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"Chaotic" Character Alignments

When we think of Chaos, we generally think of death and destruction. People running around in a frenzy. Shouting, loud noises. While the term "chaotic" can apply to those situations, it does not encompass what "chaos" truly means. To put it simply, Chaos is the absence of law and order.

Let me give you a good example:

There was a huge accident. At least twenty people have been rushed to the nearest hospital. Doctors, nurses, EMTs, are running around from patient to patient. The machines are beeping loudly. Loved ones are arriving, demanding to know what's going on. Patients are screaming in pain. It's Chaos.

Right?

In the broad spectrum of the word. Sure. But in reality, it couldn't be farther from the truth. Though it may seem chaotic, there is NOT an absence of law/order. The medical personnel are following hospital and medical procedures. Depending on the injury, and severity, there are steps they follow to ensure proper care. You won't see a doctor/nurse using a defibrillator on someone who is doesn't need it. Likewise, you won't see them putting a cast on someone's arm, when the arm isn't broken. The semblance of "chaos" is just because there is a lot happening at one time.

Even in war, what we normally think of when someone says "chaos", there are policies and procedures. Of course, not everyone will adhere to it, but there are rules of war. There is a chain of command. There are procedures and policies in place to ensure minimal civilian casualties. There are rules in place in regards to medical and religious personnel.

That being said, let me get into the "Chaotic" Character Alignments.

Chaotic Good:
-CG characters are completely outside of society. They don't care about rules or laws, except their own, and even then, they are more than willing to break their own rules, if it means achieving their goals. They care more for individual rights than society as a whole. While they may have a "line" that they don't want to cross, in their minds, the ends justify the means. They are fighting for the greater good, and believe the old saying "You have to crack a few eggs to make an omelette." While they value individual freedoms, they will have no issue sacrificing someone for "the greater good". They will do horrible things in pursuit of what they think is right.
-Their moral compass is unbending. They believe strongly in their convictions, and can't be swayed. They are willing to go to extremes to make their goals a reality, even if it means going against those that are trying to help them.
- Because they tend to be single minded and unbending, it is hard to create external conflict for these characters, but you can always push them. At what point do their actions become evil? If they are willing to kill for the "greater good" what's to stop them from killing anyone who gets in the way of their goal? At what point are they hurting their cause?
-Internal conflict is a bit easier. Are they haunted by the things they have done? Do they fear that their actions are hurting those they care about? Are they worried that they are becoming the bad guy? How do their actions impact those around them, and in turn, how do those people impact your character?


Chaotic Neutral:
-CN characters are perhaps the most fun to write, becuase they can be unpredictable wildcards. They are out for themselves. CN go against society, but are neither good nor evil. They don't concern themselves with those ideas. In their mind, they simply are. They crave freedom, and believe everyone should as well. Unlike the chaotic good, who breaks the law for the greater good, CN break the law because they can. They see society, and its laws, as restrictive to their freedom. They may personally see murder/killing as wrong, and will refrain, and in a sense follow the law in that regard. But it is not to uphold the law. They just don't want to kill based on their own morality.
-These characters may sway between good and evil, depending on the circumstances and their motivations. Remember, they don't see good/evil the way we do.



Chaotic Evil:

-CE are your typical violent psychopaths. They care only for themselves and their goals. They are the villains that you see "kicking puppies" and causing mayhem. The best example is the Joker, from Batman. But even the Joker has a goal, and things that motivate him.
-When writing a CE character, you don't need them to "kick the puppy" to show they're evil. Have them pose the "what if" question. What if I pushed this kid into traffic? That's definitely evil. But you don't have to go that far. What if I carefully and methodically drive someone insane, just to see what they would do. What if I stir up a peaceful protest so it devolves into a riot? What if I gave a mentally unstable person a weapon? What if I convinced a group of people that a celebrity was evil, and they needed to take them out? Your CE character doesn't need to get their hands dirty, if they can manipulate others to do it for them.
-Your CE character will have their own goals and motivations. It could entail death and destruction. It could be the dissolution of society, or a system they oppose. They could obsess over an individual, like the Joker is obsessed with Batman. They will use any tool or technique to achieve their aims. They won't have a line, like the Chaotic Good character. They won't introspect about what they've done, unless it is to dissect where they went wrong in their calculations.
- These characters tend to be irredeemable. Love will not make them a better person. A good woman/man will not make them repent. While they can find deep meaningful relationships, like their counterpart, CG, they can't be swayed from their ultimate goal. Instead, they will attempt to sway their partner to their way of thinking. This can lead to internal and external conflicts as they try to maintain their relationship while still working towards their goal.

If you have any questions/comments, please feel free to email me!

As always, Happy Writing Friends!
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