Guide The Alignment Rehab Guide: Who are You, Anyway?

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  1. Devon

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    The Alignment Rehab Guide: Who are You, Anyway?



    Hey all,

    I’ve wanted to make something like this for a while. We’ve had a ton of cool RP happen recently, and I feel a lot of new and old players alike could benefit from an alignment rundown guide. More so: an alignment rehab guide. Things aren’t the same. The world no longer has a justice system. We can’t lawyer up, lock people up, and rely on ‘Murica to save us every afternoon.

    Last lore, stated character biography alignments weren’t so big. This lore, they’re everywhere. While alignment, itself, is super-duper limiting, I feel it still deserves mention. Obviously, fantastic characters defy alignment, contradict their own actions, and do great—and terrible—things that can’t be summed up in nine categories.


    I want to run through each alignment, mentioning the benefits of each, the problems of each, and some common mistakes when rolling them. I’vedefinitely misstepped my own alignment, and I’ve heard a lot of talk about alignment shifting, bending, and even breaking theirs. This is a “rehab” guide for this reason. Your character might be suffering from pre-apocalypse alignment. They might’ve also overdosed on post-apocalyptic craziness. I know, for sure, mine has. I also know it’s been absolute hell trying to stick to the fated “slide into insanity” gracefully without blowing up a Learjet.


    Sure, we’ve had a lot of character, server population, and even morality critique this week. If you’re here for an in-depth talk about post-apocalyptic actions, a “when to kill” article, or philosophical talk about similar stuff, you’ve come to the wrong place.


    This isn’t meant, at all, to restrict. It isn’t meant to cheat the awesome character development to be had by trying our best to imitate reality. Again, I don’t think any human being can be summed up into nine categories. That said, much of an RP game serves to “emulate” reality. It attempts tomirror it, best as possible, while giving it structure.


    Sure as the day is long, we, as players, can discuss semantics, talk about philosophy, whip out cool statistics, and such. While it’s all great, and while it all adds depth, it’s definitely a big topic to stick to the average RP game. In general: Structure helps people RP, even if it cuts corners. I know, kill me with fire. I’ll always push for natural realism over railroading stories, forcing character interactions, and such. But, again, this is just a framework to look at if you’re really into the alignment scene.


    That said, there definitely will be mention about the kill-versus-no-kill that’s been talked about a lot this week. If you want a better conversation on that, though, I’d head over to the thread DrBez made. This thread, like alignment itself, is pretty surface-based. It’ll use a few pop culture references, popular characters, situations, and ideas to try to give an opinion. Almost all of them can be argued. Again, this is just a “general idea” post for people who might want to flush out some alignment-related character stuff.


    Note: This is NOT an all-encompassing guide for “how to follow alignment.” It can’t begin to touch upon the complex things each alignment has. It can’t be stated enough: Alignment cannot dictate a character.The best characters in fiction, and in real life, are talked about because they’recomplex. When roleplaying, however, players definitely deserve a little structure with alignment. You’ve probably heard it a lot this past month: “Slow shit down.” If you’re using an alignment, have fun with it! Even if you’re evilly aligned, there’s a ton of stuff you can do, sans stealing, killing, and scaring others.

    If you’re new to RP, then great! Hopefully, the stuff below can help you craft your stoic lawful neutral character, your chaotic good fighter, or your neutral evil lie-spreader.

    If you’ve been at RP for a while—even better. Mostly, this piece serves to point out a lot of the bad stuff that plagues each alignment. I’m not talking OOC. I’m talking IC hindrances you’ll probably face. Each alignment, I shit you not, has a “stupid” side. No, I didn’t make it up. It actually exists. It’s talked about a lot as a trope, too. That said, I feel only a few alignments warrant mention of the “stupid” side that people, myself included, sometimes fall into :

    Lawful Good - - -> Lawful Stupid

    Chaotic Neutral - - -> Chaotic Stupid

    Chaotic Evil - - -> Stupid Evil (Pure Evil)


    Before you hop into your character’s alignment, check out the section on "capacity" below. I feel it really works, RP-wise, to add depth to the Alignment system:


    Also, before this party gets kicking, though, a few things:


    Firstly,a lot of the characters used as examples for these alignments are only rough sketches. Again, the idea of character alignment, itself, is broken. People in real life—and in the fiction we use to understand it—aren’t one-dimensional.



    Secondly,this guide will mostly stick to characters in popular fiction. Sure, The Walking Dead has been tried, retried, and beaten down into exhaustion. That said, a lot of people here are quite familiar with it. This is a general guide, and it does need to be a bit surface-level to get the point across. It’s for the playerbase as a whole, people. It’s here to rough-draft your character, not to explain them.



    At the end of the day, alignment should exist to help describe a character. Not the other way around.



    Let’s get to it!
    (Read Comments Below)
     
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  2. Devon

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    Capacity: What Can You Really Do?

    This write-up mentions the word “capacity” a lot. It’s a great word, and it sums up, basically, your character’s ability to impact the world. Your character’s overall “capacity” is determined by a few things, including, but not limited to, the following:


    -Age

    -Mental ability

    -Strength

    -Social status

    -Sociability

    -Tactical ability

    -Health



    Alright, so you want to roll that Chaotic Good character. If you really want to maximize their physical Chaotic Good shenanigans, however, you’d best make them capable. A fifty-year-old Chaotic Good gas station attendant with arthritis can’t do much, right?


    Wrong. Don’t toss in the towel because your character is limited, physically. Get into the nitty gritty of Chaotic Good. Find out what makes your fifty-year-old attendant tick. Each and every alignment can be molded based upon demographics. Play your part, and don’t expect to impact social groups directly as a Lawful Evil teenager, either. If your character has a low capacity to physically impact the world because they're old as shit, then great! Take that Chaotic Good alignment, twist it, and find a new way for Auntie Marge to go wild.


    Don't break reality for alignment. Adapt your alignment to reality. Or, get creative.


    Younger characters, too, get a special nod, here. They benefit from society's protection, and they get a lot of perks to balance their inability to make decisions. That said, the inability to make group decisions
    should absolutely be a hindrance. If your character is young--or has low capacity,in general, you'll need to change up how they justify their alignment. Sure, you can get all Lord of the Flies in your teen woodland cult. But lay off the Lawful Evil enforcement when the military folks decide on action.


