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Many layers exist of good and evil, between chaotic and lawful. Alignment does not force characters into cookie-cutter molds. Personality quirks and life experiences makes everyone all different; it is possible to have a lawful good paladin grumble against the commands of his lord or a chaotic evil barbarian feel the lonely bite of a winter's evening and wish to have a pleasant conversation. Alignment is filled with shades of gray which colors an interesting character, not as a leash with which to chain them.

The animosity between the races of the Alliance and Horde can put lawful good characters at each others' throats. An orc can be raised within the shamanistic heritage of his people, learn to channel positive energy and become a healer, follow Thrall and his religion's rules to the letter, and still have no compunctions against killing a lawful good paladin who is following his lord's orders to rid the world of the orcs who killed his parents. It is easy for good characters to be at the wrong ends of swords, and it is just as easy for evil characters to band together to fight the greater good.

Alignment for races are listed as either “always”, “usually”, or “often” (such as “always neutral” or “usually chaotic evil”).

  • Always: All races of this sort have the indicated alignment. Exceptions, if they exist, comprise less than 1% of the race's population and apply to isolated individuals.
  • Usually: 80–90% of the race have the indicated alignment. Exceptions are thus rare and may be ostracized by the race's society.
  • Often: 40–80% of this race have the indicated alignment. Exceptions are uncommon, but not unknown.

A faction alignment does not include a descriptor, but instead describes the overall alignment of the faction.

AlignmentsEdit

Lawful Good Edit

Lawful Good is known as the "Saintly" or "Crusader" alignment. A lawful good character typically acts with compassion, and always with honor and a sense of duty. A lawful good nation would consist of a well-organized government that works for the benefit of its citizens. Lawful good characters include righteous knights of the Light and others who follow the Paladin's Code, and will uphold the laws of their government by force if necessary.

Lawful Neutral/Beneficent Characters Will:

  1. Always keep his word.  
  2. Avoid lies.
  3. May or May not kill or attack an unarmed foe.
  4. Never harm an innocent.
  5. Never torture, unless absolutely necessary reason.
  6. Never kill for pleasure.
  7. May or May not help others.
  8. Work well in a group.
  9. Respect authority, law, self-discipline and honor.
 10. Never betray a friend.
 11. Never break the law unless conditions are desperate. This means no breaking and entry, theft, torture, unprovoked assaults, etc.Lawful Good characters, especially paladins, may sometimes find themselves faced with the dilemma of whether to obey Law or Good when the two conflict - for example, upholding a sworn oath when it would lead innocents to come to harm - or conflicts between two orders, such as between their religious law and the law of the local ruler.*[1]

N.B. There is some debate as to whether or not a Blood Knight in World of Warcraft can be Lawful Good. Considering their power is stolen from the captured Naaru M'uru, it is unlikely they fall under the lawful good alignment, as they are holding another entity against its will in order to use it to power their own ends. *[2]

Neutral Good Edit

Neutral Good is known as the "Benefactor" alignment. A neutral good character is guided by his conscience and typically acts altruistically, without regard for or against Lawful precepts such as rules or tradition. A neutral good character may cooperate with lawful officials but does not feel beholden to them. A doctor that treats soldiers from both sides in a war would be considered Neutral Good. *[2]

Lawful Neutral/Beneficent Characters Will:

  1. Always keep his word.
  2. Avoid lies.
  3. May or May not kill or attack an unarmed foe.
  4. Never harm an innocent.
  5. Never torture, unless absolutely necessary reason.
  6. Never kill for pleasure.
  7. May or May not help others.
  8. Work well in a group.
  9. Respect authority, law, self-discipline and honor.
 10. Never betray a friend.
 11. Never break the law unless conditions are desperate. This means no breaking and entry, theft, torture, unprovoked assaults, etc. *[3]

N.B. A Lawful neutral character is the type of character which one might associate most with a pacifist nature or character, willing to do what they believe is right and benevolent without wishing to break the laws, yet unwilling to allow the innocent to suffer.

Chaotic Good Edit

Chaotic Good is known as the "Beatific" or "Rebel" alignment. A chaotic good character favors change for the greater good, disdains bureaucratic organizations that get in the way of social improvement, and places a high value on personal freedom.

