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Thread: Alignments of Servants of the Gods

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Castle Eastwatch

    Default Alignments of Servants of the Gods

    Dragonlance is pretty distinctive among D&D worlds for having such a strong emphasis on the Good/Neutrality/Evil portion of the alignment axis. The gods are broken up into three pantheons because of this.

    I don't remember the rule of thumb from AD&D, but I always had the follower's alignment on the good/evil axis match the deity's.

    Back in 3.5, the rule of thumb was that a divine servant of a god had to be one alignment step away from the god. So for example, Paladine (LG) could have clerics, paladins, etc. that were LG, NG, or LN. With neutral deities, you could have good and evil characters following a neutral deity, or in the case of Gilean, anybody.

    In 5e, they've eliminated alignment restrictions. From page 35 of the Player's Handbook...

    As you create a cleric, the most important question to consider is which deity to serve and what principles you want your character to embody. Appendix B includes lists of many of the gods of the universe. Check with your DM to learn which deities are in your campaign. Once you've chosen a deity, consider your cleric's relationship to that god. Did you enter this service willingly? Or did the god choose you, impelling you into service with no regard for your wishes? How do the temple priests of your faith regard you: as a champion or a troublemaker? What are your ultimate goals? Does your deity have a special task for you? Or are you striving to prove yourself worth of a great quest?
    So in the context of Dragonlance, how do you think it should work? What are the arguments for and against having a deity's follower's good/neutral/evil alignment match his deity's?
    Trampas Whiteman

    Long Live the Lance!

    "Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL Dragonlance Nexus!"
    -David "Big Mac" Shepheard

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    I am a big fan of the one step rule, it allows for some variation while still adhering to the core tenets of the deity.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Chicago, IL


    For me it varies depending on the god. Some gods are hardcore proponents of their alignment (good-neutral-evil axis), such as Kiri-Jolith, Mishakal, Gilean, and Takhisis. In those cases I should think you would have to be the same alignment (g-n-e) as the god, if you want to be part of their priesthood. Other gods are patrons of specific things. I could see a fishing community having a good-aligned simple Village Priest of Zeboim. There could be evil Monks serving Majere. Neutral Kender Clerics of Fizban.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013


    One of my favorite unused character concepts was a Friar Tuck type who was a whoring drunkard and snake oil salesman, then one day, much to his surprise, he discovers that he can actually heal people after the gods have returned. It's a case of Mishakal choosing him not just to heal others, but to heal himself. So he wouldn't start out Good, but over time he would move closer to what Mishakal represents.
    "Here's to the successful end of another stupid and poorly planned adventure." Aram Anni-Padda

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014


    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer View Post
    For me it varies depending on the god.

    To me it doesn't make sense for every god to have the same rules for their followers. Surely a more chaotic god is going to have a greater diversity in follower alignment than a lawful one. A a church's alignment might be different from the god's, too. I know that sounds weird, but when you actually think about it, it slowly becomes more possible and even, dare I risk saying it, realistic.

    Our house rules try to make sense of all this and state that the follower cannot be opposed on both axis. Anything else goes - but won't necessarily be easy!

    Game on!
    Seriously; what's the point of being a minotaur if you're not going to skewer something, anything, on those beautiful horns....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017

    Default Campaigns

    I think that everyone here has valid points.

    Allowed alignments can be a bit "limiting". It is important to the God I am sure. However, I also believe it really depends on the Campaign as well, and the GMs feel for the World. If the player wants to run a priest of a certain God, but the party is a certain alignment, I am sure that a well written background could be developed between the GM and player to explain why the player is more than "one step" from the God's alignment.

    Also, just a thought...I have always been against a God being a "set" alignment. Not to get away from a Dragonlance feel here and slip into another "World"...S

    I GM something like how R.A. Salvatore wrote Lolth in his latest novel "Hero". As a "chaos" deity, she went from Chaotic Evil, to Lawful Evil, to almost Good by the end of the novel. Gods are just that, Gods. Complicated and not easily stereotyped or understood, especially if they correctly reflect their portfolio.

    At least in my campaigns.


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