    That, or find ways to manipulate the environment without direct action. If you have low capacity to change shit, be sneaky. Be creative. Don't bum-rush the horde, hit the robber with a sledge, or wrestle people. Find a work-around. This goes for
    all alignments. Again, almost all of this can be scrapped if you're creative enough.


    As a general rule: The less capacity your character has, the less likely they are to take actions that directly influence the world around them. Can your twenty-year old gardener hard-wire a bomb to a Jeep? Sure, they can, but they're far less likely to than, say, a fourty-year-old bomb technician. In most cases, a character's place in the world overpowers their alignment.



    “Capacity” will be brought up in each alignment section. Remember, this is a rehab guide. This is for all of us lost souls who’ve broken character, broken alignment, and have broken our own RP rules to “get shit done,” plan against those evil bandits, stockpile gummy candy, and g̶r̶i̶n̶d̶ ̶s̶p̶r̶i̶n̶t̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶D̶a̶y̶ ̶0̶.


    Please, do yourself a favor and don’t go through each and every alignment. But, if you do read anything here, take a look at the bottom sections and leave a comment. Obviously, I can be wrong on a number of things. I am a lot, actually, and I think it’s great a good few members of the community tinker with ideas about good, evil, right, wrong, and such.
     
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  3. Devon

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    The Good

    Let’s get the show rolling with “the good guys.” Sure, “good” is a point of view. In a post-apocalyptic game, this can’t be overstated. Remember: This isn’t a rundown on what “good” or “evil” is. It’s just the objectification of it when used in RPG games. While ND works to create high realism, alignments can still be useful to give your character an M.O.

    In this rundown, “good” simply refers to a character’s intent to place others before themselves. Is this limiting? Hellyeahit is. The guy who gives a sack of Fritos to one person, thinking they’re kind, can absolutely be a menace to the camp he borrowed it from. For the sake of the rundown, though, “good” is assumed to beany alignment that attempts to benefit others,sacrifice self-preservation for good intentions, or have a generally altruistic outlook on how the world should be.



    Neutral Good:
    Alright, here’s the “genuine good guys.” They’re caring. Sometimes,toocaring. If you’ve ever run across a truly Neutral Good character, you’ve probably questioned what they contribute to the group as a whole. These guys generally push for the well-being of others. They’re good in the sense that they frequently promote the health, livelihood, or comfort of others.



    The Benefits of Neutral Good
    Neutral Good characters are sweethearts, love, sunshine, and rainbows. Mostly concerned with moral “goodness,” these dudes are generally free from the restraints of law and order. Unlike the Lawful Good alignment, the Neutral Good alignment can frequently get away with simply “wishing” for the best outcome. To a truly Neutral Good character, the law can be restrictive, morally corrupting, or even damaging to a group as a whole.



    The Restrictions of Neutral Good
    Neutral Good characters, often, can be described as. . .well. . .just sort of “blah.” They’re basically nice people. They want the best result for the most people. That said, their lack of structure can definitely get in the way of decision-making. A Neutral Good character, when pulled in too many directions, can “choke up,” not daring to throw any side under the bus. Make no mistake: Neutral Good isnotTrue Neutral. They really do care for people. They really do want the best for others. Is “best for others” subjective? You know it is.



    Difficulties of Playing Neutral Good in Day 0
    Here’s the good stuff. If your character is Neutral Good, they shouldn’t be so keen on lawful systems. They should also be averse to chaos. Most people, in real life, can be classified as Neutral Good or Lawful Neutral. While the core alignment system is about as relevant as the Myers Briggs test when personality is considered, it can still be useful in getting a round-about guess on things.


    Neutral Good also gets the shit-end of the stick, decision-wise. Sure, your Neutral Good granny can definitely make some solid choices, but she might not be the go-to resource for bandit protection. Pragmatic Neutral Good characters, like TWD’s Hershel, however, can absolutely influence a group. That said, if your Neutral Good character doesn’t have enough capacity to act, they might be quiet voices in the background. Check out the “capacity” section for more goodies on when a character should make decisions, plan, fight, steal, or even kill. Really, the capacity section is where it’s at, concerning people offing one another.



    At Best: A Neutral Good character is influential, inspiring, and wise. With high capacity, they can be sage-like.
    At Worst(IC, not OOC): A Neutral Good character is indecisive, weak in resolve, and a follower.
     
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  4. Devon

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    Lawful Good
    (This section is a bit longer, mostly because much of the Day 0 lore deals with the collapse of society, and lawful systems, in general.)



    Lawful Good, like Chaotic Neutral, Chaotic Evil, and Lawful Evil, is incredibly challenging to play. Why? Because “lawful” can be anything. Ask yourself: What law system do I follow? When alignment was originally dreamt up, it was made to justify the different characters of medieval fantasy. Unfortunately, modern and post-apocalyptic stories don’t have the freedom of finding multiple “governments” to follow. That said, there’s a reason people playing sci-fi, post-apoc, fantasy, and modern-day RP games still use the nine-sided alignment system.

    We don’t have city states, empires, regions, and such in our lore. Or. . .do we? Really, this is up for the Lawful Good player to decide. Where does your character stand on the lawful system? Do they believe the American government is legitimate? Do they think the police force still holds power? What about personal codes? Ideally, a Lawful Good character should always be ready to whip out their homework. Inherently, they’re characters with structured and strict mindsets.

    For this reason, truly Lawful Good characters have it rough. Lawful Good characters suffer the same plight as Chaotic Evil and Chaotic Neutral characters:


    They conflict with characters of the same alignment.

    While this is a general statement, it’s entirely true. A character can be more “good” than “lawful”, and they can definitely be more “lawful” than “good” (read: Lawful Stupid).


    Typically, Lawful Good characters seek to help others, push for growth of good-aligned ideas, and benefit the world through structure. Typically, they don’t like killing. That said, the “law of their land” can absolutely be okay with killing. I’ve heard other players mention military states permitting the death of those assisting in murder. This. This can absolutely be quantified as a “lawful system” that is accepting of death for certain offences. Ask yourself: Am I more Lawful? Or am I more Good?


    The takeaway, here, is that there must be a “lawful system” to qualify the Lawful Good alignment. A lot of Lawful Good characters simply argue because they’re supporting different Lawful Good systems. In a lot of cases, the Lawful Good alignment is a damning one.


