Posted - 19 Jan 2023 : 22:00:37
I feel compelled to share the interpretation of alignments the admin of BGTSCC (Baldur's Gate: The Sword Coast Chronicles) for NWN2 made. I feel they may yet be the best ways to interpret alignments, and they each feel compelling (even to me, who considers Lawful things detestable usually).
Rhifox wrote all this, I'm just the messenger!
It's more meant for clerics than normal people - but are clerics not the standard by which others live within the realms, the standard to whom normal people are compared against?
Clerics who take the Law domain believe in the importance of order in ensuring a stable and peaceful society. Law clerics value authority, hierarchy, civilization, tradition, and the status quo, and they typically follow a code or strong set of principles that governs their lives. Law clerics are almost always honest and keep rigidly to their word, even if it requires stomaching people and actions they dislike, and they often serve as facilitators of contracts and oaths, such as judges, magistrates, and bankers. To a Law cleric, the ideal world is one where everyone is held to the same set of rules, so that everyone understands what is and is not appropriate behavior.
With their dedication towards order, Law clerics are diametrically opposed to clerics of Chaos, whose focus on the individual threaten the peace and stability that they fight to preserve.
Clerics who take the Chaos domain believe in the importance of freedom and fostering an environment where people can become the best versions of themselves. Chaos clerics value change, creativity, and individualism, and the only rulers they obey are the ones they choose to obey, those that have earned their respect through actions instead of titles. Chaos clerics are advocates of the marginalized, the outcast, the eccentric, and all others whose individual quirks set them outside the established order. What is most important in life, Chaos clerics say, is achieving self-actualization - the full realization of one's potential and true self. Chaos clerics preach that destiny, if it exists, is something everyone must discover for themselves, not have it foisted upon them.
With their dedication towards freedom, Chaos clerics are diametrically opposed to clerics of Law, whose focus on order threatens to crush creative expression and individuality.
Clerics who take the Good domain believe in the importance of having concern for their fellow people. Good clerics are charitable and self-sacrificing, and they often work as healers, counsellors, defenders, and guides. Good clerics often take great pains to help others, and many view their own safety and happiness to be secondary to what they can do for those around them. Good clerics regularly travel to lands beset by turmoil and do whatever they can to right the wrongs they find there.
With their concern for the well-being of others, Good clerics are diametrically opposed to clerics of Evil, whose selfish goals can cause great harm to the world.
Clerics who take the Evil domain believe in the importance of following one's own wants and needs. This does not mean that Evil clerics do not care for or help others, or that they cannot love, but that they place their own desires (including concern for friends and loved ones) above the desires of others. The ego is the most important spiritual concept within Evil beliefs. Evil clerics teach that the most successful people are those who cast off outside fetters and act solely upon their own will, and they believe that there is nothing morally wrong with taking advantage of others as long as the self will benefit - though they also caution against committing pointless evil that does not serve the benefit of the self.
With their concern for their personal well-being, Evil clerics are diametrically opposed to clerics of Good, whose rejection of the ego weakens themselves and leads, ultimately, to self-annihilation.
I think these definitions of alignments can help avoid the usual issue of "I'm chaotic neutral, it means I can be lolrandom." and replaces it with
"I am chaotic neutral. I worship individuality, self-actualization. However, I feel neither compelled to ensure everyone has a chance to fulfil their identity (Good), nor do I feel comfortable hurting others for my own comfort and fulfilment (Evil)."