Li Po's Guide to Arborea
Living the Chaotic Good Alignment
Including Why Choose Law?

If the gods are not good, then they are not gods.
        -- Euripides

Love knows no order.

        -- Saint Jerome

Much madness is divinest sense.

        -- Emily Dickinson

It's pretty clear now that what looked like it might have been some kind of counterculture is, in reality, just the plain old chaos of undifferentiated weirdness.
        -- Jerry Garcia

Carlyle once said of Tennyson, "Alfred is always carrying a bit of chaos around with him, and turning it into cosmos." Well, that is poetry's job. And it is amazingly like the enterprise of life.

        -- John Livingstone Lowes

Li Po, the gentle cleric of peace, welcomes you to Arborea. In TSR's wonderful "AD&D" / "Planescape" milieu, this is the spiritual realm where both Chaos and Goodness are strongly dominant over Law and Evil.

In his brilliant original conception of the outer planes, Gary Gygax drew on Michael Moorcock's cosmic myth of "Law" vs. "Chaos". Even if you do not profess lawful alignment, please respect TSR's copyrights for all its material. Only if we as individuals decide to do this will such creativity be able to flourish. And what's more -- it's what's good.

The Outer Planes of Chaotic Good are variously called Olympus, or Arborea, or perhaps Woodstock. They constitute universes of unstructured delights, rowdy and boisterous living, wild beauty, and holy dreams. Sometimes indescribable, always badly administered, but utterly splendid and mostly safe. The best food in the multiverse grows in abundance here, and even visitors from the city can live indefinitely off the land with little difficulty. The terrain is extremely rugged, and distances between points of interest are immense. The weather is usually pleasant, but can be violent, and lightning and hailstorms can be dangerous. Some say that the weather will always stop just short of killing or permanently injuring anyone.

These universes are the spiritual home of all those who were solely dedicated to promoting the freedom and happiness of all decent creatures. Emotions of every sort run strong, and players need to ham it up while their characters are visiting these planes. If the players don't role-play, make a wisdom check or exhibit the expected emotion. Good acting earns bonus experience points.

The planes are full of retirement centers for creatures from world folklore. Clergy, especially those based on this plane, may continue to revere them as ideals.

A favorite motto on the planes of Arborea is, "Thou shalt not hassle." Another is "Commit acts of random kindness and senseless beauty." All wrongdoing is dealt with by vigilantes.

Visitors will discover that their deeds, good and bad, are widely known. The good creatures living on these planes never make war on one another. The spiritual powers are generally good company and have a sense of humor. The locals are very rowdy and love to party and bicker. But most of them will go out of their way to help you. Faith communities tend to gather informally, and places of worship are usually simple shrines that may be found anywhere. Group religious services, if any, are loosely-structured. Some of the locals, including some of the spirits of the dead, choose to become bacchae, wine mystics who can be destructive. Nature spirits are very common, and they will assume visible form and confront anyone tampering seriously with nature. If the misbehavior continues, they will try to kill the offender.

The "Society of Sensation" philosophic sect, which seeks varied experiences ("I'll try it!"), has its headquarters here, in a marble palace where the richest of wholesome pleasures abound. Most Sensates strive to produce and experience the best. The Children of the Vine sub-sect believes in indulging every whim, and treating all impulses with equal seriousness.

Primitives will find friendly creatures from their mythologies. Public portals between the layers and to remote planes may take any beautiful form.

