Party Alignment

“Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay.”

-Feris, Speaker for the Peoples Union (958-989)
(Half-Elf Bard 12)


The more I read, work, reread, rework, and return to this page the less and less I like the Party Alignment. Its complicated, convoluted, and I think it will cause more problems than it solves. I don’t want to railroad the players. So for now I am suspending Party Alignment, and instead plan to simply work with each player individual to ensure the game goes smoothly and is fun for everyone. I will still strongly encourage a cohesive party chemistry.

In case your curious this was my last draft.

Party Alignment

A little party conflict can be interesting, but too much is detrimental to the game. It’s usually not anyone’s fault, simply the product of two character concepts independently created with conflicting goals. I did not want to force a particular alignment on each player, but neither did I want to have a party that pulls themselves apart. Instead I am choosing experiment with a “middle ground” approach. By popular vote we will be choosing a “Party Alignment”. I will abstain from voting. =)


This is entirely experimental and optional. If there are strong objections to even trying this then we will either scrap the idea entirely or work out something else.

The “Party Alignment” rule is not to limit player options but rather to encourage a cohesive party. No one will be forced into a particular alignment. And this will not solve every dispute of course, even two characters of the same alignment sometimes have different goals or biases. That’s OK as long as it is not detrimental to the enjoyment of the game. We are all adults and more importantly we are all friends. Everyone wants to have fun and no one wants to do so at someone else’s expense. And honestly a little party friction is fun sometimes (Oh Ash and Doogan, how I miss you kids).

How it works


In circumstances where two PC’s are in disagreement about the best course of action any Player can invoke the Party Alignment rule. Once invoked, the player who’s PC wishes to act outside of the “Party Alignment” should now act as if that is exactly what their character would do. The player is welcome to invent some sort of Deus ex machina that will reconcile this “out of character” choice of action, or simply continue on as if nothing is out of the ordinary. This will never have a negative impact on any PCs regardless of their class or alignment.

Example


The party votes Chaotic Neutral as their “Party Alignment”. Everyone is strongly encouraged to create PC’s within 1 step of Chaotic Neutral. However, One player is absolutely set on playing a Lawful Good paladin. Later, the party is hired to assassinate a troublesome religious leader. The party wishes to accept the job, but of course Jonny McDoGood objects. The party is encouraged to hear out the paladin. If everyone is enjoying the party friction you can simply role play it out. If, however, any player is not enjoying the conflict and wants to take the job and move on he can invoke the Party Alignment Rule.

At this point it is the Player of the Paladin’s Job (who knowingly created a character far outside of the “party alignment”) to ensure his character accepts the plan without complaint and carries it out without hindrance. He may, if he chooses, assume someone in the party convinces him that the Religious leader is part of a secret evil order, or mistake him for an arch nemesis, or was distracted when listening to some important detail… Anything to reconcile the leap in both class and alignment morality. He may also simply press on without any Deus Ex Machina and pretend nothing is out of the ordinary. Regardless, it will have no impact on his abilities as a paladin or his God’s favor. Even if lying is part of the plan.

My two cents


The campaign as it is currently envisioned will function best with either a good or neutral party who is Non-Lawful. N-Good, C-Good, True Neutral, or C-Neutral would be the recommended Party Alignment. However, a game should always be built around the players, not the DM. Should the party prefer a different alignment then adjustments can easily be made to keep the world interesting and fun!

Also, this is an experiment and it may require tweaking or even scrapping it all together. Of course nothing will be changed without talking as a group. If this seems too convoluted of a solution then perhaps we should simply all get together and decide as a group particular alignments to allow/ban. Or we should just play as is typical – everyone makes whatever they want and we hope for the best. Whatever it takes to achieve our number 1 Goal, having a great time. I look forward to everyone’s feedback.

Party Alignment

Echoes of the Rising JosephZ JosephZ