Alignment as originally conceived, based on Appendix N sources and D&D’s wargaming origins, was meant to convey factional allegiance rather than describe habitual behaviors or explain a character’s moral compass. Certainly this isn’t the only way to use it, and even D&D eventually adopted another dimension (the Good-Neutral-Evil axis), but it is this “Whose side are you on?” aspect of alignment that this essay focuses on. Most modern players have lost sight of this completely, but if you are running a game that involves a titanic struggle of powers greater than the players — whether that means warring empires, feuding gods, or opposing ideologies — then you’re missing something important by omitting alignment.
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