Olympus is a universe that includes Greek and Elf heavens, the homes of the good Titans, the Tethys sea of holy water, steep mountains, and huge trees. Mt. Olympus has its apex here, and all creatures from Greek mythology are common here, regardless of alignment. Grapes and wild wheat grow in profusion in Greek territory, and the forests have been largely cultivated. The retired Greek "gods" still like to interfere with mortals, using them as pawns. Only those who have supported the sects can find the temples. The tinker-gnome heaven is here, centered around Hephaestus's workshop. Many areas are administered (but never created or controlled) by one or more titans, the benevolent giants with varying abilities. In the Greek territory, the town of Arkanos is home-base for women-warriors, Polykeptolon caters to philosophers and scientists and is favored by the Guvnurs, and Thalassia is a fishing city. Thrassos is a Greek city-state with a democratic government. The realm of "Brightwater" is an entirely urban realm of swashbucklers, gamblers, glitz, and beautiful people, and is the center for the cults of "Sune", "Llira", and "Tymora" (joy, passion, and luck). People come here to gamble, party, hear music, and have casual sex. Anyone's word given in "Brightwater" is completely binding. The elves are reclusive, and have no large cities but many small settlements in the forests, which remain largely untouched. There are ruins of giantish cities from before the elf occupation. Aarakocra heaven is at the border of the elf terrain, and is filled with clouds, flying islands, and trees. There are numerous gateways between elf heaven and Alfheim, the domain of the less-good elves in Ysgard. The Chinese Weaver Queen wanders among herds of bariaur, tending her sheep and silkworms and looking after unlucky lovers. The magic pool "Evergold", with waters that enhance charisma (20%, round up) for a year, travels among the cult headquarters of Hanali Celanil, Aphrodite, Sune, and Freya. A sparkling sea is home for the aquatic elves. The gateway to Sylvania stands in a blasted forest that was the former home of Lolth. A non-elf entering elf heaven must check vs. wisdom or be overcome by the beauty for a number of weeks equal to the difference, acting like an elf and doing nothing purposeful. This plane is a common location for the headquarters of good ministries devoted to freedom. Brilliant emerald-green pools reaching into the astral appear at random and can be moved by viewers. Portals to the Outlands, the Beastlands or Ysgard are often various natural arches, and they are guarded by the nature-spirits.

Since the ancient Greeks prayed to the Olympians for help, referees might reasonably consider all the gods of Olympus to be good-aligned or at least good-tending. As clerics who serve the world of the living and oversee the dead going to their just rewards, all grant healing powers and the power to drive away the undead. Clerics of a particular "god" will get good reactions from those to whom their sect typically ministers. Perhaps the domain spell slot could be filled each day by some spell appropriate to the ministry, it being the player's task to justify this to the referee. Allowing a cleric of Zeus to "call lightning" using the domain slot is only the most obvious idea. Referees and could design abilities (spells, feats, special skills) reflecting the ministry's special focus. These might be handled (as on Toril) as prestige classes, with the cleric continuing to progress as a spellcaster but foregoing progress "turning the undead" in favor of a choice of special abilities from a list pertaining to the particular Olympian. Evil Greek-mythology clerics serve the Titans (the enemies of the Olympian pantheon), or else the lawful-evil ideals of the foreign tyrannies and slave-lords, or else evil chthonic beings. Other Greek-mythology clerics might serve various local and nature spirits. Those of the city (which we know better from Roman literature) might be lawful neutral. Those of the countryside might be true neutral. Those of the far wilderness might be chaotic neutral.

    Aphrodite (NG, chaotic-tending) deals with romantic love, and with artists. Good; consider assigning other domains and special abilities involving love and beauty. Consider in place of domain abilities +4 on all charisma-based skill checks with the opposite gender of one's own species. Consider taking these feats, either normally, as bonuses, or in exchange for domain abilities: subduing strike, nonlethal substitution

      Fourth Edition: Charisma is highest score. Consider multiclassing as an ardent, and/or substituting some ardent abilities for clerical abilities. Powers that charm, confuse or stun. Training in bluff, diplomacy, insight. Domains of life and love. All Olympians are Lawful Good

    Apollo (NG, chaotic-tending) cares for musicians, archers, athletes, and healers. Good, healing, war, sun, knowledge, strength. Consider allowing any one bard class skill to be a clerical class skill. Consider allowing use of the bow without requiring an additional feat. Consider offering some bardic skill in place for domain abilities. Consider making "Perform" a class skill. Consider taking these feats, either normally, as bonuses, or in exchange for domain abilities: athletic, all feats involving archery

      Fourth Edition: Powers that use radiance, poison / charm enemies, heal friends. Consider multiclassing as a bard, and/or substituting some bard abilities for clerical abilities. Apollo was an archer more than a swordsman, but a famous healer, so paladin might be another choice. Training in athletics, heal, perception. Domains of knowledge, skill, sun. All Olympians are Lawful Good

