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D&D alignments.

Discussion in 'Dungeons & Dragons + Other RPGs' started by WickedPrince, Sep 17, 2023.

  1. WickedPrince Gems: 9/31
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    The other day I had a "discussion" with people I play with online about what being Lawful means. Apparently somebody convinced the majority that creating your own laws while disobeying all other laws still counts as lawful. I was thinking about my distaste for this interpretation when I realized I had basically heard this argument before with the silly logic used by people who used to claim that as chaotic evil they can "pretend" they are lawful good - because chaotic means you refuse to adhere to any system of order including your own alignment. In both cases IMHO you are basically playing neutral, but pretending otherwise for some reason, probably so you can take that assassin class or paladin or what-ever. Your character doesn't have to be suicidally relentless about their alignment, but pretending some pretext allows you to play any alignment at any time while still insisting you are a distinct alignment other than neutral is wrong. (Or maybe at most one of the neutral offshoots.) The same group calls lawful good = lawful stupid. Probably because everyone they've ever seen play the alignment used it as an excuse to be offensive. IMHO having a code of honor is not the same as being lawful if your code allows you to break local/regional laws. That's pretty much the way the alignment has always been explained. A chaotic good character for instance will have a distinct code of honor about always trying to do good; but that doesn't shift their alignment to lawful. Heck, a chaotic evil person could have a code saying they'll break every law they can and always lean towards the option that causes the most damage to the lives around them; that isn't Lawful. Sorry if this is getting long, I'm just really disgruntled about this. Hm, remembering a related argument I'd had with a GM long ago. I was playing a warrior/priest of a goddess of law and justice. Our current enemy was a powerful person with claws buried deep on the local government; and thus immune to the laws of that kingdom. There was no way to bring him to justice through normal means, so the GM suggested we infiltrate his base and dismantle him from the inside. Then he turned to me and insisted that taking part in this was breaking my faith with my goddess. I insisted that a person who is above the law, and still evil, needs to be brought to justice by any means. I ended up having to ditch the character and create a new one. Even better, I ended up missing the sessions involving the infiltration, so I had to ditch my character for no reason at all - other than the GM insisting I couldn't even associate with people who would use underhanded means to bring an evil person to justice without breaking faith with the goddess. Every one of these cases is somebody reinterpreting the rules on the alignments in a way that lets them believe that their interpretation is correct.
     
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    Well, my first introduction was this:
    However, IIRC the 2nd edition PHB said that alignment is not a straight jacket, and specifically noted that a paladin's code of conduct did not necessarily mesh with local laws, especially if the paladin is operating in a country that has been taken over by an evil dictator that has passed all kinds of immoral and unjust laws. He won't automatically fall for breaking said laws.
    Also a lawful evil character can have his own set of rules that allow him to commit crimes but still be considered Lawful. Baatezu (aka devils) may operate like this.
     
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    While part of a lawful character's code is often following the laws of the land as well, there's no inherent overlap between regional laws and characters of lawful alignments. Monks are strictly lawful because they adhere to their way of life to a T, but local laws hold no real meaning to someone who spends most of their life in isolation. Paladins are far too often played as "lawful stupid" because, especially in earlier editions, there was almost no wiggle room within their codes. Those are characters for whom everything is black and white and can only function in very "simple" environments (i.e. no moral dilemmas). But anyway, arguments like these are why alignment is a stupid system and why most newer RPGs have done away with it. Just play the character you want to play and stop trying to justify your actions by your alignment.
     
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    I'm not sure the monk analogy works; yes they have a personal code of honor based on their beliefs; but part of that (usually) is avoiding causing strife; which ignoring laws willy-nilly would do. It would cause strife between the monk and the local authorities; and depending on how they are breaking the laws it would cause strife with the community. As far as the Paladin's old problems; most of that was caused by somebody wanting to be very narrow-minded; either the player (possibly to avoid being excommunicated, more likely just so he could be authoritarian and demand control) or by somebody else who wants to see the paladin brought down. It was the same kind of narrow-minded thinking as the GM who decided my warrior/priest couldn't take part in a clandestine operation to bring a criminal to justice. Because apparently invading a criminal's home to "arrest" him is breaking the law and we can't do that.

