PLEASE!!! 4e took a great step in this matter....

As I read through the monsters listed in the Bestiary and played a bit, I've seen some features (like when a good PC approaches an altar used by a Dark Acolyte), abilities (Smite [Alignment]), etc. that use Alignment not only as a tool for the player to properly roleplay his character or as a moral compass, but as a variable for spells, abilities and so on.
I think 4e has its flaws and merits but, in my opinion, a great rule was to leave Alignment out of the rule's mechanics and adopt it just as a very helpful (and fun too) tool to customize and flavour your character.

P.S.: Forgive my english, but its not my native tongue.
The bestiary is very minimal at the moment. The designers are focusing on making sure the game mechanics and classes work first; they haven't even really started to work on the monsters yet. 

I think, for the purposes of the playtest, the bestiary is functional. That's all that it needs to be right now. Once the designers have the basic game math and the class design nailed down, it'll be much easier for them to build monsters that work well and interact with the PCs in interesting ways.

With that said, I do agree with you. Alignment needs to stay in the description, not in the mechanics. Either that or it needs to be turned into a primary guiding force behind the game (Look up John Wick's Santa Vaca on Youtube for what I mean). 


And your English is just fine. Actually, your English is better than most Americans I know... The wealthiest society in the history of anything and we can't even teach our kids the difference "your" and "you're". Sad, isn't it?
Off Topic - I'm always impressed when someone speaks English with me. I wish I could return the favor. I'm working on my Japanese, but it's slow!
Disagree.

Alignment mechanics such as "Good player approaching Evil altar gets magically attacked" are perfectly fine, and actually fairly clean way of handling it. Its generic enough to be used across many things so we avoid every Evil item/zone/ward/etc having their own specific rules. Its a handy tool to have, but of course when a DM deems something is worthy of greater flavour/context or a more targetted effect they can always hand craft their own mechanic that isnt so generic.

If you remove the Alignment mechanic, its only going to be replaced by slightly different worded variation that attempts to achieve the same thing anyway, but in a less elegant fashion. And this will be repeated ad-nasueam for every other game element that needs something similar.

There is nothing in that mechanic that prevents a Good player from trying to approach the altar, and theres nothing in it that forces a player to adhere to any sort of moral code. Its just another mechanic in the DMs toolbox.

As an experiment, go ahead and rewrite Writhing Darkness on Page 8 to achieve roughly the same effect. Now go and do it again for every other alignment mechanic that appears. Ultimately, not worth the effort.

As I read through the monsters listed in the Bestiary and played a bit, I've seen some features (like when a good PC approaches an altar used by a Dark Acolyte), abilities (Smite [Alignment]), etc. that use Alignment not only as a tool for the player to properly roleplay his character or as a moral compass, but as a variable for spells, abilities and so on.
I think 4e has its flaws and merits but, in my opinion, a great rule was to leave Alignment out of the rule's mechanics and adopt it just as a very helpful (and fun too) tool to customize and flavour your character.

P.S.: Forgive my english, but its not my native tongue.


I honestly think it is essential for classes based on religion to function or else you get into the dirty concepts of corrupt temples of every religion etc.

It also makes sense in the context of the world.  You have gods that are at war with eachother and use the PC's and monsters to wage that war.  This isn't earth where gods are abstract ideas.  This is a world where you actually see angels appearing before the priests and giving commands.  Where demons can be faced on the physical plane and not just as a spiritual metaphor.


Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

As I read through the monsters listed in the Bestiary and played a bit, I've seen some features (like when a good PC approaches an altar used by a Dark Acolyte), abilities (Smite [Alignment]), etc. that use Alignment not only as a tool for the player to properly roleplay his character or as a moral compass, but as a variable for spells, abilities and so on.
I think 4e has its flaws and merits but, in my opinion, a great rule was to leave Alignment out of the rule's mechanics and adopt it just as a very helpful (and fun too) tool to customize and flavour your character.

P.S.: Forgive my english, but its not my native tongue.


I honestly think it is essential for classes based on religion to function or else you get into the dirty concepts of corrupt temples of every religion etc.

It also makes sense in the context of the world.  You have gods that are at war with eachother and use the PC's and monsters to wage that war.  This isn't earth where gods are abstract ideas.  This is a world where you actually see angels appearing before the priests and giving commands.  Where demons can be faced on the physical plane and not just as a spiritual metaphor.





