Real Alignments

( ⇪ House Rules )

Table of Contents

Foreword

Everyone should read this, but you can skip most of the alignment summaries once you’ve read one or two of them completely. MM p305 and SS p102 go into monster alignments.

(Homebrew)

In the interest of making alignment conflicts easier to resolve and in the interest of making more interesting NPCs and villains, I must insist that players when choosing an alignment follow a “real” alignment (potentially including the choice of a half-step). These “real” alignments give clearer motivations to follow when a character is making a decision guided by their alignment.

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In short, the real alignments (Keyword: “paths”) and what they value most (Keyword: “aspects”) are:

  • Path of Integrity (Lawful Good): Conformity/Tradition and Benevolence
  • Path of Mercy (Neutral Good): Benevolence and Universalism
  • Path of Liberty (Chaotic Good): Universalism and Self-Direction
  • Path of Autonomy (Chaotic Neutral): Self-Direction and Stimulation
  • Path of Luxury (Chaotic Evil): Hedonism
  • Path of Supremacy (Neutral Evil): Achievement and Power
  • Path of Ascendency (Lawful Evil): Power and Security
  • Path of Harmony (Lawful Neutral): Security and Conformity/Tradition
  • Path of Equity (True Neutral): (any values)

General Behavior

It’s not “what you’re doing” so much as “why you’re doing it”.

An act only “bends your alignment” “when the chips are down”. A “Lawful Good” character can value hedonism fine in-general in their daily activities without “bending their alignment”. However, “when the chips are down” (for example, such as when lives are on the line) he’d be bending his alignment if he willingly does something that’s not inherently part of his alignment (such as forgoing his core values for a night of passion).

That said, alignment only dictates how a character generally acts normally by default (such as when the player isn’t running their character right then). As stated above, all alignments value all aspects in varying degrees in their daily lives. So far as limits “when the chips are down”, any character that is not a paladin and not on The Path of Equity can feel free to temporarily “bend” their alignment up to a whole step (two half-steps) in one direction or another in the alignment continuum described (that is, act primarily in the interests of a neighboring alignment’s aspects) without immediate mechanical alignment consequences (although there may still be long-term mechanical consequences, see below). The Path of Luxury and all half-step alignments on this continuum (that is, the alignments that are entirely associated with one particular aspect) are considered within a half-step of The Path of Equity, but someone that is not on The Path of Equity cannot willingly bend their alignment to The Path of Equity (or bend beyond The Path of Equity to any other aspect) without immediate mechanical consequences.

The Path of Equity is not considered a “half-step” alignment. A character on The Path of Equity can bend their alignment as above, but only to The Path of Luxury or a half-step alignment (basically, to only one aspect at a time).

Alignment Descriptor Effects

According to the 3.5 FAQ page 77:

“Most spellcasters aren’t prevented from casting spells with the Evil descriptor, nor do they suffer any penalty or ill effect for doing so. Only certain classes have restrictions or ramifications involved with using spells with an alignment descriptor, and those are clearly spelled out in the class descriptions.”

Spells with alignment descriptors only have those descriptors so that they interact with certain class features and other effects that specifically refer to those kinds of spells. Alignment-based spell descriptors otherwise have no alignment-affecting repercussions on the spellcaster. For example, a dread necromancer could use spells with the [evil] descriptor all day long without inherently risking becoming “evil” himself. Furthermore, completely disregard that “evil spells” are listed as an evil act in Fiendish Codex II (page 30) and the Eberron Campaign Setting (page 35), as those sources presume evil as a caricature (and thus are counterproductive to Real Alignments).

Prerequisites

For the purposes of meeting the prerequisites of gaining an ability (such as a feat) or being a valid target for an effect, a character with a half-step alignment takes up to a half-step away on the alignment continuum described in both directions. For example, if you are “NG (L)” (i.e. “Neutral Good but with Lawful tendencies”), you count as both Lawful Good and Neutral Good for the purposes of qualifying for being a “standard” paladin. This rule only applies for when you’re gaining or maintaining the ability, not when you’re actually using the ability (for actual use of abilities, see the Half-Step Mechanical Effects section below).

