Musta hit a nerve yesterday.
Ain’t nobody call me out tho. Musta been too impressed by my iron-clad reasoning.
For you newcomers, let me assure you that the Alt-Right DM is no mere troll. This blog is not one dedicated simply to slicing the wounds and sucking out the poison infecting the tabletop role-playing hobby. That’s a big part of it, sure, but stick around kid – you might just learn a few things that will make your gaming, your life, and the world a better time, experience, and place all at the same time.
As Above – So Below.
Fixing your gaming can fix your life. Your old pal E. Reagan Wright is here to show you how to do the latter by doing the former.
By way of demonstration, let’s take a look at alignment.
Let it go. Just take a deep breath, and let it go. You are making low-g planet sort of mountain out of a high-g planet size sort of molehill here.
We don’t need to settle on one single universal application of alignment. Like every other rule between the covers of your preferred edition – even the girly editions of the Current Century – it’s just a suggestion. It ain’t the law of gravity, it’s a framework that can be tweaked and adjusted to fit your table, your world, and your game.
Assuming for the moment you play a devolved version of the Sacred Game, by which I mean any version that includes the Good-Evil Axis of Alignment, then you have to deal with the Good-Evil Axis. Great news! That’s the easy one! If you aren’t a complete ‘tard (or a Muslim) then you know the difference between good and evil. There shouldn’t be any table talk about whether something is good or evil. If it’s Mom, Apple Pie, leaping creeks in an orange car with a Confederate Flag on top to escape crooked cops, and driving the heretics and undead into the sea, you are doing good. If it’s soccer, sitar music, driving trucks through crowds of people, and raising an army of undead to do your bidding – you are doing evil!
Even for tables full of degenerates like those who think, “We must secure the existence of safe and voluntary brothels and a future for kobold hookers,” then you have a clear (though bizarre and thoroughly wrong) idea of the difference between good and evil. Go with that. Straight into the arms of the Devil and an eternity bathed in the righteous fires of hell, but hey – memories of the virtue you signaled will keep you cool as your flesh is flayed from your sinful bones.
Oh, but what about the Chaos and Law Axis, smart guy?
Whatever. Those are poles of the cosmic fight between incarnate forces. Choose your side in the fight. If there’s no cosmic fight that your drug-addled albino elf fighter-wizard can jack up six ways to Sunday then what do you care? If there’s no fight, then your neutral. If there is, then pick a side and quit your beefing if your side loses.
Here’s the thing: These rules are not set up for role-playing purposes – they are set up for rules playing purposes.
Those are two very different aspects of D&D. “Role Playing” and “Game. Two faces of the same coin. Two aspects of the same God. Two tits of the same rack. When you are clear about which aspect you’re dealing with, you run into trouble. It only gets worse when you try to straddle them.
So stop doing that.
Just accept that sometimes you need bright line distinctions to make adjudicating the game go smoothly. Pick your alignment, suffer the slings and arrows of making the wrong choice. Or don’t use the rules at all if they interfere with your happy fun time story hour, and then you can keep playing a game in which choices have consequences even though you don’t have the stones to accept those consequences.
Remember what I said in the first paragraph? Fixing your gaming can fix your life. Step up to the plate. Choose an alignment based on the rules and on where your character’s allegiance lies in the great cosmic battle – and not based on your snowflake character’s personality type – then sit back and accept that your choice will have natural consequences. The experience of accepting and dealing with consequences at the table will reverberate throughout your entire life. It’s not a magic bullet, but it’s a step in the right direction. If you do this – if you change your gaming mindset – then your real-life mindset will naturally follow suit, and after enough steps like this you will be thinner, richer, happier, and more successful.