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New Rules for Alignment

by Marco Dalmonte

Many months ago an underground project named Alignment Project started. The official head of the group was Thorfinn Tait, who wanted to update and revise the D&D Alignment rules (too much out of date) using a mix of other Alignment systems used by other RPGs. Together with him, Diego Calugi started discussing about the various possible systems to borrow from, and later my humble self joined the group to see what was going on. After some enlightening discussions and very brilliant ideas, the three of us came up with this "final-temporary" version of the project, which involves a list of traits that every character has and that define his personality. I have not heard anything new from Thorfinn nor from Diego since December and so the project remained stuck with this "version" of the Alignment system, which I consider really helpful and quite fresh for the D&D system. So, hoping not to attract the wrath of my colleagues of the Project, I have decided to show you all what we've come up with, and see if u like it or have any other interesting proposals to take into consideration. Feel free to comment directly on the list or to me personally.

So, here it's the list of traits we'd use:


- Merciful 19/16
- Pitiful 15/12
- Uncaring 11/8
- Pitiless 7/4
- Merciless 3/1

- Joyous
- Cheerful
- Light-hearted
- Serious
- Cheerless

- Prudent
- Cautious
- Impatient
- Impulsive
- Reckless

- Conservative
- Liberal
- Open-minded
- Anarchist
- Reactionary

- Extrovert
- Talkative
- Reserved
- Timid
- Introvert

- Meek
- Humble
- Modest
- Proud
- Arrogant

- Hyperactive
- Energetic
- Idle
- Lazy
- Lethargic

- Respectful
- Polite
- Civil
- Rude
- Insolent

- Fanatic
- Reverent
- Troubled
- Faithless (Atheist)
- Hatred

- Loving
- Friendly
- Unselfish
- Suspicious
- Hostile

Then we elaborated a simple system to retain the old classifications (Lawful, Neutral, Chaotic) and associate the AD&D moral traits (Good, Neutral, Evil) taking the new traits system as the base. This is the general rule (it applies to both PC and NPC): once you create your character (or take an NPC) you can assign him the values regarding the various traits basing on your view of the character OR roll randomly for them. Once you do it, you can tell if your character is L, N or C and whether he's good or evil or neutral. How? Simple.

The Alignment (L/N/C) is determined by the values of certain traits, and the Moral (G/N/E) is determined by other traits values. Here's my proposed ones:

Mercy, Mood, Manners, and Behaviour to Other People determine Moral. Caution, Way of Thinking, Attitude and Religious Attitude determine Alignment.

To calculate which alignment and moral one has, simply sum up the values relative to the traits mentioned above and confront them with the maximum value for that kind of alignment/moral. This way, the Legal/Good characters have a total score comprised between 76 and 52, the Neutral/Neutral between 51 and 32, and the Chaotic/Evil between 31 and 4. This is because Legal or Good characters have values in the above mentioned traits that go from 19 to 13 (so 19x4=76 and 13x4=52), Neutral or Neutral characters range from 12 to 8 and Chaotic or Evil range from 7 to 1.

Eric (an NPC from my campaign) should have the following characteristics:
MERCY: 16 (Merciful)
MOOD: 11 (Light-hearted)
CAUTION: 10 (Impatient)
WAY OF THINKING: 12 (Liberal)
WAY OF TALKING: 9 (Reserved)
MANNERS: 15 (Humble)
INITIATIVE: 15 (Energetic)
ATTITUDE: 16 (Respectful)

So, his Moral is: Mercy (16) + Mood (11) + Manners (15) + Behaviour to Other People (17) = 59, therefore he's Good (76-52 remember) His Alignment is: Caution (10) + Way of Thinking (12) + Attitude (16) + Religious Attitude (14) = 52, therefore he's Lawful (76-52 span).

I make u note I pictured him as a Lawful NPC in my campaign and I assessed these values without prior calculating their sum: it went smoothly just like the alignment and moral I thought in my game probably because the system functions. ;)