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You know the idea of how "god works in mysterious ways"? Well, this here is going to explain a bit of that mystery. The secret? Alignment tensors that exert force from both above and below to alter and shape reality within.
A tensor is a vector that is amplified (adding the tension) by a scalar. The vector is your alignment. Standard D&D has two dimensions of alignment: good vs. evil and chaotic vs. lawful. But this isn't enough variability to account for the diversity of the gods or people. For what is the point, for example, of having two good, lawful gods? There must be something different about them. Interestingly, the Myers-Briggs personality test has 4 different dimensions to account for humans.
This is where some power to unite the realms comes from -- serious knowledge on how the gods/goddesses work to influence the realms and relate to Time. It comes from watching the entities in the all-seeing-eye and the ALL-THAT-IS of our realm.
Alignment tensors flesh out more fully the disposition of any and every NPC/PC towards the universe, including the demi-gods. The one (two) exceptions are the All-Father or the All-Mother which sets the minute trajectories for the first variable: what is good (love) and what is evil (hateful). Just the slightest nod above or below the zero, sets the dynamics of the universe. More than that, and things get destroyed from too much power being set in motion.
There are four different dimensions or variables that compose two sets for four: yin/yang (or male/female*), affecting above-ground dynamics and the minds of human/mammal/reptilian creatures).
- heart: good(+) vs. evil
- head: chaotic(-) vs. lawful,
- health: individual(-) vs. collective,
- hands: magical(-) vs. mechanistic,
Players cannot be "neutral" on good and evil, otherwise they are psychotic and ill. It's much like scientology "clear": no empathy or emotional state means you don't care about anything.
Each of these dimensions could be held by one of the eight ability scores???. The exact stat varies from character to character. Wisdom, for example, could show up on the chaotic variable or the good vs. evil vector, or magical if one were bringing more magic into the realm for a higher purpose.
Whatever you might be tempted to do otherwise, keep these two groups (yang/yin) separate. Their slight differences define an era. Rather than the 4H categories, these coudl be considered, respectively, morality, ethics, social, logic.
The female/goddesses have a related, but differently named set, creating the inward dynamics relating and effecting ground-level objects and flesh of NPCs:
- heart: gaia/goddess(+) love vs. hatefulness(-), OERTH
- head: proud(-) vs. deferential(+), SUN (Water: Shou)
- grouping: individualist(-) vs. community-oriented(+), WATER (Sun: Shou)
- logic: animism(-) vs. inanimate(+), AIR
Values range from -1.0 to +1.0 and can be any value in between to give subtle variation to things. These values are a result of "normalization" of the realm's negative and positive alignment totals. These digits get placed in 4 decimal alignment value, from +1000 to -1000. The first digits align with the first variables in the alignment tensor, so that really the alignment is 4 dimensions expressed by a single scalar.
If both the god and the spirit side show negative on the first variable, the being does not exist. If one is positive but the other has a higher negative value, then the being has death chasing him/her until that being levels up somehow to tip the scale of neg/pos in their favor or dies off. If both are positive, then the being has +MANA_REGEN
These totals go up with every take-down of an oppositely-aligned being (to the dominant god(s?) over the realms) and down with every ...
The All-That-Is holds the 8-dimensional vector of these together. There are other variables (like reactivity -- of how much things react that touch each other, bad/good equation (saint vs. sinner) on howmuch human morality should effect the realm, etc.) that go up to 20 but this advanced topic is beyond the scope of this book (at this time).
- AL and WotC should tabulate the total deaths across all games so that an "alignment" for the whole game can be tracked an an over-arching story arc maintained. However, one only tabulates novel acts by different parties. 100 people "killing" Strahd does not resolve in 100x(the XP) of Strahd in change of the alignment totals. No, it will be 1xXP + small differences (if present) with each new party.
A large vector on the first two dimension of the goddess side could pull one "intuitively" away from a locale and towards locations far away, exerting influence over large spans of time (months or even years), while one on the masculine side leads to thoughts of virtue (or its opposite depending on it`s valence) and affect their behaviors towards each other. The divine feminine create the flield, while the divine masculine sets the particles in the field. Each affects the other.
Together these form two vectors (g, h, i, j) and (G, H, I, J). Coupled with a LVL, forming a scalar magnitude, these make a tensor. These tensors are the over-force and under-force of a given domain (the former) and set the feels for outward dynamics (the latter).
There are two primary alignment vectors that shows the present disposition of the ultimate game master (UGM) who sets this (should be WotC) towards all of the gods and set things into motion. The UGM should try to fit all of pantheon into a 10 x 10 vectors in which the lessor gods compete for the slots. 10 are for the male gods (Heaven domain) and 10 are for the female gods (Oerth-domains). This matrix gets crunched into a single number for morality. It’s this disposition which defines what morality is and it should move only very rarely, and defines an epoch.
