Roll to Confirm

Introducing the Alignment Arc System
November 30, 2012, 3:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ve been struggling for a long time, long before my current online campaign started, with an alignment system I could be happy with. I’m not a fan of the overly simple “lawful, chaotic, neutral” system. It seems too simplistic and prone to absolutes for me. I’ve also grown tired of the 3.5 system of a matrix of Chaotic Good, Neutral Evil, Neutral Neutral and so on. I’ve found most of my players either pick Chaotic Good because they can do whatever they want and get away with it or pick Lawful Good so they can get in the way of everyone else’s fun.

I want to avoid the debates about Good versus Evil altogether so I want to try a new system that ignores a character’s fundamental nature in favor of a more granular description of how they might react in a given situation. I feel like this system both gives players a better feel for their character and how to play them while also getting them out of the headspace of a binary good/evil continuum.

Here’s the basis of the system:

Peaceful     –     –     –     –     –     –     Violent

Passive     –     –     –     –     –     –     Instigating

Cautious     –     –     –     –     –     –     Reckless

Selfless     –     –     –     –     –     –     Self-Serving

Abides by Law     –     –     –     –     –     –     Disregards Law

Trusting     –     –     –     –     –     –     Suspicious

Each player will pick where their character lies along each axis. You might have a character that is 2 pips along the Peaceful/Violent axis, 4 pips along the Passive/Instigating axis and so forth. It’s visual, quick and evocative.

The other benefit here is if the player’s encounter some random band of roving monsters, I can just roll 6d6 and know how the bad guys will react. Very handy.