    Personally I'm of two minds regarding alignments; they tend to be constraining of players who want total ability to create their characters morals on the fly - without somebody complaining that they aren't playing the alignment right. But it also creates the essence of a moral compass for the character that will help the player define their character's personality. This last can be especially important for new players who aren't used to the idea of inventing a character with it's own personality for them to play.
     
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    I've talked about this before in at least one other thread, but I also ran into this at one point.
    I had a character rolled up that was a somewhat exaggerated version of myself as a teenager when being subjected to some bad authority figures. (rant deleted, don't ask unless you want an angry rant about high school experiences that can be compared to Taylor Hebert in Worm only without The Locker or the kids having cell phones to coordinate or e-mail to flood my inboxes. )
    In any case, I'd made a character in 2nd edition AD&D with a strict moral code he adhered to, but had little respect for authority due to bad experiences in his past. He was also a bit whimsical and often made decisions by flipping a coin or rolling a die (typically a d6 or two he used for playing craps). The character was also honest by making a point to never outright lie, although it was inspired by the fae and he could mislead, understate, exaggerate, or use lies of omission. He often felt compelled to meddle in certain things, such as cases of bullying, nobles abusing peasants, rape, or harm to children.

    I declared him Neutral Good, but the DM kept insisting that I was flip-flopping between Lawful Good and Chaotic Good.
    One minute I'd be using a strict code of behavior and being lawful good and insisting on meddling with the noble beating up and molesting (but not raping, just coping a feel) the peasant girl (and the subsequent trouble this causes because he's a minor noble brat and the character is an Outsider without a title), the next I'd have the character (and actually do it) flip a coin to decide if he's going to go left or right when looking for a bar or brothel, then flipping a coin again to decide to stop in the bar and try to pick up a girl for the night or keep looking for a brothel to get a sure thing. Or he'd decide to do silly stuff on a lark like busting into song like he was in a musical and acting chaotic (he WAS a bard).

    It caused a similar argument, since I argued that the so-called flip-flopping was exactly why I put him down as Neutral on the law-chaos axis since his personality had elements of both and he adhered to neither. I'd also played him consistently and had a good grasp of his personality.
    I'd actually started by originally intending on making him an exaggerated parody of myself, but he grew away from that very quickly when I was working things out.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2023
  6. WickedPrince Gems: 9/31
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    flip-flopping is exactly what most neutral characters would do, deciding from moment to moment which makes most sense in the present situation. As an example with Mass Effect if you want to balance paragon and renegade you have to alternate choices each time MOST of the time.
     
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    Exactly, he was neutral on the law-chaos axis. His personality had elements of both.
    I actually had fun with that bard and didn't make him too serious...unless children were threatened or rape was happening (such as half-orcs being made during an orcish raid on a human village). Then he got deadly serious. Although in the case of the orcs raping some village women I tried to be semi humorous to my fellow players by making my character make called kicks/stabs to the groin of the rapists.

    Sorry if it went too dark there, our DM sometimes made NPCs that were supposed to be vial and evil commit vial and evil acts to help motivate the PCs to go after them. Plus we all knew that type of stuff happens, and it was well documented as happening in WWII and Vietnam.
     
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    The point wasn't that monks would go around breaking laws willy-nilly. The point was that in the absence of laws, monks are still lawful. Ergo, while following local laws might be why your alignment is lawful, your alignment being lawful in no way needs to imply that you should follow any local laws. It might be due to your beliefs or simply because you're a creature of habit.

    Alignment in Mass Effect isn't a sliding scale though. You can build both paragon and renegade sides at the same time. A neutral disposition in Mass Effect is selecting choices that aren't strongly aligned with either side. But then you miss out on all the fun stuff. :shake:

    If I'm honest I've never seen a game where alignment worked in the players' favor. It has always led to arguments or simply inorganic behavior. Characters are supposed to mimic actual people and you can't fit most people into 9 personality boxes. It's also why MBTI is considered bullshit in the real world. Some character traits might strongly affect the behavior of a person (e.g. are they introverted or not), but most do not influence one's decisions nearly as much (if at all). Realistically, most decisions are based on a character's mood, the circumstances, the company, the urgency, and the goddamn weather and moon cycles for all we know. I don't stop my players if they want to put an alignment down on their character sheets if it helps guide them, but it has no mechanical meaning in my games and I'll never argue with them if a decision doesn't reflect that alignment.
     
