Alignment In The White Sandbox

Law and Chaos

• The Lawful alignment is in accord with the era of creation currently ordained by the gods. The Chaotic alignment represents hold-overs from previous eras and all others who disobey the decrees of the Gods. Good and evil are human concepts, which can be successfully used to manipulate the world (e.g., the protection from evil spell) but are not universally accepted by or applicable to the Gods and their other creations.

• Humans are the ordained rulers of the current era of creation. Non-human races have no place in this era, although it must be admitted that humanoids and demi-humans greatly outnumber true humans in many, perhaps even most, parts of the world. Non-humans are thus essentially Chaotic, but in these degenerate times it is as easy to find Dwarves who seek to preserve the status quo as preferable to any alternative as it is to find Men who would see our world destroyed by the birth of a new era, or the resurgence of an old one.

• Dungeon-delving and otherwise peering into the mysteries of past eras is an inherently Chaotic activity. Many Lawful individuals will nevertheless find personal justifications for doing so, but Lawful societies that engage in such activities are inevitably short-lived. No sane form of government would sponsor an expedition underground.

• Alignment is meaningful to a player character in the same way that sovereignty is meaningful to a knight. If the final battle between Law and Chaos comes tomorrow, as many are always saying it will, this determines which characters would be drafted by agents of either side. Lawful characters do their duty, and are seen as potential recruits by the Forces of Law, who encourage lawfulness by occasionally giving boons to exceptional champions. Chaotic characters follow their instincts, and are in some ways alien to the modern world and susceptible to influence by aspects of the Elder Chaos.

Good and Evil

• Sin and virtue are concepts of modern human morality. Like other modern ideas such as forged iron and spells, the concept of good and evil does seem to hold some power in the cosmos. sages have demonstrated that spells such as protection from evil often yield consistent results.

• Angels and devils get their ideas about good and evil mostly from mortals, whom they interact with much more often than they do the gods.

• Many of the Forces of Law support the human conceptualization of good and evil, and actively work to promote these philosophies. Lawful gods foster conflict between good and evil, because having lawful societies fighting among themselves ensures that they always have veteran troops who are kept too busy to stir up the Elder Chaos prematurely.

• The Elder Chaos sees the idea of good and evil as strange and ephemeral. Some of them become interested in the idea or use it to attract followers, but usually miss the point. Chaotic gods have particular trouble with the axiom that "evil must only fight against good, good must only fight against evil".

• Most of those who claim to be able to "read alignment" are mountebanks, charlatans, or simpletons. Even if the diviner is truly capable of such an act, there are numerous ways that mortals can tamper with their bodies, minds, and spirits in order to confound detection of alignment.

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