Alignment

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Sat Aug 23 23:55:21 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


Here is a set of guidelines that have a different take on alignment.  
These were passed out at an gaming event I attended to be used as a 
guideline for pegging your characters alignment. Of particular 
interest to myself were the lines of graduation from good to selfish 
to evil. As with anything, your mileage can and will vary. :)

----First some notes on good and evil----

Because a character is of good alignment it does not make them a 
saint.  Good characters can be just as irritating, obnoxious, 
arrogant, even prejudiced, and full of quirks.  However life and 
freedom are of the highest priority.  

All evil characters are NOT bent on universal genocide or domination 
over all living creatures.  They are also NOT maniacal people 
actively seeking to harm innocent people.  Nor are all evil 
characters sadistic and untrustworthy.  Many evil characters may 
actually seem kind or likeable.

There is nothing wrong with playing an evil character, although he 
may not survive too long if he betrays or harms too many people.  
This is fantasy role-playing, not reality.  Evil characters are 
ruthless individuals who are willing to say or do anything to 
achieve their goal.  Human life has little meaning to them and 
friends tend to be (but not always) people to use and discard when 
they are no longer of value.  Evil aligned persons do not 
automatically slay any good aligned person because of different 
ethics and philosophy.  All the better to USE good to achieve their 
own goals, for the end always justifies the means.

---And now the alignments---

Principled (good):

     Principled characters are generally of a strong moral character.
Such persons can be trusted in life or death situations and have 
the highest regard for others' lives, well-being truth and honor.

A Principled character will...
1) Always keep his word.
2) Avoid lies.
3) Never kill or attack an unarmed foe.
4) Never harm an innocent.
5) Never torture for any reason.
6) Never kill for pleasure.	
7) Always help others.
8) Work well in a group.
9) Respect authority, law, self-discipline and honor.
10) Never betray a friend.


Scrupulous (good):

     Scrupulous characters have a high regard for life and 
freedom.  This type of character works beyond the law, yet for the 
law, and the greater good of people.

A Scrupulous character will...
1) Keep his word to any other good person.
2) Lie only to people of selfish and evil alignments.
3) Never kill or attack an unarmed foe.
4) Never harm an innocent.
5) Never torture for pleasure.
6) Never kill for pleasure.	
7) Help others.
8) Work with groups, but dislikes confining laws and restrictions.
9) Distrust authority.
10) Never betray a friend.


Unprincipled (selfish):

     This basically good person tends to be selfish, greedy, and 
holds his personal freedom and welfare above almost everything 
else.  He dislikes confining laws, self-discipline, and distrusts 
authority.  This person may always be looking for the best deal, is 
continually tempted to lie and cheat, and hates himself for being 
loyal and helping others.

An Unprincipled character will... 
1) Have a high regard for life and freedom.
2) Keep his word of honor. 
3) Lie and cheat if necessary (especially to those of anarchist and 
evil alignments).
4) Not kill an unarmed foe (but will take advantage of one).
5) Helps those in need.
6) Does not use torture unless absolutely necessary.
7) Work with a group, especially if profitable.
8) Never harm an innocent.
9) Never kill for pleasure.
10) Distrust authority. 
11) Never betray a friend.


Anarchist (selfish):

     This type of character likes to indulge himself in everything.  
He is the con-man, gambler and uncommitted freebooter seeking nothing 
more than self-gratification.  This character will at least consider 
doing anything if the price is right.  These people are intrigued by 
power, glory and wealth.  Life has meaning, but his has the greatest 
meaning.  Laws and rules infringe on his on personal freedom and 
were meant to be broken.  An anarchist is always looking for the best 
deal and will work with good, selfish or evil to get it.  The 
anarchist teeters between good and evil bending the laws to fit his 
needs.

An Anarchist character will... 
1) May keep his word.
2) Lie and cheat if he feels it necessary.
3) Not likely kill an unarmed foe, but certainly knock out, attack 
or beat up an unarmed foe. 
4) Never kill an innocent (but may harm or kidnap). 
5) Not likely to help someone without some ulterior motive (even if 
it is only to show off). 
6) Seldom kill for pleasure.
7) Will use torture to extract information (not likely to torture for 
pleasure).
8) Not work well in a group.
9) Have little respect for self-discipline or authority.
10) May betray a friend.


Miscreant (evil):

     This type of character is self-serving, unscrupulous and is 
only out for himself.  Power, glory, wealth, position and 
anything that will make his life more comfortable is his goal.  It 
matters not who gets caught in the middle, as long as he comes out 
smelling like a rose.  This person will lie, cheat and kill anyone to 
attain his personal goals.

A Miscreant character will... 
1) Not necessarily keep his word to anyone.
2) Lie and cheat anyone, good or evil.
3) Most definitely attack an unarmed foe (those are the best 
kind).
4) Use or harm an innocent.
5) Use torture for extracting information.
6) May kill for sheer pleasure.
7) Feel no compulsion to help without some form of tangible reward.
8) Work with others if it will help him attain his personal goal.
9) Kill an unarmed foe as readily as he would a potential threat or 
competitor.
10) Has no deference to laws or authority, but will work within the 
law if he must.
11) Will betray a friend if it serves his needs.


Aberrant (evil):

     The cliche that there is "No honor among thieves" is false when 
dealing with the aberrant character.  This is a person who is driven 
to attain his goals through power, force, and intimidation.  Yet the 
aberrant person stands apart from the norm with his own personal code 
of ethics (although twisted by the standards of good).  He expects 
loyalty from his minions, punishing disloyalty and treachery with a 
swift merciful death.  An aberrant person will always keep his word 
of honor and uphold any bargains.  He will define his terms and live 
by them whether anyone likes them or not.

An Aberrant character will... 
1) Always keep his word of honor (he IS honorable).
2) Lie and cheat those not worthy of his respect.
3) May or may not kill an unarmed foe.
4) Not kill (may harm, kidnap) an innocent, particularly a child.
5) Never kills for pleasure.
6) Does not resort to inhumane treatment of prisoners, but torture 
although distasteful, is a necessary means of extracting 
information.
7) Never tortures for pleasure.
8) May or may not help someone in need.
9) Work with others to attain his goals.
10) Respects honor and self-discipline.
11) Never betrays a friend.


Diabolic (evil):

     This is the category where the megalomaniacs, violent, and most 
despicable characters fall.  This is the cruel, brutal killer who 
trusts no one and has no value for any life other than his own.  A 
diabolic person will crush anyone or anything that gets in his way.  
Aberrant aligned characters find these dishonorable people just as 
revolting as a good character.

A Diabolic character will... 
1) Rarely keep his word of honor (and has no honor).
2) Lie and cheat anyone.
3) Most certainly attack and kill an unarmed foe.
4) Use, hurt and kill an innocent without a second thought or for 
pleasure.
5) Use torture for pleasure and information.
6) Kill for sheer pleasure.
7) Is likely to help someone only to kill and rob them.
8) Not work well within a group (constantly disregards others to do 
as he pleases).
9) Despises honor, authority, and self-discipline.
10) Associate mostly with other evil alignments.
11) Betray a friend (after all, you can always find another friend).

---The end---

JL

Jon A. Lambert



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