Thursday, June 25, 2020

The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first Edition Alignment System In Campaigns & Troll Lord's Siege Engine

Right now in my War 1870 campaign I'm coming across a challenge. War 1870 is a hybrid of Castles & Crusades rpg with a very heavy & dark coating of  the Victorious rpg  But its heart & soul is really Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition.

Weird of the white wolf daw 1977.jpg

In the past I've talked about Michael Moorcock's Elric Chronicles on this blog but today we're gonna bring a whole different aspect to the frontage. We're gonna bring up the alignment system & in this case the axis that we know & love from first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons the fact that it sorta lines up with the Victorious rpg's good & evil axis is only icing on the OSR cake. 

Law versus chaos
GoodLawful goodNeutral goodChaotic good
NeutralLawful neutral(True) neutralChaotic neutral
EvilLawful evilNeutral evilChaotic evil
When it comes to Paul Anderson's 'Three Hearts & Three Lions' the alignment system of AD&D first edition is at its center. With all of the occult secret societies, incredible history, and everything happening in the New York City of 1870's. The mystic mythology of Charlemagne & elements of Anderson's 'Three Hearts & Three Lions' lines up perfectly.
A last gasp of the Fey trying to clamp onto humanity's tit & the upside down city serves as a contrast to the scheming Lovecraftian horrors on the other side of this campaign. 

Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson

Saying this is a simple supers campaign is a both an injustice & idiotic. The background here is steeped deeply in New York City history & D&D.. The Appendix for random Demon generation first appeared in Dragon issue# 13 & aligns up perfectly with Castles & Crusades Tome of the Unclean. 
AD&D 1st Edition - Dungeon Master's Guide (Original Cover).pdf ...

The alignments are not simply morale compasses but indicators of complete & total submission to an ideology that rules the soul but not the PC. Its really more of their place in the grand scheme of the chess board of existence. In point of fact this is something we see in 1981's Classic Clash of the Titan film. Harry Hamlin's Persus is the perfect champion of a type of Greco Roman 'Law' as it were against the backdrop of the chaos that Calibos represents. But notice that there is a touch of Chaos about Zesus himself. The alignments are grand & sweeping embracing & destroying as they create. 

Money And Greek Myths: Lessons From Clash Of The Titans ...

With the Greco Roman revival of the 1870's this is a particularly apt indicator of the grand sweeping gestures of the 'gods' but we'll get into that in another blog entry. 

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