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Forum:Alignment pages

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Forums: Grand Lodge > Alignment pages

I started to vortex down revising the alignment pages (Lawful good, lawful evil), but since they're so widely linked, I wanted to nail down some things before I dive in.

  • The alignment pages read more like real-world content that explains how alignments work in Golarion, rather than in-world information that people on Golarion would know. How "in-world" is alignment? There are obviously spells that only affect creatures of an alignment, and the gods and their followers rather rigidly fit in the grid, but do people on Golarion understand the concept of nine alignments? Would a person on Golarion ever utter the words "lawful neutral" when referring to a person, for example?
If there's no in-world rationale for discussing alignment, we should probably embrace the real-worldiness of their articles and badge them with realworld. If there are in-world concepts that strictly follow the alignment grid, we should move the real-world references to their own section or the Talk pages.
  • What sort of structure should these articles have? The most developed alignment articles have five sections: Characters, Gods, Nations, Organizations, and Outsiders and other races. That seems like a good foundation to me, as it points people who wind up in an alignment article back to in-world content related to it. We could potentially add Magic to the list to mention spells or items bound to certain alignments and Planes to note parts of the Great Beyond devoted to specific alignments. We might also expand the scope of Outsiders and other races to simply Creatures, and break examples of different creatures and races down as subheadings.

All good thoughts and these are very old pages on the whole so likely needing love and attention.

If we can standardize all the better re headings and categories - good plan. All should be in Category:Alignment and then their own category with the pipe construct added, I'd say. The larger set of headings sounds good as well as a miscellaneous section for other elements that are alignment based, for instance paladins as a class, where it is not really necessary to have such a section for all alignments. Planes is an essential addition. Magic sounds good and that might encompass magic items and artefacts particularly associated with an alignment. As to inhabitants, that is more complex with characters, specific plane-aligned outsiders, general creatures that may inhabit the plane but not specific to it, gods and other divine beings. Hmm, perhaps 'inhabitants' and 'creatures' might be a better split and include all those elements appropriately?

As to the big question you ask, well it is not simple as alignment underpins a large part of the game and the campaign setting. Personally, I doubt if Golarion inhabitants would say 'lawful neutral'. However, from the novels, they do discuss and reference Evil, Good, Law and Chaos and degrees of those concepts. I can well imagine a scholar/philosopher on Golarion categorizing the gods and the planes and coming up with a 9-sectioned grid but might refer to the alignments as 'Hell-aligned' rather than 'Lawful evil'.

Looking at the discussion pages, there is a lot of material to add as well from more recent sourcebooks with in-world relevance.

So, on balance, my view is we do not add a real-world stamp but, instead, rewrite and maintain them as in-world pages written by a Golarion scholar philosopher. We can use references to add pertinent and useful game data that is useful to understand as needed. I like your addition of art as well. I also wonder whether we do need core alignment pages too: Evil, Good, Law and Chaos?

If we're going the in-world route, I think we should also define those four core alignments since, as you mention, those are likely the most relevant in-setting alignments. We might also need a parent page at Alignment to describe the general concept as it applies in-world.

Structurally, I also like the idea of subsections for inhabitants and creatures.

Ideas here are being reinforced in my mind while reading the novels and other books. Golarion scholars would definitely be aware of the outer planes that are associated with different 'philosophies', i.e., alignments. They would see a difference between a devil and a demon and categorize that difference while knowing both creatures are pure evil. In the books, the fiction authors regularly use the four key alignments—Evil, Good, Law and Chaos—for their characters to understand the world around them.