User:Mainstreet/Chromatic Philosopher Variant
Chromatic Philosopher’s Variant
Sentient characters may add the Chromatic Philosopher template to their character at DM’s discretion. It should be public info whether this template is allowed in the universe or not. Chromatic Philosophers reject the ideas of lawful, chaotic, good, and evil as absolute entities to describe sentient beings. They believe life is more complicated than that.
A Chromatic Philosopher is always technically True Neutral in terms of alignment, regardless of their actions, but this should not be directly displayed. Actions dictate their philosophies, not their alignment. Chromatic Philosophers evade all types of alignment restrictions on their class, but are required to take philosophies that match their class.
As such, Chromatic Philosophers are always immune to Protection from, Magic Circle against, Detect, and Dispel (alignment) spells. They are also completely incapable of casting such spells, even if they would gain access to them for free otherwise. A DM may consider allowing equivalent spells for the chromatic philosophies in their places, but the spells will not be effective unless the DM is using this template for NPCs or allows alignment translation.
A chromatic philosopher may take anywhere from zero to two of the five colors among white, blue, black, red, and green. Similar to alignments, these should be true reflections of the character’s ideals.
See Table 1 for what color philosophies typically represent an alignment. Note, however, that Rule Zero remains most important here, and this should mainly be reflecting interactions with hard statistical ideas such as items, creatures, and classes.
See Table 2 for restrictions on core classes. Non-core classes should refer to Table 1.
- Credit: A lot of the material in the next two sections is derived from the excellent work of Mark Rosewater from Magic: the Gathering’s R&D. The MTG color wheel is a worthy source to provide balanced philosophies, which is the whole point of this template.
Explanations: One Color
- White – White believes in the maintenance of peace through structure. White believes that the good of society as a whole is more important than the individual. White has a desire to defend and protect above all. White believes in equality and social justice. White also believes very strongly in its own righteousness, and has little tolerance for those that break their laws, whatever they may decide them to be.
- Blue – Blue believes that everyone starts from nothing. Blue’s ultimate goal is to gather knowledge, and learn everything they can. Blue believes in outthinking and tricking the opposition. Blue is also the creative color, building tools to help them succeed. Blue is distasteful of impulsive action. Blue believes that if a solution isn’t immediately apparent, more research and introspection can always save the day.
- Black – Black embraces the world for what it sees the world as: full of selfishness, greed, and backstabbing. Black embraces the pursuit of power, and finds other beliefs naïve. Black is more than willing to sacrifice itself or others to achieve its ends. Black holds no innate respect for life or any perceived social order. Black believes in being continuously driven toward one’s goals, and woe betide those that stand in one’s way. Black often has little in the way of friends.
- Red – Red is the color of unbridled emotion. Red forms emotional attachments to people and places. Red believes in freedom, and doing whatever they want, though they will usually support those they care about. Red likes to get quick solutions, which often means explosions and other destructive acts. Red likes mischief, chaos, and random events.
- Green – Green believes that nature itself is the finest expression of the world. Green seeks to protect the natural way and continue to grow in strength. Green is unique in that it battles in many ways to keep the world as it is, and to halt the continued progress of the immoral side of civilization. Green is a color of duality and balance in life. Green believes that in the end, nature will claim all. Green is also a celebration of life in all its forms, and the ideal of universal respect.
Explanations: Two-Color Combinations
- First, note that you can still draw from each of the single colors you are using when explaining why your character is the combination it is.
- White/Blue – This combination uses the complexities of legal systems to enforce peace. White/Blue makes order, and convolutes the system to ensure it cannot be challenge. White/Blue believes it has the best interests of the people in mind, and seeks to make sure its own philosophy is the one in charge. White/Blue is great at creating rules, and has little tolerance for those that break them. White/Blue analyzes and considers its decisions carefully.
- White/Black – This combination wants to control the peace. White/Black makes structures and makes use of them for their own power, and enforces their security upon the people. White/Black is the ultimate in trading liberty for security. White/Black is the bully that prevents other bullies. White/Black is also a negotiator and compromiser. White/Black sees the group something worth preserving, either for its own sake or because it itself is a member.
- Blue/Black – This combination is the ultimate in selfishness. Blue/Black wants to know everything and do everything. Blue/Black is extremely secretive, and does not wish to make its existence as a player known until the very end. Blue/Black is careful at choosing which battles to fight, but considers only itself. It has no sense of ethics and allows little in the way of emotion.
