Can you play True Neutral alignment?


Advice

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I always thought of True Neutral as a druid in a forest or an animal that always works on instinct and not by any moral code.

So could you play in party with a character with a True Neutral alignment?


yep, you either give your character ADD or make his response to every question "Whatever"


What about the mercenary who isn't outright evil? He'll break a contract if it makes sense, or take lives if he has to, but generally avoids bloodshed and other such.

What about the dogooder who punishes evil by becoming judge, jury, and executioner? We're still doing good, but perhaps with a bit too much zeal.

What about the character that's dedicated only to a cause, whether it be right or wrong, just or not?

I could see most of those as neutral. Honestly good is the alignment that's tough for me to work with. I'm too misanthropic.


The amoral of course fits for true neutral, but I've also believed that a person sincerely committed to situational ethics could also qualify as true neutral... its not that they are chaotic, they have a basic code, but its application is very unpredictable. "tho it harm none do what thou wilt" comes very close to what I'm considering... with the caveats that sometimes you have to break a few eggs... and also "the laws of the land are guidelines, tools towards a better life" Really though, the ideas of law, chaos, good and evil, while useful as absolutes in thought and archetypes in discussion... really are they that great of a map?


I have always played "true neutral" as a character who is all about balance. Balance between law and chaos, and balance between good and evil. When a true neutral character evaluates a situation they ask themselves if law or chaos has gotten out of balance, or if good or evil has. Then they work to restore the proper balance.

Now, that begs the question of what is the "proper balance" and in that regard most of my true neutral characters have come down right in the middle of law and chaos, but tend to favor good somewhat over evil because evil acts tend to be more disruptive than "equal" good acts are restorative. In other words a murder is more damaging than a healing. So once they decide what the proper balance between good and evil is, they will work to maintain that balance. As an example, a society which criminalizes gambling or alcohol would be considered too imbalanced towards good, while a society which criminalizes murder would not necessarily be. The goal of a true neutral character in the good/evil balance is to be sure that there is enough temptation available for people to make actual choices between good and evil. So if the government started a crackdown on prostitution, a true neutral character would likely oppose that, while if a government started a program to promote species or racial discrimination, they would likely oppose that too.

From an adventuring perspective a true neutral character might very well decide that the local balance requires a healthy bandit community to keep people on their toes and weed out the ignorant or stupid. So they might well side with bandits to oppose a crackdown on banditry. But if the bandits gain the upper hand too much, then they would fight the bandits.

That sort of thing...


you know reading Brassbaboon's post it occurs to me that the line between law and good is... shady... of course, but really order and chaos, good and evil. What a strange cross of dichotomys.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

I suppose use various existentialists as models for True Neutral alignment, in that they sort of put the responsibility of their own existence upon themselves, which places it beyond the influence of outside forces. Sometimes this falls within the seeking balance thing, other times its simply a matter of accepting situations for what they are.

Using Brassbaboon's bandit example, the True Neutral character might perceive the bandit community as existing within the reality of the townsfolk because it was something the townsfolk allowed to happen or created themselves and may feel its their responsibility to resolve the situation. If the townsfolk request his aid, then he might oblige because they seek to change their reality or are seeking his help in response to their need to change their reality. If they don't ask him to participate, its obvious that the townsfolk brought this reality upon themselves and do not (for whatever reason) seek to change it. Therefore, it must be a defining or necessary realty to the townsfolk (and the bandits). Or something like that.


Ha Ha... By jove I've got it. True neutral is the Prime Directive, of course it is, Wonderful point Tim (if I didn't bastardize your thought pattern here)


2e AD&D True Neutral was the one that had the whole "switch sides when one is losing" or "has no connection to any morality at all" crap.

3e (and subsequently Pathfinder) changed the Alignments to be a little more defined.

Here's what neutral means:

Quote:


People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent, but may lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others.

Someone who is neutral with respect to law and chaos has some respect for authority and feels neither a compulsion to obey nor a compulsion to rebel. She is generally honest, but can be tempted into lying or deceiving others.

This means if you are a sentient creature that can distinguish between what's good and evil, and you are willing to kill innocent people (say, wipe out a town, including children, because they infringe on the forest), then you are not neutral, but rather evil.