I agree completely. There does seem to be reluctance to it though. I've noticed a number of players in the groups I play with do not like to do anything with the religions in the worlds. It just might be some of the local players.
Religion can be a very touchy subject for some.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.


I honestly think it is essential for classes based on religion to function or else you get into the dirty concepts of corrupt temples of every religion etc.



How is that a bad thing?  That's storylines galore right there.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Alignment mechanics such as "Good player approaching Evil altar gets magically attacked" are perfectly fine, and actually fairly clean way of handling it.



See, this has never made sense to me in a world with compeating evil gods. Personally, in my games if you go near an evil alter, you get smited based upon your actual religion, not some meaningless word written in your alignment box.
Salla,

That part was actually sarcasm.

Sorry I know that stuff doesn't translate well on the Internet.

Jadrax,

Many players won't pick a religion but will choose an alignment.

Of course half my players would be unaffected because they tend to be a chaotic lawless lot of thieves and miscreants with no respect for anything but the next score.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

I cannot see the Alter of Bane ignoring you because you are agnotsic.

It basically boils down to a cursed alter should effect anyone who is not one of the faithful.
heheh, true BUT it might not hurt a follower of Cyric anywhere NEAR as badly as it would a follower of Tyr or any other good deity for that matter.  I do agree that alignment needs to remain a mechanic for some things, Bane weapons, protection spells, etc, etc, etc.  Just makes sense.
In my game it would be doing quadrupple damage to a follower of Cyric, one doubling because Bane really, really hates Cyric and another doubling because so do I ;o)
Lol, true but it might find that person a possible candidate for induction.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

I liked very much the possibility to have corrupted clerics within the church's hierarchy (like High Cardinal Krozen in the Eberron campaign) and enjoyed very much the tips given in the Dragon Magazine #397 about herecy within the common religions, like Pelor's cult or the Church of Ioun.  It was disappointing to discover a traitor in a monastery because of a simple Detect Evil spell or ability (or arise suspicion on the ones that you couldn't scry in that way) or because he was the only one that couldn't spontaneosly cast a "Cure" spell...
That and other facts make me disagree to include Alignment on rules, and to leave it just as a the tool it was meant to be for moral decisions.
I imagine religions whose precepts and devout following ACTUALLY give people powers is going to naturally be somewhat less naturally corrupt than those built entirely on circular logic "these pamphlets tell us this great power exists, and they were written by those divinely inspired by the source to tell us, and we can tell this is true because it says so right there in the pamphlets".

Somewhat. Its still run by greedy sentients, whom that deity depends on for subsistence, so there's no way its gonna be all perfect.

Consider that there's entire professions out there based purely on finding and exploiting loopholes [when not busy changing the wording of the law entirely] in rules so that they're following the letter, but completely screwing the spirit of the rules.

And then there's one of the biggest threats of all: The good types that truly believe that whatever nasty thing [or atrocity] they're going to do is, in fact, for the good of all. There's nothing to stop them, certainly not common sense, in real life, but consider what happens if their deity grants them power and either does not care/mind about what is about to be done, or actively encourages it.

Like, say, the Silver Flame decides people are far too accepting of undead and necromancy nowadays, and that a little cleansing fire through a city or three might get the point across that tolerance is NOT appreciated...

A cleric of a lawful good deity could be a complete ****, and you wonder how he's even technically good, but don't forget: He's abiding by the rules of a large organisation and heiarchy, and if these acts are perfectly acceptable within his culture [say he was brought up in that religion], he is likely good, if at "cross purposes" with the Good of other cultures.

Its how you get paladins warring with eachother. Very rare are those who call themselves evil other than the occasional rebellious kid in odd clothing. Most villains are doing 'the right things', whether or not that's good for other people.

*Note: On the subject of Detect Evil, I've always preferred to base the spell's effects on the character's own upbringing and culture, OR, if granted by divine sources, on the views of what's good and bad for that deity. The spell picks up the 'taint' of unacceptable deviation from the appointed guidelines.

While this means that for the most part it tends to all work normally, certain situations can cause a "false positive" or negatives. For example, a paladin from a religion where slavery is a perfectly normal form of punishment/retaliation might not see any problem whatsoever with that group in the process of gathering slaves. He might know this is unlawful in the country he's now in/serving, and he knows he needs to stop it, but he's not smiting evil here.

