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Does Alignment Really Matter in D&D 5e?

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

This article was transcribed from this video:

Alignment in role-playing games can be a useful tool for developing a character or it can be an unnecessary and limiting factor in character creation.

Alignment can be seen as a form of "training wheels" for players who are just starting out and a way to help players figure out what their character would do in certain situations. Once a player has a good understanding of their character, they should be able to go beyond their alignment and figure things out for themselves.

On the other hand, alignment can be seen as more of a guidepost for players to check in on occasionally. With this mindset, alignments should not be seen as a permanent part of a character, but rather a way to check if the character is staying true to who they are. No character should fit perfectly into one alignment, as they usually have elements of multiple alignments.

One thing to note is alignment can change over time as the character develops, but it should be a meaningful and deliberate story beat and not just an arbitrary decision because the player wants to play a different type of character. However, alignments can be ignored in some campaigns, especially if the players are more focused on creating their own story and not following a predetermined plot.

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