Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What's in an Alignment?

Sit back and relax my friends, and I shall tell you a tale of days long past...

Way back in the decade you now know as the 1980's (it was called "nowadays" back then), the internet was still in it's experimental stage with only limited use for military personnel. Computer games usually consisted of characters that had at most 20 or so pixels and maybe three colors. The videogame craze was in full sway, but you had to pay a quarter a pop, and further, you had to *gasp* leave your house to play them. Back then kids did things like play outside or read to pass the time in those Reagan induced dark ages.

Old School DM's Guide
We nerds found a workaround in this carnage-less wasteland by utilizing a rare and almost forgotten human trait called "imagination". While the rest of the kids our age were outside jumping ramps on their bikes for throwing a ball around, we proto-nerds were inside poring over huge books filled with tables that corresponded to the different dice values that were thrown. It was the era of Dungeons & Dragons....

So since then, the core rules of D&D have changed several times (the newest rules are shiite) and the game has gone through several computerized and videogame incarnations. But none (not even Neverwinter Nights) can compare with having a bunch of friends over and having a really deep game going with pizza and the proper age appropriate intoxicants. I miss those days, and not even the most detailed MMORPG can compare to the excitement involved in a ticked off Dungeon Master.

One of the things that managed to stick with me after all these years, was the D&D alignment system. When creating a character, you had to decide whether you wanted to be good, evil, or neutral. And there were several subsets of those decisions making it even more detailed by involving both law and chaos. I have stuck with my personal alignment since I was about 10 years old, and that is a solid Neutral Good. I believe that law and chaos should be in balance and that a person should not be restrained by notions of law when wanting to do good, nor the lack thereof.

This post is more for the blogosphere, which I have grown to love in the last few weeks. I'm sure you've seen a lot of my comments, and I try to keep them as upbeat and humorous as I can. And I always make sure to read through every post a friend makes, up to and including watching any embedded videos so my comments aren't the result of just skimming over material.I feel that I've gotten to know a big part of some of you that ranges from talented to absolutely brilliant. And I'm curious, if you had a personal alignment what would it be? Below is an easy-to-follow picture of what the different alignments mean and how they correspond with popular characters we all know and love.

 So bloggers, what's your alignment? It will have absolutely no bearing on whether I follow you or not, I only seek to satisfy my own curiosity. There is one blogger, a girl, who decided to create a write-in challenge for herself from her readers. They all voted, and now it looks like the poor girl was going to have to drink a glass of her own urine. I would call that Neutral to Chaotic evil. And there is absolutely no way I could bring myself to vote for something like that based on my own personal code.

I'm very curious as to what YOURS is though, and I can't wait to read the comments....

23 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

I'm following that girl and I didn't vote for urine either but what can you do, brought back some memories from my past that post did but I would have to say I'm neutral evil.

Patti D. said...

Very interesting walk down memory lane.
I guess my alignment would be close to lawful evil.

ed said...

never played d&d in my life but i guess im true neutral?

Banacek said...

Haha. You just like the original rules because you could make them up as you went along! I played 2nd Edition and every rulebook contradicted every other one.

I've taken alignment quizzes before and I guess I'm chaotic neutral.

Erika said...

First of all, thank you for following me!

Second of all, I would say that I'm personally Chaotic Good, I reckon.

Although, it might not be D&D but, when I play games such as Fable etc, it is always fun to play the bad guy XD

Alphabeta said...

Between Neutral Good and True Neutral depending on mood.
Sometimes swaying into other areas.

I played TMNT for serious for about three weeks when I was 12.
The 'Dungeon Master' depleted my HP radically when I chose to have sex with a female character. Turns out, years later, he's gay.

mac-and-me said...

i consider myself lawfull neutral

rinns said...

I would have to say Chaotic Neutral or True Neutral.

When I used to play Temple of Elemental evil nearly ALL my characters were true neutral/chaotic neutral because I didn't want any evil or lawful goods on my side in case it pissed of some npcs :<

Robert Fünf said...

Whenever I play a game, I'm always chaotic evil. In actuality, I'd say I flip-flop between chaotic neutral and neutral evil.

Autumnforest said...

I admit, I totally missed that era of D&D, though everyone around me did it. I was at the time more interested in the superficial rather than creative/intellectual side. So far as alignments go, yours sounds like the exact one I would choose.

amBored said...

that is pretty chaotic i love that pics :D

Lhosreiff said...

Ahh yes I see that alignment thing everywhere. As for me I'd say Im Chaotic Neutral.

Astronomy Pirate said...

Not much of a D&D person, but I see its influence in a lot of games and such today. I would have to say Chaotic Good. I think everyone can learn a good lesson from blowing up the right stuff.

l33 v4n cl33f said...

lawful evil

Jung said...

That picture wraps everything up so perfectly. Reminds me of BG2 (best game ever).

Zakk said...

that's really cool! I'm totally chaotic neutral :P I just stopped by to show my support :D

G said...

I still measure people I meet against the Lawful-chaotic Good-evil matrix...great pic

tearinox said...

Chaotic Good

Shutterbug said...

I took a quiz once and it said that I am "Lawful Neutral." :)

Con Queso said...

I'd like to think that I'm lawful Neutral!

Alex DeLarge said...

I am a true neutral

Tony Storm said...

chaotic neutral all the way

Leila said...

As late as 2003, I was still playing outside (shockingly), but by the time I hit puberty I became a videogame and book recluse. 'Tis a sad tale...

I believe there are appropriate literary terms for your alignment "Byronic hero, anti hero, etc..." and strangely enough, this all reminds me of Fallout 3 and New vegas... And KOTR...

Haha anyway, externally, I would be lawful good (in terms of actions and deeds), but in the inside, I'd probably be chaotic good. I can't stand being evil, but I do have aggressive impulses and bouts of lunacy...