Likewise, a drow mage using detect evil would either get nothing useful from everyone in his village registering as evil [they're all drow]. Instead, His particular variant of the spell is calibrated so that wanton murder, spying and poisonings are filtered out; everyone does that, but constant collaboration with the surface races dings brightly on the screen.

Overall not much changing, but a few things here and there that preferably make some sense.
Disagree.

Alignment mechanics such as "Good player approaching Evil altar gets magically attacked" are perfectly fine, and actually fairly clean way of handling it. Its generic enough to be used across many things so we avoid every Evil item/zone/ward/etc having their own specific rules. Its a handy tool to have, but of course when a DM deems something is worthy of greater flavour/context or a more targetted effect they can always hand craft their own mechanic that isnt so generic.

If you remove the Alignment mechanic, its only going to be replaced by slightly different worded variation that attempts to achieve the same thing anyway, but in a less elegant fashion. And this will be repeated ad-nasueam for every other game element that needs something similar.

There is nothing in that mechanic that prevents a Good player from trying to approach the altar, and theres nothing in it that forces a player to adhere to any sort of moral code. Its just another mechanic in the DMs toolbox.

As an experiment, go ahead and rewrite Writhing Darkness on Page 8 to achieve roughly the same effect. Now go and do it again for every other alignment mechanic that appears. Ultimately, not worth the effort.




Nice, but how would an evil character have handled those situations? No penalties, no damage, just walk right up to the dark cleric and kill him...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Religion can be a very touchy subject for some.



I personally don't like getting into it and when I DM I gloss over that part.

If I play a cleric then I am a generalist and just generally venerate 'the gods'
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Disagree.

Alignment mechanics such as "Good player approaching Evil altar gets magically attacked" are perfectly fine, and actually fairly clean way of handling it. Its generic enough to be used across many things so we avoid every Evil item/zone/ward/etc having their own specific rules. Its a handy tool to have, but of course when a DM deems something is worthy of greater flavour/context or a more targetted effect they can always hand craft their own mechanic that isnt so generic.

If you remove the Alignment mechanic, its only going to be replaced by slightly different worded variation that attempts to achieve the same thing anyway, but in a less elegant fashion. And this will be repeated ad-nasueam for every other game element that needs something similar.

There is nothing in that mechanic that prevents a Good player from trying to approach the altar, and theres nothing in it that forces a player to adhere to any sort of moral code. Its just another mechanic in the DMs toolbox.

As an experiment, go ahead and rewrite Writhing Darkness on Page 8 to achieve roughly the same effect. Now go and do it again for every other alignment mechanic that appears. Ultimately, not worth the effort.


Although in general I lean kind of away from using alignment mechanics, I wanted to say this is one of the best arguments for them I've seen.  I'm not diehard against them, and I've even enjoyed them in the past.  I just haven't seen the benefits outweigh the costs.  This piques my curiosity and makes me want to revisit the issue a bit.

Nice, but how would an evil character have handled those situations? No penalties, no damage, just walk right up to the dark cleric and kill him...


Having said that, this is also a great rebuttal imho.


Perhaps a very basic level of generic alignment effects combined with situation-specific effects could work.  For example:
Good characters within 50ft/15m of the evil altar take a -1 penalty to all rolls.  Any creature within 10ft/3m who does not belong to the altar's member club or subsidiary groups (  ) must save vs. poison or be temporarily blinded (or some other fitting affliction).
I'll be honest, I really disliked the alignment traps in the playtest. I've always disliked detect alignment spells, and alignment-based traps are just as bad, because people are going to notice when one party member is completely unaffected by the evil altar, and then the secretly evil character's been outed and the party kicks him out after the adventure.
Nelyo: That example bears more explaination.

Is the player at the table hiding his character's evil alignment? Does the character plan on betraying he party just because he is evil? If either answer to these questions is yes (especially the second one), then good. That's not the type of evil character I want at my table.

On the other hand, if the player is playing a character with an evil alignment because of the roleplay challenge, and his character doesn't think of himself as anything so cartoonishly simple as "evil", then there's no good reason to kick him out of the party*. It would be an interesting roleplay scenario to play the cleric who maybe believes in ethnic/racial/religious superiority but is in agreement with the rest of the party about their goals.

