Divinity, Culture and Alignment Charts
Divine Casters and the Alignment System is all different, how so and why?
In the world GoHyaku the alignment system isn’t so much a rubric for what a character’s personality is, instead it’s a mark of her political affiliation from the objective view of the Galactic Accord. Divine power is handed out and taken away depending on who you work for, not because you feed the homeless or slaughter the innocent. The people who work for the Galactic Accord are known to call those who disagree with them Chaotic, and because of this it’s easy to see why there may be some contention between the two.
Down and Dirty. The Nitty-Gritty of the Alignment System.
The Alignment System is composed of two axis: Law and Chaos, Good and Evil, with Neutral between the two. Let’s break them down and go over what each point on the axis means.
Law Lawful stands for those who ally themselves with the Galactic Accords. They may revere the aliens as gods, or see them as equals; they may even disagree with their methods, but all lawful characters can agree that following the rules set out by the Galactic Accords is the best choice for humanity. The chance to grow and become one with the stars, for humanity to reach it’s full potential, or even to learn from alien cultures are all important to those who identify as Lawful.
Chaotic Those branded as Chaotic are seen as terrorists and trouble-makers by the Lawful. The Chaotic do not agree with the Galactic Accord, or their methods. They see the Accord as a dangerous group, and antithetical to humanity. Chaotic characters can have a severe fear of the aliens, or a wizened stance at what is clearly an overt assault on Earth. Some Chaotic characters even consider that perhaps if humanity were to be initiated into the Accord it would be wrong and unethical to force another group of young beings into the same horror the humans now face on Earth. Some brand the Chaotic as heretics, while others embrace them as heroes. Though their power is weak and scattered, they may soon unite under one banner. The Lawful so far have refused to act against them, but who knows how long that will last.
Good To be labelled as “Good” one must devote themselves to others. The Good are altruistic and caring, feeling that sacrificing oneself for others is the best choice for the future. Good characters fight monsters, build homes and travel the globe helping wherever they can. Lawful Good characters teach the ways of the Accord and heal the sick, while Chaotic Good characters feed the sick and build bridges and roads. Despite their political differences all Good characters believe in serving others before themselves.
Evil Evil characters aren’t bad, they’re pragmatic and realistic. It’s a dark and hard world out there, and nobody’s truly good or Evil. Evil characters see life as a daily struggle, and a taxing one at that. Not all Evil characters are loners or paranoid and distrustful of others, in fact often Evil characters will band together, knowing their’s safety in numbers. However such bands rarely last long. Let the Good call them Evil, they’re only labels in the end.
Neutral Does what it says on the tin. If you’re Neutral on the Law/Chaos axis then you’re in transition from one to the other, or maybe you haven’t decided on a faction or you simply do not care. Neutral characters are seen as distrustful and wary war-fellows by the Lawful and Chaotic, but they usually mean well. Neutral characters on the Good/Evil axis however are very common and generally, normal people. In fact Neutral characters of this type are the most numerous on planet Earth, however these people are rarely heroes.
Addendum Alignment restrictions (in regards to magic) only apply to Divine Casters, not Arcane or Psionic. Chaotic Arcane characters are free to pursue whatever paths they desire in their pursuit of knowledge. Psionics also have a different power source that’s not concerned with political alignments, themselves. Because of this they too are not restricted in spells.
So tell me what this all means?
Well, it means that unlike your average DnD setting fights rarely break out between the Good and Evil, instead it’s between Law and Chaos. Consider a Lawful Good Paladin: in GoHyaku a LG Paladin will readily quest alongside a LE Sorcerer, furthermore he will see the CE Barbarian as a misguided enemy who perhaps just hasn’t “seen the light”. A CG Druid on the other hand is not to be trusted and killed should she prove to be a threat. Most strongholds held by Chaotic and Lawful forces will have wards against the other’s Law/Chaos type, and Protection of Law and Chaos spells are more readily used than Good or Evil (in fact, Protection from Evil is almost completely unheard of.)
Changing my alignment.
As far as shifting your alignment, as usual this should be first and foremost GM’s call. Furthermore, shifting along the Good/Evil axis is a choice only the GM can make (though, a player with a good reason for having her character change alignment from Evil to Good should allowed by the GM.)
PCs can also shift from Law to Chaos, but this choice cannot be done easily and shouldn’t be done lightly. The change costs 100xp for every step of change, and it involves a ritual that takes a day to perform. For example, a rogue changing his alignment from Chaotic Neutral to Lawful Neutral would pay 200xp, and perhaps preform a ritual with a Lawful Cleric who anoints him with oils and incense while reading the edicts of his faction.
