One of the things that bothers me, that’s pervasive in the way adventures are written, the way PCs and NPCs are envisioned, and so on, is what appears to me to be a misinterpretation of Alignment. I’ve done a lot of thinking on the subject, but for this post I did some extra research to make sure I got things right. So first, an interesting little history lesson.
D&D, as many may know, stemmed from a tabletop wargame called Chainmail. From what I know it was a lot like Warhammer or Warmachine. Each player brings an army, you move them across the terrain and make hits against opposing units. When one player achieves some goal (occasionally simply annihilation of the opposing forces) they win. Chainmail set itself up as a conflict between Law and Chaos, and individual units were aligned to one side or the other (or neutral) so a player could decide what sorts of units made sense to include in an army together. It wasn’t about philosophy and morals so much as which side of an Epic Conflict you were on. As was noted on Grognardia, at this point the alignments might as well have been “Romans” and “Gauls.”