*The paladin not being able to assoiate with evil characters is not a "good' reason (even though it may be a "Good" one.)
Planes Wanderer
I do think alignment, while being a D&D staple, is a limiting concept.
While playing 3.x it occurred to me several times to be in a position where I, as the DM, had to tell if a player was playing his alignment correctly from is action and was supposed to punish him for going out of what I tought his coourse of action should have been.

To me, alignment is unnecessary. One could roleplay without being forced into a cliché if that did not exist at all.

But worst of all was when people started being neutral to avoid alignment spells, still playing evil or good and trying to convince me they were playing pure neutral.
When I play D&D I don't want to care about these things, I want to tell a story and to fight.
Having rules that use alignment forces me to use alignment. 
Religion can be a very touchy subject for some.



I personally don't like getting into it and when I DM I gloss over that part.

If I play a cleric then I am a generalist and just generally venerate 'the gods'


I generally do as well.

I have had one devoutly religeous player in the past and I can tell you his "moral compass" was a very tricky thing when he played priests.

Not really worried about alignement as a mechanic though.  I do think that optional rules should exist but don't feel that they are required for a good game of DnD.

I use to think they were but the longer I've played the more I realize that sometimes they can detract to the game more than they add.  Not always, and not for everyone but enough to be a consideration in the next edition.

Optional Alignment rather than Required Alignment is my stance.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

My usual house rule with regards to Detect Good/Evil/Law/Chaos was that it would only detect Capital G good or Capital E evil.  In other words, if the bad guy were trying to end the world, he'd detect evil.  If he were just a rather unpleasant fellow who might put someone 6-ft under for not paying back a debt, he wouldn't detect evil.
In a world where there is a provable afterlife and soul and there are dimensions of evil and good, the idea that the evil/good on your soul can be seen actually works very well for me.  A tangible purity/corruption of spirit is a fairly iconic concept to the fantasy genre. 
One of the major problems in movies and fantasy is the potrayal as greater good as evil, i know some people really like the hero who do anything and has no restrictions, but in reality the greater good is accepeted, and you could even say that herioc good was in itself the evil caused by ignorant faith. While some people may like to play a game with herioc good and villianous evil, i feel more ambigious situation is more interesting. I also believe that an alignment restricts roleplay and that in most situation there is no clear cut answer.

While this is one of the worst examples, lets say a group of heroes abandonded a village getting attacked by orcs, the dm can say there actions have been evil, but is fighting and war evil events?? If not, why should the players help the villagers, people of good alignment could come to the conclusion that this is the way life goes and it is not there buisness to involve themselves. Since we know a DM would probably say nothing if the players let some humans raid an orc village. Also if them abandoning the village could help them save even more people what would be the morally good thing to do ?? There is not a defintive answer however abondoning the village or abandoning lets say a bigger village to save the first could both be considered evil.
I do think alignment, while being a D&D staple, is a limiting concept.

While playing 3.x it occurred to me several times to be in a position where I, as the DM, had to tell if a player was playing his alignment correctly from is action and was supposed to punish him for going out of what I tought his coourse of action should have been.

To me, alignment is unnecessary. One could roleplay without being forced into a cliché if that did not exist at all.

But worst of all was when people started being neutral to avoid alignment spells, still playing evil or good and trying to convince me they were playing pure neutral.

When I play D&D I don't want to care about these things, I want to tell a story and to fight.
Having rules that use alignment forces me to use alignment. 

All good points. Expresses well the downside of imposing an alignment system.

The downside that bothers me the most is the pressure to be “cliche good”. Its almost never the same thing as actual good. In moral development, the highest ethical stage is something quite different. Thank goodness for cliche good, but theres alot more to good than that.

I think Writhing Darkness and powers like it that base their mechanics on alignment are flawed for several reasons.
This is supposed to be an attack power for the evil cleric. Why should the evil cleric not be able to target any opponents but just the good ones?
Another question, which makes this power almost useless for any cleric defending his altar is, which opponents are good and which are just neutral? Because the cleric better choose wisely, otherwise this power has no effect.
So he spends an action trying to find out which PC to target, which he could use to do something more useful.
So internally, this power is, written as is, very hard to handle for a GM.

It does not need to be. Let the power do what it is there for: blast all enemies who try to attack the evil faith, guided by the evil cleric who in this way can show any opponent that it was the wrong idea to challenge him. Now that would be a very useful and flavorful attack power.