Personally, I feel that True Neutral fits the majority of people. They follow many rules (puts on a seatbelt and doesn't run red lights), but are willing to break others (such as download their music illegally, or not report cash under the table for taxes).
Most people will probably not run into a burning building (and you'd be lucky if one calls 911 apparently), but would if it was their daughter or cat or something else.

When I look at a character, I start off with True Neutral, and then work my way towards "what he's willing to do, and not willing to do".


None of my true neutral characters would "switch sides when one is losing" or anything like that, and none of them are amoral. Morality is not the same thing as good/evil or law/chaos. Morality is about codes of personal behavior and only vaguely approximates good and evil and has very little to do with law or chaos.

I think the definition above which Kaisoku quoted is far too vague to be of any use at all. In fact I think it would apply to just about every character of any alignment except hardcore evil ones. Even my evil characters generally don't deliberately target the innocent and consider randomly killing innocent people to be wasteful and stupid, since it tends to draw unwanted attention. In my gaming experience I have seen very few characters except paladins ever make sacrifices to protect or help others without regard to some sort of reward.

So I will stick with the "it's all about balance" interpretation of the alignment. At least that's some sort of guide for behavior, which is far more than the quote above offers.


"I have no strong feelings one way or the other."


Its the most common human alignment, so it shouldn't be that hard. Instead of "You peasants are in trouble, of course i'll help!" try a more realistic attitude from sane people "Ooookay, you want me to crawl through an orc infested swamp, wade through stinking, fetid pools, and risk getting sharp pointy objects shoved in to me... because it would make YOUR day better? Oh hell no. Not without some serious cash."

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

True Neutral is neither altruistic nor malicious, not devoted to order or to freedom.

Silver Crusade

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Its the most common human alignment, so it shouldn't be that hard.

Plain old Neutral is. True Neutral is squirrely. Or can be.

Not a Mordenkainen fan, I admit.


If anyone tries to maintain a balance of anything in any of my games, they're most likely Lawful Something, depending on their methods. You are establishing your view of balance on the world. That is not neutral. If they try to maintain that balance by switching sides like ye olde druids, they're just insane and get booted.

Balance, in my experience, has almost never been anywhere near neutral.


perhaps you would like to read the description of the very neutral god of magic, Nethys.
In my opinion it describes very well what neutral can be, it's a sort of mix of the "I don't care" idea, and the "all must be in balance" part.


I have never agreed with that. To me, Nethys fits Chaotic Neutral much better. He's insane and torn between conflicting directions. His churches fight each other and there's no real organisation due to their following of this madness.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Except madness does not equal chaos, and the organization of the church has no bearing on his alignment. He doesn't promote freedom over law, or any of the Chaotic tag lines for that matter.


Mikaze wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Its the most common human alignment, so it shouldn't be that hard.

Plain old Neutral is. True Neutral is squirrely. Or can be.

Not a Mordenkainen fan, I admit.

Ah, I see. True Neutral is usually the term used (in my circles anyways) for Neutral Neutral, since saying that would feel silly.

But if you mean "the guy who is all about balance" or "the guy who is totally against any cosmic extreme", then yeah.. they can be tough to play.

They make good BBEGs too, since it throws the party a curveball when the BBEG isn't some moustache twirling, dog kicking, cackling final fantasy boss.

It can be fine as a player if the "Thing" they do care so much about is broad enough to not interfere with day to day stuff with other members of a party. It can be as bad as party disrupting as a Paladin if someone wanted to play it that way, but that isn't the only way, obviously.

A friend mentioned the black witch from record of lodoss. She doesn't want anyone uniting the kingdoms, as she fears any too large centralized power. She doesn't care if it's for a good cause or not.
That would likely be a playable alignment to work with.


In my opinion it's the standard alignment.
Most heroes are outstanding individuals, so it's not that big surprise that they tend to have an outstanding alignment but a peasant for example is not that eager to sacrifice himself for the greater good, possibly did something unjust but of course he's not evil, he's neither anarchic nor does he blindly follow law (except if he fears the law for it's enforced by harsh means) - most likely YOU there in front of your computer are of neutral alignment.

brassbaboon wrote:
I have always played "true neutral" as a character who is all about balance. Balance between law and chaos, and balance between good and evil. When a true neutral character evaluates a situation they ask themselves if law or chaos has gotten out of balance, or if good or evil has. Then they work to restore the proper balance.