    The Benefits of Lawful Good:
    If your character is Lawful Good, then congrats. They’re likely to be considered a go-to for protection, law enforcement, community building, and conflict. If you’re playing Lawful Good correctly, your character should always at least think about using structure to solve problems. Sound restrictive? Good. It should. Lawful people, in general, are a rare breed.



    That said, a Lawful Good character with a lot of capacity(read: section about capacity), can be seen as heroic to most. Heroic, because they’re reliable. Rarely will a Lawful Good character fuck you over. Again, alignment cannot describe an entire character. If your character slips up, goes dark, gets angsty, or has issues, it needn’t stick like glue to Lawful Good. That said, you’d best shift away from Lawful Good quickly. Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral, and Lawful Evil are rewarded with kudos from surrounding characters for “sticking to their guns.” If you don’t, you lose that privilege of being trusted for predictability, even if you’re evil (more talk about this in the Lawful Evil section).


    The Restrictions of Lawful Good
    As said above, Lawful Good characters are governed by systems. They’re knights in shining armor, sure, but their armor is tight around the waist. First-world societies, themselves, tend to be Lawful Good, and for a reason: They have the many resources needed to uphold a Lawful Good system. Lawful Good ain’t easy folks, and, in most cases, it has one of the highest mortality rates of any RP alignment. While Neutral Good can back out and find a new way to help, persist as a sage, and console people, and while Chaotic Good is often too unpredictable to be taken down, Lawful Good normally submits to an “It’s just what I’ve got to do” statement, ending in the character’s demise.



    At Best: A Lawful Good character is a protector. Someone who leads. Someone who’s reliable.
    At Worst(IC, not OOC): A Lawful Good character is whiny. They’re blinded by morals. They’re pigheaded.




    Chaotic Good
    Are you excited? Good. You should be. Chaotic Good is wild to create, exciting to play, and an absolute adrenaline rush to persist with. Because of this, it’salsodifficult to pull off. Chaotic is the character who’s truly free spirit governs most of its actions.Chaotic is the rebel, the anarchist, and the honor-ditching individual.



    Chaotic Good, for that matter, can sometimes have trouble meshing chaos with the general want to do good things. Chaotic Good characters are those who combat tyrants, steal from the rich, and give to the poor. In some ways, Chaotic Good mirrors Neutral Evil when perceived by others. Chaotic Good characters inherently take the road less traveled. They’re likely to jump in, head first, and argue against structure with get-down-and-dirty approaches to achieve, what they feel is, true virtue.


    While Lawful Good characters face a high mortality rate from following structure blindly, Chaotic Good characters often meet their end due to misadventure, and taking on more than is considered "safe" by others. That said, Chaotic Good characters who survive are fearsome, respected, and loved by others. I’ve had the pleasure of finding at least one Chaotic Good character, this lore around, and they inhabit each of the ideas above. So much so, I both fear and love being around them. It’s great.


    The Benefits of Chaotic Good
    If you’re playing Chaotic Good correctly, you’re likely considered a force to be reckoned with to any and all opposing the livelihood of others. Not necessarily because you’re strong, but because you’ll take drastic measures in securing a good-aligned group, M.O, or worldview (Read: “Good”). You’re likely to be revered, and even idolized for your actions. Chaotic Good meshes a free spirit with a good heart. It is always ready to comment, help, and even save. Chaotic Good bangs on your door in the middle of the night, tells the neighborhood to fuck off, and fights a horde to ensure good-aligned societal standards are met. For this reason, Lawful Good and Chaotic Good often mesh with one another. Lawful Good / Chaotic good is a highly prevalent RP alignment for those wanting to push a hybrid alignment.



    The Restrictions of Chaotic Good
    Chaotic Good characters, however, contain a serious fault. They disrupt the order of society. Likely, they’ll jump into the fray while other characters strategize. On the darker edge of Chaotic Good’s scale, people like The Punisher may be perceived as evil for their overly Chaotic Good actions. Chaotic Good is dangerous, and it can even endanger others when mismanaged. That said, a truly Chaotic Good Character, when played correctly,can and will mismanage its dealings. Frequently bored, and sometimes hating of Lawful Good systems, the well-played Chaotic Good character can be a hero when they’re right—but a menace when they’re not. A Chaotic Good character straying down the wrong path, even, can easily be perceived as a “boogyman” to their opposition. Be careful with Chaotic Good, because Lawful-aligned characters may view you as a zealot.



    At Best:A Chaotic Good character holds unbreakable idealism. They ask questions others dare not ask. They act where others cannot, either from strength of will or an even unstable mindset.
    At Worst(IC, not OOC): A Chaotic Character is explosive, unrealistic, and even dangerous to others.

     
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  5. Devon

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    The Neutral



    The Neutral section deserves a lot of attention, too. It’s a genuinely difficult alignment to play, and a lot of people—myself included—have a hard time micromanaging it. At the start of Day 0, “Neutral” was used by some people to mask “evil.” That said, there are definitely fabulously Neutral-aligned characters I’ve had the pleasure of encountering. I know of at least one character I’d describe as True Neutral—and they’re fascinating to be around. I know of at least one person rolling Chaotic Neutral, too, who’s grand.



    That said, Neutral characters, in general, need to be watched closely. No, True Neutral characters aren’t the woodland bums who “just don’t give no fucks.” They can be, but the player would be robbing themselves of the really awesome things Neutral characters can achieve. They’re wild cards, but they’re also fantastic characters to push different—borderline weird—ideologies. A Neutral-aligned character does not balance the status quo by being both Good and Evil. Hybrid alignmentsdoexist, and Lawful Good / Lawful Evil is certainly one of them.You cannot “make up” for being Evil by being Good and call it Neutral. For this reason, I really want to dig deep in what it means to be “Neutral,” especially when an apocalyptic setting is concerned.



    True Neutral (Neutral Neutral)
    True Neutral characters walk a fine line. Most exist to either “not care” or to “preserve balance.” Opposing popular belief, much of the Jedi Code in the world of Star Wars is either True Neutral or Lawful Neutral (probably Lawful Neutral, really, but I wanted the reference out of the way early on). It exists to “bring balance to The Force.” Yep, that’s right: I promised you shitty, unfulfilling, and up-to-contest analogies. Star Wars is one of them.