Detection

“Detect [alignment]” spells gain an additional effect the more you concentrate on an area. Creatures with half-step alignments on the edge of the detected alignment (so for evil, the “LN (E)” and “CN (E)” alignments) have a “flickering” aura (of the same strength as usual), but otherwise are still fully affected by the spell.

Some changes are made to the detect evil spell (and similar effects) accordingly.

Consequences

If a player consistently “bends their alignment” in one particular direction, the consequence is moving a half-step on the alignment continuum described (appropriate to how they are acting). If this half-step results in an alignment which would normally cause permanent consequences by RAW so far as their abilities are concerned, then those consequences happen as normal.

To change your alignment away from The Path of Equity, a character must whenever possible consistently act in favor of a specific aspect “when the chips are down”.

For the purposes of effects such as a standard paladin becoming an ex-paladin:

  • “Willfully committing an evil act” means having an inherently-evil motive (that is, having a motive associated with an “evil” aspect) “when the chips are down”.
  • The paladin should consider their moral code as more literal than it would normally be interpreted. A “gross” violation of the paladin’s code of conduct is up to the GM’s discretion. For example, “white lies” and bluffing in combat probably aren’t a gross violation of a standard paladin’s code of conduct. See the “Codes of Conduct” section below for a summary of the various codes of conduct.
  • “Evil” characters do not exist as stereotypical “evil” caricatures, so associating with an “evil”-aligned character does not inherently cause a paladin to fall. That said, if the paladin knows that one of their associates has committed an evil act (as described above) or consistently violates the paladin’s moral code, that still qualifies for the purposes of removing association with that character. However, the paladin can still travel with the character to the extent that roleplaying allows (typically by treating their attitude towards the character as “unfriendly” or worse, which does not necessarily extend to that character’s allies). No circumstance described here would cause a paladin to fall, although such a paladin would be wise to periodically seek out an atonement spell for skirting the fine line.

Codes of Conduct

If you aren’t playing a paladin or a paladin variant, you can skip this subsection.

The following is a collection of the various paladin-like codes of conduct (for paladins and paladin variants). The red words in this subsection indicate what actually causes the character to “fall”. Some would imply that violating any part of their code of conduct causes them to fall, but believing so is untenable in-practice. It’s much more reasonable that violating the lesser aspects of their code of conduct causes mostly social repercussions if discovered (such as temporarily being forbidden access to certain… church resources until mundane restitution is made).

Orthodox Codes of Conduct

Paladins [of Honor] (Lawful Good a.k.a. “Path of Integrity”) lose all class abilities if they ever willingly commit an evil act. She respects legitimate authority, acts with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), helps those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punishes those who harm or threaten innocents.

Paladins of Freedom (Chaotic Good a.k.a. “Path of Liberty”) lose all class abilities if they ever willingly commit an evil act. He respects individual liberty, helps those in need (provided they do not use the help for lawful or evil ends), and punishes those who threaten or curtail personal liberty.

Paladins of Tyranny (Lawful Evil a.k.a. “Path of Ascendency”) lose all class abilities if they ever willingly commit a good act. He respects authority figures as long as they have the strength to rule over the weak, acts with discipline (not engaging in random slaughter, keeping firm control over those beneath his station, and so forth), helps only those who help him maintain or improve his status, and punishes those who challenge authority (unless, of course, such challengers prove more worthy to hold that authority).

Paladins of Slaughter (Chaotic Evil a.k.a. “Path of Luxury”) lose all class abilities if they ever willingly commit a good act. She disrespects all authority figures who have not proven their physical superiority to her, refuses help to those in need, and sows destruction and death at all opportunities.

