Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 43
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Fixer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida

    Default Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Neutrality

    I am in the mood to write a bit. I am also in the mood to get feedback on what I hope to be a fair and balanced view of what it means, in D&D, to be fair and balanced with regards to true neutral characters.

    The following are my viewpoints on the matter as I believe that I, personally, am as close to true neutral as any other person I have ever met. I am hoping that some of you will believe you are also neutral of have some insight as to what neutrality might be and, as a result, this can be an excellent resource.

    Introduction
    The majority of persons who examine alignments believe that neutrality is either purely selfish with regards to self and family, attempting to balance between two diametrically opposing ethical or moral viewpoints or the lack of ability to decide between them. These observations are both correct and incomplete.

    Neutrality is a way of looking at things such that you recognize your own ignorance. You do not believe you are correct due to some abject belief. There is no higher justification for any action you perform. Others are not correct simply because they believe themselves to be correct. It is the belief that no one, not even the gods, are always correct.

    Neutrality is not beliving that one side is always correct. Perfect order is not required for peace and prosperity. Complete disarray is not perfection in form and survivability. Benevolence and kindness do not always improve all situations. Self-interest is not always best for all beings.

    All mortal beings are, in some small way, neutrally aligned. Neutrality is a byproduct of their mortality, a shred of their humility or doubt. The reason they take pause before engaging in an activity is demonstration of their neutrality.

    Incorrect Stereotypes of Neutrality

    Neutrals Are Lazy/Undecided
    Neutrality requires effort. An individual may be torn between two or more choices of action that differ in ethical or moral directions but the actual decision for which is best for that individual must be made in order to be truly neutral. If that individual waits until there is only one decision remaining that is not an aspect of neutrality but of laziness or lack of self-confidence.

    A lawful person who follows the law most of the time but does not take exceptional effort to ALWAYS follow the law is still a lawful person and not a neutral person. Even if that individual engages in the ocassional chaotic act for what they believe to be a lawful reason they would still be considered lawful and not neutral. If the individual perform the chaotic actions in order to balance an earlier or future imbalance or in order to ensure some personal agenda that would constitute a more neutral act.

    Neutrals Don't Know Better
    While animals are often listed as true neutral it is not true that neutrality is defined by a lack of intelligence. Unintelligent undead are 'born evil' while some upper planar creatures are 'born good' while neither possesses intelligence. Animals possess a neutral alignment because they do not engage in their behaviors for moral or ethical reasons. They engage in their behaviors for reasons of survival of themselves and the perpetuation of their species. They do not kill with malice nor do they engage in mercy. Animals do not fight for rules or structure any more than they fight for freedom or destruction. Uninteligent evil undead are created with a hunger for murder, desecration, and malice. They do not kill because they have to but because they feel a drive to do so. Their lack of ability to reason out why they do what they do does not force them to behave neutral.

    Traits of Neutrality

    Focus on Survival
    Animals and other unintelligent creatures can be considered true neutral because of their inability to conceive of anything higher than survival of self and species. They will engage in whatever act they believe necessary to pursue this singular directive. They do not believe in anything. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to them so they rarely make long-term plans. Survival is their driving force, not ambition, faith or greed. They will not take more than they require or keep others from what they require unless allowing others what they require will interfere with their ability to survive.

    True Neutral beings will never permanently sacrifice their life except to save their offspring, and even that is not always a given. To a True Neutral survival of self supercedes all other drives. If they have to decide between death and giving up the ultimate goal of their life, they will give up the ultimate goal of their life and get a new one to replace it.

    Knowledge Without Limitation
    Neutrality is not about knowing the answers to Life's questions. Believing you know the answers to a question about life is to move away from true neutrality. Each belief that you hold dear takes you away from the center. This is not to say that neutrality is ignorance. Knowledge without dogma is one of the core concepts of neutrality. To understand the workings of the universe without accepting them as true is the epitome of neutrality. The universe is not a perfect pattern that can be understood in its entirety. It is not even a constant pattern but one in a constant state of flux merely by the existence of life itself. A mathematical equation that is constantly being updated, rewritten, recalculated and never perfectly balances on both sides.