    Some True Neutral characters, balance-happy as they are, might simply be too unintelligent to know the difference between Good and Evil. That said, True Neutral characters with high capacity are truly enlightened. They can even be monkish in personality. True Neutral folks, just wanting to be alone, similarly have a few tricks up their sleeves.



    Benefits of True Neutral
    Likely, you’ve heard it before on ND: Most characters in the post-apocalyptic world are Neutral-aligned. While this is inherently true, most True Neutral survivors strive to “just get by.” Are all True Neutral characters like this? Absolutely not. Are you “just a survivor?” Be creative! True Neutral offers some of the coolest options. True Neutral characters, when played with flair, can seek to balance nature itself, the world itself, or even life and death itself. If you’ve ever wanted to “get weird” with a character alignment, True Neutral is certainly the place to do it. True Neutral characters aren’t burdened by politics, virtues, and prejudice. For this reason, they’re really great companions in a diverse group.




    The Restrictions of True Neutral
    True Neutral, while wide and varied, fails to compensate when apathy, a lack of conviction, or indifference are at play. True Neutral characterscanbe helpful. Theycanaim to assist others, too. At their core, however, an overwhelming sense of logic prevails. True Neutral characters are fantastic organizers, planners, and philosophers. They can, however, be horrid allies when conflict arises. Much of a True Neutral character’s ability to act, in part, has a lot to do with—you guessed it—their capacity to act. A True Neutral philosopher, or psychologist, will likely benefit a group far more than a True Neutral mailman. That said, do not take True Neutral for granted. Imagine the tactical advantage of a True Neutral sergeant, or even a True Neutral doctor.




    At Best: A True Neutral character is an indispensable source of knowledge, foresight, planning, and engagement.
    At Worst(IC, not OOC): A True Neutral character is apathetic, lacks conviction, and is questioned about their care for others.
     
    #5 Devon, Jun 15, 2016
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  6. Devon

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    Lawful Neutral
    (Another alignment deserving a lot of attention, as many players adhere to it)



    While not a great example of storytelling, the recent show,Fear the Walking Dead, displays a really fantastic picture of Lawful Neutral / Chaotic Neutral in a character who truly believes, I shit you not, that zombies are, in fact, not dead. Said character walks with the horde around them, sickened by the toils and ideologies of “good” and “evil.” He sticks to his code, leaves society’s morally crippled ass behind, and sticks to himself.


    Lawful Neutral, also, is a prevalent post-apocalyptic alignment. It’s self-preserving, but it’s also restrained. It abides by the rules. A truly Lawful Neutral character believes in order. They’ll arrest a killer or robber, but they might also kick out the one-parent family struggling to pay rent. Stranger Lawful Neutral characters may believe in a higher, cosmic order of things. Remember: Question your Lawful character’s code. Lawful Neutral and Lawful Evil characters are highly likely to have created their own codes. That said, playing in a realistic setting warrants at least a realistic consideration of what Lawful Neutral is.



    The Benefits of Lawful Neutral
    Lawfull Neutral characters survive the apocalypse well. Often governed by eye-for-an-eye philosophy, Lawful Neutral characters can sometimes get away with a “We need to come for them before they come for us” philosophy. Likely, if your goody-two-shoes character is worse for wear after The End Times, and if they fit in well with pre-apocalyptic society, they’ll likely transform into Lawful Neutral.




    And, here, Rick Grimes comes into play. Again, this is a shitty analogy that is definitely open for pigeon-holing. This is a layman’s assessment of Rick Grimes, not a philosophical debate about his own contradictions with Shane, arguments with Morgan, biting a guy’s [redacted] to save Carl, or what have you. Most of Rick Grimes’s actions in TWD between season 3 and 6 are Lawful Neutral. That said, he’s definitely strayed into Lawful Evil territory with his proactive approach for killing. In fact, TWD’s current season likely features Lawful Evil Rick Grimes when he’s not busy being a catastrophe of Lawful Good / Lawful Neutral.



    That guy by the barn? The one who might be a threat? Point, aim, shoot. Ask questions later.


    -Rick Grimes, High-Capacity Lawful Evil


    Not Lawful Neutral



    Lawful Neutral is the Wild Wild West alignment. It can be cool, calculative, and fast. It’s a superior alignment, as it’s reliable, honorable, and at least a little predictable. Lawful Neutral characters are rarely considered zealots, and will rarely be thrown in the fire as such. That said,Lawful Neutral does not, should not, and should never warrant rampant killing. (Read, yet again, in the year of our lord, “capacity.” Your character’s alignment has nothing to do with their temperament towards killing, unless they’re Chaotic Evil.) Lawful Neutral characters are stoic. They’re good to their family, too.



    The Restrictions of Lawful Neutral
    It can be difficult to play a compelling Lawful Neutral. Again, it really can’t be overstated:A Neutral character is not given the immediate green-light for killing. In Lawful Neutral, this statement is more true. Frequently, characters turned Lawful Neutral simply “create” their own systems. In some ways, it’s a cop-out for failure to be Lawful Good. It’s “Lawful Good Lite,” or “Lawful Good Cutting Corners.”




    No, I’m not shit-talking your alignment. My own character, likely, will become Lawful Neutral at some point from lacking the ability to cope, uphold societal values, or be one-dimensionally altruistic. Lawful Neutral can be perceived as weak, cheap, and even apologetic to other-aligned characters. It steps away from morality, says it isn’t evil, and fears blame from inaction. That said, when played correctly, a Lawful Neutral character is a potent, indispensable force. While a Lawful Neutral character can lead, they’re frequently led astray without an altruistic force influencing them. (An example, here, would be Hershel and Rick’s relationship in TWD).



    At Best:A Lawful Neutral character remains reliable, structured, pragmatic, and powerful in a challenging world, and can preserve the lives of those around them.
    At Worst(IC, not OOC): A Lawful Neutral character avoids morality, shies from blame, and is mechanical. They may frequently devolve into an Evil alignment when strategy forgoes benevolence.




    Chaotic Neutral
    Chaotic Neutral characters possess ultimate freedom. That said, they’re frequently referred to as lunatics. They can’t be bothered by morality’s restrictions, and, can sometimes be amoral nut-jobs. Or, depending on their place in society, they’re simply good people with a wild streak.