Unorthodox Codes of Conduct

Sentinels (D310 p50; Neutral Good a.k.a. “Path of Mercy”) lose all class abilities if they ever willingly commit an evil act. Sentinels are most at home in the wilderness of the Material Plane. He only journeys into cities when absolutely necessary, and he avoids travel to other planes except in the most dire need, since his vows require him to battle evil on his home plane. These vows call for him to protect the natural order of the Material Plane from becoming influenced or tainted by the forces of the evil Outer Planes. Additionally, the sentinel is honor-bound to provide assistance to any non-outsider who becomes lost or endangered while in the wilderness, as long as the victim in need honors the sanctity of the wilderness.

Avengers (D310 p49; Chaotic Good a.k.a. “Path of Liberty”) lose all class abilities if they ever willingly commit an evil act or willingly allies with a lawful government or affiliated agency. While the avenger’s life is based around achieving vengeance and retribution for the oppressed and downtrodden, she must temper this vengeance appropriately. Killing should be the last resort of the avenger when a more appropriate and less destructive form of vengeance will do, and even then, slaying an oppressor should be reserved only for the most evil villains. Avengers must aid and assist anyone who asks for help (within reason) and must not join any organized association, order, or group. She may attend the services of her church but is encouraged to worship in private.

Anarchs (D310 p47; Chaotic Neutral a.k.a. “Path of Autonomy”) lose all class abilities if they ever willingly commit a blatantly lawful act (such as abiding by an oath, fulfilling a contract, or joining an organization such as a brotherhood or fellowship). Aside from this, an anarch’s code is little more than a lack of a code. As long as he continues to cause chaos and foment disrespect for law in others, his status as an anarch is secure.

Anti-Paladins (D312 p20; Chaotic Evil a.k.a. “Path of Luxury”) lose all class abilities if they ever willingly commit a good act. He must work at all times to undermine the works of civilization and good peoples, and must never offer mercy or grant quarter unless he betrays his word in the next hour. He cannot join an organization, but he can perform services for others as long as the services are for pay and ultimately lead to chaos and devastation.

Corrupters (D312 p24; Neutral Evil a.k.a. “Path of Supremacy”) lose all class abilities if they ever willingly commit a good act or an act that exposes their faith to an opposing religion and results in their detriment. He must strive to corrupt and taint all faiths apart from his own, with a special focus on good faiths. He is allowed to make whatever vows or declarations are required in order to maintain this deception, as long as he spends at least an hour each day in private prayer to his deity. He must strive to remain hidden, although the methods by which he undermines other faiths are left to his own discretion.

Despots (D312 p23; Lawful Evil a.k.a. “Path of Ascendency”) lose all class abilities if they ever willingly commit a chaotic act (such as breaking a vow or contract or betraying an ally). She must at all times work to expand and grow her domain, either by virtue of the Leadership feat or by strong-arming those less fortunate and powerful than herself. She is allowed to abuse her sovereignty in any way she sees fit to further her own personal strength and glory, but she must protect and defend her subjects and allies from harm from other forces. Likewise, she must not overburden her subjects so that they cannot support her.

Enforcers (D310 p53; Lawful Neutral a.k.a. “Path of Harmony”) lose all class abilities if they ever willingly commit a chaotic act (such as breaking a vow or contract or betraying an ally). Unlike other holy warriors, enforcers are bound to the will of two beings. Their primary liege remains their divine patron, but they must also serve the will of their worldly liege. The enforcer’s patron deity and his liege’s patron deity must be the same. If an enforcer believes his liege is not acting in the best interests of his deity, he is permitted to act against his liege as long as he can expose his liege’s heresy within 24 hours. An enforcer is not allowed to accept a position of leadership that would place him in a position where he would not have a liege above him in the rank of command, except in the case of an emergency (and even then, for no more than 24 hours). The enforcer must uphold and enforce the laws of the church and land at all times, even when the laws would prevent him from fully accomplishing a desired personal goal.

Incarnates (D310 p52; True Neutral a.k.a. “Path of Equity”) lose all class abilities if they ever willingly commit an act that endangers the natural balance of the world. The incarnate is most at home in the wilderness, but she does not take any special vows to avoid city life. She avoids travel to other planes (with the exception of the Elemental Planes to which she has an affinity) except in the most dire need. The incarnate prefers to arrive at peaceful solutions but is fully capable of using force against unwanted intrusions into this realm from beyond.

