Alignment in Traditional Societies

Crime and Punishment

Author Keith Baker

Series Campaign Style

Publisher Atlas Games

Publish date 2003

A society that’s held together by traditions will lean towards lawful or neutral alignments. Chaotic nations are more likely to fall back to the rule of warlords or into total anarchy; a chaotic population lacks the respect for the law that a traditional society needs to survive. Likewise, evil nations rarely hold onto this style of government for long; an evil family will generally desire more power and control, and attempt to seize it through force or guile. With that said, it is possible that you will encounter a realm in the midst of this process. An evil clan may be searching for a way to seize power, but at the moment it lacks the strength to challenge the other families in the region.

In a lawful nation, respect for tradition means everything; the citizens consider the laws to be what holds their society together. In a neutral nation, the traditions are seen more as guidelines; they provide a framework, but it is up to the citizens to use Wisdom to fill in the gaps, and to create new traditions in situations where the old laws no longer apply.

Traditional Courts

Typically, you will be allowed to speak in your own defense in a system of traditional justice. Advocates, however, are rarely allowed. A Diplomacy roll can be used to influence the opinion of your judges, as outlined in previous chapters. However, in the less-structured traditional system, Bluff can also play a roll. A successful Bluff check – opposed by your judges- Sense Motive rolls and modified based on the strength of the evidence against you – will shift the judges- attitudes towards you up by one category.


You can pick up the local customs with any of the following skills or abilities: Bardic Lore (DC 20), Knowledge (Geography) (DC 20), Knowledge (law) (DC 15), Knowledge (local) (DC 10).

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