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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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I stand and proudly cheer for the Chaotics! Long may they reign, and confuse us all!

Also, a DM who bans CN as an alignment is a DM in whose game I wouldn't play: if I can't do all the crazy stuff in the game (where it isn't real) that I can't do in real life, where *can* I do it? :)
 

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Hussar

Legend
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.

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.

I've run into this argument from players before. "Oh, I AM Chaotic Neutral, I just CHOOSE to be 100% reliable, always accomodating, completely willing to compromise for the good of the group and never act in a selfish or impulsive manner. Since I CHOOSE that, it makes me chaotic."

Nope, it makes you lawful with some definitional issues.
 

MrZeddaPiras

[insert something clever]
Not really that strange. If you think about the distribution of alignments in a fantasy society, most civilians are bound to be neutral-something, while adventurers should favor chaotic. You go from town to town, taking odd jobs and trying to do good in the meantime, that's chaotic good. If you're just there to amuse yourself, that's chaotic neutral. Evil characters are kind of hard to justify with the kind of content D&D is made of these days, because in the end there's always some kind of heroic quest involved, and if you're evil you'not heroic.
 

Evil characters are kind of hard to justify with the kind of content D&D is made of these days, because in the end there's always some kind of heroic quest involved, and if you're evil you'not heroic.
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.
 

[PF][/PF]I've spent a lot of time trying to make sense of alignment, with mixed results.

My biggest questions at the moment are "what would be the alignment of someone who is willing to do evil for the greater good" and "what would be the alignment of someone unwilling to do evil for the greater good, even if it is likely refusal to do so will result in greater evil".

The Blood War sets up a good scenario for these questions. On the one hand, the Blood War keeps demons and devils focused on fighting one another and distracts them from working their designs on the mortal world. Additionally, by letting the forces of evil fight one another the forces of good have more resources free to do good (as opposed to having their hands full fighting against fiends). However, the Blood War sometimes spills out into other sections of the cosmos, and the need for a population of devils large enough and strong enough to hold their own against the more numerous demons means that devils not only need to recruit mortals, but that too much opposition by the celestials against the devils' recruitment attempts could weaken the Infernal forces enough that the Abyssal hordes triumph.

Based on this scenario, how would characters of the various alignments view the supposed necessity of the Blood War?
 

MrZeddaPiras

[insert something clever]
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.

That's all true, but most stuff out there, like the published 5ed campaigns for example, simply doesn't have the moral complexity to support that kind of narrative.
 

Radaceus

Adventurer
I cater towards CG, and go for LN if i am 'constrained' by a need to be lawful, i.e., a follower of some semblance of laws.

with regards to DMs banning alignments: This has been a game breaker for me in our 1E circle, because our DM of 30 odd years is stringent , and if you play evil every NPC hates you even the evil NPCs unless their racial ethics accept you ( see the plethora of charts in several handbooks of the era), this translates to the PCs are all good, the world they fight is all evil...
I also found that the PCs gravitate toward inter-party skullduggery, which worked quite well in the arly days (that first time your fighter revealed himself to be an Assassin, and sold us all to the Slavers in A4, making off with his bounty..great ending...sort of, and it worked, once!)
As well as, I found players I had been playing with who were forced to play characters in this one quadrant of the alignment spectrum meta-gaming the DM's perception of alignment, and getting away with murder ( literally!), I saw LG's being chaotic, and good player doing evil things, and I came to loggerheads over the whol idea of banning other alignments from chargen. It's wrong, in that I mean, it's not really how groups of people work. We are all a little bit evil, and hopefully most of us are a more bit good, so there are these grey areas. And now I encourage my players to play any alignment they want at the table, but I want them to explain their actions when they do something 'meaningful'. I tell them at the start of a campaign, during chargen and party formation, that they need to have a reason for joining together and a cause or a goal that they are in agreement to work towards, otherwise they just wouldn't be in the same party. That they can be evil, and they can be good, and they can still coexist, no different than we all do in our work places and in public.
It's been a couple years now and my mini social experiment seem to slowly gaining gas with these old grognards, as they have an NE,CN, NG, LN, CG, and LG all cohabitating without any arguments :)
 

jedijon

Explorer
That chart says two alignments make up half of all selected. And they’re chaotic good/neutral. And 5x more popular than lawful good.

Or we could look at the leading line only. What’s the ratio of unselected? AKA, those that don’t find value in the system? It may be that there’s simply a correlation in those that do find value in it are those that need others to know they’re chaotic [but not evil].
 


jedijon

Explorer
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.

I resonate with your assessment.

There’s a lot more to alignment than the 9 box. And since everyone ends up seeing each category differently—or at least so widely within the category—that someone’s chaotic neutral is someone else’s lawful good...it should make us wonder if there’s anything in it at all.

I ask my characters to score their conscientious, presence, and conviction.

Since only good guys think in terms of good vs evil, 2/3rds of the options would feel like that chart is putting them in a box built by someone else.

What I want to know is whether you bother to think of others or whether you go out of your way for them. Whether you can walk into a room stealthily or never shut up. Whether you’re intense and driven or laid back and accept what’s happening now.

If you prefer—LG is high conscientious, at least average conviction for most character tropes, and your choice of how flamboyant they want to be about it.

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.

TLDR, alignment? There’s better ways to describe a character. Heck just Myers Briggs it.
 

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