    Ares (NG) takes care of foot soldiers. Good, protection, war, protection, strength. Consider allowing any one fighter class skill to be a clerical class skill. Consider allowing +4 on all charisma-based skill checks with all non-evil professional military. Consider taking these feats, either normally, as bonuses, or in exchange for domain abilities: all feats involving melee combat, toughness

      Fourth Edition: Strength is highest score. Powers that use weapons / cause fear. Consider multiclassing as a fighter, and/or substituting some fighter abilities for clerical abilities. Paladin seems less appropriate as Ares does not seem to have been a healer. Training in athletics, endurance, intimidate. Domains of life, protection, strength, war. All Olympians are Lawful Good

    Artemis (NG) cares for single women, young people, hunters, and wild animals. She was identified as moon-goddess, and in another aspect as goddess of magic. You can enjoy trying to sort out devotion to her and devotion to Hecate. Good, healing, protection, animal, magic. Consider allowing any one druid class skill to be a clerical class skill. Consider allowing +4 on all charisma-based skill checks with animals. Consider taking these feats, either normally, as bonuses, or in exchange for domain abilities: animal affinity, track, all feats involving archery, skill focus knowledge (nature)

      Fourth Edition: Consider learning to use ranged missile weapons. Consider multiclassing as a ranger, mage, sorcerer, or seeker, and/or substituting some ranger, mage, sorcerer or seeker abilities for clerical abilities. Training in arcana, nature, perception. Domains of arcana, life, moon, nature. All Olympians are Lawful Good

    Athena (LG) cares for government, thinkers, weavers, and military strategists. In what may be her most important legend, Athena replaced the vengeance of the chthonic Furies by the rule of Law. Consider +4 on all charisma-based skill checks with all non-evil government types. Good, law, community, knowledge, war. Consider allowing "listen" and "spot" to be class skills. Consider taking these feats, either normally, as bonuses, or in exchange for domain abilities: iron will, toughness, skill focus knowledge (politics), skill focus craft

      Fourth Edition: Powers that use weapons. Consider multiclassing as a paladin, warlord or artificer, and/or substituting some paladin, warlord or artificer abilities for clerical abilities. Training in diplomacy, history, insight, perception. Domains of civilization, creation, freedom, life, justice, war. All Olympians are Lawful Good

    Demeter (NG) cares for farmers. Good, animal, plant, earth, healing. Consider making survival a class skill. Consider +4 on all charisma-based skill checks with non-evil farmers. Consider taking these feats, either normally, as bonuses, or in exchange for domain abilities: skill focus knowledge (nature), skill focus profession (farmer)

      Fourth Edition: Powers that heal. Consider multiclassing as a druid, and/or substituting some druid abilities for clerical abilities. Training in endurance, heal, nature. Domains of life, nature, wilderness. All Olympians are Lawful Good

    Dionysus (CG) deals with wine, festivities, and mystics. Good, chaos, madness. Consider making "perform" a class skill. Consider +4 on all charisma-based skill checks with adolescents. Consider taking these feats, either normally, as bonuses, or in exchange for domain abilities: skill focus (perform), skill focus (craft -- brewing)

      Fourth Edition: Powers that confuse or stun. Consider multiclassing as an ardent, and/or substituting some ardent abilities for clerical abilities. Training in bluff, diplomacy, nature. Domains of life, madness. All Olympians are Lawful Good

    Hades (NG) cares for the dying and the dead. Good, death, earth. Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades had joint responsibility for the dry land. Consider +4 on saves vs. charms and mental control. Consider taking these feats, either normally, as bonuses, or in exchange for domain abilities: extra turning, exalted turning.

      Fourth Edition: Powers that damage with cold, force or necrosis. Consider multiclassing as an assassin/executioner, and/or substituting some assassin/executioner abilities for clerical abilities. Training in dungeoneering, endurance, intimidate. Domains of death, earth, winter. All Olympians are Lawful Good

    Hephaestus (NG) cares for those who work in the trades or with fire. Good, creation, fire. Consider a minor bonus on saves / damage reduction for fire. Consider +4 on all charisma-based skill checks with all non-evil fire-based creatures. Consider taking these feats, either normally, as bonuses, or in exchange for domain abilities: diligence, skill focus craft

      Fourth Edition: Powers that use fire. Consider multiclassing as an artificer or runepriest, and/or substituting some artificer or runepriest abilities for clerical abilities. Training in athletics, endurance. Domains of creation, life, skill. All Olympians are Lawful Good

    Hera (NG) cares for married women. Good, protection, community. Consider +2 on all "diplomacy" and "sense motive" checks. Consider taking these feats, either normally, as bonuses, or in exchange for domain abilities: iron will, toughness

      Fourth Edition: Powers that dominate or control. Consider multiclassing as an ardent, and/or substituting some ardent abilities for clerical abilities. Training in endurance, history, insight, perception. Domains of hope, life, protection. All Olympians are Lawful Good.

