Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pentacles and alignment and humourism oh my!

When I took my anti-malarials I had another interesting brainstorm (now I see why creative people take drugs!).

What if instead of a simple linear alignment scale, or a 9-box alignment matrix (basically a pair of linear scales), we had a Pentacle of Alignment?

This is how it would work.


Everyone draws a pentacle (five sided star) on their sheet with a circle around it. If you are lawful/good/believe that the universe is generally rightly ordered as is (Gods-->Angels-->Kings-->Lions-->Oaks-->Gold etc) then draw it right side up. If you believe that things need some changing (Devils should be above Angels; orcs above humans; cobblers over kings) then you are chaotic and you draw the pentagram upside down. For now, I'll assume you're lawful.

The top point represents your character's devotion to Aether: spirit, quintessence, the heavens. The next two are Fire and Air. The bottom two are Earth and Water. The circle represents Nature, Fate, or the binding glue of the cosmos. You should label the top point with your character's highest ideal: a deity ("I serve Athena") or a principle ("I serve Justice") or a code ("I follow the Knightly Virtues"). The ideal must be considered lawful within the setting.





Next comes customizing the diagram. Put a tick mark next to each element for each of the following:

- Fluent in the associated language
- Race (put one tick in Aether/Barbari/Fate and one tick in Earth/Water/Fire/Air as appropriate; humans may pick based on a sub-race or regional affiliation, or put a second tick in Fate).
- Select one element at character creation: Represents the sign you were born under
- Put one into Aether (if your pentagram points up), Barbari (if it is inverted) or Fate (the circle -- neutral) at character creation: Represents auspices or aspect of the sign you were born under
- Completed a Quest in service of one of the principles: Roll a WILL check -- if you succeed, get a tick; if you get a 7, they get 2 ticks; if you get an 8, they get 3 ticks, etc
- Gain a tier: Place a tick anywhere you lick

For example, Arkayn the White Wizard is a human and he is fluent in Aetheris and Ignis. He decides that his air sign was blessed by the Gods. Humans are fated with destiny.

AETHER: +1 (aspect of sign), +1 (fluent in Aetheris)
FIRE: +1 (fluent in Ignis)
AIR: +1 (Air Sign)
FATE: +2 (Dwarf)

Dundi the Dwarf is fluent in only Terrae and speaks pidgin Rustica. His water sign was mixed but surely loaded with fate. Dwarves are touched by Aetheris.

AETHER: +1 (Dwarf)
EARTH: +1 (Fluent in Terrae), +1 (Dwarf)
WATER: +1 (Sign)
FATE: +1 (Aspect of Sign)

More later!

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