I think the most lawful good thing I’ve ever done was when in high school a hacker sent out a bunch of porn spam using my AOL account, and I went through my mailbox and “unsent” every message that I could, and sent an apology for every one I couldn’t unsend.

koboldbard:

Let’s talk about Chaotic Neutral!

I have this really extremely pared down version of Alignment in my head where Good is selflessness and Evil is selfishness, Law is having a self defined ethos and Chaos is a conditional one. So, to me, a Chaotic Neutral character would be a person of about average self interest but will act more in the moment as the need arises. I know people who would fit this idea and they’re very passionate. It seems like this would make for a rather compelling character, with plenty of room for growth. Off the top of my head, with this rough framework, I could easily deal the themes of maturity, addiction, art, commitment, the need for adventure, trust. But, like, I’ve played D&D for more than a decade, and I played with a lot of good players, I’ve played with a lot of bad players. The thing that stands out is that Chaotic Neutral is the alignment people pick when they want to offensively portray a person with a mental illness or somebody who is just going to inevitably dick over the party by intentionally not thinking things through. Is this a thing that happens a lot with other groups?

Alignment is one of the major flaws of D&D in my opinion, and I really don’t have a good relationship with it, but a lot of people really like it, so I’d like to know what you have to say. How do you define Chaotic Neutral? What works about it, what doesn’t? Do you know of any memorable characters that didn’t just fall into the same stereotypes or random humor?

So this has been in my drafts folder since January.  I have one friend who plays nothing but chaotic neutral, or occasionally chaotic good.  But his characters never deteriorated into what you describe here.  If someone is consistently making decisions that screw over the party,that’s not neutral.  Especially if it results in some sort of gain for that player, that’s not chaotic neutral.

"Neutral" should not mean without purpose or direction  A character without motivation isn’t "neutral;" they’re lazy.

olloollo:

chaoticevilness:

doglight:

Spanish Galgo model

This Spanish Galgo was also adopted by a lovely family. 

Idk why you guys still exist. Shouldn’t CE be canceled out by LG and vice-versa?

Absolutely not!  That would imply that we were not just diametrically opposed but also equal in power.  CE can never hope to match me in might, wit, or sheer awesomeness.  Good shall ever triumph!  Also,

steamchef:

roane72:

Okay, but the funny part here (aside from Lilian), is that Cap does this ALL THE TIME in the comics. Like, this exchange. Even in the little bit I read, I saw it two or three times:

Villain: You won’t do the thing, you’re Captain America.

Cap: Nope. *indicates less morally upright companion* They will.

Which kind of suggests that Cap is less about moral uprightness and more about plausible deniability. ;)

He’s still just a paladin in a mixed-alignment party. “I can’t kill that orc, because it’s unarmed, and I’m a paladin of justice. My ranger buddy, however, can totally do that. So go ahead, ranger buddy.”

Does nobody else remember the part where they didn’t actually throw him off the roof?  I mean, they did, but Sam caught him.  Y’all are talking like this little Hydra goober splattered all over the pavement or something.

(Source: mishasteaparty)

tellmeayarn asked
Did you realize, when you named your blog, it would turn you into a magnet for people who want to run evil campaigns? I rarely see people talking about evil campaigns except through your "don't do it" posts.

I just assume they’re all naturally drawn to me on their inevitable quest for redemption and repentance.

obsoletesystem:

lawfulgoodness:

Any DM can take a character the player’s trust and hide the fact they’re the villain.

If you REALLY want to earn the title “Game Master,” take a long-standing villain / BBEG and try to make your players like and/or trust them.

image

But what if you run an evil campaign? Who’s the villain then? The good guy? An even eviliererreerer guy?

Primary recommendation if you run an evil campaign:

  • don’t
wolfinsheriffsclothing asked
Hello, love the blog and enjoy reading your posts whenever you make them. I have a question, hope you can help. When you're playing an LG character, does it make sense to have them distrust governments, even those in settings where they match alignments? Whenever I play an LG character, I'm always suspicious of such officials, because if corruption is going to come from somewhere, its them. Are you LG, even if you're suspicious of those who enforce a potentially LG society? Does that make sense?

Thanks for the praise & the ask.  It’s a rather interesting question I’ve been mulling over.  Keeping in mind my definition of “Lawful” (holding oneself to an externally-defined code), it would largely depend on the relationship with who is setting the standard for that code.  There are three entities involved, and the result depends on the interplay between them.  Those three entities are the Lawful Good character (LG for short), the object of Suspicion (OoS), and whoever is the writer of law (WoL) in question.