Chaotic Good/Unprincipled Characters Will:

  1. Have a high regard for life and freedom.  
  2. Keep his word of honor.
  3. Lie and cheat if necessary (especially to those of anarchist and evil alignments).
  4. Will not kill an unarmed foe (but will take advantage of one).
  5. Help those in need.
  6. Not use torture unless absolutely necessary.
  7. Work with a group, especially if profitable.
  8. Never harm an innocent.
  9. Never kill for pleasure.
 10. Dislike authority.
 11. Never betray a friend. *[4]

N.B.Chaotic Good characters are not necessarily violent, but they certainly follow their own codes and rules, not one to be pushed about. They are still inherently "good" underneath, and are not merely slightly unhinged characters who exhibit manic behaviour. A good example of this type of character would be the Druids of World of Warcraft; even though Night Elves and Tauren belong on opposing sides of the Alliance and Horde, they work together without a qualm in the Cenarion Circle to attempt to fight back the threat to the Emerald Dream and to cleanse areas corrupted by the Scourge and fel influences.

Lawful Neutral Edit

Lawful Neutral is called the "Judge" or "Disciplined" alignment. A lawful neutral character typically believes strongly in Lawful concepts such as honor, order, rules and tradition, and often follows a personal code. A Lawful Neutral society would typically enforce strict laws to maintain social order, and place a high value on traditions and historical precedent. Examples of Lawful Neutral characters include a soldier who always follows orders, a judge or enforcer that adheres mercilessly to the word of the law, a disciplined monk.

Lawful Neutral/Beneficent Characters Will:

  1. Always keep his word.
  2. Avoid lies.
  3. May or May not kill or attack an unarmed foe.
  4. Never harm an innocent.
  5. Never torture, unless absolutely necessary reason.
  6. Never kill for pleasure.
  7. May or May not help others.
  8. Work well in a group.
  9. Respect authority, law, self-discipline and honor.
 10. Never betray a friend.
 11. Never break the law unless conditions are desperate. This means no breaking and entry, theft, torture, unprovoked assaults, etc.Characters of this alignment are neutral with regard to Good and Evil. 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. They typically have a strong ethical code, but it is primarily guided by their system of belief, not by a commitment to Good or Evil. *[5]

Neutral Edit

Neutral alignment, also referred to as True Neutral, is called the "Undecided" or "Nature's" alignment. This alignment represents neutral on both axes, and tends not to feel strongly towards any alignment. A farmer whose only concern is to feed his family is of this alignment. Most animals, such as monkeys, lacking the capacity for moral judgement, are of this alignment.

Neutral Characters will:

  1. May or May not keep his word.
  2. May or May not lie to or cheat anyone.
  3. May or May not attack and kill an unarmed foe.
  4. May or May not Use, hurt and kill an innocent without a second thought or for pleasure.
  5. May or May not Use torture for pleasure and information.
  6. Will not kill for sheer pleasure.
  7. Unlikely to help someone only to kill or rob him.
  8. May or May not work well within a group (Depends on if the group maintains a balanced view).
  9. May or May not follow the ways of honour, authority, and self-discipline.
 10. Associate mostly with other Neutral alignments.
 11. May or May not betray friends. *[6]

N.B. Some neutral characters, rather than feeling undecided, are committed to a balance between the alignments. They may see Good, Evil, Law and Chaos as simply prejudices and dangerous extremes, and they may take what appears to be extreme measures to keep this balance - including working with either good or evil sides in order to make sure none take the upper hand. Thus, this sort of true neutral alignment can be very difficult to play for a character, and as such it is worth analysing whether or not your character is truly neutral. For example, Druids in AD&D frequently followed this True Neutral dedication to balance, and under Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules were required to be this alignment. In an example given in a D&D rulebook, a typical druid might fight against a band of marauding gnolls, only to switch sides to save the gnoll's clan from being exterminated.

Chaotic Neutral Edit

Chaotic Neutral is called the "Anarchist" or "Free Spirit" alignment. A character of this alignment is an individualist who follows his or her own heart, shirks rules and traditions. Chaotic neutral characters believe that there is no order to anything, including their own actions. With this as a guiding principle, they tend to follow whatever whim strikes them at the moment. Good and evil are irrelevant when making a decision. Chaotic neutral characters are extremely difficult to deal with. Such characters have been known to cheerfully and for no apparent purpose gamble away everything they have on the roll of a single die. They are almost totally unreliable. In fact, the only reliable thing about them is that they cannot be relied upon!

