Alignment is a broad-strokes reflection of your character’s stance among the factions and powers of Avendar. There are moral and personality components to alignment in Avendar, but it is also a force of nature. Magical elements have affinities for different alignments, as do the races, gods, great houses, and so forth.
Alignment is your position on the Good-Neutral-Evil axis, and ethos is your position on the Lawful-Neutral-Chaotic axis. Generally, the word ‘alignment’ is used to refer to both alignment and ethos.
Alignment is static and cannot be changed except by the staff. You may petition staff for an alignment change if it seems appropriate for your character. Send a note to ‘immortal’ expressing why you feel an alignment change is appropriate. Keep in mind, as alignment is factional, some factions may no longer like you as much.
Mechanically, alignment affects:
- Experience points from kills…
- Good characters gain extra xp from evil mobs, and negative xp from good mobs.
- Good characters who repeatedly kill other goods will get a talk from the staff, and potentially an alignment change.
- Neutral characters get base xp from all mobs.
- Evil characters gain extra xp from good mobs, and less xp from evil mobs.
- Good characters gain extra xp from evil mobs, and negative xp from good mobs.
- Classes are alignment locked…
- The magical elements that scholars and templars wield have alignment preferences.
- Mentalists cannot be chaotic.
- Various other classes bar ethoi, see the class pages.
- Races are alignment locked…
- Ch’taren must be good; shuddeni must be evil.
- Other races bar alignments and ethoi, see the race pages.
- All houses are alignment locked…
- See the house pages.
- Rarely, items may be alignment locked.
- Rarely, tasks may be alignment locked.
On a cosmic scale, the side of “Good” is headed by Jolinn, the Overgod of Life. Many gods join him on that side, though their reasons are varied. As “Good” is a large umbrella, there is much room for debate and disagreement. Good people need not like each other or work toward the same cause; however, they will generally prefer to fight evil rather than each other. As a rule, good characters will take significant personal risks to protect and provide for the innocent. Not content to wait, good adventurers take the fight to evil’s doorstep and kick in the door.
Good characters have access to the ‘request’ command.
Syntax: request <item> <requestee> Those who do battle with evil, and have a pure heart, can ask to receive an item from a good person of the land (non-PC). These individuals will consider your reputation and determine whether your actions have merited their trust. By requesting an item, you are reducing that person's ability to defend themselves, so please consider that accordingly. (see also: help ROLEPLAYING) Each time you request an item, it will be weighed against your actions. Those who lead the struggle against evil will have an easier time gaining recognition from their fellows of the light. Your standing with aligned factions will also affect your ability to continue requesting from members of that faction.
Lawful Good characters believe strongly in both order and goodness. Organization is one of their strengths, and they often see themselves as leaders among their allies. They frequently appreciate military structure and tend to be the most rigid of their alignmental brethren. A lawful good character believes that evil can only be truly defeated by constructing systems to keep it isolated and contained. They are often hounded by their chaotic allies for their lack of flexibility, as their many oaths limit their freedom of action.
Neutral Good characters agree on only the furtherance of goodly ideals. They may or may not embrace lawful methodologies and often borrow elements from their flamboyant chaotic cousins. This allows them a maximum freedom of motion in terms of how they achieve their ends. They thwart evil on many grounds, and usually without overruling or ignoring the wishes of their friends. A neutral good character serves as the bridge between their lawful and chaotic allies, and as such, often feels the strain of trying to accommodate both.
Chaotic Good characters believe in an unfettered pursuit of goodness. They tend to view laws or rules– even benign ones– with suspicion, if not outright disbelief. To them, such restrictions provide possible refuge to evil; without them, evil has no foothold to cling to. Characters of this alignment are zealous, pursuing whatever they do with an unpredictable dynamism. A chaotic good character struggles against many, even his allies, because his actions so routinely ignore common wisdom or convention.
Neutrality is the primary alignment, a foundation laid by Iandir, Overgod of Creation, when he created the world. Later, Jolinn and Ashur brought Good and Evil to Avendar, building walls where none had been. Yet, without this neutral foundation, the walls would fall, or so some say.
A great variety of gods are neutral, representing a multitude of philosophies and agendas. Some argue for equanimity between Good and Evil, and will actively attempt to balance these forces. Others simply have independent concerns and do not seek to make a significant impact on Good or Evil.
