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    Canonfire :: View topic - Chaotic Neutral alignment question
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    Chaotic Neutral alignment question
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:01 am  
    Chaotic Neutral alignment question

    I'm interested to hear what the group's thoughts are on the alignment of Chaotic Neutral. I think CN is the most complex alignment to play as a PC and definitely the hardest to DM. In my opinion even the rule books (at least 1st and 2nd edition, which I play) don't adequately or accurately describe the alignment. 2nd edition even described CN as the alignment of lunatics and madmen, which I think is totally wrong. I always looked at a CN character as someone who's really only out for himself and his interests, but not in an evil manner like a chaotic evil character. The CN character is definitely a gambler, sometimes even a reckless one, but not a madman. I think Han Solo meets the definition of CN (jumping genres I know). I'd love to hear some thoughts on this.
    GreySage

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    Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:28 am  

    I view the Chaotic Neutral character as an Anarchist; against whatever the "status quo" is.

    A very hard person to work with. A Player who portrays a Chaotic Neutral character correctly is going to spend lots of time upsetting the party and their plans.

    Hard to play with.
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:45 am  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    I view the Chaotic Neutral character as an Anarchist; against whatever the "status quo" is.

    A very hard person to work with. A Player who portrays a Chaotic Neutral character correctly is going to spend lots of time upsetting the party and their plans.

    Hard to play with.


    I hadn't thought of a CN character as an Anarchist. Maybe he's someone actively (or behind the scenes) trying to bring about the end of a regime in one of the more lawful nations (Furyondy or Veluna perhaps). Very interesting.

    I agree that a CN PC is going to be a handful for any party, but a great opportunity for role playing.
    GreySage

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    Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:50 am  

    Lawful Evil nations are fair game too. Heironeous or Hextor, both must fall! Evil Grin


    Mwahahahahahahahahahaha!
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:11 pm  

    I think the first thing to do is break away from the idea that there is one and only one interpretation of any alignment.

    CN can be, as Mystic Scholar described it, "against the status quo, whatever that may be". However, I don't think that should be a hard and fast rule for them. (the Anarchist)
    A CN person could also be the "Han Solo" type, who looks out for Numero Uno, first and foremost. This does not necessarily mean screwing people over willy nilly; it just means not being too surprised if someone else tried screwing you over. (the Pragmatist)
    And, there can also be the CN who just dances to the beat of their own drummer, not concerned with what others do. "If they like rules and order, good for them...but not me!" This one does not care about tearing down the social order, and also does not see the world as a cold and cruel place where you better be ready to look out for yourself because nobody else is going to do it for you. This one just wants to make the most of the time he or she has to live in. (the Fun-Seeker)

    I'm sure there may be other interpretations of the CN alignment. Let's see if someone else can think of them and post them before I can. ;)
    GreySage

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    Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:13 pm  

    I don't include Han Solo for a simple reason: I watched all three of the first movies.

    You guys are describing the Han Solo that appeared in the first four fifths of movie one. At the end of that movie, Han Solo was a "Good" guy, not a "Neutral" guy. He didn't even remain Chaotic. It all changed when he went back for Luke. Shocked

    Now, you're going to want to say; "Luke was his friend!"

    Bogus. That was merely the catalyst. For the next two movies Han was a Captain and then a General in the Resistance. Even among the Rebels there was order, rules, regulations and hierarchy.

    Going back for Luke, Han became "Good." Joining the Resistance, Han became Lawful.

    In short, you guys are picturing the Han Solo that existed only in the first movie, not the next two.

    You're confusing the "angst" of the youthful Han with the adult Han, the Han with whom we all spent more time; two movies, rather than one. Wink

    So, that's why I don't think of Han Solo when I think Chaotic Neutral. Cool
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    GreySage

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    Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:53 pm  

    Good points about Han Solo, Mystic-Scholar. Smile

    BlueWitch beat me to the point that there is no single definition, or example, of any of the nine alignments. I would say that one possible defining characteristic of CN is that the individual cares for itself above all. He isn't out to commit evil acts for the fun of it (as CE would), but he isn't interested in self-sacrifice of any level either (as CG might). His life philosophy is, 'live and let live'. If someone hurts him, he'll exact vengeance. If someone else is hurt (by him or a 3rd party), it is their responsibility to deal with it, not his.

