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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.

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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5ekyu

Hero
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.
"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. "

Even when I ran alignment this was not true in my games.

"Being" an alignment foes not mesn adopting every aspect of it. A chaotic character could be chaotic in a lot of different ways but still keep to his own code in some respects.

"Your whims" does not mean random acts. Thsts more a form of insanity. That means what you want to do and that can include not crapping on beneficial agreements.

I think perhaps this exemplifies some of the issues that use of alignment tends to create - the driving to extremes and express lane ftom "must" to "always" or suddenly "you are honor thst alignment."

For too many folks, it's like alignment is used as a trap or an excuse.
 


Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/her)
I'd honestly like to see how "decline to state" stacks up with the other alignments on this list. I know they have to have some way to control for incomplete character projects and the like, but I'm curious to see how many games out there simply ignore alignment altogether.

The biggest problem with CN as an alignment is that the core rulebooks eventually leaned into the whole "Chaotic Wacky/Stupid/Insane" archetype when describing the alignment. The whole thing with the CN character deciding to charge the Gorgon just because. Ugh.

The bigger problem with the alignment system is that peoples' alignment, especially along the law-chaos spectrum, depends more on context than inner ethics. My current campaign features characters who are leaders of a small independent community. They are literal community leaders, which speaks to a lawful attitude. But when the big bully neighbors come to try to annex them, they decided that the community should remain independent. Which is more clearly chaotic.
 

MGibster

Legend
A whim is a sudden desire or change of mind that typically doesn't have an explanation. I imagine all characters regardless of their alignment have whims but a LG character won't typically allow that to interfere with their duties or goals. A CN person follows their whims which can change every time the wind blows another direction. If someone typically keeps their word and is reliable they are not CN.
 

As with many things in D&D, I think of alignment in terms of pro wrestling: some people stay heels forever (Jessie the Body, Bobby the Brain), some stay faces forever (Ricky the Dragon Steamboat), but most people make face/heel turns. I figure if you are lawful, you don't make a lot of turns, and if you are chaotic, even the most dedicated fan has a hard time remembering if you are good or bad when you come down to the ring, since you change so frequently. Of yeah, TN=jobber, because no one cares if you are a face or a heel.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Another debate that proves the alignment debate is pointless.

It’s just way too vague a concept to be truly useful. I also think 5e bond, flaws, and motivation notes are way more useful to helping a player figure out their character than alignment ever did.

Unaligned ftw!!
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
I prefer alignment as an actual Alignment with a real fundamental force of the multiverse -- and not necessarily by choice. You were born in Deep Winter? Sorry, your alignment is Neutral Evil. It's built into your DNA. No matter how much good you do in the world, your ka belongs to Gehenna. Good luck.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I think Lawful Good is one of the most misunderstood alignments. Most people think of it (and play it) as Lawful Obsessive. There's nothing inherent in Lawful Good that should make anyone inflexible. A lot of people play, for example, Lawful Good Paladins as total zealots. Hence, why people who *don't* play LG shy away from it.

I mean, I'm probably LG in RL and it doesn't mean that I don't Speed or Jaywalk. People tend to bend rules, even ones they make for themselves. Characters should be like that, within reason. You shouldn't have to pick "Unaligned" or "Chaotic" to act like a real, flawed person.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
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.

I've rarely ever seen the "evil" side of CN, and only ever from players that were disruptive no matter what they played. The CN characters I've seen have tended to just be motivated by people and what they want in life, without directly thinking or caring much about broad morality or cosmic scales.

Not surprise. CB is flexible morality. You wanna be good, but still able to kill that dude you do not like.
Sometimes it's that. Usually it's a morality that is based on something like "hurting people for selfish reasons is bad, as has to be opposed", rather than "XYZ specific actions are Evil". That is, violence isn't good or evil, the results of violence are good or evil. If the result of me killing the dragon is that it stops killing villagers because they can't afford to bring it as many cows as it wants, then killing the dragon is Good, while the violence of the dragon themselves was Evil.

That isn't flexible, it just isn't a specific action based metric of determination, it's a results based determination. Killing the guy you don't like is still evil if you're just doing it because you don't like or trust him.

Sorry, but, if your chaotic neutral character is 100% responsible and trustworthy, he's not actually CN.
Why? The character values the bonds they have with the group, and cares about the success and failure potential of the group.

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.

They aren't bound by their every impulse. That isn't what that means. They decide their own actions, based on their own priorities and desires. Not getting ambushed in the night will generally match their own priorities and desires, unless they're literally a comic book style lunatic.
 

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