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In Fighting Fantasy, an Alignment is a way of determining what religious and ethic beliefs a character follows. Alignment, however, is mainly mentioned in the FF background materials, and plays less of a role in the game system than in other fantasy role-playing games.

Introduction[]

In Fighting Fantasy, "Alignment" is mainly used in terms of religious belief. The Gods a particular character follows will determine his or her alignment and personal behaviour.[1] A character who follows the gods of the Celestial Court will be aligned with Law and Good; a character who follows the Trickster Gods or one of the Animal Court deities will be aligned with Neutrality; and a character who follows the Dark Lords or the Demon Princes will be aligned with Chaos and Evil.[1] On Titan, most beings will respect all the gods of their particular alignment, while venerating and devoting themselves to one god in particular (a farmer who is of Good alignment will respect all the Good deities, while venerating Galana, the goddess of plants and agriculture).[1] Priests, however, will only ever worship their patron deity.[1]

The conflict between the alignments of Law and Chaos is the source of many wars and adventures on the world of Titan.[2] The many adventurers whose exploits make up Titan's history and legends are usually fighting for the side of Good and Law against Evil and Chaos.[3]

The split between Law and Chaos seems to divide members of certain species. In Night Dragon, a character discussing the Dragon Conclave states that Dragons of different alignments are attending. He adds "Only extraordinary circumstances could bring together a full Conclave; the Dragons of Law and Chaos have no love for each other."[4]

It is sometimes stated by characters in the Fighting Fantasy books set on Titan that a final, decisive victory for either Evil or Good would be disastrous for the world. The witches in Creature of Havoc tell the Hero "Evil must not triumph over all; Chaos cannot reign supreme. For the balance is vital." It is for this reason that they aid the forces of Good against the Evil Zharradan Marr.[5] Similarly, in Dead of Night, the Netherworld Sorcerer states "The Balance is un-certain and must be restored. Good is on the rise and so it is time for desperate measures. The powers of Evil cannot be allowed to wane, or the world will stagnate and die." [6] It is for this reason that Sorcerer aids the evil Myurr, since he has been deceived by Myurr.[6]

Only in Scorpion Swamp does alignment (Good, Evil, Neutral) really make a difference in the game mechanics.[7]

Law and Order[]

Law, "Law and Order", and "Lawful" in Fighting Fantasy often mean beings simply "opposed to Chaos". In the creation myth of Titan, Death is referred to as acting in opposition to the "Lawful Gods", who seem to be the same beings as the the Gods of Good.[8] In another instance, the inhabitants of the Vale of Willow are referred to as "Lawful goodfolk", who are threatened by the Chaos supporter Balthus Dire. [9] After his defeat by Kull, Razaak's corpse was placed in a sarcophagus "sealed by a Lawful sorcerer."[10] Similarly, the fallen knight Belgaroth championed the power of Chaos against the "Lawful" forces of Chivalras IX, Belgaroth's brother and the King of Ruddlestone.[11]

In Return to Firetop Mountain, Zagor states, challenging the Hero to a duel: "We are equals, you and I, and we must fight on equal terms. It is the struggle between Chaos and Order we must decide. If I win, Chaos will swallow Allansia. If I lose, Order will return." [12]

Good[]

Good means practicing virtues such as kindness, honesty, courage, and generosity. These virtuous are embodied by the gods of the Celestial Court, such as Telak, Libra and Usrel. [1][8] Those beings on Titan who align with Good will follow these gods, and work to embody these virtues in their lives.[1] Certain species on Titan, such as the Wood Elves and the Dwarves, are strongly devoted to the cause of Goodness.[13]

Neutral[]

The Neutral Forces are outside the struggle between Good and Evil. There are two such factions; one is the Neutral group led by the Trickster Logaan, who try to manipulate and balance the forces of Good and Evil.[14] The other example is the Animal Court, who have opted out of the struggle. [14] The Animal Court's alignment is often described as "Neutral", or "True Neutral" referring to the fact that each deity of the Animal Court's main interest is in the survival of his or her species. [14] Neutral beings include the The Riddling Reaver, the Netherworld Sorcerers, and the wizards Halicar and Hannicus.[15][16][17][18]

Evil[]

The simple definition of Evil on Titan would be the "opposite of good". Evil means practicing vices such as cruelty, dishonesty, arrogance, and greed.[1] However, the term Evil is often coupled with Chaos to illustrate that which opposes Good in Titan. For example, the Dark Lords of Chaos are those who led the forces of Evil in the First Battle. [19][20] Although the terms Evil and Chaos are distinct, they are very often used interchangeably or coupled together. For example, the backcover of Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World talks of "the delicate balance between Good and Chaos", and then goes on to talk of the forces "of Good and Evil".[21]

More to be added

Chaos[]

