None of the gods or powers have alignments
Jerry says: There are levels of "freedom" with regard to alignment of beings.
Lowest Level: Monsters. The lowest level of alignment "freedom" is monsters. Most are born [this is included in Woldian history, not just assumed from various incarnations of the Monster Manuals] with a fixed alignment. Sure, there can be exceptions to the rule, but for 99.9% of monsters, they are BORN with a certain alignment. They have no choice of how they behave.
Middle Level: Noble and Ignoble Races. These creatures have their alignment set by their behavior. Their alignment can change after a time if their behavior changes. If a Lawful Good Priest chooses to murder his superior, he has committed an evil act. It is probably enough to make him into a lawful evil being. Later after years of incarceration, he repents and his alignment begins to creep step by step back to good.
High Level: Gods, Powers, and immortals. It is beyond the ken of mortals to understand the motivations of gods. They do something and mortals call it good or evil, but how can they know with the complications of a gods life and all the nuances of all the repercussions of an action constantly upon the minds of a god with his/her vast intelligence. They are beyond mere alignment. This one is hard to understand, but it makes our gods more than just "higher powered" PCs. There has to be something above our ability to understand. Otherwise, why would people "worship" them? Guide their lives around them and ask for such guidance and revelations? Petition them for help when trouble comes? They have much in common with mortals and thus can communicate with mortals effectively, but that creates the feeling among mortals that gods are just more powerful and don't die--all else is just the same.
Most PCs couldn't worship something like that. There has to be a sense of...godliness. Not to the level of our real life "God" here on earth. I couldn't make our game into something like that. It would go against my personal beliefs. Yet, there needs to be some sort of elevation of awareness, spirituality, and complication that goes beyond what mortals can truly understand.
One way to reflect this is to not list alignments for gods. We will and DO offer hints as to the moral makeup of our gods.
This also follows our belief that all Woldian characters have to be good. They do NOT have to list an alignment more restrictive than that. I recently told a player of a paladin in my local group that I didn't need him to be lawful good. However, as a paladin follows a set of tenets that must be followed, I wanted a list of the tenets that he chose to follow. They might include abstinence, no strong drink, never torturing a captive, undead must always die, etc.
Ezra says: The only 'bad' deity seems to be Ga'al. So how are the other gods antagonists for the heroes to work against and overcome?
Jerry says: Ga'al is not even the worst of the "bad" gods. I'd list Marteaus as much further along that continuum. He destroyed the Wold after all. Jancassis is too, just more specialized dealing with revenge and hatred. I'd say that all the Gods of Testing exist on the "evil" side of the alignment continuum to a certain extent. Even Gargul in his ruthlessness.
Kent says: I always have played the Culverwood as CN, so I would agree with you there.
Jerry says: Yes, and notice how the temperment of Culverwood changed during the Dark Fey Rising crossover event. With the awakening of Ebyeron happening in Culverwood, the forest became more chaotic, and vengeful than normal.
Stephen F says: It's not some great weakness to abide to an alignment. It's not some great godlike boon to be free of alignment. It means you have a set of moral values that you live by, which the gods are supposed to have. Having no alignment means they're bipolar schizophrenics to the extreme!
Jerry says: I agree that is it not some great weakness to abide by an alignment. However it is not a "great godlike boon" to be forced to have an alignment either.
Stephen says: Do we really want Alemi capable of thoughtless acts of pure blackest evil with no remorse for the consequences? Why would a good cleric want to worship such a beast?
Jerry says: So you want to worship [note the word worship] and spend your life living for a god that HAS laws he MUST abide by? That doesn't sound like something to worship. To pray to. To pour out your heart to. Faith does that, not rules that gods must live by. And faith is created by a sense of mystery and the unknown. Mortals can't understand the FULLNESS of the mind/being of a god. A god proves his worthiness for worship by how he acts. However, this doesn't mean he has to have an alignment. You are assuming that without that mechanism of "alignment" applying to our gods, that you can't know them or know what they believe.
One other point here is that the gods were indeed created by a lesser being [mortal level] known as the Jericho. They were given one command: care for and preserve the people of the Wold. Note that the Gods of Yore were given a mostly opposite directive: Protect the planet from outside forces, but do NOT interfere in any way with the people nor interact with them. [See creations stories.] Now granted--Marteaus didn't follow this command in any but a warped definition of the term "preserve." At the time, Anthony and I had a major debate about whether Marteaus should remain after the Year of Ascension crossover event.
Stephen K says: Then look at the Immortals. Eberyon is uninhibited Nature. The Wild. While agreed to atone, and curbed a little, he didn't agree to become a kitten. There is natural conflict between Civilization and Nature.
Jerry says: Don't forget that there are three levels here: Gods, Powers, Immortals. Eberyon [and I think that's the correct spelling] though I'm just a mortal--I suggest asking Eberyon. :)] is a power. I'd say he is close to godhood and might even be a god still disguising himself as a power to prevent the repercussions of an unaligned god on the horizon. Who knows such things? ::grin::
The crones are immortals, but barely. They seem somehow to advance in rank through the group of five as they are listed to choose further disfigurements with each step. This is not described further, which is fine. Some things should remain a mystery.
Cayzle adds: Way back in 2002, Jerry, Anthony, and I, who were at the time the folks recreating our gods for D&D 3.0 use, decided that we would not pigeon-hole our gods by forcing them into alignments. We were at the time putting a lot of work into descriptions of each god's ethos and how their clerics act in society. We decided that we would not specify the alignments of the gods, nor would we require clerics to be a particular alignment. Specifically, we figured that if a player followed a god's ethos and strictures, the alignment would follow.
I still hold by that, lo these 11+ years later. Take a look at Ffloy:
Clerics in Society
Known as Brokers of Ffloy, these priests are more than mere merchants. They are the ones upon whom trade and commerce depend! These clerics are bankers and moneychangers, arbitrators, guildmasters, merchant association leaders, insurers, moneylenders, userers, tax collectors, lawyers, and so on. His clerics see to it that trade proceeds in a professional and smooth fashion, following rules and regulations. Some become adventurers planning each venture far ahead for maximum effectiveness. Wherever they are; however, they strive to teach about the effects of hard work and planning upon one's financial status and enjoyment of life. They strive to overthrow betting houses and casinos, working to outlaw such chaotic means of earning a living.'
"Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success." - Stephen A. Brennan
Is there really any question about the alignment of the god or his clerics? But officially, we do not specify. Clearly, the vast majority of Ffloy's followers are lawful. A few might be neutral. And if you as a player can successfully justify a chaotic cleric of Ffloy, then great!
Consider that we require ALL PCs to be good in alignment. I think that is limit enough. We do not need to specify other alignment restrictions.