I don't know about that - "Hey, what a beautiful day! Everyone is happy, no evil in sight, flowers are blooming, guess I have to restore balance, hand me a torch and a knife!"


I can see three basic variants of the True Neutral alignement.
First, someone who does not have the time to care about morality. I.e. the common townsfolk. They surely aren't evil, but they don't really have the time to care.
Secondly, the druid-type, really about balance in nature. He probably wouldn't go out killing if he encounters a very peaceful society, but he may be very reluctant to kill the monster in the forest that occasionally kills a few villagers.
And last but as my favorite not least, the archetypical wizard. My two most powerful and longest-played characters where N wizards. One of them being all about amassing power, the other all about amassing knowledge. In both endeavours, morality will just be in the way, be it the compulsion to help people or to harm.


Tatterdash wrote:
"I have no strong feelings one way or the other."

What makes a man turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?


KaeYoss wrote:


What makes a man turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?

One of the best quotes ever :D


Look up the 2E class sourcebook, The Complete Druid's Handbook. It has the best description of playing a True Neutral character I've ever come across, at least for me. I'll grant that it definately has a druidic tilt to what is presented, yet it can very easily be adapted to non-druid characters. As for an actual example, the movie Silverado, mid 80s tribute to spaghetti westerns with Brian Dennehy, Jeff Fahey, Kevin Costner, Linda Hunt, John Cleese, Danny Glover, Kevin Kline, Jeff Goldblum, Scott Glenn and others. Specifically, Kevin Kline's character Paden, who happens to be an old friend of Brian Dennehy's character (main antagonist). Paden ends up staying out of things do to Dennehy's character figuring out what, rather who mattered to him. He does get involved when he judges his "friend" has gone too far, but it took a lot. The point being Paden, worked with the protagonists (good guys) and the antagonists (bad guys) during the movie. Incidentally, it can be considered a chessy movie, but Silverado still holds for me.


Tim Hitchcock wrote:
I suppose use various existentialists as models for True Neutral alignment, in that they sort of put the responsibility of their own existence upon themselves, which places it beyond the influence of outside forces. Sometimes this falls within the seeking balance thing, other times its simply a matter of accepting situations for what they are.
Kaisoku wrote:
They make good BBEGs too, since it throws the party a curveball when the BBEG isn't some moustache twirling, dog kicking, cackling final fantasy boss.

Don't be so sure about that. Lots of those guys twiddle their moustaches.

Quote:
So could you play in party with a character with a True Neutral alignment?

No reason one can't. Moraly ambigous characters can have diffrent motivations but this type of character frequently is on their way to one of the more extreme alignments. Golems and the like are some of the good examples there. Sure, they don't really make moral choices, but when a player character is this type the narrative usually gives them incrimental changes to alignment until they act more human. Think Data from Star Trek.

I suspect that Neitzche's worldview would either be statted out as neutrality or else be like alignment on the abberatoins (evil as an explanation for wierd.). Which is another good angle for TN. The alien or outsider (not the subtype) who has just such an uncommon philosophy that it isn't really modeled well within the rules. Sure, in the case of some of them they are still evil, but that is having the outside objective reality of the cosmology as applied to their actions more than them doing evil and knowing it. So as long as you are functionally moraly and ethically neutral or just too wierd to really be understood without acting like a jerk, your reasons can be glossed over or used diffrently.

In a way druids are in this last catagory. By having such an ingraned interest in their particular topic, it essentialy writes their ethics. Their definitions for common things are abberant. While the paladin will seek to thwart evil, the druid just wants to protect nature. Good and evil are less important to him because of this. Paladin setting a rightous forest fire and the blackguard making a dastardly one are no diffrent in his eyes, so he gets TN for having that kind of moral compass.

Though in general, alignment just comes in the diffrent flavors of Yes-No-Mabey? Just ask something to the effect of "Do you think innocent life is worth defending?" and "Do you follow the law because laws are good?" TN Mabey-Mabey. CE No-No. LG Yes-Yes.

