Poll: Alignment mechanics

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In community.wizards.com/dndnext/go/thread/..." title="community.wizards.com/dndnext/go/thread/...">another thread, I asked what kind of alignment array people would most like to see in 5e.  But there's a related question that I think is more important, here: assuming there is an alignment system, should it have mechanical impact?

Now, obviously, we can expect 5e to offer multiple options here, as with most stuff.   What I'm asking about is what your personal preference would be.

And I'm only going to bother tracking distinct "yes" and "no" answers.  Wanting any interaction between other mechanics in the game—such as alignment detection magic or even just qualifying for a class—counts as a "yes" answer.  Out-of-game alignment considerations—such as a DM banning evil character, or encouraging (in a non-mechanical sense) alignment-appropriate roleplay—do not qualify as "mechanical impact".

Also note that "I don't want an alignment system" isn't a valid answer, for this thread.  That's what the other poll is for.  Here, assume that you're already stuck with one.

So, what do you say, people?
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No.

Alignment should be a guide, not a straightjacket.
Make it a mod that comes with the core books. That way I can burn it all away. I don't want it shoved down my throat.
Oh please god no.

Also, since this is an alignment thread on the D&D boards: In b4 derail.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

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Save the breasts.

yes

Damn you, Salla, for making me smile at a Ponyshow image.
No

And Yes.

There should not be mechanics tied to alignment in the core rules.  

There should be mechanics tied to alignment in optional modules (ideally self-contained mechanics tied to specific classes).  (Furthermore, these optional modules/ alignnment depenantclasses should be included in the initial publications).

The question, as written, ignores this basic fact concerning 5N:  The game will be modular, allowing the DM to assemble the specific rules elements he wishes to use at his table.    Thus the question "Should be in the game" is meaningless unless you specify whether you are asking about the core rules or an optional module.


Carl
I'm a fan of some mechanical impact, though perhaps a bit less than 3/3.5. Just like the other poll, if it's a complete deal breaker I can accept doing it as a module I suppose.




I'm with you on the effects of alignment being useful as a mechanic but needs not be as invasive as the 3e version. I mean armed conflict over whether you are chaotic or lawful didn't work for me.

Normal people shouldn't need to worry if someone is going to murder them because they follow a different moral or ethical path.

On the other hand, things like racial tendencies and class requirements insure the arhetypes are maintained. I never really liked good or evil druids or chaotic evil rangers. 
Yes.... With the caveat that it is optional so that those that don't want it don't have to use it.

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Nope.  Never met an alignment mechanic I liked. 

Would prefer if alignments were completely excised from PCs and were only put on monsters as a general personality indicator as DM guidance.
Yes.

Though I'm not very much in favor of absolute restrictions, like races or classes that are "always" a particular alignment, I very much think the game needs Detect/Protection from, and magic items, creatures, and outer planes that react to different alignments.

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I think Salla said it best.

No.
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yes.  

Not so much detects on townspeople who'd all read neutral for the most part.  But I like BBEG giving off waves of evil to the Paladin.  Obviously an easy way to not use it for those that don't like it.
yes.  

Not so much detects on townspeople who'd all read neutral for the most part.  But I like BBEG giving off waves of evil to the Paladin.  Obviously an easy way to not use it for those that don't like it.


You can easily flavor that in.
The question, as written, ignores this basic fact concerning 5N:  The game will be modular, allowing the DM to assemble the specific rules elements he wishes to use at his table.

Sounds like you didn't make it to the second paragraph of my opening post.
The question, as written, ignores this basic fact concerning 5N:  The game will be modular, allowing the DM to assemble the specific rules elements he wishes to use at his table.

Sounds like you didn't make it to the second paragraph of my opening post.



I did.  You acknowledged the modularity.  And then asked for a simple yes or no preference without specifying preference in core versus preference as a module.

So which is it.

If you want to know our preference - do you want our preference for the core rules OR our preference for the modular enhanced game?

My preference is that it NOT be in core but that it IS in a module.

Is that a yes or a no?

Carl
In general No.

I don't like spells such as detect evil that detects evil townsfolk. It leads to silly situations with the players.

