Alignments can become a sticky subject and can end up railroading players into making actions they don’t really want to, or causing group cohesion to fall apart. Rather than use them as a strict rule for a character think of it more as a general philosophy and take on the world. In addition it’s often hard to find good examples of each. We will be covering the 3.5e alignments today but within them contain the 4e alignments so it applies to both.
Lawful Good – This character is the by the books cop. She fights for what is good while upholding the law. Examples: Superman and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Lawful Neutral – Your average citizen. For the most part they follow the law and do what’s in their best interest, or perhaps they follow the law because it is in their best interest. Examples: Bounty hunters and Judge Dredd.
Lawful Evil – He wants to commit acts of villainy, but breaking the law or personal code is unacceptable. Again, self preservation might be the motivation or he might have an extremely strict set of rules guiding him or could have superior officers keeping him in line. Examples: Darth Vader and Dexter (his “code” being considered law).
True Neutral – This character does as they wish, if it is convenient they might steal but they don’t go out of their way to make a point of it. They are the Switzerland of alignments. Examples: Doctor Manhattan, mindless animals, and referees.
Chaotic Good – She fights for what is right but doesn’t mind doing some wrong for the greater good. Often take up an extremist cause. Examples: Robin Hood, Dr. Horrible, and Batman.
Chaotic Neutral – She is out for herself. It’s a very gray area which allows players to be selfish without having to take a fully neutral stance. Examples: Han Solo in the beginning (he later can be considered Lawful Good when he comes back to help on the Death Star assault), Wario, and the Joker (arguably).
Chaotic Evil – She wants to wants to maim and slaughter and do all sorts of evil deeds, and she will not be stopped by any laws. These characters are villains at their most pure. Examples: Serial Killers, Simon Pheonix of Demolition Man, and Darth Sidious/Emporer Palpatine.