I would say there are 3 possible interpretations:

  1. The most straightforward example might be that the LG is a follower of a particular deity.  This makes the deity the WoL.  The OoS we’ll say is some government which claims to also follow the same deity.  In this case, having the LG suspicious of the government doesn’t cause the LG to change alignment.  Their commitment is not to the OoS but to the deity.  So longer as they are following the WoL, I would still classify them as Lawful Good.  (Good example: Friar Tuck throwing the corrupt Bishop out of a Window in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves).  Still an LG imo.image
  2. Another possible case is where the OoS IS the WoL.  In this case, we might have the LG being a deputy or sheriff in some sort of law enforcement capacity, with their loyalty being tied to the law enforcement organization.  An example of this might be something like the movie Serpico, where a cop surrounded by dirty cops doesn’t have anywhere to turn.  If the LG is suspicious that the WoL is not actually Good, then I think it could go either way.  Either they are holding themselves to the ideals the WoL was forgotten (or faked), and they are holding themselves to that Law and are still Lawful Good, or they recognize that this Law is not good and ought to be destroyed, therefore they are Chaotic Good.  I could really go either way on this one.  (Basically, I feel like this is a Don Quixote scenario, in which the character would consider themselves Lawful Good, but everybody else would call them Chaotic Good).image
  3. The third option is where I can see the LG losing their “Lawful” status.  This is a case where the LG is suspicious of the WoL without cause or perhaps preemptively.  The difference between this and #2 is that the LG has no reason to doubt the Goodness of the WoL.  If the LG is inherently suspicious of the WoL, then I would say the LG is not truly committed to the standards established by the WoL.  To be Lawful, you have to hold yourself to the that external code, and if you are suspicious of it, you can’t really hold yourself to it.  If that’s the case, then I’d say the LG really isn’t LG at all, but Chaotic Good.  I would say, in this case, they are probably most like good ol’ Thomas Jefferson, fighting the system for a better system (or, some might say, fighting the system for a system that treats him better).image

So there you have it.  Three possibilities, some of the Lawful Good, some of them Chaotic Good.  To me, the telling difference isn’t so much the Lawful Good character themself, but rather the Writer of Law.  If the establisher of the external code actually is good, then it’s very straightforward.  If not, then I’d leave it up to the GM, but for me there’s a strong case to be made for the character becoming chaotic.

Alignment, the short version:

turtlebard:

lawfulgoodness:

Morality:

  • Good - Willing to sacrifice personal gain for the greater good
  • Neutral - Personal sacrifice only for personal gain
  • Evil - Willing (and usually eager) to sacrifice others for personal gain

Legality:

  • Lawful - Hold yourself to an externally-defined code of behavior
  • Neutral - Unconcerned by externally-defined codes of behavior
  • Chaotic - Attempts to breakdown externally-defined social mores.

These are definitions of player motivations, not actions.  While all of this is up to GM interpretation for how it works (or doesn’t) in their games, to me alignment is about guiding Role Play, not predetermining it.  A character doesn’t “break” alignment for choosing door A instead of door B.  Alignment changes are a result of that character no longer viewing the world through the above lens  

I like this idea quite a bit. I’m not completely comfortable with the definition of neutral morality, but I can’t even really put my finger on why it’s bothering me. Maybe it sounds a bit too selfish to be neutral? I dunno. Neutral morality has always been a bit weird to me.

I can definitely dig that.  Neutral morality was definitely the one whose wording I played with the most.  I was trying to make it reflect the same idea as the other two, which is why I worded it in that way.  Another way I thought of putting it was 

"Neutral morality works for the greater good when it accompanies personal gain."

Neutral morality really seems to be that terrifyingly hideous blend of “the end justifies the means” and “can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs.”

Alignment, the short version:

Morality:

  • Good - Willing to sacrifice personal gain for the greater good
  • Neutral - Personal sacrifice only for personal gain
  • Evil - Willing (and usually eager) to sacrifice others for personal gain

Legality:

  • Lawful - Hold yourself to an externally-defined code of behavior
  • Neutral - Unconcerned by externally-defined codes of behavior
  • Chaotic - Attempts to breakdown externally-defined social mores.

These are definitions of player motivations, not actions.  While all of this is up to GM interpretation for how it works (or doesn’t) in their games, to me alignment is about guiding Role Play, not predetermining it.  A character doesn’t “break” alignment for choosing door A instead of door B.  Alignment changes are a result of that character no longer viewing the world through the above lens