Guard (DM): "You're under arrest for murder"

Bob the Paladin (Player): "It's ok, I'm a paladin. I used detect evil on him. He's evil, so it's ok that I killed him."

Guard: "You're still going to jail."

Does that sound familiar to anyone?

On the other hand, I would like to have spells such as magic circle against evil or similiar spells that affect demons, devils, undeads and so on.
Give alignment fans a big book of alignment that covers a whole range of alignment systems and mechanics to enforce them and how to modify your own system out of it. Some people want it, so give it to them.

Otherwise I agree with the ponies of unusually-small size.
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
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Yes.

I'm interested in D&D as simple fare, as Hollywood good vs Hollywood evil. If I want to deal with the complexities of real world considerations of the nature of good and evil, then D&D will not be my choice of game.
No thank you.
The question, as written, ignores this basic fact concerning 5N:  The game will be modular, allowing the DM to assemble the specific rules elements he wishes to use at his table.

Sounds like you didn't make it to the second paragraph of my opening post.



I did.  You acknowledged the modularity.  And then asked for a simple yes or no preference without specifying preference in core versus preference as a module.

So which is it.

If you want to know our preference - do you want our preference for the core rules OR our preference for the modular enhanced game?

My preference is that it NOT be in core but that it IS in a module.

Is that a yes or a no?

Carl



The post makes it very clear.  Any degree of mechanical relevance to alignment is a vote for 'yes'.  'Yes, but ...' is still a 'yes' for the purpose of this poll.
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Agreeing with Salla's hoof-through-screen, and with Leich's hell no.

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I do not want alignment to have any mechanical influence. As others have said, things such as "Detect Evil" are basically game-legal metagaming. And for my own point...

Having classes tied to alignment only really makes sense when you don't think about it. What I mean is that it isn't at all implausible to imagine a free-spirited martial artist (Chaotic Monk), or a killer who seeks to kill as a means of exacting justice (Lawful Good Assassin; I'm not sure if it's the same in DnD, but in Pathfinder, IIRC, assassins need to be evil). With some thought, even someone with a Paladin's abilities could potentially be someone who isn't Lawful Good; the most obvious example is the view of a paladin as a religious fighter, in which case the Paladin would follow the alignment of his or her deity. A class is little more than a set of abilities that mechanically define your character; having them define your character's story is simply bad.
BBQ the sacred cow.

No alignment mechanics. 

I love you Salla.

Also, I'm for no.  Now to go read the rest of the thread.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

I'm surprised at all the answers.  A no vote means you don't even want it to be a module that some people can use.  That seems harsh.  There is nothing that any sizable group of people wants that I want to ban out of the game as an option.   I think a lot of people want some variation on it.   Not a majority by a long shot but not a tiny minority either.
Yes.
Yes

I'm surprised at all the answers.  A no vote means you don't even want it to be a module that some people can use.  That seems harsh.  There is nothing that any sizable group of people wants that I want to ban out of the game as an option.   I think a lot of people want some variation on it.   Not a majority by a long shot but not a tiny minority either.

I don't know if you play Magic at all, but Alignment in D&D is pretty much like Banding in Magic.  Banding was an overly complex, oddly ruled mechanic that was the hardest thing to explain to a new player and even many veteran players screwed it up from time to time.  You know what WotC did?  They dropped Banding.  It became one of those old player in-jokes for when new players complained about a bad mechanic; "Well, at least it's not Banding! Zing!"

It is my hope that one day we can all sit around a table with new players and joke about the days when people were hamstrung by a metaphoric moral metaphysics system called Alignment and how things are better now.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.


I'm surprised at all the answers.  A no vote means you don't even want it to be a module that some people can use.  That seems harsh.  There is nothing that any sizable group of people wants that I want to ban out of the game as an option.   I think a lot of people want some variation on it.   Not a majority by a long shot but not a tiny minority either.

