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Alignment Part 7 – The Free Spirit

Crazy.  That’s one way to play chaotic neutral.  And, quite frankly, it can be dead accurate.  However, it’s not the only to approach it.  Some of you may remember the 60’s.  Who am I kidding…no one really remembers the 60’s.  OK, let’s try a different approach.  Some of you have seen documentaries on the History Channel about the 60’s.  It shows the acid dropping, free loving, dope smoking hippies of the era.  They would often drift where ever the wind blew them, and let things happen “naturally” (often with lots of chemical enhancement, but this isn’t really the place to discuss this ;)).

This free spirit is another embodiment of chaotic neutral.  Think about it.  Chaotic simply means an inability to respond to the laws of society.  Neutral indicates a tendency toward neither good nor evil.  A free spirit who simply drifts where ever fate takes them fits this completely.  For example, a bard who travels with an adventuring party for as long as they are interesting to him is a prime example of this type of character.

A chaotic neutral character, regardless of the form it takes, will usually have a few unifying tendencies that a role player can grab hold of and really use to make their character come to life.  For one, these characters tend to be irresponsible.  If they’re carrying the party’s gold, they may buy a new belt with it, not out of spite or any type of malice, but because it was pretty and they wanted it.

They also tend to be a bit flaky.  They say they’ll meet you at mid day on the town green.  They show up two hours late.  Why?  They saw a pretty bird or something.  Time is immaterial to them, so they will not likely be the person to show up on time for much of anything…if they even bother to show up.

However, these characters can be fiercely loyal to those they call friends.  They can also fiercely defend anything they hold dear.  While a chaotic neutral character is often classified as “untrustworthy”, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t be trusted with your life, just your money and your wife.

If played properly, a chaotic neutral character can generate tons of stories about the campaign for years to come.

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August 26, 2008 - Posted by | RPG | ,

4 Comments »

  1. Whenever I need to describe Chaotic Neutral quickly to new players, I just say “Han Solo” and am greeted with “Ooooh, gotcha.”

    Never tried the hippy analogue, though.

    Comment by Ben Overmyer | August 26, 2008 | Reply

  2. Han Solo is definitely a neutral possibility, though I always thought of him more as chaotic good with neutral tendencies 😉

    Comment by Tom | August 26, 2008 | Reply

  3. I take a slightly different point of view on the CN character, barring crazy. Since the CN alignment has no moral compass to sway his actions, he may do things a bit more… impacting… than simply be absent-minded or uncaring about a bit of gold or his friends’ time. The CN character might accept a bounty for one of his friends’ arrests because he needed some gold to get that new belt. Likewise, he might have a plan to help break that friend out of prison and make off with the reward.

    The Han Solo example is a good one, but only Han from the first movie (before the assault on the Death Star). After that, he develops a ‘heart of gold’, becoming either CN(G) or CG.

    Comment by Liambic | August 26, 2008 | Reply

  4. True. But it doesn’t matter, since you’re just a big meanie anyways 😛

    (For any who don’t know, Liambic and I are old friend and he’s currently the DM for the game I’m playing )

    Comment by Tom | August 27, 2008 | Reply


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