    Still, there are likely many possible CN personalities that may not prescribe to my definition above at all. You just have to allow each player to rationalize their PC's alignment as they like, with some input from the DM to help it make sense in the campaign.

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    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:45 am  

    Han Solo is really Chaotic Good in the first 4/5 of the 1st movie too. He's not just all about himself. You see, he's got this giant furry friend who he would in no way be willing to sell out to save his own skin. He also has at least one other long term friend (Lando, despite taking his ship in a bet) before he meets Luke and company. He's a smuggler, but he's not all, like, "Sure I'll smuggle WMDs and vials filled with plagues...if you pay me enough." He does have some morals. At worst we could say he has neutral tendencies, when pushed.

    You all describe different aspects of Chaotic Neutral though.

    They can be selfish to the exclusion of most other concerns, bending in the breeze to serve their own self-interests. Or, they simply might not trust anyone, which leads to them being wary of anyone and anything, but the focus is not about serving one's own interest (as in getting ahead), but simply about protecting oneself.

    They can be anarchists who are simply out to sew chaos.

    They can be madmen whose thoughts and feelings are never pinned down, such that their views fluctuate among any of the alignment tendencies (but for purposes of the game rules they are best described as Chaotic Neutral as that the closest alignment to describe such a personality). Perhaps they do so with no rhyme or reason, maybe they have triggers which throw them into one view or another, or the cause could even be that they are cursed.
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    Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:09 am  

    Bronn, the mercenary companion to Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones is, to me anyways, a more recent example of Chaotic Neutral. He seems to be an excellent chaotic neutral adventurer example.

    Motivations - His motivations are entirely self centered - personal advancement above all else. He starts by helping Tyrion Lannister, because he thinks he can ride the noble's coattails if he wins a judicial duel - and he is right. He stops being Tyrion Lannister's guard/companion when he gets the better offer, and his association with Tyrion begins looking like a loosing proposition. He is not out to make hordes of undead, release the insanity inducing destroyer of reality, or inflict pain on everything and everyone around him. He just wants more money and a better life for himself. For him, the social order is a fiction, and he is going to climb up it however he can - he won't be restrained just because he is not noble born.

    Means - He kills for money, because he happens to be good at killing. But he is not out there killing when its not in his interest. Yet, when he is put in charge of the capital city watch (Gold Cloaks), he runs it in a competent manner, understanding where the corruption will arise as a siege approaches. Some could argue this is indicative of a non-chaotic bent - but it appears to me that he does this to keep himself in his position. If he didn't have to worry about it, or be held responsible for it, he wouldn't have bothered.


    Last edited by A-Baneful-Backfire on Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:06 am; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

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    Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:07 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Han Solo is really Chaotic Good . . . He's not just all about himself . . . he's got this giant furry friend who he would in no way be willing to sell out to save his own skin. He also has at least one other long term friend (Lando . . .).


    An excellent point, Cebrion. Han could never be considered Chaotic Neutral at any time that we "knew" him.

    A-Baneful-Backfire wrote:
    Bronn, the mercenary companion to Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones is, to me anyways, a more recent example of Chaotic Neutral.


    I'm not a fan of the series and haven't watched a lot of it, but I've seen enough to have watched Bronn in action and am forced to agree with you. Bronn is a good example of Chaotic Neutral.
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 17, 2015 11:30 am  

    Great points, BlueWitch. I think you're right in pointing out that CN alignment isn't a rigid code and in fact will be different with each CN character. In fact CN might be the most varied alignment of all.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 17, 2015 11:54 am  

    Its poor initial write-up; has skewed this alignment, more so than most...Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death.

    Chaotic Neutral Argument
    Social structures must benefit the individual; otherwise, why would anyone support the society?

    Why would anyone whom tends to dislike hierarchical structures that curtail individual choice, somehow equate too lunatics and madmen?

    Chaotic Neutral views are not crazy, nor does adherents act randomly. Moreover; these characters are not unreliable, but situations must be assessed on their own merits.