Fun note from the PRD: An aberration has a bizarre anatomy, strange abilities, an alien mindset, or any combination of the three. An aberration has the following features.

How strange does your thinking have to be to get darkvision?

Liberty's Edge

My Ranger in RotRL is True Neutral.

Not because he is all about a balancing act and seeking enlightenment or whatever.

Just because he is very selfish, ruled by his emotions and something of a coward when confronted with authority (not in combat, mind you).

I base him quite strongly on the young Biff Tannen, from the Back to the Future trilogy. Basically, the guy is the quintessential highschool bully, out for girls, booze and whatever glory/fame he can get.

He would like to do whatever he wants, but he is afraid of breaking the rules (and incurring the wrath of any local authorities/cops if he gets caught).

He does not care much for other people, except his friends and lovers, but enjoys being seen as a hero. He doesn't mind bashing a few heads if he feels like it, but does not go out of his way to hurt innocent people.

He is quite loyal and dutiful to his family and believes that all other family members should be too. He is a devouted follower of Erastil, though he believes that he himself is not really the family type and thus he is prone to carousing and bedding whatever woman is available. Of course, he will most definitely not tolerate such behaviour from a married member of his family.

He is a rather normal though selfish human being. Hence, True Neutral.


Can you play True Neutral alignment?

Meh


Sure, but someone would have to tell your wife that you said "hello."


I think that there are 2 variants in TN alignment

1. The "peasant"/"everyday guy" variant: he cares about his family and friends he'll do what he can to keep them safe.
He would do what he must to have a good life, make some money or whatever his dreams and goals are but he won't go to extremes if he's not forced to.

2. The "militant TN" aka druid that would go out of his way to ensures that no other philosophy wins, would make decisions based in the long term consequences (as far as he see).
He's more calculating in his actions trying to protect nature or just gathering favours or allies for future use (a good reason to hang along a mostly Good party).
I think that he can be as annoying to the others as a paladin but i guess that's the case with anyone who has strong alignment convictions from his class.

In the bandit example as a TN druid I would probably set some rules on them not to pray on the villagers (I would want them as allies or just friendly to my and the more the bandits take from them the more they are forced to destroy nature to make ends meet) and I wouldn't mind or even provide healing and some protection if they steal from towns (towns are a danger to nature) or aristocrats (they take more than they need from nature) because they have to live somehow.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
True Neutral is neither altruistic nor malicious, not devoted to order or to freedom.

+1

Actually +0.5. I'd change the last bit to "not particularly consistent nor particularly arbitrary". And I'd probably save a couple of syllables by saying "merciful" and "cruel" instead of "altruistic" and "malicious". But the format is 100% correct. :-)


Switzerland is neutral. So play a swiss.
Druids, ninjas, commoners, animals: Most of them are neutral.
As a matter of fact, most of the people are supposed to be neutral.
Basically, if you don't care about good, evil, law or chaos, you are neutral.
It doesn't necessary mean that you want to stay neutral or that you want to preserve the balance. It might be that you just don't care.
True Neutral, now called "Unaligned" by the kids.


KaeYoss wrote:

Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?

Could be. I'm not sure about that.

Mahorfeus wrote:

Sure, but someone would have to tell your wife that you said "hello."

Maybe you should give a link to that. Maybe not.


Phneri wrote:
What about the mercenary who isn't outright evil? He'll break a contract if it makes sense, or take lives if he has to, but generally avoids bloodshed and other such.

CN

Quote:
What about the dogooder who punishes evil by becoming judge, jury, and executioner? We're still doing good, but perhaps with a bit too much zeal.

LE - there are none so evil as those who stop at nothing to do good; the road to hell is paved with good intentions, etc, etc

Quote:
What about the character that's dedicated only to a cause, whether it be right or wrong, just or not?

LS - Lawful Stupid. I guess we can just say LN


I rarely use the old school True Neutral anymore. For me it describes the 1e Greyhawk era of militant and even interventionist neutrality.

Most neutral monsters and PCs are either amoral (animals in particular) or not particularly loyal to any moral code. For the most part they follow the rules and can even behave altruistically but are also likely to lie or cheat if that results in personal gain. They aren't lawful,chaotic, good or evil any consistent amount of the time. Fear of consequences typically tempers their actions.