  9. WickedPrince Gems: 9/31
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    Yes, you can move in both directions in ME; but you probably won't get far enough with either to matter. If your swing between the extremes balances then you are neutral. On the monk, the way you stated things IMHO was reasonably interpreted the way I did. But yes, any lawful person finding themselves in an anarchy is likely to follow the laws they are used to except for special circumstances.

    I tried to explain to them that the moral code = lawful idea doesn't work. If my moral code is to break rules whenever I can, do the maximum harm to others whenever I can. I have a moral code. By definition this would be a chaotic evil code; but according to their argument following a personal code makes you lawful. When I tried to explain what I saw as false logic; one of them left the chat; and the others tried to prevaricate in order to support their theory. I realized that they were going to interpret the way they wanted and no argument was going to sway them so I walked away too. I think they are loaded to the gills with BS; but I won't beat my head against a brick wall in the hopes somebody sees light.

    I have to be a little amused, you talk about how in ME you get more benefit for playing one alignment or the other rather than being middling. Then you say alignments never make a game better. I think you disproved your own point. Mass Effect games; Star Wars games; and probably others I'm not remembering atm are heavily flavored with their intrinsic alignments. Neither of those games/settings would be half as good without their alignments.
     
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    I don't think the ME morality system contributes anything of value, to be honest. It's just that the most fun replies/reactions in the game are locked behind the alignment system, at least in ME1 and 2. ME3 sort of remedies that later on by having only a single reputation score.

    In Star Wars games, the alignment feels more natural because the light and dark side are intrinsic properties of the setting. This, however, is in contrast to most modern RPG settings, where we've moved away from stereotypes over the years. Even creatures created on strongly-aligned planes of existence are no longer required to adhere to that specific alignment, and I think that's a much better way to tell stories and make interesting characters.

    I think the idea of a lawful character following a chaotic code of conduct is an interesting thought experiment. I believe that a character that consistently and predictably breaks rules (as long as it's not their own rules) could still count as lawful. The problem with that is that breaking rules tends to result in chaos as a side effect, and lawful characters would want to avoid that. It's a dichotomy of cause and effect that makes it hard to justify such a character if you're forced to fit them in a box. This just proves how limited the alignment system is though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2023
  11. WickedPrince Gems: 9/31
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    IMHO the main problem is that "I follow my own rules!" thing being "Lawful" is rubbish. It doesn't mesh with the alignment system; because with that premise everybody is lawful as long as they MOSTLY follow their alignment code. They don't even have to consistently do it every single time really as long as they almost always do so.

    I moved into a new apartment back in December; for the first time in maybe 15 years I've been able to dig out my books and shelve them where I can go through and decide what I'd like to read again. One of my faves is TH White's: Once and Future King - about his interpretation of King Arthur. Merlin explains to Arthur early on that there are basically two morality codes: Might Makes Right; aka; I'm the strongest so I make the rules and I'm always right; and Right Makes Might; aka; having a universal and reasonably fair set of rules makes me stronger; if nothing else because more people will support me of their own free will. The first one would also be commonly known as the law of "survival of the fittest." The first also has a hierarchy; if I can consistently beat you than you have to obey me; if you can consistently beat the next guy then he has to obey you, at least when I'm not around. Having rules; but rules that are haphazardly applied and not really fair or good is not lawful. At best if they are nearly always applied then I'd accept Lawful Evil. If they are applied too haphazardly then it's Chaotic Evil. If your moral code causes chaos, strife and disorder around you then it's not Lawful.

    I had a discussion with one of the people in that group a while back about Medieval Japan's D&D alignment. I said it was lawful evil because the laws were mostly very oppressive, and allowed higher-ranking individuals to go so far as murder lower-ranking individuals simply because you believe they were dishonoring you. They didn't actually have to have done anything; because your perception was correct because of your status. It's another case of Might Makes Right. Applied consistently it's tyrannical - which is my best definition of Lawful Evil. He insisted that because they had laws, and in their own minds they were Lawful Good; then they were Lawful Good. "In their own minds" has nothing to do with their alignment; by that definition a psycho-killer who believes he's justified in his murders is Lawful Good. Rubbish.