    They also function well within societies but are willing too challenge traditions. Even so; chaotic neutrals tend to be champions of personal liberties within centralized nations.

    Motivation is based on personal relationships; thus, chaotic neutrals are not insane nor calculators.


    Last edited by Crag on Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:25 pm; edited 2 times in total
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 17, 2015 11:56 am  

    Great points on the topic from all, but I have to partially disagree with Mystic-Scholar on the Han Solo issue. I agree that Solo does change quite a bit throughout the movies, but thinking of him as lawful good (or lawful anything really), I can't quite buy that. In my mind he starts as CN, but by the end of Episode I, he's definitely leaning more to the CG side. I'm a fan of some characters or NPCs having tendencies toward a different alignment outside of their main alignment (within reason of course, LE with a tendency towards N makes sense, CE with good tendencies does not). I guess I was thinking about Solo more early on when I referred to him in the start of the thread, but I still think CN fits somewhere within his alignment DNA. Maybe by Episode II his alignment would be better described as CG, but with CN tendencies. What do you think Mystic-Scholar and Cebrion?

    A-Baneful-Backfire, I do agree that Bronn seems to have several characteristics that fit the CN mold. Great example. I was tempted to use Conan the Barbarian (from the original Conan movie) as an example, but he seemed a little harder to pin down. Steal when he wants something? Yes. Kill anyone standing in his way? Yes (within reason). Risk his life for his friends though? Also yes. Makes it harder to pin Conan down. I definitely think Conan has some CN tendencies.

    One actual CN NPC that I just thought of is Emirikol the Chaotic from the adventure A Paladin in Hell. He isn't in the adventure much, but he is given a background, and has some actions that affect the PCs at the beginning and near the end of the adventure. He is listed as CN and shows several traits along that path, although I admit he comes off with some tendencies toward evil as well. Any thoughts on him as written in the adventure?
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:49 pm  

    Chaos -- the character does not feel bound by rigid hierarchy. People are judged based on their own actions/abilities, not the position/title they hold. Initial relationships are transactional in nature, though over time they can become more solidly anchored (love, affection, respect still apply). More willing to violate social norms.

    Neutral -- not altruistic in the sense that they feel an automatic duty to others. Not crusaders against evil, but will [aggressively] defend themselves against perceived dangers. Realpolitik is a concept that a neutral would embrace, as they would the realist view of foreign policy, though both are likely anachronistic. While it sounds distasteful to us, a medieval neutral would understand and agree with the Athenians in the Melian dialogue: "the strong do what they will, the weak suffer as they must."

    What this means is that a CN character might be a proto-libertarian. They are not as bound by society or norms, and are willing to transgress them to accomplish their goals. They do not see an obligation to every member of society, though they could easily have strong bonds to individuals and institutions. Conan, in the Howard novels, would likely be CN (or an amoral, Nietzschean ubermensch).
    GreySage

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    Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:49 am  

    tarelton wrote:
    Chaos -- the character does not feel bound by rigid hierarchy. People are judged based on their own actions/abilities, not the position/title they hold.


    One cannot act in this manner and rise to the rank of General, not even among "rebels." This is why I say that by the end of movie one -- at the least -- Han was not Chaotic.

    As clearly illustrated in the movies, the Resistance had Rank and Hierarchy. They also had Order, as is evidenced by everyone obeying the orders of the Admiral.

    A Chaotic person, as described in the game, could not have risen to the rank of General. General Solo may have been the primary architect of his plan, but the orders to attack a specific target came from his superiors . . . and he obeyed those orders.

    The Death Star is there, the Emperor is there . . . Darth Vadar is there. Shocked

    "Are you kidding? That's suicidal!"

    No Chaotic Neutral person is taking on what they perceive to be a suicidal mission.
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    Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:06 pm  

    Interesting insights on the topic tarelton. I hadn't thought of Nietzschean archetypes in relation to the CN ethos. I agree Conan seems to fit that mold very closely.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:58 pm  

    Mystic Scholar,

    I would suggest that within an insurgency, perhaps even revolutionary system, a "chaotic" could actually rise far and fast.

