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Alignment conundrum

Greetings fellow gamers!

I am about to embark on another full Baldur's Gate saga adventure with a charname unlike any I've ever played before. I am fully decided on how to play the character but I can't for the life of me decide which evil alignment would fit him best. So out of curiousity I wanted to ask your opinion about what you think the character's alignment should be based on his personality.

Male human warrior or non-kitted cleric

Personal philosophy and way of operating:

- He wants to increase his own personal power, so that he can serve, and ideally lead, the Sword Coast. He is smart about it, making sure that every single move strengthens either him or the region. Always looking at the big picture. Weakening the region a bit to strengthen himself a lot is an acceptable move, the reverse is not.
- Prefers to wield as much power as possible himself because he believes that he can use it better than others
- He won't indulge in pointless violence unless there's something to be gained or for fun when nothing can be lost
- He will break contracts and lie, cheat and betray people whenever it strengthens him or the region
- He will be merciless when it comes to disposing, converting or manipulating the enemies of the state
- He will look for like-minded allies
- He is very sociable and loves having friends and making alliances with people and parties he finds trustworthy

The way I see it his personal goal is clearly Lawful Evil. He wants to empower himself (getting stronger personally and finding dependable allies, while maintaining and strengthening the economy and military of the area) and the region in order to serve and one day rule over it.
The way he goes about doing certain things is definitely Chaotic Evil. He loves fighting and will pick any fight that seems profitable. He has no real honor, he will betray people left and right when appropriate.

Any thoughts? :)

AerakarJuliusBorisov

Comments

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,613
    edited November 2018
    Actually, he sounds just like Sarevok, who is chaotic evil, with high intelligence. Chaotic evil doesn't necessarily mean being a psychopath, although it has psychopaths under its umbrella.

    -"Break contracts, lie, cheat and betray people" - That is textbook chaotic evil. Consider the difference in D&D lore between the demons, who are chaotic evil, and the devils, who are lawful evil. A devil who agrees to a contract never breaks his word. Devils bank on their word being believed and followed to the letter. They will however look for tricky wording and loopholes that they can take advantage of, like crafty lawyers.

    _Violence "for fun when nothing can be lost". Again, textbook chaotic evil thinking. Lawful evil individuals only use violence as a tool, a means to an end. Many lawful evil individuals actually deplore violence.

    I think you're chaotic evil. You want to be free to pursue your own ambitions and to follow your own impulses with no restrictions, and you want to control everyone around you. You're just like Sarevok. You want to kill him because he's your rival, and he's in your way. Classic chaotic evil.

    ThacoBellDaevelon
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 6,803
    Neutral Evil.
    It's all about yourself. Anything and everything that gets you more power is fair game. Your description doesn't really strike me as very lawful...

    semiticgoddessShia_Luck
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    I suggested lawful because the reasons for his actions are to strengthen the region. The logic being that he can do so better than someone else, so the region benefits from him benefitting. Going far enough to avoid conflict if it better serves his goal. It seems pretty textbook lawful evil to me.

  • SyndareeSyndaree Member Posts: 56
    Well, the character's public image would certainly be that of a lawful evil (especially since he'd be smart and charismatic enough to justify some more questionable chaotic acts as necessary for the good of the realm) but for his actions I'm definitely starting to lean towards the chaotic or at least neutral evil. Fundamentally it is all about what he wants (even though he may end up doing quite a bit of 'good') and being popular and having friends and gaining more power and having lots of fun killing stuff IS what he wants.

    I guess this is where the limitations of DnD alignment really start to show :)

    ThacoBellAerakar
  • wpmaurawpmaura Member Posts: 30
    Now way is this lawful. I think you Neutral Evil as well with leanings towards chaotic

    BelgarathMTHDaevelon
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

  • SyndareeSyndaree Member Posts: 56
    What's duarte evil?

    I think I'm gonna go with neutral evil in the end. While he does want things that are supposedly lawful and chaotic and while he likes a well ordered system to live in and to have friends and allies, at the end of the day it is all about number one - HE wants all those things and they are an extension of himself. So neutral evil it is.

