Rename Chaotic?

Lot's of people seem to confuse "chaotic" with "desctuctive", but it never has been described that way.  It was always supposed to be "not bound by rules".  Seems to me there would be a better, less overloaded word to describe it.



Anyone have any suggestions?  Lawful<->Freedom perhaps?
What about the other axis?  Replace good<->evil with self centered<->selfless?

Or is it too entrenched to change? 

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
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.

Anarchic?

The metagame is not the game.

Anarchic?

That tends to have the same "destructive" connation.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
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.

Throw alignment in the fireplace, followed by a gallon of gasoline?
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
"Random"
Lot's of people seem to confuse "chaotic" with "desctuctive", but it never has been described that way.  It was always supposed to be "not bound by rules".  Seems to me there would be a better, less overloaded word to describe it.

Anyone have any suggestions?  Lawful<->Freedom perhaps?
What about the other axis?  Replace good<->evil with self centered<->selfless?



Changing the names would be a very chaotic decision. Wink

Sorry, couldn't resist. Here's my two cents....

In all honesty, the law-chaos and good-evil spectrum is a staple of D&D. I don't think changing the names really does any good, since it will make it feel less like D&D and do about the same amount of pidgeon-holing as the normal system. I do agree with you in that I wish less people automatically thought chaotic meant destructive, but I guess when using these terms they can be interpreted in a variety of ways. It would be good to clearly state freedom as an important aspect of chaos though; this has been done in previous editions in varying degrees, but clearly it has fallen somewhat short of success.

For whatever reason, some people see the chaotic alignment as needing to be impulsive, reckless, destructive, rude, etc. When in fact those are just possible traits that go along with that alignment better, but are not exclusive to it. A lawful person could just as easily be those things, he might just have somewhat different motivation for his actions. It's even possible for chaotic beings to have honor, it's just different than how a lawful character might look at it.

A buddy of mine is playing a chaotic evil character, and he is the first one in a decade to decide to play one without being a **** about it. Instead of being crazy, loud, and destructive, he is playing the character is quiet, brooding, and calculating. His internal motives are chaotic and (very) evil, but he is very in control of his mind and actions (unlike previous chaotic evil attempts some of my friends have made...).

I strongly prefer the pre-4E alignment system, but I do recognize it can cause some people to feel they need to act in a certain manner. For some reason (probably just because it didn't feel like D&D to me) I didn't like the option of being unaligned... If the writers of the PHB and/or DMG can bother to put more than just a single paragraph behind each alignment, and dedicated the time/space to explain the alignments as a compilation of general attitudes and likely personalities (etc.), they could instead inspire us to expand our characters instead of prohibit them. Alignment should been seen as a starting point instead of some kind of personality speed-limit.

"Chaotic" already has too much history. It will never be dropped.
By the way, it is actually not that bad of a word to describe what a Chaotic character is, but "Rebelous" might work.

Law vs Rebelion 
Well, the obvious positive term would be "freedom" or "liberty" or something along those lines.  But I agree with androkguz:  there's no way it's changing from "chaos".
Anarchic?

That tends to have the same "destructive" connation.


Also, it's just Greek for "not-law".
I tend to like to keep Chaotic as it is. It doesn't really suit things (and nor does alignment) but they're staples of the game just like dungeons and dragons. The original game was modeled on some old books where the forces of evil were known as Chaos and those of good were known as Law.

Essentially, I agree that Chaotic is pretty loaded, but it has history.

Also, alignment in general is a little crazy to work with, but I think it serves a purpose. Eliminating alignment completely is a fine idea, but I figure you might as well include it and if no one likes it they don't have to use alignments.

I remember when I started out a favorite tactic was asking everyone met "Are you good or bad?" This worked fine until one group of evil warriors said "we're good" and then proceeded to take the party totally unawares.

Love the picture, by the way.
David L. Dostaler Author, Challenger RPG (free)
Anarchic?

That tends to have the same "destructive" connation.