Chaotic Neutral/Anarchist Characters Will:

  1. May keep his word.
  2. Lie and cheat if he feels it necessary.
  3. Not likely to kill an unarmed foe, but will certainly knockout, attack, or beat up an unarmed foe.
  4. Never kill an innocent (but may harm or kidnap).
  5. Not likely to help someone without some ulterior motive (even if it's only to show-off).
  6. Seldom kill for pleasure.
  7. Use torture to extract information (not likely to torture for pleasure).
  8. Does not work well in a group (this is the cocky loudmouth who is likely to do as he damn well pleases).
  9. Have little respect for self-discipline or authority.
 10. May betray a friend. *[7]

N.B. This alignment is perhaps the most difficult to play. Lunatics and madmen tend toward chaotic neutral behavior. These are the Jack Sparrows of the roleplaying world...yet again, can be very difficult to play as they are unpredictable, unreliable, untrustworthy, and tend to only be the "crazy comic relief" characters in gaming.

Lawful Evil Edit

Lawful Evil is referred to as the "Dominator" or "Diabolic" alignment. Characters of this alignment show a combination of desirable and undesirable traits: while they typically obey their superiors and keep their word, they care nothing for the rights and freedoms of other individuals. Examples of this alignment include tyrants, devils, organized criminals, those with samurai-like aspects, and soldiers who follow the chain of command but enjoy killing for its own sake.

Lawful Evil/Aberrant Characters Will:

  1. Always keep his word of honor (he is honorable).
  2. Lie to and cheat those not worthy of his respect.
  3. May or may not kill an unarmed foe.
  4. Not kill (may harm, kidnap) an innocent, particularly a child.
  5. Never kills for pleasure.
  6. Not resort to inhumane treatment of prisoners, but torture, although distasteful, is a necessary means of extracting information.
  7. Never torture for pleasure.
  8. May or may not help someone in need.
  9. Work with others to attain his goals.
 10. Respect honor and self-discipline.
 11. Never betray a friend. *[8]

N.B. Lawful evil on the surface seems inherently right, and therefore often goes unquestioned. Whether we wish to admit it or not, the lawful evil alignments are rife in our real world, often masquerading as Lawful Good. The best example of this type is the Scarlet Crusade; fanatics who on the surface uphold the laws of Light, but in reality have gone far beyond their own code and have fallen into corruption.

Neutral Evil Edit

Neutral Evil is called the "Malefactor" alignment. Characters of this alignment are typically selfish and have no qualms about turning on their allies-of-the-moment. They have no compunctions about harming others to get what they want, but neither will they go out of their way to cause carnage or mayhem when they see no direct benefit to it. A villain of this alignment can be more dangerous than either Lawful or Chaotic Evil characters, since he is neither bound by any sort of honor or tradition nor disorganized and pointlessly violent. *[9]

Neutral Evil/Miscreant Characters Will:

  1. Not necessarily keep his word to anyone.
  2. Lie and cheat anyone; good or evil.
  3. Most definitely attack an unarmed foe (those are the best kind).
  4. Use or harm an innocent.
  5. Use torture for extracting information and pleasure.
  6. May kill for sheer pleasure.
  7. Feels no compulsion to help without some sort of tangible reward. 
  8. Work with others if it will help him attain his personal goal.
  9. Kill an unarmed foe as readily as he would a potential threat or competitor.
 10. Has no deference to laws or authority, but will work within the law if he must.
 11. Will betray a friend if it serves his needs. *[10]

N.B. These are rather typical evil villains and can be found in early every comic or fantasy movie. They are the classic, stereotypical turn-coat type of character, and because they never seem to let on their motivations and have no set codes, one rarely knows if one is actually dealing with an evil character.

Chaotic Evil Edit

Chaotic Evil is referred to as the "Destroyer" or "Demonic" alignment. Characters of this alignment tend to have little respect for rules, other peoples' lives, or anything but their own selfish desires. They typically only behave themselves out of fear of punishment. *[11]

Chaotic Evil/Diabolic Characters will:

  1. Rarely keep his word (and has no honor).
  2. Lie to and cheat anyone.
  3. Most certainly attack and kill an unarmed foe.
  4. Use, hurt and kill an innocent without a second thought or for pleasure.
  5. Use torture for pleasure and information.
  6. Kill for sheer pleasure.
  7. Likely to help someone only to kill or rob him.
  8. Not work well within a group (consistently disregarding orders to do as he pleases).
  9. Despise honor, authority, and self-discipline.
 10. Associate mostly with other evil alignments.
 11. Betray friends (after all, you can always find friends). [12]

N.B. The unfortunate issue with Chaotic Evil characters is they're nearly impossible to play due to their very natures. Tabletop GMs feel these are more suited to NPC characters than to players as this sort of alignment is very two dimensional and exists only for the purpose of controlling stories behind the scenes or as something for characters to team up against to fight.

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