    Thanks for the input :)

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  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,780
    Neutral Evil. While he might have lawful-sounding end goals, his methods are very much against Lawful Evil behavior, especially the part about breaking contracts and promises. Chaotic Evil is also not very accurate--forging alliances and attempting to lead a nation is not the mark of a chaotic character.

    Neutral Evil is the practical, pragmatic alignment in which the character is willing to use any means necessary to accomplish his or her goals, and will alternate between law and chaos according to whichever is convenient or useful at the time. This character appears to have the cold, ruthless, single-minded and pragmatic approach of a Neutral Evil character.

    Balrog99DanacmThacoBell
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 855
    Neutral evil. Wants to build a new order, rather than rule an existing one. The goal is supremacy not ascendency.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,613

    Neutral Evil. While he might have lawful-sounding end goals, his methods are very much against Lawful Evil behavior, especially the part about breaking contracts and promises. Chaotic Evil is also not very accurate--forging alliances and attempting to lead a nation is not the mark of a chaotic character.

    Neutral Evil is the practical, pragmatic alignment in which the character is willing to use any means necessary to accomplish his or her goals, and will alternate between law and chaos according to whichever is convenient or useful at the time. This character appears to have the cold, ruthless, single-minded and pragmatic approach of a Neutral Evil character.

    Ahem, exhibit A - Sarevok, chaotic evil. Attempted to take over the government of Baldur's Gate, and almost succeeded. Forged alliances with the Chill Hobgoblins, a bandit guild, and several tribes of gnolls and kobolds, to control the flow of ore from area mines. Developed a military hierarchy with himself as leader and delegated huge responsibilities to his subordinates, e.g. Mulahey and Davaeorn. Had his own father assassinated to get him out of the way. Developed an elaborate plot to capitalize on his divine blood and eventually ascend to godhood.

    semiticgoddess
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,780
    I actually think Sarevok would be pretty close to Neutral Evil for those reasons.

  • Abi_DalzimAbi_Dalzim Member Posts: 1,410

    I actually think Sarevok would be pretty close to Neutral Evil for those reasons.

    I disagree - not just because he threw all of those things away before long, but also because of how clearly he relished doing so. Betraying and killing the stepfather he hated, running his consortium into the ground to become a duke instead, and intending to throw even that away to ascend to godhood. Like Winski said, Sarevok's nature is to milk things while he can, and then to cast them aside before moving on. That fundamental restlessness is what made him chaotic.

    semiticgoddessThacoBell[Deleted User]Artona
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    Sarevok isn't an example of chaotic evil because of his planning, its because of how easily he can toss it all aside.

    semiticgoddessDanacmArtona
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,003
    Syndaree said:


    The way I see it his personal goal is clearly Lawful Evil. He wants to empower himself (getting stronger personally and finding dependable allies, while maintaining and strengthening the economy and military of the area) and the region in order to serve and one day rule over it.
    The way he goes about doing certain things is definitely Chaotic Evil. He loves fighting and will pick any fight that seems profitable. He has no real honor, he will betray people left and right when appropriate.

    Any thoughts? :)

    I think you're half right on your character's alignment. The way he behaves is definitely Chaotic Evil, as you say -- he takes what he wants and betrays others whenever doing so serves his interests. But his personal goal doesn't make him lawful, it just means he's smart enough to know a bigger economy gives him more future power. An unusually intelligent chaotic evil character, perhaps, but CE through and through.

    As to why Sarevok is Chaotic Evil, he deliberately undermines social order by lying/poisoning so he can seize power even though laws and traditions say he isn't entitled to it. His picture basically belongs in the Player's Handbook as a textbook chaotic evil character.

    BelgarathMTH
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    @jsaving I think Sarevok is an exception to a chaotic evil character. He had to keep his urges suppressed for a LONG TIME to achieve his goal. I can't think of any other character, evil or otherwise, who held back on what they wanted to do for so long.

    Also, look the op's post. Their character has the longterm goal of IMPROVING the region. Their list even states that they will deny themselves what they truely want to do if it hampers the region. This isn't a temporary stay either, in order to take control and keep the refgion running smoothly, they will have to supress their urge to kill and fight for LIFE. No chaotic character, evil or otherwise would do such a thing.

