The Nine Alignments
This information is taken from www.d20srd.org, alternative
description of alignments are given in game. We list these because they are
simpler to understand (and equivalent to) the formal definitions used for the
A creature's general moral and personal attitudes are represented by its
alignment: lawful good, neutral good, chaotic good, lawful neutral, neutral,
chaotic neutral, lawful evil, neutral evil, or chaotic evil.
Alignment is a tool for developing your character's identity. It is not a
straitjacket for restricting your character. Each alignment represents a broad
range of personality types or personal philosophies, so two characters of the
same alignment can still be quite different from each other. In addition, few
people are completely consistent.
Good characters and creatures tend to protect innocent life. Evil characters
and creatures tend to debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or
"Good" implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of
sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.
"Evil" implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures
simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is
convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to
some evil deity or master.
People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against
killing the innocent but lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or
help others. Neutral people are committed to others by personal relationships.
Being good or evil can be a conscious choice. For most people, though, being
good or evil is an attitude that one recognizes but does not choose. Being
neutral on the good-evil axis usually represents a lack of commitment one way or
the other, but for some it represents a positive commitment to a balanced view.
While acknowledging that good and evil are objective states, not just opinions,
these folk maintain that a balance between the two is the proper place for
people, or at least for them.
Animals and other creatures incapable of moral action are neutral rather than
good or evil. Even deadly vipers and tigers that eat people are neutral because
they lack the capacity for morally right or wrong behavior.
Lawful characters tell the truth, keep their word, respect authority, honor
tradition, and judge those who fall short of their duties.
Chaotic characters follow their consciences, resent being told what to do, favor
new ideas over tradition, and do what they promise if they feel like it.
"Law" implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability.
On the downside, lawfulness can include close-mindedness, reactionary adherence
to tradition, judgmentalness, and a lack of adaptability. Those who consciously
promote lawfulness say that only lawful behavior creates a society in which
people can depend on each other and make the right decisions in full confidence
that others will act as they should.
"Chaos" implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos
can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary
actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only
unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets
society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them.
Someone who is neutral with respect to law and chaos has a normal respect for
authority and feels neither a compulsion to obey nor a compulsion to rebel. She
is honest but can be tempted into lying or deceiving others.
Devotion to law or chaos may be a conscious choice, but more often it is a
personality trait that is recognized rather than being chosen. Neutrality on the
lawful-chaotic axis is usually simply a middle state, a state of not feeling
compelled toward one side or the other. Some few such neutrals, however, espouse
neutrality as superior to law or chaos, regarding each as an extreme with its
own blind spots and drawbacks.
Animals and other creatures incapable of moral action are neutral. Dogs may be
obedient and cats free-spirited, but they do not have the moral capacity to be
truly lawful or chaotic.
Nine distinct alignments define all the possible combinations of the
lawful-chaotic axis with the good-evil axis. Each alignment description below
depicts a typical character of that alignment. Remember that individuals vary
from this norm, and that a given character may act more or less in accord with
his or her alignment from day to day. Use these descriptions as guidelines, not
The first six alignments, lawful good through chaotic neutral, are the standard
alignments for player characters. The three evil alignments are for monsters
A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act.
She combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight
relentlessly. She tells the truth, keeps her word, helps those in need, and
speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go
Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and
A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted
to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel
beholden to them..
Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is
good without bias for or against order.
A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard
for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he's kind and
benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and
regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what
to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree
with that of society.
Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart
with a free spirit.
A lawful neutral character acts as law, tradition, or a personal code directs
her. Order and organization are paramount to her. She may believe in personal
order and live by a code or standard, or she may believe in order for all and
favor a strong, organized government.
Lawful neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you are
reliable and honorable without being a zealot.
A neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. She doesn't feel strongly
one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most
neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment
to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil.after all,
she would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, she.s not
personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way.
Some neutral characters, on the other hand, commit themselves philosophically to
neutrality. They see good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous
extremes. They advocate the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced
road in the long run.
Neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally,
without prejudice or compulsion.
A chaotic neutral character follows his whims. He is an individualist first and
last. He values his own liberty but doesn.t strive to protect others. freedom.
He avoids authority, resents restrictions, and challenges traditions. A chaotic
neutral character does not intentionally disrupt organizations as part of a
campaign of anarchy. To do so, he would have to be motivated either by good (and
a desire to liberate others) or evil (and a desire to make those different from
himself suffer). A chaotic neutral character may be unpredictable, but his
behavior is not totally random. He is not as likely to jump off a bridge as to
Chaotic neutral is the best alignment you can be because it represents true
freedom from both society.s restrictions and a do-gooder.s zeal.
A lawful evil villain methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his
code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts. He cares about tradition,
loyalty, and order but not about freedom, dignity, or life. He plays by the
rules but without mercy or compassion. He is comfortable in a hierarchy and
would like to rule, but is willing to serve. He condemns others not according to
their actions but according to race, religion, homeland, or social rank. He is
loath to break laws or promises.
This reluctance comes partly from his nature and partly because he depends on
order to protect himself from those who oppose him 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 imagine that these compunctions put them above unprincipled
Some lawful evil people and creatures commit themselves to evil with a zeal like
that of a crusader committed to good. Beyond being willing to hurt others for
their own ends, they take pleasure in spreading evil as an end unto itself. They
may also see doing evil as part of a duty to an evil deity or master.
Lawful evil is sometimes called "diabolical," because devils are the epitome of
Lawful evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents methodical,
intentional, and frequently successful evil.
A neutral evil villain does whatever she can get away with. She is out for
herself, pure and simple. She sheds no tears for those she kills, whether for
profit, sport, or convenience. She has no love of order and holds no illusion
that following laws, traditions, or codes would make her any better or more
noble. On the other hand, she doesn't have 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.
Neutral evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents pure evil
without honor and without variation.
A chaotic evil character does whatever his greed, hatred, and lust for
destruction drive him to do. He is hot-tempered, vicious, arbitrarily violent,
and unpredictable. If he is simply out for whatever he can get, he is ruthless
and brutal. If he is committed to the spread of evil and chaos, he is even
worse. Thankfully, his plans are haphazard, and any groups he joins or forms are
poorly organized. Typically, chaotic evil people can be made to work together
only by force, and their leader lasts only as long as he can thwart attempts to
topple or assassinate him.
Chaotic evil is sometimes called "demonic" because demons are the epitome of
Chaotic evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents the
destruction not only of beauty and life but also of the order on which beauty
and life depend.