Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Chaotic neutral?

Inspired by Issy's rant at her hubby (and a comment he subsequently left her) and a conversation I'd had with the Bloke earlier in the week about why I can't seem to RP 'evil' characters, I decided that it must be something to do with my RL alignment. Now having never been a D&D player (or really truth be told, understanding it in any way) this whole 'alignment' business has me a trifle confused but ah well - is this not what the interwebz was designed for, peoples?

(As a brief aside, I'm re-discovering quite what a wonderful (?) place the internet is. Having gotten fed up with hearing 'furry' and not knowing what it refers to (yes, pat me on the head, innocent little me, bless...) And having had someone try to explain it to me (tactfully, I assume) - they managed to explain that it was about anthropomorphizing animals, to which I assumed they meant Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore and friends... they gave up and told me to Google it - thank goodness for Wiki being top of the charts in most search engines huh? I now know. Ho-hum. Equally I had 'Rule 34' quoted at me a few days ago and I had to Google that as well. I fear that I am getting too old to keep up with all the net-kiddies and their net-speak... And no I'm not providing you with links - you can make like me and Google if you need to.)

But back to alignment - Bloke has at least one character that he RPs as what I would describe as 'evil' though he might take issue with me on this, wanting to put equal emphasis on the charm and intellect of said character... And I have no evil characters, not one. I have a warlock - and let's face it, there's probably no easier character to RP as 'evil' than a lock - but it's Sassi. She's lovely. She's my Pilf antidote. I can't make her evil anymore than I could make Pilf... behave herself. It just wouldn't work. So I moseyed off the the interwebz again and found this. Now I know - 'personality' tests are only relevant as long as a) you're honest b) you're honest c) you're honest and d) you don't try to mess with them - I had to do a 'real' one at work the other day, in preparation for a mammoth Management Development Programme thingy - all 78 questions and by the time I had finished I was both in tears and convinced that I would be the fail manager of failness because I was clearly not competitive by nature, nor do I want to 'sell' (either myself, so to speak, or 'products') and all this before I have to go and have my debrief-y 'this is who you are' chat-ette but my alignment is apparently 'chaotic neutral'. I know not what this means, really. I think it's a complex way of saying 'selfish', which I guess, is unarguable with! So I went and Googled some more.

First from my friend Wiki:

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, and generally shirks rules and traditions. Although they promote the ideals of freedom, it is their own freedom that comes first. Good and Evil come second to their need to be free, and the only reliable thing about them is how totally unreliable they are. Chaotic Neutral characters are free-spirited and do not enjoy the unnecessary suffering of others, but if they join a team, it is because that team's goals coincide with their own. They invariably resent taking orders and can be very selfish in their pursuit of personal goals. A Chaotic Neutral character does not have to be an aimless wanderer; they may have a specific goal in mind, but their methods of achieving that goal are often disorganised, unorthodox, or entirely unpredictable.

Then lots from here, but picking the sentence I like:

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.
Whoo-oooo! I like that one *grin*.

Another one that makes me happy, from here, a site which takes a more pop culture view and explanation:

Chaotic Neutrals detest the self righteous, believe in power to the individual—and notably power to themselves as they are interested in their personal gain. However, they do not intentionally harm the innocent, even for their own personal needs.
And the list goes on. All interesting reading really, especially if you're me and you've never dipped into this particular treasure trove before. And a good way to waste time on a day where the rest of the nation is either glued to the tv/their pints as they watch some bloody game involving men chasing a bit of leather round a field, or in denial that such a game exists. Me, I'll stick to exploring the inner reaches of my self *cough*...


  1. I've always loved playing chaotic neutral characters in D&D - that's what I naturally gravitate towards apparantly. My original D&D character, a warrior/mage hybrid, just couldn't bear to be told what to do and was always getting into tricky situations for saying exactly what was on her mind, or bursting through random doors because well... why not?

    She would never have harmed anyone intentionally but give her an enemy captive and the choice to set them free, kill them or just leave them to sort themselves out she'd probably opt for the latter. My party members were always rolling their eyes at me in exasperation, but it was always fun :)

  2. I'm lawful good *nodnod*.

    I actually always come out as True Neutral.

  3. I have trouble playing "Evil" characters as well -- as you might be able to tell by this big long story I've been writing to exonerate my Undead Mage, who insisted that she wanted to be a Junior Apothecary, from being playing too big a part in the development of the New Plague. I think I tend to lean towards Chaotic Good myself, and most of my characters do as well. The Paladin is very Lawful, though. The "Evil" DKs ended up being more Lawful Neutral. And Kivrinne is a Chaotic Neutral, I think, because she very much wants to just do her own thing and not be bothered too much about it.

  4. Actually, I think I am probably more Neutral Good than Chaotic Good, as there are certainly times and places for rules!

  5. According to that there test I'm Neutral.

  6. @ Len - hmm like I said, I've never played 'tabletop' stuff but is does sound intriguing. And I think really, Chaotic Neutral is about right *squashes carebear tendencies back into their box abruptly*

    @ Issy - I loved that post - and really, I'm glad it made me go and read up on alignment, it was fascinating!

    @ Kam - I'm deeply loving your RP writing, and knowing how you see your characters, in terms of alignment has actually made me understand your plotlines more - thank you for sharing *hugs*

    @ Nao - getoutofhere! Either you lied or that test is borked. Nowai are you Neutral...! Retake now plox ;p

  7. Here let me quote it:


    A neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. He doesn’t feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most neutrality is a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil. After all, he would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, he’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. The common phrase for neutral is "true neutral." Neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion.

    --excerpted from the Player’s Handbook, Chapter 6"

    But you are right it does sound a bit off for me, hmmm....

    *goes to retake test*

  8. Having retaken two other similar tests, one puts me as True Neutral, the other as Lawful Evil.


  9. @Naofa Stop copying my answers and do the test by yourself damn you :P