In the case of Divine Casters like Paladins and Clerics the situation gets a little more complicated, and the change more drastic. Divine Casters who wish to switch alignments must spend the required 100xp/step to change willingly, and go through the day-long ritual. This extends to Evil/Good as well as Law/Chaos. Their spells also shift to suit their new alignment. Divine Casters shifting from Lawful to Chaotic, or vice-versa need the most consideration, as once a Divine Caster has willingly given up her original path she cannot go back easily. Reversing the effects of a Law/Chaos shift by a Divine Caster drains said Caster’s level by 3 (if the PC has less than 3 levels then they default to level 1.) Should a PC choose to change her alignment a third time she will die immediately, as the forces of Law and Chaos do not take kindly to those who cannot pick a side. PCs who die in this fashion cannot be ressurected either, their spiritual energy is torn apart and devoured by a mysterious void.
I feel confusion in my head meats. How does Divine Magic work?
Right, you want to know about how the Divine Magic works? Well, it’s simple. Usually in DnD you think of Divine Magic as some kind of meta-magic granted by the gods, or really-really-really believing in some obscure philosophy which causes you to shoot mind lasers because you’re playing Eberron or something, right? Well not so in GoHyaku.
In GoHyaku there is an inherent force and power in blood, or life rather. Families and communities gathering together and growing, the love between a mother and her son, a party fighting against the odds and coming out of a dark cave alive, these are the things that bring people together. If it weren’t for people working together we wouldn’t have survived most likely. And it’s because of human culture and society that we got so far that the Galactic Accord took notice.
Well the Divine Casters are gifted in that they can access the power of community and culture and form it into miracles. Some miracles are good and can mend wounds, while others are deadly and involve painful amounts of lightning. Whether it’s reciting a poem or burning a candle, even brandishing a symbol of the faction they represent, in the hands of a Divine Caster such things become powerful. There are two special cases however, druids and the undead.
So where’s a listing of all the race/cultures?
You mentioned Humanists as a faction. Can I play one of those?
Yes and no. The Humanists aren’t powerful enough to do much in the way of miracles. Not yet at least. They’re also very busy trying to figure out what it means to be a human anyway. The humanists live exclusively in the pyramid in the antarctic. There they study the ways of the world and peruse it’s library and database of information pertaining to life on Earth before the spore was released. The humanists are watched over by powerful Clerics and Paladins, each representing the various factions of the Galactic Accord. That said, given a good reason a humanist may leave the pyramid in search of a rare artifact, or perhaps to study humans in a different setting. If the humanist gives a faction lord a good enough reason he may write her a writ of absence. The following classes however, are the only classes who can take the humanist faction: monks and inquisitors. More information on this subject can be found on the Classes page.
What about Druids and the Undead?
Druids are not the primal tree-hugging shape-shifters you normally see in DnD settings. In GoHyaku Druids are Divine Casters who have learned the art of mutation. They are scientists working with advanced alien power, and can bend the primal forces of life to their will. Druids are strange and frightening beings who cannot readily be classified as human, or truly alien either. It was the Druids of the Galactic Accord who created the mutagenic spore, after all. Most people fear the Druids, and for very good reason.
The undead are another matter entirely. The undead are a creation of Chaotic Divine Casters. After all, the Lawful Accord Clerics shouldn’t have all the power. The undead are the answer to the Accord’s ability to resurrect and restore life. Beings brought back as undead usually aren’t as complete or as powerful as if they had been brought back with the power of Accord faction spells (save Vampires and the like), but they’re serviceable in their own way. Not to mention many Chaotic Good agents seek to extend their life spans, ensuring their positions of leadership never fall to those who are not worthy, and it’s important that they see humanity to the bitter end. Chaotic Divine Casters can generally only inflict damage, not heal it, so the actual creation of the undead usually falls to their Arcane Casting allies. Lawful Divine Casters also have developed ways of dealing with the undead, and send trained Paladins to deal with the undead scourge wherever it may rise.
Can’t we all just get along? (Or how to get your players of differing alignments to work together…)
As I mentioned above, Lawful and Chaotic characters rarely work together, but that doesn’t mean it’s unheard of. In fact, most Lawful and Chaotic characters may despise one another, but both can agree to work together if it means clearing out a dungeon full of monsters. Not to mention only the most obstinate and paranoid of characters will try and figure out what alignments fellow party members may have. That said, arguments can (and should), arise. Unless you’re playing a highly political game where forces of Law and Chaos are actively moving against one another the players should be free to pick whichever factions they prefer. Both sides of the conflict see the horde of monsters and untamed wilderness as more of a threat to humanity than their factional squabbles anyway. And both sides are more than willing to wait until all is clear before going at the other’s throats. Then again, if one side appears weaker the other may take that opportunity to quickly overtake them, but only if it’s quick and only if victory is assured. Resources are scarce already and the loss of just one man can be very easily felt.
Not to mention GoHyaku is a setting that encourages philosophical differences and not only figuring out what one PC truly believes, but also dealing with others who may disagree with him.