Also, it's just Greek for "not-law".

I do think anarchic is somewhat better then chaotic.   But if it's going to change, it needs to really be better.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
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.

Chaotic is too nonconformist to be part of your alignment, man. How can you change the name of something not part of the grid, yo.

Chaotic does his own thing.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

We could always go Liberal vs Conservative.

The metagame is not the game.

We could always go Liberal vs Conservative.

I thought of that.

But i figured it would only break into arguments about which is which.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
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.

I'm not sure if this helps, but I know of a system which employs a multi-tiered alignment system using things such as Selfish/Selfless and such.

The only problem seemed to be all of my players took "Greedy, Egomaniacal, Selfish" as their personality and didn't seem to mind much. I think switching Evil/Good to something softer would only encourage people to play greedy characters and do whatever they wanted to.

In my experience, hardly anyone classifies themselves as evil no matter how greedy they may be so it's a good tool to keep players in check. I.e. "You steal the treasury? You're good remember?" Player "Oh yeah." However, this hardly ever crops up. In my games. Alignment is very much a background element. Come to think of it, they still steal treasuries a lot.

Some of my players prefer Chaotic Good because it seems to mean they can just do whatever they want as compared to Lawful Good. I've always liked Lawful Good, personally.

I think any alignment called "Freedom" would probably get a lot more use than all the rest. Who knows, though.
David L. Dostaler Author, Challenger RPG (free)
Why not have them just read the definitions in the players handbook.  That should clear up the confusion.  Worked for my group.
Why not have them just read the definitions in the players handbook.  That should clear up the confusion.  Worked for my group.

You were joking… right ?

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

Why not have them just read the definitions in the players handbook.  That should clear up the confusion.  Worked for my group.

You were joking… right ?



I don't think he is. The descriptions made sense to me. In fact the 2nd edition explanation is what I go by.

Personally, I view chaotic as destructive.  That has to do with being a fan of Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion books. Where the goal of chaos is to bring everything down to an evershifting primordial state. Where every second everything is something different. Now by those standards Law is just as bad. Where it's aims are to bring everything into stagnant uniformity, nothing changes ever. 
My 2 cp. 
Why not have them just read the definitions in the players handbook.  That should clear up the confusion.  Worked for my group.

You were joking… right ?



I don't think he is. The descriptions made sense to me. In fact the 2nd edition explanation is what I go by.

Personally, I view chaotic as destructive.  That has to do with being a fan of Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion books. Where the goal of chaos is to bring everything down to an evershifting primordial state. Where every second everything is something different. Now by those standards Law is just as bad. Where it's aims are to bring everything into stagnant uniformity, nothing changes ever. 
My 2 cp. 

But being chaotic within a lawful system is absolutly not the same as being chaotic within a lawless system. And this is again different if you were born and raise or not within this system.

You were a hero by being lawful in the far west, you are average joe by being lawful in modern cities. You are a hero by being chaotic and defending civil rights in a lawful society, but being chaotic when there no laws to organize people is just being another scavenger. And this paragraph is so full of paradoxes when refering to the alignment "rules" that my head spins.

D&D alignment system is skin deep and open to endless discussions.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

The quadrants themselves could be renamed without changing the actual alignment.  The scale could still be Good - Evil - Law - Chaos in the same way that it has been in 1E, 2E, and 3.xE but the actual names of the alignment quadrant could be renamed by naming the "pillars" without the Neutral part, such as NG: Good, LN: Lawful, NE: Evil, CN: Chaotic, N: Neutral (positive stand on 'Balance'), Unaligned (most of the general populace), or None (for animals, oozes and such) and each of the diagonals as something else which typifies the behaviour such as LG: Principled, LE: Tyrannical or Oppressive, etc.  

