Alignment Standing Purity and Taint

Alignment, Standing, Purity and Taint

The Polychotomy does not use the standard D&D Alignment characteristic. Instead, it relies on two different (but related) mechanics – Standing, and Purity/Taint. These differ from Alignment in that they are mechanics with numbers attached and specific interactions with other parts of the game. The DM will advise you when your character’s Standing and P/T scores change – please keep track of them on your character sheet. These also differ from alignment in that bad guys need not be Tainted, Pure guys need not be good, and those who are members of regimented phyles need not be Lawful (in the Player’s Handbook sense of the term).

Standing

[The Standing mechanic is partly based on the Honor section of the Unearthed Arcana, and will be revised to take into account the Affiliation mechanic presented in Player’s Handbook 2]

As noted on the phyles page, in every phyle, there are expectations placed on members in terms of standards of behaviour and obligations towards other members and the phyle as a whole. In all phyles, members are treated according to the degree that their behaviour conforms to or departs from the expected standards. There are three general categories (“grades”) of membership – Distinguished Members, Members in Good Standing, and Members in Poor Standing. By and large, a member’s standing in phyle is irrelevant to people who are not co-phylists. However, standing affects the way other members of your phyle interact with you.

Members in Good Standing receive the following benefits:
  • a +2 circumstance bonus on all charisma-based checks when interacting with other members of the phyle
  • a +1 bonus to Leadership scores for the purpose of attracting followers
  • barring specific circumstances, co-phylists are assumed to have a starting attitude of “Friendly”
Distinguished Members receive the following benefits:
  • a +5 circumstance bonus on all charisma-based checks when interacting with other members of the phyle
  • a +1 bonus to Leadership scores for the purpose of attracting followers and cohorts
  • barring specific circumstances, co-phylists are assumed to have a starting attitude of “Helpful”
Members in Poor Standing receive the following penalties
  • a -2 circumstance penalty on all charisma-based checks when interacting with other members of the phyle
  • unable to use the Leadership feat to attract followers and cohorts
  • barring specific circumstances, co-phylists are assumed to have a starting attitude of “Unfriendly”

Note that for any of these effects to work, the other characters must be aware of your phyle standing – this generally means they must be able to see your phyle badge.

Specific and detailed information as to which types of behaviours affect your standing is included in your phyle dossier. Your standing will be tracked by the DM, and you will be advised when your category changes. Interactions with other phyles are largely insensitive to your specific standing in your phyle. Members of phyles listed as Allies in your phyle description will generally have a starting attitude of “Friendly”, and those listed as Enemies will generally have a starting attitude of “Unfriendly”, but no other mechanical effect obtains.

Purity and Taint

[The Purity and Taint mechanics are to some extent based on the Taint section of the Unearthed Arcana, which is based on the Taint section of Oriental Adventures, but substantial changes have been made.]

There are two all-pervasive forces throughout the Polychotomy – each almost the opposite of the other. They are known as Purity and Taint. (Abbreviated P/T when spoken of together.) Each is sometimes described as a stain on the soul, or a marking of power. Either (or both) can be found in a person, a creature, a place, or a thing. A character who associates with a Pure or Tainted entity may find himself gaining some Purity or Taint as well.

For more details on the mechanics of Purity and Taint, see the Purity and Taint page.

The Ashes of Alignment

What, then, happen to the various places that alignment shows up in the standard rules? Alignment restrictions on taking levels in classes are eliminated, although some classes and most Prestige classes will have other restrictions (commonly Phyle membership or Purity/Taint scores) placed on them. Changes to spells necessitated by the elimination of alignment are detailed on the page about changes to spells. In most parts of the rules, “evil” may simply be read as “Taint” and “good” may be read as “Purity”. (“law” and “chaos” should be read as ”” and ”” respectively.) Situations that seem ambiguous should be directed to the DM.

Alignment Standing Purity and Taint

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