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My fiance is running a campaign and the players have the opportunity to obtain a wyrmling black dragon. Now black dragons are chaotic evil, but the monk of the group believes that it shouldn't be killed outright just due to the fact that its race tends to be evil. He wants to attempt to teach and raise it in goodly or rather, less evil ways, but the other players want a backup plan to change its alignment if worst comes to worst. The problem is, the DM doesn't see anything involving forced alignment changes. Is there a mechanical way to handle this or is it going to be DM decision to add something to the game that isn't currently there?

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Does the monk want to do this during 'down time' or as part of the ongoing adventure? See also the problem of dragons, even wyrmlings, being smarter than humans... on average. – KorvinStarmast Feb 9 at 3:29
Related:… – GMJoe Feb 9 at 4:38
It's going to be both during downtime and potentially as an ongoing adventure, possibly spanning generations of characters. – Keith Feb 11 at 1:59
up vote 13 down vote accepted

There are three ways to forcibly change something's alignment on the books. But none of them really work out well for you....

  1. Forced attunement. Arguably the least dangerous option, if you can somehow force the dragon to attune a magical item you might change its alignment. Perhaps a Geas? If your DM sees that working, and you have any of The Book of Vile Darkness, The Eye of Vecna, or The Hand of Vecna on you, the dragon's alignment will change. To Neutral Evil.

  2. To the Planes. Send your dragon on vacation to the Bytopia for 4 days ("Pervasive Goodwill" optional rule, DMB pp.59-60), The Abyss ("Vile Transformation" optional rule, DMG p.63) or the Nine Hells ("Pervasive Evil" optional rule, DMG p.64) and its alignment might change to Neutral Good, to Neutral Evil, or to Lawful Evil. (But Dispel Magic or Remove Curse will get rid of the Bytopian effect.)

  3. Enlist the Slaadi. Unfortunately (?) this won't work on your dragon--only on humanoids. But in the interests of completeness, here's the third way to forcibly change something's alignment: If you can get a Blue Slaad to bring your (humanoid) target to 0 HP it'll automatically become Chaotic Neutral. Of course that's a consequence of it becoming a Red Slaad.

In all seriousness, parenting's a hard job.

Raising something to "be good" in a world where alignment's a thing written into a stat block is absolutely a project you and your DM are going to have to tackle together. There're no easy outs here. (But there are good story opportunities here!)

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As far as I know one of the requirements to be infected with the slaadi diseases is that the host must be an humanoid – Escroteitor Feb 9 at 1:21
Is it possible to first polymorph the dragon into a humanoid and then use the 3rd method? – Nacht Feb 9 at 3:12
@Nacht probably. But strangely, even when answering a question about forcing an alignment change on a sentient being, that seemed a bridge too far for me =D – nitsua60 Feb 9 at 3:16
Thank you! I actually think this, along with some role-playing and shenanigans will be perfect. We hadn't remembered the section of the DMG about the planes forcing alignment shifts, but most certainly we can force any alignment in the end if it absolutely necessary. – Keith Feb 9 at 3:35

No, you really can't change essential nature. Alignment indicates tendencies, not absolutes. You can train the wyvern to do good, but it's nature will always steer it to thinking selfishly for itself. Any training and listening will not be loyalty based, but based on fear of consequences and tangible rewards for loyalty.

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While what you say may be true (at some tables/in some campaigns), I don't think this actually answers OP's question: "is there a thing that will help me set a creature's alignment?" – nitsua60 Feb 9 at 0:48
Updated answer to be more clear. – Escoce Feb 9 at 13:58

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