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Author Topic: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result  (Read 5877 times)

HappyDaze

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2021, 08:51:27 AM »
It's amusing to me that all the negative publicity directed towards WotC's newest D&D products by Pundit and the like is still publicity. These products keep on selling (supposedly better than ever) even if they aren't selling to the same old hands.

Maybe the positive publicity is more common than the negative publicity, then. Maybe the concerns about the book's changes from previous editions' versions of the setting are in fact a minority opinion and that most people don't care about it. Keep in mind, the vast majority of D&D 5e players are young, and thus much less likely to care about what Viktra Mordenheim was like as Victor Mordenheim, or what the "Core" was, or whatnot.

Source 1: https://www.enworld.org/threads/2020-was-the-best-year-ever-for-dungeons-dragons.680165/
I'm curious to know what their sampling method was, as none of the many D&D players I know (several dozen ranging from late 20s to mid 50s) participated or were even aware of the survey(s). If you decide what you want to show and are selective in choosing your respondents, it's pretty easy to produce results that support whatever you're shooting for.

oggsmash

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2021, 09:55:20 AM »
  I prefer RPGs with no alignment, and take advantages/disadvantages to simulate a more or less "good" or "evil" or more selfish character.  I always prefer the soldier of fortune/sword and sorcery point of view in RPGs.   BUT I also play games where these things are baked into the rules (GURPS and Savage Worlds, even Conan D20).   I do think alignment is VERY MUCH baked into Dungeons and Dragons however.   The planes, Paladins (who IMO should have remained Human and LG), clerics, etc all hinge around an alignment system.  It can be played without it, but it is baked into the game mechanics in may ways. 

   I understand that people do like to play with a more gray in a setting.   It makes more sense in a murder hobo centric world.  But, it does seem as if some of the institution push to remove alignment comes from a push towards general moral relativism versus a better fit for a world where your character loves to rescue innocent people....for LOOTZ.

Bedrockbrendan

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #32 on: May 26, 2021, 10:00:14 AM »
Did they get rid of evil or did they only get rid of the alignment system? Seems like Ravenloft wouldn't work if evil wasn't a thing there (the premise of the setting was the dark powers respond to evil by rewarding, cursing and imprisoning it: this is what makes dark lords, but it operates at a smaller scale with other types of characters)

HappyDaze

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2021, 10:01:12 AM »
I do think alignment is VERY MUCH baked into Dungeons and Dragons however.   The planes, Paladins (who IMO should have remained Human and LG), clerics, etc all hinge around an alignment system.  It can be played without it, but it is baked into the game mechanics in may ways. 
Baked into the past of D&D, perhaps, but not so much baked into current 5e, and it appears it will be even less so moving forward. The things you mention as hinging around an alignment system do not do so anymore...as you even acknowledge with 5e (and even 4e) paladins. There are still a few traces of alignment in the rules, but to claim that they are 'baked in' to the current incarnation of D&D seems more like what you want to see than what is really there.

HappyDaze

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #34 on: May 26, 2021, 10:02:12 AM »
Did they get rid of evil or did they only get rid of the alignment system? Seems like Ravenloft wouldn't work if evil wasn't a thing there (the premise of the setting was the dark powers respond to evil by rewarding, cursing and imprisoning it: this is what makes dark lords, but it operates at a smaller scale with other types of characters)
I think they replaced "evil" with "tragic" and the dark lords are victims now.

oggsmash

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2021, 10:17:08 AM »
I do think alignment is VERY MUCH baked into Dungeons and Dragons however.   The planes, Paladins (who IMO should have remained Human and LG), clerics, etc all hinge around an alignment system.  It can be played without it, but it is baked into the game mechanics in may ways. 
Baked into the past of D&D, perhaps, but not so much baked into current 5e, and it appears it will be even less so moving forward. The things you mention as hinging around an alignment system do not do so anymore...as you even acknowledge with 5e (and even 4e) paladins. There are still a few traces of alignment in the rules, but to claim that they are 'baked in' to the current incarnation of D&D seems more like what you want to see than what is really there.

