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Question about companion alignments

I've played D&D tabletop a long time ago and spent thousands of hours on the BG saga, but I've never been a pro in the alignment system. I have some doubts about the alignment of certain companions. Any thoughts on the matter?

Neera: chaotic neutral
I get the feeling she's only CN because she is a wild mage. When you do her BG2 questline, I think she comes over as more CG, however. She goes through incredible lengths to save wild mages and her banter isn't exactly CN. Granted, she wants to kill every red wizard she sees, but that doesn't really CN to me. After all, the red wizards are friggin sadists who experiment on her kind.

Edwin: lawful evil
Edwin is a red wizard and therefore part of an evil organization with many rules and codes. So LE, right? But from the things he does and the way he acts, he's more NE to me. He's incredibly selfish and power-hungry.

Jaheira: true neutral
Jaheira is a druid and a harper, so by definition TN. Balance and shit. In the game however, she seems more NG. She's understanding, has a disgust for corruption and evil. She doesn't get along with any evil characters, but seems to fit in perfectly with a good-aligned party. Her late husband was NG.

Dorn: neutral evil
He actually lives for violence and slaughter, so shouldn't he be CE? Then again, in BG1 he lives according to the code of his patron and should be LE?

Korgan: chaotic evil
While it's true that he loves violence and murdering people, he's also a mercenary and will join good-aligned parties if the price is right. Isn't that NE? The man's actual last name is Bloodaxe, though, so CE would be fitting for that :)

Faldorn: true neutral
How in the Nine Hells can anyone call Faldorn true neutral? Shadow Druids are not about balance at all. In BG1 she's already an extremist and in BG2 she becomes a terrorist, wasting animal lives in futile attacks on the evil civilization that is Trademeet. She 'becomes stronger than ever' and willingly throws away human and animal lives to reach her goal. That goal seems to be power to be in stead of balance between civilization and nature. So NE?

ThacoBellDarkShinobi

Comments

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,026
    Neera: She also abandons people without warning or cause. Is flighty and non-reliable. Her work towards saving the wild mages is actually kind of out of character for her. It also takes two games of development (BG1 and SoD) to get to that point. She doesn't really think of morals when she does things.

    Edwin: Selfish and self serving is basically how evil is defined. So it applies to every evil alignment, the difference is how its applied. Edwin is slefush, yes, but is also basically true to his word. He is one of the most loyal evil companions (despite his protests) and even keeps deals made with good aligned characters.

    Jaheira: I completely agree here. She is only TN because that was the rule for druids at the time. Her personality is totally NG.

    Dorn: His slaughter isn't indiscriminate. He basically wants to be left alone to live how he wants. His slaughters in BG1 are entirely directed at the people who betrayed him. And in BG2, they all come at the urging of his patron. VIolence is the only way he knows how to solve problems, but he (orders from his patron notwithstadning) doesn't go around looking to kill people for personal satisfaction.

    Faldorn: Also agree. Same as Jaheira, but evil.

    DarkShinobi
  • Gatekeep3rGatekeep3r Member Posts: 123
    edited June 5
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    Neera: She also abandons people without warning or cause. Is flighty and non-reliable. Her work towards saving the wild mages is actually kind of out of character for her. It also takes two games of development (BG1 and SoD) to get to that point. She doesn't really think of morals when she does things.

    Edwin: Selfish and self serving is basically how evil is defined. So it applies to every evil alignment, the difference is how its applied. Edwin is slefush, yes, but is also basically true to his word. He is one of the most loyal evil companions (despite his protests) and even keeps deals made with good aligned characters.

    Very good points! I did only one BG1 playthrough with Neera and don't really remember it that well. In BG2 I thought she had CG written all over here, but if that's out of character for her, CN is indeed the perfect alignment for her.

    What do you think about Korgan?




  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 224
    Neera: I'd put Neera down as Chaotic Neutral with some Good tendencies. She's mostly non-threatening and doesn't take any particular pleasure from causing mischief or suffering to others (which are the hallmarks of Evil characters), but her history (especially in BG1 and the end of SoD) shows that she always puts her own survival and well-being above that of others.

    Edwin: I differ from a lot of people in that I define Law and Chaos with regards to alignment as referring to HOW people like to go about life. Lawful types are the ones who like to know what they're going to do and how they're going to do it before they even start. Chaotic types are the ones who like to just dive right in. To give an example, if instructed to assemble a piece of IKEA furniture, Lawful types will read the entire instructions from start to finish before they even pick up a pin. Chaotic types will instead jump right in thinking "I'll figure it out as I go along."

    Edwin himself hardly ever gives any indication of what his long-term goals are (aside from accruing more magical power for himself and using it to have people treat him with obsequious toadying), and we don't really see enough of how he approaches said goals, so I agree that he could just as easily have been Neutral Evil instead.

