Slaads are failures as exemplars of Chaotic NEUTRAL

gyor

Legend
4e got it right, every other edition igored Slaadi behavior, which as depicted is 100% Chaotic Evil in every depiction of them. They are always shown as predatory and even some demons appear to do Chaotic Neutral in action better then them.

See the problem is Slaads as depicted are too homocidal, more then simply chaotic, they hunt humaniods for breeding, and there appears to be no facet of them that counter balances this blatant evil.

Slaads should be as likely to be kind as cruel or even indifferent, but when have the Slaad ever been depicted as something other then predatory. They are the equivilant of the Magog who with exceptions like Rev Bem, are seen as Chaotic Evil. Both species rape and murder as way of life (implanting victims is argueable a form of rape, and TV show Andromeda refers to it that way). Where is the neutrality.

D&D needs way better exemplars of Chaotic Neutrality. It has great exemplars of every alignment except Chaotic Neutral.

Or reform Slaads so they are as helpful as they are dangerous, creative as they destructive.
 
I was pretty disappointed with Slaadi, that way, when they first showed up in the Fiend Folio. Also didn't much care for Modrons.

CN & LN seem to be a real challenge for people to wrap their heads around. One reason 4e just threw 'em in the unaligned bucket. Another thing about Sladdi (and Demons) being CE in 4e, is that version of CE was probably eeeeevil-er than other D&D evils before and since. Just completely effing irrationally evil, psycho's'd look at 'em and be like "wow, dude, chill."

An exemplar of CN should be more into freedom, individuality, and challenging societies & conventions. A trickster, for instance.

Edit:
This is a bit of a fuzzy memory, because I never actually used them, but I do vaguely recall coming up with planar exemplars of LN - the names of them were all palindromes, and they were animal-headed humanoids, derived from pride/pack/herd/hive animals - and CN - they were shapechangers with no 'true' form.
 
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Twiggly the Gnome

Adventurer
We have Rogue Modrons, who are distinguished from their fellows by their capacity for individual thought. Perhaps there's the occasional "Earnest Slaad" that has overcome its primal drive to procreate.
 

Larrin

Entropic Good
While we're criticizing the slaadi, does it bother anyone else that a race that is meant to be chaos made flesh is color coded in a strict hierarchy of power and ability? I understand having different types and such, but you can do that without making it so.....orderly....bleh.
 

the Jester

Legend
I run slaadi as far more CN than their in-game lore implies. I've had slaadi ignore pcs, help them, respond in different ways in rapid succession, had the members of a group of slaadi respond in different ways to intruders (including having one or more join the pcs' side in the fight), etc.

I have a type of slaad called the singing slaad that is the slaad equivalent of a bard. In 3e terms, the performance types that they were likely to be proficient in included breaking things, cacophany, funny noises, etc.

I also am huge on customizing, modifying, and altering slaadi when they are encountered. This one? He's pink. That one? It's white with yellow polka dots, and is capable of emitting funny smells at will. That one? Its silver, and it collapses into a puddle of liquid as soon as it takes any damage.
 

werecorpse

Explorer
I also have a slight issue with them as the definitive CN race but I’m not sure that’s what’s intended. They are A CN race and their existence is explained, not THE CN race - that’s a bit of a contradiction. In the D&D game we want monsters with defined stats to use. In AD&D monster manual 2 they had a creature that was much closer to a chaos monster thing called a Hordling. Each one had 1d6+3 hit dice and then you rolled on a half dozen tables to work out attacks AC damage etc. It was a pain in the butt to essentially make up 4 different monsters rather than just use 4 trolls reskinned.

As far as slaad actions are concerned As I understand it they are supposed to be a bit of a contradiction- creatures born from the stuff of limbo due to the impact of the lawful neutral created spawning stone on the primal chaos of that realm.

At their most basic level (red and blue) they are infectious to humanoids who battle them and survive. They don’t likely seek to grow or spread this infection because most of them aren’t really aware of it (some might be). They don’t need to as they breed at the spawning stone. They have no survival breeding type imperative that’s a natural world thing. There is no real reason to believe they are attacking everyone they see but leaving them alive to expand their race. Red and blue slaad are both stupid and unwise. They don’t plot to infect others. They behave randomly but for some reason maybe due to something to do with the spawning stone initially allowing humanoids such as githzerai to live in Limbo their form of chaos infects humanoids. Sounds like just some sort of mystic chaos virus and the stuff of limbo screwing with the unchaotic types who tried to live near the spawning stone.

Red and blue are by far the most common and the only infectious ones because they are the ones initially produced by the spawning stone. Green and Gray are still pretty foolish but they have become more stable as they have grown. They aren’t infectious anymore

But maybe you are right - even though they initially as lower ranked slaad didn’t intentionally commit acts of evil they are a breed that leans more towards evil than good, hence by the time they reach a full level of comprehension they are killing their own kind and becoming death slaad. Presumably the first death slaad became evil some other way.

I don’t treat slaad as the definitive CN extra planar race. In my world there isn’t such a thing. I treat them as an aberrant extra planar race that has come into the world due to a confluence of powerful mystical events. They are chaotic in their behaviour but more chaotic destructive than chaotic creative, In my world if a red or blue slaad gets into a fight with a humanoid it might let it live but not due to any breeding imperative, they just don’t think that far ahead.
 

