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Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!

D&D Beyond has provided yet another of it's data dumps of 12 million characters -- this time telling us character alignments are most popular in D&D. Chaotic Good wins, followed by my least favourite as a DM, Chaotic Neutral. Chaotic Evil is the least popular.

Screenshot 2019-06-13 at 23.14.00.png



The developer does say that this does not count the percentage of characters with no alignment selected. You can see the original video here.
 
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Russ Morrissey

Comments

Tsuga C

Explorer
No surprises here. Players want freedom and aren't really into being bipedal sphincters constantly causing problems for and within the party, hence the preference for Chaos and Good over Law and Evil.
 

Charlaquin

Explorer
Of course it is. It’s the goodest good alignment as currently written, so it’s no surprise most players would gravitate towards it. Chaotic Neutral is the neutralest neutral, so that would appeal most to players who don’t want to be tied down to any ideology, and chaotic evil is the evilest evil, so it’s the one DMs are least likely to allow in their campaigns.
 

Morrus

Administrator
Staff member
Of course it is. It’s the goodest good alignment as currently written, so it’s no surprise most players would gravitate towards it. Chaotic Neutral is the neutralest neutral, so that would appeal most to players who don’t want to be tied down to any ideology, and chaotic evil is the evilest evil, so it’s the one DMs are least likely to allow in their campaigns.
In my experience Chaotic Neutral is the evilest evil but your DM said you weren't allowed to be evil. I usually ban it in my games, as well as evil, unless I'm deliberately accommodating evil characters.
 
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coolAlias

Explorer
Warning - incoming rant.

I feel like Chaotic Neutral gets a bad rap from players that either misunderstand it or intentionally abuse it.

Yes, Chaotic *can* be a being of pure Chaos, but that's the farthest end of the spectrum that mere mortals can scarcely imagine.

For typical player races, Chaotic doesn't mean "acts completely at random" unless perhaps you are playing someone insane. Even the Joker from Batman does not act completely at random - he has motivations.

Yes, you think for yourself and don't let others tell you what to do, but you are still capable of working in groups and living in society at large, with all the expectations that brings.

Just like any other alignment, you need to use your character's values and motivations to decide whether to go along with the group/social consensus even if you disagree with it; if you decide to go off on your own path, it should be because to do otherwise would violate a deeply held value of your character with the understanding that there will be social consequences.

Sometimes those social consequences are enough to make a character, even a Chaotic one, conform. You still thought for yourself, and when weighing all the outcomes decided it was better to sacrifice your ideals *this time* rather than face the potential consequences, such as going to jail, losing your job, or even just wasting time rehashing a tired argument.

Similarly, Neutral does not typically mean that you swing wildly back and forth between the extremes of Good and Evil (or Law and Chaos) depending on your mood. No, usually it means that you are just an average person, not willing to give up everything to do what is right, and also not intentionally harming others. You do the best you can with the least effort required because you probably do not actually feel that strongly about whatever moral beliefs you hold.

You may lean Good towards certain groups or individuals, you may lean Evil towards others, and with enough incentive you might lean even farther one way or the other - but that's also true for every alignment.

Now, none of that is to say that you can't play a character devoted to the ideas of Chaos and Neutrality, but even such a character will have motivations that guide their decisions.

So yeah, you can play CN as "do whatever the hell I want because Chaos! and Neutral!" - but then it doesn't really matter what you write in the alignment box because you're not role-playing your character anyway - how can you when your character has no motivations?

Anyway, rant over.
 

Kramodlog

Adventurer
Not surprise. CB is flexible morality. You wanna be good, but still able to kill that dude you do not like.
 

Charlaquin

Explorer
In my experience Chaotic Evil is the evilest evil but your DM said you weren't allowed to be evil. I usually ban it in my games, as well as evil, unless I'm deliberately accommodating evil characters.
Hence why I said it’s the alignment least likely for the DM to allow.
 

Hussar

Legend
I gotta agree with [MENTION=1]Morrus[/MENTION] on the whole CN thing. Thing is, most people, really, are lawful by D&D standards. They follow rules, they work (reasonably well) in groups every day and generally aren't out there to stir things up. Funny thing is, I think most players choose CN because they don't want to allow the DM to have any hooks into their behavior. It's really a shame that 5e ejected "unaligned" because, frankly, I think that's what most folks mean when they say CN.

Sorry, but, if your chaotic neutral character is 100% responsible and trustworthy, he's not actually CN.
 

coolAlias

Explorer
I gotta agree with @Morrus on the whole CN thing. Thing is, most people, really, are lawful by D&D standards. They follow rules, they work (reasonably well) in groups every day and generally aren't out there to stir things up. Funny thing is, I think most players choose CN because they don't want to allow the DM to have any hooks into their behavior. It's really a shame that 5e ejected "unaligned" because, frankly, I think that's what most folks mean when they say CN.

Sorry, but, if your chaotic neutral character is 100% responsible and trustworthy, he's not actually CN.
I disagree that most people are lawful - I'd argue that people are mostly neutral.