   The Planes are gone now?  Its not what I want to see, it is not relevant to me.  I play D&D when other people run the game, and it does seem Paladins and Clerics do have to operate within the alignment constraints of their gods, or is that not a thing anymore? 

HappyDaze

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2021, 10:59:56 AM »
I do think alignment is VERY MUCH baked into Dungeons and Dragons however.   The planes, Paladins (who IMO should have remained Human and LG), clerics, etc all hinge around an alignment system.  It can be played without it, but it is baked into the game mechanics in may ways. 
Baked into the past of D&D, perhaps, but not so much baked into current 5e, and it appears it will be even less so moving forward. The things you mention as hinging around an alignment system do not do so anymore...as you even acknowledge with 5e (and even 4e) paladins. There are still a few traces of alignment in the rules, but to claim that they are 'baked in' to the current incarnation of D&D seems more like what you want to see than what is really there.

   The Planes are gone now?  Its not what I want to see, it is not relevant to me.  I play D&D when other people run the game, and it does seem Paladins and Clerics do have to operate within the alignment constraints of their gods, or is that not a thing anymore?
Read cleric in 5e PHB. There is no restriction on matching alignment to that of the god. You can be an apostate with a wildly different alignment from your god and the power still flows.

Read paladin in 5e PHB. There are no alignment restrictions nor even a requirement to follow a god. You have to follow an Oath, but so long as your alignment fits the requirements of that Oath, you're set.

Whether paladins and clerics have to follow the alignment constraints of their gods or not also depends upon setting. In Eberron, for example, they absolutely do not have to follow such constraints.

Planes vary by setting.

oggsmash

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2021, 11:16:30 AM »
I do think alignment is VERY MUCH baked into Dungeons and Dragons however.   The planes, Paladins (who IMO should have remained Human and LG), clerics, etc all hinge around an alignment system.  It can be played without it, but it is baked into the game mechanics in may ways. 
Baked into the past of D&D, perhaps, but not so much baked into current 5e, and it appears it will be even less so moving forward. The things you mention as hinging around an alignment system do not do so anymore...as you even acknowledge with 5e (and even 4e) paladins. There are still a few traces of alignment in the rules, but to claim that they are 'baked in' to the current incarnation of D&D seems more like what you want to see than what is really there.

   The Planes are gone now?  Its not what I want to see, it is not relevant to me.  I play D&D when other people run the game, and it does seem Paladins and Clerics do have to operate within the alignment constraints of their gods, or is that not a thing anymore?
Read cleric in 5e PHB. There is no restriction on matching alignment to that of the god. You can be an apostate with a wildly different alignment from your god and the power still flows.

Read paladin in 5e PHB. There are no alignment restrictions nor even a requirement to follow a god. You have to follow an Oath, but so long as your alignment fits the requirements of that Oath, you're set.

Whether paladins and clerics have to follow the alignment constraints of their gods or not also depends upon setting. In Eberron, for example, they absolutely do not have to follow such constraints.

Planes vary by setting.

    No idea about any settings.  Like I said, I play it, do not read it past knowing what a LN fighter needs to know, do not lawyer it, but the planes seemed pretty cut and dried along with some alignment restrictions relative to a god's position and oath guidelines.  If you say they are not a thing, I believe you.  I just still wonder why the word alignment is all over the core rulebooks then.

HappyDaze

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2021, 11:23:31 AM »
I just still wonder why the word alignment is all over the core rulebooks then.
That's the same doubt that has led so many to call for removing alignment from D&D going forward. It's largely irrelevant in 5e. I don't think it should be, but I can see that it is certainly not as important as it once was.

Armchair Gamer

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2021, 11:27:31 AM »
I just still wonder why the word alignment is all over the core rulebooks then.

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Ghostmaker

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2021, 11:37:40 AM »
Sigh. Here we go again.

One more time: the reason alignment is considered such an integral part of D&D is because in most of the settings, concepts like good, evil, law, and chaos aren't just philosophical ideas, but tangible forces which for better or worse have an effect on the world, as much as gravity or magic.