The key elements of setting this primary vector is the person with the most real-world experience with good and evil. Remember the journey of Wo/Man is thousands of years long. Many people believe they've fought for the good, but it ended up hurting someone or something innocent. Likewise, many people who were thought to be evil, weren't. So the wizened sage sets the vector very tepidly -- just like the gods.
As the tensor tree moves downwards it forms an inverted tree and the time-periods get smaller, until you might have daily domain variations depending on events across the whole realm of all games, moving the tensor’s power up or down. These create the weather across the realm, as the highest gods balance these across the lands. If the balance of the yang vector gets out of harmony with the yin vector, dust devils or thunderstorms occur. The water released in the thunderstorm becomes part of the goddesses.
For every domain a god or demi-god holds, there is an alignment tensor. This is another item that separates the (demi)gods from mortal humans. Except for the leader class, mortals don’t hold domains. Strahd, for example, is a demi-god and not quite a mortal human and holds his own domain which other outside his plane have called Ravenloft.
In theory, these 8 could be complemented with 12 more for a total of 20 dimensions to specify everything that happens in the game universe. Color interactions (for alchemy), pH interactions (chemistry), light vs dark (how does the spark of a light interact with the universe), homogeneity, mass vs. solidity and interactions (or mass vs. space), .
XXXMOVETO: other section: Given this, one can imagine gods that specialize in one variable of the tensor. And one direction of the variable, giving 8 base deities.
LVL(alignment vector)HP/POWER. As adherent give power/PTY to their gods, the HP value of the vector goes up.
A demi-god gives 100% of their trust to their own domains, but only some smaller percentage of it to even their own loyalists within their domain, perhaps 10%. People they dont’ trust might have a ranking of -50% — that they’re not welcome in their domain and their alignment tensor will impose itself on them in some way, effectively defining them as “evil”, regardless of what their personal alignment vector says.
demigod_LVL(g, h, i, j) x personal_LVL(g, h, i, j), when the trust is negative, this project will add a curse effectively to your own. When the person is already against the diety, this double-negative cancels out somewhat and the over-god decides how dice are handled….. Basically you subtract the LVL of the player from the demigod and this remainder is available to “play out” and influence the domain below.
Alignment is your characters primary disposition to the game universe. There are two 4-vectors, one masculine and one feminine. A good vector ontrology can give the DM the complete dynamics of a realm, such that textual narrative isn’t hardly necessary (only the names of objects). XXThese vectors also have the possibility to change the dynamics if you sieze power over certain power objects or territories.XXKelsey
One could also imagine 2 more 4-vectors, one yin and one yang. A final four-vector would be the regulation of the other 4x4 vectors.
\\Use pairs: 60[(-1,0.6),(5 NOTE: This is for Adventurer’s League and above. DMs and players go away OR SUFFER.
Alignment theory: The alignment vector shows your disposition to the game universe. Different vectors that point in different direction imply that conflict will ensue. Ultimately, the gods have designed the universe to resolve all such conflicts and gravitate all interactions of vectors into a perfect circle. It is not unlike the venal-arterial system of the body — many vectors, one, united purpose.
"Good" and "Evil" are specially-loaded terms that can be set (somewhat) by the Game Master (or is it WotC?) — the manager-player responsible for the overall story arc of the game universe. Because: What is good and what is evil? What is good to one group can be considered evil to another, and vice versa. Take the Nazi's for example, what they thought was "good" was "evil" to the allies and hopefully to yourselves (because you're probably in their world).
That being said, I'd advise not deviating much from the normative values of "good" and "evil" for they have evolved over thousands, if not more, years (depending on what plane you're operating from :). However, if you would like to experiment with different values of good and evil, make a demi-god that will hold those values and place it below the ALLGOD. See how the game universe reacts to your experiment. You'll probably learn something...
Your alignment can be suggested by the DM depending on the needs and balance of the universe, unless you start from age 1 or less, where it starts neutral and the DM can't do much about it.
There are two axiis of character alignment and this has been separated in the new system into "alignment" and "attitude". Attitude can be either towards chaos or towards order. You can be destroying order or creating order. That means one can understand the issue of good and evil by multiple levels of assessment, such that a level 10 good could be seen by a level 20 seer as evil (because their greater intelligence and wisdom know the consequences of the former's actions) or vice versa. It's a subtlety that should be exploited by campaign designers if they wish to develop political intrigue in their games.