    First of all, chaotic means he does not place a great weight on evaluating orders merely because they are from higher HQ. This does not mean he will not follow them, but rather that the "authority" behind the orders is not as persuasive as it would be for a lawful person. The value of the orders themselves (how well they contribute to achieving shared goals, realistic, et. al.) is going to be more important to the chaotic than the rank of the issuer... this does not mean it is not considered, just it does not weigh as much.

    In a revolutionary/insurgent environment, a chaotic who is willing to transgress boundaries will grant his side an enormous advantage. His opponent, the status quo power is by definition more bound by doctrine and the hierarchy he is trying to overthrow. Success is most important to the revolutionary, not sustaining the legitimacy of the current system. Once the revolutionary wins and secures power, however, the institutions he creates to perpetuate power will become more lawful, and mindful of their authority vs. the actual mission, becoming vulnerable to the next chaotic insurrectionist.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:45 am  

    Mystic-Scholar,

    I agree a chaotic character wouldn't like to follow a rigid system of orders and bureaucracy, but that doesn't mean they can't be part of an order or group that has some form of hierarchy. Take the church of Trithereon for instance. Even though it is very chaotic, they still have a rank structure of priests and someone at some level in the church is in charge and gives orders and direction.

    I also agree with tarelton when he said a chaotic individual can rise far and fast in an insurgent group. I have seen and dealt with several such individuals in the real world and they were very effective and dangerous, although I admit they eventually alienated themselves from the larger group.
    GreySage

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    Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:47 am  

    tarelton wrote:
    The value of the orders themselves (how well they contribute to achieving shared goals, realistic, et. al) . . .


    Okay, you guys are REALLY going to have to pick a movie. Your defense of your positions is ALL OVER THE PLACE.

    No, it really is.

    WHAT "SHARED GOALS?" Confused

    The Han Solo being discussed here -- as originally present by xo42 -- is the Han Solo of the first movie. The Han Solo who was taking Luke to Alderan for money. The Han Solo who had no interest in ridding the galaxy of the Empire. The Han Solo who did indeed collect his monetary reward for rescuing Leia.

    So, are we talking about that Han Solo, or are we talking about the Han Solo of movie three? The Han Solo of movie one had no "shared goals" with the rebels.

    xo42 wrote:
    I agree that Solo does change quite a bit throughout the movies


    Are you familiar with the phrase "growing as a person?" It happens . . . even to Chaotic Neutral people.

    Stop giving Han Multiple Personality Disorder and stop mixing the two of them into a single personality, thank you.

    Which Han are we discussing? The "young" Han? Or the "mature" Han?
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:07 am  

    When I wrote the post I was referring to Han Solo in the first movie as an example of CN and I admit I didn't think much about how he changed by Return of the Jedi. He did change, quite a bit. I think he was CN in the first movie and into at least part of The Empire Strikes Back. Again I'm a big fan of characters having tendencies toward another alignment in some cases and in Solo's case his tendency ended up being his new "alignment". However, several posts back you mentioned Solo being lawful good after joining the Rebel Alliance and becoming a general and I don't buy that. Good yes, but lawful good is the stuff of paladins and I don't think Solo is even close to attaining that ideal (which is good, because I like him better than the stuffy paladin archetype). Being a member of the military or any paramilitary style group (such as an insurgency or the Rebel Alliance) and following its byzantine laws and regulations does not mean you have to always be "lawful". General MacArthur was "lawful good" for most of his career, but at various times I would argue he slid pretty close to "chaotic or neutral good" when he ignored orders and disrespected the authority of the President to serve his own goals. You could argue the same for General Patton (as a fellow tanker I have to at least mention him ;). I didn't mean to take this thread off on a Star Wars tangent, but it's an interesting mental exercise to talk about alignment archetypes outside of the actual D&D game.
    GreySage

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    Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:19 pm  

    I like McArthur and Patten, so no problem! Laughing

    Bare in mind that Paladins are not the only "Lawful Good" people in the world. Also, that "Lawful Good" does not mean "saintly," even though Saints are undoubtedly "Lawful Good."