    Viewing Everything as Resources
    Even the desire for balance is not solely the hallmark of neutrality. Even a fool can recognize that two forces diametrically opposed should not be forced to destroy one another equally. A neutral person will examine both parties to a conflict and decide under which side they are more likely to survive or achieve their own ambitions. They will then side with that side regardless of the outcome of the battle. If a neutral ruler believes a local baron capable of harming them, it is not above their beliefs to hire a local evil group of individuals to destroy the perceived threat and then hire an opposing group to combat their former hirelings to maintain their power. They do not perform these actions for greed or power but for survival without conscience.

    Detachment
    A neutral person rarely mourns or regrets. Their fundamental belief that things happen for a greater purpose beyond their ken makes such feelings difficult. The loss of someone or something whom a person has an emotional attachment to might trigger a feeling of loss but if that loss increases that person's chances for achieving their ambitions they are just as likely to take advantage of the situation. The classic situation of two starving people on a boat with no resources is a good example of this. A good person would simply wait to die or be rescued and do their best to keep their companion as healthy as they are able regardless of the cost to self. In the event their companion dies first they would rather die themselves than desecrate their companion's body. A neutral person would be most likely to wait to die or be rescued but if their companion dies before themselves they would use their less fortunate companion to increase their own chances of survival in any way they can conceive. An evil person is more likely to not wait for their companion to die, kill them as soon as reasonably possible and use their companion's remains as resources to increase their chances of survival.

    Passive Opportunism
    It is not in the nature of a neutral individual to take aggressive actions not related to their survival or interests. Instead, they engage in passive opportunism. If an opportunity presents itself to improve their lot and would not negatively impact their future desires they are likely to take advantage of the situation regardless of the moral or ethical considerations of the action.

    More later. Work calls.
    Last edited by Fixer; 2007-10-10 at 01:10 PM.
    The easy I do before breakfast,
    The difficult I do all day long,
    The impossible achieved during the workweek,
    Miracles performed when possible.
    People call me the Fixer,
    and I am here to help you.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Fixer's Guide to Neutrality
    Fixer's Fighter Fix
    (Campaign) Characters:
    Searching For... Goldenrod
    Survival... Gelder

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Fixer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    This is reserved for future updates.
    The easy I do before breakfast,
    The difficult I do all day long,
    The impossible achieved during the workweek,
    Miracles performed when possible.
    People call me the Fixer,
    and I am here to help you.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Fixer's Guide to Neutrality
    Fixer's Fighter Fix
    (Campaign) Characters:
    Searching For... Goldenrod
    Survival... Gelder

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Fixer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    More reserved post. (Stupid thing not allowing same thing in adjacent posts.)
    The easy I do before breakfast,
    The difficult I do all day long,
    The impossible achieved during the workweek,
    Miracles performed when possible.
    People call me the Fixer,
    and I am here to help you.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Fixer's Guide to Neutrality
    Fixer's Fighter Fix
    (Campaign) Characters:
    Searching For... Goldenrod
    Survival... Gelder

  4. - Top - End - #4

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Quicky one: neutrality is one of two things. Indecission (well, even the PHB details it, though that's more like N/A alignment), and equilibrium (see: Mordenkainen). That's TN, of course. The other N's are the most refined versions of their axes, simply.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Fixer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Third post.
    Last edited by Fixer; 2007-11-27 at 12:39 PM.
    The easy I do before breakfast,
    The difficult I do all day long,
    The impossible achieved during the workweek,
    Miracles performed when possible.
    People call me the Fixer,
    and I am here to help you.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Fixer's Guide to Neutrality
    Fixer's Fighter Fix
    (Campaign) Characters:
    Searching For... Goldenrod
    Survival... Gelder

  6. - Top - End - #6

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Well, want answers? Stand up to 'em. Else, discuss moral dichtomy's with yourself.


    And as for the third post: "hell, it's about time"

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Fixer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    I am not looking for answers. I am attempting to find the real question.