- Blue/Red – This combination desires creativity and freedom. Blue/Red is a thinker, but always passionate in its thoughts. Blue/Red is highly individualistic, and takes pride in the fact that no one is like them. Blue/Red finds crazy ideas that no one else could think of, and has the guts to pull them off. Blue/Red seeks to rationalize the irrational. Blue/Red likes change, progress, and living without boundaries.
- Black/Red – This combination is the paragon of hedonism. Black/Red does whatever it wants, whenever it wants, often causing as much mayhem as possible. Black/Red has no sense of morality or any restraints on its actions, and it likes to take a lot of actions.
- Black/Green – This combination has a great appreciation for the cycle of life. Black/Green uses and abuses the cycle of life as it pleases, and takes advantage of adversity to strengthen itself. Black/Green harnesses the virulent, darker side of nature and embraces unhindered growth. It despises any constraints upon nature. Black/Green is willing to take the risk that the natural growth they encourage overtakes their ability to handle and gain from.
- Red/Green – This combination is the pairing of pure instinct. Red/Green likes destroying anything that threatens its way of life. Red/Green doesn’t try to determine if it can do what it wants to do, it just does it anyway with brute force. Red/Green wants to end situations quickly, before others can think their way into beating them.
- Red/White – This combination is the unrelenting desire for honesty. Red/White is always open about its actions, and hates sneaking around. This does not mean that it believes in the law; on the contrary, Red/White will not hesitate to break a law if it believes it is for the greater good. Red/White seeks a balance between order and chaos. Red/White is willing to sacrifice people to save others. Red/White tends to be driven to carry out its mission with excessive exuberance.
- Green/White – This combination is the creator of communities. Green/White believes that people can accomplish anything given sufficient numbers. Green/White desires peace through growth. Green/White does not approve of interference in their community, and wants nature and life to continue unimpeded. Green/White cares little about the individual.
- Green/Blue – This combination is the scientist. Green/Blue seeks to improve upon that which it sees in the natural world. Green/Blue is very methodical, examining data to seek out life’s mysteries. Green/Blue does not seek credit or admiration for its work. Green/Blue tends not to believe in warnings, and is willing to breach barriers that perhaps one should not.
Table 1: D&D Alignment Labels and Their Colors
Characters of non-core classes with alignment restrictions should follow this table, always remembering Rule Zero. If a line explicitly asks you to check with your DM, it is because that the label has a wide meaning and can be for different reasons depending on class. Your DM should make the call as to which it is. This chart can also be used for DM's to translate alignments of non-sentient creatures into color philosophies.
|Alignment Label||Color Philosophy|
|Lawful/Neutral Good||White*, no others|
|Chaotic Good||Green*, no others|
|Lawful Neutral/Evil||Blue*, no others|
|Neutral Evil||Black*, no others|
|Chaotic Neutral/Evil||Red*, no others|
|Lawful||White, Blue, and/or Black|
|Chaotic||Black, Red, and/or Green|
|Good||White, Red, and/or Green|
|Evil||Blue, Black, and/or Red|
|Nonlawful||Red and/or Green, and/or [White or Black (consult your DM)]|
|Nonchaotic||White and/or Blue, and/or [Black or Green (consult your DM)]|
|Nongood||Blue and/or Black, and/or [White or Red (consult your DM)]|
|Nonevil||Green and/or White, and/or [Blue or Red (consult your DM)]|
--* The character must take the indicated color philosophy.
Table 2: Core Classes and Colors
|Barbarian||Black, Red, and/or Green|
|Bard||White, Red, and/or Green|
|Cleric||see the Clerics section below|
|Druid||Green*, (Red or White)|
|Monk||White*, (Blue or Green)|
|Paladin||White*, no others|
--* The character must take the indicated color philosophy.
Clerics are a special case. Alignment plays three important roles normally: spontaneous casting of heal or inflict, turn or rebuke undead, and staying within one step of your deity. Chromatic Philosopher clerics get to make their choice of spontaneous casting and undead handling as they are still True Neutral "under the hood." Deities are characters themselves and thus are given chromatic philosophies (see Table 3). A cleric must share at least one color with their deity and may not take a color that their deity opposes (see Table 4).
Table 3: Deities and Colors
Clerics of non-core deities should either use Table 1 or consult with your DM.
Table 4: Opposed Colors
All colors that are not listed as opposed colors are considered ally colors of the listed color or combination
This page isn't confirmed for use in any campaign. This is intended as a simpler variant of switching the entire campaign alignment system to a chromatic system. While I do have this in the works as well, I might not find it necessary to continue doing what I want to do with my characters. It's something to discuss as a group.