    Chaotic Neutral deserves a unique prod for its incredible difficulty. If you’re playing a Chaotic Good character to simply “get away with things,” you’re likely doing it wrong. That said, there’s been a couple Chaotic Neutral people this lore that’re absolutely fantastic. How “good” a Chaotic Neutral character ultimately ends up being is mainly impacted by their position in the grand scheme of order and chaos. Chaotic Neutral is not a mixture of Chaotic Good and Chaotic Evil. Bad things happen when a Chaotic Neutral character attempts to “balance it out” by hurting someone, giving someone flowers, and then slamming their head against the wall.



    For this reason, Chaotic Neutral is an absolute masterpiece when performed well. If you’re struggling with Chaotic Neutral, fear not. The best of people do. While Alignment, again, only exists to be a book cover, Chaotic Evil is certainly a whacky cover, to begin with.


    The Benefits of Chaotic Neutral
    Chaotic Neutral characters do whatever the fuck they want to, and they’ll do it while damning the consequences. That said, a lot of successful Chaotic Neutral characters still have some sort of noble intentions that “bleed through,” softening the blow of their erratic actions. Some say they're the ultimate free spirits, others that they're just crazy. That said, they’re highly unpredictable. Chaotic Neutral characters, frequently, hate self-righteous characters. They’re also indispensable resources in situations without black and white rules.




    Chaotic Neutral characters are fantastic anarchists, and they can even be radically dedicated to a Lawful Neutral idea. A rebel and a fanatic, the Chaotic Neutral character may be overly cynical, hold no allegiance, and appear delusional.



    The Restrictions of Chaotic Neutral
    While carrying no systematic restrictions, Chaotic Neutral is entirely easy to “mess up” when playing. A character needn’t be “insane” to be Chaotic Neutral, and a character taking the craziest, most reckless option can easily derail a group’s M.O. Chaotic Neutral, without the charm and pizazz of sheer luck, genius insight or a cynical outlook, can similarly fail. Chaotic Neutral, for this reason, remains an incredibly difficult alignment to persist with.




    At Best:The Chaotic Neutral character is almost magically in-tune with reality, side-steps danger, and surpasses all odds in morally difficult situations.
    At Worst(IC, not OOC): The Chaotic Neutral character is unreliable, overly unpredictable, unstable, and self-destructive.
     
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  7. Devon

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    A Special Note on Evil

    I wouldn’t blame you for clicking this first. The Evil Alignment hot-button topic has been around for a while. Purely Evil characters, banned on ND, are entirely challenging to play no matter the community. In fact, seeing a really well-played Chaotic Evil character anywhere is like seeing a goddamned unicorn. While unicorns, as far as I know, still aren’t allowed in here, this piece will talk about ‘em, nonetheless.



    Why? Because, in all honesty, a good few people play “cloaked” Evil Alignment characters while stating they're playing Good or Neutral characters. I'm not talking about the character's who've been pushed to their limits. I'm talking about characters who operate under the bio ruse of Neutral Good, or even a Neutral alignment, but operate, constantly, in an Evil-Aligned way. That purely Evil-Aligned characters are banned at all is symptomatic of how slippery they are to roleplay.

    Remember purely evil characters, as of now, and as far as we know, are not allowed in ND's character creation.



    “Capacity” has been used a lot in these write-ups, and it’s more relevant than ever with the Evil Alignment. Honestly, that people resort to filling the streets with blood when abiding by an Evil Alignment can be a little comforting, OOCly. If you’ve considered making an “evil” character, and if you’ve thought, “Huh, hanging someone sounds evil,” then congratulations: You’ve successfully sidestepped the deep, fucked up part of your mind able to empathize with the world’s truly twisted people who hide that shit deep.


    Again, it isn’t a bash at all. I’ve rolled a couple Chaotic Evil characters that’ve resembled Nosferatu on a bad night. Were they fun? Sure. For a little bit, at least. But they were also horribly, catastrophically roleplayed. Purely evil characters, however fun, rarely last long. The reason they’re banned in many communities is due to their own destructive power. They go in, blow up, die, and take a few with them. Quick in, quick out, and a reign of terror. No, I’m not pointing any fingers. I’ve been lucky enough to play with some really phenomenal evil characters, both in last lore and in this one. They were not, however, purely evil.


    It’s been stated before, I think, in one of the catalogued ND RP guides. Something about Banditry 101, etc. etc. For the sake of this section, though, I won’t talk about bandits. I’ll talk about Evil-Aligned people. People with high capacity for action—like the judge, the police officer, the Evil Rambo, or the slave camp operator. I’ll also talk about people with low capacity—like the begrudged housewife, the CEO, and the real estate office worker. It’s a damn shame more low capacity Evil-Aligned characters aren’t around. Really, these characters make any RP game juicy. The slow roast is where it’s at.


    Why does it matter? Because a lot of Evil-Aligned characters we’ve seen are high capacity characters. They've had the capacity to level entire communities, in and of themselves. If this section deserves to talk about Evil-Aligned characters, it deserves to do it the right way. The realistic way. Do Chaotic Evil individuals exist today? Certainly.


    Unfortunately, the real world is rife with conflict, murder, and rape. That said, Chaotic Evil, or “truly evil” characters—like they’re referred to, here—almost always operate behind a system of grunts, immense power, or society’s failures. They are highly hidden in first-world countries, and they are well-protected, when they’re well-known to be twisted in corrupt areas—if they’ve survived that long.

    Again, this isn’t about “evil.” It’s about people who fit the mold of the already broken Evil Alignments.


    Does Chaotic Evil have a place in this lore? Again, my opinion doesn’t mean shit. In my opinion, though, I feel the existence of a Chaotic Evil character, right now, would be pushing the buck. As we evolve into the equivalent of a third-world country, Chaotic Evil characters wouldpresumably start peaking around corners. They would not, however, run around dipping people in acid, bulldozing houses, and slaying people in the streets. (I know, I know. That can definitely be argued.)


    And, I know, that statement is light at best. What I’m trying to say is, basically, that if we’re ever allowed to roll all-out Chaotic Evil characters they should be moderated. Moderated, and have a lot of backing to reduce their capacity for mass chaos. Again, hot-button topic. Controversial opinion. But there it is.