    Answers are the ends of things.
    The easy I do before breakfast,
    The difficult I do all day long,
    The impossible achieved during the workweek,
    Miracles performed when possible.
    People call me the Fixer,
    and I am here to help you.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Fixer's Guide to Neutrality
    Fixer's Fighter Fix
    (Campaign) Characters:
    Searching For... Goldenrod
    Survival... Gelder

  8. - Top - End - #8

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    And "what the person who dreams of something wants is not to get his dream, but to keep dreaming"?

    Oh, BTW. The question being already presented (and the answer too: 42), you might also want to add something: neutrality is usually the end of things. Since no adherence is likely to provide a wider view, wizened and long lived adventurers are likely to turn neutral in due time. Their broad knowledge enables them, over time, to see that everything is actually the way it is for a reason, and how most changes are foolish. In short, with neutrality usually comes wisdom, and with it, understanding of the world.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Tengu's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    My thoughts:

    Neutrality (on the good/evil scale) comes in three variants:
    1. Neutral The Way It Should Be - you care mostly for your own self-being, and that of your friends and family. You do not like hurting others much and won't do it unless the benefit is much greater than what needs to be done (hey, not your fault that this man forgot his wallet!), but you usually won't help people you don't know unless there's something in it for you.
    2. Neutral Indifferent - does not care about anything. Ignores plot hooks, ignores other people (including the party, usually), spends most of the time brooding or trying to do stuff that's centered on him. Usually whines that nothing is happening afterwards. Very annoying.
    3. Neutral Psychotic - balances each good act with an evil act of the same strength, and vice versa. If there are several forces in a place that struggle for power, he'll ensure that they are in balance. The way AD&D seen True Neutral as an alignment. Completely retarded - does anyone, apart from insane people and followers of really strange philosophical systems, act in this way?

    Neutrality on the law/chaos scale is as hard to define as chaotic and lawful alignments, but generally means your character is ordinary when it comes to these matters or does not think about them much.

    I disagree with your thoughts, Fixer - your point is basically "good/evil/law/chaos are blind and self-righteous, neutrality is the only wise stance". Alignment has nothing to do with personal insight.
    Last edited by Tengu; 2007-10-09 at 11:36 AM.

    Birdman of the Church of Link's Hat

  10. - Top - End - #10

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Actually, neutral psychotic is followed (though not in that kind of goodone bad one balance) by Mordenkainen. He makes sure both good or evil don't threaten greyhawk, and sometimes oerth.

    But we are twsiting Fixer's thread.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Telonius's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Wandering in Harrekh
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    I think there are a few flavors of neutrality. Each flavor can apply to either the Law/Chaos axis, or the Good/Evil axis.

    1. "Hadn't thought of it." Neutral, in this sense, means that the person really hasn't had either the time or inclination to think about matters of Law and Chaos, or Good and Evil. They just kind of muddle their way through. Alternately, they might consider even thinking about that sort of thing an invitation to trouble (i.e. attracting adventurers to their inn).

    2. "Undecided." In this sense, the person is aware of the difference between Good and Evil, or Law and Chaos. They understand that the difference is in some way important. But, they haven't made a firm commitment one way or the other. People don't usually stay "Undecided" Neutral for very long, particularly on the Good-Evil axis. However, there are exceptions.

    3. "The balance must be maintained!" People in this flavor of neutrality actively seek to balance things out. If Law gets too strong, they get Chaotic. If Good is overwhelming, they kick some puppies. This is the most common place for Druidic sects. Well, except for the puppy-kicking. Anyway, some deities might fall in this category in either axis, or both.

    4. Neutral Stupid. This flavor is extremely rare, because of the speed at which it is massacred by its companions. The Neutral Stupid character takes Flavor 3 to the extreme. If their party is fighting orcs and start to win, this nitwit will switch sides and fight for the orcs for awhile, "Just to balance things out." They're usually killed by the victorious party, whichever it might be.

    5. Philosophical Neutrals. Zen-like philosophy, hard and soft agnosticism; however you want to frame it, Philosophical neutrals are neither as active as #3 nor as disorganized as #2. This group is also relatively rare. Monks and mystics make up most of them, though the occasional Bard of Geometer isn't unheard-of.
    Last edited by Telonius; 2007-10-09 at 11:47 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Fixer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Actually you are both helping. I added the bit about the selfish with regards to self and family bit.