People can then either identify with the alignment quadrant or with the name. 
It's difficult to find one word that succictly wraps up what "chaotic" means because there isn't one. It means a random hodgepodge of things that have very little to do with each other besides being things that someone might have a mental association with the word "chaotic" (or "not lawful") with. This is partially because the two-axis nine boxes alignment system is singularly unfit for actually modeling ethos or personality in anything like a meaningful way, so pretty much everything about it is essentially a work of cramming things in and getting pretty creative with what the axes mean.

Really the crux of the problem is two things -
The chaotic good alignment, which forces really tortured definitions of chaos that involve a bunch of stuff about constancy of behavior and attitude towards power structures that the "destructive" angle that people naturally think of when they hear chaos doesn't cover because there's a box for chaotic good, so there has to be some kind of worldview that goes in that box.
The relative lack of meaningful correlation between being unpredictable, having certain attitudes towards [just, unjust] power structures and laws, supporting some kind of cosmic entropy state, and basically any of the other random things that "chaotic" sometimes means.

Destructiveness? In what meaningful sense has any character who has ever been called chaotic good more into destrutiveness than any other? Wanting to bring everything down to an evershifting primordial state is an extremely specific goal that in most settings is the goal of so few creatures that it's certainly not worth having an axis for.

In general, I agree with mellored, though. If alignment is going to be part of the game (and it almost certainly is) and the world's worst alignment model is going to be how it's structured (and it almost certainly is), then whatever new name is chosen for "chaos" needs to be much better than the existing name in order to justify the inertial effort of changing it. I doubt that one exists, because language does not normally create terms that refer to a bunch of unrelated things. (Well, it does through polysemy and stuff, but the odds that any one set of arbitrary concepts chosen at random have a single word that refers to them is extraordinarily low.)
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
But being chaotic within a lawful system is absolutly not the same as being chaotic within a lawless system. And this is again different if you were born and raise or not within this system.

You were a hero by being lawful in the far west, you are average joe by being lawful in modern cities. You are a hero by being chaotic and defending civil rights in a lawful society, but being chaotic when there no laws to organize people is just being another scavenger. And this paragraph is so full of paradoxes when refering to the alignment "rules" that my head spins.

D&D alignment system is skin deep and open to endless discussions.



Bravo! Perhaps you could say that this (Law, Neutral, Chaos) is the path through which the character looks to affect change in the world to bring it into harmony with their alignment (Good, Neutral, Evil). 
Do they act within the system to change the system? Do they ignore the system? Do they look to destroy the existing system to allow something new to develop? Not destruction to no purpose. There is always a reason, except for short people. They got no reason.
The quadrants themselves could be renamed without changing the actual alignment.  The scale could still be Good - Evil - Law - Chaos in the same way that it has been in 1E, 2E, and 3.xE but the actual names of the alignment quadrant could be renamed by naming the "pillars" without the Neutral part, such as NG: Good, LN: Lawful, NE: Evil, CN: Chaotic, N: Neutral (positive stand on 'Balance'), Unaligned (most of the general populace), or None (for animals, oozes and such) and each of the diagonals as something else which typifies the behaviour such as LG: Principled, LE: Tyrannical or Oppressive, etc.  

People can then either identify with the alignment quadrant or with the name. 

That sounds good to me.

Then you wouldn't remove chaotic (and upset D&D) you just add extra stuff (i.e. more idealised posts).

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
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.

It's difficult to find one word that succictly wraps up what "chaotic" means because there isn't one. It means a random hodgepodge of things that have very little to do with each other besides being things that someone might have a mental association with the word "chaotic" (or "not lawful") with. This is partially because the two-axis nine boxes alignment system is singularly unfit for actually modeling ethos or personality in anything like a meaningful way, so pretty much everything about it is essentially a work of cramming things in and getting pretty creative with what the axes mean.

Really the crux of the problem is two things -
The chaotic good alignment, which forces really tortured definitions of chaos that involve a bunch of stuff about constancy of behavior and attitude towards power structures that the "destructive" angle that people naturally think of when they hear chaos doesn't cover because there's a box for chaotic good, so there has to be some kind of worldview that goes in that box.
The relative lack of meaningful correlation between being unpredictable, having certain attitudes towards [just, unjust] power structures and laws, supporting some kind of cosmic entropy state, and basically any of the other random things that "chaotic" sometimes means.