True neutral is a belief that alignment extremes are fundamentally negative. LG Paladins are as disruptive to the natural order as CE Orc Barbarians.

In these cases TN characters seek to keep the opposing forces in some sort of equilibrium. In some situations that means opposing the forces of good but as most settings trend towards evil being dominant (Greyhawk certainly qualifies) this typically means that TN characters typically oppose the forces of evil the vast majority of the time.

Some are relatively upfront about it, some are militantly isolationist, and some are sneaky weasels who manipulate others to do their bidding. One guess as to the camp that Mordekainen occupies in Greyhawk.

More recent concepts of the Master Manipulator Mage tend towards the LN types like Khelben Blackstaff Arunsun in the Forgotten Realms but there are times that I like the militant TN alignment type.

I think the aeons in Bestiary II are simple TN taken to the extreme.

Shadow Lodge

I've always preferred RIFTS' alignment system, because not only is it better defined through concrete examples, it also gets rid of "Neutral" and replaces it with "Selfish" since outside of Philosophy (or D&D), Neutrality doesn't exist.

There are always external and internal forces, motivations, beliefs, causes, desires, ambitions that drive a moral agent, and you cannot simply "float" out in the middle of Nowhere (morally speaking) and do nothing since even non-acting can be a moral or immoral choice.

Thus, you can be for or against something, or you can be out for yourself, but you're never "Neutral" in any meaningful sense of the word.

A (literal) True Neutral character would be impossible to play, and probably can only exist in the empty terminology we're using to discuss it--just like I can say that "the current king of France is bald" and not really be referring to anything that's in existence.


Cartigan wrote:
Phneri wrote:
What about the mercenary who isn't outright evil? He'll break a contract if it makes sense, or take lives if he has to, but generally avoids bloodshed and other such.

CN

Quote:
What about the dogooder who punishes evil by becoming judge, jury, and executioner? We're still doing good, but perhaps with a bit too much zeal.

LE - there are none so evil as those who stop at nothing to do good; the road to hell is paved with good intentions, etc, etc

Quote:
What about the character that's dedicated only to a cause, whether it be right or wrong, just or not?

LS - Lawful Stupid. I guess we can just say LN

CN- any backing, at all, for that?

LE- Think less punisher and more angry barbarian seeking vengeance for his people. No quarter given, but we're not outright burning orphanages. As in we're "do[ing] what seems to be a good idea."

LN- Will still argue that depends on the case. And I'm glad to see you're not applying presumption to the abstract.


Stupid Neutral is a thing, too.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
harmor wrote:

I always thought of True Neutral as a druid in a forest or an animal that always works on instinct and not by any moral code.

So could you play in party with a character with a True Neutral alignment?

That's not true neutral, that's animalistic, neutral with a small (n)

True Neutral isn't restricted to Druids, probably the best example of True Neutral in Greyhawk would be Mordenkainen himself, who's acted against every alignment at one time to maintain his ideal of Balance.

There are essentially two fairly opposite views of True Neutrality.

1. is UnAligned... the extreme position of Non-Involvment. such a person usually acts in response to an extermal force trying to force him into an offblance position.

2. Active Balancer... this person monitors the state of the land, world, etc, and pro-actively moves either subtly off-stage or actively to counter-act an influence that would put things "off-balance".

A druid that's truly gone feral would probably be swiftly booted from any party unless there's a compensating factor, like demonstrated loyalty and usefulness.

BTW, I've seen enough druids played as feral kitty cats to really despise the trope.


harmor wrote:

I always thought of True Neutral as a druid in a forest or an animal that always works on instinct and not by any moral code.

So could you play in party with a character with a True Neutral alignment?

All I know is my gut says maybe!

Shadow Lodge

(True) True Neutral:

Observation: "We should go Adventuring."
Reaction: "Meh"
Action: Take none, it will all work out in the end, any action may sway you towards some external force/belief and/or your actions may influence the outcome.

Observation: "We should go left."
Reaction: "Meh"
Action: Take none, it will all work out in the end, any action may sway you towards some external force/belief and/or your actions may influence the outcome.

