Alignment System[edit | edit source]
Alignment takes into account two axes – one of Good and Evil, the other of Law and Chaos – which results in nine possible alignments:
|Lawful Good||Neutral Good||Chaotic Good|
|Lawful Neutral||True Neutral||Chaotic Neutral|
|Lawful Evil||Neutral Evil||Chaotic Evil|
- Lawful Good: Lawful Good characters strongly believe in order and the betterment of life for others. Their definition of "betterment of life" for others can vary, however.
- Neutral Good: Neutral Good characters believe in the balance between law and chaos, but they lean towards performing good actions.
- Chaotic Good: Chaotic Good characters aren't concerned with structure or order. They are individualists who tend toward performing acts of kindness.
- Lawful Neutral: Lawful Neutral characters believe in order over all other concerns.
- True Neutral: True Neutral characters believe in maintaining the balance of law and chaos. They don't tip the scales between the two and tend to oppose anyone who does.
- Chaotic Neutral: Chaotic Neutral characters do not believe in order. This is the alignment of lunatics, madmen, and impulsive characters.
- Lawful Evil: These characters believe in organized evil and prefer to further the causes of evil and villainy in an orderly, hierarchical manner. You believe in laws... and fairness... to the extent that they improve your situation or undermine another's place.
- Neutral Evil: These characters believe in the balance between law and chaos, but they lean towards performing evil actions. It's more of a selfish, egocentric evil in which they're more concerned with making sure they're taken care of first, and the rest of the planes can go to their own hells - after they've been bled for all their worth.
- Chaotic Evil: These characters are the epitome of villainy. They care nothing about order, truth, or justice, instead serving their own selfish desires at every opportunity. While Neutral Evil characters tend to be selfish, Chaotic Evil characters actively go out and promote evil, with little regard for the consequences other than causing dissent and harm to others.
Character Alignment[edit | edit source]
The Nameless One starts off as True Neutral, but his actions and choice of words over the course of the game will push his alignment in the four cardinal directions, reflecting his morals.
The most obvious sign of an alignment change is towards Law, by saying "Truth:..." or "Vow:...", or towards Chaos, by saying "Lie...". Generally, being altruistic and speaking kindly to people will influence the alignment towards Good, whereas being selfish, asking for payment, and threatening others will make TNO more Evil.
Note: The numerical values for alignment are hidden in Planescape: Torment. Qwinn's Tweak Pack has a component called the Scale of Souls, which, if installed, allows the player to view alignment values by hovering the mouse cursor over the alignment button on the character sheet. The Nameless One starts the game with a "Good" and "Law" rating of 0, signifying neutrality. Chaotic and Evil acts subtract from the "Law" and "Good" values respectively, and when the rating reaches -21, the alignment changes to either Chaotic or Evil; when it reaches 15, the alignment switches to Lawful or Good.
Becoming Good[edit | edit source]
- "Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others." — D&D 3rd edition
In order to become Good, The Nameless One should:
- Be helpful to others
- Never ask for a reward in return for doing a task
- Never kill innocents
- Never threaten anyone
Telling the truth and lying don't generally affect Goodness, as they influence Law and Chaos instead.
Becoming Evil[edit | edit source]
- "Evil implies harming, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient or if it can be set up. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some malevolent deity or master." — D&D 3rd edition
In order to become Evil, The Nameless One should:
- Threaten people
- Kill innocents
- Demand rewards for tasks
Telling the truth and lying don't generally affect Evilness, as they influence Law and Chaos instead.
Staying Neutral[edit | edit source]
- "People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent but lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others. Neutral people are committed to others by personal relationships." — D&D 3rd edition
- "Neutrality (or Neutral) is the belief that the world is a balance between Law and Chaos. It is important that neither sides will get too much power and upset this balance. The individual is important, but so is the group; the two sides must work together. — D&D 2nd edition
Staying Neutral requires a careful balance between Good and Evil or Lawful and Chaotic actions on The Nameless One's part.