    Let me try to find a better way of saying what I want to say. I swear English is not my first language but it is the one I seem to know best. I recognize that evil, good, lawful and chaotic are not always self-righteous, but I haven't figured out how to say it properly yet.
    The easy I do before breakfast,
    The difficult I do all day long,
    The impossible achieved during the workweek,
    Miracles performed when possible.
    People call me the Fixer,
    and I am here to help you.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Fixer's Guide to Neutrality
    Fixer's Fighter Fix
    (Campaign) Characters:
    Searching For... Goldenrod
    Survival... Gelder

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Fixer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    3. "The balance must be maintained!" People in this flavor of neutrality actively seek to balance things out. If Law gets too strong, they get Chaotic. If Good is overwhelming, they kick some puppies. This is the most common place for Druidic sects. Well, except for the puppy-kicking. Anyway, some deities might fall in this category in either axis, or both.

    4. Neutral Stupid. This flavor is extremely rare, because of the speed at which it is massacred by its companions. The Neutral Stupid character takes Flavor 3 to the extreme. If their party is fighting orcs and start to win, this nitwit will switch sides and fight for the orcs for awhile, "Just to balance things out." They're usually killed by the victorious party, whichever it might be.
    As you say, 4 is largely 3 taken to extreme so there are the three main 'normal' distinctions. I am trying to move away from the stereotypes, though, and explain the thinking process of such individuals.
    The easy I do before breakfast,
    The difficult I do all day long,
    The impossible achieved during the workweek,
    Miracles performed when possible.
    People call me the Fixer,
    and I am here to help you.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Fixer's Guide to Neutrality
    Fixer's Fighter Fix
    (Campaign) Characters:
    Searching For... Goldenrod
    Survival... Gelder

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    CrazedGoblin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    inside your D20!
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    down to the person really. it is as it is
    http://s9.bitefight.org/c.php?uid=97391

    On No Accounts Must the Above Link Be Clicked!


    Best Avatar by Sampi!

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Tengu's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Quote Originally Posted by Azerian Kelimon View Post
    Actually, neutral psychotic is followed (though not in that kind of goodone bad one balance) by Mordenkainen. He makes sure both good or evil don't threaten greyhawk, and sometimes oerth.

    But we are twsiting Fixer's thread.
    How would the forces of good threaten anything? Does it have anything to do with the hip, edgy motion that absolute good is not really good at all, but a bunch of knight templars, the motion which also spawned ridiculous amounts of badly-made "badass" anti-heroes?

    Birdman of the Church of Link's Hat

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Telonius's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Wandering in Harrekh
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Quote Originally Posted by Fixer View Post
    As you say, 4 is largely 3 taken to extreme so there are the three main 'normal' distinctions. I am trying to move away from the stereotypes, though, and explain the thinking process of such individuals.
    Just added in a fifth. Yeah, that's the stereotype, but it has to be in there. Just like Lawful Stupid and Chaotic Stupid need to be in any of the descriptions of those alignments.

  17. - Top - End - #17

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Actually you are both helping. I added the bit about the selfish with regards to self and family bit.

    Let me try to find a better way of saying what I want to say. I swear English is not my first language but it is the one I seem to know best. I recognize that evil, good, lawful and chaotic are not always self-righteous, but I haven't figured out how to say it properly yet.
    Maybe the best way is to state the famous and simple truth: all of the axis of alignment aren't forces that hate each other. Rather, they're like brothers (Or sisters. Or brothers and sisters), who might compete but value each other, and it's the people's midns that turn things into "us or them" encounters.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Fixer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu View Post
    How would the forces of good threaten anything? Does it have anything to do with the hip, edgy motion that absolute good is not really good at all, but a bunch of knight templars, the motion which also spawned ridiculous amounts of badly-made "badass" anti-heroes?
    Try to remember the line from Spaceballs, "Evil will always triumph over good because good is stupid."