    Without getting too close to the salt mine already existent, Evil-based killing, too, deserves a nod. Look, truly “evil” people, as dictated by the—once again—heavily faulted RP Alignment System, are still people. Yes, hack-n-slashing mass-murderers exist. It’s just a fact. That said, they’re normally incredibly calculated. Without a faulted societal system to power their bloodlust, they’re likely to stay under the radar. In modern culture, purely Evil-aligned characters, like Pennywise from It, or like Voldemort from Harry Potter, are not realistic in the slightest.


    That’s right, I’m talkin’ shit about J.K Rowling and Stephen King. It’s okay, though, because both have stated their villain’s faults. They’re one-dimensional, and they’re pure evil. Both authors, while wildly creative, have spoken out against their own characters.


    Purely evil characters, such as this, often operate within some sort of bizarre, radical system of magic: a system keeping them alive. Magic which, in our lore, does not exist as we know of. Sure, the Hannibal Lecters are still out there, and that character is an absolute, grade-A standard of how to model a Chaotic Evil character with high capacity. He’s slow. He’s calculative. If Hannibal Lecter were in our lore, though, he’d probably only have four to five victims throughout the lore’s entirety.


    And that’d be a Chaotic Evil character spending months of real-life play to do so. No, I’m not bashing player kill counts. People killing in self-defense, or for good reason, isn’t part of this section. This section is all about the evil-driven actions made for Evil-aligned characters. Again, it can all be contradicted. Lord knows what Doctor Lecter would do, sitting alone in a suburban West Point house.


    And by now, you’ve probably caught the contradiction: We do have a sort of unbelievable “magic” system, don’t we? Fuck! It’s a zombie apocalypse! Aye, reader. That it is. Are “out of the closet” Chaotic Evil characters plausible in this lore? In all honesty, spare the salt shovel, I think they are. Please, don’t shoot me. It’s just an honest opinion. I also think they’re terrible for server health, in the long run, and are rightfully moderated against. Sometimes, you’ve just got to cut corners. It isn’t that bad, is it?
     
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  8. Devon

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    Neutral Evil

    Do you want to be an asshole? Roll a Neutral Evil character. Seriously, these dudes are absolute scumbags. That said, what’s the point of any of this if we’re not at least giving these alignments the power of perspective. If you want to make an Evil-Aligned character, you need to think like an Evil-Aligned character. Don’t worry, no one’s judging. In fact, if the RP is juicy enough, people might even praise you for it.



    Neutral Evil characters, sometimes, are more dangerous than the Chaotic Evil alignment. Why? Because, well, you can never know which way they’ll swing. Neutral Evil characters can even be found with Good-Aligned characters. It’s another damn shame that more Evil-Aligned characters won’t “chill with the good guys.” In society, Evil-Aligned people do this all the time. Neutral Evil characters, more so. Neutral Evil characters, frequently, “look out for number one.” Sometimes, they’re Neutral characters who might just be sick of people’s shit. They’re apocalyptic survivors who’ve figured out what works, say, “Fuck people,” and, often secretly, benefit themselves.



    The Benefits of Neutral Evil
    Sure, Evil tastes good. A lot of times, however, Neutral Evil ain’t about that. A few times, I’ve met proclaimed Good-aligned characters who are certainly Neutral Evil. Neutral Evil characters embody malice. They double-deal. They advance themselves without thinking of others. They’re also incredibly dangerous to play. They represent a face of true evil without variation, without honor, and without care. Are they pure evil? No. Will they run around, robbing and murdering? Well, I’d hope not, seeing as Neutral Evil characters often survive best with stealth, debauchery, and deception.



    Neutral Evil characters, however, have incredibly high survivability when played correctly. They’re good at deception. They’re good at pilfering. Frequently not supported by Lawful Evil characters—and often too worldly to be unabashedly assisted by Chaotic Evil characters, a truly Neutral Evil character had best “keep their shit on lock” to stay alive.



    That said, Neutral Evil characters can make wonderful protagonists. They can absolutely work with the good guys and be openly shitty. I heard a really great Neutral Evil quote spoken to a Lawful Good character, this lore, from a character whose alignment I personally don't know:


    “I may be an asshole, but I’m not a heartless asshole.”
    ~~[Redacted]




    The Restrictions of Neutral Evil
    People fear a tyrant, but people hate a scumbag. More often than not, Neutral Evil characters are low-capacity characters. They’re the Peter Pettigrews of Harry Potter, and the Wormtongues of The Lord of the Rings. That said, some notable Neutral Evil characters exist in riveting crime fiction. This is about alignment, here, not capacity. Likely, your Neutral Evil character, if discovered, will never be trusted again. Even worse: People will look at them with disgust. That said: “Fuck people, right?” Your Neutral Evil character is Neutral Evil for a reason. They’ve likely seenthe drudgery of Good-Aligned characters. They know what happens when you give out too much food. Good-Aligned characters suffer from their inability to grasp reality. Neutral characters, philosophically, are really just a nicer, lesser-realized Neutral Evil, right? While Neutral Evil characters are unlikely to rise to the top, a successful Neutral Evil can absolutely be accepted by society for their cynicism, truthfulness, and ability to “say it how it is.”




    Unsuccessful Neutral Evil characters, while redeemable, are often the last Evil alignment to receive a pardon. Hell, I’ve seen people try to persuade Chaotic Evil characters over Neutral Evil characters. As a quiet Neutral Evil character, you will walk an invisible path—one unnoticed by the dull, honor-burdened Good-Aligned characters. Likely, even the Neutral-Aligned will fail to notice you. If they do, however, don’t expect forgiveness. Neutral Evil, unlike Lawful Evil and Chaotic Evil, is seen to be trash due to its double-dealing standards.



    At Best: A Well-played Neutral Evil character is subtle, cunning, and self-sufficient. They inherit the earth, frequently, while conserving their resources.
    At Worst(IC, not OOC): A well-played Neutral Evil character holds little to no convictions, is seen as scum, and often fails in retaining positions of power.
     
    #8 Devon, Jun 15, 2016
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  9. Devon

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    Lawful Evil

    I wish more Lawful Evil characters popped up. Lawful Evil characters are often intelligent, calculative, and successful. They’re the CEOs of the RP world, and they frequently amass such power they’re capable of masquerading as “the good guys.” Seeing a pattern yet? Evil doesn’t want to be found out. It shouldn’t want to burn down buildings, cackle, and eat your children. Successful Evil-Aligned characters are smart. They use deception, other people, and even themselves to fulfill their own goals.



