I've said before, I don't like the D&D alignment system (and I know that's a feeling shared by many, many gamers). It's one of those legacy mechanics that went from representing a cosmos-level struggle (similar to the Moorcockian Cycles), to becoming the famous 9-point chart that people argue about daily on the Internet...
|Yeah... it's something like that|
So, to start - Lawful Good. It's all sex in the missionary position, with the light off, through a hole cut in the sheets, purely for the purpose of procreation, right? Wrong. LG is more about thoughtfulness, looking ahead, and being respectful of your partner and their wishes. It also states that an LG relationship does not mean monogamous - sex outside the pairing is accepted, so long as all of the involved parties are aware what's happening, and are alright with it. If it's the wanton slaking of lust, not so much - there's no thought put into it. But you can be polyamourous and Lawful Good, which is nice.
We get a stat-block to represent such a character - Valeria, a Paladin with the Perform (Sexual Techniques) skill and the Sexual Training feat (more on those later, I assume...). This is also the first mention of the App stat (which I assume to mean Appearance) - how this ties in to skills (like, does it replace Charisma for certain skills? Or maybe there's a synergy bonus to those skills?) hasn't come up yet, but I am interested in finding out. She also has a few new spells and items, but nothing of any great note (although I want to place my bet that the (Potion of) Peacock's Beauty is the version of Owl's Wisdom, Cat's Grace etc. for the Appearance stat).
We also get what I assume to be some artwork for Valeria, which is a photo of a model wearing the most impractical leather armour/corset thing, in a wonderful shade of Scarlet Letter red. For some reason, it has little rings where her nipples would be... which strikes me as impractical, at best. Unless they're related to those Nipple Clamps of Exquisite Torture from the Book of Vile Darkness...
Lawful Neutral - the alignment of tradition, strong taboos, arranged marriages... the sexuality of those who are concerned about doing things "the right way", with a similar great deal of thought as LG characters. Very little room for flexibility, but seems the most likely to get themselves hitched "because it's the right thing to do", rather than out of love (or lust). Fairly meh.
Lawful Evil - Order and Power are our inspirational words here - LE uses sex as a weapon, seducing and dominating those lower in standing, and submitting to those in charge. They are "most definitely evil, but they play by the rules". And yes, the wording is specifically charged with such BDSM-imagery. Our photoart now shows a young, thin man, wearing leather shackles which bind his wrists together, and chains leading from them to his nipples. He's holding a candle in his cupped hands, and is staring at it with the most gormless look I've ever seen.
I find the implications that Lawful Evil = BDSM a little... worrying. I mean, when the game goes out of its way to ensure that BDSM isn't automatically evil, but makes the reverse true, that's either sloppy writing or double-standard up the wazoo. Once again, time will tell.
Notably, the text-blurb for LE is the longest so far, and explains why that picture of the little pigeon-chested fella holding a candle is there. Someone spent a while crafting that little narritive...
Neutral Good - focus on pleasuring their partners, and simply want them "leave their partner happier for being with them". NG's exemplar character is Chevel, a Bard (who I can see getting a lot out of this book). She has Perform (Burlesque), and a few new spells as well (depilatory and grope as cantrips, block the seed and vision of exquisite pleasure at 1st-level, and touch me not and limited telepathy at 2nd-level). While the rest I can vaguely guess about, I am assuming that vision of exquisite pleasure is a first-level save-or-suck (*snicker*) spell, which have historically been one of the problems with 3.5.
True Neutral - as with most edition of D&D, this book seems to struggle when it comes to defining the Neutral Neutral crew. Their description basically states that they do what they want - they might be chaste, celibate, slutty, faithful, cheaters - whatever works for them. Dull, and pretty pointless - much like the True Neutral nearly everywhere else.
Neutral Evil - self-centered schemers, who will do whatever they feel they can get away with. They control, abuse, and prostitute others for their own gain. Their relationships tend to be "emotionally painful, often filled with trickery and deceit".
Chaotic Good - "if it feels right, do it" is the slogan here - CG characters value their individuality, and shrug off the taboos of their society, hoping to convince others to do the same with some righteous dickings. They want to ensure that their partners feel better for having been with them - whether that means freeing them from the constraints of their culture, or just leaving them with more confidence, they're the Robin Hood of bedroom antics.
Chaotic Neutral - it's the DM's least favourite alignment, the good old could-kiss-your-mother, could-punch-your-baby Asshole Random. CN characters care about themselves in relationships, leaving "a trail of emotional wreckage and heartache" behind them. They pride themselves on individuality, breaking taboos for the sake of it, and really playing up that "actions first, think later" mentality.
For bonus points, there is some more photoart here - of some woman with her boobs out. Now, I do love boobs, but that's not why this entertains me - the model featured is the spitting image of the ex of one of my old players/GMs - who was a fucking nutbar. Ah, good times...
Also, there are little blurbs of text which allegedly "demonstrate" behaviour typical of each alignment, but none have been noteworthy... until this little gem:
"Ooh, I have need of your nice, strong sword," she cooed. She used her left hand to draw up her skirts, exposing a bare expanse of thigh. "Come here and explore my deep, dark cave".
Did... did she just compare her vagina to a dungeon crawl? Watch out you don't catch ear-seekers or some shit.
Chaotic Evil -abusers, pure and simple. They seek to destroy, hurt, and torture people at the best of times, and are associated with acts such as "rape, mutilation, bestiality, and the abuse of helpless creatures". The authors also point out that they aren't going to mention anything more about these subjects, bar mentioning them. That's nice.
Join me tomorrow for Sex and The Species, where we learn about randy half-orcs, awkward half-elves, and of course, Gnomish sex toys.