    You and I were both in the Army (82nd Airborne Division). Did you obey orders? Even the ones you didn't like? "Go clean the latrine!" Then you were "Lawful." But I'll bet my booty you got into plenty of trouble drinking on the weekends.

    That weekend debauchery does not mean you weren't "Lawful."

    As to "Good;" did you rape, pillage and burn? If not, then we shall assume that you were (are) "Good."

    Do not confuse "Lawful Good" to mean that you're headed to rule in heaven. God does not care that you obeyed man's laws, he only cares that you didn't obey his. Lawful Good should not be confused with "saintly" behavior.
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    Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:46 pm  

    I like MacArthur and Patton too, although Patton much more, but I'm biased.

    Well beside Paladins there's also (most) of the followers of Pholtus to consider. Although they aren't usually painted in the greatest of "lights" ;) Lawful good is extreme to be sure, but it exists for a reason.

    I thought I remembered you mentioning a while back you were in the 82nd. I'm a 1st Cavalry guy myself. My dad spent years in the 82nd, but I like it just fine on the ground in my tank. Cool I'm still in, but getting a bit long in the tooth. Yes I have cleaned my fair share of latrines, but if you use your Sergeant's toothbrush to do it I would say you are moving to the chaotic good side of the house...at least. And why limit yourself to drinking just on the weekend??
    GreySage

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    Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:13 pm  

    Still in? Yikes! Shocked

    That means I was probably serving with your father! Laughing Evil Grin

    I preferred Patton too.

    Pholtans -- especially in Dimri -- can come awful close to being viewed as "Lawful Evil." This is because of their intolerance. Regardless of the "Law" aspect, I don't really consider "Good" as quite so intolerant.

    This is just my point of view, of course, and there are many others, but the Pholtans of Dimri come close to being "bad guys." Or the "brothers" of the servants of Hextor. Evil Laughing
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    Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:40 am  

    Libertarians are playable Chaotic Neutrals; instead of the madman whom charges a medusa in the text. Can achieve positions of importance within hierarchies...i.e.; Ron Paul For President!
    GreySage

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    Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:36 am  

    Ron was my parent's Congressman. My step-father liked him a lot. Laughing
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    Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:16 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    Which Han are we discussing? The "young" Han? Or the "mature" Han?



    I'd say the Han Solo as the beginning of the original trilogy, the Han that shot first, was almost certainly CN. I called this the "pragmatist" type in my earlier post. Han shot first because he knew Greedo was about to shoot. Han just got the better initiative roll.
    This "pragmatic" CN I talk about is Chaotic because things can happen and the situation can change rapidly, so it's pointless to make a "ten year plan". Also, Han was a smuggler, living outside the law, so the Chaotic thing is just a part of disregarding Imperial law.
    After history got rewritten, they tried to make him more like CG.

    As for the idea he became Lawful by the third movie, I think that's a bit much. In between Chaotic and Lawful, we have Neutral. Just because he had a few mire friends to care about by the end of the trilogy, hardly indicates that he had some catharsis and adopted the "needs of the many" philosophy.
    When he was introduced to us in the Mos Eisley scenes, to him, it was him and Chewie, the two of them against the universe, living by the seat of their pants as best as they could. He couldn't afford to form too many attachments, as he saw it. So, he may have been Chaotic, but by necessity rather than by any real choice.
    As the trilogy progressed, he formed bonds with the rest of the group. With that alone, he still could have held onto the Chaotic aspect of his alignment, maybe going more to CG. However, the fact that him and the group were all part of this Rebel Alliance, indicates to me he probably went through a gradual change to Neutral (on the Law-Chaos axis). So, by the end of the trilogy, I'd place him as NG, but still with several Chaotic tendencies, and just enough Good to be "not Neutral (on the Good-Evil axis).

    Of course, this is just my opinion, no more or less valid than anyone else's.
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    Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:01 pm  

    Bluewitch, I think you just nailed it! Aside from that, I must congratulate you all for the discussion. From philosophy to Patton, nothing is superfluous :)
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    Fri Oct 30, 2015 11:04 am  

    Crag wrote:
    ...Why would anyone whom tends to dislike hierarchical structures that curtail individual choice, somehow equate too lunatics and madmen...


