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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 70 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Chaotic Neutral: Donjon Alignment?  (Read 2514 times)
Kenway
Member

Posts: 98


« on: March 01, 2002, 08:00:59 AM »

I don't know if anyone mentioned this already, but does DK have anything regarding alignment/alignment tongues?
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Bailywolf
Member

Posts: 729


« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2002, 08:22:05 AM »

Holy ass! I totaly forgot about 'alignment languages'  damn.  "I know he is evil... just listen to that accent."



However, it seems to me that donjon is pretty anti-alignment... pre-alignment... very old school.  The Adventurers are basicly "good", the monsters are basicly "bad" and spells designed to detect or smite "evil" will work on anything uglier than a dwarf.  

Some wink-and-nudge alignment rules would be fun, though...
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Zak Arntson
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Posts: 839


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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2002, 10:17:19 AM »

Yeah, Donjon is alignment-free. The general idea is "you'll know what to do when it happens." Mostly fighting badguys and avoiding traps.

Though introducing alignment languages as an optional rule would be pretty damn funny. Way to go, Kenway.

"I don't know about Jack. I mean, he sounds neutral, but there's a chaotic twang behind it."
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Blake Hutchins
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Posts: 614


« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2002, 10:48:50 AM »

"Hello, Mr. Underhill.  Something to ring, I mean drink?"

-Loosely quoted from Bored of the Rings

Best,

Blake
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rafael
Member

Posts: 174

Writer/Designer, the Books of Pandemonium


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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2002, 08:45:05 AM »

i must say, i never understood the concept.

i'm no linguist, but how on earth could your moral compass, something that we all know to be distressingly fragile, determine the syntax or grammar of a language?  even if, as the manual stressed, it wasn't a language so much as a series of code words or phrases, how would your ethos really enable you to understand them?
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Rafael Chandler, Neoplastic Press
The Books of Pandemonium
Balbinus
Member

Posts: 290


« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2002, 11:30:58 AM »

I'm not sure the concept could be understood, other than as an abstract game rule.

After all, if your parents were both neutral good and you were chaotic good, where did you go to learn your alignment tongue and howcome you never picked up any of that spoken by your parents?

A lot of the old DnD rules were just rules their for a game, they don't need to make external sense any more than rules in monopoly do.
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AKA max
Kenway
Member

Posts: 98


« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2002, 03:27:52 PM »

Oh, and remember when you wanted to change alignment?  You had to spend several thousand gold pieces and lose a level of experience, or something like that.  And you'd lose your old alignment tongue.
  But assassins could learn other alignment tongues.
  And you weren't allowed to ask people what their alignment was- it was considered to be such a rude question that the game designers wouldn't print it!
  Ah, what were those game designers thinking?
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contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2002, 03:16:26 AM »

Possibly they were initially thinking of "orcish" and "elvish" as in LOTR alignment is roughly identical to race.  Just speculatin'.
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joshua neff
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Posts: 949


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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2002, 12:57:50 PM »

I forgot that assassins could learn other alignment tongues! That's hilarious!

"Well, you sure sound good to me, so you must be okay--*urk* You stabbed me! But that's...evil!"
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--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
Kenway
Member

Posts: 98


« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2002, 05:58:58 PM »

Wow.
  I didn't expect us to have so much fun with AD&D's alignment system.
  How about this as an idea for an rpg:  Alignment Wars!
  Donjon was a twist on dungeon crawling, so AW could be a similar game focused around alignment and language-related issues.
  Assassins could be either PCs or the main villains since they can learn other alignment tongues.
  Maybe the game could based on the secret societies in the old Paranoia RPG.
  I have no idea how it would work though.

  This is probably a bad idea.  Oh well.  Just keep reminiscing then.
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Matt Snyder
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Posts: 1380


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« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2002, 06:46:52 PM »

My GOD, I can't believe I'm defending this, but ...

I always interpreted "alignment languages" as the language of the prevailing religious institutions. So, the chaotic evil "church" had it's Diabolic Latin, while the Lawful Goodies had their "Divine Latin." Meanwhile, EVEERYONE shared the vernacular (Common).