Destructiveness? In what meaningful sense has any character who has ever been called chaotic good more into destrutiveness than any other? Wanting to bring everything down to an evershifting primordial state is an extremely specific goal that in most settings is the goal of so few creatures that it's certainly not worth having an axis for.

In general, I agree with mellored, though. If alignment is going to be part of the game (and it almost certainly is) and the world's worst alignment model is going to be how it's structured (and it almost certainly is), then whatever new name is chosen for "chaos" needs to be much better than the existing name in order to justify the inertial effort of changing it. I doubt that one exists, because language does not normally create terms that refer to a bunch of unrelated things. (Well, it does through polysemy and stuff, but the odds that any one set of arbitrary concepts chosen at random have a single word that refers to them is extraordinarily low.)

Maybe Alignment could work with creatures by being absolute and simple.

If you are lawful, you strictly support order and actively act against corruption, and then you can't be good or evil aligned, as life is only meaningful when it protects the order from chaos.
If you are chaotic, you strictly despise order and actively act against order, and then you can't be good or evil aligned, as life is only meaningful when it's free from order.
Same thing with good or evil, if you strictly support or despise life and act to support or destroy it, order or chaos means nothing more than a mean to support or destroy life.
Other people can vaguely be classed between selfish and sociable, the two being able to accept Lawful, Chaotic, good or evil acts if they think it won't affect what they care for.
Unaligned could be the ones who don't really care about the system they live in as they only really care about themselves in the end.
Aligned could be the people who don't really care about the system they live in as long as people can mostly live well together.

It leaves us with Lawful, Chaotic, Unaligned, Aligned, Good, Evil.

No sensless Lawful alignement putting on the same level Order and personal code. And no chaotic people more constructive than most.
One word for a general alignment, and then full description to detail how this word apply to the character.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

 Maybe Alignment could work with creatures by being absolute and simple.

If you are lawful, you strictly support order and actively act against corruption, and then you can't be good or evil aligned, as life is only meaningful when it protects the order from chaos.
If you are chaotic, you strictly despise order and actively act against order, and then you can't be good or evil aligned, as life is only meaningful when it's free from order.
Same thing with good or evil, if you strictly support or despise life and act to support or destroy it, order or chaos means nothing more than a mean to support or destroy life.
Other people can vaguely be classed between selfish and sociable, the two being able to accept Lawful, Chaotic, good or evil acts if they think it won't affect what they care for.
Unaligned could be the ones who don't really care about the system they live in as they only really care about themselves in the end.
Aligned could be the people who don't really care about the system they live in as long as people can mostly live well together.

It leaves us with Lawful, Chaotic, Unaligned, Aligned, Good, Evil.

No sensless Lawful alignement putting on the same level Order and personal code. And no chaotic people more constructive than most.
One word for a general alignment, and then full description to detail how this word apply to the character.


Are the Modrons pure lawful? I think pure law/chaos would be Lawful Neutral and Chaotic Neutral. They don't care about good or evil, only order and anarchy.

I think the system as it is works and the picture example in the OP is the perfect way to illustrate it. I know when they tried to change the system in 4e I was highly extremely averse to the idea. I think one thing to remember is that creatures may have stronger or looser attachment to their alignment. I like to think that there are higher powers that force the devils to abide by the letter of the law. I also imagine that some power outside the multiverse insinuates chaos into all things. Feeding off of the multiverse. Maybe something in the Far-realm?
It doesn't need renaming, it needs better descriptions. It's all in the presentation. 

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

 Maybe Alignment could work with creatures by being absolute and simple.