    Good can be perverted. Good can be mislead. Good can become overzealous even without outside influences. Good can just as easily turn on its own kind if there is a severe enough difference of opinion on a particular philosophical doctrine.
    The easy I do before breakfast,
    The difficult I do all day long,
    The impossible achieved during the workweek,
    Miracles performed when possible.
    People call me the Fixer,
    and I am here to help you.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Fixer's Guide to Neutrality
    Fixer's Fighter Fix
    (Campaign) Characters:
    Searching For... Goldenrod
    Survival... Gelder

  19. - Top - End - #19

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    And having only good can mean no free choice. Still, since I'm good biased, I'd still do one evil deed, brainwash everyone to be forever good, and kill myself so that no evil is left.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morty's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Quote Originally Posted by Fixer View Post
    Try to remember the line from Spaceballs, "Evil will always triumph over good because good is stupid."

    Good can be perverted. Good can be mislead. Good can become overzealous even without outside influences. Good can just as easily turn on its own kind if there is a severe enough difference of opinion on a particular philosophical doctrine.
    Mislead, perverted or overzealous good isn't good anymore. It may call itself good then, but from most points of view it's evil or neutral.
    Last edited by Morty; 2007-10-09 at 12:02 PM.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Here's one that isn't there: Neutral-Mistaken. Character sees themselves as Good or Evil, but since morality is objective in D&D, self-concept can be delusional. AKA "the Miko effect". Character may sort of act in accordance with the believed alignment but with enough redeeming, harmful, or negligent actions that they simply do not fit.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Tengu's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Quote Originally Posted by Fixer View Post
    Try to remember the line from Spaceballs, "Evil will always triumph over good because good is stupid."

    Good can be perverted. Good can be mislead. Good can become overzealous even without outside influences. Good can just as easily turn on its own kind if there is a severe enough difference of opinion on a particular philosophical doctrine.
    And neutrality cannot? That's exactly the motion I meant - that good is somehow stupider or more prone to corruption. Which is bogus.

    Mordenkainen is a retard. His invention of the Disjunction spell only proves that even more.

    Birdman of the Church of Link's Hat

  23. - Top - End - #23

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Really? Mordenkainen, retard? Tell that to using shaping effects. BOOM, suddenly you can counterspell anything, say bye bye to protections, etc, without touching the equips. Instant ultracheesy spell.


    And don't bring the "this is retard" argument here. It's chidish.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Fixer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu View Post
    And neutrality cannot? That's exactly the motion I meant - that good is somehow stupider or more prone to corruption. Which is bogus.
    Your question was how good could be made to threaten. I answered that question. I never said neutrality was better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowdweller View Post
    Here's one that isn't there: Neutral-Mistaken. Character sees themselves as Good or Evil, but since morality is objective in D&D, self-concept can be delusional. AKA "the Miko effect". Character may sort of act in accordance with the believed alignment but with enough redeeming, harmful, or negligent actions that they simply do not fit.
    Actually self-delusion is not alignment-affecting. Alignment is the self-image of oneself. Others (like dieties that grant power) can disagree with your personal self-image and remove their blessings but that does not necessarily change alignment (although it can move it along by causing a crisis of faith and resentment in the person who lost the blessing). It is entirely possible that Miko, from the comic, was still good aligned at the time of her demise (and might meet Roy in the afterlife, that'd be a hoot). A moment of poor judgement under emotional duress does not an alignment shift make. It is the intention behind the action that determines alignment.
    Last edited by Fixer; 2007-10-09 at 12:18 PM.
    The easy I do before breakfast,
    The difficult I do all day long,
    The impossible achieved during the workweek,
    Miracles performed when possible.
    People call me the Fixer,
    and I am here to help you.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Fixer's Guide to Neutrality
    Fixer's Fighter Fix
    (Campaign) Characters:
    Searching For... Goldenrod
    Survival... Gelder

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Tengu's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Quote Originally Posted by Azerian Kelimon View Post
    Really? Mordenkainen, retard? Tell that to using shaping effects. BOOM, suddenly you can counterspell anything, say bye bye to protections, etc, without touching the equips. Instant ultracheesy spell.