    Hermes (NG) cares for merchants, travellers, and diplomats. Good, travel, luck, trickery. Consider making any one rogue skill a cleric class skill. Consider taking these feats, either normally, as bonuses, or in exchange for domain abilities: alertness, deft hands, run, deceitful, stealthy, negotiator

      Fourth Edition: Powers that allow fast movement or flight. Consider multiclassing as a rogue, and/or substituting some rogue abilities for clerical abilities. Training in acrobatics, bluff, diplomacy, stealth, streetwise, thievery. Domains of life, luck, trickery. All Olympians are Lawful Good

    Hestia (LG) cares for families. She is so holy that there are no myths about her. Good, law, community, protection. Consider +2 on all saves vs. magic. Consider +4 on all charisma-based skill checks with children and homemakers. Consider taking these feats, either normally, as bonuses, or in exchange for domain abilities: great fortitude, skill focus knowledge (religion)

      Fourth Edition: Powers that protect. Consider multiclassing as an ardent, and/or substituting some ardent abilities for clerical abilities. Training in diplomacy, endurance, heal, history. Domains of civilization, hope, life, protection. All Olympians are Lawful Good

    Poseidon (NG) helps sailors and those working with horses. Consider +4 on all charisma-based skill checks with creatures of the aquatic subtype. Consider +2 on ride and handle-animal checks for horses. Good, earth, water, animal, travel. Consider making "swim" and "rope use" class skills. "Earthquake" is enhanced. Consider taking these feats, either normally, as bonuses, or in exchange for domain abilities: iron will. Consider making trident use a free ability, allowing spells that enchant tridents or summon a cyclops.

      Fourth Edition: Powers that use force, cold. Consider multiclassing as a barbarian, and/or substituting some barbarian abilities for clerical abilities. Consider +4 on swim checks, and a background in seafaring. Training in dungeoneering, endurance, intimidate, nature. Domains of earth, life, sea. All Olympians are Lawful Good

    Zeus (NG) oversees the cosmos, the sky, and ultimately all of human affairs. Good, community, healing, protection, creation, strength, air. Consider allowing any single non-cleric skill to be a class skill. Consider +4 on all charisma-based skill checks with non-evil air creatures, +1 on all charisma-based skill checks with all other non-evil creatures. Consider taking these feats, either normally, as bonuses, or in exchange for domain abilities: Any feat.

      Fourth Edition: Powers that use force, lightning, radiance, sound. Consider allowing bardic versatility with respect to multiclassing. Training in dungeoneering, endurance, intimidate, perception. Domains of earth, life, storm. All Olympians are Lawful Good

Ossa is a universe of shallow seas with islands. Each inhabitant owns an island, and can express his or her imagination freely here. Many artists and lovers of beauty have their spiritual headquarters here. The Comrades of the Waves have their headquarters here. Never-Never-Land, with its pirates, Indians, and good children enjoying eternal youth, is probably here. "Caletto" is a sparkling realm of ocean marvels governed by the retired Greek "god" Poseidon. Elshava is a seaport built like a chambered nautilus, floating in a monster-infested ocean.

Pelion is a disintegrating universe of pretty dust, party leftovers, and beautiful ruins. This is the spiritual home of all good intentions that came to nothing. The Champions of Freedom have their headquarters here. ("Live by chance, love by choice, and be good to whomever God has placed in your path." "If we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable." "People will never stop committing atrocities until they stop believing absurdities.") "Amun-Thys" is an Egyptian desert, filled with wealthy or once-wealthy tombs. The cult dedicated to "Nephthys", beloved of the Mad Egyptian, has its headquarters here. All magic pertaining to wealth, sleep, and death is very strong here. Costume jewelry and trinkets appear like great treasures in this realm. Here you may find herds of opinicus. A group of Athasian elves is rumored to live in the desert.

