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Character Alignments

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Character Alignments

Post by Tengri on June 13th 2013, 10:03 pm

Character Alignments


Alignment ChartOrder Versus Chaos
EthicalLawfulNeutralChaotic
GoodLawful GoodNeutral GoodChaotic Good
NeutralLawful NeutralTrue NeutralChaotic Neutral
EvilLawful EvilNeutral EvilChaotic Evil


Time to adress the little issue known as Character Alignments! Now many of you would have a fairly rough idea of what this might entail, giving your character a general moral scope that is in line with their beliefs and actions. Keep in mind, these alignments are not meant to shoehorn your character and it is not uncommon for a deviously evil character to have a change of heart, as long as it is believable! The same can be said for a once noble and stout knight whose personal code slowly gets skewed into a more violent and stubborn mindset. Characters are fluid entities with their own aspirations and personalities, alignments simply assist in guiding a character's moral behaviour. 


If someone is having difficulty depicting a character of a particular alignment because of the alignment, or in imagining how to do so sensibly, it's probably because they're putting the cart before the horse. Alignment isn't personality and doesn't determine it. Personality determines alignment. You should first come up with the personality and see how the character functions based on it, and then see which alignment it fits. For example, instead of presenting Chaotic Evil as doing random evil acts for no reason, you might come up with a character who thinks the only way to get by is to dominate everyone else by using physical violence, and is willing to apply this method at the least provocation, lest he seem "weak", not caring that he hurts others — and then realise his behaviour and attitude amount to a kind of Chaotic Evil, this time with a reason.




GOOD ALIGNMENT


"Law is order, and good law is good order."
— Aristotle

Lawful Good - A Lawful Good character believes in the goodness inherent in all beings, in a code of conduct — be it a personal one or a set of laws —, and that an ideal world comes from promoting this dualism of structure and benevolence. These are the most blatantly good guys there are 

"I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong."

Frederick Douglass

Neutral Good - The Character Alignment of sweetness and light. A Neutral Good character will usually comply with laws if doing so benefits the greater good, but rebel against those they consider unjust or which conflict with the greater good. Neutral Good characters value freedom and will protect others' freedom as long as it's not used to do harm.

"An unjust law is no law at all."
— St. Augustine of Hippo

Chaotic Good - Chaotic Good characters are rebels and free spirits who believe in doing good, by their own standards. Some don't have a problem with greater systems such as laws as long as they leave them alone; others are anarchists who believe that too much 'order' is bad for everybody, and the betterment of all can only be achieved by actively rejecting any higher instances of power.




NEUTRAL ALIGNMENT 


"God knows, it's easy to be kind; the hard thing is to be just."
 Inspector Javert


Lawful Neutral - characters who believe in order — personal, systemic, both or either — above all else. They will always seek to obey and preserve order, even to the inconvenience of themselves and others, and even if they themselves admit the law in question is an annoying one. They must always follow their own personal vision of law and order!


"I stick my neck out for nobody."
— Rick Blaine


True Neutral - they're not selfless enough to be Good, but not exploitative enough to be Evil; they're not rule-abiding enough to be Lawful, but not arbitrary enough to be Chaotic. They could be described as morally bland.


Shirahoshi: "But if you're a pirate, Luffy... Then aren't you a bad person?"
Luffy: "... Hm? ... Mmmm... I dunno, that's up to you to decide."
— One Piece


Chaotic Neutral - do whatever the hell they like and damn the consequences (unless they're too noble or hurtful, watch out for that part!). Some say they're the ultimate free spirits, others that they're just crazy. Either way, there's no telling what they'll decide to do next — their main, and often only, concern is their own freedom. Whose side are they on? It's doubted that they even know themselves. Being Chaotic Neutral does not make them Chaotic Stupid however, these characters won't jump off a bridge for the lols, their main aim is their own freedom.  





EVIL ALIGNMENT 


"Peace through tyranny."
Megatron


Lawful Evil - A Lawful Evil character is an evil character who either tries to impose or uphold a lawful system on others without regard for their wishes, and/or adheres to a particular code. They believe in order, but mostly because they believe it is the best way of realising their evil wishes, or they feel it is a realistic and necessary compromise or restraint on them. These characters are clearly evil, but nevertheless organised, consistent, rule-abiding, and/or maybe even trustworthy and reasonable in their own limited way — in other words, Lawful Evil.


"For mine own good, all causes shall give way."
— Macbeth 

Neutral Evil- these characters will ally with anybody as long as it advances their own interests — and it is all about their own interests. These characters do not respect other people as people like themselves with feelings and needs; rather they are tools or obstacles inferior to the Neutral Evil, to be used for their advancement. Neutral Evil characters are intrinsically selfish and amoral and commit evil for self-serving, but not necessarily for malicious purposes. They tend to be in it for money and power.


"Some men just want to watch the world burn."
Aflred Pennywoth 


Chaotic Evil-  If Chaotic Neutral is the truly free spirit, Chaotic Evil is the truly free evil spirit.They will do whatever they want whenever they want to do it, which, seeing as they are evil, usually entails lots and lots of death and destruction. These characters are usually the most aggressive of the Evil alignments, more often than not being possessed of an impulsively violent nature and a total disregard for people, laws, or even the world around them. In short, Chaotic Evil represents the destruction of not only life and goodness, but also the order upon which they depend. Chaotic Evil does not mean the most evil or stupid, in it for the lulz (which can be a motivation to any villain of any Evil alignment), nor even psychotic. A character does not fall under Chaotic Evil solely because they're really evil, stupid, or crazy. They simply have a complete and utter disregard for laws and believe that their own evil impulses are their best guide. 

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Re: Character Alignments

Post by Chellizard on June 16th 2013, 12:18 pm

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