MechaTarrasque

Adventurer
If you look at modrons, rilmani, and slaadi, it is obvious neutral on the good-evil scale means "I will do terrible things to you, but I won't take any joy in doing so." If you feel good about doing terrible things to whoever you meet, you are evil. If you feel bad about doing terrible things, then you are good.

I replaced chaos phage with becoming a red slaadi if you lose control in Limbo. Red slaadi desire to become more famous, which they do by infecting a powerful humanoid. If the infection takes, the red slaadi dies and is reincarnated as the new slaadi, becoming a blue slaadi if the humanoid is a martial, a green slaadi if the humanoid is a caster, and a grey slaadi if the humanoid is a gish. I replaced the slaadi as the CN exemplar with muses (sandmen and Valkyries from Tome of Beasts) who leave Limbo to convince mortals to "dream big", not caring if the dream is a good one or a bad one.
 

Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
I run slaadi as far more CN than their in-game lore implies. I've had slaadi ignore pcs, help them, respond in different ways in rapid succession, had the members of a group of slaadi respond in different ways to intruders (including having one or more join the pcs' side in the fight), etc.

I have a type of slaad called the singing slaad that is the slaad equivalent of a bard. In 3e terms, the performance types that they were likely to be proficient in included breaking things, cacophany, funny noises, etc.

I also am huge on customizing, modifying, and altering slaadi when they are encountered. This one? He's pink. That one? It's white with yellow polka dots, and is capable of emitting funny smells at will. That one? Its silver, and it collapses into a puddle of liquid as soon as it takes any damage.
In a similar vein, I run 4E and I built my own stat blocks for the slaadi to make them more chaotic. For example, when they hit with an attack, I have to roll a d6 to determine the additional effect. A 1 or 2 on the d6 results in the slaad teleporting away or falling prone or whatever, a 3 or 4 is no additional effect, and a 5 or 6 is more harmful to the target. If my slaadi teleport, their teleport speed is expressed in terms of dice - eg, 2d6 - which I have to roll and then teleport that precise number of squares. My slaadi are also immune to many natural laws: They ignore gravity, for example, so they can fight on, or walk on, walls, etc.... None of these things is particularly creative or innovative (my only talent is plagiarism) but they communicate chaos really well if you ask my players.
 

Mecheon

Explorer
I also have a slight issue with them as the definitive CN race but I’m not sure that’s what’s intended. They are A CN race and their existence is explained, not THE CN race
They most certainly weren't intended as THE CN race to begin with, but D&D's put them in that role and they've just failed to fill those shoes, unlike both Modrons and Inevitables who pull off the Lawful Neutral perfectly..

I won't lie, one of my ideas for "A better chaotic neutral" was basically going full Fey and just "Yeah, the ancient Fey are chaotic neutral". Kenders are totally part of that.
 

gyor

Legend
They most certainly weren't intended as THE CN race to begin with, but D&D's put them in that role and they've just failed to fill those shoes, unlike both Modrons and Inevitables who pull off the Lawful Neutral perfectly..


I won't lie, one of my ideas for "A better chaotic neutral" was basically going full Fey and just "Yeah, the ancient Fey are chaotic neutral". Kenders are totally part of that.
I think Pathfinder's Proteans do the role of CN planar exemplar better then Slaads.

Personally I would have made the CN Outsider race more Luck based mixed with Wild Magic.
 

Chaosmancer

Adventurer
At their most basic level (red and blue) they are infectious to humanoids who battle them and survive. They don’t likely seek to grow or spread this infection because most of them aren’t really aware of it (some might be). They don’t need to as they breed at the spawning stone. They have no survival breeding type imperative that’s a natural world thing. There is no real reason to believe they are attacking everyone they see but leaving them alive to expand their race. Red and blue slaad are both stupid and unwise. They don’t plot to infect others. They behave randomly but for some reason maybe due to something to do with the spawning stone initially allowing humanoids such as githzerai to live in Limbo their form of chaos infects humanoids. Sounds like just some sort of mystic chaos virus and the stuff of limbo screwing with the unchaotic types who tried to live near the spawning stone.

I did a bit of research on Slaadi a year or so ago, using resources like the FR Wiki, some Dragon Articles, and such. Turns out, that Red and Blue Slaad are known to kidnap victims, like entire villages, infect them then divide them into different camps so that when they spawn as either red or blue, they don't attack each other, because Reds and Blues hate each other and try to kill each other on sight.

Slaad are not chaotic. At all. Except when they are randomly "wee look at me being crazy" like with one of their bosses potential just stopping a combat encounter to smell a random flower, or take a nap, ect.


So, I took the step. They are no longer chaotic. I was getting rid of Limbo anyways, "pure chaos" is not something you can really do justice in a game anyways.

Instead, they are another race like Mindflayers and other abominations that are parasitic and use mortals to breed. They are seeking magic and arcane power (because to break out of the dichotomy of Red and Blue, you need to infect a spellcaster, then the progression of green, grey, death, black, white, special begins... yeah, they have a set evolution path per RAW too, so "chaotic") and trying to discover how to harness and steal magic from the world to use in making themselves more powerful.

Honestly, with the Aliens vibe, they make far better Abominations and Horrors than they ever did "chaos creatures"
 

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