Spell alterations in Arborea: Conjuration-summoning spells bring the nature spirits. Don't even think of trying to call some evil creature, or the Furies will come and attack you. Divination requires props, as in the classical cults, and this increases casting time by a round. "Charm" and related spells get a penalty of -4 on saves, and all emotion spells get double duration, but on a check of natural 17-20, the target gets very angry with +2 on attacks and damage rolls, usually attacking until he or she takes damage. (Perhaps a spell key would protect the caster from this effect.) Nasty necromancy doesn't work in most places. In Greek territory, nasty necromancy works for wizards, and it requires a blood offering to Hecate or a gift to the children that her cult protects. In elf territory, only magicians devoted to Labelas or Corellon can use any necromantic spells, and they have only 10% chance per level. "Raise dead" and "Resurrection" are impossible in elf territory. Elemental magics must be keyed, except for air magics in elf territory and water magics in Ossa. Other uses of keys to overcome effects unique to Arborea seem unlikely.

Wizardly spell keys are some harmless offering to the nature spirits. "Conjuration" spells require a bit of food, a carving, or a few words in the appropriate language. "Charm" spells require a kind word, smile, or joke. "Divination" spells need something of value. "Elemental" spells require a gift of the opposite element. Power keys given to clergy are typically one-adventure-only items, and tend to be cult symbols or pretty things from nature.

Third edition "Manual of the Planes" focuses primarily on simplifying and encouraging individual campaign creativity. Ideas include:

  • The suggested color for pools from the astral is sapphire. Ethereal curtains might be bright blue.
  • The dead are immune to electricity and poison, have cold resistance 20 and fire resistance 20, and have damage reduction 10/+1.
  • The plane is "mildly good-aligned" and "mildly chaos-aligned". Lawful and evil creatures have -2 (adding as necessary) on charisma checks.
  • I respectfully suggest that Arborea be regarded as thoroughly good and thoroughly chaotic. These effects would be cumulative

      -1 on all intelligence, wisdom, and charisma checks for all non-good, non-evil creatures
      -2 on all intelligence, wisdom, and charisma checks for all evil creatures
      -1 on all intelligence, wisdom, and charisma checks for all non-lawful, non-chaotic creatures
      -2 on all intelligence, wisdom, and charisma checks for all lawful creatures
      Good-based (non-lawful) spells work as if caster were 4 levels higher.
      Evil-based spells simply fail.
      Law-based spells simply fail.
      Chaos-based (non-evil) spells work as if caster were 4 levels higher.

    The Fourth Edition removed the Chaotic Good alignment, probably because it is confusing and makes playing the game harder. The Elvish regions of Arborea survive as Arvandor, a region surrounded by "rolling dark-green mist". "The chaotic-good elvish pantheon" of the previous editions lives here. is now represented by Corellon Larethian and Sehanine Moonbow. According to the Manual of the Planes (page 90): "Although neither is truly good, they dislike cruelty and wickedness, and evil creatures find no refuge in Arvandor." The upper-realms race is now the "ruesti", blessed souls of elves and eladrin who have lived well. Pelion is now "Shom, the white desert". Those passing through its "brilliant blue aurora" discover ruins of a once-beautiful world, dangerous to explore. The nicer areas of the Feywild also recall Arborea. We await a Greek Mythology supplement. A campaign theme to rediscover the chaotic good alignment might appeal to older gamers who remember the Woodstock times. Peace and love.

    In keeping with the flexibility of the Third and Fourth Editions and the backgrounds of many players, perhaps Arborea is essentially a world where like-minded spirits meet. It looks and works like our own world, except that inhabitants and nature are far more wild, far more kindly, and far more splendid. NPC attitudes are typically "helpful" so long as visitor do not seem to be intolerant or to intend harm. In the third edition, the eladrin of Arborea are a non-human (or perhaps formerly-human), angelic race devoted to promoting the community's ideals among the living by encouragement and subtlety, rather than by force. The Ruesti invite development for individual campaigns. The dead find communities matching their own ideals and interests, and continue to live much as they did on earth, though no longer able to visit the Prime Plane.

