Regarding Alignment

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boru
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Regarding Alignment

Post by boru » July 6th, 2010, 10:00 pm

I hope this will be a useful discussion, and doesn't degenerate into a flamewar about religion.

Is there anything specific in the Wesnoth tradition regarding chaotic races and the use of holy water? The game manual only talks about alignment in terms of how time of day affects combat, nothing more. So do the standard D&D concepts apply to alignment in Wesnoth, or are the lawful simply creatures of the day, chaotic creatures of the night, and neutral creatures of neither and both?

I recall a very funny instance in the Founding of Borstep regarding orcs and holy water, but I don't think it's meant to establish anything more than those particular orcs were ignorant about how holy water could affect their melee weapons.

The reason I'm asking is, my campaign is based on a chaotic race (goblins) and I wanted to give them holy water to fight some undead opponents.
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Re: Regarding Alignment

Post by HomerJ » July 6th, 2010, 10:09 pm

boru wrote:Is there anything specific in the Wesnoth tradition regarding chaotic races and the use of holy water?
I don't think so, in HttT Valley of Death there is holy water available, and you can give it to chaotic thiefs...


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Re: Regarding Alignment

Post by Eleazar » July 6th, 2010, 11:20 pm

"Holy" used to be a damage type focused against the undead. With much anguish it changed to a slightly more general damage type "Arcane" still very effective against undead.

The Wesnoth "Lawful" and "Chaotic" system has some of the moral/ethical overtones of the D&D system, but it's not nearly so specific.

I don't think anyway should be shocked at goblins using Holy water vs undead, except to wonder where they got it (since goblins don't seem to have the magical chops for that sort of thing). Goblins aren't particularly vulnerable to arcane damage, so holy water (essentially a medium of arcane damage) shouldn't be a problem for them to use.
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Re: Regarding Alignment

Post by Ken_Oh » July 7th, 2010, 12:33 am

Just to add my slant on it, as I have come to reason it out for myself, the only race where alignment has anything to do with its D&D counterpart is human. It's really just a matter of how cooperative (from law-abiding peasants to the captain of the royal army), aloof (from the solitary ranger to the cloistered mage), or subversive (from thieves to necromancers) a human is in regards to society in general. You can only really claim that a chaotic unit is evil if the laws and circumstances he/she has met with the law were 100% just. For other races, it's simply physical (or magical) attributes which make the difference.

Either way, as Eleazar said, the arcane damage type is far outside this equation. If the white magic benefits a person living creature, even a goblin, there shouldn't be a problem with it.

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Re: Regarding Alignment

Post by thespaceinvader » July 7th, 2010, 3:00 am

In SotBE it comes up. The orcs
Spoiler:
SO yeah. The alignment system doesn't have any particular impact on its use. But if you're concerned, you could probably simply come up with your own chaotiic version. Naphtha used to set weapons alight would do the trick, though it would raise the question of why they weren't on fire in the sprite...
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boru
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Re: Regarding Alignment

Post by boru » July 7th, 2010, 4:05 am

Eleazar wrote:I don't think anyway should be shocked at goblins using Holy water vs undead, except to wonder where they got it (since goblins don't seem to have the magical chops for that sort of thing). ...
Heh, good point. At the moment, they get it because bottles of it are laying around here and there, as they often are in scenarios with undead foes, although maybe that convention has grown threadbare.
thespaceinvader wrote:In SotBE it comes up.
Ohh maybe that's where I remember it from, not in TFOB.
thespaceinvader wrote:But if you're concerned, you could probably simply come up with your own chaotiic version. Naphtha used to set weapons alight would do the trick, though it would raise the question of why they weren't on fire in the sprite...
Interesting. Wouldn't that be fire damage and not arcane? In any case, your point is a good one: tailor the potion to the characters. My goblins are not exceptionally evil, nor do they have what Eleazar called "magical chops." They do have an augur with them, I suppose he could teach 'em.
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Re: Regarding Alignment

Post by Zarel » July 7th, 2010, 4:18 am

Ken_Oh wrote:Just to add my slant on it, as I have come to reason it out for myself, the only race where alignment has anything to do with its D&D counterpart is human. It's really just a matter of how cooperative (from law-abiding peasants to the captain of the royal army), aloof (from the solitary ranger to the cloistered mage), or subversive (from thieves to necromancers) a human is in regards to society in general. You can only really claim that a chaotic unit is evil if the laws and circumstances he/she has met with the law were 100% just. For other races, it's simply physical (or magical) attributes which make the difference.
In modern D&D, lawful/chaotic and good/evil are completely different axes. A thief could be Chaotic Good or Chaotic Evil, for instance. So in that sense, Wesnoth lawful/chaotic alignment is just like D&D lawful/chaotic alignment, except without the bunch of alignment-specific magic.

In D&D, Holy effects that are alignment-specific are generally anti-Evil, not anti-Chaos, so that's not a concern, either.
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Re: Regarding Alignment

Post by thespaceinvader » July 7th, 2010, 9:56 am

It' worth noting that the alignment system in Wesnoth has been the source of heated discussion in the past. It's probably best not to examine it in too-great detail here.
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