Belief for alignment

Belief for alignment

This is one of a series of hacks I will be implementing in a D&D 4e game. Some of the ideas for this hack were stolen and adapted from articles at 4e At-Will.

Instead of alignment, which I have always felt is kind of vague and purposeless, we’ll substitute beliefs. Characters have one or more of them, and they can be “discovered” during play as well. The concept is to write down specific guides to action. It is perfectly fine to come up with any beliefs you like, but because such a wide-open intellectual space can make it hard to invent something worthwhile, I have made several tables to help. (These will carry over to the Mouse Guard games as well.) You can take as many or as few of these as you like, and it’s perfectly OK if one character has conflicting internal values – that makes him interesting!

A belief is a virtue that you’re striving for, a flaw you’re striving against (or possibly for, if you want to play a “broken” character), a fear that you have, luck that you think you have, or a knee-jerk reaction. For each of these, pick or roll one or more, and then make up a reason why that’s the case. It often helps to combine a pieces from multiple tables. For example, a character with Reserved might also have Fear of Being Tricked. So he’s reserved because of the fear. Why does he have that fear? What happened to him? Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to answer these questions right away – but write them down, so that when things come up during play you can say “Aha! So that’s what went wrong in his past!”

d12 Virtue Flaw
1 Flexible Rigid
2 Trusting Suspicious
3 Bold Cautious
4 Hopeful Cynical
5 Disciplined Wild
6 Generous Greedy
7 Romantic Practical
8 Forgiving Zealous
9 Curious Reserved
10 Secret Blunt
11 Kind Selfish
12 Dutiful Lazy
d10 Fear
1 Rival or critic
2 Loss of possession(s)
3 Being tricked
4 Reputation, social standing
5 Illness, disease
6 Being brought to justice
7 Power of a cult or sect
8 Ignorance
9 Tradition, cultural or familial rules
10 The gods (elvish only)
d8 Luck
1 Escaping difficult situations
2 Finding valuable items
3 Pulling risky stunts
4 With a season, day, or weather
5 Solving puzzles, figuring things out
6 Keeping secrets
7 Trusting your instincts
8 Exploring the unknown
d12 Instinct
1 Attack
2 Stand your ground
3 Misdirection, bluffing
4 Protect others
5 Call for aid
6 Intimidate, shout others down
7 Careful observation
8 Diplomacy, negotiation
9 Appeal to authority, gods, tradition
10 Taunt, make fun of the situation
11 Surrender or flee
12 Disappear