    Instead of the "gods" of polytheism, each living Chaotic Good divine spellcaster is sponsored (and monitored) by a prayer fellowship with similar interests based on Arborea. For the fourth edition, I suggest no penalties for divine spellcasters from elsewhere. For earlier editions, I respectfully suggest that the only penalty for such a cleric on a differently-aligned outer plane is the loss of one spell of the highest available level for each plane removed, with the Outlands two planes from Mechanus, Elysium, Limbo, and the Gray Waste. When one level is depleted, spells of the next highest level are lost. Thus a cleric sponsored from Arborea would lose one spell on the Beastlands or Ysgard, and eight spells in Baator. Moving to the Outlands loses four spells.

    A world where people are people can successfully live out hippie dreams, and where innate human goodness allows a decent, safe society without the rule of law would be as weird and beautiful as any rules-intensive world ever visited by adventurers.

Referees might not want players to realize that they have entered Woodstock or its environs. Depending on the site of arrival, visitors might simply recognize a world of wild magnificence where the people act out the "random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty" philosophy.

A Model Chaotic-Good Ministry
The Champions of Freedom

The Champions of Freedom are paramilitary clerics and laity dedicated to freeing captives and slaves by any means. They excel equally as guerilla raiders and as the best helpers of prisoners and newly-released offenders. They never work with bureaucracies or politicians. They may use any armor or weapons, but use non-lethal combat whenever possible, and have no "to hit" penalties when using it. They can use any weapon in this way, for half damage, which counts as subdual. If they take a prisoner, he or she must be treated well and ransomed or released soon. Worship, if any, if spontaneous and unstructured. Mottoes include:

  • Live by chance, love by choice, and be kind to whoever you meet on your walk through life.

  • If we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable. (-- Jack Kennedy)

  • People will never stop committing atrocities until they stop believing absurdities. (-- Voltaire)

Ask Champions of Freedom to take you to their leader, and they will laugh at you. They'll invite you simply to declare yourself a member. If you have clerical aptitude and devote substantial effort to them, you'll develop their clerical abilities. They are not noted for planning or discretion. Misbehavior results in penalties in combat. They are friendly with other chaotic good clergy, especially Grayhawk's "Tritherion" sect. The life of an adventuring Champion of Freedom is meaningful, satisfying, exhilarating, and often short. Most people either love the Champions of Freedom, or hate them.

"Evoke Virtue", a trademark first-level spell delivered by touch, makes the recipient desire the freedom of others for one hour per level. A saving throw applies, and the referee must decide the actual results. "Hold Person" is a favorite combat spell, since it disables without hurting. "Spiritual Hammer" delivers pure subdual damage. Champions of Freedom consider charm, undeath, lycanthropy, and petrification to be unnatural confinements, and can deal with these conditions by magic. Since promoting freedom may take them into unusual places, they also have magic to adapt to environments and travel the planes. These clerics turn the undead as do other good clergy. Almost all are Chaotic Good. Planar members often join the Free League, though a few prefer the Godsfolk (freedom to grow) or the Athar (freedom from religion). A few may be Neutral Good or Chaotic Neutral, and these often become Ciphers.

First Level Spell Choices: Bless, Cause Fear, Command, Comprehend Languages, Create Water, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Disease, Detect Evil, Detect Good, Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Endure Cold, Endure Heat, Evoke Virtue, Light, Purify Good and Drink, Remove Fear, Sanctuary

Second Level Spell Choices: Augury, Charm Person or Mammal, Detect Charm, Find Traps, Hold Person, Knock, Know Alignment, Resist Cold, Resist Fire, Silence 15' Radius, Snake Charm, Spiritual Hammer, Undetectable Alignment

Third Level Spell Choices: Bestow Curse (free all captives), Continual Light, Create Food and Water, Cure Blindness or Deafness, Cure Disease, Dispel Magic, Feign Death, Glyph of Warding, Locate Object, Negative Plane Protection, Protection from Cold, Protection from Fire, Remove Curse, Remove Paralysis, Speak with Dead, Suggestion, Ward Against Undead

Fourth Level Spell Choices: Abjure, Cure Feeblemind, Cure Insanity, Cure Serious Wounds, Detect Lie, Divination, Emotion -- Courage, Emotion -- Hope, Free Action, Neutralize Poison, Plane Adaptation (one plane), Tongues