Lost Alignment Mechanical Effects

Generally, no longer having a requisite alignment results in temporarily losing access to activated abilities, spells, powers, etc. that require that alignment until the alignment is restored. Special consequences for changing alignment happen as normal. The use of the base attack bonus, saves, proficiencies, skills, and “not an action” abilities of a class (or prestige class) that had a particular alignment as a prerequisite are never affected. If a class has specific consequences upon changing alignment, they occur as normal.

Half-Step Mechanical Effects

What being in a half-step alignment means in fluff is that your tendencies “lean” towards the indicated extreme. Mechanically, this means that there is a percentage chance that abilities, spells, powers, etc. that require a particular alignment will fail. This d% roll is made before you attempt the ability, but does not waste the action (or other costs) if the roll fails. All failure means is that you cannot activate that ability right then and cannot attempt to activate that ability again until the beginning of your next turn (thus, although socially-embarrassing, out of combat you can repeatedly try until successful). For example, a “NG (L)” character has a base 50% chance that a “Lawful Good Only” ability will function normally for that attempt (or otherwise fail). The use of the base attack bonus, saves, proficiencies, skills, and “not an action” abilities of a class (or prestige class) that had a particular alignment as a prerequisite are never affected by this failure-chance.

For example, if something requires a “Lawful Good” alignment, the base chance of success is defined by the list below:

  • “Lawful Good” alignment = 100% (auto-success)
  • NG (L) or LN (G) = 50%
  • Any other alignment = 0% (auto-failure)

You and your allies can augment this percentage (and the GM can penalize this percentage) up to 10% (at the GM’s discretion, as it’s “up to” 10%) for every circumstance you bring up in the prerequisite alignment’s favor. The GM is obligated to tell you how much of a bonus you get on the d% for each circumstance you bring up. However, the GM is not obligated to tell you what his own penalty circumstances are or how much those penalties will be for the d% until after you’ve permanently finished making your case for all the bonuses you want (essentially you’ve “locked them in” regardless of what the GM then says are your penalties). Of course, the player or other players could choose to bring up circumstances which instead provide (at the GM’s discretion) a penalty (or the GM could bring up circumstances that give you a bonus), but this is unlikely to happen.

If an ability requires only one component of an alignment, the failure-chance effect described above instead happens 50% of the time if you’re a half-step away from a qualifying standard alignment and fails automatically if you’re a wholly non-qualifying standard alignment. This d% can gain bonuses or penalties as described above.

For example, if something requires a “Good” alignment, the base chance of success is defined by the list below:

  • Any “Good” alignment = 100% (auto-success)
  • LN (G) or CN (G) = 50%
  • Any other alignment = 0% (auto-failure)

Once the d% DC is determined by the GM (he’s not obligated to tell you the DC), the player rolls their d% for success (the desired roll is the DC % or lower).

Alignment Summaries

If this is your first time reading this, you can skip this subsection after reading one or two of the alignment summaries completely. This section is to be used primarily as a brainstorming aid. That said, these summaries can and likely will be used as a guideline for determining whether you’re acting within the acceptable limits afforded to bend your alignment as described above.

If you play any whole-step alignment other than the Path of Luxury or the Path of Equity, you have two primary aspects and two secondary aspects like those described below (the Path of Equity has every aspect as secondary and none as primary). For the Path of Luxury or a half-step alignment, you are focused on one particular primary aspect, with the adjacent aspects being secondary and the further-adjacent aspects being tertiary. Regardless, a primary aspect almost always plays a direct and critical role in your important decisions. Secondary and tertiary aspects are usually only indirectly involved in those decisions, such as by providing a context or inspiration for your choice.