    -You would, if you happen to be a Lawful person who likes hierarchical structures that curtail individual choice. Wink

    That goes back to your "poor write up" theory.


    xo42 wrote:
    ...I'm a fan of some characters or NPCs having tendencies toward a different alignment outside of their main alignment (within reason of course, LE with a tendency towards N makes sense, CE with good tendencies does not)...


    -CE with G tendencies is simply CE with CN tendencies.


    tarelton wrote:
    Chaos -- the character does not feel bound by rigid hierarchy. People are judged based on their own actions/abilities, not the position/title they hold...Motivation is based on personal relationships; thus, chaotic neutrals are not insane nor calculators...


    -The concept of "respect the rank, not the man"(and therefore show respect and obedience to those who hold rank) is a Lawful one.


    Mystic-Scholar wrote:


    ...The Han Solo who was taking Luke to Alderan for money. The Han Solo who had no interest in ridding the galaxy of the Empire. The Han Solo who did indeed collect his monetary reward for rescuing Leia...


    -Making a living doing dangerous things can be consistent with any alignment. However, the fact that he was willing to risk his neck doing it at all, regardless of how well paid, implies that he's not a giant fan of the Empire.


    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    ...Did you obey orders? Even the ones you didn't like? "Go clean the latrine!" Then you were "Lawful." ...


    -Not necessarily. See my argument, below. Or, maybe you just have an easier threshold for be considered "Lawful." Wink


    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    ...One cannot act in this manner and rise to the rank of General, not even among "rebels." ...


    vs.

    tarelton wrote:
    ...I would suggest that within an insurgency, perhaps even revolutionary system, a "chaotic" could actually rise far and fast...


    -I'd accept Tarleton's point, and add that a Chaotic can survive in a Lawful environment (like the Rebel military) if 1) the Chaotic is sensibly pragmatic, or 2) they are in a fortunate position of convergent goals, or 3) the Lawfuls are willing to overlook "transgressions."

    For 1: In the same way that a Lawful person doesn't necessarily run around trying to boss people around (or follow people around) in a situation where there is no formal hierarchy, so a Chaotic in an "ordered" situation doesn't necessarily run around "fighting the power" 24/7. Constantly fighting, and constantly LOSING, would drive them crazier than having to follow orders. Put another way, would an Evil person who wanted to commit genocide against the Elves be less Evil if he didn't do it because the attempt would be likely to get him into serious trouble?

    For 2: In some cases, the "order" might just happen to coincide with what the Chaotic person wants to do anyway. Or, if the Chaotic trusts the guy giving the orders, he'll follow him anyway. And in a case where the Chaotic happens to be giving the orders, well... Wink

    For 3: Even Lawfuls want results. A Chaotic can get away with a certain amount of "eccentricity" if the Lawfuls need him.


    So, keeping in mind that I've never read the books (I've only seen some stuff, so feel free to correct), in applying this to Captain Solo:

    1) If we assume that the Empire is Lawful, then Chaotics wouldn't like it. But that wouldn't mean that Hans Solo should have immediately attacked Darth Vader. That would be Chaotic Stupid. In a milder vein, Solo might not agree with every single thing the Rebel hierarchy does, but hanging out with them is a lot better than the Empire, and a lot safer than being on his own. Call it "The Lesser of Two Lawfuls." Wink

    2) Again, Solo opposes the Empire, and the Rebellion happens to be heading in the same direction. In addition, there were plenty of people serving the rebel cause that he liked and/or respected. And once he's a general, following orders is less of a problem (although it never really goes away). A bigger problem would be ENFORCING orders, but most Lawfuls seem to follow him out of respect, so it doesn't come up.

    3) Solo gets results. 'Nuff said. Wink


    As for the Neutral vs. Good, the fact that Solo saved a wookie from being slaughtered is consistent with Good, but could also be non-Evil Neutral. If he had some eccentric reason for doing it, he might have even been Evil. But assuming that it was a legal order, we can safely say that it was a non-Lawful Evil act (e.g., a LG person would have disobeyed an Evil act). Of course, even a big ACT does not necessarily indicate an overall alignment.