Ok, so it doesn't make perfect sense, but it suited my inquiring mind once upon a time. So it goes.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Yasha
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2002, 05:22:36 PM »

I don't have a real problem with alignment languages. They would require some changes to the human brain, just as heroic strength and fireball tossing would require other changes to the basic human design. Here's one possible scheme for alignment languages (please pardon the wordiness):

AL (alignment language) WORLD

In our world, human language is largely innate, as evident by way that children acquire language independently of normal learning processes and by the arbitrary similarities between all languages (especially the amazing similarities between the Creole languages that form when small multilingual populations are isolated). In the AL world, this is also true, except that the brain's language center also serves as a moral center with different configurations corresponding to the different alignments. Every alignment provides its own set of basic language and behavioral rules. In the AL world, the deepest structure for a speaker's languages would be his or her alignment language, a simple language lacking the versatility of languages such as Common, Gnomish or Finnish.

In the AL world, the base language rules associated with each alignment determine a different set of speakable languages (i.e.: there is a different set of language universals associated with each alignment). Therefore, it's very possible for a language to be unlearnable and unspeakable for members of one or more alignments.  (Sure, you could learn to work it out like a mathematical equation, but if you have an incompatible alignment you can never be fluent.) Languages spoken by populations consisting of all alignments (e.g., Common or Finnish) naturally develop so as to be learnable by all alignments, but languages spoken by populations that consisting of one or two alignments (e.g., Orcish or Hedge Troll) tend to contain language rules incompatible with other alignments.

Alignment change is hard, especially due to the linguistic effects. Even a human who speaks a language spoken by members of all alignments will have a miserable time, because the rules used to map the language onto their deep structure (alignment tongue) stop working when that deep structure has changed. Fortunately, the sentient brain is well designed and has the ability to convert the language rules over to work with their new alignment. After a very tough week, Joe the human fighter will have regained his fluency in the Common Tongue and Finnish.

It's more difficult when your alignment change is incompatible with your mother tongue, as in the case of Roody the Hedge Troll who has decided to convert to Lawful Good. Roody's brain will find it impossible to map Northern Hedge Troll onto a lawful good deep structure and he will no longer be able to speak or understand NHT beyond a very basic, non-fluent level. Hopefully he knows the Common Tongue, so that after a week of aphasia he will be able to communicate with other outcast Common-speaking Hedge Trolls. It's obvious that the linguistic aspect of alignment provides enormous disincentive to those considering alignment change.

Assassins have learned a way to hack their brain, allowing them to switch language center settings for a brief period of time (brief, because switching alignments interferes with their normal language abilities and with their ability to carry out their job). This is useful not only for understanding and speaking alignment languages, but also for learning their roles when training for infiltration. If an assassin wants to know how a lawful good person might act in a given situation, he or she can experiment for a minute by actually becoming lawful good.
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--
James "Yasha" Cunningham
Chutneymaker... Mystery Chef... Abe Lincoln Biographer...
Zak Arntson
Member

Posts: 839


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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2002, 05:27:34 PM »

I love that silly Alignment World idea. Especially the Assassin's having hacked their own brains (reminds me of Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash).

This needs to somehow (probably supplementally) be attached to Donjon. It's too perfect.
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Bankuei
Guest
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2002, 12:28:44 AM »

My god James, I didn't know you were the neuro linguist :P

I always had assumed alignment "language" was simply a set of views and philosophies that were shared by people and anyone attempting to push forward their views(alignment) could do so by speaking along those lines.  For example, an ultra conservative and ultra liberal could be talking about the weather.  No biggie.  If they decided to go into politics and push their ideas, then they get an idea of what's the other's views.   Likewise, it doesn't take very long to figure out which folks you're going to get along with and which ones you aren't, when they openly express themselves.  I simply put it in the same category as thieve's cant,"Look foo, youoweah ganka scratch, betta make ends or we wetcha!" and other fun bits of dialect.

:)

Chris
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