Talk:Alignment Meter (3.5e Variant Rule)
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I have used this method for decades and honestly, as simple as it is, I am surprised it is not part of the core mechanics. Alignment shifts can be a messy and frustrating business, especially if it is not part of a story plot hook. I have played with countless people who had virtually no grasp of alignment other than a trigger for a handful of spells. Someone once refereed to alignment as the color on your cross hairs. Quote; "If they are evil than it is like a cross hair changing from green to red when over an enemy. When it is red you can shoot them without repercussions." This came from a DM.
Simply reading the alignment section in the PHB garners more insight than that, and I was great-full for BoED & BoVD but even less players take the time to read these books. In my opinion, Black and White campaigns are less enjoyable than dynamic story lines. Just because someone is evil does not mean they are inherently unhelpful or justifiably fodder. It just means they are willing to take actions other characters might find excessive or unsavory to accomplish the same goal. It also does not meant that they are unwilling to suppress those actions to work with characters that oppose such actions. For Example; It is possible to have a honest Chaotic character or NPC, and a dishonest Lawful character. The point is that many players and DMs use alignments as Stereotypes without ever understanding alignment. This creates misconceptions in points of view about alignments.
I would like to say that as a player not a DM, 90%+ of the time that I have witnessed an alignment shift it resulted in a player quitting the campaign. Between the individual and the DM, misconceptions and lack of communication lead to opposing points of view. The lack of communication seems to be the defining feature. Most often the player is blindsided with a point of view that they were completely unaware of and most often do not agree with. By allowing micro adjustments it encourages communication. Players and DMs can review actions and mildly debate the morality in relations to alignments. This improves the understand of all parties involved while encouraging them to read about a basic game mechanic. Most importantly it gives everyone enough time to adjust to such actions before they are blindsided by something that can destroy their character development.
Kindest Personal Regards
Ps I welcome any thoughts on the concept.