View Full Version : MY views on alignment, inspirered by Raven Crowking.

Duke Malagigi
2007-02-24, 08:42 PM
The one true thing that I've always hated about alignment was not the idea its self or even its execution (Law, Chaos, Neutrality, Good, and Evil), but how they are interpreted and described. Because of this I've taken a page from En World member Raven Crowking when he gave explanation of the nine alignments. Therefore, I use his alignment descriptions with an addendum to the Chaotic Neutral alignment in italics.

Chaotic Good: Creatures of this alignment view personal freedom and flexibility of action as necessary to promote the life and the welfare of each individual. Respect for individualism is great, but individual freedom does not remove responsibility for the consequences of one’s actions. Individuals are valued on the basis of their actions, rather than by their position in society.

Neutral Good: Unlike those directly opposite them (neutral evil) in alignment, creatures of neutral good believe that there must be some regulation in combination with freedom if the best is to be brought to the world – the most beneficial conditions for living things in general and intelligent creatures in particular.

Lawful Good: While strict in their prosecution of law and order, characters of lawful good alignment follow these precepts to improve the common weal. Only through the group can any individual gain security and meaningful position. Certain freedoms must, of course, be sacrificed in order to bring order; but truth is of highest value, and life and beauty of great importance. The benefits of this society are to be brought to all.

Chaotic Neutral: Above respect for life and good, or disregard for life and promotion of evil, the chaotic neutral places the personal freedom of each individual. Whether these individual choices lead to good results or ill, and whether or not those individuals then take responsibility for what they do, is beside the point. Chaotic neutral creatures disregard all authority unless compelled. Chaotic neutral is almost always a transitory alignment; few creatures remain this alignment for long. Some chaotic neutrals, however believe in personal responsibility, but not in compassion or pity.

True Neutral: The “true” neutral looks upon all other alignments as facets of the system of things. Thus, each aspect – evil and good, chaos and law – of things must be retained in balance to maintain the status quo; for things as they are cannot be improved upon except temporarily, and even then but superficially. Nature will prevail and keep things as they were meant to be, provided nature does not become unbalanced due to the work of unnatural forces – such as human and other intelligent creatures interfering with what is meant to be. Animals and other creatures incapable of moral action and ethical action are also true neutral.

Lawful Neutral: Those of this alignment view their group and its regulation as all-important. Whether any individual – or even large groups of individuals – benefit or are harmed by following rule and tradition, doing so is the responsibility of all creatures. This is because the ultimate harmony of the world is considered by lawful neutral creatures to have its sole hope resting upon law and order. Individuals exist only as parts of the whole. Evil or good are immaterial beside the determined purpose of bringing all to predictability and regulation.

Chaotic Evil: The major precept of this alignment is that of personal freedom unshackled by responsibility. Whatever advantage can be taken should be taken, and the woe of others is to the benefit of oneself. Laws and order, kindness, and good deeds are disdained, except where they can be paid lip service to one’s own benefit. Others’ lives have no value. Those of this alignment hope to bring themselves to positions of power, glory, and prestige in a system ruled by individual caprice and their own whims.

Neutral Evil: The neutral evil creature views law and chaos as unnecessary considerations, for he seeks the greatest benefit both within the group and without it. Either might be used, but both are disdained as foolish clutter useless in eventually bringing maximum benefit to himself.

Lawful Evil: Lawful evil creatures respect law and order, believing that the individual good of creatures is of no consequence compared to the strength of the group. Individual freedom is held as valueless, or at least scorned. Any cruelty or atrocity is justified if it serves the interests of the State, and the suffering of enemies is to be enjoyed. Truth is important, but only where it serves the group. These creatures place but scant value on individual lives – even their own lives. The goal of each individual creature is first to know its place in the group, and then to increase its station in that hierarchy. By adhering to stringent discipline, those of lawful evil alignment hope to impose their yoke upon the world.

So, how do you feel about the way Crowking and I handle alignments?

2007-02-24, 09:04 PM
Your addition to Chaotic Neutral sounds more like Lawful Evil to me.

Duke Malagigi
2007-02-25, 11:39 AM
Your addition to Chaotic Neutral sounds more like Lawful Evil to me.

I'll explain. First, by lack of compassion and pity I simply mean a lack of interest in going out of one's way to help others, not necessarily cruelty or malice. Also in my opinion any thoughtful non-evil chaotic would hold as true the axiom (yes, I used the word axiom when talking about chaos) that freedom and personal responsibility are two sides of the same coin. In other words, one can not possess freedom without personal responsibility, nor can one have personal responsibility if one lacks freedom. Both chaotic neutrals and chaotic goods believe in negative personal responsibility, but only chaotic goods believe in positive personal responsibility. Negative personal responsibility is the responsibility not to commit rape, torture or murder and not to use force unless it is in response to force (for instance force would include every thing from physical attack to deceit. Since violating negative personal responsibility is a violation of the rights and freedoms of others both sane chaotic neutrals and chaotic goods would see nothing wrong with the government or individuals punishing such behavior. Positive personal responsibility is the responsibility to actively give aid and comfort to others, as long they do not use your assistance to use unprovoked force against others. While chaotic goods strongly believe in positive personal responsibility they also believe that if the government enforced it such good deeds would lose their meaning.

2007-02-25, 12:26 PM
I've never been much of a fan of the True Neutral as described here. I just can't think anyone would (consciously) think "Okay, if I nick that apple pie, I'll have to buy something from the shop across the street to prevent the multiverse careening into oblivion" or "Well, there's one warrior less on the Good Guys' side, so I'll help them out for a while and then join the Baddies". I mean, huh?

I've always thought that a True Neutrl person thinks that laws and rules and lawmakers and rulers are really useful things for the world, but still doesn't mind if he has to go against them now and then. In a word, he's lazy; He doesn't go out of his way to promote either Law or Chaos nor Good or Evil.

In a way it's the perfect alignment for a person to have, because he can exist comfortably in any community, provided it is a peaceful one. No matter if it's a spontaneously born anarchic tent village of CG travelers in a crossroads or the centuries-old stronghold town of LE soldiers, he wouldn't be very much out of place anywhere.

This is why I dislike the alignnment system: It's not bad, but it's damn hard to present one's opinions about it.

2007-02-25, 02:34 PM
I've always thought that a True Neutrl person thinks that laws and rules and lawmakers and rulers are really useful things for the world, but still doesn't mind if he has to go against them now and then. In a word, he's lazy; He doesn't go out of his way to promote either Law or Chaos nor Good or Evil.

That's the only way I've ever played true neutral as well, although a little more extreme. Basically, he was completely ambivalent: he got a job, it needed to be done, he did it in whatever way required the least effort. Laws, morality, etc. only were of any value so long as they didn't get in the way.

The "everything in balance" mindset never made sense to me. In fact, that mindset always seemed to be LN to me - it's just that the "system of laws" being adhered to was different than normal society.