Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment! - Page 7
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  1. #61
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    Ok, I'll try to explain chaotic -at least how I see it-. Chaotic is not really unpredictable, at least not really unless you cling to tradition. Chaotic isn't active opposition to every single rule and authority either. Chaotic is freedom from authority and tradition (not about being a nancy contrarian that has to break every single rule and defy every single order). I have this scene from my fiction-making that illustrates my point.

    [The four characters are "minor deities" of sorts -more like quite strong entities-. They embody cosmic principles, but have their own morality. I'll identify them as Panther, Pony, Hawk and Butterfly.
    Panther embodies death and views himself as neutral evil. Pony embodies life and sees herself as Neutral Good. Both of them however are so obsessed with keeping the balance between life and death and the system that helps it keep like that, that in fact they are Lawful Neutral.
    Hawk embodies balance, and he considers himself as true neutral, an impartial moderator between Panther and Pony. In practice, however Pony and Panther are so in sync that he barely needs to do any work. So he commits to keeping the tradition and law alive no matter who gets hurt, and in fact enjoys lording over the lesser creatures this way and actively benefits from the arrangement. (Lawful Evil)
    Finally Butterfly embodies change. She is very empathetic, and will often go out of the way to aid the lesser creatures, constantly tearing apart the balance and violating the rules in the process.

    During an important discussion Butterfly invokes the laws and traditions to get her way, essentially to get her own nominee to be considered to be their collective vicar -normally Pony and Panther each nominate a mortal they have groomed for a while and Hawk gets to choose-. Something that ends up not mattering much to her as she empowers her own mortals anyway. ]

    Butterfly.- I want my boy to be considered. He is cool, and nice. He would do a great job.

    Hawk.- Stop saying nonsense.

    Butterfly.- Why are you guys so mean? You never listen to me.

    Pony.- Because you are evil.

    Panther.- And flighty, and destructive.

    Butterfly.- Well, I don't care what you think. I get to nominate a kid, it's my right according to the rules YOU wrote.

    Hawk.- You invoking law? You don't know a thing about the law! You always break it!

    Butterfly.- I'm a free spirit. I do what I want. If I wasn't able to follow the law when I wanted, you would be able to control me. [She snickered at this point] And you don't get to control me.

    [Now Butterfly looks bitchy in this conversation, but in fact she is sabotaging the current process because the role of their collective vicar is a hard one, full of suffering and extremely taxing. Panther and Pony have already forced the previous one to reincarnate in order to nominate her again -exploiting multiverse shenanigans to reincarnate her twice at the same time so each one of them has a nominee- and expect to keep this going for eternity since that she was perfectly balanced in every way for the task and was quite submissive to the three of them. Butterfly finds this unnecessarily cruel as it means they have effectively enslaved their previous vicar for eternity just because it is the most convenient way to keep the system going]
    Last edited by MoonSong; Saturday, 15th June, 2019 at 01:18 PM.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by billd91 View Post
    Not really, no. You don't have to be unreliable in any way to be chaotic - rather, the motivations are personally driven rather than based on some kind of external or social expectation. I might expect the PC to speak up for those motivations in discussions, in contrast to group or external expectations, but still be able to 100% fulfill their obligations if they agree to them and still be chaotic neutral.

    Observable behavior isn't the sole determinant of alignment, particularly the lawful vs chaotic part. Is an action chaotic or lawful? Who the hell knows... unless we know WHY the character did it. Law and chaos are fundamentally different from good and evil because they involve motivation to a far stronger degree.

    Did the PC choose not to murder someone because murder is illegal and breaks social norms? Or did they choose not to murder someone because it's a nice day and they feel good? Either way, someone didn't get murdered, but the mere fact that someone didn't get murdered tells me jack and squat without knowing why the PC chose not to do the deed.
    I disagree. Observable behaviour is the only determinant of alignment. Intention means nothing in an objective alignment system.

    People are evil because the DO evil things. I can think nasty thoughts all day long but if I’m outwardly kind to everybody then dnd says I’m good.

  3. #63
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    For me, the ONLY difference between Lawful and Chaotic is ‘collectivism’ versus ‘individualism’, respectively.

    If one thinks in terms of the group, then one tends Lawful. If one thinks in terms of specific individuals, then one tends Chaotic.

    The needs of the many outweigh the few = Lawful.

    The needs of the few outweigh the many = Chaotic.




    And ideal society that optimizes between social responsibility and personal freedom = Neutral Good = greatest, highest good.
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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    But, if you ALWAYS do what you agree to do, that makes you lawful. If your whims are to always be trustworthy, then, well, that's not chaotic anymore. That's lawful. While, sure, you can do one or the other from time to time, my point is, if you follow your whims and your personal freedom is paramount to you, is the highest priority to you, then you are inherently untrustworthy.

    Freedom doesn't mean not acting in the best interest of the group of people who you directly rely upon and are relied upon by. It means that the group isn't going to be able to pressure you into doing what you don't want to do/don't think is right, that when you are willing to fight for something it's more likely to be for the right of an individual (yourself or otherwise) to act of their own accord and live by their own Will than most other potential motivations, and that you aren't going to try to impose what you want on others (unless you're chaotic evil). Chaotic doesn't mean in DnD what it means in everyday conversation. IT's not "random" or even mercurial, though any character can be mercurial.

