     
  14. Cyzaine

    Cyzaine Staff Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,139
    Alignment is yours to choose. Your wood elf bard can be as chaotic evil as they want, and your iksar necro can be as lawful good as he wants.
     
  15. runicNomad

    runicNomad Dalayan Beginner

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    65
    Need some help understanding the range here...

    I am choosing Jayla on one of my characters and at current am Neutral Good
    Can someone explain the graph here.
    As in Does Neutral stand on side and Good stand on the other or do the 2 different alignments represent different things?

    If I do a lot of good quests will I become good good?
    Trying to understand the neutral side of the equation here mostly.

    thanks for the help
     
  16. robopirateninja

    robopirateninja Staff Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,016
    The alignments are Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic and Good/Neutral/Evil.
     
  17. runicNomad

    runicNomad Dalayan Beginner

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    65
    still semi confused...

    ok so choosing neutral is going not be so obvious then?

    in the dream choosing the merchant is that a neutral act?

    I played dnd quite a lot and usually there was the of course I will help you (good) I will help you for a price or maybe I will help you (neutral) and the I will help you if you pay me or I wont help you die (evil)

    is this something that will be in dalaya as well as far as options during quests?
     
  18. robopirateninja

    robopirateninja Staff Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,016
    Aligment is a continuum, Neutral is not a third alignment, but simply the area that is not too far to either side.

    How evil you are will never affect how lawful you are; in the same way you can be completely chaotic and still be good, if you make the correct choices.

    In-game quests will rarely have such clear cut choices as what are presented in the Dream intro quest. Pick a way you would like to play your character and be consistent. That is the best way to get your alignment maxed in whichever direction you please.
     
  19. runicNomad

    runicNomad Dalayan Beginner

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    65
    Now this is where I am confused. If I do any good quests that moves me from Neutral?
    Is it possible to be completely neutral completely good?
    If I give to charity or Murt like once every 3 days is that neutral?
    To me if I do any good quests that is involving myself in good so that is why I am confused. The chaotic and lawful make sense because I can be supremely or dedicated to evil or good or sporadically dedicated...

    Can you give me an example of neutral movement in alignment while also getting a good hit?
    thanks for the help
     
  20. Renshu

    Renshu Dalayan Elder

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    464
    Location:
    The Nati
    IF going Jayla and CoI, only pick the good choices in MQ, finish COI, finish Jayla Aug and you are 20% spec.
     

Share This Page