Faction, guild, and temple affiliations determine modifiers to your power equations (how much power you get per round). Joining any of these (or not), moving into a leader’s territory or a new campaign realm all affect the values of (g, h, i, j) that are used to determine how fate (the god/desses) assist or detract from your efforts. Their vector is crossed with your own to come up with the power modifier. Different demi-gods have different attitudes towards the different axiis related to 4 dimensions of alignment: Goodness (vs. evil), maJicalness (vs. technological), Individualist (vs. collectivist), cHaotic (vs. lawful).
The first digit of your alignment could give faction affilication in the good vs. evil spectrum, while the second offers another dimension of refinement of exactly what is good and what is evil. One could even hide the other variables in the alignment vector in the decimal digits of the first one, since others will see those of opposite alignment as “evil”.
Vectors hover over a domain of power. The power is the source of the scalar in front of the vector to make it a tensor. It gives it intention. These tensors can hover over a domain as small as a oil lamp or the boundary of a sarcophagus. The masculine vector tends to be a bubble or membrane, while the female vector bubbles up from within.
There are actually two 4-vectors: masculine and feminine. The feminine is composed of (tension, Revelement.going-forward, effusiveness vs. to oneself, over-feeling). XXX these need re-ordered to match the masculine vector. This last one is related to the scent (good vs. evil dimension). The penultimate one is related to collectivce vs group dynamics.
Qver-feeling (over-feeling, but for purposes of parsimony relating it to (q, r, s, t), this is spelled with a Q) is a one word description/color that matches the arenas primary mood. In theory these feelings could be mapped onto a scalar from -1 to +1 like rest by using tenths of a unit. In a dungeon, it could be pain or hate, for example. In a forest, it might be love or beaut. Revelement is from -1 to 1. -1 means full secrecy, like one might find in the Velkenvelve with the spider-witch. EffuSiveness is a scalar, -1 means “stuffy”, while 1 means “explosed”. Effusiveness transcends the personal or human qualities of a place and relates to the divine feminine. A happy forest in the sunlight is 1, while a fetid mycogen cave is a -1. Tension is the amount of unresolved gradients of power there are, 1 means everything is “on edge”, -1 means the place is spent — there is nothing to find of power from the realm (this is independent of the value of items that may be strewn about — power trapped in mass is not included). (-1, 1, 0, 1).
Over-feeling, effusiveness, revelement, tension. Over-feeling from Darkness to Light. In between, it is Unhappy (-0.5) to happy (+0.5). Lonely can be -0.7 series, while Sadness can be -0.1 series. Hurt from 0.0 to -0.1. -1.0 means that all human(oid)ness is gone. This is generally true for cephelopods (cthulhu and such), yet they are never to be put at a pure -1, which is reserved for someone with humannish power that has given up all light to be evil. Cephs have never been human, so can’t really be said to be evil in the same way a human is: with all of the knowledge of what those who remain human wish for.
(*) The "or" here actually represents an ignorance in the larger arcana of the universe: is the dynamic of yin (flow) and yang (stasis) superior in the universe or the one between male and female?
Alignment vectors. Every domain has a vector (g, h, i, j) that bespeaks the nature of the domain, be it a dungeon, a warehouse, a celestial realm, or a forest. The alignment of the forces which made the domain generally dictate what the alignment of the domain is. Two of these are canon: (g)ood vs. evil, and c(h)aotic vs. lawful. The other two are (i)ndividualistic vs. collective action, and ma(j)ical vs. mechanistic. The values of these variables can range from -1.0 (the value outside the parenthesis) to +1.0 (for the value in the parenthesis) and range anywhere in between to give nuance to the normal binary (trinary, actually) values. So WWII Germany, an evil, lawful, collective action, technical domain could be represented with an alignment vector of (-1, -0.8, -0.8, -0.6). A scalar in front of the vector forms a TENSOR. The scalar is the LVL of the demi-god who holds the domain. So Adolf Hitler might be a LEVEL 30 say, making the tensor value for Germany = 30 * alignment_vector. However, for the demigod Hitler himself, who's individualist and acting over the domain, a polarity shift must occur on the third variable. The vector gets multiplied by (0, 0, -1, 0) whenever one passes between the demigod to the domain they hold. This is the Phenomenon of the Planar Order: when a demigod is collectivist, the members inside must maintain their individualism, but when they are individualistic holding a domain, the members tend towards collectivism, bonding together under their leader. These tensors get used to calculate the effect from forces above. There can be layers upon layers of such tensors as overarching gods act over demigods. Each one modulates the use of dynamics of magic in the domain. When there is more than one over a domain at the same level, it tends to form parsimony or conflict.