Fifth Level Spell Choices: Adaptation (any environment), Atonement, Commune, Cure Critical Wound, Dispel Evil, Hold Monster, Mace of Disruption (as DMG item, 4R+1/level), Passwall, Plane Shift, Quest/Reward Quest, Raise Dead, True Seeing

Sixth Level Spell Choices: Cure Lycanthropy ("Monstrous Manual"), Heal, Remove Barrier (any magical wall), Restore Youth ("Tome of Magic"), Speak with Monsters, Stone to Flesh, Word of Recall

Seventh Level Spell Choices: Astral Spell, Disrupt Undead (save vs. HD, standard spell range), Freedom (reverse "Imprisonment"), Holy Word, Regeneration, Restoration, Resurrection, Symbol of Persuasion

For the Third Edition:

    As clerics. Must be CG, CN, or NG.

    No use of evil or law spells, or those that injure or physically disable. Domain slots fillable by any spells ordinarily available.

    Spell choices also include (First level) Evoke virtue (as above); (Second level) Charm person; (Third level) Bestow curse (free all captives), Suggestion; (Fourth level) Emotion -- courage, Emotion -- hope; (Fifth level) Hold monster, Mace of disruption, Passwall; (Sixth level) Cure lycanthropy, Remove barrier (any magical wall), Stone to flesh; (Ninth level) Freedom (reverse "Imprisonment");

    Class skills also include balance, climb, escape artist, jump, open locks, swim, and use rope.

    Use of nonlethal combat techniques is very important. Consider taking feats from "The Book of Exalted Deeds" that make this possible. If using a weapon that ordinarily delivers lethal damage, the Champion of Freedom must strike at -4 to hit to deliver full damage as subdual, or at no penalty to hit but only half damage.

    Thankfully, nonlethal combat no longer carries penalties in the fourth edition. The Champions of Freedom are famous for allowing evildoers second chances.


Why Choose Law?

Without law, there can be no freedom.

        -- Goethe

In professing allegiance to Law rather than to Chaos, Li Po has decided that the cosmos ultimately makes sense. He is not comfortable on Arborea, despite the kindness and good intentions of most of the locals.

One who is of Neutral Good or True Neutral alignment, or who is focused on the original works by Michael Moorcock, might see Law and Chaos as the contrast between control and freedom, conformity and individuality, technology and primitivism, sterility and fertility, or tyranny and anarchy. But if these choices were what alignment is about, no one would choose "law" or "chaos" except as a reflection of personality and interests. And it would be hard to explain why these ideas still hold such appeal for adventure gamers.

In our world, people disagree fundamentally and irreconcilably over only a few questions. One question is whether we want others to be happy if it does not directly affect us. I think this must be what good alignment is all about.

Another question is whether we think the universe makes sense. Yesterday's existentialists, today's deconstructionists, and the mystagogues of all eras have said "No!" The scientists, technologists, legislators, and real humanitarians have almost all acted as if they say "Yes!"

As Li Po understands things, "Law" is what makes sense. Arbitrary statutes, oppression of the weak, stupid dogmas, and the dictates of powerful egomaniacs are not law. Creativity, imagination, romance, reform (even violent revolution), and a focus on the rights of individuals do not require chaos.

When we talk about a contemporary "chaotic society" (and we often do), we are talking either about the crime-ridden underclass communities where the economy is built on illegal services, or about the rule of warlords. The latter may have harsh judicial systems, but there is no real law, only the stability resulting from forceful personalities and petty local loyalties. In R.A. Salvatore's Menzoberrranzan, the brilliant realization of a chaotic drow society, there are formal legal proceedings but everybody knows they are a sham. In fact, the leadership of chaotic societies is far more harsh than that of lawful societies, since no one can count on people to be reasonable or predictable. And the same thing happens in chaotic homes.

Michael Moorcock's works popularized the law-chaos metaphysics for heroic fantasy. This is mirrored both in the diversity of the worlds that his characters explore, and the attitudes of his characters and their societies. His Melnibonean nation, dominated by his conception of chaos, is tyrannical and uncreative. His new lands, where law is powerful, are filled with people working together for opportunity, creativity, and freedom.

