Nine different alignments result from combining these two sets. Each alignment
varies from all others, sometimes in broad, obvious ways, and sometimes in
subtle ways. Each alignment is described in the following paragraphs.
Lawful Good: Characters of this alignment believe that an orderly, strong society with a
well-organized government can work to make life better for the majority of the
people. To ensure the quality of life, laws must be created and obeyed. When
people respect the laws and try to help one another, society as a whole prospers.
Therefore, lawful good characters strive for those things that will bring the
greatest benefit to the most people and cause the least harm. An honest and
hard-working serf, a kindly and wise king, or a stern but forthright minister of
justice are all examples of lawful good people.
Lawful Neutral: Order and organization are of paramount importance to characters of this
alignment. They believe in a strong, well-ordered government, whether that
government is a tyranny or benevolent democracy. The benefits of organization and
regimentation outweigh any moral questions raised by their actions. An inquisitor
determined to ferret out traitors at any cost or a soldier who never questions his
orders are good examples of lawful neutral behavior.
Lawful Evil: These characters believe in using society and its laws to benefit themselves.
Structure and organization elevate those who deserve to rule as well as provide
a clearly defined hierarchy between master and servant. To this end, lawful
evil characters support laws and societies that protect their own concerns. If
someone is hurt or suffers because of a law that benefits lawful evil characters,
too bad. Lawful evil characters obey laws out of fear of punishment. Because
they may be forced to honor an unfavorable contract or oath they have made,
lawful evil characters are usually very careful about giving their word. Once
given, they break their word only if they can find a way to do it legally, within
the laws of the society. An iron-fisted tyrant and a devious, greedy merchant are
examples of lawful evil beings.
Neutral Good: These characters believe that a balance of forces is important, but that the
concerns of law and chaos do not moderate the need for good. Since the universe
is vast and contains many creatures striving for different goals, a determined
pursuit of good will not upset the balance; it may even maintain it. If
fostering good means supporting organized society, then that is what must be done. If
good can only come about through the overthrow of existing social order, so be
it. Social structure itself has no innate value to them. A baron who violates
the orders of his king to destroy something he sees as evil is an example of a
neutral good character.
True Neutral: True neutral characters believe in the ultimate balance of forces, and they
refuse to see actions as either good or evil. Since the majority of people in the
world make judgments, true neutral characters are extremely rare. True
neutrals do their best to avoid siding with the forces of either good or evil, law or
chaos. It is their duty to see that all of these forces remain in balanced
True neutral characters sometimes find themselves forced into rather peculiar
alliances. To a great extent, they are compelled to side with the underdog in
any given situation, sometimes even changing sides as the previous loser becomes
the winner. A true neutral druid might join the local barony to put down a
tribe of evil gnolls, only to drop out or switch sides when the gnolls were
brought to the brink of destruction. He would seek to prevent either side from
becoming too powerful. Clearly, there are very few true neutral characters in the
Neutral Evil: Neutral evil characters are primarily concerned with themselves and their own
advancement. They have no particular objection to working with others or, for
that matter, going it on their own. Their only interest is in getting ahead. If
there is a quick and easy way to gain a profit, whether it be legal,
questionable, or obviously illegal, they take advantage of it. Although neutral evil
characters do not have the every-man-for-himself attitude of chaotic characters,
they have no qualms about betraying their friends and companions for personal
gain. They typically base their allegiance on power and money, which makes them
quite receptive to bribes. An unscrupulous mercenary, a common thief, and a
double-crossing informer who betrays people to the authorities to protect and
advance himself are typical examples of neutral evil characters.
Chaotic Good: Chaotic good characters are strong individualists marked by a streak of
kindness and benevolence. They believe in all the virtues of goodness and right, but
they have little use for laws and regulations. They have no use for people who
“try to push folk around and tell them what to do.” Their actions are guided by
their own moral compass which, although good, may not always be in perfect
agreement with the rest of society. A brave frontiersman forever moving on as
settlers follow in his wake is an example of a chaotic good character.
Chaotic Neutral: Chaotic neutral characters believe that there is no order to anything,
including their own actions. With this as a guiding principle, they tend to follow
whatever whim strikes them at the moment. Good and evil are irrelevant when making
a decision. Chaotic neutral characters are extremely difficult to deal with.
Such characters have been known to cheerfully and for no apparent purpose gamble
away everything they have on the roll of a single die. They are almost totally
unreliable. In fact, the only reliable thing about them is that they cannot be
relied upon! This alignment is perhaps the most difficult to play. Lunatics
and madmen tend toward chaotic neutral behavior.
Chaotic Evil: These characters are the bane of all that is good and organized. Chaotic evil
characters are motivated by the desire for personal gain and pleasure. They see
absolutely nothing wrong with taking whatever they want by whatever means
possible. Laws and governments are the tools of weaklings unable to fend for
themselves. The strong have the right to take what they want, and the weak are there
to be exploited. When chaotic evil characters band together, they are not
motivated by a desire to cooperate, but rather to oppose powerful enemies. Such a
group can be held together only by a strong leader capable of bullying his
underlings into obedience. Since leadership is based on raw power, a leader is likely
to be replaced at the first sign of weakness by anyone who can take his
position away from him by any method. Bloodthirsty buccaneers and monsters of low
Intelligence are fine examples of chaotic evil personalities.
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