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  1. HUGE, STRANGE POST ALERT. This thread is intended for everyone on the forum, not just D&D players. My reasons for making it are to help me know everyone a bit better and to sate one of my weird curiosities. Having seen a thread dedicated to D&D, I know there's at least a handful of regulars here that can skip over most of this post, but for those unfamiliar with what's to follow, I entreat you spare a few minutes to read and reply. It could be enlightening. Many role-playing games have some way of measuring the player's moral and ethical compass. The one I want to look at right now and apply to all of you — or rather, have you determine it's application to yourselves — is the alignment system found in Dungeons & Dragons. Those who are already familiar with how it works will notice this is pre-4th edition. That's deliberate. Here's how it works: there are nine alignments, each one representing a certain proclivity for good or evil and law or chaos. Tell which one most accurately matches you, and if you want to talk about where your friends and family fit in relation to you or how they've influenced you, for better or worse, that would be even more interesting. I've already started pegging some of you with alignments, and I feel pretty confident about most of them. These are some "official" definitions so they may seem oddly-worded considering the question is aimed at you and not some character of your own devisal; they're arranged in a 3 X 3 grid: Lawful Good A lawful good character upholds society and its laws, believing that these laws are created to work for the good and prosperity of all. He is both honest and benevolent. He will work within the established system to change it for the better, and strives to bring order to goodness that other good-aligned characters might pool their resources to better the world. A lawful good character combines a commitment to oppose evil with discipline. Most lawful good characters live by a strict code of honor, or by the rules of conduct set down by their deity. They will generally selflessly act by these codes even at the cost of their own life. It must however be stressed that blind obedience to local laws is not required by the lawful good alignment. A paladin is not in violation of his alignment if he decides to take up arms against a usurper on behalf of the rightful king, for example, even if that means going against the sedition laws instated by the usurper. An incorruptible enforcer, a ruler or politician who acts for the good of his people, and a heroic soldier who strictly obeys the laws of battle are all examples of lawful good characters. Neutral Good Neutral good characters desire good without bias for or against order. A neutral good character does good for goodness' sake, not because he is directed to by law or by whim. Such a character will obey the law, or break it when he sees that it will serve a greater good. He has no problems with co-operating with lawful officials, but does not feel beholden to them. In the event that doing the right thing requires the bending or breaking of rules, they do not suffer the same inner conflict that a Lawful Good character would. He isn't bound strongly to a social system or order. His need to help others and reduce suffering may take precedence over all else. A doctor who treats both sides in a fight and somebody who feeds the starving in a war zone are both examples of neutral good characters. Chaotic Good Chaotic good combines a good heart with a free spirit. A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He is kind and benevolent, a strong individualist hostile to the claims of rules, regulations, and social order. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He will actively work to bring down unjust rulers and organizations and to liberate the oppressed. He finds lawful societies distasteful and will avoid them, often living as a nomad or hermit. Noble rebel leaders fighting corrupt or venal regimes, vigilantes acting for what they see as the greater good, mercenaries who only work for the "good guys" and anyone who "robs from the rich to give to the poor" are all examples of chaotic good characters. Lawful Neutral A lawful neutral character is directed by law, logic, tradition, or a personal code. Order and organization are paramount to him. He may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or he may believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government. Lawful neutral combines reliability and honor without moral bias. Note that this does not mean that a lawful neutral character is amoral or immoral, or does not have a moral compass, but that moral considerations — the good or evil of the action — come a distant second to what the character's code, tradition, law, or logic dictate. A functionary, soldier, or employee who follows orders without question regardless of the result; an arms dealer who sells his wares to the highest bidder, whatever that bidder may do with them, and an impartial jurist who sticks rigidly to the rule book are all examples of lawful neutral characters. True Neutral The neutral alignment (sometimes known as true neutral) is without prejudice or compulsion. A neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. He doesn't feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or order vs. chaos. He thinks of good as better than evil — after all, he would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, he isn't personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way. A true neutral character sees good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. He advocates the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run. His position is carefully neutral, but he does not continually balance his morals in a yin yang or fanatical fashion. Chaotic Neutral Chaotic neutral is freedom from both society's restrictions and a do-gooder's zeal. A chaotic neutral character follows his whims. He is an individualist first and last. He values his own liberty but does not strive to protect the freedom of others. He avoids authority, resents restrictions, and challenges traditions. A chaotic neutral character doesn't intentionally disrupt organizations as part of a campaign of anarchy. To do so, he would have to be motivated either by good (and a desire to liberate others) or by evil (and a desire to make others suffer). A chaotic neutral character may be unpredictable, but his behavior is not totally random. He is not as likely to jump off a bridge as to cross it. A wandering rogue who lives both by work for hire and petty theft is an example of a chaotic neutral character. Lawful Evil Lawful evil is the methodical and intentional devotion to a cruel, organized system. A lawful