    Is selfish about they go about their goals, but their goals benefit someone other than themselves. I'd call that textbook lawful evil.

  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,780
    The OP stresses power more than the good of the region (" Weakening the region a bit to strengthen himself a lot is an acceptable move, the reverse is not."), which I think speaks to evil motivations. If you're "saving the world by any means necessary," that's more of a Chaotic Good or Neutral Good thing, but if the goal is "gain personal power by any means necessary," that's more Neutral Evil.

    Naturally, there's some wobbliness about the D&D alignment system. This character definitely has elements of a Lawful Neutral, Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, and Chaotic Evil alignment. The right kind of megalomaniac could be any of those alignments.

  • SyndareeSyndaree Member Posts: 56
    That's some great replies, thanks everyone :)

    But basically, the way I envisioned the character, he wants the region to grow stronger because he wants to take over a strong region rather than a weak one. He also enjoys living in an orderly society as long as he can be above the law or sometimes exempt from the law. He'd rather work with reliable people because you can count on reliable people. Doesn't matter if he's not reliable himself.

    But the main reason I think he's more neutral evil than chaotic is because he likes having friends and likes working with others. He will likely genuinely care about certain companions and won't betray them unless they betray him first, they plan to betray him and he finds out, or they are somehow messing up the region. He also enjoys have underlings and making sure that things run smoothly. He hates pointless destruction and waste, unless he's having a bad day and just needs to blow off steam, which certainly happens.

    And as semiticgod said, he definitely has the elements of LN, LE, NE, and CE. But I think he's neutral evil. Every single thing he does is for his own benefit. He wants friends because he enjoys their company. He wants to rule because he likes being in charge and because he thinks he can do a better job than others. He wants to strengthen the region because people will love him for it, so he gets an ego boost. And when he takes over it'll be stronger that way. And while he does fight certain people because it amuses him, he certainly won't go picking fights with people he thinks are useful or valuable and even when he kills 'unnecessary' people he will try to find a good way of justifying it to himself and any others that might question him. In essence it's like a game for him.

    So in my opinion 50% neutral evil, 35% chaotic evil, 10% lawful evil, 5% lawful neutral :)

    semiticgoddessThacoBell
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,780
    edited November 2018
    Since no one else has mentioned it: this guy sounds eerily realistic.

    DaevelonThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    "But basically, the way I envisioned the character, he wants the region to grow stronger because he wants to take over a strong region rather than a weak one. He also enjoys living in an orderly society as long as he can be above the law or sometimes exempt from the law. He'd rather work with reliable people because you can count on reliable people. Doesn't matter if he's not reliable himself.

    But the main reason I think he's more neutral evil than chaotic is because he likes having friends and likes working with others. He will likely genuinely care about certain companions and won't betray them unless they betray him first, they plan to betray him and he finds out, or they are somehow messing up the region. He also enjoys have underlings and making sure that things run smoothly. He hates pointless destruction and waste, unless he's having a bad day and just needs to blow off steam, which certainly happens. "

    This just sounds like textbook lawful evil to me. The op is of course free to choose whatever alignment they want, but the people saying that this cannot possibly be lawful are being silly.

  • SyndareeSyndaree Member Posts: 56
    I guess maybe the deciding factor is how the character views the world on the law-chaos axis. He doesn't believe in a code of conduct (because why would he unnecessarily limit himself) and he doesn't believe that acting in an orderly manner will make him more honorable or respectable. At the same time he is not particularly restless, likes to take time to appreciate the finer things and life and is quite content to play the long game and outmaneuver and eliminate his enemies one by one. He isn't restless and while he can be reckless at times, he's generally quite patient and composed in his dealings. So I'm gonna call neutral evil on this one :)

    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    I can see someone swinging neutral evil here. There is a fair bit of overlap with adjacent alignments.

  • SyndareeSyndaree Member Posts: 56
    Yeah, there is a lot of overlap, that's why I wasn't sure at all when I wrote the original post and wanted some input. But now that you've all given me some good input, I decided to go with NE :)

    It also made me realize that if I was ever given an alignment it would likely be true neutral with heavy fluctuations into both lawful neutral and chaotic neutral.

    ThacoBell
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