I’ve recently read God Emperor of Dune for the first time and was struck by how much Leto II resembles a sorcerer king. His change from human to something more monstrous. His 3500 years of life. His periodic animalistic rages. I’m curious if he was perhaps an example the creators used as inspiration. Thoughts?
There are certainly Dune influences in Athas. The motivations of Leto are vastly different to the SKs though - I can’t recall which book reveals it so I won’t spoil it, but what Leto does is for the benefit of humanity, not himself, the exact opposite of what the SKs do.
You make a good point. Leto’s golden path was in his mind the only way to protect humanity from itself. While the SKs just couldnt care less about the survival of their people if they tried.
That’s debatable. Nibenay decided to start caring for day-to-day management of his city after the Pentad. And Kurn is a total redemption arc.
Leto II could also be good inspiration for an Avangion that isn’t objectively the good guy, but rather takes a more utilitarian view on helping Athas. That gives the PCs an immortal that can serve just as easily as their friend or foe depending on the characters they’re playing.
If I recall, Avangions are even described somewhere as being somewhat of a lawful good paragon, which can be just as damaging as a cackling evil SM.
I’d love to see that reference. As far as i recall, Avangiond only need to be good preservers. Their write-up in Dragon Kings doesn’t even specifically require them to be good.
I believe Freysi might be referring to the line in dragon kings that says a fully metamorphosed Avangion is a focused change for good on Athas.
That might be it, but I have such a strong memory of reading a passage that suggested that avangions could possibly fall into the category of a force for good which might become blind to their effects, due to the distance from their core humanity. I.e. focusing more on the greater good rather than the individual good. Classic example of sacrificing hundreds of innocents to save the entire world.
But I can’t find it. I’ll keep searching. I might have just dreamt it.
I’ve always said an Avangion may be aligned good but nothing says they must be kind. Like Leto they might take the persona of the stern father. Perhaps even being supremely cruel when necessary.
After all future generations recalled Leto as both a tyrant and as Shaitan. So ruler/tyrant/god/demon all rolled into one being. The same could be said of most SK even Oronis. The big difference is motivation. Yes the SK preserve their city states and populace but with the exception of Oronis it’s certainly not out of any sense of duty to the survival of civilization. Most I believe would sacrifice everything they had guarded if it was required to save themselves. Even Oronis might if he were to believe he was needed alive to rebuild another paradise somewhere.
I’m ok with “which can be just as damaging as a cackling evil SM.” Extremes of alignment can be trouble and catalysts for change, which can be ‘not-fun’ even if they cause a general change for the good of all.
“Avangions are even described somewhere as being somewhat of a lawful good paragon” this feels less specifically true. They have to be preserves and i think preservers must be good, but anything more then that sounds like head-connon or house rules to me.
In DK under the steps needed at each level, there’s reference to needing to assemble Good aligned NPCs and at some levels receive gifts from Good-aligned allies. At the later levels, you need even more good companions to accompany you.
High (27th, 28th, and 29th levels): Unlike previous eve a advancements,
the preserver has no calling toward isolation at high levels, but instead
must collect a core group of companions, no fewer than eight in number
and of at least 10 levels or Hit Dice each. All the companions must be of
good alignment. The preserver must spend the preparation time with these
characters. The material components are a single gift from each of the
companions in the core group. During the casting of the spell, the preserver must have the aid of a single companion for the entire ceremony. If
the companion is not absolutely good, the spell fails and the companion is
slain in the release of failed magical energy. Companions cannot repeat the
process with a single preserver & new companions must be found for each
of 27th, 28th, and 29th levels.
Since psions can’t be chaotic, an avangion could feasibly be any non-chaotic alignment… as long as they meet those requirements… but a DM might make the call that since the higher level transformation requires the ally to be Good or fail, that it may also fail if the Avangion is not of the same requirement.
I mean, technically yes, you can have a non-good Avangion but it seems pretty clear that Avangions are meant to be good just as dragons are meant to be evil. The requirements for the Preserver Metamorphosis are so exacting, complicated, and based on selflessness that it seems very difficult to imagine that somebody could realistically achieve them while being neutral. (though whether or not either of the transformations can be realistically achieved at all without shortcuts is another discussion)
By the same token, per the rules, you can also have a fully metamorphosed dragon with a listed alignment as neutral, but I cannot think of any way that isn’t a tortured series of contrivances for such a thing to come about, given the basic requirements of the spells and the moral consequences of mass defiling.
Given the non-chaotic psion requirement, i grant that Avangions are basically/ practicality required to be LG.
Or NG or N. There’s room for some conflicted character roleplay there.
Sure, but I’ll handwave them running to that corner of the alignment chart.
NG? Absolutely. N?..that’s a hard sell.
True neutral would only be possible in my opinion if the prospective Avangion took an extremely large scale view of Athas itself and conclude the entire planet has been skewed to evil so to bring things back into a neutral balance they must unfailingly support good without actually being good itself.
Nothing against you, but I personally hate the “balance of good and evil” vibes from your post. Hated it in Greyhawk, hated it even more in Dragonlance. Good and Evil are not football teams.
I am in complete agreement with you with regards to the balance. It’s a simplistic view that I dont much care for. I prefer the idea of Unaligned neutral where a true neutral doesn’t limit themselves to morals when making decisions. Usually I like it in the context of Druid circles with their drive to protect the natural world and on Athas their loyalty to the guarded lands.