    A solid Evil-Aligned character waits, creates, stands back, and watches. A solid Lawful Evil character is definitely not one-dimensional. Hell, there’s a chance your internet provider’s boss is Lawful Evil. Why move straight to killing? Sure, Fear RP is fantastic, but why not mix in a little manipulation?



    The Benefits of Lawful Evil
    And manipulate you shall, with the Lawful Evil character. Like their Lawful Good Counterparts, Lawful Evil characters are governed by a system. They’re the Magnetos of the RP world. At one time, they might’ve served a higher purpose. At one point or another, they’ve become twisted by their own love of success. TWD’s Negan, while absolutely chaotic in archetype, has, thus far revealed himself as Lawful Evil in the show’s adaptation. He’s got a system.




    In TWD, Negan is a post-apocalyptic businessman. While more flexible than most Lawful Evil characters, Negan still operates beneath a code. In the comics, Negan is against killing women, promises safety, and follows other bizarre codes. Yeah, yeah, he contradicts this. Negan contradicts a lot of his M.O. That said, the best characters do. If your character operates with a system of fear, oppression, and inflicted jealousy, they’re likely Lawful Evil. If they shoot someone because said person stole a minor good from them, they’re at least partially Lawful Evil. It isn’t about the price. It’s about sending a message.



    That said, Lawful Evil people can actually be protagonists. Lawful Evil people can still be evil without killing people, too. It’s about the end-game goal, yo. It’s about your character’s capacity to impact the world around them. Don’t think “Lawful Evil” and jump straight to blowtorching people to get your tree-fiddy. Get creative.



    In society, Lawful Evil dudes have money, family relationships, school systems, and surrounding moral compasses to protect themselves. They’re the dick of a stepdad that turns the system for divorce money. They’re that dickead from Air Bud who manipulates the court to get back his abused Golden Retriever, mixing in a good bit of Neutral Evil as a salad dressing. In the apocalypse, these folks need a new system, right? Take this shit to heart: Lawful Evil characters work the system, and Lawful Good characters work for the system. Untouchable is the Lawful Evil character who’s played his or her cards right.



    The Restrictions of Lawful Evil
    Like the Neutral Evil character, a Lawful Evil character remains camouflaged. They are highly unlikely to mass murder unless they can blend into a system they control. Much of the Lawful Evil character’s ability to survive exists in their ability to make others believe them.




    In TWD, The Saviors frequently fall to Negan’s overpowering charm, humor, and structure. Arguably, Negan has Chaotic Neutral tendencies. Mostly, however, he resides within the realm of Lawful Evil because of his system. Even protagonists in TWD succumb to Lawful Evil’s “executive way of doing things.” These are, again, high capacity characters.



    At Best:A Lawful Evil Character is powerfully manipulative, intelligent, and socially untouchable.
    At Worst(IC, not OOC): A Lawful Evil character’s wins are not his or her own. Over reliance on others, and a shoddy system, are a downfall.




    Chaotic Evil
    Much of this was talked in the Evil Alignment prelude. That said, Chaotic Evil does deserve a double-tap. If Chaotic Neutral defines a truly, completely free spirit, Chaotic Evil is a truly evil free spirit. A Chaotic Evil character will do what they want, when they want, and wherever they want to. Sometimes, they do it specifically to harm others. Sometimes, it’s just for profit.




    Or, maybe they’re egotistical or narcissistic. They could also be clinically insane. No, I’m not suggesting mentally instable people are murderous, Chaotic Evil scoundrels. Individuals with sociopathy shouldn’t be discriminated against, either. That said, Chaotic Evil is not the archetypical “Stupid Evil” associated with reckless slaughter, destruction, and tears. Truly successful, high-capacity Chaotic Evil characters are intelligent, calculative villains. They’re incrediblydangerous, and they’re incredibly practiced. If a Chaotic Evil character has lived without incarceration into adult years, it’s because they’re incredibly good at what they do.



    That said, I’d donate $50 to AGN if someone rolled a low-capacity Chaotic Evil sixteen-year-old who did nothing but rearrange their mother’s living room, day in and day out.



    Successful Chaotic Evil Characters are unlikely to slaughter an entire village. Can you slaughter it, though? Uhh, yeah? I guess so? Your character will be feared, but they’ll fail in making frightening, enticing, and even enjoyable RP for others. Why make a Chaotic Evil character and not cash in? Why go around, mech-slaying people for the brand-name stamp of “Lol, you’re ‘gonna lose you’re character, bro.”



    Truly Chaotic Evil characters support their truly superior alignment mixing self-interest and absolute freedom. To use Hannibal Lecter again, a truly Chaotic Evil character, while likely lethal, represents not only the destruction of life and beauty—but of the order surrounding it.



    The Benefits of Chaotic Evil
    Chaotic Evil characters are absolutely freed from society’s moral stresses. Again, a truly Evil-aligned character who’s survived this long would, plausibly, have been incredibly calculated. Yeah, the world is ending. But that doesn’t mean your character’s standards have. Much of Chaotic Evil, again, has already been covered in the above sections. It does, however, deserve a final hurrah for being a magnificent alignment when pulled off correctly. Chaotic Evil, while justifiable by game mechanics, shouldn’t readily rely on them. Get creative. If Chaotic Evil is ever allowed, which it likely won’t be, a wealth of options exists for the player seeking creative, truly twisted RP.




    The Restrictions of Chaotic Evil
    A Chaotic Evil character’s time on earth is limited, at best. That said, the real world’s Chaotic-Evil-Aligned individuals remain either well-hidden or are “out of the closet” within societies, or systems, that either fear or permit them. In most cases, Chaotic Evil is a “prestige alignment.” It’s an alignment viewed openly only once the character has already obtained enough power to exist by its own inertia, fear, and power.
     
    #9 Devon, Jun 15, 2016
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  10. Devon

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    Evolving and Changing Your Alignment



    Woah there, steady now. There’s been a lot of talk about character shifting, slowly turning evil, spooky stuff, and such. It’s hard to do, and it’s even harder to do gracefully. As a general tip, follow this:



    Stop Righ’ Der, Criminal Scam:

    If you’re doing something for “the sake of going evil,” stop. Stop, and think for a minute. Tattoos are awesome, but there’s a reason people suggest drafting, re-drafting, and sitting on that shit for months. Think long and hard about it. Likely, the player-base won’t let you go back if you’ve drowned the neighbor’s dog, so do not rush into that shit. Slow and steady wins the race.


