Every creature and character in a game has an alignment. Monsters and characters in the current and fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) are using nine alignments which portray their social and moral attitudes toward order and society.
There are three moral types combined in each alignment – lawful, neutral and evil and amongst the moral types describe a character’s attitude towards order and society – lawful, neutral and chaotic. The nine D&D alignment acts as descriptive sectors of a creature’s personal and moral attitudes and how these characters interact with the world surrounding them.
The D&D Alignment Grid
The combination of two factors define nine possible alignment combinations as shown in the grid:
|Law Vs. Chaos|
|Good Vs. Evil||Good||Lawful Good||Neutral Good||Chaotic Good|
|Neutral||Lawful Neutral||(True) Neutral||Chaotic neutral|
|Evil||Lawful Evil||Neutral Evil||Chaotic Evil|
The D&D Alignment
Alignment 5e is the basis of how and why creatures do things and the way they reconcile interaction between worlds and themselves. Here are the nine D&D alignment:
- Lawful Good – as expected these creatures are expected by society to do good. Their actions are being guided with sense of duty and honour. Typically, they often act with compassion and fear doing things that would violate any code or rule. Most dwarves, righteous knights and paladins are amongst of these creatures.
- Neutral Good – these creatures help other according to their needs. They normally act with altruism, either it be for or against any tradition or rule. They are not obliged with the lawful good but have no issues collaborating with them. Some gnomes, cloud giants and most celestials are classified under neutral good.
- Chaotic Good – generally intend to do the right thing, these creatures wanted to bring about change for the betterment of the society. They place a little value for themselves but rather have high regard on other’s wellbeing and freedom. Though their intentions are clean, their ways are usually disorganized and always do not coexist or mingle with the rest of the community. Chaotic good would include many elves, unicorns and copper dragons.
- Lawful Neutral – these are characters who often act in accordance with codes, rules, laws or traditions. They strongly believe on lawful concepts being set down by benevolent authorities. Some wizards, most monks or soldiers who follow orders are considered lawful neutral.
- Neutral – also called the as true neutral, they aggressively behave to seek their balance and do not feel strongly towards any alignment. Basically, creatures such as animals are identified under this alignment because they are guided by their instincts rather than conscious decision and lack moral judgement. Their decisions are not accurate enough to make decisions. Druids, lizardfolk and even many humans are neutral.
- Chaotic Neutral – this type of creature generally do not follow traditions and rules and only what their heart dictates. They usually hold their personal freedom and interest above anything else. Rogues, barbarians and bards are examples of chaotic neutral.
- Lawful Evil – creatures that fall under this alignment are bound to do whatever they want for as long as it is within the limits of tradition, codes or rules. These characters often show desirable and undesirable actions and believe that a well-ordered society is simply to exploit. Hobgoblins, blue dragons and devils are considered lawful evil.
- Neutral Evil – they are characterized as selfish and without hesitation of harming others as long as they get what they wanted. They do not fear of causing turmoil just to escape their way out if they see no benefit for themselves. They are tied to the principle that evil is an ideal. To achieve their evil plans, they turn on allies for the moment which they think could of an advantage to them. Neutral evil will include several cloud giants, dark elves and goblins.
- Chaotic Evil – these creatures are typically cruel and selfish. They only care about their personal freedom and don’t have regard for the freedom and lives of other characters. To follow their own personal desires, they have no respect for rules or codes. Generally, they resend being given orders the reason why they do not work well with groups. Rather than gaining profit, they follow their personal desire for pleasure. Ors, red dragons and demons are examples of chaotic evil.
The Axes Where D&D Alignment is Combined
The game features two different axes where players can select the type of character they want. Here are the two axes which allow the combination of the nine alignment:
- Law vs. Chaos
This axis is oftentimes distinct between each other. Lawful creatures will tend to protect the interest of the group rather than their own personal interest and abide with the rules and codes. On the contrary, chaotic creatures follow their personal desires and view honesty and rules as unimportant.
- Lawful – entails trustworthiness, reliability, honour and obedience to authority. According to those who adhere with lawfulness, people can make the right decision because and act as they should which could create a society where people can depend on each other.
- Neutral – They are not compelled to follow rules nor become rebel. They have average respect towards authorities of law or chaos. They are honest but are persuaded into deceiving or lying based on their own personal comforts.
- Chaos – entails flexibility, adaptability and freedom but sometimes may include irresponsibility, resentment to authority and recklessness. Chaotic persons believe that being tolerant will allow people to freely express themselves where society can benefit from each individual’s potentials within them.
- Good vs. Evil
In D&D 5e alignment or any other fantasy fiction, there is always a common conflict between good and evil. It is assumed that player characters will definitely fight against evil creatures and will oppose evil. Regardless of how they venture, either from altruistic purpose or personal benefit, characters will always tend to combat evil deeds.
- Good – more concern about the dignity of living creatures, have respect for life and entails altruism. In order to help others, they are willing to make their personal sacrifices.
- Neutral – through personal relationships, neutral characters are committed to others. They are hesitant of killing innocent beings but have respect to good and evil. They are not inclined of making personal sacrifices o help or protect others.
- Evil – entails oppressing, harming and killing others. Without hesitation, evil creatures kill others without compassion or if convenient to them. While for others, pursuing evil is their duty to wicked master or killing has become their hobby.
Alignment is an important part of nature and for many thinking creatures is a moral choice. Other creatures choose to follow their own paths of good or evil, while some others have strong inborn tendencies to follow the nature of their Gods. Moreover, the D&D alignment 5e has been categorized as the system of moral classification among some.