    By that definition as long as a person believes they are in the moral right, they are Lawful Good: Paladin/Assassins for everyone! Of course in the last few eds they tended to either create a variant of a class that could be another alignment; or they just removed the alignment restriction. Avengers in 4E were assassins who only killed those who deserved and needed to be killed. Their definition of who that is would be flavored by their alignment.

    ME was designed as more or less a knock-off of Star Wars: BioWare wanted to do another SW game; but then decided the cost of the IP was too much so they created their own setting; one where your actions build up your good or bad karma. IMHO it was a good system for showing people that "what goes around, comes around" means.
     
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    You bring up another issue with alignment that I've long had a problem with: Classic alignments conflate ethics and morality. Most characters can have their own code of ethics and, as long as they stick to it, I have no problem with them being lawful. Morality is different, however. You have what we, as players, consider moral and right. Then you have what the society in the setting considers moral and right. And on top of that, you have cosmic morality, which is supposed to be what's "truly" moral and right. Sure, you also have cosmic law and chaos, but those don't really define specific actions in the material plane beyond some grand strokes that bring order or anarchy. For example, murder, as you've stated, is always considered evil. Even if a character's code lets them believe they're in the right, it is evil on a cosmic scale and should be reflected in their alignment. The same cannot be said for the lawfulness of actions.

    Also, I don't think BioWare wanted to make another SW game. That's not how I remember it at least. They wanted to create a sci-fi setting that rivaled Star Wars, but it was never pitched as a knock-off of Star Wars. If anything, the fact that they have a similar morality system is incidental at best, because it's simply something that worked for them when they made KotOR and it's something they iterated on over the span of the games. I don't remember it even being part of the original plan. The games were good at making sure your actions had visible and lasting consequences in the universe, but those would work just as well if you removed the morality system completely. It's more of a tacked-on thing to give people a sense of their character's disposition.
     
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    The whole point of alignments was to suggest most races have a standard morality via alignment (standard and common, not shoe-horned in every single case). I've played in "evil" campaigns where we were all required to be evil. I've played in regular campaigns where everyone chose to be evil (or at least most, I have always play CG unless I want to play a paly or monk - so I coerced myself to slide towards evil every so often after realizing my character could not fight the whole group - and didn't want to - and had to put up with their evil antics.) I've also had some entertaining discussions that US legal and government structure were intended to be Chaotic Good; the whole concept of free will is obviously chaotic; but the addon for supporting the culture and people (the common good) make it Good. All the early laws were designed to give us maximum freedom whole protecting our society and it's people. It's taken us about 250 years to almost totally bastardize that ethos into one that's increasingly a communist dictatorship. The amendment system was necessary for correcting things the Founding Fathers didn't imagine as a problem that needed to be addressed; but it also opened the door for outright bastardizing the system with constant amendments that reverse almost everything in the original Constitution. I remember watching news flashes where various congressmen claimed that the Constitution was an outdated piece of paper of no interest to anyone except historians that only served to hinder them from doing their job of serving THEIR people - at the expense of the rest of us which is contrary to their real purpose. IMHO doing the first feeds the decline in the whole and ultimately benefits very few if anyone. And yes, alignments serve both as a personal morality; and a societal one reflected in the political/religious/legal structure of entire kingdoms. it's a convenient way to show why different groups; Kingdoms, Religions and even races either do or do not get along. It's a very easy way to get a brief and fast overview of a group and figure out who their friends and enemies are likely to be. It also helps explains a lot of the racial/cultural/religious conflicts.

    For a campaign setting I'd created the first major conflict happened between the Dwarves and Elves; as they came to understand the basics of each others culture their personal mind-set left them confused about how the other race could live with, or without a hard legal structure. To the Lawful Good Dwarves they couldn't imagine that a society could accurately support Good without a sound legal structure. To the Elves such a structure could be too easily used for the opposite purpose; supporting evil by taking away an individual's right to decide what choices are good and evil; not just for himself but all others that are important to him. To the Dwarves the Elves lived in Anarchy and they needed to be taught Order. To the Elves the Dwarves lived in a Tyranny and needed to be taught Free Will. And the war was on. The whole campaign setting was an Elven Forest kingdom that had suffered three major devastating wars; including the one with the Dwarves; that depleted their numbers far faster than they could replace them; convincing the Elven King into allowing other forest-friendly races to colonize border areas of the kingdom to reinforce the defenses. (I borrowed a Shining Force idea of a culture including a variety of races all working towards the common good; or at least the dominance of their own kingdoms.)