Observation: "We should go Adventuring."
Reaction: "Meh"
Action: Take none, it will all work out in the end, any action may sway you towards some external force/belief and/or your actions may influence the outcome.

Observation: "You're on fire!"
Reaction: "Meh"
Action: Take none, it will all work out in the end, any action may sway you towards some external force/belief and/or your actions may influence the outcome.

Observation: "Orcs are stabbing me!"
Reaction: "Meh"
Action: Take none, it will all work out in the end, any action may sway you towards some external force/belief and/or your actions may influence the outcome.

Observation: "That dragon's eating a virgin!"
Reaction: "Meh"
Action: Take none, it will all work out in the end, any action may sway you towards some external force/belief and/or your actions may influence the outcome.

Observation: "We should go Adventuring."
Reaction: "Meh"
Action: Take none, it will all work out in the end, any action may sway you towards some external force/belief and/or your actions may influence the outcome.

Observation: "We should DO SOMETHING!"
Reaction: "Meh"
Action: Take none, it will all work out in the end, any action may sway you towards some external force/belief and/or your actions may influence the outcome.

Observation: "We should go Adventuring."
Reaction: "Meh"
Action: Take none, it will all work out in the end, any action may sway you towards some external force/belief and/or your actions may influence the outcome.

Observation: "You've stopped breathing."
Reaction: "Meh"
Action: Take none, it will all work out in the end, any action may sway you towards some external force/belief and/or your actions may influence the outcome.

Observation: "We should go Adventuring."
Reaction: "Meh"
Action: Take none, it will all work out in the end, any action may sway you towards some external force/belief and/or your actions may influence the outcome.

Observation: "You're dead."
Reaction: "Meh"
Action: Take none, it will all work out in the end, any action may sway you towards some external force/belief and/or your actions may influence the outcome.


True Neutral is explicitly not apathetic indecisiveness.

Aeons are the outsider form of TN, they act swiftly and decisively based upon very alien criteria related to universal balance. Sometimes they'll be allies sometimes they'll be deadly enemies. The criteria that they use for judging a course of action is completely opaque to non-Aeons.

TN mortals are actually extremely active forces in the world. They are constantly looking to maintain equilibrium whenever it gets out of control on a local or universal scale.

TN Druids were generally less interventionist as long as their druidic domain was not violated. But pushed by external forces they could become quite hostile.

Others really sought out conflict.


Just to clarify, are folks here using "True Neutral" (in capital letters) as a different alignment from Neutral Neutral (i.e. not Lawful, Chaotic, Good or Evil)?

Because I don't separate out a special "True Neutral" alignment that means something different from "N".


Phneri wrote:


CN- any backing, at all, for that?

He acts to what he personally thinks is best - previous or CURRENT directives be damned, and tries to to the line between good and evil.

Quote:
LE- Think less punisher and more angry barbarian seeking vengeance for his people. No quarter given, but we're not outright burning orphanages. As in we're "do[ing] what seems to be a good idea."

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.


Seldriss wrote:
Switzerland is neutral. So play a swiss.

Here's a short howto:

  • Learn to say Kchäsefondue
  • Learn to speak more slowly
  • Develop a liking to fraudulent cheese (which has many holes in it, thus appearing to be more than it is)
  • Get a weapon that has a blade, a blunt instrument, a pike, a grappling hook, a lock pick, a can opener, a compass, a saw, a file, a pair of scissors, a magnifying glass, a length of rope, a toothpick, a tinderbox, a scalpel, a spoon, a fork, a whetstone, as well as masterwork tools for every class in the core rules. At the very least.

    ;-)


  • True Neutral is not "indecisiveness" or "switch sides more often than a pendulum" any more than Chaotic Neutral is "choose actions at random, give away all possessions at a whim" or any nonsense like that.

    True Neutral can be a moderation in outlooks - not overly lawful, but not too chaotic, either. Not good, but not evil, either. It can be "pro nature" in that you shield the natural world from the machinations of civilisation. It can mean championing something other than artificial ideals imposed by the gods.