    I'd also point out that just because he's a smuggler does not necessarily make him Chaotic, or even non-Lawful. Considering his dislike (to put it mildly) of the Empire, it could be seen as his way of "fighting back" against Evil, rather than law. Even a Lawful Good person is not obliged to follow an Evil hierarchy.


    I'm not saying that Solo was any particular alignment at any particular time, merely that his actions thru' the three films are not necessarily inconsistent with CN.


    xo42 wrote:
    ...I'm still in, but getting a bit long in the tooth. Yes I have cleaned my fair share of latrines, but if you use your Sergeant's toothbrush to do it I would say you are moving to the chaotic good side of the house...at least...



    ...sounds more like CE to me. Your actions have been noted, and will be investigated. Cool Laughing Wink


    Last edited by jamesdglick on Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:57 am; edited 3 times in total
    GreySage

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    Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:53 am  

    Getting (or responding) late to the party on this.

    Alignments are sometimes tricky in how everybody interprets them. Some of the most heated debates on this site surround questions pertaining to character alignments, and how to play them (see Game of Thrones post in 'the Back Alley' and you will see what I am saying).

    Here's my take:

    When we first "meet" Han Solo in Episode 4, he is Chaotic Neutral 'at worst,' or straight-up true Neutral 'at best.'

    As the movies progress, however, he undergoes an alignment shift when he starts developing close personal relationships with the other characters, begins to behave more altruistically, and identifies with the Rebel cause, even if it does not directly benefit him. He shifts to Chaotic Good at this point.

    -Lanthorn
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    Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:45 am  

    Lanthorn wrote:

    ...When we first "meet" Han Solo in Episode 4, he is Chaotic Neutral 'at worst,' or straight-up true Neutral 'at best.'
    ...


    -Lanthorn, does this terminology betray a pro-Lawful bias on your part? And from a champion of Trithereon?! Laughing
    GreySage

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    Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:39 am  

    HAHAHAHA!!!! Actually, I style myself as an example of Neutral Good. Use whatever means are necessary to get the job done (the cause of Goodness), whether by following the rules, or breaking them. Or make up your own. I am not a slave to law or chaos.

    -Lanthorn
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    Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:24 pm  

    A-Baneful-Backfire wrote:
    Bronn, the mercenary companion to Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones is, to me anyways, a more recent example of Chaotic Neutral. He seems to be an excellent chaotic neutral adventurer example.

    Motivations - His motivations are entirely self centered - personal advancement above all else. He starts by helping Tyrion Lannister, because he thinks he can ride the noble's coattails if he wins a judicial duel - and he is right. He stops being Tyrion Lannister's guard/companion when he gets the better offer, and his association with Tyrion begins looking like a loosing proposition. He is not out to make hordes of undead, release the insanity inducing destroyer of reality, or inflict pain on everything and everyone around him. He just wants more money and a better life for himself. For him, the social order is a fiction, and he is going to climb up it however he can - he won't be restrained just because he is not noble born.

    Means - He kills for money, because he happens to be good at killing. But he is not out there killing when its not in his interest. Yet, when he is put in charge of the capital city watch (Gold Cloaks), he runs it in a competent manner, understanding where the corruption will arise as a siege approaches. Some could argue this is indicative of a non-chaotic bent - but it appears to me that he does this to keep himself in his position. If he didn't have to worry about it, or be held responsible for it, he wouldn't have bothered.


    I'd say Neutral Evil.
    Bronn suggested his question about being ordered to murder a baby would be" how much?"
    He was not joking, so far as I can tell. (But maybe he would feel disgusted and recoil from the act of actually ordered to do it. One can hope. ) Just lacking sadism doesn't him not a baddie. As you describe he is selfish and ruthless. He kills strangers for money.
    He might be neutral with evil tendencies. If one intercepts him as a somewhat morally ambiguous, but still selfish and hardhearted, person, then this fits.

    YMMV, natch.

    I do love that you brought him up. I like Bronn as a character.
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    Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:24 pm  

    Ah, Han Solo. Arguments can be made for MANY alignments for Han Solo.

    He shot Greeto down without conscience. Arguably CE.

    He was a member of the Imperial Navy at one point. Arguably LE.