    Jaheira: I think that Jaheira, as a Harper and Druid, definitely isn't strictly True Neutral, leaning more towards Neutral Good as a whole. She can have a bit of a vindictive streak when it comes to seeing guilty parties get their comeuppance, but on the whole her actions definitely favour the side of Good more.

    Dorn: As I mentioned above, Dorn isn't QUITE as "jump in without thinking" as a Chaotic Evil character would be, although he definitely doesn't display the kind of planning and organisation that a Lawful Evil character would. As such, I think his Neutral Evil alignment is fairly accurate.

    Korgan: Chaotic Evil characters can be mercenaries too; just rather untrustworthy ones. ;) Korgan DEFINITELY strikes me as the type to go "Kill 'em all and let the gods sort 'em out!" approach to violence, and he seems to prefer letting others do the planning while he just does the murdering. The fact that he'll react with violence on a hair-trigger suggests to me he has the kind of impulsive nature that defines Chaotic types.

    Faldorn: I agree that Faldorn definitely crossed over into Neutral Evil territory in BG2. This becomes less of an issue in 3rd Edition D&D, where Druids can be one step away from True Neutral with regards to alignment. (Although if you ask me, the whole idea that Druids must be Neutral in some form is kinda silly. Druids are simply devoted to a particular set of beliefs and ethics; how exactly they seek to achieve those beliefs is irrelevant as far as Nature itself is concerned.)

    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,026
    Korgan is probably the best example I've ever seen as a functioning chaotic evil cahracter. He loves one thing and one thing only, killing. While he does have personal standards (doesn't like to see children harmed), killing is really all that he knows and all that he enjoys. He does make a pretense of killing those he sees as deserving, but that can be as simple as someone throwing an insult his way. He can't really control his need to kill. He can hold himself back for a bit (able to work fairly reliably as a mercenary), he WILL need to kill somebody sooner or later. The most interesting thing about him though, is that he seems very self aware about it. We learn his backstory in talks with Mazzy, and his clan basically fought in wars non-stop. Born on a battlefield, and saw both his parents die for no real reason. He admits its an incredibly stupid way to live, but is either incapable, or unwilling to change himself. He's easily my favorite evil character.

    NuinBelgarathMTH
  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 447
    edited June 6
    I believe Korgan is just too set in his ways, and he knows it. He truly believes that there is no coming back from what he has become, in spite of the Mazzy dialog hinting that he's had doubts about his lifestyle.
    In the end, I think he sees himself as simply doing the realms a service in some way. That doesn't make him good or even neutral by any stretch (some of the most "evil" people in the world also had standards and truly believed they were doing people a service) but it is how it is. And he enjoys doing it too.
    And yeah, the fact that he's going out of his way to do his own thing (as pointed out above) definitely paints him as Chaotic.

    Jaheira can be an interesting example of how a True Neutral person can be driven towards being a mostly good character because he/she has been pigeonholed into a situation where as much good as possible must be done in order to preserve the balance. She is much more consistent with her alignment in BG1 (granted there's not a lot of dialogue/banter going on there, but her manner is much more gruff and "if they so much as attack a squirrel I'll drop a lightning bolt on them") and that really only changes in BG2, where she: loses Khalid, finds herself up against an extremely powerful mage, ends up dealing with all sorts of "high level" problems (at the top of the list, an impending apocalyptic prophecy involving a potential close friend or even lover), etc.
    TN characters are expected to rise to the occasion in order to preserve the balance. There's very little opportunity for Jaheira to actually act her alignment in the short term considering what she's up against, so there's a bit of wiggle room there long term-wise.
    If there was a post-game quest or something and we see Jaheira going back to being her old BG1 self then I'd say TN would indeed fit her very nicely.

    Post edited by Nuin on
    ThacoBell
  • Gatekeep3rGatekeep3r Member Posts: 123
    I see your point about Korgan, but I wonder if a Chaotic Evil character is capable of any self-reflection. Don't get me wrong, I love the entire Korgan character. I have trouble reconciling that with my fairly neutral pov.

    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,026
    I see your logic, but being chaotic doesn't mean you can't plan or that you can't be self aware. A chaotic character is chaotic because they are ruled by their impulses. Korgan is aware of his faults, but can't bring himself to fight his urges. Likewise, Sarevok was able to make long running and elaborate plans, but they were all to serve his one big impulse.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 544
    Yes, chaotic people are perfectly capable of making plans, they just won't stick to them if something better comes to mind. Sounds like Korgan to me.

    Agree completely on Neera (CG), Jaheira (NG), Edwin (NE), and Faldorn (NE).

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