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Does any mod bring alignment shifts to the games?

chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
edited October 2016 in General Modding
I don't mean Torment, of course. But, for example, in Baldur's Gate there was no alignment-changing system in place - it was the oldest game and had Reputation instead. There are useful things that can be done to Reputation to make it less awkward, I'm sure, but it's still only a matter of money to bring it up (and killing some poor sod to bring it down). What about alignment? Has anyone concerned himself with that aspect yet?

Technically this should be easy to do for all situations similar to those that provoked alignment changes in Torment (I think most people would find the situations and frequency of changes there very satisfying, so we can take it up to imitate). In Torment you could kill a commoner somewhere and not plunge into Chaotic Evil - not so swell. Alignment changed in dialogues and after quest decisions very nicely, however. I see no reason why this sort of thing would be any more difficult to carry over to Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale than linking the fateful reply branch to an SPL summoning an invisible creature who does two Global shifts for the particular NPC (found through LastSummonerOf()). The globals would be one for the Good-Evil axis and the other for the Law-Chaos axis. Call those globals BRANWENGOODEVIL, CORANLAWCHAOS etc., and not to forget a pair for Charname. Icewind dale would get the globals for PLAYER2GOODEVIL, PLAYER3LAWCHAOS etc.

The globals could measure 1 to 20 and start at different places for different NPC. Let's say Law is 20 and Good is 20, Evil and Chaos are 0. A Lawful Evil NPC would start with 20 for the one global and 0 for the other. True Neutrals would start at 10-10, and the range of Neutrality might extend to 8-13 on both axes. The invisible servant would correct the global for the latest moral choice and apply an SPL changing the summoner's alignment, if the numbers say so. The modder would have to decide on the scope of adjustments. A rant or the answer "we are a horde of rampaging tarrasques" might shift the NPC to Chaos by 1, the offer of a peaceful solution to an assassin - to Good by 1; just asking for money or telling a kid to bugger off is probably neither here nor there; but trapping that thief in Durlag's Tower to his death with succubus hair may be worth all 3 points to Evil and a little to Chaos as well.

One particular benefit of this system of NPC-specific alignment tracking would be that not only the protagonist but his companions could undergo a change of heart. Simply have an NPC you want changed as the party's speaker so they take the responsibility for the decisions. Force Edwin to commit every good deed there is and lead him through Lawful Neutral to Lawful Good! Drive Kagain to philanthropy and frolicking fun so he ends up a happy Chaotic Good dwarf! And role-play all this. Or if you prefer to think of the party as a hired team that follows Charname's orders rather than fellow travelers, make Charname do the speaking and deciding, and pay the price.

I have no idea if this hasn't been done already. But it wouldn't be very difficult if someone wanted to take up the concept.

Post edited by chimeric on


  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,155
    Virtue does this, but it might not be exactly what you're saying.
  • AquadrizztAquadrizzt Member Posts: 1,026
    edited October 2016
    I actually like how the game handles NPC alignment changes (e.g. it is handled via extensive dialog/scripts).

    The NPCs would lose a lot of their identity if they suddenly changed alignment outside of scripted events. A chaotic good Kagain is completely antithetical to the greedy, self-serving mercenary portrayed by his dialog and quests.

    Charname's alignment on the other hand should be fluid and depend on their actions. I agree that the world isn't nearly responsive enough to how you resolve conflict.

    Then again alignment is a kind of out-of-date antiquity from an older edition that could be abolished at basically no loss, but whatever.
  • chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
    edited October 2016
    And why do only scripted events count? Are we watching a movie or directing the outcome of an adventure? Raistlin started out Chaotic Neutral. Anakin Skywalker... well, I won't go on. To me characters' rise to the heights of nobility or devolution is one of the most heartfelt, informative and adult parts of good fantasy. If characters don't change, they hold only novelty interest. In BG that's the problem with Beamdog's new NPC. As much as the designers try to give depth to Dorn, he is still quite rigidly defined as a vengeful killer. That's all right to start with, but very dull if that is all, and a backstory can't be attached in the front. Why shouldn't Charname lead him, or why shouldn't he himself change from his experiences and choose another way? Raistlin came through hell but returned to Chaotic Neutral, and Anakin...

    At least we should have the option to play the game this way, having characters change, which, I think, would be a richer way.

    As for the alignment system, each to his own, but I've come to appreciate it more over the years. If you want a system where human nature is drawn from life, in small strokes, then the alignments look terribly primitive. But I believe that like so many other conventions of D&D they were a symbolic summary of general types, part of a particular universe concept. Just as in D&D there are ruins full of gold and haughty elves, so there are certain ideas about virtue and vice. It reads as poetry. Wizards of the Coast, being a Very Big Corporation, did not fail to turn it into unremarkable prose with the third edition's "improvements," and the system has been on a downward slide ever since. Not that I miss THAC0 much.

    @CrevsDaak : Virtue, you say? I'll look into it.
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