Alignments (SatAM)


Lawful Good

Lawful good combines honor and compassion for the innocent.

Lawful good characters uphold society and its laws, believing that these laws are created to work for the good and prosperity of all. They believe that an ideal society is one with a well-organized government and law-abiding citizens. They are both honest and benevolent, and will work within the established system to change it for the better, and will strive to bring order to goodness that other good-aligned characters might pool their resources to better the world. Lawful good characters combine commitment to oppose evil with discipline. Most lawful good characters live by a strict code of honor, or by the rules of conduct set down by their deity. They will generally selflessly act by these codes even at the cost of their own life.

It must however be stressed that blind obedience to local laws is not required by the Lawful Good alignment. For example, Paladins are not in violation of their alignment if they decide to take up arms against a usurper on behalf of the rightful king, even though that means going against the sedition laws instated by the usurper. This is because the word "law" is actually taken for the concept of "order", and order may fight order.

An incorruptible policeman, a ruler or politician who acts for the good of the people, and a heroic soldier who strictly obeys the laws of battle are all examples of lawful good characters.

Neutral Good

This alignment desires good without bias for or against order

Neutral good characters do good for goodness' sake, not because they are directed to do so by the law or by whim. These characters believe that the forces of law and chaos should not moderate the need for people to do good. These characters will support social structures only when they are for the good of the community. If overthrowing an existing social order is what needs to be done to foster good, then they will not be afraid to do so. Their need to help others and reduce suffering may take precedence over all else.

A doctor who treats both sides in a fight, a knight who stands up to his own master to protect a wrongfully accused servant and an aid worker who feeds the starving in a war zone are all examples of neutral good characters.

Neutral Good has sometimes been described as the "purest" form of good, without bias towards law or chaos, though this has fallen out of favor recently with most of the gods of good being declared "Lawful Good", as well as their attendant servants.

Chaotic Good

Chaotic good combines a good heart with a free spirit

Heroes of the downtrodden, chaotic good characters act as their conscience directs them with little regard for what others expect. They believe firmly in making their own way in life, and dislike others who try to intimidate or use their authority on them. They are kind and benevolent, and are strong individualists, hostile to the claims of rules, regulations, and social order. These people will actively work to bring down unjust rulers and organizations and to liberate the oppressed. They find lawful societies distasteful and will often avoid them, living as nomads or hermits.

Noble rebel leaders fighting corrupt or venal regimes, vigilantes acting for what they see as the greater good, mercenaries who only work for the good guys, and anyone who "robs from the rich to give to the poor" are all examples of chaotic good characters.


Lawful Neutral

Lawful neutral combines reliability and honor, without moral bias.

Lawful neutral characters are directed by law, logic, tradition, or personal code. Order and organization are paramount to them. They may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government, whether that is a compassionate democracy or an oppressive dictatorship.

This does not mean that Lawful Neutral characters are amoral or immoral, or do not have a moral compass; but simply that their moral considerations come a distant second to what their code, tradition or law dictates.

A functionary, soldier, or employee who follows orders without question regardless of the result; an arms dealer who sells wares to the highest bidder, whatever that bidder may do with them; and an impartial jurist who sticks rigidly to the rule book are all examples of lawful neutral characters.

Neutral Neutral

The neutral alignment is without prejudice or compulsion.

Neutral characters do whatever seems to be a good idea. They do not feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good and evil or order and chaos. They think of good as better than evil, after all, they would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. However, they are not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way.

This is the most common alignment of sentient creatures and the alignment of almost all animals and other creatures of very low intelligence.

True Neutral

Some neutral characters commit themselves to a philosophy of neutrality. These people are extremely rare in a world where most people make value judgements, and are said to be "true neutral."

True Neutral characters see good, evil, law and chaos as simply prejudices and dangerous extremes. They advocate that the middle way of neutrality is the best and most balanced road in the long run.

Some true neutral characters will actively support neutrality and balance in the world. They will avoid having to support any one side, whether that be good or evil, order or chaos; and will work to see that all of these forces remain in balance.

Other true neutrals are simply characters who are tired of this concept of 'morality', and find that they draw no meaning from it. These characters are not neutral out of choice, but simply that they care not either way - they are passively neutral, but still falls under the banner of true neutral. An example is a simple farmer whose only concern in life is to work his fields to feed himself and his family.