Path of Integrity (Lawful Good)

Most values… Conformity/Tradition and Benevolence

If you’re unsure what motivates your character most, examine the table below of the motivations most commonly associated with the aspects of the Path of Integrity. Then, pick at least one item from each of the two categories below. These chosen items are the motivations that are equally the most important to you and they likely interact with eachother. If desired, feel free to pick a motivation that’s unlisted but fits a particular category’s description.

Conformity/Tradition Benevolence
Restraint of actions, inclinations, and impulses likely to upset or harm others and violate social expectations or norms. Also respect, commitment, and acceptance of the customs and ideas that traditional culture or religion provide the self. Preserving and enhancing the welfare of those with whom one is in frequent personal contact (the “in-group”).
  • being obedient
  • having self-discipline
  • being polite
  • honoring parents and elders
  • respecting tradition
  • being devout
  • accepting one’s own portion in life
  • being humble
  • taking life in moderation
  • being helpful
  • being responsible
  • being forgiving
  • being honest
  • being loyal
  • having mature love for others and true friendships

This next table represents the aspects and associated values next most common to the Path of Integrity after the motivations listed above. This table can be used as additional inspiration for how your character’s motivations may interact with eachother.

Security Universalism
Safety, harmony, and stability of society, of relationships, and of self. Understanding, appreciation, tolerance, and protection for the welfare of all people and for nature.
  • ensuring national security
  • reciprocation of favors
  • ensuring family security
  • having a sense of belonging
  • preserving the social order
  • being healthy and clean
  • advancing equality
  • being one with nature
  • having wisdom
  • filling the world with beauty
  • advancing social justice
  • being broad-minded
  • protecting the environment
  • seeing the world at peace

Path of Mercy (Neutral Good)

Most values… Benevolence and Universalism

If you’re unsure what motivates your character most, examine the table below of the motivations most commonly associated with the aspects of the Path of Mercy. Then, pick at least one item from each of the two categories below. These chosen items are the motivations that are equally the most important to you and they likely interact with eachother. If desired, feel free to pick a motivation that’s unlisted but fits a particular category’s description.

Benevolence Universalism
Preserving and enhancing the welfare of those with whom one is in frequent personal contact (the “in-group”). Understanding, appreciation, tolerance, and protection for the welfare of all people and for nature.
  • being helpful
  • being responsible
  • being forgiving
  • being honest
  • being loyal
  • having mature love for others and true friendships
  • advancing equality
  • being one with nature
  • having wisdom
  • filling the world with beauty
  • advancing social justice
  • being broad-minded
  • protecting the environment
  • seeing the world at peace

This next table represents the aspects and associated values next most common to the Path of Mercy after the motivations listed above. This table can be used as additional inspiration for how your character’s motivations may interact with eachother.

Conformity/Tradition Self-Direction
Restraint of actions, inclinations, and impulses likely to upset or harm others and violate social expectations or norms. Also respect, commitment, and acceptance of the customs and ideas that traditional culture or religion provide the self. Independent thought and action; choosing, creating, exploring.
  • being obedient
  • having self-discipline
  • being polite
  • honoring parents and elders
  • respecting tradition
  • being devout
  • accepting one’s own portion in life
  • being humble
  • taking life in moderation
  • freedom
  • creativity
  • independence
  • choosing one’s own goals
  • being curious
  • having self-respect

Path of Liberty (Chaotic Good)

Most values… Universalism and Self-Direction

If you’re unsure what motivates your character most, examine the table below of the motivations most commonly associated with the aspects of the Path of Liberty. Then, pick at least one item from each of the two categories below. These chosen items are the motivations that are equally the most important to you and they likely interact with eachother. If desired, feel free to pick a motivation that’s unlisted but fits a particular category’s description.

Universalism Self-Direction
Understanding, appreciation, tolerance, and protection for the welfare of all people and for nature. Independent thought and action; choosing, creating, exploring.
  • advancing equality
  • being one with nature
  • having wisdom
  • filling the world with beauty
  • advancing social justice
  • being broad-minded
  • protecting the environment
  • seeing the world at peace
  • freedom
  • creativity
  • independence
  • choosing one’s own goals
  • being curious
  • having self-respect

This next table represents the aspects and associated values next most common to the Path of Liberty after the motivations listed above. This table can be used as additional inspiration for how your character’s motivations may interact with eachother.

