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I have noticed, shall we say, a definite age and gender bias in playing certain character alignments. Yes, I realize WoW doesn’t have specifically delineated character alignments; but it has suggestions of alignments. Forsaken and death knights are, by implication, perhaps inherently “evil” or at least not totally good. Rogues tend to be Evil or at least Neutral. Priests, on the other hand, can be good or evil (Holy vs. Shadow). Druids tend to be seen as Neutral or Good. Paladins can often be Good but can also be played as terribly corrupt (see Blood Knights). Then you always get the phenomenon of people simply not playing a character within the set lines of lore as written by Blizzard. I don’t have a definite arbitrary problem with this, particularly within someone’s closed RP setting; I find it is only a problem with open RP when one wishes to interact with others and then pulls out something that isn’t accepted canon and expects others to simply accept it without question. Otherwise, if it has been agreed on within our group, bring on the creativity.
Less attention is paid to the older style of D&D alignment, Chaotic-Neutral-Lawful.
There’s a lot I could say about the different age groups and genders who tend to play certain tropes, and I started to - but then I realized this was a distraction from my main point, which is about the Lawful Good alignment.
Often, I see Lawful Good being played as an extremely superficial trope. The lawful good paladin repeats laws without reason. He is a mindless automaton, a policeman almost, who cannot think for himself. Chaotic good characters have broken free of a corrupt system that the lawful good character upholds. She cannot break free of it even if she sees the flaws inherent in it, and thus is an oppressor herself by virtue of staying true to her oaths.
In other words, Lawful Good characters are widely seen as corrupt and mendacious or naive and stupid.
Over time, I’ve come to realize that when I know someone who only plays evil characters, this says something about them as a person - who they are, how they think, how they view themselves. People who exclusively play the “evil” aligned character, especially the chaotic type, see themselves as striking back against a system that is oppressing them. Often it simply means they are very young and it is a natural rebellious stage (I remember a few rather silly chaotic characters of my own). But when this behavior persists well into adulthood, it’s sometimes part of a larger socio-political belief system.
Few people play exclusively Lawful Good characters, or “good” characters at all. I spent a long afternoon thinking about this one time and finally came to the realization that you can’t RP something you don’t understand.
If religious people who actually follow the rules most of the time all seem like stupid schmucks to you - then yes, any Lawful good character you play will be a stand-in for people you hate. And this will lead to more bad RP.
Like it or not, truly Lawful Good characters are not stupid or corrupt. They have made a conscious and informed decision to keep order and peace in society and believe the best way to do so is by obeying the rules and trying to see to it that others do. They may have many nuanced reasons for doing so and they are probably not doing so blindly. They may know very well about the problems with the system but hope to reform it from within.
Sometimes I think about what it will be like when I go to a retirement home or a nursing home, and I think to myself “Will I still be able to GM then? Because I’m not really doing too much else with my days and it would be awesome to just have Mondays be Dungeons and Dragons, Tuesday is Shadowrun, Thursday is Savage Worlds: Solomon Kane, Friday is Star Wars RCR, and Saturday and Sunday we spend playing Munchkin and Settlers of Catan.