    BW openly said ME was intended to be another SW game during their initial discussions to create the game; that's why it has an alignment system and a variety of species - although they got a bit more bizarre than SW (almost every species has 2 fingers and a thumb - with the strongest finger on the trigger how do you keep control of the gun when you are holding it with your pinky? - think about it.). but just like the kotor games; you can't play as anything except human. They of course decided that they had to remove anything that resembled a lightsaber to avoid any question of copyright, and at the same time they removed groups like the Jedi Order, but then put in the Alliance Military and the Citadel Council as a surrogates for SW organizations like the Republic and the Jedi - without the Jedi ethics. It's also why they created biotics as a replacement for The Force; they wanted some sort of "space magic" - so when they came up with the Mass Effect concept they created individuals who "just had" the special ability to manipulate it - again they're just variant Jedi without the Jedi code. Biotics are essentially Jedi whose powers are restricted to telekinetic - aka - mind over matter. But we've seen with Reaper tech that ME fields can have mind-altering affects as well; we encounter a variety of groups who accidentally uncovered "a Prothean artifact" that turned out to be Reaper that subsequently manipulated them into only feeling safe when the slept in the room with the artifact and then it slowly transitioned them into husks. Sovereign's manipulation of Saren and Benezia also show this. It was even able to coerce a group of Geth that one particular mathematical formula had a false conclusion to ensure their loyalty. (This is just gamers discussing; but it shows my points: https://www.reddit.com/r/masseffect/comments/15gen29/was_mass_effect_always_intended_to_be_the/ ) - https://www.gamedeveloper.com/produ...ss-effect-i-instead-of-i-star-wars-kotor-2-i- - https://www.cbr.com/star-wars-kotor-mass-effect-bioware-influence/ - the rest are more info from BW staff about it.
     
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    I can't deny that there are plenty of similarities between the franchises, especially in the first installment, but I've never heard it said that ME was supposed to be another SW game, and it's not what those articles and threads say either. BW was considering making a sequel to KotOR, yes, but they chose to drop it to focus on other projects. Once they decided to pursue another sci-fi project again, Hudson pitched an idea for a similarly epic universe that was actually very different from Star Wars (even if it didn't end up being in the end). Of course, they then chose to take elements from KotOR and previous games that they knew worked well for them, which included a familiar red and blue alignment system, space magic, and the classic BioWare story arc. Some of the similarities are probably incidental. You would do just as well if you compared the Alliance Military and the Citadel Council to Star Fleet and the Alliance of Planets from Star Trek. It's not like any of these concepts are particularly novel in sci-fi settings.
     
  15. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    In the old books written by E. Gary Gygax the idea of alignment was fairly simple:

    Lawful believes the needs of the society outweigh the needs of the individual.
    Chaotic believes individual rights are paramount in a society.
    Neutral believes both the needs of the society and individual rights are important, neither should be dominant.

    Good beings are selfless, they willingly come to aid of others even at risk of their own life.
    Evil is the embodiment of selfishness, they will typically not do anything for others unless there is sufficient personal gain.
    Neutral believes in a natural balance with morals; for example, creatures kill when necessary (defense or food) and it is neither seen as good or evil.

    I have also seen too many decide that Lawful Good is akin to Lawful Stupid. Likewise the Chaotic Evil person (and chaotic neutral) is often portrayed as sociopath, psychopath, or schizophrenic -- obviously these are forms of insanity (which is not part of alignment). Neither of these should be used in the game.

    The basis of Lawful Good is the belief that an orderly, strong society with a well-organized government can work to make life better for the majority of the people (AD&D PHB). Lawful Evil characters believe in using society and its laws to benefit themselves. Chaotic good characters are strong individualists marked by a streak of kindness and benevolence (think of the lone gunslinger in the old west whose moral compass, although good, may not align with the local authorities). Chaotic evil characters are motivated by the desire for personal gain and pleasure.
     
