marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

a litany of law, a catalog of chaos

Been contemplating alignment recently for various reasons.

Nothing, of course, has changed my basic view of the alignment system -- taking all the moral issues that the best and the wisest have broken their heads over for millennia, misunderstanding half of them, boiling them down to a gaming mechanic, and handing them over to a bunch of sophmoric gamers (some of whom, to be just, have the excuse of being sophomores).

Still, I was thinking of all the different values given law vs chaos:
  1. personal lifestyle, with lawful valuing structure and chaotic spontaneity

  2. personal discipline -- monks must be lawful, barbarians must be chaotic

  3. acting in accord with society
  4. degree of obedience to the appointed authorities of society

  5. belief in whether the universe is ordered as a whole

All of which are, of course, if not perfectly orthogonal, still capable of large variation. Indeed, a character may live a life of order to OCD level in reaction to the belief that the universe is chaotic.
Tags: heroes and villains, role-playing games

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