Using Area Alignments
Using a general alignment for an area allows a quick assessment of the kind of
treatment player characters can expect there. The following gives ideas for
Lawful good: the people are generally honest, law-abiding, and helpful. They mean well (at
least most of them do). They respect the law. As a rule, people don't walk
around wearing armor and carrying weapons. Those who do are viewed with suspicion
or as trouble-makers. Some societies tend to dislike adventurers, since they
often bring trouble.
Lawful Neutral: The people are not only law-abiding, they are passionate creators of arcane
bureaucracies. The tendency to organize and regulate everything easily gets out
In large empires there are ministries, councils, commissions, departments,
offices, and cabinets for everything. If the region attracts a lot of adventurers,
there are special ministries, with their own special taxes and licenses, to
deal with the problem. The people are not tremendously concerned with the
effectiveness of the government, so long as it functions.
Lawful Evil: The government is marked by its severe laws, involving harsh punishments
regardless of guilt or innocence. Laws are not intended to preserve justice so much
as to maintain the status quo. Social class is crucial. Bribery and corruption
are often ways of life. Adventurers, since they are outsiders who may be
foreign agents, are viewed with great suspicion. Lawful evil kingdoms often find
themselves quashing rebellions of oppressed peasants clamoring for humane treatment.
Neutral evil, neutral good, and true neutral: Areas dominated by these three alignments tend to adopt whatever government
seems most expedient at the moment. A particular form of government lasts as long
as the ruler or dynasty in power can maintain it. The people cooperate when it
suits them--or, in the case of true neutrals, when the balance of forces must
Such neutral territories often act as buffer states between lands of extreme
alignment difference (for example, between a lawful good barony and a vile
chaotic evil principality). They shift allegiance artfully to preserve their borders
against the advances of both sides in a conflict.
Neutral evil countries tend to be benign (but not pleasant) dictatorships
while neutral good countries are generally "enlightened" dictatorships. Transfers
of power are usually marked by shifts in government, though these are often
bloodless coups. There is a certain apathy about politics and government.
Adventurers are treated the same as everyone else.
Chaotic Good: The people mean well and try to do right, but are hampered by a natural
dislike of big government. Although there may be a single ruler, most communities are
allowed to manage themselves, so long as their taxes are paid and they obey a
few broad edicts. Such areas tend to have weak law enforcement organizations. A
local sheriff, baron, or council may hire adventurers to fill the gap.
Communities often take the law into their own hands when it seems necessary. Lands on
the fringes of vast empires far from the capital tend to have this type of
Chaotic Neutral: There is no government. Anarchy is the rule. A stranger to such a town may
feel as if he has ridden into a town of madmen.
Chaotic Evil: The people are ruled by, and live in fear of, those more powerful than
themselves. Local government usually amounts to a series of strongarm bosses who obey
the central government out of fear. People look for ways to gain power or keep
the power they've got. Assassination is an accepted method of advancement,
along with coups, conspiracies, and purges. Adventurers are often used as pawns in
political power games, only to be eliminated when the adventurers themselves
become a threat.
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