If you are lawful, you strictly support order and actively act against corruption, and then you can't be good or evil aligned, as life is only meaningful when it protects the order from chaos.
If you are chaotic, you strictly despise order and actively act against order, and then you can't be good or evil aligned, as life is only meaningful when it's free from order.
Same thing with good or evil, if you strictly support or despise life and act to support or destroy it, order or chaos means nothing more than a mean to support or destroy life.
Other people can vaguely be classed between selfish and sociable, the two being able to accept Lawful, Chaotic, good or evil acts if they think it won't affect what they care for.
Unaligned could be the ones who don't really care about the system they live in as they only really care about themselves in the end.
Aligned could be the people who don't really care about the system they live in as long as people can mostly live well together.

It leaves us with Lawful, Chaotic, Unaligned, Aligned, Good, Evil.

No sensless Lawful alignement putting on the same level Order and personal code. And no chaotic people more constructive than most.
One word for a general alignment, and then full description to detail how this word apply to the character.


Are the Modrons pure lawful? I think pure law/chaos would be Lawful Neutral and Chaotic Neutral. They don't care about good or evil, only order and anarchy.

I think the system as it is works and the picture example in the OP is the perfect way to illustrate it. I know when they tried to change the system in 4e I was highly extremely averse to the idea. I think one thing to remember is that creatures may have stronger or looser attachment to their alignment. I like to think that there are higher powers that force the devils to abide by the letter of the law. I also imagine that some power outside the multiverse insinuates chaos into all things. Feeding off of the multiverse. Maybe something in the Far-realm?

Caring about the concept, that's point.

Being Lawful should be caring about the law as a concept. Tagging Lawful Evil a corrupt politician is a nonsense from this point of view. Corrupt people don't care about the law as a concept, it's just a mean to have what they want, which can even be tagged chaotic with the current alignment rules.

If the alignment elements are not absolute, then alignment rules are worthless, which is actually the case IMO.
There's no way the complexity of individuals motivations and attitudes can be reflected by only one combination of the nine alignment "system".

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.


In general, I agree with mellored, though. If alignment is going to be part of the game (and it almost certainly is) and the world's worst alignment model is going to be how it's structured (and it almost certainly is), then whatever new name is chosen for "chaos" needs to be much better than the existing name in order to justify the inertial effort of changing it. I doubt that one exists, because language does not normally create terms that refer to a bunch of unrelated things. (Well, it does through polysemy and stuff, but the odds that any one set of arbitrary concepts chosen at random have a single word that refers to them is extraordinarily low.)


You know, I am a little insulted that you wrote that whole essay on alignment and made this particular paragraph but didn't even bother to mention my suggestion of using the word "Rebel".
It describes pretty well everything from bards to demons without the either a good or bad connotation.

By the way, Chaos in science is not destruction, it is pretty much exactly what it is supposed to be in D&D: unpredictability. 

By the way, Chaos in science is not destruction, it is pretty much exactly what it is supposed to be in D&D: unpredictability. 

I don't think unpredictability can be be human trait, sociology tends to prove the reverse.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.


In general, I agree with mellored, though. If alignment is going to be part of the game (and it almost certainly is) and the world's worst alignment model is going to be how it's structured (and it almost certainly is), then whatever new name is chosen for "chaos" needs to be much better than the existing name in order to justify the inertial effort of changing it. I doubt that one exists, because language does not normally create terms that refer to a bunch of unrelated things. (Well, it does through polysemy and stuff, but the odds that any one set of arbitrary concepts chosen at random have a single word that refers to them is extraordinarily low.)


You know, I am a little insulted that you wrote that whole essay on alignment and made this particular paragraph but didn't even bother to mention my suggestion of using the word "Rebel".
It describes pretty well everything from bards to demons without the either a good or bad connotation.

By the way, Chaos in science is not destruction, it is pretty much exactly what it is supposed to be in D&D: unpredictability. 

No offense was meant; I actually think Rebel is a reasonably good term, and it has the advantages you describe, with only the minor drawback of being a bit oppositional. It's not particularly good at capturing the "unpredictable" element of chaotic, if that's something that people even care to have remain part of the defintion, but it's a good term for the structural elements of chaos.

Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
'Thealignmentthatletsyoudowhateveryouwantandnothavetothinkaboutalignmentbecausethatmightkeepyoufromkillingstuffandtakingitstreasure".

Hmmm. We're going to need more room for "Alignment" on the character sheet.
Throw alignment in the fireplace, followed by a gallon of gasoline?



I hope the rules for alignment get printed on perforated pages.
I think DMs should just define it for their games.  D&D has traditionally done a very poor job of defining the alignment terms.  The devs aren't philosophers for sure.   My own definitions that I give to players coming into my campaign work fine and I don't have any disagreements.  I happen to think that they reveal interesting information about a PC or NPC without defining them utterly.  Most of the alignment stuff I've seen published is a waste of space.

I've flirted though with inventing a more complex system.  But I haven't as yet.  I think the pictures though in the first post are bogus as representations of alignment. 

One thing that lawful and chaotic are NOT is how organized a person is.  That is a ridiculous definition.  
Most people are not philosophers (seems to be a bit of a dying breed, though that may have something to do with the increased specialization of the modern age).

It makes any real discussion of what is 'lawful', 'chaotic', 'good', or 'evil' rather impossible because the DM generally just chimes in with whatever they feel is correct at the moment with neither consistancy or context in mind, and either enforces it becoming a bully, or fails to do so and gets into a snit. 

I think it's best if alignment remains detached from mechanics and that way it can be ignored by rational people and the people who want that hot mess can use it as well as it was ever used anyway. 
"I think it's best if alignment remains detached from mechanics and that way it can be ignored by rational people"

And that marks you as chaotic.

It's really a surprisingly easy system to use!
"I think it's best if alignment remains detached from mechanics and that way it can be ignored by rational people"

And that marks you as chaotic.

It's really a surprisingly easy system to use!


Ah, so that means he's disorganized Wink

While I agree that it should solely be a roleplaying aid, it has, historically, been made a mechanic in all editions except 4e by spells (Detect Evil et al.) and magic items (Horn of Goodness/Evil, Helm of Opposite Alignment, Talisman of Ultimate Evil, etc.) among other things.

Of course this doesn't mean that it should remain a mechanic in 5e but it appears that it's going to be hardwired.
Yeah the whole target must be evil in order for your abilities to do anything really gimps paladins, which kind of takes away from their roles as gaurdians of civilization when they can't even stare down a grumpy shopkeeper, or catch an amatuer thief whose's out for a lark.
It doesn't need renaming, it needs better descriptions. It's all in the presentation. 



Thank you. +1
I just think it's funny that the person advocating for consistent enforceable rules is getting called chaotic.
Staring down a grumpy shopkeeper would be an abuse of power. An amateur thief isn't necessarily evil, and if you can't bring him to justice anyways...BAD PALADIN! BAD!  No cookie for you!

I do see your point; I think the best thing 4E did was introduce the alignemnt of "Unaligned", or as we nickname it "Don't bring none, won't be none." 90% of the non-combat NPCs will be unaligned. But player characters are a breed apart, who frequently personify - or oppose - moral and philosophical absolutes.

Alignment is a shorthand, and an adventure hook. Anyone who has ever taught new players knows how vital the first is, and anyone who has ever run a Traveller campaign knows how ...useful... the second is.

That's why Chaos is inherently less useful in the game than Law, Good, or Evil since it is defined by what it refuses to be rather than what it is. I'm not really sure there is a way to rehabilitate it. On the other hand I'm not really sure there is a need to either.
Oh so letting someone short change you on items and gear that you use to SAVE LIVES is ok because he wasn't actually evil? Furthermore if a paladin's abilities are entirely dependent on the target being evil then in the case of said thief the paladin is likely less well equipped to catch said thief than a fighter, or even barbarian of the same level, if the pally can't be good at anything until Baron Von Kittensquisher shows up then most people won't bother to keep one around when a fighter or barbarian will be more consistently competent. 
Sign In to post comments