Li Po sees chaos mirrored in Arborea, despite the concern that the locals have for the health and happiness of others.

Olympus was the home of the Greek gods and goddesses. Their storied disputes, capriciousness, and unreasonable behavior scandalized Greece's philosophers. Aeschylus describes human beings simply forming on earth, and groping about in darkness and ignorance until Prometheus taught them the science, technology, and government, and gave them the power to hope for things they knew they could not comprehend. (Re-read "Prometheus Bound.") Today, the "Greek Gods" are mirrored in religions that portray a cruel, arbitrary, and unreasonable Supreme Being. This senselessness is the stuff of chaos.

Ossa, the sea where individuals express themselves in their private worlds, mirrors another face of chaos and senselessness in today's world. We hear a great deal from present-day philosophers about how we cannot really communicate with others, how science is ultimately only a system of self-referential discourse, and that there is no basis for preferring one idea to another. We also see people presenting "great art" that seems to mean nothing, or that "means anything you want it to mean." And "diversity" is strongly preferred over equal rewards for equal effort. Li Po hopes for something better.

Pelion, the pretty desert, is yet another face of chaos. People who seek to do good can actually accomplish something only when they work together, and when they try to think clearly, set rational priorities, and understand the causes of the evils they seek to correct. Individual crusades, and shouting and pouting, do and have done enormous harm. Likewise, I've seen only bad things happen when people intend to do good without either clear thinking or a work ethic. In a world of limited resources, random largesse merely causes instability, resentment, and non-productivity. Generosity without thoughtful planning leads to disaster. The group that toured the country in the late 1980's painting the phrase "Practice random acts of kindness and senseless beauty" chose this rather than reaching out a hand to the abused and neglected children in their own neighborhoods.

Li Po likes to be by himself, and is prone to rashness. But life has taught him that really good things get done only when people work together. Life without law is mean, unpleasant, and dangerous. Arborea, like the "Woodstock Nation", is a fantasy. Real freedom and opportunities for self-expression can happen only when there are clear, sensible rules that people understand. As people come to understand the real world, they realize this, and their behavior tends toward what AD&D has regarded as "lawful".

AD&D also ses law as bound up in the fundamental mystery of the cosmos. Li Po is impressed by the success of empirical science in enabling us to construct models of the universe that let us predict the results of our actions. He believes that the apparent chaos in our physical world merely represents unpredictability resulting from the magnification over time of tiny effects ("chaos theory"). The pseudo-random mutations that drive evolution represent the working-out of physics. Whether quantum indeterminacy is truly random, and whether our spiritual selves possess free will remain open questions. But the emergence of humankind, with all our goodness and capacity to love, resulted from the working out of natural laws under a multitudinous variety of circumstances.

Li Po knows this is ultimately a matter of faith. But the fact that the universe can be understood rationally reflects for him the goodness of its Creator, Whom to obey is to enjoy the greatest possible freedom.

This account is now down. Near-Death Experience -- At the end of the tunnel and light, there is "some sort of carnival. There was a big, fat guy in a paisley tie, smoking a huge cigar and laughing at me. I remember thinking to myself, 'Oh no, I went to the place where silly people go!'"

Avenging Angel -- powerful fan fiction about an eladrin hero.

Final Note

Unity of the Rings -- comic book art

Gamers for Christ -- news group

The Alignment Planes

The Abyss -- Chaotic Evil
Acheron -- Lawful, Evil Tendencies
Arborea -- Chaotic Good
Arcadia -- Lawful, Good Tendencies
Baator -- Lawful Evil
The Beastlands -- Good, Chaotic Tendencies
Bytopia -- Good, Lawful Tendencies
Carceri -- Evil, Chaotic Tendencies
Elysium -- Neutral Good
Gehenna -- Evil, Lawful Tendencies
The Gray Waste -- Neutral Evil
Limbo -- Chaotic Neutral
Mechanus -- Lawful Neutral
Mount Celestia -- Lawful Good
The Outlands -- True Neutral
Pandemonium -- Chaotic, Evil Tendencies
Ysgard -- Chaotic, Good Tendencies
The Inner Planes
What "Planescape" could be
AD&D and the Religious Right
Li Po's Hermitage (character generators, more)
Background by Ed


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