I don't know if you play Magic at all, but Alignment in D&D is pretty much like Banding in Magic.  Banding was an overly complex, oddly ruled mechanic that was the hardest thing to explain to a new player and even many veteran players screwed it up from time to time.  You know what WotC did?  They dropped Banding.  It became one of those old player in-jokes for when new players complained about a bad mechanic; "Well, at least it's not Banding! Zing!"

It is my hope that one day we can all sit around a table with new players and joke about the days when people were hamstrung by a metaphoric moral metaphysics system called Alignment and how things are better now.


I play Magic. They should have never dropped banding. I had absolutely no trouble ever understandinmg it or explaining it, and it was all kinds of useful.

It is my hope that one day we can all sit around a table with new players and joke about the days when people were hamstrung by a metaphoric moral metaphysics system called Alignment and how things are better now.




I don't know of banding but I get your point.  I'm assuming that most people though agree about banding.  There isn't a significant faction of people out their calling for banding to come back.

Alignment to me can be flavorful.  I tend to use it lightly but it doesn't bother me if others use it in the heavier sense.  When I say lightly I mean that only the paragons of evil are detectable as such.  Some classes can be limited by alignment but again I might modify this from campaign to campaign.  I rarely bother my players about it.  I always announce my campaigns are about "good" heroes because that's what I want to play.  I don't begrudge others playing evil campaigns if they like.

I do though like areas and things having alignment.  I think an evil sword is cool.  

Again I say again why not let people have fun in their way and you in yours.  Any other approach I fear will lead 5e to fail.   I do feel that some of the 4e wotc staff were very sanctimonious and arrogant when they discussed why some things were #badwrongfun.  "For you maybe" I kept saying.




 
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Stuff.


I have a meeting to run to right now, but when it's over, I'll get back to you on this.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

Short answer: No.
Long answer: Hell no!

Longer answer: Whatever the DM wants to do with it, but no baked-in mechanics anywhere in the books.
No. 

And this is borderline deal breaker for me.  Forcing alignment into mechanics in the core books means its not going to be modular.

Back from my meeting.


I don't know of banding but I get your point.  I'm assuming that most people though agree about banding.  There isn't a significant faction of people out their calling for banding to come back.

Alignment to me can be flavorful.  I tend to use it lightly but it doesn't bother me if others use it in the heavier sense.  When I say lightly I mean that only the paragons of evil are detectable as such.  Some classes can be limited by alignment but again I might modify this from campaign to campaign.  I rarely bother my players about it.  I always announce my campaigns are about "good" heroes because that's what I want to play.  I don't begrudge others playing evil campaigns if they like.

I do though like areas and things having alignment.  I think an evil sword is cool.  

Again I say again why not let people have fun in their way and you in yours.  Any other approach I fear will lead 5e to fail.   I do feel that some of the 4e wotc staff were very sanctimonious and arrogant when they discussed why some things were #badwrongfun.  "For you maybe" I kept saying.

Banding had it's fans too.  Case in point:
I play Magic. They should have never dropped banding. I had absolutely no trouble ever understandinmg it or explaining it, and it was all kinds of useful.

And I as well thought it was a decent mechanic.  That doesn't mean that I don't recognize that the game, as a whole, is much healthier with its exclusion.  I've been on the wrong side of a lot of Magic mechanics; Shadow, Fear, Fading, Phasing...

Anyway, you are correct, Alignment has a niche place in the flavor department.  That doesn't mean that it needs to have mechanical significance to function.  Evil swords are cool, and the concordance system that exists in 4E for artifacts is a good and solid platform to use you give said swords more meat instead of "Their like a normal sword, but eeeeeeevil!"

At some point you have to accept that while nobody is claiming that people who like Alignment systems are having "badwrongfun," their version of fun can be detrimental to the game as a whole if it is mechanically enforced, core or otherwise.

As a concession, I'd be okay with seeing Alignment rules as a module in 5th Ed.  But deep down, I'd really like to see the game evolve beyond the need for it all together and let Alignment fade into antiquity.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

Short answer: No.
Long answer: Hell no!

Longer answer: Whatever the DM wants to do with it, but no baked-in mechanics anywhere in the books.



+1

I want absolutely nothing to do with an antiquated morality system that needs to be tossed away.

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F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Yes.

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