before, but I reject the notion of good and evil, and even neutrality to a certain extent, within the context of role playing. Once you accept killing as a part of your system, any notion of good and evil as we understand it goes out the window. Rather, I'm going to divide the "alignment" of From the Ashes between Law, Chaos, Altruism and Selfishness (although I'd love a different word than Selfishness - I was thinking malevolence, but that's too close to Evil. Still thinking on that). Law and Chaos represent your views on how the world should act, while Altruism and Selfishness represent your views on how you should act. I think that encompasses things nicely, without falling prey to the pitfalls I've previously described.I've mentioned this
I've ordered a copy of Lumpley Games' Dogs in the Vineyard, which, on the face of it, is as unlikely a premise as you're apt to find in modern roleplaying. Loosely based on the Mormon faith in the days of the frontier, you play the titular God's Watchdogs, whose job it is to travel from town to town, delivering mail, handing down the judgements of the Almighty, killing heretics, you know - the usual. In this world, however, the Lord of Lords is very active, and his word literally is law.
That mildly interested me as a setting, but the kicker was the last paragraph of the wikipedia article, "One of the most potent aspects of the system is "Town Creation" where the moral landscape of the town is laid out in the form of characters, their desires, and what they've done to each other. This gives the GM the ability to make sure that merely engaging meaningfully in the town is interesting and making wins or losses less important to them. By representing the townsfolk and their interests, rather than presenting a tactical challenge, the GM is able to pose interesting questions of the players and give them opportunities to judge their own characters."
Which is exactly the sort of thing I'm looking to do with From the Ashes. It arrives tomorrow, and I look forward to mining it for ideas.