Benevolence Stimulation
Preserving and enhancing the welfare of those with whom one is in frequent personal contact (the “in-group”). Excitement, novelty, and challenge in life.
  • being helpful
  • being responsible
  • being forgiving
  • being honest
  • being loyal
  • having mature love for others and true friendships
  • having an exciting and varied life
  • being daring

Path of Autonomy (Chaotic Neutral)

Most values… Self-Direction and Stimulation

If you’re unsure what motivates your character most, examine the table below of the motivations most commonly associated with the aspects of the Path of Autonomy. Then, pick at least one item from each of the two categories below. These chosen items are the motivations that are equally the most important to you and they likely interact with eachother. If desired, feel free to pick a motivation that’s unlisted but fits a particular category’s description.

Self-Direction Stimulation
Independent thought and action; choosing, creating, exploring. Excitement, novelty, and challenge in life.
  • freedom
  • creativity
  • independence
  • choosing one’s own goals
  • being curious
  • having self-respect
  • having an exciting and varied life
  • being daring

This next table represents the aspects and associated values next most common to the Path of Autonomy after the motivations listed above. This table can be used as additional inspiration for how your character’s motivations may interact with eachother.

Universalism Hedonism
Understanding, appreciation, tolerance, and protection for the welfare of all people and for nature. Pleasure and sensuous gratification for oneself.
  • advancing equality
  • being one with nature
  • having wisdom
  • filling the world with beauty
  • advancing social justice
  • being broad-minded
  • protecting the environment
  • seeing the world at peace
  • experiencing pleasure
  • enjoying life

Path of Luxury (Chaotic Evil)

Most values… Hedonism

If you’re unsure what motivates your character most, examine the table below of the motivations most commonly associated with the Path of Luxury. Then, pick at least one item from the list. These chosen items are the motivations that are equally the most important to you and they likely interact with eachother. If desired, feel free to pick a motivation that’s unlisted but fits the description of hedonism.

Hedonism
Pleasure and sensuous gratification for oneself.
  • experiencing pleasure
  • enjoying life

This next table represents the aspects and associated values next most common to the Path of Luxury after the motivations listed above. This table can be used as additional inspiration for how your character’s motivations may interact with eachother. The middle two aspects (Stimulation and Achievement) are slightly more common to the Path of Luxury than the other two aspects (Self-Direction and Power).

Self-Direction Stimulation Achievement Power
Independent thought and action; choosing, creating, exploring. Excitement, novelty, and challenge in life. Personal success through demonstrating competence according to social standards. Social status and prestige, control or dominance over people and resources.
  • freedom
  • creativity
  • independence
  • choosing one’s own goals
  • being curious
  • having self-respect
  • having an exciting and varied life
  • being daring
  • being ambitious
  • being influential
  • being capable
  • being successful
  • having intelligence
  • having self-respect
  • having social power
  • having wealth
  • having authority
  • preserving one’s own public image
  • having social recognition

Path of Supremacy (Neutral Evil)

Most values… Achievement and Power

If you’re unsure what motivates your character most, examine the table below of the motivations most commonly associated with the aspects of the Path of Supremacy. Then, pick at least one item from each of the two categories below. These chosen items are the motivations that are equally the most important to you and they likely interact with eachother. If desired, feel free to pick a motivation that’s unlisted but fits a particular category’s description.

Achievement Power
Personal success through demonstrating competence according to social standards. Social status and prestige, control or dominance over people and resources.
  • being ambitious
  • being influential
  • being capable
  • being successful
  • having intelligence
  • having self-respect
  • having social power
  • having wealth
  • having authority
  • preserving one’s own public image
  • having social recognition

This next table represents the aspects and associated values next most common to the Path of Supremacy after the motivations listed above. This table can be used as additional inspiration for how your character’s motivations may interact with eachother.