    And don't bring the "this is retard" argument here. It's chidish.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fixer View Post
    Your question was how good could be made to threaten. I answered that question. I never said neutrality was better.
    Relax a bit, people. The only person whose stance were I attacking is a fictional character.

    Birdman of the Church of Link's Hat

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Fixer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    I never got exicted but it is good to know it was not a personal attack. I have been on the Internet far too long to get excited over a couple posts that could easily be misinterpreted.

    Now, with regards to alignment. Can someone please poke holes into my first post? Trying to find flaws so no need to be gentle. (Just don't make it personal as that's a no no on the boards.)
    The easy I do before breakfast,
    The difficult I do all day long,
    The impossible achieved during the workweek,
    Miracles performed when possible.
    People call me the Fixer,
    and I am here to help you.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Fixer's Guide to Neutrality
    Fixer's Fighter Fix
    (Campaign) Characters:
    Searching For... Goldenrod
    Survival... Gelder

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Runa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu View Post
    My thoughts:

    Neutrality on the law/chaos scale is as hard to define as chaotic and lawful alignments, but generally means your character is ordinary when it comes to these matters or does not think about them much
    Really?

    'Cause I've got a (non-RP) character that both tests and seems very strongly Neutral Good to me. I'm not sure I either agree or disagree, really, but here's how I would interpret/explain her alignment were I playing her in D&D:

    She is overwhelmingly Good aligned, with a Good Samaritan Complex of sorts (meaning, she can't resist helping others, like almost ever), but she's gone through the School of Hard Knocks.

    She knows that sometimes, one needs to do non-lawful things to survive or help others, so her opinion on laws is that they're only useful and acceptable so long as they don't pose an unfair threat to people's (including her own and especially her friends') safety or survival and aren't unfair in general. She follows laws that seem "right" or just to the letter, but she will help anyone - unfair or overestrictive laws be damned - if they are in trouble or being treated badly. She generally tries to be logical, reasonable, and unimpulsive on the whole, though, a sort of earthy personality that doesn't desire much beyond helping others and having a relatively safe and happy life with her friends.

    Er, better, more detailed explanation later. I've got class. ^^;

    ETA: Conclusion of the description which actually gets to my point. :P

    In other words: she's an otherwise Lawful personality, which will nonetheless take Chaotic actions if it seems like the only way to achieve Good ends (or if it keeps her from dying without hindering someone else's ability to survive) - because to her the higher and more important "law" is that of Good, and that overrides any kind of earthly laws; and second to Good is her own survival. So if she were an Asimovian robot, her Second and Third Laws would be swapped from the usual order of importance, in other words. :P

    Every alignment test I've ever run with her as the basis has her reading as Neutral Good to varying degrees - but always Neutral Good.

    On an interesting (to me, anyway) note, I've got a character that almost always reads Chaotic Neutral. He's impulsive, with a dislike for being controlled in any way and a tendency to tease and argue with his friends largely for the fun of it (his way of subconsciously flirting with the girl he likes involves baiting her into arguments because he thinks she's "attractively unpredictable" when she's mad). He's also usually the one to ask "What's in it for me?" if someone proposes going into danger for someone else's sake. However, for all that he has an aggressive manner with people and a strong selfish streak, he also has a huge soft spot for women and children, and he eventually falls in love with the aforementioned Neutral Good character (which scares the crap out of him, because he's not used to worrying and caring about and loving anyone but himself, heh), for whom he eventually actively decides is worth laying down his life for should it come to that (in absolute honesty, he'd probably risk at least some danger for any woman or child in trouble - again, the aforementioned huge soft spot. It's just that he'll go out of his way for that special girl). In other words, he's got elements of both Good (self-sacrifice, caring about others) and Evil (selfishness, including being aggressive and even nasty to people just for kicks) in his personality, working out to roughly Neutral (though on some tests that note such things he's noted as leaning just slightly Good, by like, one or two points, but not enough to register as actually Good-aligned. Since most of these tests were taken from the perspective of after he started associating with Ms. Neutral Good up there, this probably shouldn't be too surprising).