How many people will follow a law that significantly inconveniences them if they're certain they can get away with breaking it? Seems like most everybody drives over the speed limit and fails to pay sales tax on out-of-state purchases unless forced to. A lawful person would uphold the law even when inconvenient for themselves.

That said, alignments in D&D are a spectrum - people can lean lawful without "being" Lawful. Maybe they're only 60/100 lawful, where 0 is absolutely chaotic and 100 is absolutely lawful.
 

Charlaquin

Explorer
I gotta agree with @Morrus on the whole CN thing. Thing is, most people, really, are lawful by D&D standards. They follow rules, they work (reasonably well) in groups every day and generally aren't out there to stir things up. Funny thing is, I think most players choose CN because they don't want to allow the DM to have any hooks into their behavior. It's really a shame that 5e ejected "unaligned" because, frankly, I think that's what most folks mean when they say CN.

Sorry, but, if your chaotic neutral character is 100% responsible and trustworthy, he's not actually CN.
It depends on what definition of the alignments you’re working with. In the way I prefer to use alignment, I agree with you on this 100%. But it is worth noting that the way I prefer to use alignment involves defining the alignments differently than the 5e PHB defines them. According to the 5e PHB, Chaotic Neutral means “[a character] who follows their whims, holding their personal freedom above all else,” and there’s really nothing about that definition that precludes being responsible and trustworthy. I don’t particularly like that definition of Chaotic Neutral, but I think it’s safe to assume it’s the one most 5e players are working with.
 
I

Immortal Sun

Guest
Duh. The alignment system sucks and "Chaotic good" is the closest to "I'm a normal person who generally does good but doesn't always follow the rules."

Can we have Unaligned back now?
 
Yeah, in my experience, most people agree that other people should be obeying laws and they agree to obey laws they think are reasonable. That doesn't make them chaotic.
 

Hussar

Legend
It depends on what definition of the alignments you’re working with. In the way I prefer to use alignment, I agree with you on this 100%. But it is worth noting that the way I prefer to use alignment involves defining the alignments differently than the 5e PHB defines them. According to the 5e PHB, Chaotic Neutral means “[a character] who follows their whims, holding their personal freedom above all else,” and there’s really nothing about that definition that precludes being responsible and trustworthy. I don’t particularly like that definition of Chaotic Neutral, but I think it’s safe to assume it’s the one most 5e players are working with.
Well, the whole "follows their whims" right there makes them untrustworthy. Particularly when combined with putting their personal freedom above all else. Basically becomes, "you can't tell me what to do, I'll do whatever I feel like, which, right now, means that I'm going to sleep on watch because, well, I'm tired and you can't tell me what to do."

If you follow your whims, that makes you untrustworthy.
 
I

Immortal Sun

Guest
Well, the whole "follows their whims" right there makes them untrustworthy. Particularly when combined with putting their personal freedom above all else. Basically becomes, "you can't tell me what to do, I'll do whatever I feel like, which, right now, means that I'm going to sleep on watch because, well, I'm tired and you can't tell me what to do."

If you follow your whims, that makes you untrustworthy.
No, breaking the trust of others makes you untrustworthy.

Because if my whim is to do what I agreed to, then I'm still following my whims, AND I'm being trustworthy.

Because realistically being X doesn't mean you're X all the time. Trustworthy people can break promises and follow their whims. Whimsical people can uphold agreements and follow the law.

Also, *cough* that last line really seemed to change in tone from "We're having a talk about fantastical alignment systems in a game where alignment is often presupposed to be a fundamental element of reality like time and space." to a rather accusatory commentary on real people.
 
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Koloth

Villager
I have always found the whole alignment system suspect considering the basic scenario in the game is:

Step 1: Meet at tavern
While in process of getting drunk, mystically acquire a mission(rumor, shadowy gal hires you, undercover castle guard needs help, etc)
Load up on weapons of mass destruction from the local armor/magic shop
Travel cross country while killing most things/people you encounter
Arrive at keep/castle/dungeon
Perform break and enter
Kill most of the inhabitants while looting the place
Find a little time to actually do the mission you were hired to do
Travel cross country back to origin place, again killing most things encountered
Deliver mission objective to person who hired you
Convert un-needed loot to cash at local loot conversion establishment
Go to step 1

When both Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil are equally comfortable doing the basic mission, alignments are rather fluid.
 

coolAlias

Explorer
Heh, yeah, it doesn't help that the fundamental basis of progress in D&D is centered on killing things. While it makes for a fun game, it can be hard to reconcile that with a Good or Lawful alignment.

To further muddy the waters, alignments started as being much more concrete / tied to the cosmos, having real effects in the world (some may have strong feelings about CN from this era), and have become sort of general guidelines on stereotypical behavior that may or may not have any bearing on how one actually plays their character.

I much prefer how it is now, perhaps because the people I've played with have never really made much of a fuss about alignment other than some 2e AD&D games involving paladins or evil characters (both of which can be fun if everyone is on board).
 

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