The book Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World variously talks of Chaos as being an interchangeable term with Evil, a term that should be coupled with Evil, or a term that stands apart in its own right. Although the terms Evil and Chaos are distinct, they are very often used interchangeably or coupled together. For example, the back cover of Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World talks of "the delicate balance between Good and Chaos", and then goes on to talk of the forces "of Good and Evil". Elsewhere within canon, Chaos is deemed the opposite of "Law and Order" which is a more logical pairing and in keeping with other game systems. Servants of Chaos, such as Arachnos the Life-Stealer, are often uninterested in monetary gain. Instead they desire to advance the causes of Evil and Chaos across Titan by spreading disorder and violent death.[22] Causing excessive bloodshed is a common behaviour among agents of Chaos; Dead of Night states that "ruthlessly killing an undeserving opponent, for example" is the behaviour of a Chaotic character.[23]. Followers of Chaos seem to have difficulty trusting other beings, even their fellow Chaos followers. The Corpse Master in Moonrunner is described thus: "Like all servants of Chaos, he is only too willing to believe in the backstab of betrayal."[24] Chaos is sometimes described as the greatest threat facing the forces of Good on Titan; the protagonist of Dead of Night is described as "having seen the danger that the creatures of Chaos pose for the future of the free world." [25]

It is possible that the difference between Evil and Chaos is that Evil characters may commit evil acts out of a ruthless desire for wealth, to gain political power, or to advance a particular cause. Chaotic characters, by contrast, may be murderous psychotics who commit evil acts out of a nihilistic desire to cause harm for its own sake. [26]

More to be added

Further Notes[]

  • The concept of a conflict between "Law" and "Chaos" first appeared in the fantasy novel Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson. It was later taken up by Michael Moorcock, whose fantasy stories (especially the Elric of Melniboné series) revolve around a universe-spanning struggle between Law and Chaos. The idea of characters having an "Alignment" determining their morality appears in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. This alignment system is determined by two axes ("Law" versus "Chaos" and "Good" versus "Evil", with "Neutral" options for both axes). The D&D alignment system was influenced by Anderson and Moorcock's works. In his book Dicing with Dragons, Ian Livingstone states that in the D&D Alignment system, "alignments regulate the interaction of characters". Livingstone also states that the Alignment system is "often criticized as being arbitrary and unreal, but... it works if played well and provides a useful structural framework on which not only characters but governments and worlds can be moulded." [27] As Livingstone and Steve Jackson (UK) are fans of the Dungeons & Dragons game, its influence explains why they have put references to a conflict between "Law" and "Chaos" in the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks (similar to other fantasy games and gamebook series).
  • In Crypt of the Sorcerer, there appears an item called a Talisman of Chaotic Evil. It causes anyone who wears it to fall under the control of Razaak, perhaps implying the Talisman magically changes the wearer's alignment.[28]
  • In the Myriador conversions of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks into D20 System modules, the characters are given Alignments from the Dungeons & Dragons game. For example, Trumble, the nefarious Dwarf in Forest of Doom, is given the D&D Alignment "LE" (Lawful Evil) in the The Forest of Doom D20 adaption.[29] Zagor, the archetypal evil warlock, is given the D&D Alignment "CE" (Chaotic Evil) in the The Warlock of Firetop Mountain D20 adaption.[30] Similarly, the insular but virtuous inhabitants of Kristatanti in The Shamutanti Hills, are given the D&D Alignment "NG" (Neutral Good) in The Shamutanti Hills D20 adaption.[31]


See Also[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Advanced Fighting Fantasy – The Roleplaying Game, "Religion". pgs. 87-98
  2. Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World - (pp. 9, 22, 68)
  3. Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World - 12
  4. Night Dragon - "Background" - pgs. 24-27
  5. Creature of Havoc - para. 141
  6. 6.0 6.1 Dead of Night - para. 267
  7. Scorpion Swamp - p.17
  8. 8.0 8.1 Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World -"The Forces of Good" - pgs. 45-65
  9. The Citadel of Chaos - page 22
  10. Crypt of the Sorcerer - "Background", p. 22
  11. Knights of Doom - Introduction p.23
  12. Return to Firetop Mountain - para. 27
  13. "There are only a few inhuman races who follow the path of Good; the most important are the Elves, whom we shall come to in a while, and the Dwarfs." Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World - p. 48
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World -"The Neutral Forces" - pgs. 66-69
  15. Magehunter - para 333, 368
  16. The Tasks of Tantalon pp. 14, 20.
  17. Scorpion Swamp - para 150.
  18. Creature of Havoc - pp. 21-22
  19. Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World -"The Forces of Evil and Chaos" - pgs. 70-98
  20. Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World - ??/150-153
  21. Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World - Back Cover
  22. Deathmoor - para. 231
  23. Dead of Night - pg. 16
  24. Moonrunner - para. 133
  25. Dead of Night - pg. 9
  26. Non-canon
  27. Dicing with Dragons, Ian Livingstone. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 79
  28. Crypt of the Sorcerer - para. 125
  29. Forest of Doom (d20), p. 23
  30. [[The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (d20). (p. 25).
  31. The Shamutanti Hills (d20) , p. 31
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