    KaeYoss wrote:


    Here's a short howto:
  • Learn to say Kchäsefondue
  • Learn to speak more slowly
  • Develop a liking to fraudulent cheese (which has many holes in it, thus appearing to be more than it is)
  • Get a weapon that has a blade, a blunt instrument, a pike, a grappling hook, a lock pick, a can opener, a compass, a saw, a file, a pair of scissors, a magnifying glass, a length of rope, a toothpick, a tinderbox, a scalpel, a spoon, a fork, a whetstone, as well as masterwork tools for every class in the core rules. At the very least.
    ;-)
  • Hehe. All this sounds very gnome ;)

    I love Switzerland.

    About the swiss knife, the modern version also holds a USB key :D


    Cartigan wrote:
    Phneri wrote:


    CN- any backing, at all, for that?

    He acts to what he personally thinks is best - previous or CURRENT directives be damned, and tries to to the line between good and evil.

    Quote:
    LE- Think less punisher and more angry barbarian seeking vengeance for his people. No quarter given, but we're not outright burning orphanages. As in we're "do[ing] what seems to be a good idea."

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    Sigh.

    Per SRD

    "A neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. She doesn't feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos (and thus neutral is sometimes called “true neutral”)."

    Going to just ignore character traits added to the CN example.

    Back to the OP. Yeah, True Neutral's totally doable. Has to do with where convictions are and value of life/death, not behaving on instinct. My last 3 characters have been largely neutral.


    My viewpoint is that there's simply a ton of ways to represent each alignment - they're not set in stone like it's a videogame. I tend to view alignments as highly mutable and sometimes overlapping slightly at the edges, else what you get is basically 9 molds you can get characters from and that's it (which is no fun in my book). I don't put a terrible weight on them - actions and personality decide alignment, not the other way around.

    So the answer is... not only could I play a TN, I could play several different kinds of TN. ;)

    RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

    I've always thought the majority of "ordinary" people (however you want to define "ordinary") are True Neutral.

    This particular set of phrases in the core rules particularly sticks out to me:

    PRD wrote:


    Most neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character probably thinks of good as better than evil—after all, she would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, she's not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way.

    And MOST people basically--all they are trying to get along in the world and survive. They aren't going to go out of their way to help people, because it puts them at risk for some kind of loss, but they also aren't going to go out of their way to hurt people as they aren't deliberately cruel--nor is such cruelty normally viable for an easy-to-survive existence. Neutral people uphold laws and social mores, but because it's usually easier to avoid suspicion or punishment that way, and because it makes getting along easier. Likewise they don't stand out as rebels or visionaries because that also incurs risk.

    The only thing I would find hard about playing that kind of Neutral as an adventurer is that people like that aren't going to want to adventure unless they have a very particular reason to for their survival or advancement--it's safer to stay home and live a "normal" life than go out and adventure. Adventurers are most often motivated by a desire to help others--or hurt them/take someone else's stuff. :) Neutral is normal, and adventurers by their nature aren't normal. :)

    That said, absolutely I think it can be done--if the benefits are show to outweigh the risks, or the neutral character's personal loyalties or property or safety or what-have-you push them toward adventure for a particular reason. There's also the mercenary type who is in on the adventure because that's his job, but it's not a calling, per se.

    My 2 cents.


    I think there is a discrepancy in terms of terminology. I think most NPCs are Neutral but not necessarily the 1e-2e concept of True Neutral which is a term that didn't really get carried over in the transition from 2e to 3e. Stuff like LN(E) or Lawful Neutral with Evil tendencies is another concept that didn't really get carried over.

    Some people in this thread are using the old 1e-2e definition of True Neutral (Militant Druids and Mordekainen the Weasel) and some are using the 3e True Neutral = Neutral. Some are even using a passive indecisive explanation which seems as limiting as the old Lawful Stupid or Chaotic Ran-Dumb stereotypes.

    Personally I do like the old militant neutrality version of True Neutrality in which the TN characters would actively work against extreme examples of polar alignments. You could be working with the LG Church one week to save a village from CE marauders and the next week you could be propping up the fledgling government of a LE inquisitor.

    Basically True Neutral characters would act in a rational manner to weaken any strong concentration of power along the alignment axis. Sometimes that means empowering one set of evil creatures in order to use them to weaken another set of evil creatures. It's not really about flipping a coin and doing something random or sitting around on the couch eating cheetos and waiting for life to happen to you.

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