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by jedijon View Post
    But CG—can be anything from low conviction mercenary to low conviction loner in a world of zealots they roll their eyes at to high conviction ‘my tribe lives for freedom and you should too’, to ‘I just don’t align with power structures and organizations bigger than me and maybe my buddies I can gather in a tavern common room’ and still have a useful way to describe their character—in a way likely to convey meaning—that doesn’t feel prescriptive.
    This is *exactly* what I was trying to express - thank you for doing so in a much better way!

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    But, if you ALWAYS do what you agree to do, that makes you lawful. If your whims are to always be trustworthy, then, well, that's not chaotic anymore. That's lawful. While, sure, you can do one or the other from time to time, my point is, if you follow your whims and your personal freedom is paramount to you, is the highest priority to you, then you are inherently untrustworthy.

    Freedom doesn't mean not acting in the best interest of the group of people who you directly rely upon and are relied upon by. It means that the group isn't going to be able to pressure you into doing what you don't want to do/don't think is right, that when you are willing to fight for something it's more likely to be for the right of an individual (yourself or otherwise) to act of their own accord and live by their own Will than most other potential motivations, and that you aren't going to try to impose what you want on others (unless you're chaotic evil). Chaotic doesn't mean in DnD what it means in everyday conversation. IT's not "random" or even mercurial, though any character can be mercurial.
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  7. #67
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    Over the years I've developed my own philosophy of alignment. While I don't lean on it too much, I do find it a useful tool at times to put myself into another person (or creature's) shoes. So where I use it is in determining how NPCs and monsters respond, how they see the world. This is based on the psychology 101 class from long ago. The theory is that everyone views the world through frameworks and preconceptions.

    In other words, two people can look at exactly the same situation and have vastly different opinions on what is going on. One person may see a beggar on the street and have empathy for someone down on their luck while another may see someone who is lazy or unwilling to work. Yet another person would see someone that could be abducted and killed and no one would notice. What they do may not be that much different, their actions may tell you nothing about their alignment. The CG person may pass the by only to volunteer at the shelter later, the LN person may push for laws to get them off the street, the NE person may give them a coin because they remind them of a childhood friend.

    What I don't do is use alignment as a straight-jacket, people are far too complex to fit into one alignment all the time.
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  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Farquhar View Post
    There are antiheroes (Elric is canonically chaotic evil according to Dieties & Demigods). They perform the heroic quest for reasons that are not heroic. The trouble is that most players who say they want to play CE just want an excuse to be murder hobbos. The trick is to only allow players who are mature and naturally inclined to be altruistic to play evil PCs.
    Yeah, that's the problem I often have with CN and CE alignments in practice. There are interesting characters one could play with those alignments and I've seen it done, but... but... all too often players seem to end up using the excuse "but it's on my character sheet!" as a way to legitimate acting out. If the contract of the table is that that's what people are up for, then fine, but it usually really isn't. Ditto with written down flaws.

  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by WaterRabbit View Post
    I have to agree with Morrus here. There is a lot white room discussion about CN, but from my observations, the players that pick it tend to be the most disruptive. They take it as a license to be douchebags. These are the players that steal from the party, get other party members killed, etc. When called on it they claim they were just playing their alignment. IRL (as opposed to the white room), there is generally no difference between CE and CN when played.
    Yup, this is it, sadly.


    After playing many different RPGs since then, none of which have anything like alignment in them, it became clear to me that alignment just needs to be thrown in the ash heap of RPG history.
    I'm not sure I agree there. Every time I've tried ditching it, I kept finding my way back to it in various ways. In a current campaign, I've kind of embraced it by focusing on the Law vs. Chaos conflict. What I don't do, however, is make a big deal about it. However, I also try hard not to play with folks who fall into the murder hobo/griefer camp, though those tendencies do, sadly, exist in many otherwise decent folks.
    Last edited by Jay Verkuilen; Saturday, 15th June, 2019 at 03:33 PM.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Verkuilen View Post
    I'm not sure I agree there. Every time I've tried ditching it, I kept finding my way back to it in various ways. In a current campaign, I've kind of embraced it by focusing on the Law vs. Chaos conflict. What I don't do, however, is make a big deal about it. However, I also try hard not to play with folks who fall into the murder hobo/griefer camp, though those tendencies do, sadly, exist in many otherwise decent folks.
    I find that alignment has a few uses. On the player side it helps new players by giving them an idea of how to roleplay their PCs. For myself, I find it invaluable. I have so many NPCs and monsters to play that I simply cannot come up with personalities for all of them. Alignment is a quick, easy way for me to know how generally to roleplay that NPC/monster.

    For my long time players, I've told them that they don't have to use alignment, but they can't seem to drop it. They come up with complex personalities for their PCs and then jot down an alignment anyway. That's as far as it goes, though. I couldn't tell what any of their alignments are, because I just don't care. So long as they are roleplaying their PCs according to how they see their personalities, that's all that matters.
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