Saturday, May 19, 2012

Alignment And The Cosmology Of My DCC Campaign

Arrows of Chaos
The system of alignment in the DCC RPG is one that reflects its old-school heritage.  Law, Neutrality, and Chaos are the options.  Law is given as the choice of those who would uphold society's system of order and rules, producing the common good.  Chaos is all about over-throwing authority, exercising personal power, and self-serving ends.  The middle ground is Neutrality, the choice of those who choose not to decide, (hmmm...sounds like a famous Rush song of which I'm fond.)

Arrow of Law
I have nothing against these standard tropes, but I decided early on that I wanted my campaign's eternal struggle to have be decidedly less Gygaxian and more Moorcockian. (I'm not sure I like that sentence...moving on...) In my campaign, Law and Chaos will be struggling for dominance.  Either potential outcome will not be good for the mortal folks of the world.  If Law wins, the world become stagnant and unmoving.  If Chaos wins, the world becomes a place of ever-changing pain and torment.  The gods in the middle, those of Neutrality, are trying to protect the mortal realms from the ravages of the Cosmic War.

All that being said, here's a list of characteristics of my DCC RPG campaign cosmology...
  •  The universe exits in a state of war between the forces of Law and Chaos.
  •  Most mortal folks are left to be Neutral in the midst of the conflict.
  •  Good and Evil are not Law and Chaos
  • Law and Chaos are not Good and Evil
  • Good and Evil are choices that people make and can be relative to the chooser.
  •  Law sees life only as a circumstance that allows Law to be applied to it.
  • Chaos sees life only as a circumstance upon which change can be enacted.
  • Neutrality is the only world-view that holds life up as a good thing in itself.
  • The goal of Chaos is to put all of existence into a state of flux.  Wondrous pain and cruelty are signs that change is happening
  • The goal of Law is to ensure that all of existence is in a state where all of its parts act according to the rule prescribed for them.  Never changing, never growing. The abolition of free will is the earmark of Law succeeding.
  • The goal of Neutrality is to see life flourish...organized enough to be civilized, changing enough to be free.
To sum it up from the point of view of a mortal player character...Law can give me power, but may consume my free will. Chaos can give me power, but I may become monstrous.  Neutrality puts me in opposition to cosmic powers that may seek to destroy me, but in the end, that may be the only choice that keeps my soul free.

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