Alignment

MORAL Concept Definition
Good Altruism Willing to make significant personal sacrifices in order to help strangers
Evil Selfishness Willing to make others suffer or be harmed in order to get what you want
Neutral Empathy Unwilling to harm strangers for personal gain, but won't make personal sacrifice for them
ETHICAL Concept Definition
Lawful Obedience Willing to conform & obey, even when it contradicts personal desires & needs
Chaotic Individualism Willing to prioritize the needs/desires of the individual above the community/laws
Neutral Pragmatism Won't obey law if it opposes personal needs, but obeys it until has reason not to

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Basics

Player's Handbook

«Alignment is a tool for developing your character’s identity. It is not a straitjacket for restricting your character. Each alignment represents a broad range of personality types or personal philosophies, so two lawful good characters can still be quite different from each other.

In addition, few people are completely consistent. A lawful good character may have a greedy streak that occasionally tempts him to take something or hoard something he has even if that’s not lawful or good behavior. People are also not consistent from day to day. A good character can lose his temper, a neutral character can be inspired to perform a noble act, and so on.

Choosing an alignment for a character means stating your intent to play that person a certain way.»

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Alignment Concept

●There are 9 different alignments, and within D&D all thinking beings are 'assigned' one of them
●This means that there are millions upon millions of creatures who all have the same alignment. As is to be expected, this will not force them all to suddenly behave in the same way.
●A person's alignment is judged by which of the 9 types his behavior & his principles fits best. It is not (primarily) the other way around, it's not that alignment determines how a person ''must'' behave
●The alignments are absolute & abstract ideas, and most creatures (especially mortal ones) are not capable of perfectly acting according to alignment at all times. Sometimes there's no ''right'' answer.

●Even when there is, people don't always choose the action which corresponds to their alignment, because ''alignment'' is only a description of which category your behavior fits more than any other category. So lots of your personality & preferences won't fit your alignment…..but it fits better than the other 8 options. If it doesn't, or if a person behaves over time in such a way that he generally qualifies more for another option, then his alignment will eventually change into that.

●It's assumed that people won't perfectly fulfill their alignment at all times. Generally, only alien beings from other dimensions, who are literal incarnations of the actual alignment concepts, are like that (and even they don't always manage to fulfill it).

●There are different degrees of each alignment. There are lesser and greater types of evil (theft vs genocide), just as there there are mildly good and strongly good deeds (donating to charity vs giving up own life so hundreds of innocents may survive). Similarly for lawful & chaotic actions & things.

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Motivation

It can help to categorize people by how dedicated they themselves are to their chosen alignment, whether the reason for having their alignment is ''Incidental'', ''Ideological'' or ''Incarnate''.
Incidental (personal): ((«I behave like I do, and that happens to be classified in this category»))
Ideological (evangelical): ((«I have consciously chosen this alignment, because I 'believe' in it»))
Incarnate (avatar): ((personification of the concept, driven by inhuman motivations: doing evil things not because what you want requires it, but specifically because doing ''evil'' is your goal))

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Components

Good

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Evil

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Chaotic

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Lawful

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Neutral

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