Chaotic Neutral

Chaotic Neutral is freedom from both society's restrictions and a do-gooder's zeal.

Chaotic neutral characters follow their whims. They are individualists first and last. They value their own liberty but do not strive to protect the freedom of others. They avoid authority, resent restrictions, and challenge traditions. Chaotic neutral characters don't intentionally disrupt organizations as part of a campaign of anarchy. To do so, they would have to be motivated either by good (a desire to help people) or by evil (a desire to hurt people).

Chaotic neutral characters may be unpredictable, but their behavior is not totally random - they are not as likely to jump off a bridge as to cross it. However, they do act on momentary whims, and are known to be unreliable. As some would say, "the only reliable thing about them is that they cannot be relied upon!"

A wandering rogue who lives both by work for hire and petty theft, an eccentric mage who experiments with dangerous magic just to view the results, and a con-artist or hustler who plays all sides against the middle to further his own aims are all examples of chaotic neutral characters.

Strongly Chaotic Neutral

There are some Chaotic Neutral characters who choose to act in a manner that is as random as possible. Such people will regularly change their appearance, their attitudes, even the way they speak . These characters see chaos as the most important force in the universe (similar to how Lawful Neutral characters may see Law as a force upheld regardless of consequences). As a result, these characters might intentionally disrupt organizations on the simple basis that organizations are lawful entities which oppose the chaos. Such characters may appear insane to those not similarly inclined towards chaos.


Lawful Evil

Lawful evil is the methodical, intentional, and frequently successful devotion to a cruel organized system.

Lawful evil characters methodically take what they want within the limits of their personal code of conduct (which are frequently their laws, as this alignment tends to only work for people in positions of power) without regard for whom it hurts. They care about tradition, loyalty, and order but not about freedom, dignity, or life. They play by the rules, but do so without mercy or compassion. They are comfortable in a hierarchy and would like to rule, but are willing to serve. They are loath to break promises, and are therefore very cautious about giving their word unless a bargain is clearly in their favor.

This reluctance comes partly from their nature and partly because they depend on order to protect themselves from those who oppose them on moral grounds. Some lawful evil villains have particular taboos, such as not killing in cold blood (but having underlings do it) or not letting children come to harm (if it can be helped). They feel these personal morals put them above unprincipled villains but also know that they are protected by the orderly, systematic structure they exist in.

A member of a cult practicing human sacrifice and torture but with a strict code of conduct and hierarchy, a ruthless dictator or king who rules with an iron fist and kills those who oppose him and a scheming Grand Vizier are all examples of Lawful Evil characters. Devils are considered the embodiment of Lawful Evil. Another example is a leader of an organized crime family who demands loyalty and order and yet kills those who get in the way of business.

Neutral Evil

Neutral evil is pure pragmatism without honor and without variation

Neutral evil characters do whatever they can get away with. They are out for themselves, pure and simple. They shed no tears for those they kill, whether for profit, sport, or convenience, and have no love of order. They hold no illusions that following laws, traditions, or codes would make them any better or more noble. On the other hand, they do not possess the restless nature or love of conflict that a chaotic evil villain has.

Some neutral evil villains hold up evil as an ideal, committing evil for its own sake. Most often, such villains are devoted to evil deities or secret societies.

Career criminals, particularly those who harm others for money, such as hitmen, are the most obvious example of Neutral Evil.

Chaotic Evil

Chaotic evil characters do whatever their greed, hatred, and lust for destruction drives them to do. If they are simply out for whatever they can get, they are ruthless and brutal. If they are committed to the spread of evil and chaos, they are even worse. Most prefer to work alone but will sometimes join or form a group which usually doesn't last very long. Typically, chaotic evil people can be made to work together by force or through self-interest, and their leader lasts only as long as he can thwart assassination attempts.

These characters will commit any act to further their own ends. Chaotic evil is sometimes called "demonic" because demons are the embodiment of chaotic evil.

Many serial killers would fit this description, as would indeed most of the more violent and reckless criminals found in the worst sorts of places. Psychopathy, as defined by the twenty points of Hare's Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) certainly comes close to the concept of chaotic evil. However, not all chaotic evil characters are psychopaths. Raistlin from Dragonlance was Chaotic Evil in that all he cared about was his power and ambitions. He betrayed his friends and even his evil Goddess, Takhisis, to further his own ends. He had no allegiance to anyone but himself and was willing to destroy everything to become a god.

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