Hedonism Security
Pleasure and sensuous gratification for oneself. Safety, harmony, and stability of society, of relationships, and of self.
  • experiencing pleasure
  • enjoying life
  • ensuring national security
  • reciprocation of favors
  • ensuring family security
  • having a sense of belonging
  • preserving the social order
  • being healthy and clean

Path of Ascendency (Lawful Evil)

Most values… Power and Security

If you’re unsure what motivates your character most, examine the table below of the motivations most commonly associated with the aspects of the Path of Ascendency. Then, pick at least one item from each of the two categories below. These chosen items are the motivations that are equally the most important to you and they likely interact with eachother. If desired, feel free to pick a motivation that’s unlisted but fits a particular category’s description.

Power Security
Social status and prestige, control or dominance over people and resources. Safety, harmony, and stability of society, of relationships, and of self.
  • having social power
  • having wealth
  • having authority
  • preserving one’s own public image
  • having social recognition
  • ensuring national security
  • reciprocation of favors
  • ensuring family security
  • having a sense of belonging
  • preserving the social order
  • being healthy and clean

This next table represents the aspects and associated values next most common to the Path of Ascendency after the motivations listed above. This table can be used as additional inspiration for how your character’s motivations may interact with eachother.

Achievement Conformity/Tradition
Personal success through demonstrating competence according to social standards. Restraint of actions, inclinations, and impulses likely to upset or harm others and violate social expectations or norms. Also respect, commitment, and acceptance of the customs and ideas that traditional culture or religion provide the self.
  • being ambitious
  • being influential
  • being capable
  • being successful
  • having intelligence
  • having self-respect
  • being obedient
  • having self-discipline
  • being polite
  • honoring parents and elders
  • respecting tradition
  • being devout
  • accepting one’s own portion in life
  • being humble
  • taking life in moderation

Path of Harmony (Lawful Neutral)

Most values… Security and Conformity/Tradition

If you’re unsure what motivates your character most, examine the table below of the motivations most commonly associated with the aspects of the Path of Harmony. Then, pick at least one item from each of the two categories below. These chosen items are the motivations that are equally the most important to you and they likely interact with eachother. If desired, feel free to pick a motivation that’s unlisted but fits a particular category’s description.

Security Conformity/Tradition
Safety, harmony, and stability of society, of relationships, and of self. Restraint of actions, inclinations, and impulses likely to upset or harm others and violate social expectations or norms. Also respect, commitment, and acceptance of the customs and ideas that traditional culture or religion provide the self.
  • ensuring national security
  • reciprocation of favors
  • ensuring family security
  • having a sense of belonging
  • preserving the social order
  • being healthy and clean
  • being obedient
  • having self-discipline
  • being polite
  • honoring parents and elders
  • respecting tradition
  • being devout
  • accepting one’s own portion in life
  • being humble
  • taking life in moderation

This next table represents the aspects and associated values next most common to the Path of Harmony after the motivations listed above. This table can be used as additional inspiration for how your character’s motivations may interact with eachother.

Power Benevolence
Social status and prestige, control or dominance over people and resources. Preserving and enhancing the welfare of those with whom one is in frequent personal contact (the “in-group”).
  • having social power
  • having wealth
  • having authority
  • preserving one’s own public image
  • having social recognition
  • being helpful
  • being responsible
  • being forgiving
  • being honest
  • being loyal
  • having mature love for others and true friendships

Path of Equity (True Neutral)

Most values… (any values)

If you’re unsure what motivates your character most, review the motivations mentioned above for the other paths. Feel free to select a smattering of motivations from any and every list as what’s most important to you. Generally, try to pick some motivations from a set or two of diametrically-opposed aspects (such as universalism and power). Realize however that you can normally only bend your alignment so far as to a single half-step alignment (or to The Path of Luxury) without suffering any immediate consequences. To you, every aspect is roughly-speaking equal in importance. If your chosen motivations tend to cluster in a particular aspect or two, perhaps you should consider the alignment path(s) associated with those aspects instead of the Path of Equity.

Real Alignments

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