Saturday, October 16, 2010

How to write a story - Alignment (part 2)

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 might include a soldier who always follows orders, a judge or enforcer that adheres mercilessly to the word of the law, and a disciplined monk.

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. James Bond is an example of a Lawful Neutral character.

Neutral alignment, also referred to as True Neutral or Neutral 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 primary overriding concern is to feed his family is of this alignment. Most animals, lacking the capacity for moral judgment, are of this alignment. Many roguish characters who play all sides to suit themselves are also of this alignment. Lara Croft, and Han Solo in his early Star Wars appearance are neutral.

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. Captain Jack Sparrow, and Al Swearengen from the TV series Deadwood are examples of chaotic neutral characters. *


next: alignment part 3 - evil
previous: alignment part 1 - good


  1. I love this re-visitation of my D&D past!
    Alignment -- it's an interesting way to look at character development! I love your examples!

  2. they are great examples! Alas, I can't take credit. Wikepedia has it all exactly as I remember - except for the examples, which are very helpful, I think. It's another tool to help with characterization.

  3. This is a great way to build characters. I love the detailing of the alignments. Dianne is right-- it's very D&D ;)


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