    A note: A lot of “bad” people are victims of circumstance. Don’t cheat yourself by saying “Ohp, well, looks like we’ve gotta shoot ‘em, right? Damn. . .Damn. . .I feel. . .I feel evil” [Ursula laugh].


    I promise you: The character-shift fuel will come to you. If you sit around long enough, trouble will come knockin’. Use that. Absorb it. Use it as character fuel.



    That said, take tragedy in-stride, too. A lot of great character development has come from loss, and a good bit of it has even resulted in killing. In my honest opinion, the coolest thing about this lore is watching some of the Day 0 characters slide, derail, and shoot people (lol). But that said, it feels like a cheap imitation when people do it for stupid reasons. Own that shit. Even if you’re rolling a new character, own that shit.



    React to things. Be afraid. Be angry. Have your character do embarrassing, degrading shit. Give them justification for their change. This shit shouldbe hard. It should be exciting, sad, funny, and embarrassing to watch. Push your limits.



    It’s can also be cool watching darker characters turn around, see the light, and reach resolution. I guarantee you: If you show your character being mentally eviscerated by Tom’s shit excuse for a painting, or Jill’s half-ass excuse for why she’s home late, you’ll have a lot more story fuel to shift your alignment.




    So, What Can You Do?

    You can take it slow. Make friends! Make allies! Make enemies! Make it clear who your character is, and show bits and pieces of their personality. Give people a reason to like you, hate you, be weirded out by you, or want to hurt you. This goes for all alignment changes—not just good to bad. There’s been good characters who’ve gone bad, this lore around, sure. But there’s also been bad character’s who’ve shaped up, turned over a new leaf, and become positive influences. The successful ones take it slow. They take their time.



    To take it a step up, raise some intrigue. If your character is shifting, don’t just dick-slap people with a fire and brimstone speech about snackrificing Joe for emptying your IBC.



    Ride that shit out.



    Don’t take the first left-turn to Fuckville and declare yourself the Lawful Evil mayor because resident biffle got bit, bled out, and dropped his loot to your sworn enemy.



    Don’t run into a wall and concuss your Chaotic Good, hedge-trimmer-swinging Polish man into True Neutral.



    Take. It. Slow.



    Seek out RP. Find what your character likes, dislikes, will fight for, and will fight against. Agree with people. Disagree with people. It’s about the scenery, not the destination. Your character can change, and they will, too. Draw that shit out over two seasons. Don’t be the insta-bandit. Don't jump for the instant gratification. Enjoy the ride.



    Also,watch the video below. Yeah, yeah. It’s The Walking Dead again. A lot of people don’t like Season 2, but it’s well-worth it just to watch Jon Bernthal absolutely kill it as Shane Walsh. Seriously, sit down and try to spot the alignment shift. Shane Walsh, while starting mostly as Lawful Good by an RP Alignment standpoint, devolves into a dark Lawful Neutral. Eventually, he gets glimpses of something worse (Lawful Good / Lawful Evil hybrid, or even a Lawful Evil / Chaotic Good hybrid). No, he can’t be “explained away” by the RP Alignment System, but you can definitely see glimpses of a couple alignments in the things he preaches.


    Again, the pop-culture reference can definitely be argued. The point is this: Find out why your character would shift. Find out why they think the way they think. Then, slowly mold them. Or, if the lore ever allows it, and if you make an Evil-Aligned character out of the gate—take care. Go for it, but keep it low, smart, and in-charge. Don’t just slay people. Get creative. Give people a reason to remember your social, spooky, underhanded, manipulative, RP.


    If you go down the dark road, give people a reason to watch you. (butt joke)


    Here there be viddya, for a shoddy:

    (Remember, folks: Shane Walsh was a high capacity character. Not only was he presumably Lawful Good at Day 0, but he was an officer of the law. He had an incredibly high capacity to act, defend, make decisions, and impact the world around him. Yeah, low-capacity bakers, teens, and farmers can go down Shane's path, too, but they'd better experience radical shit to do so. Shane Walsh was constantly put under stress from decision making. He experienced a fuck-load of stress because he faced stressful situations and was one of the few people who had the ability to take charge.)


    In Closing:


    I love all of you. I know, it's a long post. I wanted to submit this a while back. No, it's not a response to any of the recent forum-related stuff. I just really like the rp and wanted to share <3


    -Devon
     
    #10 Devon, Jun 15, 2016
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  11. Devon

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    The new, all improved, bolder, faster, stronger alignment guide!

    (not really, it's exactly the same as before)

    Special thanks to AWarGuy for saving this. Another shoutout to KamikazeAlpaca, too, for having this saved.
     
    #11 Devon, Jun 15, 2016
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  12. Andrew Noah

    Andrew Noah Lore Assistant - Admin
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    Good to see this amazing guide is back! :)
     
  13. Devon

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    ty brah! hope it's helpful to people
     
  14. Alstrum

    Alstrum Member

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    I never really noticed this guide before, which is surprising to me as I spent a lot of time surfing the forums. Supposed I just missed it. As a relatively new roleplayer, this guide seems like it will be extremely helpful. I really appreciate you making it.
     
  15. Devon

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    Hey dude thanks!

    It was posted like a daay before the site went down, so it's still pretty new, overall
     
    #15 Devon, Jun 15, 2016
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  16. Devon

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    there's a good few formatting errors in this from the copy/paste. trying to weed them out, but a few might be left. missing spaces, stuff like that.
     
  17. harperers

    harperers Dead Inside
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    just noticed this guide, looks like a few others have, too, glad it hasnt been deleted, helps alot.
     
  18. DrBezz

    DrBezz Señor Admin
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    Reminder that these still exist and are free to look at! In fact, I encourage it.
     
  19. Tucker

    Tucker The Canadian Moose

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    I've looked at this guide soooooo many times to get a feel for each of my characters.

    Dev is the bomb!
     
  20. Jack Bauer

    Jack Bauer Active Member

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    Great guide, good read. I can definitely say sometimes the lines blur between chaotic and lawful evil. Evil is always tons of fun but don't expect to make a lot of Ic friends.
     
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