I asked this question (What is D&D lore establishing Evil/Good = Dark/Light?) to gain some knowledge about D&D lore, mythology, arcana, tales, stories etc.within published D&D literature that provide context for the relationship between light and good, and also between dark and evil. I believe I have addressed the concerns stated in the reasons for the hold and in the comments. Those concerns were:

  • question not clear
  • added support for my claim that there are many instances of dark=evil or light=good in the 5e rulebooks

I have references from each of the 3 rulebooks for both dark=evil and for good=light. Currently I have added dark=evil from the PHB and DMG. I have the references from MM prepared and am compiling references for light=good from all three as well.

I'm not worried about downvotes, I'm more concerned with getting answers to what seems like an SE valid question.

One respondent, Miles Bedinger, has already supplied a suitable answer which is exactly what I was looking for. I would like either for this answer to be reopened so that others may see it and up/downvote the question or answers and so that any information missing from the current answer can be expanded on by another user.

If the question is currently not suitable for RPG SE, please explain why so I can clarify it.

How can the D&D lore question about evil/good and light/dark be reopened?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I suggest that you read this answer at SF&F about Shelob, evil, darkness, and light. one of the things about cultural carryover, archetypes, and tropes is how over a period of time they can become embedded cultural assumptions whose roots are not obvious until one peels back a lot of layers of onion skin. I don't yet have any of Barfield's stuff, I have Flieger's book (second edition) that is mentioned in the answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 22:20

2 Answers 2


It cannot, it is too broad. Questions here are designed to have a best answer, not lists or brainstorms. ‘Random lore about dark being bad’ is an unbounded list. Sorry, wanting to just learn more about a subject is laudable but does not fit our Q&A format.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This question is not about just wanting to learn more. That is an assumption on your part. I am working on a specific campaign and I need to know who the players are in this mythology in D&D. This is related to this question which I also posted yesterday: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/140604/how-to-gm-as-a-solar-npc \$\endgroup\$
    – lightcat
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 5:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @lightcat That’s not mentioned at all in your question. If people need to assume what the point of a question is, then it’s probably missing critical information. If you’re trying to solve a specific problem, it needs to describe the problem. It seems like you’ve decided learning about symbolism in D&D will solve your problem and skipped actually asking about the problem itself. That usually results in confusion and answers that don’t help; see the FAQ What is the XY Problem? for an explanation of why and how to fix it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 7:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Thanks that is really useful information. How do I go about editing my post at this time? \$\endgroup\$
    – lightcat
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 7:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @lightcat I’ll put a hold on it so that it can be worked on while having a “pause” on new answers, and lift the lock. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 7:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie OK thanks. I won't be able to get to it tonight but will edit it tomorrow. \$\endgroup\$
    – lightcat
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 7:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @lightcat Sounds good. A day won’t do any harm. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 7:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @lightcat Given it's at -10, if you're planning on revising it into a substantially different question (one that is not "tell me the origins and justifications of this duality in D&D lore"), you may prefer just asking a new question: rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/q/4813/1204 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 11:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @lightcat To reiterate, there is no such thing as "D&D lore" that is applicable across all editions. If you want to know about your campaign setting then you need to ask specifically about that campaign setting. The default setting for 5e is the Forgotten Realms, I believe. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage Mod
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 13:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, if you are asking “which pair of gods represent the duality of light and darkness in the forgotten realms” that’s an answerable question. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 13:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @sevensideddie thanks I appreciate the time. Life happened in abundance today and I have no energy to finish the edit. If the post is locked or blocked or whatever the term is I understand. I will rewrite it appropriately tomorrow hopefully. Best. \$\endgroup\$
    – lightcat
    Commented Feb 9, 2019 at 5:25

A brief explanation:

This is a brief explanation of why I'm asking the question about available lore in D&D related to the origins of good/evil being associated with dark/light.

Two other GMs and I are creating three separate epic adventure campaigns that will run concurrently. Each campaign will have three core players starting at levels ranging from 15-17 (20 before the end). There will also be several committed drop-in players who will play in short stretches with PCs ranging from levels 4-15. In addition there will probably be random players dropping in for single days with any level up to 15.

These three campaign "teams" will eventually meet up over a three day weekend marathon session in which all the nine core PCs (and possibly one or two other PCs) will be united in-game and each GM will take the helm for one full day of gaming, while the other two GM's provide support (and prepare snacks and dinner). This final 3 day marathon session will be the culmination of the three teams' adventures and will establish much of the foundation of the D&D world in which the three of us GM's will run our future campaigns.

What the world will end up looking like:

This is not something I can answer fully at this point as some of what the world will look like will be determined by the choices the PCs make in their adventures. There are infinite possibilities. However everything is on the table, and the overarching story lines of the three GMs will subvert some concepts and events in the D&D multiverse that are generally considered fixed. For example one of the GMs is currently considering a campaign that takes their team of PCs on an epic journey through time, space and a considerable amount of planar travel and reestablishes the relationship between Dragons and Giants, essentially recreating that history into one where dragons and giants unite to defend the planes against encroaching demon lords and possibly other planar beings. As you can imagine this will upend many assumptions currently in the game.