evil character methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his personal code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts. He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order but not about freedom, dignity, or life. He plays by the rules but without mercy or compassion. He's comfortable in a hierarchy and would like to rule, but is willing to serve. He is loath to break promises, and he is therefore very cautious about giving his word unless a bargain is clearly in his favor. This reluctance comes partly from his nature and partly because he depends on order to protect himself from those who oppose him on moral grounds. Many lawful evil characters use society and its laws for selfish advantages, exploiting the letter of the law over its spirit whenever it best suits their interests. A tyrannical ruler who drafts the rules to suit himself, a corrupt lawyer or judge who uses the law to mask his own misdeeds, and the ruthless bosses and minions of organized crime are all examples of lawful evil characters. Neutral Evil Neutral evil is pure pragmatism without honor and without variation — survival of the ruthless. A neutral evil character does whatever he can get away with. He is out for himself, pure and simple. He shows no remorse for those he kills, whether for profit, sport or convenience, and he has no love of order and holds no illusion that following laws, traditions, or codes would make him any better or more noble. On the other hand, he does not have the restless nature or love of conflict that a chaotic evil villain has. Career criminals, particularly those who harm others for money, such as hitmen, are the most obvious example of neutral evil. Chaotic Evil Chaotic evil is power without control — selfishness unfettered by any law. A chaotic evil character does whatever his greed, hatred, and lust for destruction drive him to do. If he is simply out for whatever he can get, he is ruthless and brutal. If he is committed to the spread of evil and chaos, he is even worse. His plans are haphazard and any groups he joins or forms are poorly organized. Typically, chaotic evil people can be made to work together only by force, and their leader lasts only as long as he can thwart attempts to topple or assassinate him. These characters will commit any act to further their own ends. Now here's where I fit into all this. Read it or don't, but I want to hear your stories and what you think of yourselves. My alignment is Neutral Good. I've concluded — perhaps erroneously — that the opposite of me would be Neutral Evil. However, they don't bother me as much as those who fall firmly into the Lawful Neutral slot. Don't get me wrong, there are several people here whom I like that I would easily label as LN, but the idea of allowing another man's or system's moral compass take precedence over one's own is almost unimaginable for me. I have actually known people who have said things like "The government is capable of thinking for me, so I don't want to think." Yes, that is one of the most extreme cases, but people like that exist and it's an ideology that is entirely beyond my comprehension. Whether or not my moral stances changed throughout my life, my application thereof underwent many. Through it all I've never relinquished a sliver of my individuality beyond what I felt was fair compromise, though this has admittedly been counterproductive to my intentions in some circumstances, causing harm where I intended to bring relief. Reflecting on my younger days I can say that my heart was originally NG, but circumstances being what they were (abuse, violation of trust, etc.), my childlike malleability combined with innate and unwavering moral stances pushed me more into being a Chaotic Neutral individual. I was willing, able, and did on occasion risk money and possessions just for the thrill of it. Sometimes it was as big a risk as gambling with large (to me) sums of money. Sometimes it was as small as extending my arm out the bus window and flipping a coin because I knew I wouldn't get it back if I didn't catch it. Easy come; easy go. A few times I gambled with my life. I learned to keep to myself even if it meant allowing somebody else to endure some kind of unnecessary hardship I could have prevented, justifying my inaction by saying they could better learn by practice than with my assistance. The truth was I didn't want to risk being taken for a ride. Always empathetic, there was only so much emotional distress I could tolerate upon another before lending a hand. I wasn't heartless. Then there's my "brony conversion story," in which by example as much as admonition that eclectic group pulled me back here, where I always belonged and desired to be. As terrible as that bygone period of my life was, I think the way I devalued myself back then has helped me presently to find more courage in interposing myself to keep another from harm. And learning how fragile and fleeting possessions are through my reckless actions back then has helped me to be more generous now. As for the significant and not so significant people in my life — my parents first; they are about as hard to the Lawful side of things as can be. Both of them almost straddle the line of good and neutrality when it comes to the vertical axis, with my dad a little more on the good side than my mom. There was a time where I would have placed them farther into neutral, in days when they were more content with their situations so long as they weren't in dire need of anything, but in more recent days they've started to determine that their ability to decide is a bit more important than simplicity. We were always at odds when I was growing up. I'd hear of something I perceived to be an injustice, whether somebody got too harsh a sentence for some offense or was let off the hook despite obvious guilt; every time I would be furious, and their attitude was largely apathetic because they weren't affected. My closest and first of only two friends is Lawful Good. At times he can seem more neutral than good, but he's just very guarded and secretive. The other is also Lawful Good, but he's a simple, country guy who grew up in a normal family and just wants to live a quiet life. The majority of my mom's side of the family is Neutral Evil, and a few of them are Chaotic Evil; one person is Lawful Good and one person is Chaotic Neutral. The majority of my dad's side of the family is Lawful Good. edit: Please don't rely on any kind of online test to determine your alignment. Like any other test, it will be limited by the diversity, quality, and quantity of questions asked, and won't give an accurate evaluation. Do some reflecting and see which one sounds most like you. You can take a test if you want, but I'd prefer that you not use its results here.