Neutral characters have their own ends, and they pursue them in such a way that is not entirely selfish, nor entirely self-sacrificing. Neutrality is a game of limits: testing ties of friendship versus principle, and personal gain versus greater costs.
Lawful Neutral characters tend to view order as the fundamental that guides the multiverse. They are often organizers, and frequently appreciate law in all of its forms. They are always methodical in their actions and believe that for each step there is an appropriate sequence. They usually adhere to city law, but this is not demanded simply by virtue of choosing this alignment. They are most often in conflict with those who dwell in chaos, but should be mindful that their neutrality will be challenged equally often.
True Neutral characters are not given to any particular bias. They are unconcerned with morality, and disregard order as much as they embrace it. Some believe they have a higher duty to the greater balance of the multiverse; but just as many do not. Mercenary behaviors and fair-weather friendship are all hallmarks of the true neutral. Because their beliefs, motives, and notions are so diverse, they can be found in any and all company. Their greatest challenge is in remaining independent, when confronted by their many associates.
Chaotic Neutral characters are notoriously fickle. They follow their own whims to a fault, and refuse to be constrained by the laws, morality, or overarching notions of others. They can be friendly or fierce, joining great heroes or villains if it suits them. To a character of this alignment, their personal autonomy always trumps the interests of those they travel with. They are unafraid of conflict or struggle, because their wild natures are routinely challenged by moralists and lawmakers alike.
Cosmically speaking, the side of “Evil” is headed by Ashur, aka Tzet-Ashkari, the Dragon of Death. Ashur sleeps at present, but Its disapproval of Jolinn’s work is common knowledge, and many believe It to desire the total destruction of the world of Avendar. While evil-aligned gods ostensibly serve Ashur, direct orders are exceedingly rare. While the Dragon sleeps, they are left to their own devices.
One need not be bent on world destruction to qualify as evil. Simply preying upon good-aligned people can be enough, if done without equal action against evil.
Lawful Evil characters often seek to gain control of extant power structures and apply them to their own ends. Long term planning, scheming, and plotting are hallmarks of this alignment and common to most of its number. They often seek to master those who also dwell in darkness, attempting to utilize their powers as well as their own. Lawful evil characters shield themselves with the appearance of legitimacy in an attempt to stave off scrutiny. That which cannot be predicted or accounted for makes for their most dangerous enemy.
Neutral Evil characters are notorious for their selfishness. They are concerned only with themselves, and are motivated to vigorously pursue their own self-interest. Any tool, method, or idea is available to them, be it lies, violence, betrayal, or cruelty. Any morality they may have is always contorted to support this relentless focus on what they personally want. They tend to be glib but sociopathic, making all friends, allies, or lovers a matter of convenience. Their greatest stumbling block is their own self-focus, which can blind them to situational realities.
Chaotic Evil characters draw their power from their complete disdain for all manners of order. They are violent, unpredictable, and savage, and often believe the only truth is that the strong rule the weak. They emphasize their own dark form of individualism, willing to commit any atrocity so long as it pleases them. Chaotic evil characters are especially dangerous to those who seek to control or manipulate them, as they lack compunction and fear. Their greatest threats are the unlikely alliances that will form to end their reign of terror.
In contrast to static alignment, karma accrues over the course of a character’s adventures. Most characters do not need to be overly concerned about karma. However, some skills and spells are affected by karma, which will be indicated in their help files. You can see your karma in your score.
- The effectiveness of some skills and spells, indicated in their help files.
- Request (good-aligned characters only).
- Entry into Champion or Shunned houses.
Good: pale gold aura (some good), gold aura, bright gold aura, silver aura (ultimate good)
Neutral: no aura (balanced)
Evil: pale red aura (some evil), red aura, dark red aura, black aura (ultimate evil)
Karma automatically adjusts when you kill aligned foes. Killing good-aligned foes will darken your aura. Killing evil-aligned foes will brighten it. Neutral foes have no affect on karma.
Sacrifice to Aeolis or Serachel. Either of these gods may grant an adjustment to your karma.
Completing some tasks. Rarely, a task will affect your karma.
Some spells. Yithmakra’s Chosen, for example, makes all kills accrue red aura (evil karma).