I think we’re both pretty much in agreement in that the major problem is misleading terminology - This has a good breakdown on what the classic alignments are intended to be read as, plus in-game applications.
sort of unrelated, but since you mentioned roleplay systems, I was introduced to a roleplaying system called Anima that I like tons better than DnD so far. It's a Spanish-based tabletop RPG that's set in a world spanning fantasy versions of all of Eurasia and some of the Americas (I think???) and takes some inspiration from anime stuff. The rulebook and character sheets were a little shoddily translated though. I thought it might interest you
Ask posted so people can learn a thing! Herman@s makin it happen~
The best thing about that word vomit is that even after all that, my Brainmeats Jury is still out on whether a nailed-down alignment system is even NECESSARY. Like, why can’t my character just be presented with the situation and act/react based on their own personal ethics/biases/beliefs without…
D&D settings have deities and planes that are completely composed of energy aligned with good, evil, law, and chaos. Moral relativism doesn’t apply there. If you are doing things good gods would approve of, for reasons good gods would approve of, you are good. Likewise for evil, law, and chaos. The character’s subjective moral compass does not factor in. If they think the gods of evil are in the right, they are evil, even if their reasoning is sound, because “evil” is an objective, measurable physical principal in that universe, like heat or acidity in ours.
Point! Although: If said deities exist in realms composed of [abstract concept] energy, why is it not tied to the abstract concept that the deity actually represents? Why is it uncomfortably crammed into the five-point rubric?
Ex: Why is Corellon on a “good” plane governed by “good energy” and not an “artsy-fartsy creative crap” plane? Why is Nerull “evil” and not just “Deathy Death McDeatherson”? Is beautiful art created as propaganda to exacerbate interracial tensions still governed by Corellon?
What if the soul Nerull is reaping today that of a scheming genocidal maniac, and their death both saves millions from untold suffering and brings peace to their surviving victims?
Creativity or death (or justice of vengeance or domination or whatever) can still be measurable physical principles in a universe without the lore and metatext building in a moral judgement by calling it “good” or “evil”.
Plus, imagine deities with concrete reasons to form into pantheons aside from “wow we’re all just so nice”. Corellon and Bahamut have reasons to align with Erathis: Art flourishes in civilization and justice is codified by laws. (Unless: Unjust patterns of enforcement emerge! Censorship begins to stifle expression! OH NO FISTICUFFS IN THE TEMPLE DISTRICT AGAIN)
I’m not delulu enough to actually want/need the canon changed to suit me, but hey. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT FOR YOUR HOMEBREWS, DEAR FOLLOWERS.
The best thing about that word vomit is that even after all that, my Brainmeats Jury is still out on whether a nailed-down alignment system is even NECESSARY. Like, why can’t my character just be presented with the situation and act/react based on their own personal ethics/biases/beliefs without me as the player being mechanically and metatextually pushed toward five or so poorly-defined courses of action?
Maybe you have a weird DM..? e.e I dunno. The alignment stuff mostly make sense to me.
I am not currently in a game because I, and everyone around me, knows full-well that I am the kind of person who would open a philosophical debate in the middle of combat. Probably with my mouth full of spicy cheetos.