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Eirwyn

Alignments have always been a controversial topic among roleplayers. So much that in the fourth edition of D&D, they narrowed them down to Good, Evil, and Unaligned.

What alignment is your character? Do people agree that this alignment is fitting? What's your explanation for why you chose the alignment you did?

I chose Chaotic Neutral for my lich, even though it's not entirely accurate, because she's too evil to be chaotic good, and too good to be chaotic evil. She's a bit like a more sinister version of the little girl in the fable- "When she's good, she is very, very good, and when she's bad, she's downright nasty."

Do you think there's a more fitting alignment for her? Explain why.

Note: For the sake of keeping things civil, I'm going to have to request that you don't jump on someone's case over their character's alignment unless they ask for feedback.
Eirwyn wrote:
Alignments have always been a controversial topic among roleplayers. So much that in the fourth edition of D&D, they narrowed them down to Good, Evil, and Unaligned.

I still need to get used to the 4th Ed. alignments. Perhaps it was because of the great amount of people who could not play Chaotic Good but instead played it like Chaotic Neutral, that they decided to stick to Good (which now means 'Freedom and Kindness', which is a pretty neat conglomerate of chaos and neutrality, I think) and Lawful Good only. Or perhaps they no longer considered the Chaos axis to have a true place in the Good axis. Likewise, perhaps they didn't feel that the Lawful axis fitted Evil, thus narrowing it down to just plain Evil and Chaotic Evil. It probably works better this way.
Still, I'm a bit sad that my favourite alignment (Lawful Neutral) no longer exists, thereby effectively throwing my rigidly principled neutral-for-the-sake-of-neutrality characters in with the terminally undecisive, the raving lunatics, and everything else in between. Although, then again, the term 'Unaligned' probably implies that it is a collection of all sorts of different views. The Player's Handbook describes it as "Not taking a stand", however, which I think is entirely wrong. What about the characters who are convinced that neutrality is the best way to go and actively strive to be as unaligned as possible? That seems like 'taking a stand' to me, calling both good and evil 'bad'.
Anyway, for the sake of clarity, I describe my character's alignments with the old method, simply because I feel that that gives a better general idea of the character's view on life for the people who read over the character sheet, even when they're not familiar with D&D-inspired alignments.

Eirwyn wrote:
What alignment is your character? Do people agree that this alignment is fitting? What's your explanation for why you chose the alignment you did?

Depends on the character, but I'll go with Lawful Neutral now. I've never heard anyone complain that it doesn't fit my character. In fact, he has been accused of being "so annoyingly typically Lawful Neutral, argh". I chose 'Lawful' because the character in question feels that even though a strictly ordered society might not always work out the right way, it is still generally better than the alternative, and that laws benefit all in the long run. Besides, he has his own principles that he sticks to, some of which he would even stick to if it meant his death. I chose "Neutral" because the character thinks the distinction between "good" and "evil" is non-sense, and that everything is relative. Furthermore, he feels no obligation to help the needy, ease anyone else's suffering, or cause suffering, for that matter.

Eirwyn wrote:
Do you think there's a more fitting alignment for her? Explain why.

I'm not sure if that is what Wizards of the Coast originally intended Chaotic Neutral to mean (I think it originally meant valuing your own freedom, and not feeling inclined to help others obtain freedom), but it seems to me that Chaotic Neutral is the best way to describe your case, better than any of the other alignments. I think what you describe is precisely what will form in the minds of people that read the character sheet when they see "chaotic neutral".
Eirwyn Topic Starter

Yeah, I can't really see anyone arguing that Astarill is not Lawful Neutral. XD You do play it perfectly. I hadn't realized they narrowed it down to Evil and Chaotic Evil, and all that, though. I thought there were only three alignments now.

Well, she does value her freedom more than other people's, in a sense. She's not exactly hunky dory with slavery, but that doesn't stop her from buying slaves. XD I'm glad it otherwise seems to fit. I suppose any of the ones I mentioned would have, considering I'm stretching terms here.
I'm finding that a lot of my characters, especially those I've made a profile for, are chaotic neutral.I find it hard to pigeon-hole them into one alignment :/
Eirwyn Topic Starter

I can certainly see why 'Unaligned' appeals, then. I might change Eirwyn's to that.
Ilmarinen Moderator

I'm actually a big fan of the original 9 alignments. Just because you describe a character as primarily one alignment doesn't mean they're always like that, after all. Lawful Evil is actually my favorite alignment--the evil of words, politics, contracts... but all for personal gain, no matter how many people you end up hurting. I also like lawful neutral, which I feel like most average NPCs are going to be. They follow the laws they grow up with, and they may help someone in need, but they're mainly looking out for themselves. Neutral good is another one I like.

I dunno, though, because it also depends on what you mean by "evil." D&D style roleplaying tends to be way more polarized--these guys are good, that guy is bad, so fight!--because that works best with the way D&D is generally run. D&D is equal parts OOC and IC to me, which isn't a bad thing at all! It's just a different playstyle, and it's easier to draw hard lines for D&D characters. So alignments are more like loose templates for freeform characters.
Ben Moderator

I agree with Heimdall that alignments in freeform are more like loose templates. I have never settled on an alignment for my character Narsuun. I keep drifting between Chaotic Good and Lawful Neutral. I know these alignments don't really seem very close to one another, but he has strange views. He tries to help those in need when he can, but he's a mage, and and doesn't agree with the standard definitions of good and evil - even, on some level, recognizes the necessity of evil in the world. For the most part he's been played as Lawful because he's a Lord, part of a fuedal system and has spent much of his life surrounded by knights and soldiers. He believes in the law, though feels more bound to natural laws than he does to mortal ones. He is, however, currently leading a rebellion against the King of Kasuria due to racist laws and policies, which I think could be perceived as the action of a Chaotic Good character. Lawful Neutral may not have been so quick to make things violent, I don't know.

Neutral Evil is actually one of my favourite alignments though, because I think it makes a character far more unpredictable than even a chaotic one. The villain I play is constantly doing things that appear to be outlandish or out of character, simply because he only does things that benefit him, and only him, and he often keeps those motives secret.

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