Now, the Darklords of the various Ravenloft domains do often have an element of tragedy to them, but not in the sense of 'this bad thing happened to them and they didn't deserve it', but rather 'they made one bad decision after another and are now the villain in their narrative, and half the time they don't even see it'. Which doesn't mean your wandering murderhobos shouldn't knock them over and take their stuff, just that their descent into evil had (or it SHOULD have had) a starting point where they went off the moral rails.

The problem, in my opinion, is that wokeists are distinctly uncomfortable with the idea of objective moral codes, even in fictional settings. The idea of such makes them uneasy (guilty consciences, perhaps?) and thus they try to scrub such references.


This Guy

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2021, 11:40:59 AM »
Did they get rid of evil or did they only get rid of the alignment system? Seems like Ravenloft wouldn't work if evil wasn't a thing there (the premise of the setting was the dark powers respond to evil by rewarding, cursing and imprisoning it: this is what makes dark lords, but it operates at a smaller scale with other types of characters)
I think they replaced "evil" with "tragic" and the dark lords are victims now.

nothin wrong with a byronic role of villain of their own making + cruel fate. gets the shipping community damp
I don't want to play with you.

HappyDaze

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #42 on: May 26, 2021, 11:50:17 AM »
One more time: the reason alignment is considered such an integral part of D&D is because in most of the settings, concepts like good, evil, law, and chaos aren't just philosophical ideas, but tangible forces which for better or worse have an effect on the world, as much as gravity or magic.
You are speaking in present tone, which WotC says is not accurate regarding D&D (their product). In their current product, such things are not important in most of their settings.

jhkim

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2021, 01:06:12 PM »
One more time: the reason alignment is considered such an integral part of D&D is because in most of the settings, concepts like good, evil, law, and chaos aren't just philosophical ideas, but tangible forces which for better or worse have an effect on the world, as much as gravity or magic.

Now, the Darklords of the various Ravenloft domains do often have an element of tragedy to them, but not in the sense of 'this bad thing happened to them and they didn't deserve it', but rather 'they made one bad decision after another and are now the villain in their narrative, and half the time they don't even see it'. Which doesn't mean your wandering murderhobos shouldn't knock them over and take their stuff, just that their descent into evil had (or it SHOULD have had) a starting point where they went off the moral rails.

The problem, in my opinion, is that wokeists are distinctly uncomfortable with the idea of objective moral codes, even in fictional settings. The idea of such makes them uneasy (guilty consciences, perhaps?) and thus they try to scrub such references.

You're implying lack of alignment is somehow a "wokist" thing, but I still say that it's not. Lacking alignment isn't necessarily lacking objective moral codes, as is shown by the hundreds of RPGs since the 1970s that lack alignment. Again, virtually all RPGs other than D&D and its direct imitators lack alignment, including explicitly gothic RPGs like Chill, for example.

When I ran a gothic horror campaign in the late 1980s, I didn't use alignment - not because there weren't objective morals, but because they weren't put in boxes. When we played, what we discussed was things like "There is a darkness in his soul, but he may yet cling to hope through his love for his daughter" and not "Is he Lawful Neutral or Lawful Evil?" Even when I used D&D to run the Ravenloft modules, I ignored alignment as I usually do in D&D, and instead talked in non-alignment terms.

One of the big deals is whether to label an entire person into a box, rather than individual acts. In my gothic horror game, characters would act "out of alignment" all the time - in that they might commit both good acts and evil acts side by side. For example, Doctor Nelson was obsessed with his father's ghost and would disregard ethics in pursuit of his obsession, but when not caught up in that, he was a voice of compassion for the family. I have no idea what I would set his alignment as.

While it's possible to deal with such ambiguity even when using an alignment system, I think the alignment system doesn't *help* to do this. In practice, I don't see the functional benefit compared to just not having alignment.

Mistwell

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #44 on: May 26, 2021, 02:07:27 PM »
Ravenloft has removed alignment from #dnd5e and Drow are now Good. This is all a Postmodernist plan to move #dnd away from myth and moral absolutes of heroic fantasy into "OMG So Random" soulless play.
#ttrpg #osr


So, in case anyone was still thinking RPGPundit was posting accurate information about D&D:

1) Ravenloft doesn't ban alignment.
2) Ravenloft doesn't make Drow good.
3) The RPGPundit hasn't even read the book he's talking about.