    He was kicked out of the Imperial Navy for saving Chewbacca. Arguably CG.

    He became a general in the Rebel Alliance. Arguably LG.

    So will the real Han Solo please step forward?

    The simple fact is, the line between CG and CN suits Han quite well. He's not overly enamored with laws and organization even while serving with the Alliance. He was certainly kicked out of the Imperial Navy for it. He's not rigid in his thinking in any way, shape, or form throughout the movies - how he captured the bunker on the forest moon of Endor proves that all by itself.

    At the same time he's loyal to his friends much more so that to whatever cause he's working for - be it the Imperial Navy, Jabba's network of smugglers, or even the Rebel Alliance. After all, he completely ditched his command and his mission to capture said bunker to go look for Leia once she was lost pursuing those bike troopers. A lawful person would have stuck by his orders and gone after the bunker first, then tried to find Leia afterwards.

    No, Han is chaotic, period. Whether he's good or neutral depends on whether you think CN is capable of having friends they value, or if they're completely and utterly selfish (which I think is much more chaotic EVIL than neutral, but that's just me).
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:59 am  

    Vulcan wrote:
    Ah, Han Solo. Arguments can be made for MANY alignments for Han Solo.

    Not really.

    Vulcan wrote:
    He shot Greedo down without conscience. Arguably CE.

    Sure, and Luke, that #$%!, killed somebody's pet by purposely crushing it underneath a massive pneumatic door. Arguably CE! Laughing

    It was self-defense. Astronomical price on his head, Greedo with a blaster trained on him and glad to have found him first before the horde of bounty hunters, take his ship, over his dead body, that's the idea, BLAM! So, he shot first out of necessity, rather than thinks, "Hey, there's that Greedo guy sitting at a booth. He once looked at me funny. I think I'll kill him." Sneaks up behind him, puts blaster to the back of his head, and decorates the wall. "Sorry about the mess." That would be CE. Solo is in no way a cold blooded killer without a conscience- Greedo set up the situation and brought the result of it on himself. You may also remember Solo obviously feels somewhat guilty about taking his payment and ditching out on the Death Star mission in the first movie, but he returns to help out. That's called having a conscience.

    Vulcan wrote:
    He was a member of the Imperial Navy at one point. Arguably LE.

    ..along with about a trillion other people who didn't join just to be able to use catch phrases like "You rebel scum!" and chuck baby wookies out of airlocks. You want to fly a starship? Well, not only will the Imperial Navy let you do just that- they'll train you how to do it! Ergo, he took the easy way. Sounds pretty Solo-esque to me, because...

    Vulcan wrote:
    He was kicked out of the Imperial Navy for saving Chewbacca. Arguably CG.

    Exactly! He didn't join the Imperial navy for the catchphrases or the airlock entertainment. He wanted to fly starships. Murdering fuzzy people was not something he could reconcile.

    Vulcan wrote:
    He became a general in the Rebel Alliance. Arguably LG.

    Sure, LG, because "General" Solo was all about chain-of-command, following regulations, etc., because you know who you send out to look for a missing person, or on scouting or commando missions? That's right, a general. Laughing I am pretty sure that "General" Solo is all about the "Okay, I'll do it...if I get to be in charge." attitude.

    Han Solo is the archetypal kind-hearted rogue.
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Thu Dec 03, 2015 1:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:01 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    ... I am pretty sure that "General" Solo is all about the "Okay, I'll do it...if I get to be in charge." attitude...


    -In line with my analysis, here:

    jamesdglick wrote:
    ...in a case where the Chaotic happens to be giving the orders, well... once he's a general, following orders is less of a problem (although it never really goes away). A bigger problem would be ENFORCING orders, but most Lawfuls seem to follow him out of respect, so it doesn't come up...



    Cebrion wrote:
    ... Han Solo is the archetypal kind-hearted rogue.


    -Solo, and most characters played by Michael Caine or James Garner...
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:32 pm  

    FWIW, a "semi-canonical" answer to Hans Solo's alignment is in the D&D 3.5 Complete Scoundrel, p. 9, which giving an overview of fictional scoundrels, lists him as Neutral, "at least in his early appearances."
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