gaming alignment irl

A chaotic evil character does whatever his greed, hatred, and lust for destruction drive him to do. He is hot-tempered, vicious, arbitrarily violent, and unpredictable. If he is simply out for whatever he can get, he is ruthless and brutal. If he is committed to the spread of evil and chaos, he is even worse. Thankfully, his plans are haphazard, and any groups he joins or forms are poorly organized. Typically, chaotic evil people can be made to work together only by force, and their leader lasts only as long as he can thwart attempts to topple or assassinate him.

Chaotic evil beings believe their alignment is the best because it combines self-interest and pure freedom.

Chaotic evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents the destruction not only of beauty and life but also of the order on which beauty and life depend.


A chaotic neutral character follows his whims. He is an individualist first and last. He values his own liberty but doesn’t strive to protect others’ freedom. He avoids authority, resents restrictions, and challenges traditions. A chaotic neutral character does not intentionally disrupt organizations as part of a campaign of anarchy. To do so, he would have to be motivated either by good (and a desire to liberate others) or evil (and a desire to make those different from himself suffer). A chaotic neutral character may be unpredictable, but his behavior is not totally random. He is not as likely to jump off a bridge as to cross it.

Chaotic neutral is the best alignment you can be because it represents true freedom from both society’s restrictions and a do-gooder’s zeal.

Chaotic neutral can be a dangerous alignment when it seeks to eliminate all authority, harmony, and order in society.


A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. He combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. He tells the truth, keeps his word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished.

Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion.

Lawful good can be a dangerous alignment when it restricts freedom and criminalizes self-interest.


Descriptions provided by The Alignment System.

Gamers who know me probably already know where I’m going with this intro: most progressives I know are lawful good, or at least attempt to live by lawful good standards. And most progressives I know who are resisting the Trump regime are trying to come up with lawful good strategies for their campaign of resistance. The problem is that Trump’s administration is not following those same rules. At best Trump – and his unethical crony cabinet – is chaotic neutral. At worst, he’s chaotic evil. And that’s a problem because any gamer knows that you have to think like your opponent to take him down.

I am involved on a daily basis with individuals and groups who want to actively engage in resistance to the Trump presidency. The problem, as I see it, is that all our strategies are lawful good. We want to use the current set of laws (and I dunno… maybe the Constitution?) to combat Trump’s chaotic neutral/evil. I’m not suggesting that we should take on Trump’s alignment, but I am suggesting that we engage a little in thinking like him to better understand him. Trump isn’t interested in anything but Trump. Try to see the world like that for a second.

I’ll wait.

Need help? Let’s start with chaotic neutral.

Chaotic neutral is the best alignment you can be because it represents true freedom from both society’s restrictions and a do-gooder’s zeal.

Chaotic neutral can be a dangerous alignment when it seeks to eliminate all authority, harmony, and order in society.

Imagine you are Trump, and the first thing you’ve pledged to do is the ubiquitous “draining of the swamp.” You think you’re being “fresh” by bringing DC outsiders in… or at least, that’s what you’re presenting to your voters. Instead of fresh, though, you bring in a bunch of people who have vocally sought to severely limit or do away with the departments they’re being called upon to lead. That’s pretty dangerous.

How does that feel? Really step into it. Now ask yourself how you take it down. If you’re going to do it from within the system – which could be manipulated and even dismantled by Trump’s administration – how are you going to do it? And if you’re working from outside the system (moving towards lawful neutral or chaotic good, maybe?), how are you going to do that? Bear in mind that the best solution requires you to really know your opponent, and to find their weakness. Where is it?

Now let’s look at chaotic evil, which frankly is where I think Trump really lies. He puts up a chaotic neutral front, but is at heart, chaotic evil.

Chaotic evil beings believe their alignment is the best because it combines self-interest and pure freedom.

Chaotic evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents the destruction not only of beauty and life but also of the order on which beauty and life depend.

Again, imagine you are Trump, and really, all that matters is that you get what you want. You don’t really care who has to be hurt to get it, and you will ruthlessly use people and destroy whatever ounce of good they may be holding on to. You will gleefully destroy institutions that offer protection to those who you feel are standing in the way of what you want. All that matters is you and your echo chamber. Anyone outside of that circle is just grist for the mill.

Now what? How do you take this down? Trump has no interest in anyone else save their acting as a mirror for him or a source of adulation. The people around him aren’t really people, they’re a means to an end. And anyone in that inner circle can be quickly removed if they step out of line, so they’re not going to be much help. What then? Is there a lawful good solution that fixes the problem?

The reality, for me, is that I don’t think there is. I think that we got where we are by ignoring or failing to recognize that Trump and his rumps are not lawful good. They don’t care about others or justice. They are not interested in compassion for those who are different than they are. Or they’re incredibly gullible. Either way, they’re not playing by lawful good rules, which means we have to learn to think differently.

I’m really interested in hearing from fellow gamers who have played these alignments. How did you interact with each other? How did you take down someone who is chaotic evil or neutral? What were your strategies? Because law and order? I’m not so sure that’s the way, particularly if Trump manipulates that system.

One thought on “gaming alignment irl

  1. We discuss alignment in real life all the time in my house. 😊

    I can’t really understand the evil alignments. I haven’t played them and I can’t think like that. But I know that lawful has to be just one piece of the whole spectrum of good aligned resistance. I may not be willing to go neutral or chaotic, but some people have to. We need as much “all of the above” as possible if we’re going to fight with any success. IMO.

    Like

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