    I've also got another character that owing to character development, I've tested repeatedly (yes, I'm slightly addicted to online quizzes, why do you ask?) based on two different parts of her life. She always registers as having started out Chaotic Neutral, and ended Chaotic Good. This is probably because in the story, she was a biracial (literally; half-human) child, raised in a mostly Lawful-type society that thought she was an omen of a coming worldwide war/mass destruction, but whose written and unwritten laws combined to basically put her in a situation where most of her family wishes she weren't alive, but refuses to kill her, and is always polite on the surface, but underneath and not well-hidden is a hatred or fear of everything they think she represents. Worse yet, nobody told her until she was practically pubescent (which means she was about 80 :P) why on Earth the family had such feelings towards her. Which, of course, made her quite understandably hurt and outraged and confused. She wasn't outright Evil, but she was hurt enough to act in selfish ways, acting out, etc., until she hit on the idea of just running away - and when she does just that, she meets a strongly Good human whose kindness and acceptance of others is an enormous influence on her. In other words, she grows up - and realizes that for all she was selfish in her youth, all she needed was a place in the world that she could be happy with - and she's not quite selfish enough for that place to be an Evil one. She could have swung either way, ostensibly, but she ends up swinging to Good.

    So interestingly enough, we have examples here of "combinations of the two extremes" alignments, and one that's somewhere between that and just being undecided yet.

    I have a character somewhere that tends to read True Neutral sometimes - but she's not exactly human. In fact, she's basically a "probe" whose only overriding "instinct" is to gain knowledge and preserve her own existence. Which may or may not necessarily coincide with helping people, because she's built to analyze the human population, so she's also made to be very, very social, but she's also built to be overwhelmingly logic-oriented. Tends to result in a slightly skewed-seeming but logical moral code. :P

    -Runa
    Last edited by Runa; 2007-10-10 at 11:09 AM.
    "Go, my undead minions! Save the children! " - (My boyfriend now-husband, on how he planned to play a Dread Necromancer.)

    Stick-style avatar courtesy of the ever-awesome kpenguin. (If you're curious as to who it is of, she's from Watchmen)

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Citizen Joe's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    I see three types of Neutral

    Unaligned. Typically animals and mindless creatures. They aren't intelligent enough to act in a moral or ethical way.

    Carefree. These people wander around doing whatever is appropriate at the time, it all just sort of averages out to be neutral. This is the vast portion of the population. They tend to follow the path of least resistance. They are like water finding its path.

    Active neutral. These people take an active role to balance the universe. They tend to side with the underdog, sometimes just for the challenge. These people are like fire seeking out its next food source.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Raven T.'s Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Where Nature rules
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    There's quite a bit of talk about Good v. Evil v. Neutrality and that is understandable. After all, fantasy is all about the epic struggle between the Heavenly Realms and the Abyssal. However, one thing that isn't being touched on is the relationship between Law v. Chaos v. Neutrality. Is this because Law v. Chaos isn't as popular a subject or because they are more subjective than Good or Evil?
    There are those in this world who cannot abide women and detest their company; I do not number among them. Women are the charming sex, wonderfully unreasonable and meant to be adored.

    I met him in a swamp down in Dagobah
    Where it bubbles all the time like a giant carbonated soda.
    S-o-d-a, Soda

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Fixer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida

    Default Re: Fixer's Guide to Neutrality

    Good vs. Evil is more classic fantasy than anything. I know I have run two seperate campaigns that were Law vs. Chaos and my players had more moral dilemmas in those campaigns than they EVER had in my good vs. evil campaigns.

    If you believe my original post does not address the law vs. chaos conflict, please give me some information that would make it easier for me to write something more clearly addressing that distinction.
    The easy I do before breakfast,
    The difficult I do all day long,
    The impossible achieved during the workweek,
    Miracles performed when possible.
    People call me the Fixer,
    and I am here to help you.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Fixer's Guide to Neutrality
    Fixer's Fighter Fix
    (Campaign) Characters:
    Searching For... Goldenrod
    Survival... Gelder

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •