Character Alignment and Alignment Changes

This page is intended to summarize the conventions surrounding character alignment as practiced on the Knights of Noromath campaign server.

1. Alignment is fluid.
Playing a character on the Knights of Noromath, few things are ever completely certain or etched in stone. Your character's alignment is one such thing; it may change over time or it may change in relation to impactful decisions that you make for your character during the course of play. If your alignment can be changed one way, it can, of course, be changed back. Interacting with certain magical items, curses, or other situations can instantly change a given character's alignment. You can also simply request the DMs to change your alignment and we're always willing to consider it for the sake of you enjoying your character. On the other side of this, we wish to encourage you to play out challenging situations such as your character's alignment having changed because these situations tend to contribute well to the overall story we are telling.

2. Alignment is a tool.
Playing a character on the Knights of Noromath, alignment is one of the most important tools on your character sheet. It helps us to track moral and behavioral aspects of the game and setting, and it describes, in the abstract, which cosmic forces characters are most aligned with during the course of play. As an example, not every evil character is aware of their alignment with the cosmic forces of evil. Rather, they are just selfish and self-serving. However, when they pick up a magical item that responds to this abstract alignment, the mechanics of the game are running full speed. Their selfish desires truly are in alignment with cosmic forces of evil and this has the power to activate magical effects. However, class mechanics are perhaps the most important aspect of the game that relies on Alignment as a tool; unlawful paladins cannot take additional class levels in that class; non-neutral druids cannot advance in their class; unlawful monks cannot take additional class levels as long as their alignment is incompatible with the rigor and discipline that monks are known for. Try not to think of Alignment as limiting possibilities for your character, rather, think of it as a helpful tool that ensures proper observation of class mechanics and so many other things.

3. Alignment changes do not equate with transgression. (Falling)
Playing a character on the Knights of Noromath server, it is pretty likely that your alignment could change at some point. This never equates with Transgression, which we mention in this post about Novice Clerics in the realms. (This site)
Transgression is failing to interpret the will of your god and results in the complete suspension of all divine spell abilities. While Alignment changes may seem severe, they are simply not the same as clerical transgression, druids who lose their spells from wearing metal armor, or paladins who commit evil acts and actually fall from grace. If you can still cast spells, you can be certain that you have not transgressed. If this makes you feel like a heretic of your faith, well, you probably are at this point.

4. Incompatible Alignments mean what, exactly?
Mechanically speaking, the largest drawbacks to a sudden alignment change are advancing in certain specific classes, but for Clerics, an incompatible alignment perhaps means the most. On the Knights of Noromath Religions Page (This site), we list all the requirements to be a specialty priest of a specific deity. If any of the requirements listed on the religions page are no longer met by a cleric character, they will cease to receive kit-specific benefits from their clerical patrons. As an example, a Kelemvorite Doomguide who becomes a vampire is adjusted to Chaotic Evil alignment, as per the ruleset for vampiric characters. This means they no longer have a compatible alignment with Kelemvor, but we do not automatically consider this to be transgression (unless such a character sought the condition willfully and this is a case by case basis). Instead, they simply lose the kit benefits that were previously applied to their Doomguide Bastard Sword.

5. Atonement spell from powerful clerics.
Atonement is a magical rite provided by powerful clerics and it has the ability to correct alignment issues arising from deliberate actions. It can redeem a character who has fallen such as a fallen paladin, or a transgressing cleric. It can also redeem a creature with an opposite alignment to your own. It also has the power to reverse magically-induced alignment changes. The purpose of Atonement spell, per the D20 SRD, is "simply to offer a believable way for a character to change their alignment drastically, suddenly, and definitively."

6. Feeling frustrated? Ask questions.
Alignment is the most tiring debate in most D&D groups- so much so that many DMs decide to "throw it out." We prefer to observe Character Alignment as just another useful facet of the game, one that can lead to varied interpretation and lots of different outcomes. KON's DMs are likely to encourage and reward creative interpretations of alignment change and can offer plenty of advice about how it may affect your character.  At the end of the day, it serves a simple purpose and is only meant to keep the game moving in credible and believable ways. More than anything else, the decisions and actions you take as your character have the most impact upon your alignment, so you will always possess agency to pursue the track you wish to enjoy the most. One of our jobs is to make sure that track forward includes moral, spiritual, and legal dilemmas that are difficult for anyone to navigate, and make for interesting character stories because there are real challenges and real pitfalls to discover and overcome.

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