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    I always had trouble telling the difference between neutral evil and chaotic evil characters.
    I also had trouble with identifying lawful evil other than lawyers, bureaucrats, and other government officials.
    I wasn't sure that my school Dean counted as Lawful Evil, just Neutral Evil considering that he didn't apply the rules the same way to everybody. If a Target did something he was punished for "provoking" or "antagonizing", but if somebody did the same thing to the Target then he was just told to "just ignore it" or "just walk away", and no punishment was given, or the Target was punished for "tattling".
     
  17. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Mafia could be considered Lawful Evil -- it's just they are adhering to their own rigid rules and standards.

    I think the only difference between NE and CE is a CE character will tend to openly rebel against the system, even if they agree with the (lack of) moral base while the NE will support the system where it benefits them and rebel against it when it doe not. To me, the difference between CE and CN is a confusing line.
     
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    A CN can come in many flavors.
    Also they might occasionally do good. They generally won't go out and commit evil acts that hurt innocent people as collateral damage, but can be very individualistic and neglectful of rules, especially if nobody's getting hurt (physically, emotionally, financially, politically, etc).
    A CE character on the other hand is only out for themselves and will do whatever they can get away with to get what they want.
    Alternately they are the type who want to tear down the system and don't care who gets hurt as long as they get their revenge or their point made.
     
  19. WickedPrince Gems: 9/31
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    Lawful Evil is what you'd call the common dictator "do as I say; not as I do." Who uses his laws to abuse the people he wants to abuse; and give power to those he wants as allies and only follows his laws when he wants to, or changes them on a whim either to benefit himself, or to punish those he desires to punish. You can use anyone who would count as a dictator from all of history and they'd fit Lawful Evil. One of my favorite examples was Vlad Dracula (the real one, not the vampire) who would have entire villages of his own people impaled because of lack of loyalty. Using them as an example to show their neighboring villages what to expect if they weren't utterly loyal. As for the difference between Chaotic Evil and Chaotic Neutral; Chaotic evil will always try to break laws and rules, and always do so in ways that cause the most harm. Chaotic Neutral doesn't care about good or evil, either can be used as long as it supports free will. Aleister Crowley can stand in for what true chaotic neutral is. During his time there was an underground cult that believed that they could do magic; but they followed a code that said "and thou harm none, do as thou shalt." - Crowley altered this to "do what thou shalt is the whole of the law." Where the others sought freedom without causing harm to others; he simply didn't care if he caused harm or not as long as he could do what he wanted. Many consider him to have been evil; because according to stories he did commit acts of evil; but evil wasn't his cause or goal; freedom was; the evils just happened to be necessary (in his own mind at least) for his freedom. Neutral Evil doesn't care about law and order, or chaos and anarchy; they only care about the greater evil; either can be used as long as it supports the greater evil. The people who insist "I can pretend to be lawful even though I'm chaotic" don't really understand the concept. Certainly anyone can act in ways contradictory to their core alignment from time to time; but if they think they can do so willy nilly they aren't really the alignment they espouse; they are in some neutral territory. I'm noting I said a lot of "always" previously, but none of the alignments are carved in stone, they all have a little wiggle room. If a player assumes he his character can be chaotic evil and he can still "pretend" he's Lawful Good, just let him know that his alignment has changed and shift him closer to Lawful Good, and then let him decide if he wants to adhere to his declared alignment to get shifted back.
     
  20. WickedPrince Gems: 9/31
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    Ok, going to admit I get obnoxious when I get my high hat on. So everything I say here is IMHO. I know people will disagree probably on my definitions of alignments. But these are my takes on the alignments and how I explain them to new players. The main thing for me is that all this chatter about "I'm lawful if I have a code of honor" is BS because it's perfectly viable to have a chaotic/anarchic code of honor; which by definition isn't lawful; it's contradictory. Whether having an alignment system in an RPG is right or wrong isn't relevant to me - I've played plenty that didn't. What is important to me is that players understand they are supposed to be heroes, not villains; and that the party should get along; even if there are disagreements. With D&D the alignments have always been important to the game even if not really needed per-se - they still are intrinsic to the system. Even if they've removed the alignment restrictions from most of the classes.
     
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