Becoming Lawful[edit | edit source]
- "Law (or Lawful) is the belief that everything should follow an order, and that obeying rules is the natural way of life. Lawful creatures will try to tell the truth, obey laws, and care about all living things. Lawful characters try to keep their promises. They will try to obey laws as long as such laws are fair and just."
- "If a choice must be made between the benefit of a group or an individual, a Lawful character will usually choose the group. Sometimes individual freedoms must be given up for the good of the group. Lawful characters and monsters often act in predictable ways. Lawful behavior is usually the same as behavior that could be called good."
In order to become Lawful, The Nameless One should:
- Tell the Truth
- Never Lie
- Never break a Vow
- Not join the Anarchists or the Xaositects
- Not taunt Morte or have conversations with skeletons, zombies or bark at madmen.
Becoming Chaotic[edit | edit source]
- "Chaos (or Chaotic) is the opposite of Law. It is the belief that life is random, and that chance and luck rule the world. Everything happens by accident, and nothing can be predicted. Laws are made to be broken, as long as a person can get away with it. It is not important to keep promises, and lying and telling the truth are both useful."
- "To a Chaotic creature, the individual is the most important of all things. Selfishness is the normal way of life, and the group is not important. Chaotics often act on sudden desires and whims. They cannot be trusted, and their behavior is hard to predict. They have a strong belief in the power of luck. Chaotic behavior is usually the same as behavior that could be called 'evil'." — 2nd edition 
In order to become Chaotic, The Nameless One should:
- Lie and bluff
- Break vows
- Join the Anarchists or the Xaositects
- Be impulsive: taunt Morte, have conversations with skeletons or zombies, or bark at madmen
Alignment and The Planes[edit | edit source]
- Main article: The Planes
Alignment isn't only reserved for characters and societies in Planescape. Each Plane has its own intrinsic morality that is usually, but not always reflected in its inhabitants.
|Outer Planes (WP)|
|Celestia (WP)||Bytopia (WP)||Elysium (WP)||Beastlands (WP)||Arborea (WP)|
|Arcadia (WP)||↑Good||Ysgard (WP)|
|Mechanus (WP)||←Lawful||Outlands (WP)||Chaotic→||Limbo (WP)|
|Acheron (WP)||Evil↓||Pandemonium (WP)|
|Baator (WP)||Gehenna (WP)||Gray Waste (Hades) (WP)||Carceri (WP)||Abyss (WP)|
The layout of the Planes reflects the layout of Dungeons and Dragons 17-alignment 'alignment grid', which is an extension of the original nine-alignment grid, which is an extension of the original Law, Neutral, and Chaos of the game when it first started.
Origins of the System[edit | edit source]
Alignment was created for D&D out of the fictional stories of Elric of Melnibone by Michael Moorcock, in which the forces of Chaos were made a nemesis of a mostly malevolent degree that previously fiction writers, following the Judeo-Christian tradition, had reserved for Evil. Gary Gygax also cites the fiction of Poul Anderson as an influence, for much less empirically observable reasons, but probably because of Anderson's views on personal freedom, that the rights of an individual are very important.
The most concise and concrete indication of Torment's creators' definition of philosophies of Law and Chaos outside of the alignment changes themselves are the dialogues with Coaxmetal and Ravel, in which the good of the group (Law) is pitted against freedom of the individual (Chaos), in a clear reiteration of First and Second Edition D&D rules, so those definitions are provided.
References[edit | edit source]
- Qwinn's PS:T Tweak Pack readme, detailing how the Scale of Souls component works, as well as alignment ratings.
- Williams, player's handbook D & D design team, Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, Skip (2003). "Dungeons & Dragons player's handbook.". Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast. Template:Citation/identifier.
- Gygax, Gary; al., Dave Arneson ; edited by Tom Moldvay ; illustrations by Jeff Dee ... etc. (1981). "Dungeons & dragons : fantasy adventure game : basic rulebook". Lake Geneva, WI: TSR Hobbies. Template:Citation/identifier.
- Gygax, Gary. "Gary Gygax (Interview)". TheOneRing.net. Archived from the original on 9 October 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20081009101328/http://archives.theonering.net/features/interviews/gary_gygax.html. Retrieved 2008-10-07.