And this is true for all alignment based mechanics: leave alignment out of this.
I cannot see the Alter of Bane ignoring you because you are agnotsic.

It basically boils down to a cursed alter should effect anyone who is not one of the faithful.

Yup, the nice thing about such mechanics is that they work with or without alignment.  The idea of a cursed evil altar is something very fundamental.

Terry Pratchett had a funny thing to say (per usual) about agnostics.  To roughly paraphrase: there was a philosopher who argued that it is most logical to say you believe in the gods.  For if you believe in the gods and they don't exist, you are no worse off than if you were an athiest.  But if they do exist, you will be much better off having said you believe in them.  And the worst would be saying you don't believe in them and having it turn out that they do exist.
When the philosopher died, he found himself surrounded by a bunch of gods with big sticks.  They wanted to show Mr Clever what they thought of his idea.

I cannot see the Alter of Bane ignoring you because you are agnotsic.

It basically boils down to a cursed alter should effect anyone who is not one of the faithful.

Yup, the nice thing about such mechanics is that they work with or without alignment.  The idea of a cursed evil altar is something very fundamental.

Terry Pratchett had a funny thing to say (per usual) about agnostics.  To roughly paraphrase: there was a philosopher who argued that it is most logical to say you believe in the gods.  For if you believe in the gods and they don't exist, you are no worse off than if you were an athiest.  But if they do exist, you will be much better off having said you believe in them.  And the worst would be saying you don't believe in them and having it turn out that they do exist.
When the philosopher died, he found himself surrounded by a bunch of gods with big sticks.  They wanted to show Mr Clever what they thought of his idea.




I hope and pray there isn't an afterlife...oh wait... I hope there isn't one...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I cannot see the Alter of Bane ignoring you because you are agnotsic.

It basically boils down to a cursed alter should effect anyone who is not one of the faithful.

Yup, the nice thing about such mechanics is that they work with or without alignment.  The idea of a cursed evil altar is something very fundamental.

Terry Pratchett had a funny thing to say (per usual) about agnostics.  To roughly paraphrase: there was a philosopher who argued that it is most logical to say you believe in the gods.  For if you believe in the gods and they don't exist, you are no worse off than if you were an athiest.  But if they do exist, you will be much better off having said you believe in them.  And the worst would be saying you don't believe in them and having it turn out that they do exist.
When the philosopher died, he found himself surrounded by a bunch of gods with big sticks.  They wanted to show Mr Clever what they thought of his idea.




I believe it was Pascal (Pascal's Wager) that came up with the argument first.  I find it flawed simply because if you are believing because you are hedging your bets, then you aren't really believing (in the religous sense) and so it doesn't help you.


-Polaris
I cannot see the Alter of Bane ignoring you because you are agnotsic.

It basically boils down to a cursed alter should effect anyone who is not one of the faithful.

Yup, the nice thing about such mechanics is that they work with or without alignment.  The idea of a cursed evil altar is something very fundamental.

Terry Pratchett had a funny thing to say (per usual) about agnostics.  To roughly paraphrase: there was a philosopher who argued that it is most logical to say you believe in the gods.  For if you believe in the gods and they don't exist, you are no worse off than if you were an athiest.  But if they do exist, you will be much better off having said you believe in them.  And the worst would be saying you don't believe in them and having it turn out that they do exist.
When the philosopher died, he found himself surrounded by a bunch of gods with big sticks.  They wanted to show Mr Clever what they thought of his idea.




I believe it was Pascal (Pascal's Wager) that came up with the argument first.  I find it flawed simply because if you are believing because you are hedging your bets, then you aren't really believing (in the religous sense) and so it doesn't help you.


-Polaris



You're correct, it's Pascal's Wager, and most theologans either preach it or take the view you espouse that accepting the Wager does not equate to faith.

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."

 

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Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

Pascal's Wager rests on a logical fallacy, but that was the whole point of setting it out in the first place - who would and who wouldn't catch all of the flawed assumptions?
Pascal's Wager rests on a logical fallacy, but that was the whole point of setting it out in the first place - who would and who wouldn't catch all of the flawed assumptions?



Aparently a lot more than you realize.  It's not a question of logic at all. 

Ask a devoutly religious person the following scenario:

You are born to a family of but you are extremely faithful to set religion's teachings.   Are you going to heaven or hell (or equivalent)?  
"Do androids dream?" Rick asked himself.