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Alignments Part 4 of 4: Evil

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Alignments Part 4 of 4: Evil

PostAuthor: Strangg » Tue Aug 27, 2002 8:40 am

Part 4

Lawful Evil

Niccolo Machievelli's The Prince is perhaps the definitive example of
the Lawful Evil mentality. Often players and DM's mistakenly think of this
alignment as the "kindly, gentler" evil. It is anything but. Lawful evil
characters are dangerous alone, and the danger increases with the size of
the groups they inevitably form.

"The end justifies the means" is the creed of this alignment. Lawful
Evil characters may actually have admirable goals, but the means that they
are willing to take are, more often than not, deplorable. Lawful Evil
characters are often better versed in the letter of the law than the best
paladins, and they stand ready to twist every phrase to suit their goals.

It is necessary to remember that exactly what is and is not evil will
vary from society to society. However, evil always includes the complete and
utter disregard for anything that stands in the way of the character's
desires. An Evil character will hurt anybody or anything to get what he
wants, be it wealth or pleasure (sometimes from the inflicting of the pain).

Lawful Evil characters believe that to further their own ends they must
impose order onto others and dispose of by any means anything that threatens
them or the order they impose. They may have the welfare of society
superficially in mind, but their personal welfare always precedes that or
anything else. Lawful Evil characters are meticulous, and they are also
often very cruel in their aims.

Despite all of this, Lawful Evil characters aren't completely incapable
of love or other like emotions, although it is viewed as weakness. Weakness
is dangerous in Lawful Evil societies, for if one shows weakness he will be
disposed of in order to strengthen the group.

Lawful Evil societies are usually in the shadow of another group, and in
that function they excel at undermining that authority in order to establish
their own. On rare occasion Lawful Evil groups come into control of an area,
and in that situation they are often chaotic seeming as they go about
changing laws on whims to suit their goals. However, those goals are
meticulously chosen and the roads to these objectives are well mapped out.
Lawful Evil groups are ruled by the strongest individual politically.
Politicking plays a large role in Lawful Evil groups, as a brash murderous
attempt to the throne will be met by the backlash of the entire group
without mercy. An example of an underground Lawful Evil society is the
Mafia.

DM's are encouraged not to run any evil characters. Although somewhat
easier to control than Neutral or Chaotic Evil characters, Lawful evil
character will still seriously disrupt the harmony of a group as the
character maneuvers into control killing anyone who tries to stop him in
secret. That alone will hurt the friendships between all but the best
Role-Players.


Neutral Evil

Neutral Evil characters are perhaps the most simple of all the
alignments to run or play. They are concerned only with themselves and what
pleases themselves. Not overly concerned with the ethical concerns of Law
and Chaos, they act in accordance to what best suits them and all other
concerns are left alone.

Neutral Evil characters have a tendency to be more isolated than other
alignments. Unable to be trusted, they in turn give no trust to anyone. They
always have a double cross ready, but will usually only use one to betray
someone who has betrayed them. It is not that they have any moral
compulsions about betrayal, Neutral Evil characters recognize that the less
you betray others the less likely you will be betrayed. When Neutral Evil
characters do betray, they usually kill the betrayed to reduce complications
down the road.

Unlike Lawful Evil characters, who view others as tools to be used or
Chaotic Evil characters, who see others as persons to bully into submission,
Neutral Evil characters view other persons as "complications." Whether or
not that person is a desirable complication (or at least tolerable)
determines the length of the relationship between the two. The relative
power of the characters often determines what the Neutral Evil character
will do. Neutral Evil characters can be controlled (somewhat) via the threat
of retribution, but they will do what they can get away with. If that is
anything then may the gods have mercy on anyone in their path that they take
a disliking to.

Neutral Evil societies are usually dominated by a dictator strong enough
to keep the underlings in line. When the ruler loses strength he usually
loses his life. Neutral Evil societies are rarely long lasting or very large
since the members of that alignment rarely cooperate and tend to disperse in
order to take advantage of those more foolish than themselves.

Again, the DM is cautioned not to run Neutral Evil characters as they
tend to ruin party cohesiveness. If this advice is not taken, then he will
learn his lesson the hard way provided the players role-play properly.


Chaotic Evil

Chaotic Evil character will do anything that will have a pleasing result
to them. They are interested in maximum gain for minimum risk. They often do
not care to undergo the very treatment they inflict, but they have no
interest or belief in the principle of "treat others as you expect to be
treated." Chaotic Evil characters rarely plan very far in advance,
preferring to handle situations on a day by day basis.

The combination of unpredictability and utter disregard for anyone else
makes Chaotic Evil characters the most dangerous type of foe the Pc's are
likely to face. Chaotic Evil characters often develop sadistic and macabre
personalities. They are often spiteful and see everyone as being just as
reprehensible as themselves. Chaotic Evil societies are often crude and
loose bully associations, where any one individual can jump to the top
instantly by defeating the leader and any other challengers. As a result,
the leader is rarely in place for long, and if he has been he has weakened
the whole group such that no two (or even three) others can threaten him.
This is done by murder of anyone who poses a challenge to rule.

DM's who run Chaotic Evil Player Characters will get what they ask for.
A ruined game.

End

--
Michael Lloyd Morris
"Advice is one of those rare things that is far easier to give than to
receive." -- Telsindria.


That's his essay in it's entirety. I personally think Michael has a very good grasp on alignments and how they pertain to any RPG, not just D&D.

~S
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Strangg
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Very good...

PostAuthor: Drakkyn » Tue Aug 27, 2002 4:31 pm

Thats a rather good explanation....
"Mom and dad say I should make my life an example of the principles I believe in. But every time I do, they tell me to stop it." --Calvin
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PostAuthor: Orleron » Tue Aug 27, 2002 5:51 pm

Nice stuff.


The City of Mikona falls under the Neutral alignment. It is a special case however because of its situation.

The actual city of Mikona and the nation of M'Chek that it heads up is not particularly ambitious. Left to its own devices, the entity would basically stay there and not bother anybody or make any problems. It has no desire for conquest or control. It only desires to exist peacefully, and it does not particularly care innately about the rest of the world.

The other big thing about Mikona is its value on Choice. The leaders of the city do not judge people or organizations as good or bad. It is well aware that the evil actions of one person can bring good to another, so it does not worry about whether an entity in the city is good or evil, wrong or right. Mikona upholds the right for a person to choose their destiny for whatever it is, and it supports all kinds of choices in any way possible.


The problem with Mikona and the nation of M'Chek is that its existence is threatened. This very situation forces them to act in the interest of survival.

Overcrowding and population explosion in the country has recently started to lead to some serious environmental degradation: the land cannot support the amount of people living on it. There simply isn't enough farmland, or water, or resources to hold that many people.

The only answer is to expand. They are not openly inclined to killing off their population (though they have been known to turn the other way when some other entity takes it upon itself to murder). First they tried reason... but the elves would not listen. They were the first people the M'Chekians approached. Other nations were also approached, and some good deals of moving population exist today with the Kurathene Empire in the form of noble marriages, unification of fiefdoms, and slave trade. But the elven lands of T'Nanshi are the nearest and most convenient lands with untapped resources.

After asking nicely, the M'Chekians have no choice but to fight the elves for land so that their families can live on it.
"Truth has no form."
--Idries Shah

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Orleron
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Thank goodness...

PostAuthor: Drakkyn » Tue Aug 27, 2002 6:47 pm

For Horus!

He will be glad to assist with the overpopulation issue.
"Mom and dad say I should make my life an example of the principles I believe in. But every time I do, they tell me to stop it." --Calvin
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