Though I’m sure most of you folks out there have yet to glimpse into the dark depth that is MYFAROG, discussions on the virtues of Alignment and Alignment systems are ongoing and ubiquitous throughout the gaming community. Some time ago, when I was posting my first reactions to MYFAROG, I’d mentioned briefly how alignment worked, but did not go into any details other than that it is determined by a combination of factors rather than plotted on a grid or spectrum. Well, turns out I’m a little wrong; it can be plotted on a grid, as is illustrated in this post. If anything, alignment in MYFAROG is similar to Myers-Briggs Type Indicator archetyping.
With any game system that implements an alignment system, one needs to decide if alignment is what guides and motivates the character or if alignment is the manifestation of a character’s actions. Alignment as a constraint is very unpopular in some circles, with many players simply choosing to ignore it altogether, treating it as an optional rule. But in a game like MYFAROG that focuses on social interaction, diplomacy and both the mechanical and cultural aspects of religious practice, the alignment, in some ways, IS the game.
I’ve said before that MYFAROG is an incredible world bogged down by some cumbersome stat-based rules. If I had to recommend a way to play a rules-lite “introduction” to MYFAROG, instead of discarding the non-mechanical optional rules, create characters using ONLY the the rules regarding Culture, World-view, and Alignment. Play around in the world of Thule a bit, exploring the motives and means of its inhabitants. Use some simple proxy system for combat until you decide that you want to get into the system’s crunchier aspects.