The overarching story line of the campaign I will GM will result in the subversion of the established connections between good and light, and between evil and darkness. In the world that comes after the events in this campaign evil will tend to associate with light and good will tend to associate with darkness. Demons will live in planes of light. Angels will live in darkness. The Underdark will be the home of caring elves with forests of mycelium and brilliant underground mushroom gardens. The sun will be seen as the harbinger of death. Night will be a haven of safety from the evil that lurks in the day. These are just a few examples of the impact this adventure will have on the worlds and planes of D&D.

There are many details to establish for this world which we are tentatively calling "Endworld," but hopefully this gives you a taste of what it will be like and how different it will be from the current generally established worlds of D&D. In Endworld the changes we establish will affect all time, all planes and all worlds of existence. In short it will encompass the whole of the D&D multiverse because the campaigns themselves will encompass the whole of the D&D multiverse. The shifts we create in this epic three-part campaign will be something we can apply to any world, any plane, any pantheon, throughout all history in the D&D multiverse.

For example if we were to pick up the original Ravenloft module from 1983 we would be able to convert it to Endworld, just as we would be able to convert the most recent Forgotten Realms adventure campaign. Likewise many of the planes will see vast changes, most notably the Nine Hells will be bathed in light with castles of gleaming crystal. All of the D&D multiverse, from its very beginnings to this day will be open to use in Endworld. Of course non-5e material will need other converting as well, but we've done this in the past on our own or by purchasing conversions online.

Why I need various lore from any and all points in the D&D multiverse:

In order for this extensive campaign to be successful I will have to design an adventure that weaves through many worlds, planes, and times. The associations of dark/evil and light/good cannot be reversed if I don't know where they began. Which narratives established this duality, which gods cause them to endure, which ongoing cosmic struggles epitomize the duality and in a way aide them in persisting? In short I need to know as much lore as I can from throughout all D&D settings concerning the establishment of dark being associated with evil and light being associated with good.

Where to go from here:

I hope that this establishes clearly what the information is that I am seeking and why I asked this question. I understand that I asked the question without providing enough background information and I take responsibility for that miscommunication. In light of some of the objections which have arisen I have some solutions that I hope will suitably address the missteps that I have made and provide a question that meets the expectations of this community.

  1. I will provide background info and state clearly what my goal is. Thanks to @SevenSidedDie introducing me to the XY problem, I recognize that I posted an almost perfect example of what not to do when trying to avoid the XY problem. My original post addressed what I believed was the solution to a problem and I never posted what the problem actually was that I was trying to solve.

  2. I will break up my question into smaller more manageable questions. I see that asking a question with a broad range of possible answers the way my original question did is not appropriate for this site. @ObliviousSage and others have made very good points about the breadth of my question being to vast. I respect that position and will instead ask a series of specific questions that focus on individual worlds within D&D or on individual planes or pantheons. This will narrow the focus of possible answers and will, I hope, make these questions suitable for RPG SE.

  3. I will clarify what it is I'm seeking. Instead of posing a general question like I did in my original post, referencing "D&D lore" I will ask more pointed questions that have specific answers. For example, Which gods in the Forgotten Realms are involved in mythology concerning the duality of light and dark and good and evil?

  4. I will avoid broad opinion-based statements. In my original post I think my statement that dark/light and good/evil are tiring was irrelevant and unnecessary to the question as a whole. In this case I think my personal opinion got in the way of asking a question. I will leave that and similar statements out of the question.

  5. I will be as clear as I can be with my wording. I think some of my original wording was not very clear and may have created some miscommunication on my part. I will strive to be very clear in how I phrase the relevant info and question.

Thanks, I hope this addresses the concerns that came up with the original question. This approach will mean that I will be posting several distinct but similar questions. In order not to clutter the question time-line with a bunch of these questions I will space them out over several weeks.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is great information to help guide you in your question asking, but it's not really an 'answer' for your question on meta. But it's an excellent approach mechanism! One thing to note is that you should also try and do this research first yourself. While the community is here to help and guide, it doesn't necessarily mean we're here to do your research for you. Often times that is what happens, but start with looking yourself and then post if you can't find or if you're not sure. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 16:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Yeah, I didn't know where to post this to get feedback, and this seemed like the best option. It would have taken a lot of comments to fit all this info :-) And it is kinda my answer to how I think the question can be asked successfully. \$\endgroup\$
    – lightcat
    Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 17:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Yes and no. Yes I will do research, as any question asker should, but at some point it's valid for a questioner to say, "Someone knows this answer, and I'm wasting my time. And this would be useful information to have in the public domain, so the next person who does the research finds a clear answer." Yes, I will do research. And yes I will access the extensive knowledge available in this community. A question is ideally for those who know the answer or know readily where to find it, not those who don't know either and would need to do the same research as I to find the answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – lightcat
    Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 17:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sorry man. I understand you want "any and all lore" and that's a legitimate want but that doesn't fit our site format; it's too broad. "Give me all orc lore across all worlds and editions" would be similarly closed. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 3:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk I hear what you're saying and that's not what I said in my answer here. Let me know what you think when you've read what my suggestions are to fix the question. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – lightcat
    Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 3:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ I am quoting you from this answer. If that's not what you're saying, change what you're saying. Sorry, "various lore from any and all points in the D&D multiverse". \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 5:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk Where that's written it is saying what I need not what I'm going to ask for. I recognize that asking for that is too broad a question, I completely agree with you on that point. \$\endgroup\$
    – lightcat
    Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 5:09

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