Monday, April 11, 2016

Law & Chaos: A Different Take

Much of the OSR games I see focus on Law vs Chaos, which makes sense, since that battle takes place in a lot of the sword and sorcery books that inspired OD&D. In general, Law is good, or at least meshes well with the players and their livelihood. Chaos is more evil or at least at odds with the players and civilization. I've never really been compelled so much with the battles of Law vs Chaos, but I was recently thinking about how to flip this around to make Chaos more like the 'good guys'.

"Know this, prisoner of flesh, that in an age before the cosmic tyrants you call gods shackled all life to mortal slavery, there was an era of absolute freedom. Where all life in the universe was equal and unbound to explore the void and dance in the pale starlight for all eternity. Spirits knew not pain, sorrow, nor suffering. All was as it should be, the beauty and freedom of Chaos.

And then the Gods of Law came.

None know where they came from or where they got their power, but the Gods of Law began a campaign of creation and conquering. They made planes and worlds for their own pleasures and took delight in trapping poor souls into fragile vessels of muscle and bone. One by one, the hordes of spirits were flung from their celestial paradise into the lowly earth, forever trapped. With their ethereal forms locked away in a mortal body, the will of the spirits were broken.

But the Lords of Law were not done.

The Lords of Law split the mortals, all to keep them disorganized and shattered. They split them into different animals of a great hierarchy and made sentient creature lord over the creatures. They shattered the souls into different genders and scattered their soulmates across the world so that no mortal would ever know true serenity. All men were then broken again into different races and tribes so that they could never unify despite their differences. And lastly, all creatures were forced to suffer the curse of aging, where youth and age would forever be at a war. Where youth has the energy but lacks the experience, while age has the wisdom but lacks the physical faculties. And both age and youth are dismissed by those in the middle.

And then the gods gave these mortals gifts of life and civilization. Writing, religion, language, and wealth forced mortals to turn on each other out of greed and superiority. And with religion, the mortals were forced to worship, suffer, and toil for their robber barons until death, where they are then forced to serve the gods and their dark desires for all eternity. This is our life and our curse.

But it need not be this way.

The gods of Chaos that have been demonized by clerics are our only hope. By fighting the gods of Law, all life can be freed from the cage of civilization by them. All life can break the bonds of servitude to the Lords of Law and be free again. So, cousin, with your eyes opened to the truth, will you cast away your bonds to law and civilization and become a sovereign creature?"